Because it's free, open-source and powerful, MySQL is almost everyone's favorite structured database query language.
The reliance on MySQL for big-name content management systems such as WordPress has led to the vast majority of web hosts deciding to support it in recent years.
But which host really offers the best hosting service for it?
Over the past 6 months, we've reviewed 40 different MySQL compatible hosts to find the 5 best options. And if you're short on money, don't worry - the list includes several free MySQL hosting choice as well.
In no fixed order, here are the best MySQL hosting choices:
- Hostinger: Cheap MySQL Hosting
- GearHost: Completely free MySQL hosting
- A2 Hosting: Scalable MySQL hosting plans
- InMotion: Rapid and reliable MySQL server hosting
- Google Cloud SQL: Ideal for enterprise use
Price: from $7.99/month
Recommended for: MySQL hosting on a budget.
I, therefore, recommend the still extremely affordable $2.95/month Premium Shared Hosting plan, which supports an unlimited number of databases and comes with limitless SSD storage space.
You may well be planning to run a public website using your MySQL database through a CMS system. If that's the case, the Premium plan will also be a great option becomes it comes with free domain registration.
One thing to be aware of is that Hostinger doesn't offer phone support. It does have a 24/7 live chat and ticket support system though, so I don't consider the lack of a phone line to be a huge deal.
If you're drawn to Hostinger's MySQL package but are in the market for entirely free MySQL hosting, consider Hostinger's subsidiary, 000webhost. It offers many of the same great features as Hostinger, but its bottom tier plan includes 1GB storage and is completely free.
- Affordable monthly prices
- MySQL focused tutorials
- 24/7 live chat customer support
- Subsidiary offers free MySQL hosting
- Starter plan only includes a single database
- No phone support
Price: from free
Recommended for: MySQL development.GearHost is another host that offers free MySQL hosting. Unfortunately, the restrictions placed on its free plan are fairly severe. It includes just 10MB database storage and 1GB bandwidth.
But perhaps the most frustrating limitation is a 20-minute activity timer that will automatically log you out of any inactive sessions. Essentially, GearHost's free MySQL package is only suitable for very basic database testing.
But, while the free plan isn't particularly useful, GearHost's paid plans are actually ideal for testing and development because they allow you to pay for hourly processor usage. Prices start at just $0.007/CPU hour. Paying by the hour is ideal if you just need short bursts of access to high-powered server equipment to do troubleshooting or to implement complicated operations.
You can customize your plan with up to 10 simultaneous worker instances, allowing you to cost-effectively process large databases in a timely manner. Note that, when paid monthly, GearHost's packages don't offer great value. The cheapest plan costs $5/month for just 1GB storage.
GearHost plans include MS SQL 2014 as well as MySQL. That's a nice addition in case you want to check your database's compatibility with a more traditional SQL format.
- Free SQL Hosting plan available
- SSD storage
- Scalable to up to 10 worker instances
- Can pay for hourly processing
- Free plan only includes 10MB storage
- Poor value if you pay monthly
3. A2 Hosting
Price: from $3.92
Recommended for: Scalable MySQL database hosting.
Open source folk such as MySQL users tend to be a little more conscious of social issues than your everyday consumer. If that describes you, A2 Hosting may well be the right host for your MySQL server because it's committed to environmental friendliness. It partners with the Carbon Fund to offset all emissions created by its servers and has a strong focus on recycling.
Of course, eco-friendliness alone doesn't make for a great MySQL hosting experience. A2 Hosting's best feature is that it offers a range of plans all dedicated to MySQL hosting, providing excellent scalability and allowing you to just pay for the resources you need.
The starter $3.92/month Lite plan comes with unlimited storage but is limited to just 5 MySQL databases.
So instead I recommend the slightly pricier $4.90/month Swift plan which can host an unlimited number of databases.
Extra Database Languages
Whichever package you go for, you'll be able to make use of developer-friendly database languages like PostgreSQL and MariaDB in addition to MySQL 5.6. Plus, A2 Hosting is known for its rapid load speeds, which it achieves through a combination of SSD storage and a custom SwiftServer architecture. I found server response times as low as 23ms in my A2 Hosting review.
- Scalable plans let you choose the resource you need
- Affordable prices
- Rapid SSD storage
- 24/7 phone and live chat support
- Extra database languages
- Top-end Turbo plan won't add much to MySQL servers
- Backups not included with the cheapest plan
Recommended for: Fast and reliable MySQL hosting.InMotion isn't as affordable as other hosts in this list but, as we'll see, it makes up for that with a number of features that combine to produce an excellent overall MySQL hosting experience.
The InMotion Launch plan costs $3.99/month with current discounts. However, it only supports two MySQL databases. I recommend you opt for the $5.99/month Power plan instead which can host up to 50. All plans come with unlimited SSD storage and monthly bandwidth, which is ideal if you are managing a large MySQL database.
And with every hosting package, InMotion includes a number of features that other hosts charge for. For example, every plan includes a free SSL certificate, guaranteeing that your connection is encrypted and protecting any sensitive data you're working with.
You can also install 400+ web applications on your server in just 1-click, letting you add software packages that run off of MySQL with minimal fuss. Plus, free backups of up to 10GB data are made every 24-72 hours, so you can rest assured your database is protected from hardware failure.
Rapid Speeds and Consistent Reliability
You're unlikely to experience any such problems with InMotion, though. It offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee that I've independently verified. I also found that thanks to its Max Speed Zone feature, InMotion SQL databases load incredibly quickly with response times as low as 21ms.
- Large choice of data center locations
- Easy to add extra apps
- Free daily backups
- Reliable with a 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- 24/7 customer live chat and phone support
- Starter plan only supports two MySQL databases
- More expensive than other hosts
Price: from free
Recommended for: Enterprise users.
Why? Because, when you sign up to a Google Cloud account, you receive $300 in free hosting credit that can be spent in the first year. Storage and processing costs have to be paid separately, but that balance can still go along way: 1GB of storage costs $0.09/month and SQL processing costs $0.0150/hour.
But the chief advantage of Cloud SQL is its scalability. It's one of the most powerful platforms around so, if you want extra performance, you just have to pay for it. Specs max out at an eye-watering 10TB of storage and 416GB RAM.
In short, Cloud SQL is a great choice for enterprise users who have to crunch large MySQL databases quickly. All Cloud SQL accounts come with both MySQL and PostgreSQL installed as standard.
- Amazing scalability
- Free MySQL hosting
- Ideal for enterprise use
- Free credit can only be used in the first year
- Not designed for everyday web hosting
Finding the Best MySQL Hosting Service for You
Remember, MySQL is a versatile language and these web services are all tailored toward using it for different purposes. Make sure you consider your personal needs when choosing the best MySQL host:
- Hostinger offers extremely cheap MySQL hosting
- GearHost is ideal for affordable MySQL development testing
- A2 Hosting offers a range of different MySQL packages
- InMotion's MySQL database hosting is fast and reliable
- Google Cloud is the best choice for enterprise users
Bear in mind that these are just rough guides, and you don't have to follow my instructions to the letter.
Two hosts in this list, Google Cloud and GearHost, are particularly suitable for development purposes because they allow you to pay for hourly processing time. The other hosts are better if you want to run a website through MySQL or use it for long term data storage.
What did you think of my MySQL database hosting choice? Please let me know about other great services by commenting below!