Music festivals, banks, gas stations, commercial airlines – all of these industries are examples of a shared service to create a cost-effective, high-quality experience for everyone involved. Imagine the cost of owning and running your own private jet. Expensive, right?
This is what shared web hosting is all about. It's an inexpensive, high-quality service, allowing you to have a website on a moderate budget.
And with so many options to choose from, which one is the best shared hosting provider? There are many factors to take into account like price, reliability, load speeds and much more.
And over the last couple of years, we've been testing the servers, trying to find the best shared hosting there is. Here's the list of the winners:
- Hostinger (Incredibly affordable shared server hosting)
- Bluehost (A great shared host for WordPress sites)
- InMotion Hosting (Extremely reliable)
- GreenGeeks (Eco-friendly, stable and reliable performance)
- A2 Hosting (Custom server infrastructure, good speeds in the US)
Recommended for: Individuals looking for the most affordable deal
Hostinger's shared hosting fees begin at a very low price of $1.45/month. And you get a solid chunk of resources for that. The Single Shared Hosting plan includes 10GB of SSD storage and 100GB bandwidth.
If you, however, need more space, Hostinger's premium plan is $2.95/month, and includes unlimited storage and bandwidth.
But prices, however low they may be, are not the best feature of this host. Hostinger earns its spot because of the best performance out of all the hosts tested.
During our Hostinger review, it was clear that its servers response times rarely ever exceed 100ms - and downtimes were virtually nonexistent.
Aside from the world-class hosting experience, all plans include access to Hostinger's powerful site building software, which you can use to create an awesome looking site in minutes, thanks to the hosts simple drag-and-drop designer.
Of course, you don't have to use Hostinger's own site builder. Traditional CMS packages such as WordPress, which can be installed in 1-click, are also included.
- Amazingly affordable pricing structure
- Very reliable with virtually 100% uptime
- Easy-to-use website builder included
- 1-Click WordPress installation
- Bandwidth and storage capped with the starter plan
- No 24/7 phone support, although live chat is available
Recommended for: WordPress enthusiasts
Approximately 75 million people use WordPress to manage their site content, with many of those pages being run through shared hosting packages. That makes excellent WordPress support and performance must-have features for any serious shared hosting provider.
And that's exactly what Bluehost does best!
Like Hostinger, 1-Click WordPress installation is available with all Bluehost plans.
This pretty much guarantees a headache-free setup process. But, if you do run into difficulties, don't worry. Bluehost's tech team are on stand by 24/7 to solve any problems. You can pester its team by live chat or through a toll-free phone number at any time.
What's even more amazing about Bluehost is its WP integration, which is so good, even WordPress recommends it.
And the performance is really exceptional - full WordPress page load times on Bluehost servers were one of the best ones around.
(Of course, if you'd rather use a different CMS system to manage your site, you're free to add one with Bluehost's SimpleScripts installer.)
Bluehost's starter plan costs just $2.95/month (first term discount, then $7.99) and includes 50GB of SSD storage. Also, bandwidth is unlimited with every package so your site will be able to cope with demanding levels of traffic. Bluehost also throws in a free domain for the first year, which is an awesome deal.
- Recommended by WordPress with built-in WordPress integration
- Free domain for the first year
- SSL security certificate included
- 24/7 live chat and phone support
- Large increases in price after the first year of your plan
- Non-WordPress response times lack behind Hostinger
Recommended for: Users who value reliability above all else
InMotion guarantees an uptime rate of 99.9%. In our InMotion review, we even saw it comfortably surpass that. So businesses using this host won't have to worry about losing clients when they can't load your pages during a technical outage.
And as for speed, InMotion's hosting is all based on SSD storage, which is much faster than traditional HDD storage.
You can also pick which data center your site is hosted at, allowing you to find one that minimizes load times for readers in a particular region.
InMotion also gives you a good deal of flexibility to choose how you design or manage your site. Every shared hosting plan grants access to over 400+ free web development software packages, including CMS and SEO tools.
Plans begin at just $3.99/month for unlimited storage and bandwidth. The only severe limitation of the starter plan is the limited number of websites (only two) it supports.
- Extremely reliable host
- Great choice of data centers
- Unlimited SSD storage and bandwidth with all plans
- Hundreds of free software tools
- Starter plan limited to support for only two websites
Recommended for: Eco-friendly users
After all, huge data centers require huge resources. If that's a concern for you, GreenGeeks is a great hosting choice.
That's because it offsets the electricity consumed in its data centers by investing three times the amount of energy taken from the grid to renewable energy foundations.
So, if you use GreenGeeks to host a business website, you'll be able to add your eco-friendly credentials to attract environmentally conscious consumers. In some businesses, this could be a very good feature.
Of course, eco-friendliness alone didn't earn GreenGeeks a place on this list.
GreenGeeks' sites offer great load speeds, thanks to its server optimization for packages like WordPress and Magento. But you won't be limited in your choice of CMS toolkits. Why? Softaculous installer software is thrown in with every package letting you add over 250 custom scripts to your page.
GreenGeeks is also a good host to improve your site's search engine rankings and make money through ads. It lets you quickly add MetaData and Google AdSense widgets to your page. Both of these tools help your business rank high on Google and monetize your site.
With current offers, prices begin at just $2.95/month. And the starter plan includes an SSL certificate, unlimited SSD storage, and free domain registration.
- 24/7 live chat and phone support
- Softaculous installer software
- Unlimited SSD storage and bandwidth
- Extras like SSL certificate and domain registration also included
- Limited server location choice
5. A2 Hosting
Recommended for: Individuals that prioritize high-speed loading
This host's quick speeds are achieved through a combination of SSD storage, a choice of different data center locations and use of a custom SwiftServer architecture optimized for Apache and PHP servers.
In my tests, A2Hosting was consistently on the top lists for both response and load times.
The broad range of methods you can use to get in touch with A2's support staff makes it an excellent choice for users who regularly travel abroad. In addition to live chat, email, and ticketing systems, the company also uses 24/7 Skype support.
While A2's 'Lite' plan costs just $3.92/month and includes unlimited storage and bandwidth, I recommend the $9.31/month 'Turbo' package for users who want absolutely top-notch shared hosting. That's because it includes support for unlimited websites and CloudFlare CDN's RailGun upgrade toolkit, compressing your site and boosting loading times!
- Very cheap unlimited storage plans
- Support team accessible 24/7 by Skype
- Free SSL certificate for security
- RailGun upgrade included in the 'Turbo' package
- The base plan only supports a single website
Pick The Best Shared Hosting Service for You
The hosts I have chosen for my shared hosting reviews are all suited to different uses, so consider your personal needs when deciding which provider to go with. In summary:
- Hostinger is the best for budget shared hosting
- Bluehost has amazing WordPress integration
- InMotion Hosting's shared packages are extremely reliable
- GreenGeeks' servers can help you gain some eco-friendly credentials
- A2 Hosting offers solid hosting and the ability to speed up your site
You can't go wrong with any of the hosts on this list - I've only included hosting services that excel on multiple fronts. For example, just because I've listed Bluehost as the best for WordPress sites, it doesn't mean that other services don't do WordPress sites well. In their own way, all of the providers here are great.
The list right here is the result of our research which started in mid-2017. With hundreds of shared hosting reviews on our site, we picked out only the best providers right here for this list.
All of them have to excel on several fronts - performance, reliability, customer support, additional features, and ease of use. The top 5 right here suits all of those categories perfectly.
What do you think? Do you use any of those providers - or do you think I missed out an awesome shared host? comment below to let me know!