There are many options for those who are looking to get their data hosted on the web. Some choose to go with dedicated hosting or managed hosting, but many have come to rely on shared hosting as their hosting method of choice.
Our goal is to provide those consumers with everything they need to find the right host for their business needs, starting with a close look at some of the best shared hosts out there.
Our guide provides users not only with a useful guide to hosting, but also to the pros and cons of working with shared hosting. If you’re ready to find a host, you’ll find all the information that you need to make an informed choice here.
List of 5 Best Shared Web Hosting Providers:
BlueHost benefits in more detail
With a special price of $2.75 a month, Blue Host has managed to create a shared hosting option that is not only incredibly inexpensive, but that’s incredibly compelling for the average user. Though it is lacking in some of the power user features that would recommend its competition, the host has created an experience that both suits individuals and provides businesses with the tools that they need to succeed.
BlueHost is also very big on security. Not only does it provide users with a free ssl certificate, but it also provides a suite of advanced security options that can help to keep any site a little bit safer. A special note should also be given to the protections given to protections given to WordPress sites, which does help to make BlueHost a home for the popular tool. With cyber-attacks on even small businesses on the rise, this is a feature that really can’t be hyped enough.
The customer support of the company is also quite notable. Not only does it offer a money back guarantee for the first month of your contract, but the round-the-clock customer service has proven to be one of the most effective on the market today. Given the importance of good customer service, this is a really major selling point.
Though it is a very reliable service, Blue Host isn’t going to win any awards when it comes to speed. Given that no one wants to deal with their web browser loading forever just to get to a site, this can be a big problem for your site’s eventual ranking. It’s not the slowest host on the web, but neither is it a contender for the top spot.
DreamHost benefits in more detail:
With a low price of under three dollars a month, DreamHost offers one of the most affordable shared hosting plans on the market today. Though it lacks some of the features of the more expensive players, it provides a solution that is ideal for small businesses and for those looking for their first web hosting service.
The shared hosting package does, however, have more to offer than just a low price. With truly unlimited bandwidth and disk space, it is the perfect choice for those who are looking to not only create a hit site but to grow a large audience. This is the kind of hosting feature you’d traditionally see for a higher cost, now well within the reach of the average consumer.
DreamHost is also notable because of how easy it makes content management, especially for new users. Not only does it have instant WordPress integration, but the system also uses a very easy-to-understand backend. The content management system really feels designed for the kinds of new users who are just getting their toes wet in the world of web hosting.
One of the biggest problems that most are going to have with Dream Host is, oddly enough, that same content management system. Since the host does not use cPanel, many users who have grown to understand that system are going to have a hard time making the switch. Given the fact that DreamHost also lacks 24/7 support that means more mistakes and more time spent fixing them.
Hostinger benefits in more detail:
At just under three dollars a month, you’re definitely not going to find a shared web host that’s any cheaper than Hostinger. And, you get unlimited bandwidth and unlimited database. What you might not expect, though, is the level of quality that you’ll get from the host despite its low price. Quick and agile, it’s one of those hosts that really goes above and beyond its reputation for having a bargain price.
One of the best parts about using this host is that it’s easy. It really does seem like it’s geared towards those who have never used any kind of hosting platform before, so you don’t have to worry about your familiarity with the ins and outs of particular operating systems or programming languages. Everything really seems to be in place to ensure that you can get your site up and running as quickly as possible.
Quick is another one of those key terms that always comes to mind with this host. It’s not quite as fast as the fastest hosts out there, but it’s much faster than the budget price would suggest. If you’re looking for something that’s going to help you to keep consumers who are likely to bounce away from your site after a long loading period, you’ll love what you find here.
The real downside to Hostinger is that you don’t get access to cPanel. While this might not be a big deal to those who have never used it before, not getting something that’s the industry standard is definitely a problem for many. It’s a decision that makes sense in context, but it’s definitely going to turn off some consumers.
HostGator benefits in more detail:
HostGator is definitely one of those names that you know if you’ve spent any time in the world of hosting. It has a number of different hosting plans ranging from VPS hosting to shared hosting and it’s advertised pretty much everywhere. At $2.95 a month, though, it is definitely worth a look.
One of the standout features of HostGator is also one of its most advertised – it is incredibly fast. Given the importance of site speed when it comes to user retention, this is one of those features that matters much more than many who aren’t versed in the SEO world think. In fact, it’s probably the biggest selling point that you’re going to find for this host.
It’s a shame that so many people are focused on speed, though, because they miss out on just how flexible this host is. It easily supports many programming languages as well as the WP engine, so you really can do more here than you could with many other hosts. It’s also got unlimited storage so you can feel safe hosting your website regardless of its size.
In general HostGator has great customer support. Occasionally they may take longer to get back to their customers with more complicated technical issues such as incompatibility of PHP upgrade for some plugins. The rising price after the first year is also a problem for many, so make sure that you know what you’re getting into before your budget takes a big hit at the end of the trial period.
IONOS benefits in more detail:
IONOS comes recommended as one of the cheapest hosting alternatives on the net, but don’t let the price fool you – it’s actually a well-regarded platform that does offer even power users a number of great features. It may not quite hang with the options at the top of the list, but it provides some excellent options for those who are really looking to grow their sites.
It’s almost impossible to talk about IONOS without first talking about the price. At one dollar per month, it’s among the lowest-priced options out there. That price includes hosting and a one-year, one-dollar option for domain names as well.
Aside from price, one of the places where IONOS really stands out is in the field of scalability. If you’re looking to grow your website, this is the host that really has the most options. Need more bandwidth, more memory, or just more ways to make your site excel? IONOS is going to help you find what you need and help you with implementation.
One of the really great features of the host is that it has great customer service. It’s available around the clock and all of the representatives are both knowledgeable and helpful. It’s really the kind of service that you ought to expect from every provider but that you rarely actually get.
There are, however, a few problems with IONOS. The biggest one for those drawn to the price of the host is that the prices always go up after a year – sometimes significantly. If you know that you’re going to be running your site for more than a year, you’re going to need to find somewhere else to grab your domain name because the price rises more than most might expect.
IONOS occasionally has some processing issues on the shared hosting end. It’s not enough to impact reliability, but it is enough to make you feel like you’re not operating off of the latest and greatest systems. You do, in many ways, get what you are paying for here.
What is shared web hosting?
If you’ve ever owned a private website, you’ve probably dealt with shared web hosting in the past. Shared web hosting is, for the most part, exactly what it sounds like – a type of hosting that allows multiple consumers to use the same shared servers in order to more economically have their websites hosted. Instead of having to provide a single server for each consumer, the shared web host companies provide single machines that can efficiently house and access the data for numerous customers.
This not only allows more people access to server space, but it also spreads the cost for operation and maintenance across a larger consumer base. Shared hosts offer a rather reliable experience for most customers, as having a dedicated server for a single site is likely to be overkill for most. This model has proven wildly successful since the earliest days of the consumer-facing portions of the internet, with thousands of different shared service providers helping their customers to create the kind of online presence that simply wouldn’t be affordable for them in a world of only dedicated machines.
Given the generally flexibility of this kind of server, the shared host model has come to dominate the online spaces for businesses across a broad number of industries.
Pros & Cons of shared web hosting
The biggest pro to using shared hosting is definitely the cost. It’s simply more economical to split the cost of hosting among many users and you’ll get more for your money when doing so. You’ll also get a degree of speed and security that you might not be able to afford on your own, as these larger shared hosts can also afford to upgrade to the latest and greatest technologies.
In many ways, choosing shared hosting is choosing to grab a fractional share in a much more expensive type of hosting. The right host will give you access to major benefits, from a free domain to free site migration. The pricing really gets you access to more for your money.
The downsides, though, tend to be more obvious to those who would consider themselves power users. Not only does the shared hosting model remove a great deal of control from the user, but it also means that users have to share in the stresses and faults that come from sharing space with others.
If a cyber-attack is launched against a particular host because of its relationship with one business, for example, all of the hosted businesses will be impacted. This is also something that tends to impact customer service – when there’s a web server problems, you’ll find yourself waiting in line to talk to someone to fix the problem since you’re not the only one dealing with this host.
What to look in shared hosting before your purchase
- Uptime. Simply put, how often is the host down and how quickly does it come back up. You need a host that’s going to be reliable.
- Disk Space. Does it offer enough for your needs? Do higher-paid tiers come with more storage space? What kind of limits might you run into?
- Hosting Packages. What are you getting for your money? Does your package include all the features that the host boasts, or are you going to have to buy them piecemeal?
- Security. Does it include SSL? What other security features does it have? What does it lack?
- Customer Support. What happens when something goes wrong?
- Control Panel. Do you get access to the control panel? Is it industry-standard, or something proprietary?
- Individual Features. Does it allow you to utilize WordPress hosting? What about email support? What are you paying for?
- Migration Support. If you need to migrate over an old site, how will that work? What roadblocks are going to be in your way and how will the host help you?
- Ease of Use. How technically proficient do you need to be to get started? Do you need to be an expert or will it walk you through the process?
- Price. How much is it going to cost you? How long is that price going to last?
Final Verdict – Shared Hosting and You
Shared hosting is an amazing resource, one that has many good reasons to be recommended over options like virtual private server vps services. If you’re going to go with shared hosting, though, you definitely want to make sure that you’ve chosen the right one for your needs.
HostGator joins DreamHost as a full-featured hosting service, one that’s great for businesses and individuals alike. It provides a little more freedom in terms of usage, and it has great customer support.
IONOS is a solid, useful hosting platform that might not have all the bells and whistles as their more expensive counterparts. It has everything an individual user needs to host his site. They have fantastic plans for various options to meet your needs.
No matter what option you pick, you’ll get the benefits that come from a shared hosting solutions. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to check out our summaries of each to see which ones work best for you. With the right host, you can grow your site and accomplish all of your online goals.