Alexandra Leslie’s interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings to the table firsthand experience in reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.

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:
From hosting your personal website to actually building one, HostGator has you covered with everything. The quickest start out there. Meanwhile, if you already have a website and a domain name, they are happy to transfer both for you. Having it all in one place to operate and manage is very advantageous. If you might be scrolling up and down this collection and are not 100% sure which hosting company fits you perfectly, HostGator might be the way to go. It is an all-in-one solution for a prosperous web appearance.
HostGator has great shared plans ready for every individual, as well as exclusive WordPress packages. By being one of the leading hosting companies in the world, HostGator gives you a lot for your buck. Picking the cheapest option, their Basic shared plan is a flexible web hosting solution for a personal website. Like with every other plan, you get a free website builder, zero-cost page transfer and $200 marketing budget. You can use the latter with Google and Bing for a quick boost.

To sweeten the deal, all of InMotion's plans come with a ton of great free features that other services might charge extra for – think malware and DDoS protection, basic backups, 'spam-safe' email and a WordPress-based website builder (if you're looking at WordPress options specifically, take a look at our dedicated guide to the best WordPress hosting services).
However, for many, the whole idea of putting together and hosting a website is almost unimaginable. No need to feel the pressure when it comes to this task. As you will quickly find out, the best web hosting for a personal website providers we gathered are very user-friendly. Your idea will become a reality in a very short space of time. And there is no need to be outsourcing a specific operation. You can do it all on your own. In case you need any help, each host comes ready with a friendly support team.

In case you still need to decide what would fit best for you, Bluehost’s support is ready to take care of you and guide you towards successfully launching your website. Moreover, with their help, you will get the most out of the package you will pick. Advisable would be to go with the cheapest option which would be more than enough for small and new pages.

If you're not sure of the type of hosting your business needs, you might want to start small, with shared Web hosting. You can always graduate to a more robust, feature-rich package of, say, VPS hosting or even dedicated hosting in the future. Unfortunately, some hosts don't offer all hosting types. Consider how much you expect to grow your website, and how soon, before you commit to anything longer than a one-year plan. It's worth spending the time up front to make sure that the host you select with is able to provide the growth you envision for your site, as switching web hosting providers midstream is not a trivial undertaking.
Every new page owner will be impressed by the grand web hosting for a personal website provider, SiteGround. Ideal for sites for creatives and even small businesses. SiteGround offers three shared hosting plans, StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek. These are not the cheapest on the market, however, they aim to offer you premium features even when it comes to the entry level package.
Almost all the services offer some sort of drag-and-drop website builder that makes it easy to drag and drop items to build your page. These are great for getting started, but they often lock you into the service. Most page builders are proprietary to the service, or don't create HTML that's portable enough to be easily moved to another service if you decide it's necessary.
HostPapa uses Solid State Disks (SSD) for data storage. For your website hosting, this means a much faster loading speed. If your server can display your website at lightning speed, this will contribute to the user experience on your site. This includes more time spent on site, more interaction, more pages visited, eventually getting you to the goal you have for your website, whether it’s selling something or sharing your expertise, etc.

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Your page, which you always dreamt about launching, gets realized with DreamHost easily. It is a superb web hosting for a personal website with the cutting edge technology. Depending on your needs, there are two hostings which you can go with, WordPress or shared. Both are fully loaded with excellent features for your website to shine in the online space. Since DreamHost uses SSD servers, your website’s performance will be way faster compared to HDD servers. To be sure your website will be live at all times, they automatically scale up bandwidth when needed. On top of that, DreamHost is putting a lot of time and effort into making their services the most secure out there.
From free drag and drop builder, free domain registration and even free marketing tools and emails, that is all that comes with iPage’s special intro offer. iPage also offers a 30-day money back guarantee for those who would like to try something else. Chances are, that will not happen and you will stay with iPage forever. Or at least for the starting part of your online journey. It all comes down to the fact what are your long-term plans you have for your website.
Web hosting services offer varying amounts of monthly data transfers, storage, email, and other features. Even how you pay (month-to-month payments vs. annual payments) can be radically different, too, so taking the time to plot exactly what your company needs for online success is essential. Many of these companies also offer reseller hosting services, which let you go into business for yourself, offering hosting to your own customers without requiring you to spin up your own servers.
A Content Distribution Network (CDN) is a network of servers distributed geographically. The purpose of a CDN is to deliver content on the internet much faster. If a user in Toronto is trying to access your website, the closest server to them will take care of this. But someone coming to your website from Sydney, Australia, will be catered to by a server closest to them. The main host server holds your website content, and all the other servers have a cached version each.

What is fantastic about Cloudways is that their services are very flexible and scalable. You pick the desired infrastructure, like Amazon, Google or DigitalOcean, and start from there. Depending on which you decide to go with, the location of the servers may vary. There are more than 25 global data centers, what ensures Cloudways to have servers the closest to your audience. Without giving it a second thought, these guys give you a full solution for your website and their cloud-based hosting is a great alternative to a VPS.

If you're a WordPress user, Bluehost is definitely a web hosting provider to consider. While its managed WordPress hosting is a little more pricey than basic shared hosting, the company has both specific WordPress and WooCommerce hosting plans available (along with management support). It also offers a site migration service for an additional fee. 
The best web hosts on the market include these web builders in their service offerings. Some include popular existing site builders like Weebly, while other hosting teams have engineered their own platforms for website design and development. For example, 1&1 has 1&1 MyWebsite, and InMotion’s BoldGrid sits atop WordPress for a more intuitive experience, whether you’re building your first site or your fourteenth.
It's good to decide early on if you want to have a brand domain or a keyword domain. The benefit of a brand domain is that your domain will most likely be considered as trustworthy, and immediately shows visitors that it's linked to your business or personal blog. A keyword domain, on the other hand, has the advantage that it will be better optimized for search engines, and therefore will get higher search results. In recent years, however, the drastic improvement in search results thanks to a keyword domain has begun to decrease.
Bluehost (established in 1996) is the most reliable beginner-friendly web hosting out there. The cheapest plan starts from just $2.75/mo (if you pay for 36-month in advance), renewals start at $7.99/mo. With the basic plan, you can host 1 website. The plan includes a free domain for 1 year, 50GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL and 24/7 live chat support.
If you're planning on selling a product, look for a web host that offers a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, because it encrypts the data between the customer's browser and web host to safeguard purchasing information. You're probably familiar with SSL; it's the green padlock that appears in your web browser's address bar as you visit an online financial institution or retail outlet. A few companies toss in a SSL certificate free of charge; others may charge you roughly $100 per year for that extra security layer.
With a web hosting plan from HostPapa, you’ll get a dedicated, professional IT team, without the cost! The Papa Squad is ready to tackle any of your web hosting issues, and we’re ready to help 24/7. The Papa Squad are technical customer service experts with the knowledge and experience to help you solve any web hosting challenge that your website may face. No matter how many visitors, the amount of traffic or the number of orders your website receives, we’re here to make sure your web hosting solution can handle it all.
Offering the most fabulous website experience will be a breeze with SiteGround. It is the type of a hosting company which focuses on the essentials first. That said, their plans might not be sporting loads of features compared to some of the competition. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact, with fewer goodies to think about, they can put more focus on the actual performance. It is all about the must-haves when it comes to SiteGround’s web hosting services for your personal pages.
Unlike shared or VPS hosting, dedicated hosting makes your website the lone tenant on a server. To extend the housing metaphor, having a dedicated server is like owning your own home. The means that your website taps the server's full power, and pays for the privilege. If you're looking for a high-powered site—an online mansion for your business—dedicated hosting is the way to go. That said, many dedicated web hosting services task you with handling backend, technical issues, much as homeowners have manage maintenance that renters generally leave to their landlords.
If you've ever been worried about the tremendous amount of power large data centers consume, you might want to sign up with Green Geeks. The "green" in the company's name reflects the Green Geeks' commitment to the environment. It purchases three times the energy it actually uses in wind energy credits, essentially putting energy back into the economy. The company does this through a form of renewable energy certificates, which, while a bit complicated, means that it's not just energy neutral, i's actually helping fuel the green energy economy.

From free drag and drop builder, free domain registration and even free marketing tools and emails, that is all that comes with iPage’s special intro offer. iPage also offers a 30-day money back guarantee for those who would like to try something else. Chances are, that will not happen and you will stay with iPage forever. Or at least for the starting part of your online journey. It all comes down to the fact what are your long-term plans you have for your website.
Once you decide you price range, you need to consider how long you'll need web hosting. If it's a short-term project—say, less than a month or two—you can typically receive a refund should you cancel your hosting within 60 days. Some companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees, others offer 90-day money-back guarantees. Once again, it's beneficial to do your homework.
Yes, you can type “free website hosting” into a search engine of your choice, and you will get results. Don’t do it. At best, you will be stuck with shoddy service, semi-reliable uptime, and ridiculously short-lived storage and bandwidth capacities. The free options out there will frustrate you, and putting yourself through that makes zero sense when you can have quality hosting for as little as $2 a month.
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.
When you build a website, you want visitors to come and see what you've done. To get them there, you need a unique domain name that connects to your sites servers. Domain name registration is required to ensure that no one else in the world can claim ownership of your web site's address and to make finding your website simple. Find your one of a kind domain name.
Disk space and bandwidth: Hosting companies often advertise that they offer unlimited resources like disk space and bandwidth with their shared hosting plans. However, you’ll have usage restrictions on how you use the resources for your site. When you’re signing up for a service, you’re obliged to adhere to the terms of services of your hosting company. And based on the terms, you’ll only be allowed to use server resources for the normal operation of a small website.

If you require a lot of functionality and versatility from your website, you’ll benefit from programs and applications that can help you build your site. Our Web hosting plans give you access to free, server-side applications that can be used to develop and customize your website, including popular Content Management System (CMS) applications like WordPress® and Joomla!®. You can even add a Dedicated IP if you plan to add an SSL Certificate later.

Hosting specifically tailored to your needs and requirements, A Small Orange is the perfect solution for your personal website. They follow one single rule which makes sure you pay only for the resources that you need and nothing more. While they are on the raise, ASO is keeping things very personal. Hence they might be one of the best options for you from the list. Notice that A Small Orange is not the cheapest option but all for a good reason. Either you go with the cheapest shared plan or WordPress exclusive, you will pay at around $5 per month.
SiteGround is one of the few top hosting brands that’s not been acquired by Endurance International Group, a leading web hosting company. They’re one of the few companies offering location-specific hosting with 3 data centers in the USA, Europe, and Singapore. That means, based on your user base, you can choose the most optimal data center for your site when setting up a hosting account. 

Almost all the services offer some sort of drag-and-drop website builder that makes it easy to drag and drop items to build your page. These are great for getting started, but they often lock you into the service. Most page builders are proprietary to the service, or don't create HTML that's portable enough to be easily moved to another service if you decide it's necessary.
Finally, we were quite happy with their money-back guarantee. They offer a full 90-day guarantee (except for domain names you buy) and a pro-rated refund for the rest of your time. So if you want to cancel after 18 months and have six months left in your term, you'll get back the cost of the six remaining months. It's clear, it's understandable, and it's the straightforward way we'd like to see most providers use as a model.

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However, for many, the whole idea of putting together and hosting a website is almost unimaginable. No need to feel the pressure when it comes to this task. As you will quickly find out, the best web hosting for a personal website providers we gathered are very user-friendly. Your idea will become a reality in a very short space of time. And there is no need to be outsourcing a specific operation. You can do it all on your own. In case you need any help, each host comes ready with a friendly support team.

A dedicated server is best suited to anyone looking to build complex websites that need to look after hundreds of users in a no-compromise environment. (Think Amazon.) It’s like having your own computer: you don’t have to share your space, power or resources with anyone else. Dedicated servers are usually the fastest and most powerful choices available, though some of the high-end VPS options can give the lower performing dedicated servers a run for their money – so check the specs.


Essential web hosting all the way to the Premium plan, along with carefully curated WordPress, Joomla and Drupal packages, you get it all with 123 Reg. It is the Essential which will take excellent care of your first personal page. You can also take to your advantage the valuable page builder. This tool comes perfect for first websites and even small businesses. Your final product will be a true masterpiece, looking like an expert built it. For all the site owners who are in need of a .co.uk domain name, 123 Reg includes one in the plan for free.

Essential web hosting all the way to the Premium plan, along with carefully curated WordPress, Joomla and Drupal packages, you get it all with 123 Reg. It is the Essential which will take excellent care of your first personal page. You can also take to your advantage the valuable page builder. This tool comes perfect for first websites and even small businesses. Your final product will be a true masterpiece, looking like an expert built it. For all the site owners who are in need of a .co.uk domain name, 123 Reg includes one in the plan for free.
At any time of the day and at any location in the world, iPage guarantees your website to be live and be of benefit. Not only for you but everyone who visits it, too. Are you ready to start with a fantastic and cheap web hosting for a personal website service? What you get in return for a low monthly payment will make you feel like that you owe them something.
Rounding out the wins, InMotion offers a full 90-day money-back guarantee. On top of that, here's a special money-saving hint. In a chat session confirming pricing and offerings, the operator offered me some special prices and deals that reduced the published price by a few bucks. I was also told that while promotional pricing does go up at the end of the offer period, if you contact customer service, InMotion has a "loyal customer discount" that may bring the price back down.
HostPapa uses Solid State Disks (SSD) for data storage. For your website hosting, this means a much faster loading speed. If your server can display your website at lightning speed, this will contribute to the user experience on your site. This includes more time spent on site, more interaction, more pages visited, eventually getting you to the goal you have for your website, whether it’s selling something or sharing your expertise, etc.
Website builder: While most hosting providers offer website builder as a standard feature, not every builder is created equal. For example, some web hosts only allow you to build a basic websites with their builder, whereas others even let you launch an online store with it. The key is to figure out whether their builder comes with the right set of features you’ll need.
Starting low, you will get a solid hosting solution for your single page with StartUp. With 10 GB of web space and up to 10,000 monthly visits, your freshly crafted website or a small existing page get all the crucial hosting features. Your data is stored on SSD drivers to achieve the fastest loading speeds possible. Free site transfer and setup, free daily backups and even free SSLs, all this is what comes with the StartUp.
But, again, operationally it's quite strong. 24/7/365 customer support is available not only by live chat and email, but by phone. It offers free site migrations with some dedicated attention paid to making a transfer as smooth as possible. And, if you're willing to go for one of the higher-end plans, the company has put some serious attention into performance and caching.
The company also offers higher-end Windows and Linux servers, available with Plesk and cPanel respectively. We were very intrigued to see that the company offers low-end Atom-based dedicated servers as well as the more traditional Xeon-based machines. One great resource for those doing some basic experimentation, or site development, is that it has a free, three-month trial for one of its lightly equipped Atom servers.
HostGator offers unlimited storage and bandwidth and good support to assist you. The cheapest plan starts at $2.99/mo (with a 6-month commitment) and renews at $14.95/month or $3.98/mo (with a 36-month commitment) renewing at $9.95/month. You can host 1 website and thee plan includes generous unmetered storage and bandwidth, free SSL and a solid 45-day money-back guarantee.
Web hosting services offer varying amounts of monthly data transfers, storage, email, and other features. Even how you pay (month-to-month payments vs. annual payments) can be radically different, too, so taking the time to plot exactly what your company needs for online success is essential. Many of these companies also offer reseller hosting services, which let you go into business for yourself, offering hosting to your own customers without requiring you to spin up your own servers.
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Senior Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web hosting, music, utilities, and video game copy, Jeffrey makes comic books, mentors, practices bass and Jeet Kune Do, and appears on the odd podcasts or convention panel. He also collects vinyl and greatly enjoys a craft brew. You can a find Jeffrey online at jeffreylwilson.net, or send him a tweet at @jeffreylwilson

Moving to another website consists of transferring the website’s files and databases, configuring your site with the new host, and directing your domain’s DNS to the new host. Once you pick a new site host, they can usually help you out with this process. The cost will depend on the host you’re switching to, but it can range anywhere from $150-$400.


When it's time to set up shop, look for a web host that offers the aforementioned dedicated servers, as well as advanced cloud server platforms (such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud), custom server builds should you need it, and 24/7 customer support. Depending on your business' focus, you may need a web host that can handle pageviews or visitors that rank in the high thousands or millions. Many busy hosting plans offer an onboarding specialist that can help you get started, too.
On the plus side, SiteGround offers free automatic daily backups, access to the Cloudflare CDN, high-performance SSDs for all plans, unlimited email accounts and integration of the free LetsEncrypt SSL certificate into sites. The company does limit bandwidth and storage, but even those who claim to offer so-called unlimited bandwidth and storage really have some limits in its terms of service.

When you build a website, you want visitors to come and see what you've done. To get them there, you need a unique domain name that connects to your sites servers. Domain name registration is required to ensure that no one else in the world can claim ownership of your web site's address and to make finding your website simple. Find your one of a kind domain name.
If you're planning on selling a product, look for a web host that offers a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, because it encrypts the data between the customer's browser and web host to safeguard purchasing information. You're probably familiar with SSL; it's the green padlock that appears in your web browser's address bar as you visit an online financial institution or retail outlet. A few companies toss in a SSL certificate free of charge; others may charge you roughly $100 per year for that extra security layer. 
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