With so much information online, anyone who wants their voice heard or product/service seen should consider developing their own website. Web hosting services provide the technology needed to put a site on the Internet.

Web hosting is different than website building, though some companies may offer both services. Because different hosting services offer different features, consumers can save money and have the best website for their purpose when they choose the right web hosting service.

Top 10 Best Rated Web Hosting

Located in Rolling Meadows, IL, Web Hosting Pad offers customers web hosting solutions at affordable prices. Along with their hosting solutions, the company also offers email accounts, domain names and marketing options.
Customers use FatCow for web hosting and domain registration. It also provides a number of other web-related services. The company was founded in 1998, and it's headquarters are in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Located in Houston, TX, HostGator specializes in shared, private, reseller and dedicated web hosting. The company was founded in 2002 by a student at Florida Atlantic University, and they currently host over 9 million websites.
1and1 provides web hosting services, email solutions and high-end servers in 10 different countries. Founded 26 years ago, the company handles many services including domain registration, site creation and technical support.
GoDaddy is an internet domain registrar & web hosting company that manages over 59 million domain names. It was founded in 1997 & serves over 12 million customers who purchase domain names from them for specified amounts of time.
Founded in 1994 in NY, Register.com is a company that primarily provides domain names. Beyond domains, Registrar.com offers web hosting, ecommerce solutions, online marketing and email marketing solutions.
Founded in 1979, Network Solutions is a web hosting company headquartered in Virginia. Network Solutions has managed more than 6.6 million domain names and offers domain hosting for $0.99 per month.
Located in Pleasanton, California, Arvixe Web Hosting offers a variety of web hosting services. The provider offers free site building technology, an online store, unlimited disk space, unlimited email accounts and free domains.
Created for businesses large and small, Hostway helps companies create and manage their company websites. The provider was founded in 1998, and it offers cloud hosting, email and managed hosting.
Founded over 30 years ago, Web.com helps customers build websites, social media pages, online marketing programs and e-commerce solutions. The company uses designers and writers versed in Google, Yahoo and Bing optimization.

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

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What features matter most?

Web design tools

Many business owners don’t have the time or inclination to build their own website from scratch. An alternative to paying big bucks for a professional web designer is to use your web host’s built-in web design tools to create your website.

  • Drag and drop functionality: If you can drag things where you want them, that’ll save time. Plus, you won’t need to know any web programming code to get your website up.
  • Easy image uploader: Websites are visual media, so make sure you can easily post pictures to your site.
  • Customizable menu with auto-populated contact tab: You’ll want these to make your website professional and easy to navigate.

Easy-to-use controls

No matter how great your web host’s other features are, you won’t get a lot out of them if you can’t figure out how to make them do what you want.

  • Easy access on sign-in: There should be an obvious place to click to access the control panel. Even better, some web hosting companies automatically load the control panel upon log-in to the host.
  • Clear labels with large icons: Once you access the control panel, the icons and labels should be easy to read and should tell you exactly where to click to access your email or upload files to your website.

One-click app installs

One-click installs allow you to add apps easily, so you won’t have to worry about manual installs or other technical details.

  • WordPress installation icon: With this feature, you just have to click the WordPress icon to install WordPress so that you can integrate your blog into your site.
  • One-click app shop: Your control panel should include an option to browse the one-click application store, choose an app that you want to install and click on it to add it to your website.

Significant storage and bandwidth

Even if your website is small now, it might grow tomorrow. You need a web host that offers large amounts of both storage and bandwidth so that it can continue to support your website once you expand it.

  • Bandwidth limits: Large bandwidth means you and your visitors can upload or download large amounts of data. Get a plan with a lot of bandwidth so that you won’t run into trouble when you start getting a ton of web traffic and repeat visitors.
  • Storage capabilities: Large amounts of storage allows you to upload multiple or large files. You’ll need to have storage in reserve for when you start to expand.

Ecommerce tools

Having built-in ecommerce tools makes it easier to set up an online store. Even if you’re planning on using your site only as a personal site, you’ll want this function in case you change your mind in the future.

  • Built-in shopping cart: The shopping cart tool allows users to add merchandise and pay for it all at once when they are done. Having a built-in cart allows you to add this function without having to code it yourself.
  • PayPal button: PayPal is one of most popular online payment processors; the built-in button allows users to pay via PayPal and transfers the payments directly into your PayPal account.

Unlimited mailboxes

You never know what email boxes you might need in the future. You’ll need extra email boxes if you decide to expand and hire employees, so you might as well get as many as you can without spending extra money.

  • Support for multiple email addresses on your domain: You should be able to set up email addresses such as info@yourbusiness.com in addition to your main email address for one flat fee so that you can create custom emails to meet your business’ needs.
  • Ability to check email on the go: Your email addresses should be easy to configure for mobile devices as well as for your desktop email client so that you can check all of your emails no matter where you are.

24/7 technical and customer support

You may not think you need customer support at 3 AM, but what if your website stops working or you’re hit by a hacker in the middle of the night? It’s best to go with a host that offers support 24/7 so that you can take care of emergencies whenever they occur.

  • Free customer support 24 hours a day: You should be able to access a live person to help you with problems no matter what time it is without paying extra. That way you can resolve emergencies at 3 AM or over the weekend without shutting down your site.
  • Quick response times: It doesn’t help to have customer support if you have to wait an hour once you call. Ideally, you should be able to get a quick response via email, chat or telephone.
  • Live chat: If you’re too busy to talk on the phone, support via instant message may be for you. You can IM with tech support while doing other things so that you can get your problem resolved.

What are the different types of web hosting packages?

Shared hosting

You share a web server with other websites and each pay a small fee for hosting privileges.

Reseller hosting

You have the right to resell some of the shared server space to other website owners and are given tools to help you do so.

Cloud hosting

Your website is stored on a cloud server, along with many other websites. You pay only for the portion of the cloud server that you use.

Virtual private server hosting

Although you use a shared server, you are allocated a specific amount of space on that server. Thus, other sites on the server don’t affect the performance of your site.

Dedicated server hosting

You pay extra in order to host your site on its own, private server. No other websites have space on the server other than your own.

Who's it for?

Bloggers

Bloggers may or may not have additional pages on their website other than their blog, or online diary. Some bloggers write personal blogs about themselves and their family, while others write about political or social issues. Bloggers need the ability to install blogging apps, post blogs, and respond to reader comments.

Small business owners

Small business owners use their website to attract customers, make sales, and grow their businesses. They need to be able to design an online store complete with a catalog and shopping cart. They may also want to install a blog or a sign-up form for an email mailing list.

Web hosting companies

Web hosting companies purchase reselling hosting packages, then resell hosting to other people who want to create their own website.

Artists and writers

Artists and writers often create a website using their name as a domain. They need the ability to upload lots of photos and PDF files. Also, they may need to install a blog and want to offer users the ability to download materials from their portfolio.

Personal website owners

Young people, college students, and others who just want to express themselves sometimes create websites. They may want a blog, want to embed videos, or want to add music to their site in order to aid in their self-expression.

Company reviews

  • WebHostingPad

    Founded in 2005, Webhostingpad.com offers shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting and domain names. Prices start at just $1.99 per month for new clients.

    • Unlimited features: Every hosting plan Webhostingpad.com offers includes a long list of unlimited features, including hosting space, bandwidth, email accounts, FTP accounts, subdomains and MySQL databases.
    • Email features: In addition to hosting, Webhostingpad.com customers enjoy convenient email features, such as email forwarding, auto-responders, secure POP3 & IMAP email and a guaranteed secure interface.
    • Free domain: New customers who order a web hosting account are eligible to receive a free year of domain registration from Webhostingpad.com. After the full year has passed, customers will have the option to renew at the regular yearly domain registration rate.
    • One click installs: Install useful tools such as WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal and others easily with Webhostingpad.com’s one-click script installer.
    • 24/7 support: No matter what hours you keep on your website, you can find support and answers to all of your web hosting questions with Webhostingpad.com. They offer support 24/7.
    • Best for Bloggers, website owners and small business owners.
  • Godaddy.com

    GoDaddy is one of the most popular web hosts in the world, and currently serves over 45 million domains. It is known for its low cost, domain name auctions, and its back-ordering policy for unavailable domains.

    • Best for Personal website owners, web hosting companies and bloggers.
  • Arvixe

    Arvixe is a fairly new web hosting company. Established in 2003, it now offers a wide range of web-hosting services. It is best known for offering free domain registration to customers throughout the entire client-business relationship.

    • Best for Bloggers, writers, artists, small business owners and web hosting companies.
  • Midphase

    MidPhase was originally created by three tech geeks in 1998 who wanted web designers to have the freedom to design sites the way they liked. Today, it has offices in various parts of the world dedicated to helping people and businesses get websites online and maintain them.

    • Best for Small business owners and website hosting companies.
  • HostGator

    HostGator provides web-hosting services to clients in more than 200 countries from its headquarters in Houston, Texas. It offers a variety of plans to meet different web hosting needs.

    • Best for Small business owners and website hosting companies.
  • AN Hosting

    AnHosting recently merged with MidPhase; it has been providing web-hosting services via its team of 100 employees for over a decade.

    • Best for Small business owners and website hosting companies.
  • Network Solutions

    Network Solutions offers customized web hosting plans. Customers choose the features they want and only pay for those, rather than paying for a plan that includes extra features they may not use.

    • Best for Bloggers, personal website owners, small business owners, artists and writers.
  • WestHost

    West Host provides flexible web hosting options at an affordable price for companies around the world. It focuses on offering a variety of hosting plans and excellent customer service.

    • Best for Small business owners and website hosting companies.

  • FatCow

    FatCow is an environmentally friendly web-hosting site that powers its servers with wind energy. It offers an all-in-one web hosting package for both personal and business website owners.

    • Best for Artists, writers, bloggers and small business owners.
  • Host Depot

    Host Depot has been providing web-hosting services for businesses since 1997. It offers a variety of web hosting packages, including dedicated server hosting as well as shared hosting.

    • Best for Personal website owners, bloggers, small business owners, writers and artists.

  • MochaHost

    MochaHost offers cheap web hosting options, including reselling hosting. It strives to offer affordable web hosting services, and has done so since 2002.

    • Best for Personal website owners, artists, writers and bloggers.

  • Yola

    With more than 10 million users worldwide and industry partners like Google and HP, Yola has become a top name in web hosting. They have been featured in publications like Forbes, BusinessWeek and The Wall Street Journal for their exceptional service.

    • Best for Small businesses, mid-sized businesses and personal website owners.
  • Superb Internet Corp.

    Superb Internet Corp. is one of the world's oldest web hosting companies, in business since 1996. Its IaaS services include cloud hosting, dedicated servers, web hosting, reseller hosting, a global Content Delivery Network and domain registration. Superb Internet operates a coast-to-coast IP backbone and has its own data centers in Virginia and Washington state, offering a 100% uptime guarantee Service Level Agreement.

    • Best for Enterprises, small business owners, bloggers, artists and writers.

  • HostIndia

    Host India has provided web hosting and related services to India-based customers since 1999.

    • Best for Startups and international businesses.

  • Webline Services

    Webline Services offers its customers all of the functionality they need at a price point that works for most budgets. Dedicated servers, VPS hosting and website security are just a few of the company's many offerings.

     

    • Best for Small businesses, mid-sized businesses, startups and personal website owners.

  • PeoplesHost

    PeoplesHost is a Web hosting company that specializes in a variety of services, including WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, shared hosting and dedicated hosting, as well as domain name selection. The shared and VPS hosting services are available on both the Windows and Linux platform. The company prides itself on delivering fast load times and offering a guaranteed 99.9 percent uptime with all of its Web hosting packages.

    • Best for Companies, organizations and individuals.

  • Hostway

    Hostway, founded in 1998, provides businesses with Internet-based solutions such as cloud hosting, email commerce and email hosting. They currently provide more than 400,000 hosted domains.

    • Best for Small and medium-sized businesses.

11 – 19 Best Rated Web Hosting

Known for affordable domain and hosting services, Midphase is a web hosting company founded in 1998. It has headquarters across the world, including Providence, Salt Lake City, London, Lviv and Cochin.
Yola is a web hosting company founded in Cape Town in 2007. In addition to hosting websites, they offer website building technology that can help consumers develop personal and business websites.