The best web hosting: the top web hosts of 2021


imageHaving the best web hosting service is vital for ensuring that your site not only goes up, but stays up too.A site that’s constantly crashing, timing out and leaving visitors on a dreaded 404 page is not going to attract too many repeat visitors, and if you’re relying on it to generate interest in your business or your art portfolio, that’s a problem.

A good website should load fast and reliably and should keep its data secure.A good website host should offer comprehensive customer support, and not charge too much for the privilege.In this guide, we’ve assembled the web hosting services that do all this and more.

There are plenty of companies jostling for your dollar and jockeying to be the best web hosting service in 2021, to the point where it can be tricky to decide which one to go for.In this guide, we’ve outlined the positives and negatives of all the main contenders, including some you may have heard of and some that are likely unfamiliar.

For the technical newbies among you who don’t know the first thing about web hosting, click to jump straight to our primer on the [different types of hosting](#what-are-the-different-types-of-web-hosting-services) .Also, if budgets are tight, we have a separate guide to the best cheap web hosting providers.

Also, if you need to build your website before thinking about hosting it, then our best website builder guide should help you get started.

If you want to get to a hosting service as quickly as possible, below we’ve provided a quick list of the top three web hosting services available right now, a brief outline of their features and pricing, and jump links to get you straight there.

If, however, you want to consider your options in more detail, scroll on as we run through the best web hosting services in 2021.

The 3 best web hosting services in 2021

01.Bluehost – up to 69 per cent off

If you’re a beginner, Bluehost is the best web hosting service for getting started, and it has up to 69 per cent off its shared hosting plans, taking the price as low as $2.75 / £1.99 / €2.32 per month for a 36-month plan.View Deal

02.Hostinger – up to 80% off

Hostinger’s cloud hosting not only keeps your website safe, via data centres spread across the globe, it also offers brilliant value for money.Right now, there’s up to 80 per cent off hosting plans.

03.Hostgator – the best shared web hosting provider

To keep costs low, you’ll want shared hosting.

Hostgator is a great choice, providing strong support, a free domain name, unlimited email addresses and a website builder.

The best web hosting services in full

The best web hosting for beginners


Reasons to buy

Reasons to avoid

If you don’t know what you’re doing, start here.

Or, to be honest, even if you do.

Bluehost is the best web hosting service for beginners, with an easy-to-use interface and 24/7 customer service, but it also has a range of useful analytics and SEO tools for those who want to get deeper into the nitty-gritty of running their site.

If you’ve already made a site using WordPress, then Bluehost is one of the best web hosting for WordPress sites.Depending on your plan, Bluehost will install your WordPress software either automatically or via one click.It’s also easy to transfer your WordPress site from another host to Bluehost within 30 days, if your site/s are large and complex, the managed WordPress hosting options are excellent too.

Prices are nicely affordable, with plans starting from $2.95 / £2.22 per month for the Basic option with a 36-month subscription.This allows to connect one site with 50 GB of SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free domain, a free SSL certificate, and more.If you require more storage for large media or other files, particularly high-res images or video, then we’d recommend considering the Plus plan, which comes with unlimited SSD storage and unlimited website connections.Note that like many hosting companies, the discounted prices is only for the initial term.

For more details, read our full Bluehost review .

The best cheap cloud hosting provider


Reasons to buy

Reasons to avoid

For more on cloud hosting you can jump to [our explainer](#what-are-the-different-types-of-web-hosting-services) at the end of the guide, but in brief, it stores your website’s data across servers in multiple regions.This provides layers of redundancy that minimises the risk of data loss, even if an outage or other disaster affects an entire country.

We reckon the best cloud hosting provider right now is Hostinger.Its data centres are spread across the USA, UK, Singapore, Lithuania, the Netherlands and more, and it provides a good, simple way to get a website up and running, and ensure it stays that way.

Hostinger offers three cloud hosting plans: Business Startup, Business Professional, and Cloud Enterprise.

Each of these will give you good levels of speed and scalability, and you also get automated updates, daily backups, and free dedicated IP thrown in for good measure.

If you can commit to signing up for a year, you will also get a Lifetime SSL certificate, daily backups, unlimited email accounts and a free domain.Hostinger isn’t the best web hosting service for advanced features or managed plans, but as a no-frills option for cloud hosting, it’s easy to recommend.

For more details, see our full Hostinger review .

The best shared hosting provider


Reasons to buy

Reasons to avoid

Shared hosting is the cheapest type, and for most websites, is probably the best choice for this reason alone.The best shared hosting provider right now is Hostgator.These guys have been in the game quite some time, and have a reputation for providing reliable website hosting.

For an average-sized website, shared hosting makes sense since it’s by far the cheapest choice.We think the best shared hosting provider is Hostgator.

Offering first-class uptime, performance and 24/7/365 support via live chat, phone and email, it’s one of the best website hosting services for sheer peace of mind.The shared plans are pleasingly affordable, setting you up with a free domain, free SSL certificate, $100 of AdWords and Bing credits, unlimited free email addresses, and a website builder, which includes 100+ mobile-friendly templates and an image library.If you’re aiming to hit the ground running with an online business, it’s hard to do better than that!

Hostgator has three shared hosting plans.If you want to sell products or services online, you’ll need the Business option.Otherwise, you can pick the Hatchling tier to host a single domain, or Baby if you’re going to have more than one.

All the tiers are pretty well priced, though do be warned, once you’re passed the first term, the price more than doubles.

This is pretty common in the world of web hosting, and it’s worth being aware of.

For more details, check out our full Hostgator review .

The best VPS hosting provider


Reasons to buy

Reasons to avoid

VPS hosting is pricier than shared hosting, but it gives you more control and greater bandwidth for your money.In our view, you’ll find the best web hosting of this type at InMotion.Its VPS plans aren’t the cheapest on the market, but they’re the best value overall considering the features offered.

On the cheapest managed VPS hosting plan, you get 4GB RAM, 75GB SSD storage, 4TB bandwidth, one dedicated IPs, free SSLs, a cPanel and WHM for $41.99 per month.InMotion also offers dedicated Sysadmin support to expedite your data migration and server setup, and a choice of optimisations depending on whether your sites are based on PHP or WordPress.

All of its plans use 100 per cent SSD servers, giving you 20X speeds, and live-state snapshots, allowing you to roll back your server to any time period in the past.

InMotion costs a bit more than most web hosting providers but it does offer more in return, so if you have something more than a basic site, it’s well worth considering.The 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email is also excellent.

For more details see our full InMotion review .

The best web hosting for technical support


Reasons to buy

Reasons to avoid

Even IT managers and web developers who already know their way around web hosting can sometimes require guidance for setting up and maintaining hosting for multiple sites.If it’s good technical support that you’re after, we’d recommend Siteground as the best web hosting provider.

It’s known for the approachable, helpful and capable way it provides help and advice through a wide range of channels, including chatbots, phone, email, live chat and tickets.Calls are answered quickly, and on average tickets receive a first reply within 15 minutes.

If you choose the most expensive plan, you get priority ticket support from the most experienced agents.

Siteground has plenty more going for it too.Its updated interfaces for both hosting accounts and website management put a strong focus on greater accessibility, including high contrast themes.It boasts high speeds and uptime, and you can choose which geographical region your servers are based in.SiteGround is also a particularly good choice for users of WooCommerce or WordPress, and there are some smart features for web developers as well, such as being able to create Git repositories.

On the downside, SiteGround isn’t the cheapest web hosting, and it’s not the most suitable for beginners.

For more details, check out our full SiteGround review .

The best dedicated hosting provider


Reasons to buy

Reasons to avoid

Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option available, offering a high-spec service and powerful customisation tools.We believe the best web hosting provider for this kind of service is Hostwinds.Every server is fully managed, so tasks such as sysadmin duties, server monitoring and nightly backups are done for you.

Hostwinds also offers a lot of possibilities to tweak your setup.For example, servers can be fitted with any combination of SSD or SATA drives you choose, the amount of RAM, bandwidth and IP addresses you get can be customised, and you can choose between different Windows/Linux operating systems.

For more information, see our Hostwinds review .

The best managed hosting provider


Reasons to buy

Reasons to avoid

In business, time is money, so for many customers, managed hosting is worth the outlay.

Liquid Web offers the best web hosting in this field, and it’s actually surprisingly affordable.What’s particularly refreshing is that rather than bombard you with marketing waffle, Liquid Web makes specific promises and sticks to them.For instance, when it comes to tech support, they guarantee a response within 59 seconds by phone or live chat, and within 59 minutes by email.

It also commits to a 30-minute hardware replacement and 100 per cent network uptime.If downtime does happen, Liquid Web will credit you 1,000 per cent the amount of time that you were affected.

With specialised solutions for managing email, WordPress, WooCommerce and a host of other cloud products, this is a managed web hosting provider you can really depend on – a premium service offering stability, security and great support.

For more information, see our full Liquid Web review.

What are the different types of web hosting services?

There are several types of web hosting, but the vast majority of website owners use shared hosting simply because it’s the cheapest.With this kind of hosting, your site is stored on the same server as a lot of other sites, leading to economies of scale and low prices.It’s the obvious choice, then, for small, low-traffic websites.

However, if you own or manage a large and complex website, or a group of websites, and you expect to experience big spikes in traffic, or high traffic overall, shared hosting probably won’t allow enough bandwidth for you to provide a reliable service to your users.As a result, users may find your site loads slowly, or not at all.

The next step up, then, is VPS hosting.

Here, your site still shares space on a server, but with fewer other sites than with shared hosting.That means you get more bandwidth, your site will load more quickly, and you’ll have better security, as well as more fine control over how your plan works.

Up from there is dedicated hosting, which gives you an entire server for yourself.This is best suited to anyone running complex, high traffic websites, and costs rise accordingly.If you don’t like the implications of relying on just one server, which could be shut down due to natural disasters or local political action, then you want cloud hosting.

Cloud hosting spreads your website data across a number of different servers, usually around the world, for better security and reliability.

Finally, the more advanced your needs, the more challenging hosting becomes to manage.To release you from the mundane tasks around site maintenance, managed hosting means you pay the hosting company to handle all the setup, administration, management and support, so you don’t have to.

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