Finding a good web hosting service can take a lot of time and money.
To date, we’ve signed up with, tested and compared over 30 different web hosting companies. This also means that we have performance data.
Uptime and load time are two of the most important factors when choosing a web host (next to their cost).
Here is our review process in detail:
All of our hosting reviews are based on each web host’s average speed (load time), uptime and cost. If you want more detailed data, see our data page or this spreadsheet.
HostGator, founded in 2002, is a popular shared and cloud hosting provider that is currently hosting over 2,000,000 websites.
According to our last 24-month data, HostGator Cloud has a strong uptime (99.99%) and above-average speed (399 ms) making it a strong contender to Bluehost.
HostGator offers flexible features, such as unlimited email account, unmetered bandwidth, unmetered disk space and built-in cache on all plans. Furthermore, all of their hosting plans come with a 99.9% uptime guarantee, free SSL certificate, easy WordPress installs, and a free domain for a year (when you sign up for 12, 24 or 36 months).
If you want to build a custom website, you can do so with the Gator Website Builder. It’s a HostGator’s drag and drop website builder designed to be an easy, eCommerce-friendly site builder for beginners.
HostGator’s cheapest plan starts from $2.74/mo (when you choose a 12-month payment plan) and renews $10.95/mo. Other than shared cloud hosting, HostGator offers WordPress, VPS and dedicated hosting plans serving all size organizations from small businesses to enterprise websites.
All plans come with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
Let’s look at the last 6 months of uptime and response time, as measured by Pingdom.com. Although this represents one test site, it should provide a good idea of how robust HostGator servers are.
Server location: Provo, Utah
Testing machine location: Palo Alto
There’s some jumping around here in terms of load impact times, but overall, the results are okay. Tests from servers in other geographical locations were slower but the consistency remained impressive.
Our last 24-month data shows that Hostinger has an average uptime of 99.95%, but a very fast average loading time of 350 ms making it the best cheap web hosting you can find.
Hostinger (who also owns Hosting24) offers extremely affordable hosting plans without compromising too much on the quality and performance of the service. While it’s cheap on the price, the features that come with Hostinger’s plans will appeal to many beginner website owners.
The company offers a variety of hosting plans with different features and all plans come with an easy website builder, free SSL certificate, 99.9% uptime guarantee and 24/7/365 support.
Hostinger’s cheapest plan starts from just $0.99/mo (when you choose a 48-month payment plan), renewals start at $2.15/mo. Bandwidth and databases are unlimited unless you choose the “Single Web Hosting” plan. With the latter you’ll be limited to 10GB of disk space, 100GB of bandwidth, one MySQL database, and one email account. Most notably, the cheapest plan doesn’t include a free domain and has limited processing power and memory.
Other services provided by Hostinger include Cloud, Email, WordPress,VPS, Windows VPS hosting.
All plans come with a standard 30-day money-back guarantee.
Currently, Hostinger offers the following types of web hosting:
Regardless of which hosting type is right for you, Hostinger emphasizes the affordability and low pricesof all its products.
Don’t let the lower prices fool you, however. Many of these plans come with:
We rounded off the review by using Uptime.com to monitor our test website from multiple locations around the world, making sure the site was always available and recording any downtime.
Our test site was hosted on Hostinger’s most basic shared hosting plan, but still managed a solid 100% uptime record over 10 weeks of monitoring.
Uptime.com recorded a response time range of 166ms to 1.14s, with an average of 200ms, over the last seven days of testing. (Don’t be put off by that ‘1.14 seconds’ – Hostinger had just two response times of more than a second in over 2,000 checks.)
A few providers may be just a touch faster – the best approach an average response time of 150ms – but Hostinger outperforms most of the competition, which is very impressive for a simple shared hosting product.
Hostinger’s starter accounts have some significant limits, but they’ll still work for some, and otherwise its products offer plenty of features and powerful cPanel-like site management for a very fair price.
InMotion Hosting stands out in a sea of web hosting companies with its wide variety of hosting plans and exceptional technical support.
You can get up to 50% off all plans with our special link. InMotion Hosting offers a 90-day money-back guarantee.
You don’t need to take our word for it. Over 550 of our users have rated InMotion Hosting 4 stars out of 5 in terms of support, quality, features, and value. This makes InMotion Hosting one of the highest rated hosts on our site.
The uptime records with InMotion Hosting can be a bit wonky from time to time, not too often though.
When it comes to the average response times, everything is great here. The three-month average is at 170ms, which is a really impressive result!
InMotion experiences some performance problems lately, but they used to hold up better in the past. Let’s hope those are temporary glitches.
Benchmarking web host performance is tricky as there are so many factors involved, but we ran a couple of tests anyway to get a feel for InMotion Hosting’s abilities.
We began using UpTime.com to monitor a simple template site every five minutes from multiple locations, for a week, checking uptime and recording response times.
The results were disappointing. Five very brief outages saw uptime of only 99.35% (most providers have 100% uptime in such short tests), and response times ranged from 230ms to 4.15s, averaging 680ms. As we write, our top performer, Hostwinds, has response times from 118ms to 2.2s and an average of 151ms.
InMotion’s response time charts saw huge variations, too, with regular peaks of more than a second. We can’t say why for sure, but it seems likely that other sites on our shared server were competing for system resources.
While these figures have to be a concern, it’s important to put them in perspective: they are the results of a short-term test on a single server handling InMotion’s cheapest shared hosting plan. It’s possible that they’re not representative of long-term performance, and they say nothing about the speeds you’ll see with VPS or shared plans.
To complete our tests, we also checked site performance via 3 Bitcatcha’s server speed test. This kind of one-off benchmark can’t compete with UpTime.com’s constant monitoring, but it was interesting to see our server deliver much better results, scoring Bitcatcha’s highest possible A+ speed rating.
We like the features, the speed, the support, but the best part of InMotion is it seems to be a reliable, professional, honest web hosting company, which isn’t trying to rip you off.
Namecheap was founded in 2000 by Richard Kirkendall, the company’s current CEO.
They are based in Phoenix, Arizona, where a team of more than one thousand employees provides their customers with low-cost domain registration , hosting, SSL certificates, and more.
The company claims to offer fairly priced, accessible services to allow anyone to “make their mark online.”
Most people know of Namecheap as a domain registration and management service, but they also offer web hosting services. Founded in 2000, Namecheap began by offering value-priced domains and excellent customer service. Today, they have over 3 million clients and manage over 7 million domains.
In addition to domains and full web hosting packages, Namecheap sells SSL certificates, privacy protection services, and more. Because Namecheap thinks that an Internet presence for all is a necessity, they provide affordable access to everything you need to run a website.
Namecheap’s hosting plans offer fast, reliable service with a 100% uptime guarantee. If you need to build a new site, you can easily do so using one of Namecheap’s many site-building apps. If you have an existing website, Namecheap will move it for you for free.
In addition to a solid knowledge base, you can consult if you need help, Namecheap offers 24/7 chat support. You can also submit tickets for review.
NameCheap offers plans from $1 to $20. The price depends on which type of hosting plan you choose. You can see the updated pricing table (updated weekly) below.
Unexpected website issues are annoying at best, and can seriously damage your business in extreme cases, so it’s important that your hosting company’s support system delivers when you need it.
Namecheap’s support begins with a searchable knowledgebase. This is neatly organized into sensible categories and covers everything from beginner-type FAQs (‘how can I renew my domain?’) to more expert-level issues (‘managing DNSSEC for domains pointed to by custom DNS’).
Most of these articles are lengthy and detailed. Unusually, Namecheap customers can add comments to the support documents and see the messages left by others. This is often used to ask questions about some issue within the article – Namecheap staff then post replies, and having these answers publicly visible clarifies the document for everyone (Namecheap doesn’t appear to delete negative comments.)
There’s no phone support, but Namecheap does have live chat and a support ticket system. We tried this out with a simple question and had an accurate reply within 30 minutes. There’s no way to tell what might happen in more complicated, real-world situations, but Namecheap performed better than most.
The server speed tests weren’t bad, either, with Bitcatcha and other benchmarks regularly scoring our host’s performance as above average. That’s good news, especially for the price we paid.