Best Web Hosting Services in 2024

Best Web Hosting Services in 2024

The best web hosting services offer a bevy of handy features to showcase your website and ensure it’s always available to your users– without bankrupting you in the process. Whether you’re looking for shared, VPS, dedicated or cloud hosting, you will find a web hosting service for you.

If you have an existing site or if you want to build a site from the ground up, we’ve evaluated the top web hosting services in 2024. Find the perfect base for your business, personal, or e-commerce site and be secure in the knowledge that you’ve got the backing of a professional, quality host.

Best web hosting services

Why trust our small business experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of business products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 17 companies reviewed.
  • 15 hours of product testing.
  • 1,568 data points analyzed.

Best web hosting services comparison

We extensively research the key competitors within an industry to determine the best products and services for your business. Our experts identify the factors that matter most to business owners, including pricing, features and customer support, to ensure that our recommendations offer well-rounded products that will meet the needs of various small businesses.

We collect extensive data to narrow our best list to reputable, easy-to-use products with stand-out features at a reasonable price point. And we look at user reviews to ensure that business owners like you are satisfied with our top picks’ services. We use the same rubric to assess companies within a particular space so you can confidently follow our blueprint to the best website hosting services.

When evaluating website hosting services, our team based that evaluation on the inclusion of unlimited storage and bandwidth, a free domain name and SSL certificate, a free business email and automatic backups. The best website hosting services will also have higher storage limits, CPanel, an uptime guarantee, a website builder and free domain name privacy.

Our team also evaluated each company’s pricing, plans, customer support options and individual reviews.

What is a web hosting service and how does it work?

A web hosting service is an online platform that serves as a home for your website. It’s a server, part of a server or virtual machine that you rent that acts as a host for the structure and content of your site, including the physical storage location of all the files and data that make it up. 

After you’ve uploaded files to the host, the hosting platform then serves your site to visitors (as well as making it crawlable by search engines). This necessitates not only the physical storage space for your site’s data but also the bandwidth to push content to visitors, as well as all the resources to ensure that your site remains secure and available. 

Benefits of a web hosting service

While it’s technically possible to host a website yourself, a hosting service provides a number of important benefits.

  • Storage and bandwidth: A web hosting server provides the physical storage for your data as well as the bandwidth needed to serve your site to visitors, which can be considerable depending on traffic.
  • Technical expertise: A web hosting service provides all the technical expertise necessary to maintain a live website, as well as the hardware on which it lives and the software that makes serving it possible.
  • Security features: Web hosting platforms supply encryption and security services to ensure that your data and your user’s data remain secure and private, and they also protect your site from web attacks, malware and other bad actors.
  • E-commerce tools: For sites with e-commerce intent, many web hosting services will provide crucial infrastructure to support your business. This can include everything from inventory management systems to tools for processing transactions online, building appealing product pages or enabling domestic and international shipping.
  • Site builders: Many web hosting platforms will also include the tools to actually build your website. These tools can range from basic HTML coding interfaces to visual GUI with drag-and-drop functionality. They may also offer templates or themes that serve as a basic scaffolding that you can then add to or modify to create a personalized site. Some advanced website builders include AI tools that can help you build your site or even generate content to fill its pages.
  • Domain names: Beyond hosting your site, many web hosts will provide a custom domain name to individualize it. Some provide a custom domain as part of their subscription packages, while others will register a domain for you for an additional fee.
  • Email: Another common service provided by web hosts is custom email linked to your domain, so you don’t have to rely on a generic email provider for things like support queries or business correspondence through your site.

Who needs a web hosting service?

Anyone who’s serious about launching a website will likely need to rely on a web hosting service at some point. A paid web hosting service is often the best solution for any professional site, whether it’s for a business, an e-commerce store or even a complex personal site that requires significant storage or bandwidth. 

A web host is essential for running an online business where you expect to process a significant number of transactions. Anytime you’re accepting payment information from customers, you want to ensure that data is private and secure, and many web hosting services provide e-commerce solutions that can simplify a lot of the more complicated elements of selling goods online. 

How to choose the best web hosting service

Selecting the best web hosting platform for your needs will hinge on the kind of site you want to operate and what specific services you require.

Key features to look for

There are some top-level decisions you need to make before you settle on the right web hosting service. These include:

  • Type of hosting: You first need to decide if you’re okay with shared (often called web) hosting, which is usually the least expensive option but requires you to share resources with other users. This generally means more limited storage, bandwidth, number of sites and performance, at least compared to other kinds of hosting. Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is the next step up and gives you access to a virtual machine with expanded resources. The most powerful (and most expensive) option is dedicated hosting, where you have full access to a server that’s wholly yours, with all the performance and exclusive resources that entails.
  • Site builder: If you’re not migrating an existing site or have access to a third-party site builder, choosing a web host with an included site builder is key. You’ll also want to decide if you need an approachable, easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor or if you’re ok with an HTML editor and what features are most important in an editor.
  • Integrations: Depending on your plans for your site, you may require specific web apps, APIs, widgets or other software integrations. If you are leaning heavily on third-party integrations, you may also want to prioritize a web host that includes one-click installations. 

Customer service

Building and maintaining a website can be a very involved process, and the complexity increases if you’re also running an online store or business. There will likely be times when you have questions or need support, and so customer service is an important dimension of any web hosting platform. 

The best hosting services will provide robust 24/7 support through a number of channels and be responsive and knowledgeable whenever you need assistance. Access to online databases of solutions to common issues or community support can also be a welcome lifeline when you’re struggling with design or maintenance. 

Software integrations 

Software integrations can vastly expand your site’s functionality. There are thousands of online resources available through web applications and other software integrations, and they can make the difference between a basic, unremarkable site and a destination that visitors return to repeatedly. 

Software integrations are especially important for e-commerce sites. Whether it’s checkout support or platforms for product and inventory management, there are software integrations designed to handle every phase of an e-commerce transaction. You need a web host that will play nice with your preferred commerce platforms if you want to run an online store, especially if they don’t include built-in support for e-commerce as a part of their platform or site builder.

How much does a web hosting service cost?

Web hosting services can vary hugely in price, though at the most basic level, there are some factors that will determine how much you’ll pay. The most important factor is the type of hosting you need. 

  • Shared web hosting will always be the least expensive, and you can expect to pay somewhere in the $5 to $10 per month range for the lowest tier of shared hosting. 
  • VPS hosting is typically more expensive and may run somewhere in the $10 to $50 per month range or more, depending on your needs. 
  • Dedicated hosting is the most expensive and can easily cost in excess of $100 per month or much more for enterprise hosting. 

However, these prices can vary widely even within a single hosting platform and type of hosting, depending on how many sites you want to host, how much bandwidth and storage you need, and what features you prioritize. 

There are also broad variations in pricing for other types of hosting, like managed WordPress or e-commerce hosting, and less expensive options like email hosting or cloud hosting (Hostwinds, for instance, offers 10 different tiers of cloud hosting options).

The other most critical factor in how much a hosting service will cost is the length of the plan you sign up for. Most hosts will offer significant discounts, often of 50% or more, if you sign up for an annual plan instead of a monthly plan or even greater discounts if you pay for multiple years of hosting upfront. Also, many web hosts will offer a low introductory fee for the first month, several months or a year, and the rate will increase when the plan renews.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The best web hosting provider will depend on your answer to a number of critical questions:

  • What’s your website’s intent? Personal, business, e-commerce?
  • What kind of hosting do you require: shared, VPS, WordPress, dedicated or something else?
  • Are you migrating an existing website? Do you need a website builder?
  • What features or software integrations are essential to your site?
  • How much traffic do you need to serve? How important are storage space and bandwidth?

While most of the providers we’ve included on our list are suitable for a number of different use cases and provide a wide range of hosting options, GoDaddy may be the best option for an e-commerce site, while TMD Hosting offers a deep library of integrations. Price is also an important factor and will vary depending on your answers to the above questions.

You can host a website for free, and there are some reputable free web hosting providers out there. However, most free hosts will severely restrict some elements of their service, like bandwidth or storage, or won’t include many of the features that paid web hosting services generally do.

Also, a lot of the free web hosting services are essentially trials for subscription services provided by the same companies. In that case, those services may be a good way to experiment with a web host before you commit to a long-term contract or paid plan.

It’s definitely possible to host multiple websites on a single server or through a single web hosting plan. However, a lot of web hosts will require you to upgrade to a higher tier of their service if you want to host multiple sites, often to the top one or two tiers if you want the ability to host unlimited sites.

Migrating a site to a new host manually can be a complicated and sometimes onerous process and involves transferring files, databases, applications, and more, as well as establishing permissions and managing configurations and records.

Many web hosting platforms, however, will handle a large portion of the transfer process for you or at least assist in the process to make it as smooth and painless as possible.

There are a number of hosts that include migration for free with their paid plans. If you do plan to migrate your site, it’s crucial that you research those factors before choosing your new host and plan accordingly. A smooth migration can be the difference between a painless, low-impact transition and a major disruption that can cost you time and money and cause innumerable headaches.

Security is one of the most important considerations for any online service or website, but especially for businesses and e-commerce platforms. The most important security features include:

  • SSL certificates, which authenticate and encrypt data transfers between servers and end users.
  • DDoS protection to safeguard your site against denial of service attacks that bring it offline or slow transfer speeds to a crawl.
  • Malware protection to ensure your site isn’t infected with dangerous software that can hijack its functionality or expose your data or your user’s data.
  • Data backup to ensure that a catastrophic loss of data doesn’t require you to rebuild your entire site from the ground up.

Related Posts