Good hosting is a crucial part of a successful online business. And while many businesses choose Linux for their needs, Microsoft still has millions of users.
Windows hosting is made to run NET, ASP, MSSQL, Microsoft Access, and other Windows frameworks or technologies. But by using it, you're not limited to only Microsoft-made applications.
Most of the best Windows hosting plans offer simple, one-click installs of popular applications such as Joomla, WordPress, phpBB, and plenty more.
With Windows hosting, you can get the best of both worlds - powerful Microsoft applications, as well as plenty of old favorites.
And here's the best Windows hosting around - so you can truly get the best of the best:
- 1&1 (inexpensive, fast and powerful)
- HostGator (trusted business veteran)
- GoDaddy (many plans for all types of users)
- Hostwinds (premium Windows Server 2016 option)
- A2 Hosting (super fast servers)
Here are they all, described in full detail:
A powerhouse on a budget.
Known for being an affordable web host offering a wide array of features, 1&1 has been around since the 80s, so they have decades’ worth of experience in the web hosting sphere.
They're also as global as it gets, offering not only worldwide servers but also geo-redundancy - which means data being replicated in various locations, improving page speed for global users. All of that is available of each Windows hosting plan - here's what they are.
Plans and Pricing
Their Windows hosting plans start at only $0.99 a month ($7.99 after the first month) with their Unlimited Windows Plan and go up to $8.99 a month ($14.99 after the first month) with their Unlimited Pro Windows plan.
All three plans come with SSL wildcard certificates, Unlimited webspace and websites, ASP.NET 4.7 and .NET Core 2.0, 1 domain free for a year, over 100 applications, 24/7 support, and 5 to 25 MSSQL 2017 databases with 1 GB of SSD space each.
Upgrade to their Unlimited Plus Windows ($4.99 first month and $9.99 a month after) or Unlimited Pro Windows plan for an integrated Cloudflare CDN, SiteLock Basic, and extra GB RAM.
These are shared plans that use Windows Server 2016, so you won’t have full control of the server, but you 1&1 also offers dedicated plans and VPS plans at very affordable prices. Select Windows instead of Linux for $14 extra a month.
Their first month low prices make it a nice trial period to see if their lower level plans are enough. If not, you can upgrade with ease.
|Low prices||Uses Windows Server 2016|
|24/7 phone and email support||30-day money-back guarantee|
|Windows shared hosting and Windows VPS and dedicated hosting plans|
Trusted business veterans.
HostGator has been around for over a decade and is well-known for their reliability, large number of servers world-wide, and affordable prices. Their flexibility is another one of their strong suits, with VPS, dedicated, shared, cloud, reseller, and Windows hosting, plus domain names, making them suitable for all kinds of users.
Plans and Pricing
HostGator offers two types of Windows shared hosting plans: Personal (starting at $4.76 a month) for individuals and Enterprise (starting at $14.36 a month) for businesses. Both come with unmetered disk space and bandwidth, instant backups, free/instant setup, unlimited domain aliases, subdomains, and FTP accounts.
Their software is a bit dated, however, and runs on Windows Server 2008, MSSQL Server 2008, Access Databases 2007, ASP.NET up to 4.5, PHP 5.2.7 and PHP 5.3. These specs won’t make a big difference for most people, but it’s always a good idea to check what your Windows requirements are first before signing up.
Their dedicated Windows plans are a bit newer, but still not quite as impressive as other Windows hosting providers. They run on Windows Server 2012, IIS 8.5, ASP.NET from 2.0 up to 4.6, and SQL Server 2014 Express.
Prices for dedicated Windows plans are higher but still reasonable and range from $119 a month with their Value plan to $148 a month with their Enterprise Server plan. They run special deals occasionally, so keep a look out for that. You also want to check the fine print, as some prices advertised depend on your plan commitment (expect to get a better deal for a 3-year plan as oppose to a one year plan).
|No contract||45-day money-back guarantee|
|24/7 support||Install apps with one-click via Plesk|
|Low starter prices||Shared plans’ software are a bit outdated|
Plans for all kinds of users.
With more than 6,000 employees and well over 55 million hosted domains, GoDaddy is one of the big boys in the web hosting world. Started in 1997 in Baltimore, Maryland by entrepreneur Bob Parsons, this hosting giant offers a large variety of web hosting services including shared, VPS, dedicated, and reseller hosting. They are also the world’s largest domain register company that is ICANN Accredited.
GoDaddy offers three Windows Hosting plans: Economy ($1.00 a month and $7.99 a month on renewal), Deluxe ($4.99 a month and $10.99 a month on renewal), and Ultimate ($7.99 a month and $16.99 a month on renewal).
Plans and Pricing
All three plans come with unmetered bandwidth, a free domain for the first year, and a free business email for the first year. The Economy plan is best for a single website and comes with 100 GB storage, 10 MySQL databases (1GB each), and 1 MSSQL database (200 MB).
If you have a small business or a more high-traffic site, upgrade to their Deluxe or Ultimate plans which come with unlimited websites, storage, and bandwidth. They also come with 25 to Unlimited MySQL databases (1 GB each), 2 to Unlimited MSSQL databases. Only the Ultimate plan comes with a premium DNS, unlimited FTP users, and a free SSL for the first year.
All of their plans use Windows Server 2012 R2 and is designed with different kinds of users, from the individual to big businesses. The plans are recommended for ASP.NET, SQL Servers, and ASP.
GoDaddy also offers Windows VPS Hosting which is ideal for rapidly growing web apps. They offer full root access and are highly customizable. Plans start at $27.99 a month with their Economy plan and go up to $49.99 a month with their Ultimate plan.
|Low prices||One-click install of over 50 apps|
|24/7 support and security monitoring||30-day money-back guarantee|
Managed Windows VPS for big plans.
Founded in 2010 and based in Tulsa, OK, Hostwinds is known for being customer-centric and offering feature-rich web hosting services for decent prices. They offer unlimited hosting, reseller, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, Windows VPS, and even Minecraft servers to boot, making them a solid choice for nearly any user.
Plans and Pricing
With 10 fully managed and unmanaged Windows VPS hosting plans, it’s much easier for users to pick the plan that has exactly the right service they need. All plans come with 1 GBPS Port, SSDs, Free website transfers, and
Managed plans start at $11.99 a month and go all the way up to $389.99 a month. The lowest tier comes with 1 CPU Core, 1 GB RAM, 30 GB Disk Space, and 1 Gbps Port. Plans include free site migrations, up to 96 GB RAM, up to 750 GB Disk Space, up to 9 TB bandwidth, and up to 16 CPU Cores, depending on the configuration you choose.
While the very basic plan comes with pretty limited resources, it’s a good value that doesn’t require a lengthy contract. You can easily upgrade to a higher tier if you need more making Hostwinds Windows hosting both powerful and configurable.
Another perk is that you have the option of Windows Server 2008, 2012, or 2016.
|Higher price point but more resources||Full-time system monitoring|
|Managed and unmanaged||60-day money-back guarantee|
|Flexible Windows hosting options||Good value|
|24/7 tech support|
5. A2 Hosting
A2 has been around in the web hosting game since 2001 when they were called Iniquinet. After going through a major rebranding, it is since known as A2 Hosting.
The company is well known for its excellent performance - especially when it comes to speed. A2 is very proud of their Turbo servers - allegedly they offer 20x the speed compared to other plans!
Plans and Pricing
With a wide range of plans available from managed WordPress, to shared hosting, reseller plans, dedicated servers and VPS, their shared Windows plans start at $4.90 a month with their Lite plan and go up to $10.78 a month with their Turbo plan. All three shared Windows plans come with unlimited storage and transfer, Plesk Control Panel, Free SSD and SSL.
Upgrade to their Swift ($5.88/month) or Turbo plan for unlimited websites and databases. The Turbo plan boasts being 20x faster and has an A2 Site Accelerator.
Overall, the Lite plan is suitable for single sites. If you need more sites and resources, Swift or Turbo may be a better fit.
If you don’t want shared hosting, A2 also offers three managed Windows VPS packages. They range in price from $36.29 a month with their Power plan to $69.29 a month for their Pinnacle plan. All three plans come with Free SSL and SSD, Plesk Onyx 17.8 Control Panel, 4 to 8 vCPUs, 2 to 4 TB transfer, 75 to 150 GB storage, and 4 to 8 GB RAM.
Sites are hosted on Windows Server 2012, but you can also opt for Windows 2016, which boasts some nice new features such as containers, ReFS, Nano Server, Linux Secure Boot support, and more. These capabilities aren’t available on shared plans, however.
|Hosted on SwiftServer platform for fast speeds||Tech support available 24/7|
|Turbo Servers with 20x faster speeds available||Decent prices|
|Windows shared hosting and Windows VPS managed hosting||Anytime money-back guarantee|
|Improved tech support|
If you’re in the market for Windows hosting or are just curious and want to try it out, these five hosting providers are a great place to start.
They all offer money-back guarantees and pretty low price points for the first month of use. This lets you test drive a plan - and then upgrade if you realize you need more resources. That's better rather than starting with a pricier plan just to learn that you’re paying for unused resources like RAM and storage.
If you decide to use Windows over Linux hosting, just remember that there are plenty of options. And Windows hosting can be as easy to use and just as scalable as its Linux counterpart.
Not sure if you even need Windows hosting? If you don't plan to use Windows-specific software, regular Linux shared hosting is also a good alternative. Have a look at our Linux hosting reviews, if you wish to try that out.
And if you're Windows through and through, don't wait! Begin your free Windows hosting trial or go for a cheap starter plan to start seeing the benefits.