If you are looking for the best shared hosting companies, then look no further.
This article compares the best shared hosts on the market.
In this article we begin each summary with a breakdown of which plans are on offer and how they are priced before discussing the pros and cons related to their service.
We also sum up their features, what we like and dislike, and provide a comparison table so you can quickly and easily compare and contrast options.
At the end of this article we provide a buyers guide so that you too, can make the best decision on your next shared host. Be sure to check this section out as we have included key insights on the important features when considering a shared host.
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(Our recommendation for Best Speed & Performance)
This table ranks the best shared hosting providers whilst showing a few of the features and their entry-level pricing.
24/7 Hour Support
Free trial. From $3.95 per month
Free trial. From $3.95 per month
Free trial. From $3.92 per month
Free trial. From $6.39 per month
Free trial. From $4.99 per month
SiteGround has been in operation for many years and have perfected their shared hosting offer. You can expect the following from SiteGround: good speed, great features and integrations whilst maintaining a solid customer support system.
SiteGround offers three shared hosting packages for prospective users, ranging in price from $3.95 to $11.95. The differences between these packages relate to web space and traffic demands.
From their humble beginnings in Bulgaria, SiteGround are now thriving worldwide. For example, they even provide a fully serviced Spanish hosting service to cater for their many Spanish clients.
The main limitation with SiteGround is disk space. Unlike their competitors who focus limitations on traffic; SiteGround choose rather to limit the amount of disk space each user has. This means that if you plan to launch a website that requires large amounts of disk space for either videos or other content rich needs, you may struggle with SiteGround's disk space limitations.
SiteGround's move to limited disk space is however in line with new industry standards, where hosting company’s tend to no longer word their features as “Unlimited”, but rather as “Unmetered”.
In terms of shared hosting packages, Bluehost have three: Basic, Plus and Choice Plus. The prices for each range from $3.95 to $5.95 per month.
The Basic plan is specifically designed for users looking to only host one website. The plan comes with other limits, like the number of email accounts, storage and sub domains.
Where Bluehost offer great value is with their Choice and Choice Plus plans. Both include unlimited email accounts, storage, parked domains and sub domains. The differences between these two plans are the file backups and domain privacy.
Bluehost shared plans also include a Free Domain and SSL certificate.
All in all, Bluehost provides very affordably priced packages, solid customer support and their recently upgraded services mean that their uptime is as close to 100%!
Bluehost is one of the most affordable ways to launch a website whilst ensuring reliability, speed and performance are top notch. If you are looking for a solid shared hosting service, then you can't go wrong with Bluehost.
4/5 Overall Rating
A2 hosting has been providing hosting services since 2001, but previously operated under the name Inquinet.
They provide hosting services to a large audience that is spread across the United States, Europe and Asia with data centres in each. Their three data centres are setup in Michigan, Amsterdam and Singapore respectively.
A2 hosting has three shared hosting plans, the Lite, swift and turbo. Their Lite plan starts at $3.92, the Swift at $4.90 and the Turbo at $9.31 per month.
The main difference between these plans is speed, number of sites and databases. The Swift includes 2x more resources of the Lite, and the Turbo is up to 20x faster than their basic package.
Both the Swift and Turbo host an unlimited number of websites, only the Lite has hosting limitations with regards to the number of hosted sites and databases.
One thing that we really like about A2 is their use of Hackscan. Hackscan is a security software used by A2 to continuously scan and block attacks. This service ensures 24/7 scanning and monitoring of your website so that you know it is secure.
Overall, we have rated A2 as our preferred option if you are looking to get decent speed and performance from your shared hosting plan. Even their basic level provides very good uptime and response times.
If the speed and performance of your website is your main priority, then A2 hosting is for you.
4/5 Overall Rating
InMotion shared hosting plans provide great options for static websites and custom applications. Their drag-and-drop website builder will have you up and running in no time, not to mentioned the $15.99 that you will be saving when you receive your domain for free.
InMotion shared hosting packages are targeted to business, as opposed to bloggers. They offer three shared hosting packages, the Launch, Power and Pro plans. The most affordable plan being the Launch is offered at $6.39 per month and their Pro package comes in at $14.71 per month.
Plans vary according to how many sites can be hosted, what level of performance is on offer and what level of support you will receive. The standard offering on each plan includes features such as a free domain, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited emails, marketing tools, security suite and a free SSL. The key differences between the Launch and the Power plans, are that with the Power plan you will be receiving 2x the performance than that of the Launch plan as well as being able to host 6 websites opposed to the 2.
One drawback for us is that to actually receive the price as listed on their website for the Launch and Power plans, you will have to sign up for a minimum of 2 years. If you are a beginner and are not sure if you will be running your website for that long, then 2 years can seem like a long commitment.
You have the choice to commit either to a long term plan such as this, or to pay a higher fee for just a single year contract.
One great plus in our books is that if you would like to give their service on trial, you have 90 days within which to test their services and decide whether they are the hosting company for you. With a no questions asked refund policy within the 90 days, you don’t have to get into the Nitty Gritty of your experience, if you want to leave, then you do just that.
For this reason, InMotion comes in at our most trusted shared host.
4/5 Overall Rating
GoDaddy was founded in 1997 by Bob Parsons who sort to provide an alternative to internet domain monopolies. GoDaddy began and still mainly sells website address registration and currently boasts around 18 million customers, 8000 employees, 77 million domains under management and over 20 years of experience.
It goes with out saying that GoDaddy is a solid choice as a shared hosting provider. But what we really like is their feature-rich offers.
GoDaddy Hosting provides four shared hosting plans. These plans are named Economy, Deluxe, Ultimate and Business. Prices range from $4.99 per month for the Economy plan to $24.99 per month for the Business plan. All plans include 1GB database storage and 24/7 security sweeping, as well as DDoS protection.
GoDaddy allows for 1-click installation of over 125 free applications, although purchases of additional resources and setup tools for registered domains is also available.
The main differences between the more entry-level, Economy versus the Deluxe plan are related to storage and the number of websites which can be hosted. On the Deluxe plan you will be able to host an unlimited number of websites with unlimited storage, whereas on the Economy package, you’re hosting one website with 100GB of storage.
The Ultimate and Business Plans differ more in terms of performance. The Ultimate plan upgrades the processing power and memory of the Deluxe plan by 2x as well as provides a free SSL certificate for 1 year, free premium DNS and unlimited databases. The Business plan offers VPS power to your website with dedicated resources on top of the offerings in the Ultimate package.
One thing we don’t like is that there are many upsells built into the terms and conditions when signing up to GoDaddy. For example an SSL certificate ensures that your website is secure. Because Google wants to protect users, they will alert them if a website is not secure and because of this, many Hosts will include a free SSL certificate. Now here is the crux of the story, although GoDaddy provides an SSL certificate for free, it is only for the first year, after which it is renewable at $75 per year. This is only one upsell within their terms and conditions, so be sure to have a good read so that you know what the true long term cost of your plan will be.
A great take away is that although GoDaddy may have started with website registration and are better known for hosting, they really are able to serve as a multifaceted host because of the added applications and functionality they provide to small business owners. From the get-go your site will have access to over 125 applications and that is a great plus when getting started.
If you are looking for a host that will have almost all the plugins you need included in your starter package, then GoDaddy is the host for you.
Shared hosting is the most cost effective way to host a website.
In this buyers guide we will address several factors of importance when deciding on the best hosting plan for your site. Many new site owners don’t know what to look for when buying, so this guide is here to highlight some important factors for consideration.
We will cover speed and performance, customer support, features and finally price point.
Let us begin.
Speed and performance are critical when it comes to your hosting provider. The host needs to provide speed which is quick and stable as well as performance which is reliable. Fast speed and reliable performance will ensure that your site users have a great experience.
When we talk about speed, we are talking about the time between when a user requests your site information, till that information is displayed in their browser. You want the hosting server to respond as quickly as possible. A very good page load time is under 600ms, but a solid benchmark to aim for is 1 sec.
When we talk about performance being reliable we are talking about the uptime provided. A great uptime percentage indicates the time in which your server is in operation. If your server is down, then it will not be able to render your files when searched and therefore users will not be able to access your website. A good uptime percentage is above 99.97%
If you are not super technical, then good customer support is a very important factor. Any downtime, backups, crashes, payment issues or integration problems can be solved through the customer support section of your hosting service, but if their support sucks you may never get your issues resolved.
It’s no surprise therefore, that customer support is one of the leading deciding factors that we’ve listed in our buyer’s guide.
It’s not only important for customer service options to be available 24/7, but also for hosting companies to have knowledgeable customer staff. Many hosting companies have a 24/7 online chat function, but usually knowledgeable support is hard to find. Be sure to look carefully at the reviews on the support experience when choosing your host as this is critical.
Each hosting provider has their own collection of features on offer to their prospective clients. When it comes to entry-level shared hosting packages however, there are a few standard features which you can expect to be included.
Features such as the use of cPanel or alternatives, unmetered storage and bandwidth, a free SSL & SSD, free site migration as well as a variety of free applications (like one-click WordPress installation) are just a few that we recommend looking out for.
It's a good idea to compare the features of competitive plans so that you have a good idea of what is included, and what is excluded. Decide which features are going to be most beneficial to your site and then search packages according to which ones will service these needs the best.
Price is always going to play a role in any decision. If you are starting out and would like your budget to go as far as possible, then there are a few considerations to take into account. We will cover comparing plan prices, longer term prices and hidden costs.
Once you have narrowed down the features you need and found several plans which will be able to service these, it’s important to find the best price point. You can expect prices to range from about $2 - $6 per month on your entry-level shared hosting plans.
It is always important to note that the price shown on the website has a related term. Most hosting companies display their prices relating to a 2-3 year contract. If you wish to take out a yearly contract, you can expect a higher price than is shown as their leading offer.
Many hosting companies provide great deals in which they sign you on a 3 year contract, so that you can get the displayed price, but then have costs that are implemented from year 2 onwards. Watch out for wording like “Free for one year” because the second year will likely be a lot more expensive.
Devon is our resident online business and social media guru. With a background in digital marketing, Devon has worked in a consulting capacity helping small business scale their reach and engagement online. When not consulting or writing about online business, Devon can be found surfing in his hometown, Cape Town, South Africa.