Best Hosting Providers of 2020

Finding the right web hosting provider for your project can be a pain especially when you are new to the world of IT. It can steal hours and dollars and still left you disappointed. All hosters state that they provide the most reliable and technologically advanced hosting for 2020 at a reasonable price. Sounds too good to be true. Obviously this is just marketing and with a closer look, you can see the vast difference in technologies supported as well as hidden costs and limits.

At Hostozilla we are passionate about testing hosting providers to help people find the right match and avoid being ripped off. We only list web hosters that were previously tested by our quality team. This helps safeguard our visitors form choosing web hosting companies that can cause problems in the future.

Our list of the best hosting providers was updated on December 2020.

Plans start at:
$2.7/mo
Per site within 10 website plan
30-day trial for 5 websites for 5$
30-day money back guarantee
5.0 rating
5.0
Plans start at:
$2.75/mo
Fastest Speed
Reliable hosting for SMBs and individuals.
-20% for the first 3 months.
5.0 rating
5.0
Plans start at:
$2.75/mo
Fastest Speed
Reliable hosting for SMBs and individuals.
-20% for the first 3 months.
5.0 rating
5.0
Plans start at:
$2.75/mo
Fastest Speed
Reliable hosting for SMBs and individuals.
-20% for the first 3 months.
5.0 rating
5.0
Plans start at:
$2.75/mo
Fastest Speed
Reliable hosting for SMBs and individuals.
-20% for the first 3 months.
5.0 rating
5.0
Plans start at:
$2.75/mo
Fastest Speed
Reliable hosting for SMBs and individuals.
-20% for the first 3 months.
5.0 rating
5.0
Plans start at:
$2.75/mo
Fastest Speed
Reliable hosting for SMBs and individuals.
-20% for the first 3 months.
5.0 rating
5.0
Plans start at:
$2.75/mo
Fastest Speed
Reliable hosting for SMBs and individuals.
-20% for the first 3 months.
5.0 rating
5.0
Plans start at:
$2.75/mo
Fastest Speed
Reliable hosting for SMBs and individuals.
-20% for the first 3 months.
5.0 rating
5.0
Plans start at:
$2.75/mo
Fastest Speed
Reliable hosting for SMBs and individuals.
-20% for the first 3 months.
5.0 rating
5.0

A website has become a necessity for most small businesses, bloggers, freelancers, and corporations. However, choosing a web hosting that will be right for your specific needs can be challenging: too many things to consider. Bandwidth, plan, price, domain- what is all that, and is it important to me? Am I going to be able to scale? Hostozilla tech team will break it down for you, and you will choose the best provider with confidence.

What is Hosting and How it Works?

You build your website, and it has different tabs, files, videos, pictures, and so on. But all this information needs to “live” somewhere. Even if you think of the Internet as something you can’t touch, all the information you see there is stored somewhere. I mean physical servers- big powerful computers if you will. So hosting providers are, in a nutshell, companies who own those computers and allow you to use a certain amount of space on their disks for a specific price. Of course, you can store your website on your own server if you have one, and some companies do so, but you should understand that those machines are costly. They need to be maintained and protected. At the same time, it is highly unlikely that your data will be stored at the same place if you use hosting providers’ services. That means that your data is less vulnerable to hackers’ attacks and other digital threats. Besides, their servers are protected from physical damage, viruses, and you won’t have to hire a system administrator to ensure servers’ uninterrupted work. What is also important is that scaling is easy with the majority of the hosting providers – you just need to contact your agent. You’ll have more space to develop your website, make it more interactive and fun for your end-users instantly.

A server connects your users to the site. A hosting provider has servers, connectivity, customer support, and other supporting services to make sure that your website is up and running 24/7/365. Hosting providers offer a variety of plans and packages so that you can find the right for you.

When you upload files from your local computer to a web server – that’s when web hosting happens.

How to Choose the Best Hosting in 2020?

There are so many hosting providers out there. And all of them claim to be the best. As you might know, the company has effective marketing and doesn’t guarantee that its product is right. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed. However, understanding your needs is a crucial component on the way to choosing the perfect hosting. Selecting the ideal hosting is very similar to choosing the office space for your company. You need to know how much space you need if and when you will grow, if the location is important, etc. Let’s take a closer look at all the parameters that will make your decision a piece of cake.

Know your needs

  • Ask yourself (or your team) what kind of website are you building. Is it a blog, e-commerce, homepage, simple landing page? Depending on that, you might get very different recommendations.
  • Do you want something common like WordPress, or it doesn’t matter to you? Choosing a popular platform could be smart because you’ll have many specialists to choose from, especially if you plan on outsourcing your website maintenance.
  • Some technical questions will also help: Do you need Windows applications, or maybe you need to support a specific script? Any special software that your website might need? – If yes, you need to check if the chosen provider is compatible with it.
  • How big of traffic do you expect? Where will this traffic be coming from?

Those are some basic questions you need to ask yourself before even looking at hosting providers and packages when you know all of that and project how your website will grow in the next 12-15 months.

If you’re entirely new to website building and choosing a hosting provider – pick a good, reliable shared option and call it a day. This way, you definitely won’t overpay, and shared hostings are usually more than enough for new websites and small businesses. As you grow, big providers will offer you to switch to VPS or a dedicated server if needed.

Bear in mind that while using a shared plan, you share the server with hundreds of others, and sometimes it may result in slower performance. If that’s is critical for your business – don’t go with the shared hosting.

Uptime scores and server reliability

That’s another critical feature that you have to look at. Try to find real users’ reviews instead of blindly believing what is said on the provider’s website. An uptime score shows how long your website will be unreachable for your customers. For example, if the provider says that they guarantee 95% uptime, you might think it’s great. However, 5% of the year is 18.25 days. Only you know how much money you can potentially lose by not being there for your customers. You need a stable provider and a reliable network connection. A 99.95% uptime score is considered decent these days. Anything below 99% – is unacceptable.

Upgrading options

There are different options available for your hosting: Shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting. Whichever option you’ll go ahead with, you should understand that you can scale when you need to without any problems. We are going to talk about which choice is right for you right now in the next section.

Multiple add-on domains

If you have different divisions or different businesses, you can still manage them from one hosting account by adding separate add-on domains. Regardless of your current needs, it’s good to know that you can host multiple websites without additional cost. Basic plans usually do not include multiple add-on domains, so it is something to consider.

Signup and renewal price

It’s an industry-standard practice to give you a low price when you sign up and then raise it dramatically upon renewal. And that’s fine. Just pay close attention to how big a jack-up is. We have conducted our research, and renewal shouldn’t go higher than a 100% increase in price. For instance, you subscribed for a plan for $5/month. All of the decent providers will charge you no more than $10/month after renewal.

Refund Policy and trial period

Some companies will charge ridiculously high cancellation fees. You need to be sure that you won’t lose too much money if anything goes wrong. It is also essential to have a free trial period to test the interface, customer support, and staff like that before signing up for a full year or two.

Essential features are in place.

Make sure that your hosting provider gives you the one-click installers that you’d need. Those installers will make your life a lot easier since you won’t have to install apps like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla manually.

E-commerce features

If you plan to establish or migrate your e-commerce website, check if the provider supports e-commerce as it should (duh). Even though it seems obvious, several things are often overlooked. For instance, if you are running specific shopping cart software or use software like PrestaShop guide. In this case, you need a strong SSL certification and dedicated IP from your hosting provider.

User-friendly Control Panel

It doesn’t matter if it’s something popular like cPanel, Plesk or the provider’s own development – as soon as it is easy to navigate and understand – you should be good to go.

Site backups

Carefully read the provider’s policy regarding the backups. Because computers crash, servers fail, and other stuff happens. Often with cheap options, they don’t have any responsibility whatsoever regarding storing your website’s backups. In this case, it might be a good idea to store your own backups.

Which Type of Hosting Is Right for You?

There are several major types of hostings. Let’s take a closer look at them and figure out which one is the one for you.

Shared Hosting

That’s where the majority of businesses and bloggers start. When you are not sure about the amount of traffic you will attract, your needs, your expectations, and simply want to have an easy start – that’s an option for you. The first and most obvious advantage of the shared hosting option is that it is affordable. Besides, many providers would give you more than one of the packages to choose from. On the other hand, if you know that you’re going to have massive traffic on your website – that’s not the option for you since speed might be the issue. Remember that you will share the server with hundreds of others and don’t know how responsible they will use the traffic available.

Dedicated

If the website speed is paramount to your success – dedicated hosting is something to consider. As you might have figured from its name, the server is going to host your website exclusively. Hence all the computing power of it is going to work for your benefit. It is usually more expensive than shared options. However, totally worth it if you’re, let’s say, in the financial services business or if your website gets more than 1000 unique visitors every day. With dedicated hosting, you will get enhanced security, faster page loading times, and no problems with overloaded servers.

Cloud Hosting (VPS)

VPS is very similar to shared hosting in the sense that it allows hosting many websites by one cloud-based hosting system. The difference is that unlike regular servers, VPS hosts websites in a cloud. And that’s what makes it better. Cloud computing ensures flexibility, allows you to scale quickly, and offers more features in general. VPS is an excellent option for SaaS providers, game makers, and companies that have outgrown their shared hosting, programmers, and any company that needs a secure backup environment. This option will often be more affordable than dedicated hosting.

WordPress

Any of the previously mentioned options can host WordPress. However, providers often design and optimize their servers, specifically to host WordPress pages. WordPress is very popular. This option might make sense for many online creators to get faster connectivity, page loading and create a seamless customer experience.

Paid Hosting vs. Free Hosting – What is The Difference?

If you have already decided which type of hosting you will use, you still have another important decision to make. You can choose from paid or free hosting options. In most cases, a paid web host provides a significantly better service than do free hosts. But for those in business, whether they’re selling online, or wish to present a professional Web presence, paid hosting is typically the only option worth considering. So if you have chosen a dedicated or VPS hosting – a paid option is the way to go.

With the shared options, the answer is not that straightforward. Here are some of the common frustrations free host users face:

  • Ads: Since their users don’t pay for hosting itself, they often solely rely on the commercials to make money. That’s why your visitors will see huge banners on top of every page, pop-up banners after each click-through, which is annoying and can significantly reduce your web presence’s professionalism.
  • More Downtime: As paid shared hostings fight for every .1% of downtime to keep their customers satisfied, the free providers are not concerned about that since they don’t make money out of your business anyway.
  • Poor customer support: They usually don’t have funds to hire customer support, so your support resources will be limited to the FAQ section and user manuals.
  • Limited Space: Most free hosting providers will give you up to 10MB of storage space without the opportunity to expand. That’s clearly not enough if you plan to build a full-fledged website. But it should be fine if all you need is to build a single page with contact information.
  • Restrictions on selling ads: If you were planning to attract ad-givers to your website, it’s doubtful that you’ll be able to do so with free hosting.
  • File type limitations: Usually, with free hosting, you’ll be able to upload .html files only.
  • Long Domain names: With a paid host, you can choose any available domain name. With a free one, they usually provide you with one like “http://www.xxxxxxx-zzzzz.com/Area56/XXXdowlands/5419/clothes/shirts.htm.” You can see the problem: there is no way customers will reach your website from memory.

At the end of the day, it is up to you to choose free or paid hosting. However, if you’re looking to build a professional website with an excellent set of functions and the possibility to grow – we highly recommend you to invest in the paid option.

What are the most critical factors in evaluating when selecting a hosting service?

Now that you know what type of hosting you are looking for, it’s time to check providers’ most essential features.

  • Customer support: It doesn’t hurt to test their support even before you sign up, even for the cheapest plan. That’s what a trial period is created for! Prompt, knowledgeable, and available support can be critical in the long run. Imagine that your website is down on Black Friday or the last day of a month! Nightmare, right? And now you can’t reach the agent. Terrible.
  • Server Reliability, Uptime Scores, And Security: That’s a simple one. The higher the score – the better. Try to avoid hosting providers with a score of less than 99.5%. It’s also essential to ensure you have a trusted and secure hosting solution as well. Read customer reviews and check their track record.
  • Site backups: Everything can happen in the modern cyber world: from cyberattacks, ransomware, and viruses to unsuccessful software updates. Therefore, having your website’s backups available will allow you to get back to business in no time.
  • Registration and maintenance cost: Just make sure that they are not tricking you, look for potential hidden costs and be aware of the renewal price.
  • Account limitations: Even though most hosts claim to provide everything unlimited, it is usually not the case. If you read carefully, you will see certain things that you should pay attention to. For example, some providers prohibit excessive CPU amounts from running computationally intensive and scripts exceeding two seconds on their servers. That’s just one of the examples. The point is – read terms and conditions carefully.

Can Slow Web Hosting Affect Your Business?

Various researches showed clear codependency between the website load speed and customer conversion. And it is understandable – nobody likes to wait. So, yes, it can. Especially if you plan on running an e-commerce website – speed is crucial, so VPS or dedicated hosting worth investing in.

Can You Migrate From One Hosting Provider to Another?

The short answer is yes, you can. However, it is important to sign up for a new hosting before leaving another one and make sure that the chosen provider has free migration tools since some of them charge a lot.

Pros and Cons of Using a Pagebuilder on Hosting

Most page builders are easy to use and great for newbies and professionals alike since you can build a beautiful and functional website without coding. Modern page builders offer responsive and unique layouts and great functionality. However, if you want a truly customized website, you’ll still need to hire a professional. Otherwise, you will be limited to a functionality that is already added to a template.

Other cons that are usually important to businesses are lack of integration with CRM, integrating calendars, or building any tables. As you can see, it is not necessarily a problem for many websites but is essential to other businesses.

How Do You Speed Up Your Current Hosting?

There are tons of factors that influence the load speed of each of your website pages. However, here are 5 important steps you can use to improve your speed without switching to a different hosting:

  1. Use CDN – This service puts your data on servers all over the world. So your user gets the info from the server closest to them.
  2. Activate the ‘keep-alive’ setting. When it’s off, every element like logo, text, picture travels separately. But when you activate this setting, all the data travels through one big tunnel.
  3. Reduce round trip time (RTTs) – fewer elements, fewer plugins, less code = faster traffic.
  4. Enable compression on your website – you can compress your website by using a tool like Gzip.
  5. Optimize your images: There is no point in uploading gigantic images. You need to upload them to the exact size – compress them and crop before uploading.

Tricks Hosting Providers Use to Make You Pay More

Hosting providers want you to pay more. But they are not very sneaky, so all of them use pretty much the same tricks.

Paid Site Migration: Most host providers offer free website migration. But some of them will charge you extra, even up to $100! Be careful.

Higher Renewal Rates: This one isn’t exactly a trick. They all offer higher rates upon renewal but be aware that anything higher than a 100% increase in price – suspicious.

Tricky Limitations On Cheaper Plans: Check out the section about what does unlimited means. That’s pretty much it. Some providers will claim everything unlimited, but in reality, it will limit your storage (2GB or so), RAM, bandwidth, and so on. Those limitations vary from provider to provider, so the general recommendation is to read reviews on a particular provider.

What Is The Average Cost of Hosting in 2020

A shared web hosting is cheap – arounf $3 – $7 per month; VPS hosting, on the other hand, costs $20 – $30 per month. Dedicated hosting is more expansive – starting from $70 per month. Don’t forget that renewals are usually more expensive than the starting price.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who are the sharks of the web hosting market?

Here is the list of top-10 host providers by their market share. However, the biggest doesn’t always mean the best, and you need to pick the one by the functionality you look for.

  • GoDaddy Web Hosting – 16.80%
  • Google Cloud Web Serving – 10.04%
  • AWS Web Hosting – 8.62%
  • 1&1 Hosting – 5.57%
  • Hostgator – 3.57%
  • BlueHost – 2.90%
  • Liquidweb – 2.43%
  • Hetzner – 2.25%
  • DigitalOcean – 2.10%
  • WP Engine – 2.08%

What “unlimited” hosting really means?

Customers who use Web Hosting appropriately can have access to unlimited disk space, data transfer, and email storage, depending on their plan. That’s the typical definition for all hosting providers. The question is, what does appropriately means? In terms of disk space, it means that you can build as big of a website as you wish, but they would put some limitations on how fast you can grow. As for data transfer, it means that your users will be able to download and view as much content as they like. Email storage: This means that you can store as much correspondence as you want without worrying about deleting older messages.

You should understand that every provider’s policy is slightly different, and reading their terms and conditions is the key to understanding what exactly they put in the word “unlimited.”

How to pick hosting depending on where your clients are located?

There are several components to this question: 1. The farther the server is from the client – the slower the website for him is. 2. Location of the server matters for SEO. To improve SEO rankings for your website, you must host it in the same location as your target audience. If your audience comes from various locations worldwide, try to choose a provider who has multiple servers all over the world.