The 7 Best MySQL Hosting Options – Some Are Even Free!

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Bart Keating

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2020 January 10th

If you are building a dynamic website with a content management system like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, there's more than a big chance you'll need MySQL database.

In this article, I test, evaluate, and rank the best MySQL hosting providers that not only offer fast and reliable but also affordable hosting as well.

MySQL Hosting

Of course, if you're new to the whole web development world, the concept of databases might sound too complicated.

Think of databases as bones in the human body, you don't see them, but they hold everything up. They store all the site's data and are used from generating pages to storing user info.

MySQL is free and open-source and is one of the most used relational database management systems. It is also relatively easy to work with.

That's why it's chosen and relied on by the majority of CMSs - MySQL can be easily changed and adapted by the platform's needs. Also, there's a huge community with tutorials and forum posts in case you run into trouble.

But of course, the database itself won't make your site fast and smooth if the servers are lagging behind. That is why when choosing a host, I first look at its performance and reliability. Only then comes pricing, support options, and other features that help develop successful projects.

After thorough testing, I found the best MySQL hosts available at the moment.

Best MySQL Hosting

I've tested different MySQL compatible hosts to find these 7 best options. Some of these offer specialized MySQL hosting and others offer great deals with MySQL support.

Here are the best MySQL hosting providers:

1. Bluehost - Scalable MySQL Hosting Plans

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$2.95/mo

Bluehost is mostly known for its WordPress hosting, even to the point of being endorsed by WordPress itself. But it does offer a wide variety of quality hosting services, from shared and VPS to dedicated servers.

All of Bluehost plans support MySQL. The cheapest shared hosting plan costs $2.95/mo and offers unlimited databases,  50GB SSD storage, and unmetered bandwidth.

If you need more power and unlimited SSD storage, the Choice plan for $5.45/mo is available and comes with unlimited domains as well.

You can choose WordPress-optimized plans for the same price too These will add auto-updates for the CMS and specific server configurations. It's worth mentioning that Bluehost is really good at WordPress sites and offering platform-specific tools.

All of Bluehost hosting plans come with free SSL certificates and free domain names for the first year. It's a good bundle for beginners who need a website launched fast.

In case you need help with your account or have pre-sales questions, Bluehost has 24/7 phone and live chat support. Also toll-free and international phone numbers are available. If you're not up for a chat, Bluehost offers a vast knowledge base full of useful articles and videos to help you out.

Bluehost Performance

When it comes to performance, Bluehost delivers on both decent speeds and stability. The website didn't experience any downtime during the testing period.

Bluehost MySQL Hosting Performance

Our response time clocked in at a great 299ms average. At the same time, the performance was not perfectly stable peaking here and there.

However, the maximum response time was far from 500ms, scoring better than any average host would.

Bluehost Advanced Features

Bluehost takes your website security and resources seriously. Additionally to features that are included, you can also purchase SiteLock, CodeGuard, and unique IPs.

Furthermore, Bluehost keeps an eye on your hosting resources, managing everything in the server so your website's performance would be intact. The provider does not tolerate excess usage and alarms users should there be an issue.

And if you want to do some marketing yourself, Bluehost offers both Google ads and Microsoft advertising credits. These add up to a 100$ free credit when you spend $25.

Overall, Bluehost offers impressive performance and scalable shared hosting plans with unlimited MySQL databases.

Pros

  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • Powerful and reliable servers
  • Great customer support

Cons

  • Add-ons are pricey
  • Higher renewal pricing

Visit Bluehost

2. HostGator - MySQL Hosting With Free Website Transfers

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$2.75/mo

HostGator is one of the biggest hosting providers on the market. It offers a wide variety of hosting services that are tailored to fit most users' needs. You can choose from shared to dedicated hosting, VPS, or just the Gator website builder.

The shared hosting plans start at $2.75 a month and goe up to $5.95 per month. With the cheapest plan, you are limited to only 1 domain name, but the storage space and bandwidth are unlimited from the start.

Other features included unlimited MySQL databases, free SSL certificates, and easy to use cPanel control panel.

Our blog readers can also benefit from an even bigger discount.

You can get up to 61.5% off by entering HOSTINGREVIEW coupon code at the checkout.

Together with a big discount, the provider tries to make the transfer to its servers as smooth as possible. If you're moving from elsewhere, HostGator offers you a free website, domain, or MySQL transfer by its team of specialists.

HostGator actually gives you a free domain name for one year with every plan you choose. But be aware that you have to choose an annual billing option in order to be able to use this feature.

You also get free automatic weekly off-site data backups to keep our website up and running no matter what. You'll always have a copy of a functioning site.

HostGator Performance

While showing more stable results and giving us a 100% uptime for our website, HostGator was very fast as well. The average response time was about 257ms, which is just a bit more than the recommended 200ms.

HostGator MySQL Hosting Performance

The slowest our server got was just 297ms, so the performance was extremely stable.

HostGator's Solid Customer Support

What HostGator lacks, it more than compensates with its customer support. It offers a premium 24/7 support by email, live chat, or phone.

For those who like to solve issues themselves, HostGator's knowledge base has more than 600 help articles on every topic and more than 500 video tutorials. These make it easy even for less tech-savvy people to fix and modify things themself.

HostGator is a solid choice if you want a hosting provider with amazing customer support and a bunch of premium features. It even throws in professional website transfers for free.

Pros

  • Unlimited plans
  • Fast servers
  • Affordable pricing

Cons

  • Higher renewal pricing

Visit HostGator

3. Hostinger - MySQL Hosting On A Budget

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$0.80/mo
MySQL Hosting - Hostinger Homepage

Hostinger is an excellent choice for cheap MySQL hosting: plans start at just $0.80/month. The base package gets you 10GB of storage space and one MySQL database.

HOSTINGREVIEW coupon code will get you an extra 10% discount for any plan.

With Hostinger you get database management and storage software InnoDB and PHPMyAdmin. You also get the ability to access and manage your MySQL databases remotely.

If you need more databases, I recommend the still extremely affordable $2.59/month Premium Shared Hosting plan. It supports an unlimited number of databases and comes with 20GB SSD storage space.

The Premium plan will also be a great option because it comes with free domain registration. There's a condition though -  you have to choose to pay annually to get that.

Hostinger Performance

Hostinger is not only cheap but offers speedy performance as well. It averages at 288ms response time. Unfortunately, the performance is not always stable with occasional peaks here and there.

Hostinger MySQL Hosting Performance

The provider also has a 99.9% uptime guarantee but throughout the monitoring of my site, it hasn't gone down even for a minute.

Hostinger Support And Features

Hostinger offers live chat and ticket support 24/7. The team is very fast, well-trained and helpful. The best thing - Hostinger maintains a zero-tier agent system meaning that all of the agents can help you with any issue without directing you to different departments.

One thing to be aware of is that Hostinger doesn't offer phone support.

Hostinger makes it extremely easy to set up MySQL. You'll find numerous Hostinger support tutorials that explain what MySQL is and how to create a MySQL database.

All in all, Hostinger offers impressive performance and plenty of features for a wallet-friendly price.

Pros

  • Very cheap pricing
  • Powerful and reliable servers
  • User-friendly interface

Cons

  • No phone support
  • A smaller amount of resources

Visit Hostinger

4. A2 Hosting - Eco-Friendly MySQL Hosting

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$2.96/mo
A2 Hosting Homepage

A2 Hosting is 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.

Its 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 $2.96/month Lite plan comes with unlimited storage but is limited to just 5 MySQL databases. I recommend the slightly pricier $3.70/month Swift plan which can host an unlimited number of databases.

And don't forget that A2 Hosting offers anytime money-back guarantee, so you can try its services without any risk.

A2 Hosting Performance

A2 Hosting guarantees you a stable server and a 99.9% uptime. But does it deliver on these promises?

My website experienced 1 outage resulting in 2 minutes of downtime. It evened out at 99.98% uptime which is a great result.

A2 Hosting Performance

On the other hand, A2 Hosting was slower than the competition with not extremely stable performance. The average response time was 494ms with a couple of peaks of over 900ms.

While not the fastest, A2 Hosting still performs better than an industry-average host.

MySQL VPS Hosting and Advanced features

If you need a bit more speed or features, A2 Hosting offers special VPS MySQL plans. These are specifically designed for the database hosting, so you get root access and turbo servers. The price for these plans starts at $5 a month.

The cheapest VPS plan comes with 20 GB of storage, 2TB transfer limit and 512MB of RAM. And you can get 50GB of storage for $15/mo. But sadly, bandwidth is always limited to 2TB unless users are willing to pay extra.

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.

MySQL Hosting A2 Hosting Languages

Plus, you'll be able to get all the help needed. 24/7 customer support is available via phone, email. and live chat.

All in all, A2 Hosting has both MySQL support and plans specifically created for MySQL database hosting. It's a good choice for more tech-savvy users.

Pros

  • Scalable plans
  • User-friendly interface
  • Affordable pricing

Cons

  • Higher renewals

Visit A2 Hosting

5. InterServer - All-In-One MySQL Hosting Plan

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$4/mo
InterServer Homepage

InterServer only offers one shared hosting package for $4 which includes an unlimited number of domains, email accounts, bandwidth, and even storage space. And of course - unlimited MySQL databases. With all of that included you don't need to spend time investigating what plan has what features.

Unfortunately, scaling means a transfer to a different server.

If shared hosting isn't your thing, InterServer offers a wide variety of hosting services to scale. From shared WordPress hosting to VPS and dedicated servers. It even has a free 1-year hosting option for students around the world.

The InterServer support team is ready to answer your questions 24/7. You can choose the best method for you, either by live chat, ticket system or phone.

And if you want to chat with support over the phone, InterServer has 5 locations around the world - The USA, UK, Brazil, Isreal, and Mexico.

InterServer Performance

Interserver boasts about its speed and stability, guaranteeing us a 99.9% uptime rate. It does offer compensation for downtime, but I absolutely didn't need it, because my website was up 100% of the time.

InterServer Performance

The average response time for our website was around 426ms. There were a couple of spikes but apart from that, the performance was very stable.

All The Features In One Package

Having just one plan means that everything you need will be there from the very start. You get both Cloudflare CDN and global content caching for better performance and speed.

InterServer also has its own Intershield security running on every website. It includes machine learning firewall, automatic virus scan, and malware removal. And all of that is already configured and ready for action.

Even better is the Inter-insurance, a free service that will restore and clean-up compromised or hacked accounts for free. It's even available for new customers when migrating to InterServer, the team will fix and clean your website before moving it.

While InterServer has just one plan, it has everything you need for good performance, security, and MySQL management.

Pros

  • Unlimited plan
  • Powerful and reliable servers
  • Affordable pricing

Cons

  • Only 1 plan for shared hosting

Visit InterServer

6. DreamHost - MySQL Hosting Provider With Experience

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$2.59/mo

DreamHost was established in 1996, and by now has 1.5 million websites and more than 20 years of experience in hosting. All that experience made it focus on 3 S's - speed, security, and stability.

Shared hosting here starts at $2.59 for 50GB of fast SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, free SSL, and up to 6 MySQL databases. And if you want unlimited databases, you will have to choose the Unlimited hosting plan for $5.95/mo.

You also get domain privacy protection completely free with your hosting plan - that's usually a paid extra with other providers.

Note that these prices are only available if you choose to buy shared hosting for 3 years. If you want to pay monthly, the price for the Starter plan will increase to $4.95/mo. But if you're thinking about the future, it will help you save money in the long-run.

For those who need customer support, Dreamhost offers 24/7 ticket support. Unfortunately, the live chat option is only available from 5:30 AM to 9:30 PM Pacific time, and you can only schedule a phone callback for a nominal fee. 

DreamHost Performance

DreamHost statement is very clear - your site will be always up. And it states that for a good reason, we had a 100% uptime rate throughout our testing period. The speed, while not lighting fast, was still great averaging at 419ms.

Dreamhost performance over a week

Overall, the response time was very stable. The highest it got throughout the tests was 579ms. So, even with the slowest response time, the website loaded not much worse than the average.

DreamHost Uptime And Money-Back Guarantees

The two key features that set DreamHost apart are 100% uptime guarantee and 97-days money-back guarantee. The stability and uptime of my website were top-notch and achieved that 100% mark easily.

The 97-day money-back guarantee applies to shared hosting up to, well, 97 days. If you cancel your plan within this period, you will be automatically refunded. So if you feel unsure about DreamHost shared hosting plans you can test the water safely.

Note, that this refund option is only available for shared hosting plans.

All in all, every hosting plan with DreamHost will give you fast speeds, stability, and great security.

Pros

  • Domain privacy included
  • 100% uptime guarantee

Cons

  • Lacks 24/7 live chat support

Visit DreamHost

7. Siteground - Balanced MySQL Database Hosting

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$3.95/mo

Siteground offers one of the best prices and features balance out there. And for users looking for MySQL hosting, it gives quite a lot of useful tools and performance boosts.

The lowest tier StartUp plan will cost you $3.95 a month and will include 10GB of storage, free SSL, Cloudflare CDN, and unlimited databases. While the highest-tier GoGeek plan will give you all of the previous features and 30GB of storage.

The Storage space here is sadly always limited to the maximum of 30GB, which is not perfect if you plan to have a more media-centric website or host multiple of them. But you get daily backups completely for free with every plan, so you can restore your website if anything goes wrong.

If you need any help or information Siteground offers 24/7 customer support by phone, live chat, and ticket system.

It also offers webinars that are filled with useful information about the company, hosting features, and all sorts of troubleshooting.

SiteGround Performance

My test website had a 99.99% uptime rate, that's great knowing that SiteGround guarantees every website will have a 99.9%. However, the server speed wasn't as impressive.

SiteGround Performance Results 2019

SiteGround is currently the slowest provider on this list averaging at 976ms response time. In no way that's a good result but that's not usual for the provider. I'll keep an eye on it, waiting for improvement.

SiteGround Developer Friendly Approach

If you know your way around code, Siteground's GrowBig and GoGeek plans are just for you. Easy Git installation means that every server comes with a pre-installed Git version, so you don't have to do it yourself.

And if you want to do some changes, but you don't want to do it on your live website SiteGround offers staging tools. It allows you to make a copy of your website to test new features and code, without affecting the live version.

You can even use its white-label features to develop and create your own branded designs or websites to sell to your customers.

SiteGround has a balanced price and feature deals that give you unlimited databases, free SSL, and Cloudflare CDN.

Pros

  • Feature-rich plans
  • Exceptional customer support

Cons

  • Expensive prices
  • Higher renewal pricing

Visit SiteGround

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:

  • BlueHost: Easily scalable and affordable hosting.
  • HostGator: Hosting provider with a free website, domain, or MySQL transfers.
  • Hostinger: The cheapest MySQL hosting with all the essential features.
  • A2 Hosting: Solid hosting provider that is also eco-friendly.
  • InterServer: MySQL hosting provider with all the features you need in just one plan.
  • DreamHost: A Reliable MySQL Hosting Provider
  • SiteGround: Provider with a balanced price and features packages for your MySQL hosting.

Bear in mind that these are just rough outlines, and if you want to find more about each provider you can just visit our review page.

Some hosts will be better suited for MySQL developers while others are oriented towards beginner-level users.

What do you think are the best MySQL database hosting choices? Please let us know about other great services by commenting below!

MySQL Hosting FAQs

We answered the most commonly asked questions about MySQL hosting.

Here's everything you might want to know:

1. What Alternatives Does MySQL Have?

MySQL has both free and paid alternatives available.

Oracle and MS SQL are premium options that are orientated towards big companies with more complex needs.

SQLite, on the other hand, is made more for individual users with just a few databases. And of course, you have a lot of open-source tools like MariaDB that you can use.

But note that most alternatives are better in specific scenarios, so you have to understand what you need before choosing one.

2. Is MySQL Easy to Use for Beginners?

MySQL can be both easy and difficult for beginners as it does require specific database knowledge. Most providers offer PHPMyAdmin as an easy tool to manage MySQL databases.

But if you want to get the most of MySQL, you will need to learn more about SQL and database programming.

And the fact that it's the most popular database management system, means that there are hundreds of tutorials and forum posts online to help you started.

3. Will I Need to Install Software to use MySQL?

A hosting company should provide you with everything already installed and ready to go. So, you don't need to do or add anything on your own, well only if you want to.

If a company doesn't run Windows or Unix servers, then it probably uses MySQL as a database management system.


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Written by Bart Keating

Experienced in copywriting, SEO and creative writing (journalism, blogging, poetry, lullabies etc.). Public communication bachelor and HoReCa expert. A strange sense of humor but bearable. Has a beard, a cat, a fiancee, a hedgehog, and a brand new pug.

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