A Complete Web Hosting Guide


What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a facility that allows organizations and individuals to post on the Internet a website or web page. A web host, or service provider for web hosting, is a business that provides the software and services needed to access the domain or database on the Web. On different machines called servers, databases are managed or processed. When Internet users want to view their website, all they need to do is enter their browser with your website address or domain. Their computer will then connect to your server and the browser will deliver your web pages to them.

To order to host them, most hosting companies allow you to own the domain. The hosting companies will help you buy one if you don’t have a domain.

First Question on Hosting: What Are Your Needs?

list-of-hosting-companiesThe reality is there’s no such thing as “the perfect WordPress hosting” for everyone… some people have different requirements, and that’s all right. If you’ve got a small personal blog with low traffic volumes, shared hosting is probably the best and most affordable option for you— in this scenario, Bluehost or HostGator might be a good starting point. But, if you have a website with higher traffic or a business website, if you are fairly tech-savvy, you may want to go for controlled WordPress hosting from a company like WP Engine or get a VPS from a company like Liquidweb.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you assess your hosting needs: on average

How much traffic my website gets every day?

If you only get a couple hundred visits a day and it’s just a personal blog, you’re generally all right to stay with shared hosting. It is inexpensive, relatively user-friendly, and generally reliable.

The threshold I like to use for shared hosting as opposed to controlled hosting / VPS solutions in my personal experience is about 300-500 visits per day. Investing in a better hosting alternative than shared WordPress hosting might be worthwhile if you’re up in that area. The explanation for this is that shared hosting can sometimes get overwhelmed if a traffic spike is faced by the other users you are using the site. This ensures that your website can slow down and other users may have difficulty trying to access your website. This is less likely to happen when you’re on a run hosting such as WP Engine or on a VPS. Generally speaking, the cheapest hosting would usually cost a little more than hosting the budget too, but it is crucial for your platform to be swift if it gets a lot of traffic.

How sophisticated is my site? How intensive is it in terms of resources?

If you have a site that contains all kinds of images, whiz-bang graphics, and other animations, you may not be able to host it on shared hosting— you may need a server that has a little more power. But if you have a relatively simple, not very complicated site, then shared hosting may be a good fit.

What is the importance of support? How can I be tech-savvy?

This is an important question to ask because the better you get support, the more often you pay for hosting. If you’re not all that tech-savvy, you might want to choose a host with great support. If you’re comfortable jumping into PHPMyAdmin, handling SQL databases, and other WordPress backends technical aspects, you might be ok with a VPS or something that requires more management.

Most of the better shared hosts offer pretty good support, but shared hosting service will never reach the standard of controlled hosting such as WP Engine or the like.

Which specific characteristics do I need?

Need the versatility of email? Do you need a lot of bandwidth or storage space? These are important points to consider when selecting a hosting package for WordPress. The more storage space you have, the more the kit will be costly. The more bandwidth, the more features the package becomes more expensive. Keep in mind that as you spend more on hosting, you often pay for reliability and infrastructure as well.

There are plenty of little bells and whistles that hosts sometimes want to upsell you that you don’t really need, so make sure you read all the options / fine printing carefully on the checkout page before you sign up for hosting.

List of Web Hosting Companies

You’ve come to the right place if you’re hunting for a massive list of web hosting providers! Below you will see the 100 most successful web hosting firms (as calculated by my use of data from Alexa as well as data from other outlets and my own experience).

Cybers Guards was founded to be a genuine, legitimate review site that is not corrupted by distributor fees or other nonsense, and here you can find a lot of great information. This website is essentially a “guide” page featuring a vast list of web hosting services, each with a brief review.

I have direct experience with each host on this page, unlike many other web hosting review sites out there that just put a big list of web hosting firms together and take the meta descriptions off their sites. That said, I’m not endorsing all the businesses on this page, and if I don’t, I’m going to tell you. To provide any additional information / perspective, each hosting company mentioned below is also followed by a brief description / opinion.

Best Hosting for Bloggers and Personal Websites

As described above, when it comes to choosing a hosting, there are several factors. If you have a blog of small to medium scale or a personal website (assuming you fell within the above traffic limits) and you don’t need something elaborate, I would recommend the following hosts:

1) Bluehost— One of the most famous hosting companies providing VPS servers as well as dedicated servers. They have great ratings for uptime and are one of my favorite companies for hosting go-to.

2) HostGator— my first web hosting service is another. They have amazing uptime figures (100% in my testing) and they also have great prices. They provide shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, as well as hosting for WordPress.

3) WP Engine — My main WordPress web host is certainly a must. We cost a little more than other hosts, but it is worth it to increase speed, efficiency and help.

4) Flywheel— another WordPress premium host controlled. They’re fantastic, and I can definitely recommend them. We also offer a small package that is cheaper than WP Server.

5) SiteGround— One of WordPress ‘ best budget hosts out there. Great customer service and support; very snappy servers and excellent caching.

6) LiquidWeb — These are the guys if you’re looking for a VPS or dedicated server. For many years, I’ve been with them and their support is top-notch.

7) Rackspace — It’s perfect for storing emails and dedicated servers, but if you want a fully managed environment, you’ll pay a premium price. They’re doing a lot of business for big business.

8) Cloudways— A perfect host if you want to use a cloud platform such as Digital Ocean or Vultr without any challenge in handling all the technical details.

9) A small orange hosting company— a very good budget. Its VPS servers aren’t all that fantastic, but if you’re restricted to funds and still want a reliable host, its shared hosting is cool. Owned by EIG.

10) GoDaddy— One of the largest existing domain registrars. Their hosting is OK (not as good as other firms that primarily sell hosting). Their networking suits well with the control panel of their jurisdiction.

11) DreamHost — we used to hate it, but it’s modified. Their screen has been changed and it’s pretty dangerous. They also fought for the privacy of users and really upgraded their offers. We definitely can recommend them now!

12) Amazon S3— An extremely inexpensive way to store a static Xml website, even though you need to be fairly tech-savvy to use it and outside billing assistance, there’s no help— you’re alone.

13) InMotion Hosting— a good hosting company with VPS and dedicated servers. We do nothing particularly evil, but they don’t stick out as much as other hosts.

14) 1&1— Excellent for domain registration, but awful for hosting. The interface is slow and confusing.

15) Arvixe— Great servers and quick, but terrible customer service. In my opinion, waiting times were awful.

16) HostMonster— A subset of Bluehost. The same backend, the same panel, just another name.

17) HostPapa — Speed and support for the Mediocre server. There’s nothing really standing out for me about them— there are far better options.

18) IX Web Hosting— good support and servers that are decently fast. A good business, though for their low-end plans, their renewal rates were a bit high.

19) JustHost — another version of the Bluehost. The same gui, the same everything, the same name and colors.

20) LunarPages— They’re pretty cheap with the right vouchers (and give annual discounts), but it’s hard to get in contact with the service and their design is very frustrating.

21) MidPhase — a strong cooperative hosting service with good support and fair pricing. They can’t say a lot of bad for MidPhase, they do it all pretty good.

22) NameCheap— Awesome registrar of domain but a bad server. I consider their websites riddled with spam pages and there was nothing unique about their hosting.

23) Network Solutions— the worst registrar of domains ever to play endless tricks when trying to cancel. Their hosting is an absolute commodity and an afterthought. Stay out at all costs.

24) Netfirms— a host called “iPage derivative.” Fast gui, bad interface, high price. Keep out of here!

25) Some of the worst of the iPage – Simple, unreliable, costly — do not trust everywhere the propaganda and advertising. Tons of better options are available— avoid them.

26) PowWeb — another “iPage derivative.” Any bad stuff about an iPage that has a different name. Remove it.

27) Green Geeks— Decent reliability and service functionality, but their cooperative resources seem to have issues with resource control, so I’d stay away.

28) Globat— another hosting service “iPage-like.” The same interface, features— the same hosting of low quality. Stay out.

29) FatCow— one of the sister companies of the iPage which is just as terrible. Poorly run systems and high prices. Avoid at all costs.

30) CrocWeb— a kind of lower quality knock off HostGator (using a logo of crocodile / alligator, etc.). Better options are available.

31) HostMetro— utter terrible customer service and medium-sized networking. Low prices, but it’s all about that.

32) Lightning Base— WordPress is a really good host for those on a budget. Fast servers and with good support, very well managed.

33) Close to CrocWeb’s Hawk Server – A budget host that I don’t think is really worth it.

34) StableHost — a very good host for the budget. They appear to be doing a good job managing server resources and their prices are pretty good.

35) WebHostingHub— a decent shared hosting company that manages relatively well its server resources. There are stronger popular choices (such as HostGator) but they are not at all a bad choice.

36) Webline Services— Webline Services is another budget host that does a pretty good job of keeping its servers and throttling abuse of bandwidth. Their prices are pretty decent and a reasonable budget alternative overall.

37) SteadFast.net — They focus primarily on high-end storage and dedicated servers, but are a strong customer service business.

38) Linode — Linode is a cloud hosting service for VPS. We sell high-end products with very good support, but they are usually unmanged and need the use and execution of a large level of technical knowledge, so not for newbies.

39) Web.com — a sister company with a slightly better customer service to Network Solutions (which doesn’t say much). Their hosting with poor support is slow and commoditized, so avoid them.

40) BigRock — The domain registrar who went into the hosting game in the first place. When I tried them, from what I could tell, their servers were littered with spam sites. Keep away.

41) Site5 — A fairly good shared hosting service with many different data centers and places to choose from, even more than any other shared hosting business.

42) iPower— Another networking service close to an iPage. An iPage clone with all the same servers with low quality and an awful gui. Don’t use it.

43) HostDime — HostDime is a service devoted to high-end VPS servers. In no way do budget hosting, but they have great support and excellent servers.

44) DotEasy— a web hosting in Canada that does everything from shared hosting to dedicated servers. Decent service and products / pricing, but you’ll have to go around if you need US-based servers.

45) Poor servers and poor service from WestHost – They are a traditional “do – it-all” host, but a number of better choices are available.

46) LaughingSquid— the worst customer service I’ve ever had. Awful hours of service, and even though they hire Rackspace servers, their management is awful. Don’t use them to do anything.

47) Vultr— A great host in the cloud. If dealing with cloud servers is not well versed, go with someone like Cloudways and spin a Vultr case.

48) Close to Vultr, the physical ocean – A really good quality cloud manager, whether you know how to manage a web server, even accessible by Cloudways or on your own.

49) Atlantic.net— another Digital Ocean and Vultr-like cloud server. They don’t provide managed support so you need to know the way a server is going around.

50) LeaseWeb— a high-end hosting company specializing in cloud servers and dedicated boxes. They do not provide the majority of options for management, so you need to be able to manage your own servers.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.