SQL Server is great for a variety of advanced applications and processes. It is highly used in business intelligence, analytics, payment processing, and other fields. Other users employ it for Windows-based application creation or simply because they are more used to the Windows interface rather than Linux.
SQL Server is a premium option and that comes with its own benefits. Some of these are ease of use and optimizations for data storage. But to get the perks, it's essential to make a good choice when purchasing a hosting provider.
This is where things get tricky.
When looking for the best SQL Server web hosting packages, you may realize that there isn't a huge amount of choice. The majority of hosting providers simply do not support SQL Servers. Among those few options, there are both good and bad ones.
Throughout the years, I used and tested the majority of them. This list includes my all-time favorites - with detailed descriptions and testing results.
But before we get into the list of the recommended hosts, I prepared a short guide that will walk you through the process of selecting the best one for your project.
How to Choose the Best SQL Server Web Hosting?
When there's not so much choice of the providers, the task of choosing one is not that difficult. After all, it all depends on your needs.
So choosing the provider for yourself, consider these 5 things:
#1 How Big is Your Project?
Depending on the size and purpose of the project, you'll have a couple of choices for the type of hosting you need.
Most of the Windows Server and SQL Server hosting providers focus on:
- Shared hosting on Windows Servers. It's a good option for small- to medium-sized projects at a budget. At the same time, it's a good option for developers to master SQL databases without the need for configuring servers or waiting days for deployment.
Providers offering shared SQL Server hosting: HostGator, InterServer, and GoDaddy.
- VPS hosting using Windows Servers. It's the most common type for SQL Server hosting that can fit both small and huge projects. Ranging from managed to unmanaged services, it has a steeper learning curve but allows more flexibility. VPS hosting is often the choice of big companies and enterprises to develop their own web-based applications.
Providers offering VPS SQL Server hosting: Liquid Web, InterServer, Hostinger, and Hostwinds.
For the most mission-critical projects, you could also look at dedicated server providers. However, the pricing for such services can start at hundreds of dollars per month.
#2 What Version of Windows is the Provider Using?
Chose only the hosting provider that runs a recent and Microsoft supported version of Windows Server OS. Getting a recent version will ensure security and non-security updates so your software can function properly and be protected.
Currently, Microsoft supports:
- Windows Server 2012
- Windows Server 2012 R2
- Windows Server 2016
- Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2008 R2 extended support also ends on January 14, 2020, so it is not a viable long term solution.
#3 What Additional Tools are Included?
You should look at the overall package the host provides. You should get the tools for:
- Intuitive control panel for managing databases such as Plesk or its alternatives.
- Security features: automated backups, SSL certificate, monitoring, anti-virus, and DDoS attack mitigation tools.
- Auto installer scripts if you will be using a CMS or other software.
- Tools for performance: CDN and caching tools, load balancers, and others.
Depending on your needs, the list might be completely different. However, the list above includes all the basics for a simple set up and development of websites and apps.
#4 How Knowledgeable is Support and What are Your Options?
Although managing Windows Servers is not difficult but having support options is always helpful. Whether you are a beginner or need help setting up your server or you are experiencing some issues.
But looking at Windows and SQL Server hosting, the situation is pretty difficult.
Because not so many hosting providers have Windows Servers, support knowledge might be limited. So before signing up and spending your hard-earned dollars, check if the support will be able to help you:
- Contact sales and see what they say.
- Read through service description - maybe its a managed service with top-level dedicated support?
- Check out user reviews - they are pretty honest about the experience with the provider.
From our list, Liquid Web, Hostinger, and Hostwinds have dedicated support knowledgable in Windows Servers. They are all available 24/7 to help you out.
#5 How Fast and Reliable the Servers are?
Speed and availability are crucial for any web-based project.
Whether it's an app, a website, or an online game - it has to be available at all times. Not to mention the importance of uptime for mission-critical apps.
Any downtime can cost you revenues and users' trust. Long-term downtimes can hurt your search engine rankings too.
Fast and powerful servers will also be helpful. Whether the traffic peaks or you use up large amount of server memory, your developed product should function at the same optimal performance.
So check out the stats of providers, their uptime guarantees, and performance history. Choose only the ones that perform actually well.
The Best SQL Server Web Hosting Providers
I tested speed, reliability, and assessed the overall value of several great providers offering SQL Server web hosting.
Here you can find the 6 best SQL Server web hosting providers:
1. Liquid Web- managed SQL Server hosting for performance.
2. HostGator- unlimited SQL Server web hosting.
3. InterServer- the cheapest hosting for SQL.
4. Hostinger- best SQL Server hosting value.
5. GoDaddy - reliable SQL Server web hosting for learning.
6. Hostwinds- the most scalable SQL hosting.
Let's have a look at how each of them performed.
Liquid Web is a fully managed hosting service. It offers completely customizable and very powerful managed SQL Server hosting on VPS servers.
The provider aims to deliver a powerful hosting environment for professionals and agencies. For them, Liquid Web offers performance, speed, reliability, security, and top-level customer support. This way you can focus on developing your project rather than managing servers.
Upon registration, you'll be able to configure the package yourself. That includes choosing OS, cloud storage, SQL Server edition, and other features.
Custom-configured VPS servers ensure privacy, even resource distribution, and scalability. Not to mention optimal performance for your project.
Alongside the pro tech support team, Liquid Web is worth its pricing.
Liquid Web SQL Server Prices
Liquid Web is the most expensive solution on this list with the monthly pricing starting at $74/mo (paid in-advance). At the same time, it's the most powerful and configurable SQL Server hosting option.
Even the cheapest plan gives 4GB memory, 100GB disk space, and 10TB of bandwidth. Such requirements fit even the heaviest databases.
You'll also have 2 other plans to scale up. It includes an 8GB RAM server for $94/mo and a 16GB RAM server for $169/mo.
If the price scares you, be sure that Liquid Web services pay off. You'll get a fully managed service including daily backups, proprietary server security software, and DDoS attack protection.
24/7 tech support takes care of all server-level management - you can focus on developing your project using the latest SQL Server version. Not to mention the industry-leading performance and hard-to-find 100% SLA agreement.
Liquid Web Performance Results
Just as stated in the Liquid Web's user agreement, it has kept 100% uptime throughout the month. It shows high reliability so even mission-critical projects can trust the provider to stay up at all times.
Liquid Web also has one of the best server performance results. It averages at 11ms response time.
The results show just how powerful Liquid Web's servers are. During the stress test, response time remained stable with just minor bumps as the number of virtual users increased. Requests rate also increased with the growing number of VUs - indicator of healthy performance.
Although Liquid Web is one of the most expensive providers on the list, it is definitely worth the price. Especially for data-heavy projects relying on constant availability - Liquid Web is the fastest and most reliable SQL Server hosting provider.
- The most powerful servers
- 100% uptime
- Great server management
- Higher pricing
HostGator's ASP.NET plans will get you budget-friendly web hosting for unlimited MSSQL databases.
That's right, even the starter ASP.NET plan includes as many SQL databases as you need to create. That's ideal for the majority of SQL users who want to run functions in multiple databases concurrently. It is powered by MSSQL Server 2016 Web Edition making it up-to-date and secure.
With the unlimited databases, you can use HostGator for learning purposes or developing small web-based apps. And if you're a complete beginner, the Plesk control panel will make it easy to manage your hosting account. It is a powerful cPanel alternative usually used on Windows Servers.
Together with very fast 24/7 phone and live chat support and great performance, HostGator makes it to this list as a smart SQL hosting solution even for beginners.
HostGator SQL Hosting Prices
HostGator has just 2 plans for SQL Server hosting - the Personal for $4.76/mo and the Enterprise for $14.36/mo.
For our blog readers, the price goes even lower.
Enter the HOSTINGREVIEW coupon code for 61.5% discount from the original price purchasing a 3-year plan.
With both of Hostgator's SQL plans bandwidth and storage are unmetered. It lets you store large databases and access them as quickly as your connection allows.
The Personal plan is designed for one website or project. It provides hosting for one domain. The Enterprise solution allows you to host up to 5 projects. Additionally, it includes an upgrade to Positive SSL and a dedicated IP - perfect for eCommerce platforms or mission-critical app hosting.
HostGator Performance Results
HostGator has averaged at 245ms response time - a very good result for shared SQL Server hosting. However, the response time had quite a few high peaks reaching 2s with varying requests rate. It might mean minor server health issues.
At the same time, HostGator uptime was excellent - 99.97% instead of guaranteed 99.9%.
Puting all results together, HostGator is a reliable provider. Although response time could be improved, it's a great result considering the cheap price.
HostGator is a good cheap SQL Server hosting provider. Offering unlimited databases and reliable performance, it is one of the best options to learn or host small and medium projects.
- Cheap SQL Server hosting
- Reliable performance
- Unlimited databases
- Fits smaller projects only
InterServer focuses on delivering an easy to use SQL Server hosting platform for both novice and professional users. The provider gives all the tools to deploy servers fast and ensure security.
You can easily launch your project from the Plesk control panel. There you'll find auto-installers for all the most popular software options, SSLs, and domain management.
InterServer also provides maximum security. That is 24/7 website monitoring, weekly backups, and automatic software backups.
And the provider doesn't lack anything to provide the best performance too. InterServer utilizes only 50% of server capacity. This leaves you more than enough space to scale and maintain optimal performance even during the traffic peaks.
InterServer is a fast, secure, and user-friendly option both for freelance developers and enterprises alike. And unlike some premium solutions, it won't cost thousands to launch and maintain.
InterServer SQL Hosting Prices
InterServer is completely transparent about its pricing. The provider has only one plan starting at $4/mo if you choose the longest term. In fact, it's the cheapest option on this list. However, if you want to choose a shorter term, the pricing goes slightly up.
The plan gives you unlimited storage and bandwidth for up to 25 projects - it fits perfectly both for learning and organizational level applications. You'll also get additional features like Cloudflare CDN, speed optimization, and weekly backups.
From what we can see, InterServer has a very nice package to get started and grow any project requiring huge server capacities. It's the best cheap way to host fast and powerful databases for huge amounts of data.
InterServer Performance Results
InterServer showed exceptionally great performance results with the average response time of 64ms. It stayed stable even with the increased number of virtual users. Requests rate corresponded equally to the VUs too - both showing healthy and stable performance.
InterServer also remained available at all times with just some minor downtimes. It averages at 99.99%.
For a cheap hosting provider, InterServer delivers some of the best results. It's also worth praising the server speed. InterServer is doing everything to ensure the best results and from what we see - it pays off.
InterServer is the best professional shared host for SQL Server. With the cheap pricing and reliable performance, it's a good scalable option for professional web-based applications.
- Affordable pricing
- Scalability options
- High security standards
- Will require scaling as projects grow
Hostinger is a provider that always focuses on delivering top-level performance. Its Windows VPS packages are designed like that too. They deliver optimal performance, reliability, and ease of use.
The provider uses top-quality hardware and optimizes it to run high capacity MSSQL databases fast.
Implementing Server 2012 R2 also reduces costs and provides an intuitive interface.
It becomes easy to develop your project. The Windows Server interface is very similar to that of Windows desktop. This way, even a novice user can manage their own web-based project.
Although it is not an entirely managed VPS package, Hostinger comes with 24/7 live chat and ticket support. The team will help you set up and manage your project as well as provide valuable insights about the platform itself.
Hostinger SQL Hosting Prices
Hostinger price for SQL Server web hosting ranges from $26/mo to $250/mo. You can go from the entry-level plan and upgrade to the most powerful server as your needs increase. On the other hand, Hostinger's Windows VPS packages are not as affordable as the other services that it offers.
All of the servers will include daily backups, SSL certificates, and business email. Hostinger highlights that its Windows Servers are configured to support even the largest databases. You'll be able to develop web-based apps and games.
The scalability options allow your projects to grow and increase the resources on the go. Together with top performance, Hostinger will be a good option for any development project - from a website to a game or industry-specific applications.
Hostinger Performance Results
Hostinger has a 99.9% uptime guarantee which it exceeds averaging at 99.97%.
The provider also showed one of the best server performance averaging at 42ms response time. It remained completely stable together with request rates corresponding to the numbers of virtual users. It is by far the best server stability so far.
Although Hostinger's Windows VPS plans are not cheap for an unmanaged server, it does provide excellent value. Completely stable server performance, reliability, and 24/7 customer support are great for any project including web applications and even games.
- Competitive pricing
- Stable server performance
- Excellent customer support
- No phone support
- Unmanaged service
GoDaddy is a web hosting provider trusted by millions of users. It powers their websites and web-based apps with stability, fast loading times, and easy to use hosting interface. The same goes for SQL Server hosting.
The provider uses Windows® Server 2012 R2 OS interface which is used by the majority of SQL providers. It's still supported by Microsoft, meaning regular security updates. It's also a great option for beginners that are used to the Windows OS interface.
Instead of writing command lines like with Linux systems, you'll be able to use a graphical user interface similar to that of any Windows desktop interface.
As for the host, GoDaddy is ready to help you with issues or questions 24/7 via phone, email, or live chat. Responses are mostly instant and very professional. Together with affordable pricing, GoDaddy makes it a great starting point to SQL Server hosting.
GoDaddy SQL Server Hosting Prices
GoDaddy is a budget option for SQL Server web hosting starting at $5.99/mo. The cheapest plan gets you 100GB storage space alongside 1 MSSQL database. It will also include a domain name and professional email.
You can get unlimited storage and 2 MSSQL databases with the Deluxe plan for $7.99/mo. The Ultimate plan for $12.99/mo provides you with unlimited databases.
There's one interesting fact about GoDaddy SQL Server hosting. It supports not only MSSQL but also MySQL databases all at once which makes GoDaddy a perfect learning environment. Other users can also make good use of different databases available.
GoDaddy Performance Results
GoDaddy guarantees a standard 99.9% uptime. However, it outperforms itself averaging at 99.99% uptime.
GoDaddy is also one of the providers boldly promising "industry-leading performance and load times." Our test results show that it's close to the truth - GoDaddy has an average 46ms response time.
GoDaddy's response time mostly stayed stable but it did have a couple of higher peaks. On the other hand, the requests rate indicates balanced server performance - it followed the growth of virtual user numbers.
GoDaddy is a reliable SQL Server web hosting provider. If you are looking for an affordable option to host your project, the provider has all the tools as well as good performance available.
- Affordable hosting
- Good server performance
- Quite a few upsells
Hostwinds offers a fully-managed instant deployment Windows VPS service. The provider focuses on ensuring the performance and security of its servers - employing 24/7 system monitoring, redundancy, automatic updates, and a 99.9999% uptime guarantee.
This makes it a perfect solution for huge companies with massive data quantities running on their SQL Server.
Hostwinds is also very flexible in terms of customization. You can choose to launch your server with either Windows 2012 or Windows 2016 OS. Possibility to choose the latest software ensures regular security updates to protect your system.
Additionally, you'll be able to configure custom firewall settings - choose optimal rules for your project. For the best performance even during the traffic peaks, Hostwinds has a custom load balancer solution. You'll be able to distribute traffic through different instances.
The best part is - Hostwinds services are completely affordable. It makes not only a great budget-friendly solution for enterprises and agencies but also for developers trying to master Microsoft Server and SQL databases.
Hostwinds SQL Hosting Prices
Hostwinds pricing for its Windows Servers starts at $7.99/mo for which you get 1 CPU, 1GB memory, 30GB storage, and 1TB of bandwidth. However, there are 10 plans and you can upgrade up to 16 CPU cores processor with up to 9TB of bandwidth for $270.25/mo. This makes Hostwinds the most scalable provider on the list.
With the managed service, you also get nightly backups, constant monitoring, and automatic resolving of issues.
However, if you want more control over your server, you can choose an unmanaged Windows VPS solution. It starts $9.89/mo and gives you the full control of the server, making it perfect for development geeks.
Overall, Hostwinds is designed to fit the needs of every project as well as experience level. Alongside fast VPS performance, it's a powerful service to use for a website, web-based application, or game development.
Hostwinds Performance Results
Hostwinds has a very generous 99.9999% uptime guarantee which can result in merely 31 seconds of annual downtime.
However, as generous as the guarantee might be, it does not cover scheduled downtimes for maintenance. The actual uptime of Hostwinds average at 99.99%.
The performance of Hostwinds is also exceptional. Not only is it fast (61ms response time), but also stable. Response time stays flat even with the growing numbers of virtual users while the requests rate grows accordingly.
If you are looking for an affordable managed VPS for SQL Server - Hostwinds performance is definitely getting you the best value.
Hostwinds is a very powerful SQL Server hosting provider. Although you should not trust its uptime guarantee blindly. On the other hand, Hostwinds performance results are some of the best you can get for an affordable managed VPS price.
- Highly powerful
- Great server performance
- Scaling will get expensive
SQL Server Web Hosting - the Verdict
Even though there aren't so many SQL Server web hosting providers, I've found several really good ones. So depending on what you need, you can choose the best one for you.
This is what my 6 SQL Server hosting providers are best at:
1. Liquid Web is an excellent managed VPS hosting solution on Windows Servers. It's a highly configurable platform with top-level customer support for enterprise web solutions.
2. HostGator provides users with affordable shared SQL Server hosting including unlimited MSSQL databases. It's a good option for learning and developing small and medium projects.
3. InterServer is the cheapest professional Windows hosting provider. It offers high scalability and security options for both small projects and enterprises.
4. Hostinger is one of the fastest performing SQL Server hosting providers. With easy to use interface and many scalability options, it's a good provider to start and scale as your project, game, or app grows.
5. GoDaddy provides users with reliability, affordable prices, and SQL Server "starter" packages. It's one of the best affordable hosts for learning and developing medium-sized projects.
6. Hostwinds is the most scalable managed SQL Server hosting option. Providing high customizability, security, and customer support it's a powerful host for any kind of web-based project.
What is the best SQL Server web hosting provider in your opinion? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section down below?
SQL Server Web Hosting FAQs
Here you'll find the answers to all the most questions about SQL Server web hosting.
Is MSSQL Web Hosting Right for Me?
MSSQL Web hosting or any Windows-based hosting can be right for the majority of web-based projects. It is more simple to use than Linux server hosting due to a graphic and intuitive user interface. SQL Servers are using a very common Windows desktop interface, so most users will already be used to it.
On the other hand, MSSQL databases are not supported by such major CMSs like WordPress. Therefore, they are more commonly used for web-based applications and game development.
Also, due to somewhat higher costs but better performance, SQL Server hosting is usually the choice of big companies to develop their products. MSSQL is capable of handling large quantities of data at high speeds.
Can I Use MSSQL for Free?
You can use MSSQL for free with its SQL Server Express edition. This edition is much more limited than the others (Enterprise, Standard, Web, etc.). It limits maximum memory and database size. It also does not include some features as other editions such as SQL Agent.
At the same time, it's a scalable option for small- to medium-size businesses as well as a great tool to learn MSSQL database management.
Is SQL Server Secure?
SQL Servers can be secure once actively secured. Microsoft releases constant security updates making the system rather secure. But just like using any other service that's connected to the Internet, you'll need to actively secure it.
That includes constant monitoring, restricting access, having a backup/restore policy, and taking other best SQL security practices.
Are There Alternatives to MSSQL?
MSSQL has several different alternatives. That includes most popular databases like MySQL and MariaDB. The enterprise-level alternatives include such databases as Amazon Aurora, Oracle Database, and Microsoft Access.
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