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Investing in a reliable web host is a big decision, because it impacts how your site runs for the next year or two, or however many years you remain with the web host. If you have a concern with a host, there is no reason to stick with it just because you have a bundle.

While not a good solution for beginners, virtual private servers offer ideal computing resources and scalability for those who are comfortable managing advanced settings. Check out our reviews of the top VPS options. see all reviews »

Founded over 13 years ago, Bluehost is regarded as the best web hosting company for beginners and small businesses. As a customer, I can vouch for the fact that they offer a great service at a very affordable price.

If you have a WordPress web site, InMotion not only provides you with a WordPress-optimized hosting plan, but also pre-installs WordPress, offers free themes, and includes a free drag-and-drop website builder. Given its US support and culture, InMotion is a company we’d recommend first for users based in the US. Read More

Finally, we ordered the remaining web hosts by overall rating (based on third-party verified reviews) and gave additional points to web hosting companies that had the following perks. These shouldn’t be deal breakers in your search for a web host, but they are nice-to-haves:

1&1 Hosting provides a wide range of hosting services, along with a full e-commerce stack, domain name registration, Office 365 solutions, and online marketing programs. What sets the company apart is their first-year hosting price of less than a buck a month. This is the least expensive hosting program we’ve seen, although the price does go up after that first year.

Website builder hosting: Website builders are a means of creating basic to elaborate websites with little or no coding involved. This is a popular option for businesses without their own web team. Wix, Weebly, and other website builders come standard with most shared hosting plans.

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Rather than storing data on physical servers, cloud customers are hosted on a connected network of virtual machines. The service is software-independent and perfect for folks who benefit from high availability and on-demand, pay-as-you-go resources. Ranked #1 for cloud-based VPS hosting, InMotion offers performance-enhancing SSDs, free data backups, and managed server options.

But low cost does not equate to low value. If you are a small business owner who only needs a site to boost your business’s online status and you plan for a moderate amount of visitors, shared plans are probably your best option.

And while the free hosts we recommend guarantee you can keep your free hosting as long as you’d like, you will want to take advantage of additional (paid) features as your site grows. Those same providers offer paid plans to upgrade your service, however, serious site owners should strongly consider opting for a reputed, affordable, full-featured hosting provider.

Prior to our 2017 update, InMotion was one of our top picks, and it passed all of our criteria for an excellent web host this time around, too, beating out scores of other contenders. But of our four finalists, it ranks a solid fourth place. It’s the only one of our top picks to not send us an email response. And while we received all of the answers we needed from friendly phone and live chat reps, they didn’t go out of their way to help: If we had a question, they answered. If there was a natural follow-up question, they left it up to us to ask. They’re also the most expensive, and the only one that doesn’t offer any type of website building tool.

Your free account will never expire so long as your site has at least one visit each month. Free Web Hosting Area guarantees that “small sites” will never have an ad, or you can guarantee no ads for $1 per month.

Dedicated servers are used to power complex applications and high-traffic websites. You might also opt for one if you serve a large quantity of media, such as high-resolution images, audio files, and streaming video clips, or you see very high levels of traffic (or perhaps both are applicable). Dedicated hosting also provides the highest level of security and server customization possible. Also see: Colocation.

I am a very upbeat person in general. I don’t like negativity, and I won’t negative opinions on this website. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t seen a lot of poor service from various web hosts. On the contrary, I saw a lot! You just won’t find those web hosts here.

Uptime is the percentage of time that a server is operational. When you’re running a website, you want users to be able to access it at all times. When a server experiences downtime, your site would be unavailable, but ideally, this happens rarely. An industry-wide goal for how much uptime a server should have is “the five nines” – an uptime of 99.999%, meaning the system is highly reliable. However, 99.9% uptime is pretty standard and should more than suffice for the majority of hosting users.

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