08/16/2022

Which Web Hosting Is Right For Your Business

Insights

105 min remaining

This site is centered on web hosting. We’ve been reviewing different hosting platforms for many years. To support our first-hand knowledge, we collected 105 pages worth of research. After extensive testing, Hostinger was selected as the best web hosting service. It is so easy to set up, and it’s so cheap that you almost feel guilty about spending so much.

The Best Web Hosting Services For Most

Hostinger

Best for the Most

Hostinger allows you to get the best hosting provider and the easiest one in one package. Hostinger’s promo and renewal rates are among the lowest in web hosting. Hostinger’s simple guided setup makes it easy to get your website online in minutes.

Hostinger, the most cost-effective option on our list, is also one of the easiest to start with. If you sign up for 4 years, plans start at $1.99 per month. This means that you don’t have to worry about hosting fees for four years. It’s not cheap, but hosting with Hostinger isn’t cheap.

This entry-level plan offers one-click WordPress installation and step-by-step instructions to set up your site. It also includes a dashboard for managing it. You can get personalized assistance 24/7 via live chat. Everything you need to launch a website is included for as low as a monthly cup of coffee.

These are the 8 Best Web Hosting Options You Should Consider:

  1. Hostinger – Best web hosting for most
  2. SiteGround is best for maintaining uptime over 99.99%
  3. HostGator is the best for scaling small businesses easily 
  4. DreamHost – Best pay-as-you-go web hosting
  5. Bluehost – Best drag-and-drop page builder for beginners 
  6. InMotion hosting – The best price for hosting two websites with one plan
  7. Nexcess is the best for WordPress users who are experienced
  8. A2 Hosting- The most reliable web hosting service for European and Asian customers

It makes sense to invest in web hosting services

Web hosting is essential for every website. Your site will not be accessible to web users without a web host.

Web hosting should be purchased as soon as your site is ready for launch.

You don’t necessarily need a web host if you are just learning web design or playing with free web builders. When you are ready to start a website, however, it is important to find the best web hosting service.

Web hosting is essential for businesses looking to grow their online presence beyond the social media platforms. This is why you need to choose a host that makes it easy for you to start and then set up your website from scratch.

You might have an existing website. If you are using unreliable or free web hosting, it might be time to upgrade. You will need a provider that allows site migrations in this situation.

This post will help you make the best decision if you are still searching for a web hosting provider.

#1 – Hostinger – Best Web Hosting for Most

Hostinger

Best for the Most

Hostinger allows you to get the best hosting provider and the easiest one in one package. Hostinger’s promo and renewal rates are among the lowest in web hosting. Hostinger’s simple guided setup makes it easy to get your website online in minutes.

Overall Score: 3.9/5

Do you want hosting that is easy to use and affordable?

Hostinger may be the right choice.

These are extremely affordable and will not break the bank. They also come with everything you need for launching your website quickly.

They lack some of the most important features that other hosts have. You don’t have to sacrifice quality or the essentials where they are important.

Here are the five categories in which Hostinger scores:

  1. Easy of use = 5/5
  2. Uptime = 1/5
  3. Speed = 3/5
  4. Price = 5/5
  5. Customer Support = 2.67/5

Easy to use: 5/5 – Signingup for web hosting used to be a complicated process.

You are often bombarded with extra features and upsells that you don’t need.

Hostinger is a different story. They weren’t the cause of any anxiety.

Signing up is easy. Once you have chosen your plan and paid your fee, it is easy.

It’s easy to know where you are going, which button to click and what to do next. There is no confusion.

Once you reach the setup wizard, just click “Start Now” at bottom to get started. Follow the steps and answer a few questions.

Hostinger makes it simple to complete the setup later if you are unable to finish it right away. Welcome emails will outline the next steps and provide details.

Click any link in the email to be taken back to the screen. All the links point to the exact same source–one source of truth. Easy.

After you have started your setup, you will be asked questions about the type of site that you are creating, the name of the website, and whether you would like to use an existing domain, or register a brand new one.

Next, you will need to confirm whether you are going to create a brand new website or migrate an existing one. Next, choose the content management software (CMS) that you will use.

We recommend WordPress because Hostinger has features that are specific to WordPress websites, such as automatic updates and caching plugins.

If you choose WordPress, this is the stage where you will pick your theme.

If you have an existing domain, you will receive information about name servers. If you are starting from scratch, you will also be given easy-to-read instructions on how to point your domain towards the new site.

You’re done.

It takes just a few seconds for the entire process.

After answering all the questions and following each step, you will have a content management platform in place, a theme installed and your domain setup with the basic site settings.

This was our favorite web host setup.

No worries if this is your first attempt. Even if you don’t have any tech skills, anyone can do this.

Hostinger isn’t the most brightly lit for website availability.

They claim 99.99% online

Their uptime was only 99.68% during our 30-day test. It’s a little lower than they claim, but still enough to make us worry about the actual downtime.

There were 58 incidents total, with connection timeouts lasting anywhere from a few seconds up to 30 minutes.

This occurs when a website tries to use more resources from the server. Your browser will not load the site.

Visitors may wonder where you are and then move on to a competitor.

High numbers of incidents are likely to indicate that either one site is sucking up resources, or that too many sites are pulling from the same resource pool.

This is a problem that shared web hosting faces all too often. This can lead to lost subscribers and financial losses.

Hostinger’s performance in this area is clearly evident from our testing.

Speed: 3/5 – A slow website can lead to poor user experience, and even discourage visitors from visiting your site.

There are many hosting companies that claim to be fast. How can you tell if they actually deliver what they say?

Hostinger was tested for 30 days, and we put their speed to the ultimate test.

The average response time for 30 days was 670 milliseconds. This is slightly higher than the average.

Also, the image shows traffic spikes which can sometimes reduce load time to 1.5 seconds. It is important to note that loading data can take up to 1.5 seconds per instance.

Loading our site once took more than 27 seconds. This is an unacceptable load time limit. It’s not the norm but it is something you should be aware of.

Hostinger’s average load times are good enough for the money you pay.

The servers are equipped with SSD storage that is premium, which speeds up page loads for websites they host.

You can also get speed-related technology that will make your site more responsive.

There are seven global data centers located in the United Kingdom and the United States. These data centers can be accessed from the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands.

The LiteSpeed Caching plugin is a WordPress plugin that allows you to customize server-level caching, image optimization and lazy image loading. It also optimizes your database for speeding up load times. It is pre-installed so that your site is optimized right away.

Hostinger’s features will ensure that your visitors have a great browsing experience.

Pricing: 5/5 – If you have a tight budget, Hostinger may be the best way to get all you need.

Hosting starts at $3.49 per Month, which is $41.88.

It will cost $8.99 per year if you do not have a domain. This is significantly less than the domain prices charged by other providers. Domain privacy can be purchased for $5 to protect your identity against scammers and hackers.

Every year, you also receive email for free. Hostinger service starts at $55.87.

Your renewal rate is $5.99/month, and your domain renewal price remains the same, which results in an overall second-year cost totaling $80.87

The total cost for hosting is $136.74 for two years. This is well below the $246.71 average cost for two years across all hosts that we tested.

Do you want more savings? Sign up for 4 years of advance and get $1.99 per month in savings

For four years, it’s $95.52

Hostinger remains very affordable over the long-term, even though your monthly rate increases to $3.99 per year after the first four years.

Customer Support: 2.67/5. Do you want a customer service team that is attentive to your needs and solves every problem?

Hostinger is, in our opinion, a great support team.

They’re slow. They’re slow.

They will help you solve your problem, and they’ll be very friendly. You’ll have to wait a while.

We spoke first to Hostinger about security features that could help make our site safer.

It took 16 minutes for help to be provided. We were given detailed instructions by the rep on how to activate Patchstack security. The rep also sent us a screenshot of our dashboard showing where everything is located.

The chat was fast, and I was able to get a reply within a quarter of an hour. The support rep was friendly.

We loved the fact that we could instantly take action without paying anything and there was a quick screenshot.

They didn’t try to upsell us.

We waited 29 minutes to get a reply in our second chat.

We needed assistance setting up email on our domain. We received support documents from the friendly representative on how to set up email accounts and how to forward emails into Gmail.

They also explained how we can access domain email within our Gmail accounts.

They were open to answering more questions.

The only problem with the interaction was the initial response.

It took us 42 minutes to get help on our third chat.

The rep was friendly and helpful, as were the others. Although we asked for assistance in speeding up our site, they sent us only a few support articles.

We could have received more information from the rep than just some articles that we could find on our own.

Overall, the experience was pleasant, efficient, and friendly. They are able to answer all your questions and not try to take more from your pockets.

We only wish that the response time was quicker.

Hostinger is a great choice if you are looking for a cheap hosting provider, but also offers a simple onboarding process and lots of tools to speed up your site.

#2 – WebsiteGround – The Best Hosting to Maintain Uptime Above 99.99%

SiteGround

Highest uptime reliability

SiteGround makes it easy to ensure that your website is always accessible to visitors. SiteGround was the most reliable shared hosting solution on our list, with only 2 seconds of downtime in 30 days. You will enjoy excellent uptime reliability, a simple onboarding process, and solid customer service.

Overall Score: 3.8/5

If your website is not available, it means that it doesn’t exist for those who are trying to find it.

That’s a problem.

SiteGround boasts the most reliable web hosting servers.

How can we find out?

It was tested for 30 days. It is clear that visitors will find your website online without any worries.

SiteGround ensures that this happens. SiteGround ensures that your site is always available so that people can find it.

This is everything for your business.

SiteGround’s uptime performance and our five scoring categories will be revealed if you take a closer look.

  1. Easy of use = 5/5
  2. Uptime = 5/5
  3. Speed = 4/5
  4. Price = 2/5
  5. Customer Support = 4.67/5

SiteGround is easy to use. SiteGround’s user interface makes managing your website easy with its well-organized layout and smooth design.

We had an amazing onboarding experience, from start to finish.

SiteGround offered an upsell at checkout: SiteGround SiteScanner, $19.80 per Year. This scans your website daily for hackers and malicious code. It wasn’t pre-selected, and it was clearly defined what it was. We didn’t feel manipulated into buying things we didn’t want.

You’ll be taken to a step-by–step wizard once you have completed checkout.

You will have a framework for your website if you follow the guide and answer a few questions.

First, choose your plan and then register a domain name or enter one that you already own.

You will then be asked to enter your contact information and payment information.

We received an email with instructions and a thank you message after successful payment.

Simply click a link in an email to access the customer area.

The wizard walks you through the process of creating a new website, migrating an old site, or starting over completely.

We decided to create a new website. You can then choose from WordPress, WooCommerce or Weebly as your preferred platform.

After choosing WordPress, we were asked for login credentials 

After you click “Continue”, you will be asked if you would like to add security for $19.80 per annum. You can simply hit the skip button to continue.

Next, click “Finish”, and wait for the WordPress installation to complete.

You can access the account dashboard from here to manage your site, or point your domain name if it wasn’t purchased through SiteGround.

We love the simplicity of setting up your domain name.

It is right in front of you. It’s impossible to miss it.

SiteGround is a great resource for information about domain names. Most other sites don’t mention it.

A tutorial is also available. SiteGround makes it easy.

Once we had installed WordPress, there were step-by–step instructions in the dashboard about what to do next.

The entire process is simple, even if it’s your first time.

SiteGround offers a 5/5 uptime guarantee. SiteGround is available 24/7/365 for all your website needs.

Our tests were run for 30 days. They destroyed the competition.

SiteGround’s uptime was unmatched by any other shared host. Nexcess is the only provider that has no downtime. However, it’s three times more expensive and not considered shared hosting.

Your website was not available for more than two seconds if you blink twice.

Only one incident, an unknown error, was recorded.

SiteGround performed significantly higher than the average of all providers in our list, which was 23 minutes and 55 secs of downtime.

Website revenue, user experience and online reputation can all be affected by low uptime.

Speed: 4.5% – We ran speed tests. SiteGround was found to be the fastest shared web host we could find.

We studied the performance of our website for 30 days. We also wanted to know what visitors thought of our website when they visited it.

Our load time average was 616 milliseconds.

The maximum load time for the entire month was just under two seconds. This is still less than the recommended Google load time of three seconds for all websites.

Pricing: 5/5 – It’s not a good feeling to pay a lot of money for something that doesn’t work. It’s horrible.

SiteGround offers high-quality hosting in the areas that matter most to you.

They are expensive, however. This host may not be right for you if you are looking to save money.

Hosting starts at $3.99 per month. This is equivalent to $47.88 per year.

SiteGround does not offer a free domain. It costs $17.95 to get one through SiteGround. This is a lot more than what you would pay if you went through other domain names suppliers.

Do it if you can purchase a domain name from another source. To save money, you can bring it over.

You can also get domain privacy protection for $12 per annum. It is definitely worth it. Protecting your privacy from hackers or lurkers is something you can’t afford.

SiteGround offers unlimited email addresses free of charge. This allows you to arrange messages according to your business needs if you run a business.

For a complete year, the total cost is $77.83

Hosting starts at $14.99 per month for the second year. This is a 276% increase.

SiteGround could have a better renewal pricing system, according to our opinion.

This is $179.88 for the second-year of hosting. The total cost for the second year is $209.83, with domain name, privacy and email addresses all remaining the same.

You’ll be paying $287.66 for two years. This is a lot more than the $246 average across all hosts and the second most expensive.

We also found that it was difficult to put together deals better than the average of our list.

SiteGround raises the monthly price to $9.99 per month for two-year plans, and $10.49 for three-year plans.

The renewal cost for the two- and three-year plans are $11.99 each month. Both long-term plans come with the same renewal pricing but the upfront cost for long-term plans is higher. Is it worth it?

SiteGround is an excellent web host that offers top-notch services that will not disappoint.

They are expensive.

SiteGround Customer Support: 4.67/5. We love SiteGround’s customer service.

We didn’t like how difficult it was to find the chat box for help. It was like going on a scavenger hunt.

They were a great supporter once we had done that.

We were connected immediately with a rep after our first contact.

We wanted to know how we could improve security on our site. 

We were instructed to enable automatic WordPress core updates and plugin updates. These are the most popular ways websites get hacked. The latest updates are essential for security and can be used to fix vulnerabilities.

This was the first thing that the rep said to us. They knew exactly what we wanted. We left the conversation knowing exactly how to proceed.

We love that there was no upsell to paid security products.

The entire first support interaction took only four minutes.

We had similar results in our next chat when we asked about setting up email accounts.

We did not wait for more than a few seconds to get support.

It took just 30 seconds for them and me to connect to each other to provide instructions on how to access our dashboard.

The rep then provided step-by-step instructions for how to locate the area to create an account email.

We asked them how to forward the emails to our Gmail account. They quickly provided an easy solution.

We were able to appreciate the step-by, detailed instructions that they provided. They didn’t make us do it all ourselves.

Even though we had questions that were not easily answered in their knowledge base, the support representative was kind and patient.

We connected immediately with a representative to receive a friendly reply and information about SiteGround’s resources for speeding up WordPress sites. The rep also sent us a few tutorials.

They sent us to a support article directly without providing any guidance. We would prefer that they had explained the process more than sending us a guide, ebook and tutorial.

SiteGround loses a point because SiteGround didn’t try to help.

SiteGround support was excellent. None of the representatives tried to sell anything. They only wanted to solve the problem.

Their support is the cherry on top for their amazing hosting speed and uptime. SiteGround hosting is a great choice for those who want reliability but can’t afford the lowest prices.

#3 – HostGator — Scaling Small Businesses Easily with the Best Web Hosting 

HostGator

Best for scaling on a budget

HostGator offers a great combination of speed, uptime and affordability. There are also many flexible plans available. HostGator’s flexible hosting plans across all hosting types make it easy for businesses to scale up and down when they need better performance.

Overall Score: 3.6/5

It can be difficult to start a business. Hostgator makes it super simple to get your website online with a wide range of affordable hosting plans.

You may be familiar with their standard WordPress, VPS and dedicated web hosting. Their cloud hosting platform is the best. As the most outstanding plan, it takes center stage.

Upgrades are possible with just a click if you are not ready.

Let’s now see how they performed in each of the five categories that we tested.

  1. Easy of use = 3/5
  2. Uptime = 4/5
  3. Speed = 3/5
  4. Price = 4/5
  5. Customer Support = 3.67/5

HostGator is easy to use: 3/5

They scored a three-out of five. However, there were many areas that we didn’t like and felt uncomfortable with.

You are taken to a wizard when you check out. It is very helpful, but there are no prompts about what you should do next with domain setup.

It was in our welcome email that we realized it later.

It’s easy to overlook if you don’t know what to look for or what it means to transfer domains.

The rest of the setup wizard was straightforward and the dashboard is well-designed and easy-to-use.

Here is a quick overview of our experiences.

First, choose your domain name. You can either register a brand new domain name or you can use an existing one.

Next, choose your plan and enter your basic information to create your account. Finally, select the add-ons that you would like to purchase.

Five add-ons are available. Two of them have been pre-checked.

  • Premium SSL Certificate – $3.33 Per Month
  • SiteLock Essentials – $1.99 per month (preselected)
  • Google Workspace Account – $6 per month
  • Automated backups – $2/month (preselected)
  • HostGator SEO tools – $2.95 per month

Google Workspace may be the only one that you want, but you can sign up later. You can set up business email through Gmail.

The other options aren’t necessary or important. The monthly cost is not well worth it.

The entire process was done on one page. This streamlines the whole process as opposed to having it spread across six pages.

After you have completed the check-out, you will be asked a few questions about yourself and your site’s purpose.

This was a great idea. HostGator uses your knowledge to tailor your experience.

Next, choose the content management software (CMS) that you would like to use. WordPress is the most popular choice. It takes only a few minutes to set it up.

And you’re done.

Next, you will see your login credentials as well as a video that will help you get started using WordPress.

This guide will show you how to navigate WordPress Dashboard, install plugins, modify and customize themes, as well as how to use the search function.

It is well-designed and useful for those just starting out or needing a refresher.

This feature was unique because it was not available to anyone else.

After you’re done with the video, click “Go To WordPress”

Everything is hosted on a temporary domain, so you will need to connect your domain name before you can launch the site.

It is easy to forget about it and gloss over it.

It should be mentioned in the setup wizard and logged into the portal.

If you have never set up web hosting before, or if this is something that has been done in the past, it can be frustrating.

You will go through the setup wizard and believe you are done. You’re not. You won’t find your website when you search for it, and you won’t know why.

All in all. It was simple to set up WordPress and get it installed.

It’s more complicated when it comes to what to do with an already existing domain name.

HostGator uptime rating: 4.5% – HostGator meets your expectations for uptime with the reliability that you would expect from a well-known web hosting company.

Our research revealed that 99.99 percent of your website’s visitors are online at all times.

How can we be certain?

HostGator was up and running for 30 days before we tested for any potential downtime.

Notice how downtime during the testing month was just five minutes and 42 seconds.

This is a great option for shared hosting.

Two and a quarter minutes was the longest sustained downtime. This was due to one connection refused error, which is typically an issue with the user trying to access the website. Three HTTP 400 errors were found internally and one unidentified error.

HostGator performed better than the average of 23 minutes 55 seconds of downtime across all hosting providers that we tested.

Speed: 3/5 – Keeping up with your competitors should not be down to your website being fast enough. Sometimes, however, that can be a great differentiator.

Slow loading times can also affect your visitors’ loyalty. Slow websites are not what people want.

We were excited to see the results of HostGator’s 30-day testing.

The average response time was 661 milliseconds. This is slightly higher than the 708 milliseconds average across all web hosts.

HostGator has the following top speed-related features:

Cloud-based servers are four times faster and twice as scalable as shared hosting plans. You can quickly and easily increase your resources without downtime, reboots or data migrations.

Unmetered Bandwidth is a way to ensure your website doesn’t get throttled or hit a bandwidth cap that could cause a huge slowdown. You can transmit as much data as you need to visitors with very few restrictions.

Price: 4/5 Hostgator offers a wide range of web hosting plans, great speed and is the third-cheapest web host.

Hosting costs $3.95 per month for 12 monthly periods, which works out to $47.40 in total for the first year.

It is affordable to start and you get your email and domain name free for the first year unlike other providers.

Domain privacy is available for $14.95

All inclusive, $62.35 for your first year.

Your second year will start at $107.40. The renewal rate for HostGator is $8.95 per monthly. HostGator’s promotional pricing is 137% lower than the renewal rate.

You pay $17.99 per year for domain registrations in year 2. For domain privacy, you will pay $14.95.

Your second year total is $140.34.

HostGator’s total of $202.69 for two years is a bit lower than our list-wide average $246.71.

You can save more and get more value by signing up three years in advance for $2.75 per month. You can secure three years of hosting by adding domain registration and privacy.

Customer Support: 3.67/5. Our experience with HostGator’s customer service was above-average.

HostGator’s score was lowered due to the pushy and sales-y natures of customer support reps, who were unable to do more than forward standard support articles.

We connected immediately with a rep after our first chat.

We first asked how they could improve our security. We were confident that it would go smoothly because the rep identified himself as a security expert.

They immediately suggested a paid security upgrade, and then copied and pasted several features into the chat. We asked for any free services, and the rep referred us to another person.

It was not a great service.

It was frustrating and inefficient. They even claimed to be a security expert. Shouldn’t they have known what we could do without having to pay extra?

The second representative briefly explained how they secure items on their end, and then sent us a support article about what we can do on ours.

Although they did explain their security measures, we were not able to know what we could do to protect our site.

It felt a little too formal and salesy overall.

We asked for assistance with email setup during our second chat. In less than 45 seconds, we were connected to a representative.

The rep was friendly and patient, explaining each step to us and where we should go.

We told them that we were ready to proceed, but they wouldn’t allow us to continue. We asked about forwarding email to Gmail accounts. The rep gave us exact directions and showed us how to do it.

It was a refreshing departure from the initial interaction.

The final chat was not the best. However, we were able to connect with someone quickly and ask how we can make sure our site is optimized for speed while we build it.

However, they said that this was beyond their reach. They also explained that site speed is heavily dependent on the size of your pages.

Then they sent us an article on optimization and Elegant Themes.

Although we know that there was more they could have done for us, overall the interaction was good.

We would have liked to see more information on the basics of what we can do. The support articles were adequate. They were not friendly, but they did the job.

All web hosts rely on customer service for their success. We were therefore surprised by HostGator’s lack of quality support. We would have preferred to have seen better.

HostGator makes up for this with rock-solid uptime reliability, good speed, and a fair price. They make it easy to scale up to higher plans with more resources when you need them. Hostgator can be a great provider of long-term hosting.

#4 – DreamHost – Best Pay-As-You-Go Web Hosting

DreamHost

The Best Month-to–Month Plans

DreamHost is trusted by over 1.5 million users and 750,000+ WordPress installations. They offer the most affordable pricing. Do you prefer not to commit to a long-term contract? You don’t have to. DreamHost offers the best monthly-to-month plans among all hosts that we tested. Start with just $5

Overall Score: 3.2 of 5

DreamHost has the best monthly plans. It is the lowest-cost, zero-commitment web hosting service on the list.

DreamHost is the best choice for hosting without any contract and risk.

These are especially useful if you are just starting out with web hosting and don’t want to commit for years. Users prefer to have a small monthly bill rather than an annual expense.

They are a bit lacking in some categories but they make up for it with their flexibility.

They did this in the top five categories.

  1. Easy of use = 2/5
  2. Uptime = 5/5
  3. Speed = 2/5
  4. Price = 4/5
  5. Customer Support = 3/5

Easy to use: 2/5 – DreamHost can be more difficult than it should to get started.

It is a very average experience. DreamHost is really disappointed by the 25% score for ease of use in our reviews.

There are several confusing upsell sections as well as preselections that you will encounter during checkout. So you don’t get taken by surprise, we’ll tell you what to look out for.

It said that we owed twice as much at one point in the signup process before we scrolled down to add-ons. This confused us instantly.

That was a poor start.

We did appreciate the option to pre-install WordPress free of charge.

However, WordPress doesn’t tell us what to do next once it is installed.

Although we knew that we needed to log in to our WordPress dashboard, a beginner might not.

Again, poor user experience. This cost DreamHost a place in the rankings.

The first step is to register a domain name with DreamHost, or add a domain that you already own. This step can be skipped and done later.

We already had our domain name so we chose the last option. 

You can now move on to the next step after you have completed the domain section.

Did you remember when we said that our price was twice what we had expected? It happened here.

It increased our owed amount at the bottom without any explanation. Scroll down to see the explanation. The culprit is the pre-selected upsells.

You might be confused if you have never been through this process before.

DreamHost does not intend to make you feel like this. We felt that way, however.

Once you have entered your account information, you will be able to access the add-ons.

  • WordPress preinstallation – Free
  • Dream Shield Protection – $3 per month
  • DreamHost Email – $1.99 per month
  • Google Workspace – $6 per month

This is the only provider that will let you pay for email if it’s what you want. This is a very different provider from all the others.

Only one email option is available between DreamHost Email and Google Workspace.

You can uncheck all but the free WordPress installation to bring the price down to $4.95.

Before you can be directed to your control panel, you will need to create a password.

The WordPress installation took approximately eight minutes.

After this, we received a welcome email. It wasn’t very helpful. The email contained a lot of links that were too detailed and didn’t provide enough information.

It was actually a little confusing, as it contained FTP login information (file transfer protocol), without any explanation or reason why this is separate from the account that we just created.

It can be overwhelming, especially if this is your first time hosting.

It sent us a second email with our WordPress login information. It was again confusing and did not explain why it was different to the other logins that we had created.

There was also no information about how to connect to the domain we were interested in.

It was very simple to get started with WordPress once you understand how it works.

After you log in to WordPress, you’ll find a configuration wizard that guides you through selecting a theme, adding pages, and updating contact information.

We love that you can choose from three options to set up the pages you desire right from the beginning.

  • Base – Includes Home, About, Contact pages
  • Five Pages – Includes base pages and two additional preconfigured pages depending on your theme.
  • Kitchen Sink – Includes four additional preconfigured pages

This is a great way to help anyone who has never created a website before.

You can also toggle the blog functionality on and off. It’s easy to install a blog by flipping a switch.

Once you have chosen the pages you wish to use, you can fill in your contact information and social media details.

Overall, we found the process to be much more difficult than it needed and took longer than expected.

DreamHost is the #1 choice for uptime.

According to our research, DreamHost experienced a 49 second downtime over the month. This was due to one incident.

This is remarkable because other hosts may be more expensive but don’t offer this level of reliability.

It was an HTTP 500 Internal Server error, which is a common cause of server-side errors. It lasted only 49 seconds, and was the only problem throughout the month.

You can rest assured that your website will be available for sale, to grab a new subscriber or to persuade readers to read your blog.

We actually found that the average downtime of all providers on this list was 23 minutes 55 seconds. This is way more than DreamHost’s average.

Speed: 5/5 – If you want your website to be taken seriously it must load quickly. It’s a fact that can’t be ignored.

DreamHost provides an average response time for your visitors of 813 milliseconds.

As you can see, the response time changes as you look at the above image. It doesn’t go higher than 1.5 seconds.

This shows that solid results can be achieved for visitors without having to spend a lot of money each month.

DreamHost invests in speed-related technologies that increase speed without you lifting a finger.

Every plan includes unlimited bandwidth, so you don’t have to worry about exceeding your usage limit. If you receive more traffic than your plan allows, some providers will immediately throttle you. DreamHost is different.

Resource Protection prevents shared hosting resources being used for malicious purposes, such as bots and attacks. To ensure that your site’s performance is not affected by things like these, the DreamHost team monitors shared hosting resources 24 hours a day.

DreamHost does not offer the same speed features as other web hosts for their entry-level monthly plans. These are meant to optimize speed.

However, you will get a content delivery network for free that can be easily installed.

It’s important to remember that configuration is your responsibility. This can be more difficult since it’s not pre-configured for you or built into your hosting account.

Price: 4.5% – DreamHost has the best monthly pricing. Because you don’t have to commit, you can try their services and features as many times as you like.

It doesn’t matter if the guarantee is 30 days or 60.

You can also say “No, this isn’t working out.” DreamHost, we’re here to help. You won’t be liable for any more than what you already paid.

Let’s take a deeper look at your costs.

Full disclosure: We scored pricing for each host’s one-year contract to compare apples-to-apples.

DreamHost also offers a monthly plan and a one year contract. We will be able to show you both.

However, the DreamHost score above is based upon a one-year contract.

DreamHost costs $4.95 per Month for the first three months.

The price goes up to $7.99 per month, which makes the total cost for the first year $86.76.

DreamHost domains start at $15.99 Email costs $1.99 per month which is equal to $20.04 per annum. Even though you pay month-to-month, your domain pricing is charged for the entire year.

Domain privacy is available for free. This is something that no other provider offers. This is an enormous benefit. DreamHost offers complete online privacy protection for no additional cost. DreamHost values your privacy and will pay the price to prove it.

Your first year of monthly hosting without commitment would cost you $122.79.

The second-year cost is $7.99 per month. The total cost is $131.91 per year. This plan is much cheaper than most annual plans for the second-year. This is a lot cheaper than the $246.71 average for two-years.

For hosting for a year, the upfront cost for hosting is $2.95 per monthly, or $35.40 for 12 months.

This plan gives you your domain and domain privacy for free. Email is $1.99 per month and $20.04 per year.

Your plan will cost $55.44 per year.

The cost of renewal is $6.99 per month. The domain will now cost $15.99 per year. However, it still costs $0 for domain privacy and $20.04 to email. The total cost for the second year is $119.91.

Promo pricing has a renewal rate that is 137% lower than the regular price. Yes, it is high but you still pay less for your second year than with the monthly plan.

It costs $175.35 for hosting for two years.

For two years, the average price for all hosts on our list was $246.71 This includes domain registration and email.

DreamHost is considerably cheaper than the average and will save you $71.36 when you sign up for a contract.

The monthly plan costs a little more than the monthly plan, but you pay less over two years. Total $7.99 more. It can provide flexibility and remove the risk of commitment.

Customer Support: 3.5% – We did not leave any stone unturned in our review of DreamHost’s customer service. We found an average experience in our research. They were useful but did not have the extra spark we wanted.

This is how it turned out.

We noticed right away that the live chat widget was difficult to find. To start a conversation with support, you will need to look around.

You must click on the support link in your left navigation bar to access the chat button.

We asked the question about site security after we had found it. It sent us to a support file that was relevant, but did not fully answer our question.

To get in touch with an actual person, we had to click around again.

You have two options depending on your question: you can start a live chat, or submit a ticket.

You can tell them how much experience and detail you have by submitting a ticket. This is unique to DreamHost customer service.

It took us three minutes to reach a representative when we tried to contact them.

We were told immediately that a paid upgrade was available. However, they did not tell us what we could do for free. They sent us an article about how to increase web security on our site a few minutes later.

They didn’t explain or help much, other than that. The communication was not very friendly and it wasn’t too generic. However, it was not rude. It took only five minutes to establish contact and was straightforward.

They recommended a paid upgrade as the first option. This is not an indicator of quality service.

This company lost points for not providing phone support, being too pushy and not offering any assistance beyond sending us to support articles.

The live chat option was not available for our second interaction at noon. We were interested in how to set up email to our website.

It instructed us to submit a support ticket. We did.

To see which option was quicker, we also left the chat window open. The ticket that we submitted actually received an email faster than the live chat.

It took 17 minutes to respond and 24 minutes to chat live. Since we didn’t have email included in our hosting plan, we weren’t sure how it would go.

We asked for suggestions on how to improve the speed of our site in the third chat.

A rep connected us immediately and did a speed test of our website in order to give personalized advice on how to make it more efficient.

We appreciate that they tried, even though there isn’t any content on the site.

The rep then sent us a support guide with additional steps and information so that we could optimize our site even further.

We were satisfied with the support overall, but felt that they could have done more.

We were able to solve our problems.

Hosting plans are not expensive, but you get a great customer service experience. DreamHost is a great option for hosting with no annual commitment.

#5 – Bluehost – Best Drag-and-Drop Page Builder for Beginners

Bluehost

The Best and Easiest Pages Builder

Do you want a simpler way to create a WordPress website? Bluehost allows you to click and move your mouse to create beautiful websites. The drag-and-drop builder makes it one of our favorite tools. It is extremely user-friendly, customizable, and easy to use. Bluehost allows you to create your first website in as little as 10 minutes.

Overall Score: 2.9 of 5

Are you looking to build a website that inspires visitors? You’d be amazed at how easy it is to do this yourself.

Bluehost makes it easy. Anybody can quickly create a website by simply clicking a button. No prior experience is required.

Let’s discuss the setup of your website and hosting as we go through each of our five testing categories.

  1. Easy to Use: 3/5
  2. Uptime: 3/5
  3. Speed: 1/5
  4. Pricing: 3/5
  5. Customer Support 3.67/5

Easy of use: 3/5 – This is the overall score for ease in using the web hosting setup. This score does not reflect how easy it is to set up a website using the Bluehost website builder.

These are two distinct things, and we’ll discuss the site builder at the end.

Let’s get to the point.

Bluehost is not the most difficult, but it’s not necessarily the worst. Overall, Bluehost is pretty average.

The huge push for upsells and preselected box sales cost them a point. You can easily end up paying for items you don’t use or understand if you aren’t careful.

After paying, you are automatically taken to a setup wizard which walks you through everything including setting up a content management system (CMS), and configuring all your settings.

You have the option to choose how much assistance you need during this process.

Bluehost lost another point due to the lack of guidance on how to set up your domain after the wizard. This will be discussed more later.

After answering some questions, you can set up your account. Bluehost will ask you if you require a new domain, or if your account is being brought over.

Next, enter your account information and select the package that interests you. You can also choose add-ons or extras and then enter your payment information.

A few items are already checked for you when you reach the package additionals section.

Web hosts are known to select upsells. Be aware. They are often suggestions, and not necessary.

When you are done, click “Submit”.

Next, create a Bluehost Account.

Follow these simple steps to set up your site. Once you log in, you will be asked for assistance.

Bluehost will let you manage your site setup on your own. You can also opt for some assistance and receive step-by-step tips and instructions.

The third option is to set up a consultation and let Bluehost build your website for you.

Since most people will choose the middle option, we chose it. It then asks you what kind of site you are building.

We like that you can choose to skip discussing the type of site you want, if you aren’t sure or don’t need the additional help.

You have two options when creating your website: a basic WordPress installation or Bluehost’s drag and drop builder. While some people are already familiar with WordPress, others may need the help of the drag and drop builder.

It is easy to use the builder and provides you with guidance, making it difficult to make mistakes. Scroll down to see a list of FAQs that will help you select the best option for you.

Bluehost’s site builders are easy to use and produce flawless designs in half the time that it takes to learn WordPress.

Site speed is slower than a WordPress site. However, WordPress is more difficult to set up and learn than other CMS.

You can choose to use the page builder and you will be able to jump straight into it. Answer a few questions and you can start designing your site.

If you choose to go straight WordPress, it will ask about your industry and the person you are creating the website.

The setup wizard will be completed. The setup wizard will automatically direct you to your control panel.

Bluehost has a list of essential things you should do when building your WordPress website. This checklist is extremely helpful and a good place to start for beginners.

This dashboard does not provide any information about how to manage a domain name.

Here you can find your way.

They won’t tell you how to point your domain towards their servers if you bring it over.

You are left to solve this problem, which is not a good strategy.

It is not easy to find it online or call support. We consider this unnecessary and a distraction from Bluehost’s ease-of-use onboarding process.

Bluehost did well during our testing period for uptime. Our average uptime over a month was 99.95%, with only 20 minutes and 28 seconds of downtime.

The longest time a site was down was 10 minutes 4 seconds. The site was unavailable for the entire time. This is quite a long time. That means no visitors, no money, no subscribers.

The site was unavailable due to seven events. One refused connection occurred on our site, which indicates a problem with the visitor’s connection. Three connection timeouts were also experienced. This is usually caused by excessive server resources.

Two SSL errors were also detected. The browser could not verify the SSL certificate, and displayed a warning page that the page was unsafe to visit.

This is a grave error that visitors will make.

This error means that you are denying customers the security of their transactions if you sell products or services that require credit cards.

Unknown error was the last incident.

Bluehost’s total downtime of 20 minutes and 28 secs was slightly less than the average downtime of 23 minutes 55 seconds for all hosts that we reviewed.

Speed: 1/5 – Bluehost was the slowest in our speed test.

Visitors received an average response time of over 1107 milliseconds. A response time of more than one second is not good.

It’s nothing to be concerned about if your site takes longer than one second to load. However, averaging doesn’t bode well. It implies that there are many times when the load time takes longer than one second.

This is not surprising considering Bluehost offers a speed-related feature called “resource protection”.

This is supposed to prevent other websites from using up your resources. It improves the performance of your site without it being compromised by another website.

We continued to investigate why Bluehost was slower compared to other shared hosting plans. We discovered that Bluehost’s speed- and performance features were reserved for managed WordPress users.

This is a problem and probably the reason Bluehost scored so low in speed tests. They are doing almost nothing to improve performance for shared hosting.

Bluehost’s response time was significantly faster than the average of 708 milliseconds for all providers that we looked at. 

Pricing: 3/5 – Bluehost offers a free drag-and-drop website creator.

This web host is the only one that does this while remaining competitively priced.

Hosting costs only $2.95 per 12 month period for the first year. This is equal to $35.40 for the first year.

Bluehost removes the annual cost of a domain name. For 12 months, domain registration is free. This is a great bonus.

For $11.88, you can have your domain privacy for one year. Email is included at no cost.

It costs only $47.28 to get started with a web hosting package. This is a great deal.

The renewal prices are affordable, at $9.99 per month for the 2nd year.

Your domain will be $17.99 for the second year. This is quite expensive. The second year of domain privacy is just $11.80.

Bluehost’s second year costs $149.75. This is $226.82 total for two years of worry-free hosting. This is just slightly less than the $246.71 average price for all hosts on our directory.

Despite being 102% higher than promo pricing it is still slightly less than the average.

For three years, you will pay $106.20 per year for hosting. This is a great deal.

Keep in mind that you will still need to pay for domain name registration for the past two years as well as domain privacy for all three year, totaling $177.58.

Bluehost’s customer service was amazing. We’ll explain what we mean in a second.

We were pleased with the quality of the product, which was slightly above average.

Here’s what happened.

It took approximately 30 seconds to connect to a representative. The rep then immediately stated that we would need to pay more to upgrade our security package.

We inquired about additional costs. The rep copied and pasted several features without explanation into the chat window. They responded to our question in a careless manner, leaving us to wonder if they really wanted to help.

We inquired about what free services they offered for security plugins. The rep said that these options weren’t very helpful.

We felt that they were trying to get us to pay more.

This interaction was full of tricks and scare tactics.

There were also many typos in the chat, which made it difficult to trust the information we received.

Here’s the conversation:

Our second interaction was about email setup. The rep immediately connected us with a representative. He provided step-by-step instructions.

We appreciated their straightforwardness and that they sent us more than just an article.

We also inquired about how to forward email to Gmail. The rep replied again with detailed instructions. Everything was as it was stated. We followed the instructions.

It was fast overall, which we expected for a simple question. This was a very satisfying instance.

We were connected immediately with a representative for our final test.

After we mentioned that we weren’t having any issues, and that we just wanted to optimize our site’s speed for the future, the rep asked if we would like the guide we had just requested.

We found the rep to be uninterested. We claim that they didn’t send it over because they instead sent us an article about how to set up an account by email.

They finally replied to our request for speed and optimization. They were thorough and helpful, with some articles to read as well as specific advice.

After that, they began to talk about security features and offered us a paid security upgrade when we first spoke with someone.

It was annoying and unnecessary, especially considering that we didn’t ask about it this time. They were too pushy about the security upgrade, and they weren’t very friendly or knowledgeable.

Overall, they provided adequate support. However, their focus seems to be primarily on upgrades and sales. Although you will be offered help, you must avoid the sales pitches and not focus on the problem at hand.

Bluehost is the best choice if you are looking for the most assistance in building your website and setting up your hosting.

#6 – InMotion Hosting – The Best Price to Host Two Websites with One Plan

InMotion Hosting

Best price for hosting two sites

InMotion is the only company that allows you to host two websites at once on a shared hosting plan. For any issues that might arise, InMotion offers excellent customer service.

Overall Score: 2.8/5

InMotion hosting is our only shared web host that allows you to host two websites at once. It’s also cheaper than plans that allow you to host one website. You can host up to two websites for $6.99 per month with a 1-year agreement.

You won’t be required to manage two different plans or deal with the billing and renewal headaches that can result.

The Launch plan by InMotion Hosting – the one we tested ourselves – makes your life so much easier.

InMotion offers a Lite Plan, which is technically cheaper but only allows you to host one website. If you need only one website to be hosted by InMotion, we recommend that you choose another provider.

Here are the five categories in which InMotion scored best:

  1. Easy of use = 0/5
  2. 4/5 Uptime
  3. Speed = 5/5
  4. Price = 3/5
  5. Customer Support = 4/5

Easy of Use: 0/5. InMotion is tied with A2 Hosting to provide the ultimate in ease of use.

It is difficult to navigate the customer dashboard.

It can be difficult to see past the confusing interface or understand what is next.

There is no guidance on how to proceed after you have completed the signup process. It can be very confusing for those who are not experienced in setting up web hosting.

The overall experience was lacking in structure.

InMotion also offers a 30-minute free onboarding call. This is something that no other web host offers. If you are unsure, this can be a great resource.

Full disclosure: We chose to forgo this free service and didn’t test it. We cannot therefore attest to its usefulness or quality. It’s something you can use, we can only confirm.

The feature can be very helpful if you have a knowledgeable representative.

We wish there were more information for people who don’t want or can’t use this feature.

This is a quick overview of the setup process.

The screen that opens will show you your account information as well as the plan selection. This screen also displays a list of all available add-ons.

These are some of the upsells

  • Backup Manager $24 per Year (was automatically checked to “yes”)
  • For $72 per annum (automatically checked no), you can get a dedicated IP address
  • QuickStarter – for $249 one-time, you receive a professionally-designed one-page WordPress website (automatically tested no)

A plugin is available for free to backup your website.

Next, you will set up your domain. You have the option to add your domain or purchase one from InMotion.

Next, create a new account. Then add billing and account details.

We found the checkout process to be clunky. The checkout process felt unnecessarily slow compared to other checkout procedures.

There were a lot of fields to fill out, and a few upsells that had been pre-checked.

We received a welcome message after payment and an option to set up a one-on-one meeting with a New Account Specialist. 

Three separate emails were then sent to us. We received the first two emails about receipts. The third email was the welcome email. It contained a lot of information.

It first showed us how to access our account management area. Then it gave us a button to reset our password.

Next, we have a link to InMotion’s WordPress guide. We also have instructions on how to get help if needed, including via customer service or the support centre with thousands of articles.

Two attachments were also included: a guide to setting up a new website and a guide to transferring a website.

After we created our password, we were taken to our dashboard. You don’t get any instructions on what to do next.

We would have liked more guidance or a setup guide, like the hosts.

We didn’t have WordPress installed at this point and weren’t sure how to install it.

We opened the getting started guide in the “Recommended for You” section.

We clicked on WordPress because that was the content management software (CMS) we wanted.

It was not clear how to install it, but how to use it once it is installed.

Although it takes some effort to figure out how to do so, it is not difficult.

Open Softaculous to install WordPress. It would take us a while to figure this out if we didn’t know.

We clicked “Install” after that. It took about 15 seconds for it to tell us that the installation was complete and to give us the URL to log in to WordPress.

InMotion Hosting did not check any of the boxes that we consider useful in setting up web hosting.

InMotion received a zero rating for ease-of-use.

Even if you’ve had experience, there are many holes in the onboarding process that we want to improve.

Uptime: 4/5 – The availability of your website to its visitors is critical to its success. Our research for InMotion Hosting shows 99.99% uptime and only 6 minutes 17 seconds of downtime in total over 30 days. The longest time was 2 minutes and 559 seconds. The site was unavailable due to 4 incidents.

Two incidents involved SSL errors, which displayed a security warning message to visitors. One was a bad gateway issue, which meant that the browser received an inexplicable response from your site’s server. The second incident was an HTTP 503 error from the server.

HTTP 503 errors indicate that the server is temporarily unavailable to process the request. This error is most commonly caused by overloaded servers or maintenance.

The average down time across all hosts was 23 minutes 55 seconds. InMotion performed significantly higher than the average.

Speed: 5/5 – Keeping your website running quickly gives you an advantage in online business. This keeps your visitors happy, even if they’re just browsing your website for information.

It doesn’t matter what, it’s an essential part of providing a great user experience.

InMotion’s speed performance was tested and the average response time was 339 milliseconds. This makes it the fastest host that we tested.

Our InMotion server performed significantly better than the average server response times across all hosts. It was actually almost twice as fast than the average.

InMotion is the best choice if you want speed at a reasonable price.

There are also speed-related features included that will further improve the entry-level plan’s performance. This means that you have more options to enhance your site’s speed as you build it.

Unlimited Bandwidth allows your website to transfer as much data as the user requests. You may experience slowdowns in your site when you exceed the data limit set by some providers. InMotion hosting does not limit bandwidth and offers enough to ensure your site loads quickly for visitors.

UltraStack Optimized performance is available on InMotion’s entry-level plan. This proprietary operating system stack is pre-optimized to your server environment. Your site will be as fast as possible from the beginning.

Max Speed Zones can be used to select between two Category A data centers, one on Washington D.C.’s east coast and one in Los Angeles’ west coast.

Price 3/5 – InMotion Hosting pricing is slightly higher than the average for hosting for two years, when compared with other hosts on this page.

The Launch plan, formerly known as the Lite plan, costs $6.99 per month to host your domain for the first year. This totals $83.88. Email and domain names are included at no cost. However, domain privacy can be purchased for $12.99 if you wish to protect your identity.

Your first year total for all essentials is $96.87.

The hosting price for renewal increases to $11.99 per monthly for the next 12 months equaling $143.88.

You can now add $15.99 to your domain price for this year. Domain privacy is $12.99 per annum. Email is still available for free.

The total cost of year two is therefore $172.86

Promo’s renewal rate is 72% lower than the promo, which is the lowest percentage of increase among all providers.

Add it all up and you’ll be paying $269.73 for two years of web hosting.

Our average price for all hosts is $246.71. InMotion is slightly less expensive than the average host and the third-most expensive option.

You can still get better pricing by signing up two years in advance for $5.99 per month or $143.76 for 2 years hosting.

Your domain name and domain privacy will still be required for the second year. The total cost of the domain name is $185.73. Your monthly rate increases to $10.99 after the first two years.

Customer Support: 5/5 – InMotion’s customer service was friendly and provided above-average service. We felt that they were trying to solve our problems.

It took 16 minutes for the first chat to reach someone.

We were given a lot of information by the rep about on-site security including SSLs and other server-side protections.

They said they are mostly responsible for security but that they have a tool to help manage passwords and other things.

The rep then mentioned Sucuri as a paid security tool. However, they were transparent about the cost and said that we didn’t really need it at the moment.

We are grateful that the rep took time to explain the issues to us, rather than sending us to a support item.

We liked the fact that they did not mention a paid upgrade until very last. The interaction was great overall, though it did take some time to connect with someone. This cost them one point, as it took over 10 minutes to do so.

Our second interaction was when we inquired about setting up email on our domain. We were connected within 30 seconds.

The rep was very friendly and patient. They also guided us step-by-step through the process to ensure we were fully understanding it.

They gave us instructions on what to click and where to find it. Also, they showed us how certain icons look to help us find things. After we asked them how to forward our emails to Gmail, they did the same.

The rep was very helpful and knowledgeable, and walked us through every step.

Although they took a lot of time, the interaction was still very fast. Our new email account was setup in just 15 minutes.

This interaction was a joy and we can see why this support level would be beneficial to anyone who is in need.

It took only 30 seconds for us to connect to a rep in our last chat regarding website speed and ways to improve it.

A few caching plugins were mentioned by the rep.

They then said that they had several optimization guides and asked us if we’d like to see them. The rep then sent us eight hyperlinks without any explanations.

They asked us if we had any other questions and then ended the conversation.

We were not happy when they sent eight support articles to us with no explanations.

We didn’t like the fact that they asked us if we needed anything before we responded to the barrages of links.

It felt like they were racing to get to the next person and didn’t have enough time to explain.

While the first two interactions were excellent, the third interaction was not so great.

Overall, we enjoyed our experience with InMotion customer support. They are always available to assist customers via live chat, knowledge base and public forum.

InMotion hosting offers a great experience with excellent support. As long as the onboarding process isn’t too difficult, it’s a good choice.

#7 – Nexcess – Best Web Hosting for Experienced WordPress Users

Nexcess

WordPress Pros: The Best

Nexcess is the best choice for experienced WordPress users who want to move beyond the many shared hosting options. Nexcess’ hosting offers a wonderful combination of speed, security and uptime. You can also maximize your resources by having full control over the system.

Overall Score: 2.6 of 5

Nexcess offers a higher level of service than the other web hosts in this list. It is a top-tier web hosting provider for WordPress users.

They do not offer shared hosting plans, and are primarily focused on ecommerce platforms.

This is for those who are experienced with web hosting and know their stuff. It’s not as user-friendly as other options.

This is reflected in the scoring.

Nexcess offers managed hosting. This is something we haven’t mentioned. This makes it easier to manage a website because it takes out most, if not all, of the DIY management. Nexcess gives you more freedom and less stress.

It’s the onboarding and setup that require more technical knowledge.

Here are their results in the five main categories.

  1. Easy of use = 2/5
  2. 5/5 Uptime
  3. Speed = 4/5
  4. Price = 1/5
  5. Customer Support = 4/5

Easy to Use: 5/5 – Nexcess doesn’t cater for beginners so it can be difficult to use. It is designed for people who are familiar with web hosting.

After you sign up, there is not much direction.

You were taken to a wizard by all hosts scoring higher, but Nexcess is your guide.

This host is for experienced users who need a faster system but don’t mind spending $25 to $30 per month.

You can choose your payment terms when you first get started. We chose the monthly plan.

You can then change the name of your plan and choose your server location.

There are five locations for servers:

  • Asia Pacific
  • Amsterdam
  • London
  • Michigan
  • California

This is something that no other web host has ever allowed you to do.

You’ll then see an order summary. You don’t need to worry about upsells.

Before you finalize your purchase, you will receive a welcome email with information on setting up your account.

This is fantastic, it’s almost like two-step authentication. They want you to be sure that you get what you requested.

You’ll be taken back to the signup page after clicking the email link. You will be redirected to your portal immediately after clicking “Purchase”. A popup message informs you that it may take some time to set up your new plan.

A brief tutorial will walk you through the key features and how to use them.

To find out more, we clicked “Learn More”.

This was a positive for Nexcess throughout the setup and is worth mentioning. However, it does not improve the overall score.

Here’s why.

This screen explains how to use the main navigation panel. This screen explains the billing, support and plans tabs.

Clicking “Next”, will take you to the user menu at the top right. 

This screen contains support shortcuts. This screen lists all of the ways you can contact the support team, if needed. It makes it easy to find the help you need, and not that you have to spend time searching for it.

While it’s useful for general information, it doesn’t help with setting up your website. This is the whole point.

Your hosting plan will be ready when you are done with the wizard

We received another email with a welcome message, an invoice, a link for our portal, where we can access the site, and additional information about how to get support if needed.

We received an email confirming that our account was ready and that WordPress had been installed on our website.

Other than that, it’s difficult to find information on next steps.

We didn’t know how to log into WordPress or edit our website. We don’t know what to do about our domain name. It’s not easy to follow.

Here’s how the dashboard’s home screen looks:

We spent a while figuring out how we could get to our WordPress dashboard. We were in.

A section in the analytics section allows you to see total bandwidth and disk space. This data can be used to improve your site’s performance.

It feels more like a portal for advanced users with specific preferences.

Nexcess expects that you are familiar with the basics of creating a website. There are no slow, step-by–step instructions. You should know exactly what you’re doing.

We loved the fact that there weren’t any additional instructions.

The WordPress installation was very simple, only three plugins were required and no standard themes. This is a far cry from shared web hosting, which comes with tons of plugins, upsells galore and pre-installed theme themes that can slow down your website.

Nexcess is great if you know how to set-up a web server. This is not the right host for you if you don’t know how to set up a web server.

Uptime: 5/5 Nexcess is all in performance. Our research confirms this. They achieved a 100% uptime rate with zero downtime in 30 days.

Nexcess is always available to help customers and visitors.

The site was unavailable due to no incidents. Nexcess hosts your website for happier visitors, more traffic, and higher sales.

This web host’s perfect performance was clearly at the top of our list.

Speed: 4/5 – When you pay high prices for web hosting, you expect it will be quick. We wanted to ensure that you get exactly what you paid for.

We tested Nexcess servers over a period of one month to determine how they performed.

The average response time was 565 milliseconds. Your site will load in half a second, which is a flip of a switch.

The image shows that load time spikes don’t go higher than 1.2 seconds.

Nexcess will do everything possible to make your site speedy. This is aided by many speed enhancement features.

There are eight data centers available, with two in Michigan, California, Florida, Florida, the UK and Amsterdam. This allows you to control the distance between your server (where they have two), and your visitors which decreases load time.

The bandwidth you get is 2 TB, which is more than most websites will use for very long periods of time. You have plenty of bandwidth to handle traffic spikes or surges, without them impacting your site’s performance. There is plenty of room for growth before you need to upgrade to a higher level.

Nexcess’ auto-scaling technology allows your site to go beyond its PHP limits in case of traffic spikes or surges. This will ensure that your site does not crash. Every user will experience great performance and fast loading times even on the busiest days.

Nexcess’ content distribution network (CDN), has 22 edge locations across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. All new Nexcess accounts automatically configure the CDN. You don’t even have to do anything. You don’t have to configure it or modify it. It is already pre configured for your server environment with the best settings.

Image Compression and Lazy Load automatically reduces JPG and NPG images’ file sizes without compromising image quality. No more spending hours configuring images for the right compression size. Nexcess has partnered up with TinyPNG to give you the premium compression plugin at no cost.

Nexcess’s response time is significantly faster than the 708 milliseconds average across all hosts that we tested.

Price: 1/5 – Nexcess scores terrible in this category, as you can see. They are not your typical shared web hosting provider. They are also the most expensive of all hosting providers. They don’t offer shared hosting.

Hosting costs $15.83 per month, for 12 months. Total $189.96 per year.

This plan does not include an email address. However, you will need to pay $15 per year for your domain. You can also protect your identity by purchasing domain privacy for $5 more per year.

This is a total of $209.96 per year.

Nexcess is unique because it offers something different. There is no price increase when you renew. This price lock guarantee is only available to them.

You pay $209.96 again for the second year.

This brings your total for two years to $419.92. That’s still very expensive.

Nexcess can be expensive and is not affordable for all. They cost more than the average host.

You can save some money by purchasing a domain name through another domain provider. Nexcess is $15 per year.

This is the best deal that you can find.

Customer Support: 4/5 – With all the bells & whistles that a web host offers, you can expect exceptional support. Although they scored higher than average, our experience was still better.

Let’s see what we mean.

We asked about website security during our first chat. We were connected immediately to a representative.

Five minutes into the conversation, the rep sent us three articles about iThemes security Pro, how to get started managing WordPress hosting and how to secure WordPress sites.

These two weren’t very helpful. The last was very helpful in answering our question.

The rep sent us several support articles that we could read on our own. Although we are paying premium hosting and customer service, it did not feel any better than the shared hosting options.

Even for a simple question about whether something is included in our plan, the rep did not know anything about it.

The response time was very slow between answers.

Although we enjoyed being connected instantly, the rest of the interaction was slow and bland. Although friendly, the rep was not knowledgeable.

We were connected to a rep within 30 seconds of our second interaction.

The rep helped us to set up an email address for our domain.

We list below a few of the confusing questions that we were asked by the rep.

They first asked us if we could point mail service at Nexcess. Please confirm.”

We explained to them that we didn’t understand the question and they asked the same question again. We just said “Okay, do what you need to do” in order to avoid further confusion.

Rep replied that “To access email service, we need MX records.” Please confirm that I am able to create it.

We replied in affirmative. They said that it could take between four and eight hours for the changes and to be reviewed later.

A link was also sent with instructions on how to access our email later.

We thanked them, and the conversation ended.

Although it was confusing, we were grateful that they went into our accounts and did everything.

Nexcess’s process was different than everyone else’s, we found. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Email setup is usually very simple.

We would have loved for the rep to be able to understand our confusion better and give us more information. They solved the problem and took control of the situation.

It’s definitely more than what you would expect from a premium host.

We were connected to a rep on the third chat.

When we asked them about speed optimization, they suggested three tools: WP Rocket (a content delivery network) and Redis (with a support article explaining each tool).

WP Rocket, Redis and Redis can be used as paid tools.

We wished they had mentioned more things that we could do free of charge, or at the very least explained things to us a little more than just sending over an article to us to read.

The process was very fast which was great.

We felt that the rep could have given us more advice than just sending us support articles and tools.

It felt almost rushed.

The rep did not do anything other than name the tools and send us to a support article.

The chat took just five minutes so they were friendly.

Nexcess received a 4/5 rating for support. However, it didn’t feel that way. It was clear that we expected it to be more since the services they offer are so expensive.

Although we expected them to be more involved and hands-on, many of their reps didn’t seem to know very much about Nexcess services.

Despite this, we were able to connect with reps quickly, which was nice.

They offer five options for getting help: email, phone chat, live chat and social media.

They were still disappointing in terms of premium hosting customer support, compared to other hosts that we have included on our list.

Nexcess does deliver the performance that you pay for. Although it’s not for beginners if you are a skilled user and want to have unflagging speed and uptime, it is the right choice.

#8 – A2 Hosting – Most Dependable host for Europe and Asia

A2 Hosting

Best for Europe and Asia

A2 Hosting offers server selections to ensure that everyone has a great experience. You will enjoy multiple data centers, great customer support, and decent performance.

Overall Score: 2.3 of 5

A2 Hosting has a reputation for its lightning-fast site speeds. We tested it. Below are details.

We were surprised to discover how their data centers performed in Europe and Asia.

They excel at accommodating visitors from these areas of the world.

These are the areas where international business is possible. You need a reliable web host that can be trusted and designed to serve overseas customers.

A2 Hosting will surpass your expectations in this area, providing your visitors with fast access to your site without any problems.

Having said that, A2 Hosting didn’t perform as expected when it comes to other critical areas of web hosting. This is a far better comparison than other shared web hosting.

Let’s take a look at their performance.

  1. Easy of use = 0/5
  2. Uptime = 3/5
  3. Speed = 1/5
  4. Price = 3/5
  5. Customer Support = 4.33/5

Easy to use: 2/5 – A2 Hosting was one of the most difficult web hosts to get started with. It is difficult to use due to its complicated dashboard design and the upsells that are available during checkout.

It was confusing and hard to navigate. We were frustrated by the lack of instructions for how to start after checkout.

It is definitely an unpleasant user experience. If you don’t know how to use it, it can make you feel uneasy and lost.

Here are some ways to get started.

You can register a domain name or transfer an existing domain when you sign up for the first time. Nameservers can be updated or a temporary subdomain is created from A2.

Things get confusing and cluttered after you have completed the domain step.

The screen is overwhelming and there’s so much on it.

This is a new way to do web hosting. We were shocked at the $60.98 price for hosting today, having opted for a month at $10.99.

Pre-checked SSL certificates can cause a huge price increase of $49.99. However, A2 does not tell you that it is an advanced option.

We feel that you might see “Rapid SSL” as a sign of insecurity and think you will need it. However, the plan comes with more than enough SSL. It is very misleading.

It should be obvious that it is not necessary and advanced. It’s not.

Scroll down to choose your plan and select where you would like your server to be located. Next, choose the SSL certificate that you wish.

There are four additional add-ons that you can choose from. Except for the SSL certificate, which is expensive, none of these add-ons are pre-checked.

These are the upsells

  • Premium SSL Certificate
  • An IP address dedicated to you
  • Backups offsite
  • Spam firewall
  • A2 Website Builder

All these upsells come with a price. The pricing of these upsells is not shown unless you choose them.

Only the premium SSL certificate was available. After we checked it, the price was returned to $10.99

After you have selected your content management system (CMS), you can checkout and complete your account information. You’ll also be able to process your payment.

A CMS is the place where all your website content is stored: media and blog posts. You can also manage comments and update plugins. WordPress is the most popular CMS.

There is no checklist or guided setup. There is absolutely no guideline or checklist that will tell you what to do next.

We were also sent a welcome email that was filled with web hosting jargon. It did not explain how the control panel, FTP and SSH work or why each account has its own accounts.

You will need to manage multiple passwords. This can be easy for people to forget or lose in the shuffle of all their information.

With help, guidance and step-by-step instructions, onboarding could be made easier.

A2 didn’t tick any box in our ease-of-use criteria so it got a zero.

A2 Hosting is very good at ensuring that your site is up and running on a daily basis. A2 Hosting ensures that your website is always up and running.

Our uptime research revealed a 99.96% visitor availability, with only 15 minutes and 41 seconds total downtime in 30 days.

Two incidents occurred that made the site unavailable. These are shown by the red boxes at the bottom of this image.

A very brief connection timeout occurred. This happens when your site is trying to access more resources than the server has available. This is a common issue with shared web hosting. This took 41 seconds.

The second is a 15-minute HTTP 500 server error. This is a common mistake for server-side issues. This is an extremely long period of downtime.

All hosts tested had an average downtime of 23 minutes and 55 seconds. This makes A2 Hosting slightly more efficient than the average.

Speed: 1/5 – Speed is A2 Hosting’s claim to fame. It is proudly displayed on their website.

We were thrilled to test their entry-level plans for 30 days, and share the results.

The average response time was 895 milliseconds, according to our results. It took just under one second. However, we do not have any data, media or plugins.

This is not the norm for most users. This is a high average load time, which can lead to serious load times spikes.

A2 Hosting is known for its speed and has many speed enhancement options to reduce load times.

A2 Hosting’s entry level plan includes 100GB SSD storage space. This is a huge amount of space compared to other plans. Your site will likely not run out of space or close to it for long periods, which can improve its performance.

Another plus is A2 Hosting’s unlimited bandwidth. Many web hosts restrict the amount of data that you can transfer to users within a certain time period. They will slow down your site speed if you exceed this limit. With A2 Hosting, you don’t need to worry about overusing bandwidth. A2 Hosting has a fair usage policy that states that you can only use a certain amount of bandwidth and cannot abuse the system. This is not something that most users need to be concerned about when they first start using the service.

Optimized software from A2 offers pre-configured installations for tons of CMS systems, including WordPress. Your optimization settings, including code compression, image, file and file compression, are already set up right out of the box. This will ensure that your website is fast and lean. Basic cache control is included so that your site doesn’t have to be fetched each time a user requests it.

You have four options: Arizona, Michigan, Amsterdam and Singapore. This ensures that your visitors from overseas are happy and has quick and easy access to your website content. 

A2 Hosting is so proud of their speed, we were expecting mind-blowing speed tests results that would completely demolish the competition.

However, there is no significant difference in the entry-level plan without any upgrades.

Price: 3/5 – When you compare A2’s pricing with other shared web hosts, the average cost of A2 is found.

Hosting costs $6.99 per month, which works out to $83.88 for the first year. If you don’t want to transfer one, a domain name will cost $14.95 per annum.

You can add $9.95 to your domain privacy plan. Your first year of email is free.

Hosting is available for renewal at $8.99 per month for the second 12 months. This equals $107.88

The domain price is still $14.95 per annum, along with the $9.95 privacy fee. The cost of email is $132.78 for the second year. Email is still completely free.

The renewal rate for promo pricing is 29% higher than the promotional pricing. This is the lowest increase that we have seen.

For two years of hosting, you’ll pay $241.56 total

Our average price for hosting, email, domain registration and domain privacy is $246. A2 Hosting is slightly more expensive than the average.

For $71.64 per year of hosting, sign up for three-years in advance for $1.99 per month.

Your domain name and privacy will still need to be paid. The total cost for three years is $146.34.

This is a $100 savings

After three years, however, the monthly rate jumps to $10.99 per calendar month. This is quite an increase.

Customer Support: 4/5 A2 Hosting scored higher than average in customer service.

It took us six minutes to receive a reply in our first interaction.

They sent us a paid product as their first response to our query about site security. It was quite salesy.

We were also disappointed that the support article included information on how to protect WordPress sites. They didn’t explain how to use it. They didn’t attempt to walk us through how secure our website is.

They didn’t offer any advice or assistance. They could not tell us how much security upgrades cost.

The sales team offered to transfer us to their sales team. We turned down the offer and ended the conversation.

This chat was disqualified for promoting a paid product and for not offering any assistance beyond sending us support articles.

We were connected to a rep in our second chat.

The rep was extremely helpful and provided step-by-step instructions for how to set up an email account for our domain. 

They provided screenshots showing where to click which was also helpful. They gave us instructions on how to forward email to Gmail. If we needed more information, they also provided a detailed support article.

It was a very thorough interaction. Even for a basic question, the rep was helpful and friendly throughout.

We were able to test this chat for excellent customer service.

We were connected again with a representative for our final interaction.

We wanted to know how to make our site load as quickly as possible.

A speed test was done on our site by the rep and it loaded quickly. We explained that we had not yet started building it and were looking for advice on how to optimize it going forward.

They stated that Cloudflare can be enabled and provided a guideline on how to do it.

A detailed article was also sent to them with lots of information on optimizing WordPress sites. We were very grateful that they took the time and tested the site in order to provide personalized advice.

This interaction also met all our customer support criteria.

A2 did an amazing job. They were much more reliable than other hosts on the list. Each time we reached out, we were connected almost immediately with a rep.

Apart from the initial interaction, they were extremely knowledgeable and friendly. They provided clear instructions and advice that was not only helpful but also helped us figure out the details on our own.

A2 offers phone support if that’s what you prefer, or if you have a more complex issue that can be resolved over the phone.

Serve international visitors with A2 Hosting. You also get great customer support to help you maximize your hosting services.

How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Service

Our research team collected 105 pages over a month. This gave us clear evidence to support our top hosting recommendations.

We don’t want to waste your time and money on things that aren’t the best.

Only do the best.

We then went through our final testing process for each host we evaluated:

  1. Each web hosting plan was given a brand new account.
  2. Each host purchased a domain name and was then signed up through the signup process
  3. Create brand new websites with no images,plugins or pages. You will need a blank WordPress installation
  4. We selected the same WordPress settings for each website and used the same theme
  5. Monitoring site speed and uptime closely for a whole month
  6. Three customer support tickets were submitted. We tested how helpful each web host would be.

After running our tests, each provider was rated on a one-to-five scale in five categories. Each category was weighted according to their importance in your purchase decision.

  1. Easy of Use (25%)
  2. Speed (10%)
  3. Uptime (10%)
  4. Pricing (35%)
  5. Customer Support (20%)

Then, we combined all ratings to create a single overall score per web hosting provider.

These are the five main areas you should focus on. These categories can influence the quality of web hosts, leading to better purchasing decisions.

Pricing is the most significant factor and has the greatest impact on the host’s overall score.

Easy use and excellent customer service make up nearly half of the overall score. Getting started and getting support when you need it is key to a great hosting experience, especially if you are building your first website.

It is sensible to get started without having to pull your hair out. Having a support group behind you is also important.

You can find the best provider for you by reading our full review. We will show you how easy they were to use, their availability, speed, pricing, customer support, and how fast they responded.

These are the categories that top web hosts excel at. These are the topics that people want to know.

They are the most important for a website to be successful, according to our research.

So Easy You Can Deploy Your Site In One Day (25%)

Nobody likes to feel like they are incapable of doing something.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a simple and quick setup? It’s easy to follow and requires no effort.

You would, of course.

It is why it accounts for 25% of each provider’s overall score.

We wanted to ensure that using web hosts was as easy as putting the cap on a ketchup can when we began our research. 

We examined every aspect of the experience, testing and documenting how simple or difficult it was during signup. We also looked at the difficulties of setting up websites on each host.

We also include tips for navigating those pesky upsells – what they mean and how to avoid them if you have the need.

On a scale of one to five, we rated ease-of-use. Five specific outcomes were used.

Let’s take a look at the guidelines we used to calculate the ease-of-use score.

  1. Sign up with minimal upsells and trickery
  2. A simple, clutter-free and clean dashboard that is easy to use
  3. You’ll find clear, step-by-step instructions that will help you get started.
  4. The CMS wizard walks you through the configuration of your site
  5. Clear instructions for how to connect a domain

Hosts who do well in any of these five categories receive one point. Five out of five is the best score.

You may receive a lot of emails from providers that contain complicated links and instructions. This can lower your score for ease-of-use.

Some providers won’t even send you emails with instructions. We discuss the experience of each provider. This will help you identify who does it well and who doesn’t.

So you don’t get lost, we dug into it all.

We love that most of them are able to make the onboarding process simple and don’t push you in any way.

It doesn’t take a genius to create a functional and complete website in minutes. It’s almost impossible to make a mistake, and they never leave us wondering “What next?”

We feel that some people are trying to win the award for “most frustrating”.

Multiple emails are sent with no instructions regarding server security or email security. Their web hosting dashboards are dull and uninspiring, leaving us with unfinished websites, confusion and endless questions.

We had a difficult time navigating the onboarding process with several providers. It was just awful.

It serves as a guideline to help you avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Slow site speed (10%): Never lose a visitor again

Are you having a slow website? You can say goodbye to your rankings and visitors.

This is a fact we know because we have done it time and again.

Our team spent 30 consecutive days monitoring the performance of each provider on this list. All the sites were added to FreshPing, and we monitored the response time.

This way, you can find out the truth about which providers offer reliable speeds and which ones are just talking.

Our discovery provides raw data about how each performed. There is no fluff. Just results.

Only the host was different between our test locations. Our testing environment was sterile, meaning there were no variables.

Images, comments and any other content were not included. All plugins were also removed. The website is now completely empty.

Why would we do this?

We wanted to establish a baseline of performance that was unquestionable.

Your website will look different and may contain media or other assets. Your averages will therefore vary.

Our goal is not to find out who is faster. We want to show which provider can keep your website up when others cannot.

We wanted to create an environment that was free from limitations and variables so that everyone could get the best results for speed.

We reviewed the data after the 30 days had expired. We then assigned scores to each web host using the grading system below.

  • 5 points for less that 550 ms
  • 4 points for 551 to 650 ms
  • 3 points for 651 to 750 ms
  • 2 points for 751 to 850 ms
  • 1 point for 851 or more ms

We were stunned by the results and couldn’t believe what we saw.

Most hosts are average. However, we found a few that stand out for good and bad reasons.

Speed and traffic spikes in shared hosting are closely linked. Hosting plans that are shared can be slower than those with other hosting options.

Your site’s speed is affected by the behavior of other websites that are located on the same server.

Because shared hosting plans allow you to host as many websites as possible on one server. Traffic spikes are also known as surges. This can slow down your website.

A shared web host that is reliable will reduce response time by using cloud servers, speed-related features, and better management of their servers.

A content delivery network (CDN) is an example of a speed-related feature.

This allows people to access your data from anywhere in the world, even from their closest data centers. Another caching plugin stores parts of your website and serves them up preloaded instead of loading it each time someone requests.

Our speed tests were done using the base plan of each provider. To ensure that everything is fair.

A creepy crawling website can have terrible consequences. It is therefore 10% of the web host score.

We recommend that your site be fast. A site should respond in less than two seconds. This will increase your ranking and make your visitors happy.

Do not ignore uptime guarantees – instead, look at real-world data (10%)

Hosting industry is filled with terrible support, broken promises and poor uptime rates.

Poor availability can often turn good websites into ghost cities. 

Are they all able to deliver 99.99% uptime?

Fat chance.

Some hosts love to claim that, because they don’t want you to know the truth about this guarantee.

They offer misdirection and lack of transparency regarding real performance.

If the guarantee isn’t met, they will offer you compensation. It’s better to pay you than tell you that they can’t reach the desired number of 99.99%.

We have removed all the fluff, and we tested them ourselves to make sure we tell the truth.

However, you will start with the entry-level plan. Most do. Many hosts fail to do so.

That’s how we got started.

It’s not necessary to wonder if your host is telling you the truth. We’ve done all the research. We have removed all the hype and made it easy to see what is really happening.

It’s easy to find out who you can trust and avoid by using our website.

Here’s how it works.

Just like speed testing, we started from scratch.

We used the same websites that we used for testing other things, but also for uptime research.

We poked and prodded each host for 30 days.

We are looking for every crack and flaw in their story about uptime.

Our websites were connected with FreshPing, which recorded every bit of data they could find on uptime and reasons for any decrease.

We then carefully analyzed the data and rated it against our easy-to-follow grading system.

  • 5 points for less that one minute of downtime
  • 4 points for 1 to 15 minutes of downtime
  • 3 points for downtime of 15-30 minutes
  • 2 points for every 30 to 45 minutes of unproductive time
  • 1 point for every 45 minutes of downtime

We could not hide the truth once we received our final scores.

It was clear which host had the highest availability. This makes it much easier for you to choose the provider that offers greater uptime availability.

You may be thinking, “That’s great! But are there other details about uptime that I should know?”

We say “Yes” emphatically

These are six reasons that downtime is most common.

  1. Network outages
  2. Human Error
  3. Server failures
  4. Use Spikes/Surges
  5. Unknown Problems
  6. Power outages

These factors are the main reasons why websites go down most often. Every web host has their own engineers and data to ensure that uptime is as high as possible.

If your website is down, visitors may not be able to access it at all times. This can lead to you losing money, credibility, and can even ruin your Google reputation. It can also affect your search rankings which can be costly for website owners.

It’s misleading. You can see the downtime that comes with it.

Over a 30-day period, the total downtime is two hours and 22 mins. This is more than two hours that your website isn’t functioning; it’s also over two hours that your visitors can’t access your website. They wanted your content, and they wanted to go, but you weren’t there.

Worse, the next statistic, which was the longest sustained, single-useable period of downtime, was a complete 30 minutes.

Our website was unavailable for half an hour at one point during this month.

We couldn’t do anything about it. Visitors will not return to your domain if they have the same problem.

We were expecting to see that most web hosting providers would have reliable server infrastructure.

Average downtime was 23 minutes 55 seconds. It’s not all bad. 

However, you should pay attention to the frequency of incidents.

These are the same reasons that we mentioned in the section above about uptime.

The incident statistic can be found in the upper right corner of this image.

These are more common than you might think.

What is an incident? It’s when your website is made unavailable by something.

Sometimes, it’s scheduled maintenance from the provider. Other times, it’s simply server errors or platform weakness.

You won’t be shocked if your website goes down. This will give you a good idea of how your website is affected. You might even have an idea of the cause.

35 % The Real Cost of Hosting Your Website Long-Term

Are you averse to spending your hard-earned money on things you don’t know will work?

Us either.

When we conducted our research on pricing, we determined that it was the most important score for our grading system.

We know that you don’t want your heart broken if things don’t go according to plan.

We carefully reviewed each provider’s price in this review. So there are no surprises, we mapped every penny you’ll need to pay.

We also spent all our time on the entry-level plans to ensure that pricing could be compared for all providers. This is where most of our readers will start.

Here’s how it works:

We started by calculating the monthly promo pricing. This was then used to calculate the upfront cost for hosting for a year.

We then looked into the prices domain name providers charged. We added any additional fees to the annual total if there was one.

The same was done for email services and domain privacy. We then added these to the total yearly.

After the first year. There are renewal costs. This can often put a greater dent in your pocket.

Web hosts are known for increasing renewal costs.

We calculated renewal costs and fees for the second year of hosting. Then we combined those with the pricing for the first year to give you an accurate idea of the total cost for each provider.

After a thorough review of pricing, we developed a grading system for total hosting costs over two years.

  • 5 points for less that $150
  • 4 points for $151-$210
  • 3 points for $211- $270
  • 2 points for $271-$330
  • 1 point = More Than $331

Our average price for hosting, email, domain registration and domain privacy is $246.71.

The winner is the only provider with a 2-year cost of $136.74. Other options were priced between $300 and a little over $400.

These reviews provide specific information about renewal pricing and fees that you should be aware of for each provider. 

We found that even though a provider is cheaper than the average for two years, they can still offer better service and uptime than a more costly provider.

You get more for your money than you’d expect.

Comparable to a higher-priced provider. We didn’t find a better overall experience with web hosts that were more expensive. Higher rates do not necessarily mean higher quality.

Get connected with a real human in ten minutes or less (20%)

Do you recall the last time that you received outstanding customer service?

It was a small group of providers that truly blew us away.

We documented everything. We captured every detail, including screenshots.

Because customer support is the most important feature a web host can offer. It makes up 20% of your overall score.

We spent hours researching each of the eight providers and asked the hard questions that most users would like answers to.

Why?

We believe that there should be no trial and error in finding the best customer service.

Our research has revealed that there are three key questions that can help websites perform better right from the beginning. 

  • What security measures and features do you provide to protect my site?
  • Could you please show me how to set up an account for my domain email?
  • How can I speed up my website’s loading?

Three times a day we contacted support via live chat. Each interaction was focused on one of these three questions.

  • Mornings, between 8 and 9 a.m. PST
  • Afternoon, between noon and 1 p.m. CST
  • Evenings, between 7 and 8 p.m. PST

It was important that we found out whether each provider provided consistent support. Or if the support was inconsistent.

We also wanted to measure support response times at different hours of the day. Because not everyone is able to chat at 10 a.m.

This kept things consistent. Live chat is the best way to get to know each host, since we have a few providers that do not offer phone support.

Each interaction was documented and each provider was graded on key areas. This has been proven valuable for real users.

  • Support that isn’t salesy or pushy about unnecessary products
  • If you prefer to talk on the phone, we can provide support
  • We were given advice, other than sending you directly to a support article
  • It took 10 minutes to connect via live chat with a human
  • The rep was friendly and knowledgeable.

We go above and beyond answering simple questions.

Let’s take one example: We asked a hosting provider for information about security features.

The chat began at 8:07 AM:

Within 30 seconds, we received a reply and started chatting with Kiara. We thanked her for taking the time to chat with us today, and she said that she was happy to answer all our questions.

She was thorough and verified our call number in the event that we were disconnected. She then asked if she could have our domain name and email address.

We replied “sure” to her and she gave it to us. Then, she asked us for the last four characters in our password to be able to provide security-related answers.

This was a good start. We then mentioned that we would like to know more about security measures that can be used to protect our website.

Her first reply was about the paid packages that we can purchase. We are aware that they offer security features for free so we don’t know why she didn’t mention them. She then went on to upsell.

We were then informed how much each package cost and the features included. We then asked if we could do anything that didn’t cost an extra.

Kiara replied that although there is a free security function, it’s not very effective. She then suggested that we use free plugins that won’t be as good.

We said that we would think about it, and she then added “I hope I have provided a five-star service” and ended our chat.

The entire interaction took 22 minutes.

  • I received support and advice that was not pushy about upgrading/paying more.
  • Advice/support provided beyond the immediate sending of a support article
  • The entire interaction was completed in under 15 minutes
  • Initial response within 5 minutes
  • The rep was friendly, knowledgeable, and eager for help

Simply put, providers who do well in any of the areas we have listed above will score points.

We want to alert you to the fact that some providers will try to upsell you before helping you with your original issue.

This is unacceptable customer service and we recommend that you stop allowing it to continue. This is a sign that you are not receiving the help you require.

We found that a few providers brushed over our problem and immediately began to pitch services they thought were more useful, rather than trying to solve the problem.

It left a bad taste in our mouths and providers who had it happen to them lost points.

However, it is important to test your customer service within the first 30 day. It doesn’t matter if there is a problem.

Make them a resource. This is the only way you can determine if they will be helpful for your situation.

Hosting providers usually offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can test them yourself, and if they fail to perform, you can move on.

Sign up and go through the process to set up your site. Once you’re done, take a look at their results and compare them with yours.

This approach was praised by many users who found it to be a great way to save time and headaches. Even if they don’t seem to be necessary.

We all desire customer support that is thorough and detailed, but also walks you through every step with patience, so it’s what we all need.

Hostinger

Best for the Most

Hostinger allows you to get the best hosting provider and the easiest one in one package. Hostinger’s promo and renewal rates are among the lowest in web hosting. Hostinger’s simple guided setup makes it easy to get your website online in minutes.

Summary

Your site’s performance is dependent on quality web hosting. It is important that you understand all your options and choose the right web hosting solution for you.

Hostinger has been our top choice for most people. It is affordable and easy to use for beginners. You can also scale the hosting services with your site as it grows.

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.