Updated: February 1st, 2019

We are professional web designers and developers who use every major web hosting company for our client websites (and our own!), giving us plenty of firsthand experience on each of the companies listed on this site.

Our rankings are based on a combination of server speed, monthly cost, customer service, server uptime, and overall ease of use.

If you are in a hurry and don’t want to read through everything, just scroll down and you will notice that all of our actual websites (including this one) are on our two favorite hosts: A2 Hosting & WPEngine. We explain why.

If you have any questions or recommendations, please send us a quick message.

 Best Overall: A2 Hosting

We use A2 Hosting for the majority of our own sites, including the one you’re on, and always first recommend it to our clients because it really is the best bang for your hosting buck (especially if you want to host multiple sites on a shared hosting plan).

A2 Hosting has one of the fastest website load times of any of the hosting companies we use, both the monthly and annual pricing are extremely competitive, uptime is great, customer service is easily accessible, it’s easy to use, and their shared hosting plans include unlimited websites.

  • Cost: $3.92 / Mo
  • Uptime: 99.92%
  • Load Time: 472ms (2nd In Speed)
  • Multiple Sites: Yes
  • 24/7 Chat Support: Average 5 Min Response
  • Free SSL: Yes
Host with A2 Hosting ->Read Review ->

 Best WordPress: WPEngine

When performance and reliability truly matter for a WordPress website, it’s a smart idea to use a Managed WordPress hosting account, and WP Engine is by far my favorite managed WordPress hosting company. I first found them when a site of mine was bursting at the seams with traffic, causing other servers to crash, and I’ve not left them since.

They are a little bit pricier each month (plans start at $29 a month), but we religiously use WP Engine for all of our important (or high traffic) WordPress websites because of their bulletproof uptime, load speed, enhanced security, simple access to customer service, and backup features.

  • Cost: $29.95 / Mo
  • Uptime: 99.99% (Tied 1st)
  • Load Time: 150ms (Fastest)
  • Automatic Backups: Yes
  • 24/7 Chat Support: Under 1 Minute Response (1st)
  • Free SSL: Yes
Host with WPEngine ->Read Review ->

 Best Value: Bluehost

Another of our absolute favorite web hosting companies is [eafl id=”1396″ name=”Blue Host” text=”Bluehost”], which provides you a great overall balance of site speed, uptime, price (annual or monthly), customer service, and one of our favorite features for people who are just starting out: a free domain name with purchase.

[eafl id=”1396″ name=”Blue Host” text=”Bluehost’s”] load time is 3rd overall in our comparative tests (which is one of the biggest factors we care about), while their uptime is near the top, setup is very simple, and their pricing is some of the least expensive that we review.

While Bluehost’s $3.95 / mo plan will perfectly suit most web users, those who plan on using multiple domains and e-mail addresses should opt for their Prime package, which is currently $5.95 /mo (two dollars more). If you’re looking for a awesome value, a free domain, and perfectly respectable grades (Top 3) on everything that matters, [eafl id=”1396″ name=”Blue Host” text=”Bluehost”] is a solid web hosting company for your website.

  • Cost: $3.95 – $5.95 / Mo
  • Uptime: 99.91%
  • Load Time: 520ms (3rd In Speed)
  • Multiple Sites: Yes (w/ Prime)
  • 24/7 Chat Support: Avg Response 7 Min
  • Free E-Mail: Yes (Unlimited w/ Prime)
  • Free Domain Name: Yes
  • Free Site Backup: Yes (w/ Prime)
Host With Bluehost ->Read Review ->

 Most Included For Price: Siteground

[eafl id=”1394″ name=”Siteground” text=”Siteground”] has always been a pleasure to work with for our client websites and they include more overall features within their basic plan (“Startup”) for $3.95 / mo than others do at the same price point, including: free cloudflare, e-mail, site transfer, SSD storage, and a free SSL certificate.

These extra included features and [eafl id=”1394″ name=”Siteground” text=”Siteground’s”] loadtime (586ms) brings them to 5th on our list, and #1 for anyone looking to those little extras for the price. The drawback for [eafl id=”1394″ name=”Siteground” text=”Siteground”] is that their $3.95 / mo plan limits you to 1 website, 10GB of storage, and around 10,000 monthly visitors (which is actually way more than most websites get, but still, we hate limitations).

For an extra $2, or $5.95 / mo, you can upgrade to [eafl id=”1394″ name=”Siteground” text=”Siteground’s”] Growbig plan, which allows for multiple websites, 20GB of storage, roughly 25,000 monthly visitors, and includes free backup service and their “Super Cacher” to help speed up your website.

  • Cost: $3.95 – $5.95 / Mo
  • Uptime: 99.94%
  • Load Time: 586ms (5th In Speed)
  • 24/7 Chat Support: Average 2 Min Response
  • Free SSL: Yes
  • Free Cloudflare: Yes
  • Free E-Mail: Yes
  • Free Site Transfer: Yes
  • Money Back: 30 Day Guarantee
host with SiteGround ->Read Review ->

Cheapest Hosting: iPage Hosting

[eafl id=”1650″ name=”iPage” text=”iPage”] is seriously an excellent value for everything you get. At $1.99 a month, they’re the cheapest hosting company that we would recommend to anyone and you get a ton of included perks, like a free domain name, 1 e-mail address, website builder (with 1,000 included themes), can host unlimited websites, and access to their fairly robust app suite.

The only reason [eafl id=”1650″ name=”iPage” text=”iPage”] isn’t higher on our list — or even our number one recommended, is we are speed freaks (…because Google is) and [eafl id=”1650″ name=”iPage” text=”iPage’s”] load times are slower (900ms) compared to some of the other hosting options.

[eafl id=”1650″ name=”iPage” text=”iPage”] Hosting’s setup process is pretty straightforward (even for beginners) and their control panels are relatively easy to use. Coming in at 12 minutes, [eafl id=”1650″ name=”iPage” text=”iPage’s”] customer service response time is a little slower than most of our web hosting recommendations, but it’s a small tradeoff given their pricing and everything you get in even the most basic hosting plan.

  • Cost: $1.99 / Mo (3 Year Plan)
  • Uptime: 99.80%
  • Load Time: 900ms (8th In Speed)
  • Multiple Sites: Yes
  • Free E-Mail: Yes
  • Free Domain: Yes
  • Free Website Builder: Yes
  • 24/7 Chat Support: Avg Response 12 Min
Host With iPage ->Read Review ->

Best Cloud Hosting: Hostgator Cloud

It’s important to make clear that we are recommended [eafl id=”1393″ name=”Host Gator” text=”Hostgator Cloud”], which is a relatively new premium offering by [eafl id=”1393″ name=”Host Gator” text=”Hostgator”], and not to be confused with their original Hostgator Shared (which is a little slow, to be honest).

[eafl id=”1393″ name=”Host Gator” text=”Hostgator”] is a very reputable web hosting company with millions of website customers who enjoy near perfect uptime (99.99%), free migration services, and a simpler-than-normal backend interface for those who are relatively new to working with their websites.

Fortunately, [eafl id=”1393″ name=”Host Gator” text=”Hostgator”] now offers a product — [eafl id=”1393″ name=”Host Gator” text=”Hostgator Cloud”], which solves the primary complaint that we’ve always has about their Shared plan, in that it was way too slow compared to similarly priced competitors. Their Cloud product cuts the average load time from 1020ms (Shared) to a perfectly respectable 545ms. Combined with free migration services, ease of use, and a still affordable price, Hostgator Cloud is worth considering for those who need a little help with their hosting setup.

  • Cost: $4.95 / Mo
  • Uptime: 99.99% (Tied 1st)
  • Load Time: 545ms (4th In Speed)
  • Multiple Sites: Yes
  • 24/7 Chat Support: Average Response 4 Min
  • Guarantee: 45 Days Money Back
Host With HostGator ->Read Review ->

Most Earth Friendly: Dreamhost

[eafl id=”1397″ name=”Dream Host” text=”Dreamhost”] is another perfectly great hosting company with more than acceptable marks in load time (931ms), uptime (99.72), and customer service response time (under 5 minutes). Like several of our other top recommended web hosting companies, [eafl id=”1397″ name=”Dream Host” text=”Dreamhost”] also offers a free domain, free SSL certificate, and offers an impressive 97 day money back guarantee (seriously, who takes that long to decide?).

Also, while other web hosting companies claim to offer you “unlimited bandwidth,” [eafl id=”1397″ name=”Dream Host” text=”Dreamhost”] actually delivers on this promise (with a few exceptions, like not using it to host content you don’t own, redirects, or file sharing).

But none of that is why they made our list. Afterall, they’re a little more expensive and slower than some of our other recommendations. What makes [eafl id=”1397″ name=”Dream Host” text=”Dreamhost”] different from the rest is that they’re committed to reducing their impact on the earth by way of being a carbon-neutral, LEED Platinum and EnergyStar-certified, do everything possible (including allowing employees to work remotely) kind of company.

Hell, they even have in office composting. That’s commitment!

  • Cost: $7.95 / Mo
  • Uptime: 99.72%
  • Load Time: 931ms (9th In Speed)
  • Multiple Sites: Yes
  • 24/7 Chat Support: Average Response 5 Min
  • Free SSL: Yes
host with Dreamhost ->Read Review ->

 Most Established: InMotion Hosting

[eafl id=”1648″ name=”InMotion” text=”InMotion”] is one of the oldest, largest and most established web hosting companies we recommend. And if a company’s history and corporate stability is something that you consider when selecting your website’s home, [eafl id=”1648″ name=”InMotion” text=”InMotion”] is an excellent “old guard option” that still does a great job doing what brought them customers in the first place.

Let’s explain that one. Often times the longer a company has been around, and especially the more customers they have, they end up losing their competitive edge and get into the habit of investing more into marketing than they do their products (…yea, we’re talking to you, GoDaddy).

[eafl id=”1648″ name=”InMotion” text=”InMotion”] seems to have avoided that pitfall and still does a great job overall. Their customer service is on point, uptime is solid, and their load time is 6th out of our top 10. If you’re considering [eafl id=”1648″ name=”InMotion” text=”InMotion”], they’re a perfectly great hosting company, though, with packages starting at $6.39 a month, you could scroll up our list of recommended web hosts and find more for less. 

  • Cost: $6.39 / Mo
  • Uptime: 99.95%
  • Load Time: 696ms (6th In Speed)
  • Multiple Sites: 2 w/ Starter Plan
  • 24/7 Chat Support: Avg Response 4 Minutes
  • Free SSL: Yes
  • Free Domain: Yes
  • Free E-Mail: Yes
Host With Inmotion ->Read Review ->

Most Feel Good: A Small Orange

If you’re the kind of person who prefers credit unions over big banks, organic over normal (I guess that’s what you’d call it?), and subscribe to the whole “do no evil” mentality, then it makes sense perfect that your web hosting company should fall in line with your core values as well.

[eafl id=”1649″ name=”A Small Orange” text=”A Small Orange”] is exactly that kind of community-oriented web hosting company, the one who prefers integrity over profits, gives non-profits discounts, and has a company culture that puts their employees’ well-being in high importance.

But how do they stack up as a hosting company? [eafl id=”1649″ name=”A Small Orange” text=”A Small Orange”] isn’t the cheapest, nor the fastest, nor do they have all the bells and whistles of some of their competitors (…a bit like using a Credit Union vs a major bank), but they are a perfectly respectable web host with fairly decent load times, uptime, and the kind of customer service that makes you feel like they’ll remember your kid’s birthday and offer you a slice of pie come summer time.

  • Cost: $5.92 / Mo
  • Uptime: 99.95%
  • Load Time: 806ms (7th In Speed)
  • Multiple Sites: Yes
  • 24/7 Chat Support: Less Than 10 Minutes
  • Free SSL: Yes
Host With A Small Orange ->Read Review ->

Best SEO Monitoring Toolset: SEMRush

While I’d love to take credit for being some kind of a world class SEO expert, most of what I do for both our client websites, and our own projects, is based on the extensive recommendations and daily tracking that [eafl id=”1388″ name=”SEMRush” text=”SEMRush”] offers in their powerful toolsets.

And that’s exactly why I’d recommend others to sign up for [eafl id=”1388″ name=”SEMRush” text=”SEMRush”] and do the same. While you do have to interpret the data and make the changes to your site(s) yourself, [eafl id=”1388″ name=”SEMRush” text=”SEMRush”] gives you the information and guidance you need to be successful.

  • Cost: $99.95 – $199.95 / Mo
  • Competitor Analysis: Yes
  • Daily SEO Recommendations: Yes
  • Keyword Tracking: Yes
  • Reports For Clients: Yes
  • PPC Marketing Reports: Yes
Try SEMRush ->Read Review ->

Reading recommendations from HostingStartup.com helped me out tremendously by reminding me of the importance for all the things that make an excellent web host. We switched ours to A2 Hosting and now also recommend them to all of our clients.


We made this site because we learned the hard way how important your web hosting company is, especially when your site is knocked offline because a post went viral. Then again when it happens another 15 days in a row.