Web Hosting Reviews: Who Do Real Users Recommend? [+ The Ones To Avoid]
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Web Hosting Reviews: Who Do Real Users Recommend?
by Frank Moraes
Since 2008 we’ve published 1+ million words of real-life reviews of the world’s most popular web hosting services.
We know the good, the bad, and the ugly about the world’s most popular hosting providers — and we’re not afraid to publish it.
We recommend taking time to look at customer ratings and reviews when you are searching for a web host.
You’ll get answers to questions like: Are there hidden charges or fees? Is the uptime as good as promised? Is customer support helpful?
Most Popular Web Hosting Companies
Not sure where to start? We suggest looking at the following lists of highest rated, most reviewed and longest-running companies.
Shared WordPress hosting
Premium hosting (cloud, VPS, dedicated)
Wide range of plans and easy scalability
Eco-friendly green servers
Beginner-friendly hosting bundles
Premium security features
Digital marketing services
WordPress optimized cloud hosting
Custom website builder
Free email marketing services
A range of hosting plans (shared, VPS, dedicated)
Graphic design services
How to Find the Right Hosting Package
Looking for reviews about specific kinds of web hosting?
Small business owners have different needs than those looking to host a Minecraft server. So, we’ve created buyer’s guides and comparisons for many specialized uses such as:
New and just need a solid recommendation of trustworthy hosts? see our guide to the Best Hosts of 2020 here.
You can also talk to us on our live chat, or contact us by email if you’re stuck and need help.
In addition to reading reviews, check out our Expert Opinions for a summary of what you can expect from a given host, uptime stats, hosting plan, pricing, etc.
“People’s Choice” Top Budget Hosting Reviews
These web hosting providers under $5/month are most popular and highest-rated among our users. We think these are the best bet for the majority of our visitors:
Most Reviewed Web Hosting Companies
These web hosting providers are the most frequently reviewed by our users. Get the inside scoop on these popular hosts.
Want to review your current hosting provider? You can do so at the bottom of any of the host review pages.
Top VPS and Dedicated Hosting Reviews
Hosting companies reviewed and rated highly for their VPS (virtual private server) and dedicated server hosting services.
#3. InMotion Hosting — 648 Reviews | Visit
Our Reviews Are Different. Here’s How…
The web hosting reviews racket is broken — and we want to fix it.
You’re here because you’re smart. That’s why we want you on our side. You’re not duped by other pay-for-placement ‘hosting comparison’ sites or the astroturfed hosting reviews you read elsewhere.
We see our integrity as a win-win. You get straightforward, honest, and reliable hosting reviews; we earn your respect and, hopefully, your loyalty.
Our aim is that, one day, you’ll buy hosting via our referral links to help fund our good work.
#1 Real, High-Quality Customer Reviews
It’s cheap for hosting companies to buy ‘sock-puppets’ — paid to write positive reviews (‘astroturfing’).
And, we’ve all seen Amazon reviews that amount to one-word: “Awesome!”
Pretty useless in helping you decide what to buy, right?
Our Approach: We only accept high quality reviews. In addition, we vet every customer review and do our best with both technology and detective work to sniff out the fakes.
The most common reasons we reject reviews:
Plagiarized or duplicate reviews. We only publish reviews that are unique to this website.
Pseudonyms. We don’t allow anonymous reviews. Reviewers must stand by their statements with real names.
Fake reviews. Astroturfing, sock-puppet accounts, or paid reviews aren’t allowed on our site.
Swearing, slander, or other very distasteful speech will get a review canned.
It takes a lot of time to weed out bad reviews, but we’re laser-focused on getting the best information on our site so we think it’s worth the effort.
#2. Our Opinions Are Honest and Real
Many hosting review websites suck. They’re not just poor quality, they often deliberately attempt to misinform users. They sell “best” spots to the highest bidder.
Our Approach: We’re all about the long-term relationships, so it’s important that you don’t get duped when you’re on our site. Here’s how we achieve that:
Star ratings are calculated from customer reviews, not from our editorial opinions (except where noted).
We publish all qualifying reviews, positive or negative. Praises and complaints are welcome.
Our editorial reviews use first-hand experience, independent research, and uptime testing to inform our readers.
#3 We Try Before You Buy
We have first hand experience and test accounts for dozens of the largest web hosting companies. Allowing us to log in, create websites, break things, contact customer support, etc — and compare this experience against other hosts.
We also track uptime, page speed and other metrics over time and update these stats regularly.
How You Can Help…
If you learn something while you’re here, please consider giving us a boost by clicking our referral links when you make your decision on hosting.
Why are referral links good — fantastic, even? Lots of reasons:
We don’t subject you to more annoying forms of advertising.
We don’t spam you with umpteen newsletters selling products.
We don’t require a subscription to use our site.
This revenue helps fund our other awesome features, like our infographics and resources.
It won’t cost you anything (in fact, it could get you a nice discount) and it will keep our nerds team fed so they can keep fighting the good fight.
Our Dream Scenario
You want to create a website. You use our tools, read reviews and you find the perfect host or website builder.
All goes well and your business starts to take off.
You’ll remember how useful we were and will visit us again. You’ll leave a review and let our visitors read about your experiences, and help them make better purchasing decisions.
Then you’ll go and recommend us on your 50,000 subscriber blog (hey, this is our dream, remember?)
Still have questions? Not sure what you need?
You can check the FAQ below for answers to the most common questions see our guide to finding the best web hosting plan for you.
They are the best – they rock. Just get your site over to siteground.com – It will be one of the best decisions you make. From the technical services of hosting a site to customer service, I’ve found them to be the best bar-none.
Why pay for GoDaddy or Web.com when you can have a Real host and Real customer service? Don’t, just look to siteground.com and it’s a guarantee you’ll never regret it.
Overall my experience with Hostgator has been very good. They provide a quality product at a reasonable price. Their support staff has been excellent if I have an immediate problem, that being said, I’ve had a problem with constant contact charging a client and have contacted support in order to attempt to resolve.
They are saying the problem must go to an administrator, and that’s where it stays. I’ve sent proof that these charges are bogus and yet hear nothing back at all. My client continues to get charged and we may lose her as a customer…
I am customer for over 2 years, and I can only recommend them. The panels are easy to use, straight forward, and if I need personal attention to something or to a question they are right there. I use the Chat feature to contact them.
Example when I added SSL onto my website, a dedicated SSL, they made sure it is running correctly, or when I had questions about something I saw on the website, they checked it and said it must be one plugin, an updated plugin, causing it, so advised me to re-add that plugin to solve that issue, and then it was all fine. It is really easy working with the platform, loaded with tones of applications that even a non-tech person can activate. And they keep all applications up-to-date.
So, they are constantly upgrading. Basically everything you need for a website is available on the panels. I don’t even use many of.
And they have very good Knowledge Base description for everything, and even Education center for many things, from coding to how to create a stunning web design. And of course a supportive Community center. So, what can a customer say … if there are no issues, everything is running smooth, and at your fingertips, then people just run their own business. Yes, choosing InMotion Hosting about 2 years ago was a good choice, and I am glad I made that.
I have been a client of JustCloud for a number of years, paying over £200 a year. Recently I noticed that my files have not been backed up for sometime, although the application tells me that if it backed up daily. I contacted JustCloud on several occasions regarding this problem and they have not even replied.
Their customer services is non-existent. Beware as this could be very costly if your computer fails. Do not rely on their service.
Flywheel hosting, Imho, is for the novice and not for the expert. They have a few bells and whistles with their backend, however, you have absolutely no granular control over very basic features of managing a website and it’s hosting. If you’re a quasi developer that only know hows to use Divi or Be-theme front end development or a plugin, I say sure go with them because I doubt you even know what PHP is and you need everything dumbed down in order to build a website.
However, the reality is that doing simple things like redirects and performance tweaking is a nightmare with Flywheel and requires support tickets for the very basic of things, which you will have to wait on for someone else to do at your time and expense when you could be doing other things. There are more robust and better hosting options out there. Before anyone sells you on white label agency hosting with Flywheel, consider your client’s hosting requirements and the expense and time you’ll end up paying just to keep them there.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re just starting up, shared hosting is probably sufficient. The only limiting factors for most beginners are the number of sites you can host, the scripting languages you can use, and the availability of good quality support from your host.
If you upgrade to VPS hosting, you’ll get more control over your hosting environment, and you’ll enjoy disk space and memory that’s reserved just for you. That means there’s less chance of a rogue shared hosting customer slowing down the server for everyone else.
Shared “normal” hosting is what most people use for their WordPress sites, and is completely suitable for beginners and those on a budget. In fact, some “regular” shared hosting is optimized for WordPress. (like BlueHost and SiteGround)
The difference is in the web hosts themselves, and how they package WordPress features and add-ons together into something they are trying to sell you. Most often this “WordPress Hosting” has perks like priority support and extras like premium templates and plugins.
In recent years, some web hosts (like BlueHost, HostGator and Dreamhost) offer WordPress packages in addition to their regular shared hosting packages. These are often in the $10-20/mo price range, compared to “regular” shared hosting that averages about $5-10/mo.
In addition, to make things even more confusing, there is also premium “managed WordPress hosting” plans. The range here is much broader price-wise $20-$1000+ monthly. If you have a high-traffic website, and don’t want to manage WordPress updates this might be a good option.
Bottom line: Most hosting plans can support WordPress, but if you think you’ll need extra tech support or have lots of visitors managed or another type of specialized WordPress hosting might be better for you.
It doesn’t matter if the computer you use is Windows, Mac, or Linux based: you can choose any operating system for hosting.
Choosing is simple: select hosting that will support the script, platform, or CMS you want to use. And if you aren’t sure, go for Linux hosting. For example, WordPress will run on Linux and Windows, but hosts generally recommend that you run it on Linux. However, if you want to use a Windows-specific technology like ASP.NET, you’ll need a Windows host.
A few hosts offer a free migration service; such as HostPapa or SiteGround . Others will assess your site and provide a quote for the move. Check with a host’s sales rep before signing up if you require assistance moving your website from the old host to new.
Keep in mind that hosts generally set limits on how many websites are covered under a free migration service for new customers.
cPanel is a popular web hosting control panel. Control panels are web-based tools that allows you to perform administrative tasks and manage your web hosting account.
Common uses include checking your website’s resource usage, creating and managing email accounts, uploading files to your site via FTP, and installing software.
In most cases, web hosting comes with email functionality so that you can send and receive messages using an address that matches your website’s. However, if this isn’t the case, you can purchase email services from a third party, like Google’s G Suite or Microsoft’s Outlook.
A group of servers is referred to as a cloud. Cloud web hosting is an option that uses the resources located across several servers (grouped together to form a cloud) for your website, rather than the resources of a single server.
Yes and no. The closer your data center is to your visitor, the faster your site might load (the closer proximity means less distance traveled). However, with the use of CDNs, it matters less where your data center is and more how robust your CDN’s network is.
There is no shortage of web hosting options that are based in the United States. Some of the biggest and most well-known companies in web hosting include BlueHost, GoDaddy, InMotion, A2 Hosting, and (for those with WordPress sites) WP Engine.
If you’re in the market for Canada-based web hosting, look into HostPapa, CanadianWebHosting, and HostUpon. Those with online stores will want to look into ecommerce giant Shopify, which is also headquartered in Canada. GreenGeeks is a California-based company, but offers a Toronto data center option.
Ecommerce websites have all the features you’d expect from a regular website. However, they also include features to help you sell digital and physical items, such as product catalogs and item display pages, inventory management, shopping cart, and checkout and payment processing functionality.
An uptime guarantee is a service level agreement between the hosting company and you, the customer. If the host advertises 99% uptime, for example, it may provide a credit on your account if uptime falls below that.
Uptime figures can be misleading; a 99% uptime guarantee allows for more than 7 hours of downtime a month, which is quite a lot for a business-critical website. In contrast, a 99.9% uptime guarantee means that the host can only get away with 44 minutes of downtime before you’re compensated.
Check how the host measures downtime (month to month, or over the full year), and check the claims process to find out how you’ll be compensated.
All of the hosts we have reviewed accept credit cards. Many also accept PayPal, Skrill, and other online payment methods.
A handful of hosting companies accept cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and some even accept **gasp**… cheques. Payment methods offered to you may vary according to your location.
Yearly and monthly billing is the most common. Most hosts reduce their prices for a long-term commitment. But check the host’s money-back guarantee and refund policy before you commit.
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1m+ words of web hosting reviews of the world's biggest & best web hosts, including BlueHost, HostGator, Siteground & more. Check out what our experts say, as well as reviews from thousands of real webmasters.
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