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Android Central
2020

Choosing between the best web hosting providers for your blog, startup business, or new company site? You'll need to gauge what features are most important for your site to achieve its goal, without breaking your budget. Some users will do just fine sharing a server and throwing together a site from a WordPress template for cheap; others will need e-commerce options, added computing power, or detailed analytics. For the best of all these options, GreenGeeks is our top choice, but we've highlighted the other web providers that bring reliable hosting to the table.

Best Overall and Best Green Hosting: GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks Banner

GreenGeeks BannerSource: GreenGeeks

Initially brought in as our eco-friendly pick for environmentally conscious web designers and non-profits, GreenGeeks has impressed us with its wide range of features and hosting options for an affordable price, as well as near-universally praise from customer reviews. Still, we'll start with the Californian company's cool eco-gimmick: it purchases renewable energy certificates at three times the rate of energy that its servers use. While server farms contribute hugely to climate change, GreenGeeks indirectly removes carbon from the atmosphere.

Now for the specs. At the lowest-priced ($2.95/month) tier of plans, GreenGeeks offers the following: unlimited RAID-10 SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited free email accounts, free nightly backups, free domain access for one year, free websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website transfer from any other host, free drag-and-drop websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website builder…(deep breath)…free SSL encryption for data protection, free CloudFlare CDN for faster load times, LiteSpeed caching technology, free shopping cart widget for eCommerce, free automatic virus and malware scans, and access to the Softaculous one-click installer.

Without getting into why you need all of those many, many perks, suffice to say that other web hosting providers offer most of these, but typically at the higher price tiers. What makes GreenGeeks the best overall pick is the simplicity. Higher tiers offer better performance, but otherwise the benefits you get are consistent across the board. You aren't goaded into the pricier plans, but rather can start with a low-tier plan and upgrade if your site gains readers and you need the speed boost. Plus, once you've flung together a websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website with the free SitePad site builder, the cPanel manager lets you easily make edits and check analytics, while Softaculous lets you instantly install WordPress, Drupal, or other apps for your site. Beginners have their hands held through the whole process, while experts get access to tools like Git, SSH, SFTP, and MySQL.

GreenGeeks isn't the perfect choice, of course. It doesn't offer cloud-based hosting, and its VPS hosting—while affordable—doesn't have the customization options or ability to choose Windows/Linux servers as some other top picks. And its WordPress plan, as affordable and jam-packed with features as it is, doesn't offer some of the specific, managed WordPress optimizations you get with a provider like Bluehost.

Pros:

  • 300% renewable energy match
  • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
  • Free unlimited email accounts
  • Free SSL encryption and LiteSpeed caching
  • Free domain name for 12 months
  • 24/7 customer support with email and live chat
  • Free websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website transfer with personalized assistance

Cons:

  • No cloud or Windows VPS hosting
  • Phone lines not 24/7

Best Overall and Best Green Hosting



GreenGeeks

Clean and powerful

GreenGeeks gives beginners and experts alike the tools they need to build and host a scalable, secure, and eco-friendly websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website.

Most Affordable and Best Cloud Storage: Hostinger

Hostinger Banner

Hostinger BannerSource: Hostinger

Pretty much all of the best web hosting providers have 60–90% "limited time only" discounts on their plans at all times. They draw you in with fair pricing and free domain names for a year, then jack up the price once you're invested in their ecosystem and can't easily switch sites. Hostinger isn't innocent of this, but differs in some key ways. For one, you can get the discounted rate for multiple years, and for another, the rate it climbs to when you renew is often far lower than the standard industry rate.

The cheapest $.99/month rate will truly cost you less than $48 over four years, then rise to a mere $2.15/month—though that plan is too limited for most users. You'll really want to consider a Premium or Business Shared account, which gets you unlimited websites, email accounts, and bandwidth, plus WordPress LiteSpeed acceleration, free domain for a year, 100GB storage, and other perks.

Hostinger offers a variety of other hosting at cheap rates, including WordPress, email, cloud, VPS, and Windows VPS (plus Minecraft servers, weirdly enough). Of all these, consider cloud hosting, which many of our top picks don't offer and gives you excellent speeds for less than you'd pay for dedicated server space. Along with the perks mentioned above, you also get between 3–16GB of RAM, up to 200GB SSD storage, between 2–8 cores, and faster site download speeds with integrated caching.

Assuming you don't take the WordPress route, you can use Zyro, Hostinger's free websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website builder. Pre-built templates with responsive (mobile-friendly) design, eCommerce tools, access to a free image library, and useful integrations with analytics tools make it a handy option.

Pros:

  • Very cheap starting and renewal annual rates
  • Affordable cloud hosting
  • Free SSL encryption and LiteSpeed caching
  • Free domain name for 12 months
  • Free websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website builder
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee

Cons:

  • Low prices require multi-year contracts
  • No dedicated hosting
  • No phone customer support

Most Affordable and Best Cloud Storage



Hostinger

Multi-year savings

Regardless of which tools, servers, and specs you need, Hostinger can usually deliver it at a below-market rate.

Best WordPress Hosting: Bluehost

Bluehost Banner

Bluehost BannerSource: Bluehost

Bluehost offers great entry-level hosting options for folks looking to transition from casual WordPress blogging to owning their domain. Recommended by WordPress itself as one of the best web hosting providers for its sites, BlueHost offers cheap entry-level pricing while enticing you to higher tiers with helpful business and marketing tools. However, it supports excellent servers with reliable uptime and download speeds at even the cheapest tier.

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To start, if you already own a free WordPress blog, you can transfer that blog over to your new domain name for free. Then, Bluehost will automatically install the latest WP version and keep your site updated on its own. The entry-level fee gets you shared server access, 50GB of SSD space, free domain access for one year, and a free SSL certificate—an essential encryption feature to prevent hackers from stealing your readers' personal and credit card info.

If you need up-to-date analytics of site performance and e-commerce options if this is for business, not pleasure—you'll want to upgrade to WP Pro, which impressed us compared to the competition. Removing any data overages or storage limits gives you a marketing and analytics dashboard that neatly summarizes SEO optimization, reader engagement, and social media activity; optimized server performance for faster load times; and daily backups of data and advanced malware protection. Plus, should you need to set up an online store, you can pay for auto-installed WooCommerce tools and get a free call with a Bluehost expert to help set up your storefront.

We'd be remiss if we only discussed Bluehost's WordPress integration, however. It also offers VPS and Dedicated servers for those buyers that need stellar performance and has a professional budget. Bluehost's prices for every plan skyrocket after the first year, but this is especially true for plans that get you faster RAM, multiple IP addresses, and dedicated cores.

Pros:

  • Free domain name for 12 months
  • Free SSL certificate included
  • 24/7 customer support w/ email, telephone, and live chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Option to build a site with Weebly
  • Free WordPress site migration
  • Excellent eCommerce and thorough analytics / SEO tracking

Cons:

  • Only annual payments, no month-to-month
  • No cloud hosting, Windows servers
  • Prices jump after the first year

Best WordPress Hosting



Bluehost

For beginners and experts alike

Bluehost offers good security and cheap hosting for newbies, plus comprehensive monitoring and money-making tools for experts.

Best VPS and Dedicated Hosting: Hostwinds

Hostwinds Banner

Hostwinds BannerSource: Hostwinds

With the most complete catalog of hosting services available, Hostwinds should work for any customer's web hosting needs. Shared hosting has unlimited bandwidth and disk space at the lowest price. The "Business" plan takes the Shared plan and gives it a 5X speed boost and some additional commerce-centric boosts. And unlike other companies that offer three Cloud plans, Hostwinds offers ten different Cloud configurations with varying CPU, RAM, storage, and bandwidth amounts, making them more likely to fit your needs.

All of those positives aside, Hostwinds' best strides come with its VPS and Dedicated plans. Instead of one static VPS type, Hostwinds offers managed and unmanaged, Linux, or Windows VPS hosting, each with 6–10 varied options that let you pick the perfect specs and price for your business. Whichever you pick, you'll get redundant servers so your site stays up at all times, unlimited email and unlimited data transfers.

As for dedicated hosting, picking out your server feels a bit like customizing a consumer PC order. You can pay for the base model, or add tech to improve performance: processors, CPU cores and threads, base and turbo frequency, RAM, RAID, bandwidth, IP addresses, and even the operating system. All of that, combined with a consistent 1 Gbps network link, will give your websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website incredible speed and performance at the price you choose.

Pros:

  • Total selection of hosting options
  • 24/7 customer support w/ email, telephone, and live chat
  • Weebly site builder included
  • Customizable VPS, dedicated and cloud hosting
  • No limitations on shared bandwidth and disk space
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Unlimited email accounts

Cons:

  • Limited WordPress management
  • Short-term plans only have a two-day refund window

Best VPS and Dedicated Hosting



Hostwinds

Professional customization

You may need your server or just faster speeds, but Hostwinds offers the best web hosting for pro sites with lots of traffic.

Best for Shared Hosting: HostGator

HostGator Banner

HostGator BannerSource: HostGator

HostGator offers the usual range of hosting options, including cloud and reseller hosting, so you can rely on it for any type of site. We feel it particularly stands out for entry-level shared web hosting, however, thanks to a wealth of features available at the lowest tier.

With the "Hatchling" plan at $2.75/month, you get unmetered bandwidth and disk space, free SSL, unlimited subdomains, unlimited email accounts, two free shopping cart options, and support for pro tools like MySQL and Python. Upgrades to the plan unlock dedicated IPs, SEO tools, and security upgrades, but the first plan provides what the majority of users will need.

HostGator was another choice we considered for best web hosting provider, as its VPS and dedicated plans also supply excellent perks at an affordable rate. What surprised us, in the end, was a trend of highly negative reviews from a large number of HostGator customers, which suggests that its 24/7 customer service isn't solving whatever hosting issues are arising. Thankfully, it has a 45-day money-back policy if you decide you don't like what they have to offer.

Pros:

  • Free SSL certificate, and free domain for one year
  • Powerful shared hosting specs
  • Drag-and-drop websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website builder
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Free WordPress or cPanel websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website transfer

Cons:

  • No Windows VPS
  • Must pay for "free" domain if you cancel
  • Generally poor customer reviews

Best for Shared Hosting



HostGator

Unlimited potential

Don't mind sharing server space? HostGator sells site hosting at a fair rate with very few limitations to site performance.

Best websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">Website Builder with Web Hosting: Wix

Wix Banner

Wix BannerSource: Wix

Most web hosting providers now team up with a websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website developer to offer free websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website building. They emphasize how easy and quick it is to make a websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website, and that you can use any of their templates. Yet if you want to build your own websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website from scratch, with better emphasis on design and functionality, you should swap the usual order of things and build your site first, with a service that lets you host it for free.

Wix may advertise that anyone can use its site, including non-coders, it also has the Corvid open development platform for implementing advanced functionality (aka Javascript) into your websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website. With it, you can create databases of content, add calendar bookings or storefronts, members-only or tiered content, and dozens of other features that aren't worth listing out.

In terms of hosting features, you can pay for one of four premium plans ranging from $14–$39/month. These unlock custom domains (including one year for free), SSL encryption, up to 35GB of storage, 24/7 customer service, and up to one year of free visitor analytics, while also removing Wix ads that appear on your site in the free tier.

Unfortunately, there's a severe trade-off if you want anything beyond basic web hosting, as Wix's highest-paid "Premium" plan only supports 35GB of storage, nor some of the perks you'd get from a comparably priced VPS service like email hosting, improved RAM and more terabytes of data transfer. It's the price you'll pay for a better websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website design that lets your coding skills shine through.

Pros:

  • Advanced websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website features and functionality
  • Option for free hosting indefinitely
  • $300 ad voucher with $25 purchase
  • Free SSL certificate with Premium plan
  • Stores, bookings, music, video, and updates

Cons:

  • Cannot improve cores, data transfer, or RAM
  • Only 35GB maximum storage
  • No email hosting

Best websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">Website Builder with Web Hosting



Wix

Coding customization

While it may not be best for high-traffic sites, Wix offers you artistic, coding, social, and commerce tools to make your websites/website-builder/" 51818 target="_blank">website pop.

Bottom line

Most web hosting providers have more in common than you'd expect. To compete with one another, they all adopt similar policies like 30-day cancellation windows, free SSL encryption, temporarily free domain names, and 24/7 customer service. Similarly, you'll find most offer cheap pricing if you purchase multiple years in advance, but if you'd prefer to buy month-to-month the final pricing for most services doesn't differ much. Where they differ is in deciding which features belong to the masses, and which are worth spending a lot more per month.

Amid this uniformity, GreenGeeks stands out like a sore, green thumb. Where most providers think SSDs are only for the elite, GreenGeeks doesn't use any inferior desktop hardware in its servers. Where RAID-10 is reserved for some dedicated server plans costing a hundred per month, all Geek clients get access to it. It's the best web hosting provider for beginners to experience the best that a company has to offer without spending beyond their means. Plus, it fits into our mantra of making better tech decisions for the environment.

With the money you save on a GreenGeeks hosting plan, consider investing some of the remainders into a solid Usenet provider as well.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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