Find the best web hosting service for you with this in-depth guide.
Welcome to My Design Tips’ guide to the best web hosting services in 2019. Whether you’re a web designer or developer looking for the best web hosting deals, or an illustrator who has finally decided to sort out their online presence with a dedicated website, this guide is here to help. Figuring out the best web hosting service for your needs can be confusing, so we’ve reviewed all the leading providers to give you a clear view of your options.
User-friendly, reliable, attractive websites don’t just appear out of thin air; web hosting services are doing all the heavy lifting behind the scenes. In this guide, we’ve stripped away the jargon and condensed the complex spec sheets into easy-to-scan profiles, so you can easily navigate and compare the best web hosting services with ease.
We’ve considered a range of situations here. Whether you’re a freelancer looking for a website on a budget and just need shared web hosting, if you’re after more flexible VPS hosting, or are a bigger operation that needs all the bells and whistles that dedicated servers provide, there’s a service here for you. If you’re not sure which is the best level for you right now (or for where you want to be in the future) – you’ll find a detailed explanation of the different tiers at the bottom of this guide.
Or read on for our pick of the best web hosting services, no matter the size of your website or budget.
Our sister site TechRadar has negotiated some extra discounts on these web hosting services. My Design Tips readers can also take advantage of these deals.
- Also looking for the best internet plan? Check out our dedicated guides to the best broadband deals and fibre broadband deals
01. InMotion Hosting
The best overall shared web hosting
Domains: 1 | Number of sites: 2-unlimited | Bandwidth: Unlimited | SSL: Included | Email addresses: Unlimited
The best web hosting service right now is InMotion Hosting, thanks to excellent performance, great features, and helpful tech support. InMotion has been around since 2001, and is one of the world’s largest independent web hosting companies. It offers several shared hosting plans, with prices starting at a very attractive monthly cost.
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).
InMotion offers both cPanel and Softaculous-powered hosting. In testing, InMotion’s overall performance levels ranked well above average. That’s great news for anyone who wants to see fast-loading websites (which is all of us, let’s face it).
Technical features include PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python and PHP 7 support. InMotion provides both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, and easy-to-use integration with Google Apps. There’s also excellent technical support available 24/7, all year round, for US-based users.
Overall, there’s a lot to like here – and competitive pricing too. If you’re not satisfied, there’s a 90-day money-back guarantee, which knocks the 45-day industry standard out of the park.
The number one preferred partner of WordPress
Domains: 1 | Number of sites: 1-unlimited | Bandwidth: Unmetered | SSL: Included | Email addresses: 5-unlimited
WordPress is still the most popular website builder, and Utah-based web hosting company Bluehost is WordPress’ preferred partner. Bluehost does a good job of balancing price and features for less experienced businesses, while offering lots of options for more advanced users. Its shared hosting packages start with a very reasonable ‘basic’ plan, targeted at home users.
WordPress plans are naturally more expensive, but there are discounted introductory rates available. With those, you get automated setup for WordPress, as well as other popular apps via a Mojo Marketplace-powered system. Plus, there’s a cPanel-based area, so if you know what you’re doing, you can tweak things.
Bluehost also gives you a free domain, and provides a free Weebly-based website builder to create a site up to six pages, although website templates aren’t included. And bear in mind that none of the plans include SSL, but certificates are available as an add-on.
With great customer support on offer too, this makes for powerful, feature-packed, user-friendly web hosting – with customisation options for the more demanding user. That said, people who don’t want lengthy commitments might prefer HostGator’s month-to-month options (see below).
03. HostGator web hosting
The best cheap web hosting option out there
Domains: 1-unlimited | Number of sites: Not specified | Bandwidth: Unmetered | SSL: Included | Email addresses: Unlimited
When it comes to cheap web hosting, HostGator’s Hatchling plan is our top choice. The well-known Dallas-based company offers an impressive amount of unrestricted features in its basic Hatchling plan: there are no limits on bandwidth, web space, subdomains, MySQL databases, FTP and email accounts.
There’s also one-click WordPress installation, cPanel-based site management and a 99.9% ‘uptime’ guarantee covering both server and network failures; plus 24/7 customer support, and $100 (around £75) worth of Google and Bing Ads credits.
As you might expect with a cheap hosting plan, you can only operate one website on the Hatchling plan. And you won’t get a free domain name for a year, either. But we like the super-low pricing and the free transfers for new accounts within the first month after you’ve signed up. A 45-day money-back guarantee means that if you’re not happy with the service, you can cancel it.