Welcome to the CNET 2020 directory of web hosting services. In this directory, we'll look at a few of the best web hosting providers like Bluehost, A2Hosting, Hostinger, DreamHost, HostGator, InMotion Hosting and more. In this evaluation of the best web hosting providers, we're featuring commercial web hosting companies that offer WordPress, VPS, shared hosting and many more web hosting services, along with a variety of annual and monthly plans.
As longtime website owners and hosting nerds, we've been asked often: "Which web host is your personal favorite?" We recently decided to take this question seriously — exhaustively testing accounts with all the best web hosting services to analyze their uptime, features, pricing, support, and more. So who do we believe offers the best web hosting? See below for our top reviews of 2020, conveniently broken out by category:
This is where an email host like SiteGround can be a winning deal for individuals. SiteGround will give you a free domain name, where you get unlimited email hosting that’s compatible with most all major email and webmail clients (RoundCube, Outlook, SquirrelMail, etc.). Your email is secured with integrated anti-SPAM protection, and you can easily manage your account via cPanel, the web’s leading control panel for hosting.
Before we get into this, let’s clear something up, while a lot of people are looking and asking around for the top domain hosting services, domain hosting isn’t actually a thing. The term is a combination of “domain name”, and “web hosting”. What most people mean with domain hosting, is generally the setup of a website, and it’s url or domain name.
You can also host your website on WordPress.com, but that's different from the kind of hosting mentioned above. WordPress.com uses the same code from WordPress.org, but it hides the server code and handles the hosting for you. In that sense, it resembles entries in our online site builder roundup. It's a simpler but less flexible and customizable way to approach WordPress hosting. It's definitely easier, but if you want to tinker and adjust and optimize every aspect of your site, it might not be for you.
Shared hosting with Hostwinds has unlimited bandwidth and disk space. And this goes for all three of their packages, Basic, Advanced and Ultimate. That is why they are naming it Shared Unlimited Web Hosting. What all three plans offer is also a free dedicated IP address which not all hosting companies do. At least not in every plan they have in their portfolio. Hostwinds is definitely very unique in this regard. But there are other things they excel at, too. Like for example, the speed they offer you is lightning fast and support team amiable and trustworthy. Their tech support is at your service throughout the entire day.
A CDN is a massive network of servers all around the world that carry a cached version of your website, the main reason to have a CDN attached to your site is to maximise loading speeds no matter where the visitors are coming from. For example: If a visitor from France wants to browse the site, then the closest server or node to that location will serve the website, rather than the server in Canada doing all the work. Other benefits of having a CDN include protection against DDOS attacks and reducing your origin servers’ resource load.
SSL certificates are needed because they encrypt the data exchange between your website and the visitor’s browser, making it impossible for hackers to get access to this data. This is especially important if you store your customers’ credit card information. For a complete website hosting experience, HostPapa provides you with a Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate completely free of charge!
WordPress being as big as it is, chances are, you are probably using it for whatever online project you are running or plan to launch. If that is the case, Bluehost is one of the best web hosting providers for you. However, you do not have to limit yourself in any way, shape or form. You can use whatever other CMS and still be able to rule the online world with a fantastic web hosting service for a personal website like Bluehost is. Do what feels right for you and your website and Bluehost will take care of all the rest.
Great article, Paul! Definitely one of the best reads on web hosting that I've seen. I was pleasantly surprised to see Hostinger taking the first spot. In my opinion, they fully deserve all the praise that they get. Your example with the customer support test proves that point perfectly. No hidden tricks, no downtime, no long support waits. I'm really glad I decided to give them a shot a while ago. Cheers.