Web Hosting Review: SiteGround vs Bluehost vs HostGator vs iPage vs BlueHost vs DreamHost vs A2 & More

To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.

Best Shared Environment
Best Dedicated Environment
1st
Rochen Review
2nd
A2 Hosting logo
3rd
SiteGround logo
Compare All Products

Two things are certain in this world: death and taxes. In the online world, it’s speed and uptime. If you don’t have both, your site will surely suffer. That’s why choosing the right web hosting service is the most important decision you’ll make for your website.

Don’t make the mistake of saving a few bucks on a killer web hosting deal only to have your site come to a screeching halt. Our best picks will give your site first-rate performance and a ton of fantastic features.

Article Overview

What Should You Look For In A Web Host?

Bigger isn’t always better. Size is just one of the key factors that separate a good host from a bad one. A good website host can:

  • Load your websites quickly and reliably from any point on the globe.
  • Offer a fixed resource allocation that will prevent your website from going down due to someone else’s mistakes.
  • Provide you with informed and easy-to-reach customer service that resolves issues immediately after the occurrence, without the need for your prompting.

What about pricing? Pricing, as with any business purchase, plays a role. But with the proliferation of low-quality shared hosting companies battling for pricing advantages, the lower the price, the lower the quality hosting tends to be. For this reason, we list pricing as a reference point in our comparison table for your short list, i.e., once you’ve narrowed down some suitable candidates, only then focus on pricing.

Shared vs Dedicated Hosting: Which Is Better?

What’s the difference between shared and dedicated hosting? In a nutshell, allocation of resources. Shared servers are less expensive, but typically don’t perform as well. Visit our website hosting 101 page to learn more.

Best Shared Hosting Providers

Below are our reviews of the best shared hosting providers. Be sure to see if they have free trials to test them out firsthand. Or visit the company websites for more information and to sign up for hosting.

Rochen Review

#1

Visit Website

In addition to winning our top spot as the best shared hosting company, Rochen is the runner-up in our dedicated hosting competition. Rochen has servers in both Dallas, Texas, and London, England, and you have the option of choosing your server location.

The advantage Rochen has over other shared platforms is that it tightly controls the resources allocated to each website hosting account. It does this by not overselling, a common practice in the hosting industry where more bandwidth is allocated to each account than is, in fact, available on the server.

Pros

Cons

  • Data centers in both the US and the UK
  • All data backed up twice daily to an off-server location and retained for one month
  • Rochen Vault restores your sites and files quickly and easily
  • No overselling (account limits reflect actual resources available)
  • Offers carbon offsets & invests in environmentally-friendly technologies & business
  • 30-day full money back guarantee
  • Customer support only available via email ticket (but it’s 24/7)
  • More expensive than shared hosting providers that oversell resources

Coupon

Rochen often has time-sensitive coupons, find and share them here!

Read Our Full Rochen Review

A2 Hosting Review

#2

Visit Website

A2 Hosting has been around since 2003 but really stepped up their game to be a hosting leader in the last few of years. Customers rave about their unique hosting features, server uptime, security measures and helpful support. A2 Hosting has 4 data centers, with 2 in the U.S., 1 in Europe and 1 in Asia. They clearly have made a commitment to speed, uptime and security and offer free features you won’t find elsewhere.

Pros

Cons

  • U.S.-based 24/7 support via live chat, phone and email ticket
  • Choose from 4 data centers across the globe
  • Turbocharged servers and SSD drives for major speed
  • Free Cloudfare CDN support boosts your site’s performance
  • Free HackScan Protection, including KernelCare rebootless kernel updates, brute force defense, a dual firewall and more
  • Simple file recovery system with Server Rewind feature
  • Anytime money back guarantee
  • Bing and Yahoo ad credits
  • Several user reports that live chat is slow and inaccessible at times
  • No free domains
  • Doesn’t have its own script library

Coupon

A2 Hosting is currently offering 51% off their hosting packages, just use this link to get started with standard hosting and this link for WordPress hosting!

SiteGround Review

#3

Visit Website

Launched in 2007, SiteGround has become one of the big names in shared hosting these days. They’re best known for their reliably fast speed, proven uptime and excellent customer support.

If your site is moderate in size, SiteGround is one of the best choices out there, especially for managed WordPress hosting. But if you need more, SiteGround lacks some of the more advanced features other services offer — most notably no unlimited disk space, no script library and no Windows hosting.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent customer support techs with little to no wait time (via 24/7 live chat and phone)
  • Choose from data centers in U.S., Europe and Asia
  • Customers report amazing speed and uptime
  • SuperCacher feature improves site speeds
  • Free daily auto backups
  • On-demand instant backups, copies and one-click restore (added fee)
  • Easy site migrator process (free for WordPress sites)
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Limited disk space with all plans
  • No Windows hosting
  • Doesn’t have its own script library

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from SiteGround and this link for SiteGround WordPress hosting.

Read Our Full SiteGround Review

Best Dedicated/Managed Website Hosts:

Below are our picks for the best managed and/or dedicated website hosts. Read on to find out why we use Rackspace and to find the pros and cons as well as key features for our top picks in this category. Still have questions? Visit the websites to learn more.

Rackspace Review

#1 Rackspace logo

Visit Website

Rackspace is a big player in both the shared and dedicated hosting space. The primary reason they win our 1st place award this year? Their dedication to outstanding customer service (via their Rackers and their Fanatical support service), available via phone, ticket or chat, 24/7/365.

In fact, we like Rackspace so much that we host our websites, including We Rock Your Web, with them to keep our pages loading fast, reliably and securely. We pay for this hosting in full and have had our share of experiences with miserable hosts, so this recommendation doesn’t come lightly. Their managed hosting solutions are diverse, from cloud to dedicated. They also offer cloud file backup and dedicated email hosting (via Rackspace Email), all for reasonable prices (you can get mailboxes for as little as $1/ month).

Pros

Cons

  • Knowledgeable customer service reps with reliable 24/7 phone support
  • Large hosting company with a variety of different hosting solutions
  • 14 data centers — 6 across the U.S. and 8 more internationally
  • Half of the Fortune 100 companies use Rackspace
  • Customer service can lack consistency, i.e., the techs don’t communicate with each other regarding your account, which can result in multiple overlapping (and often different) solutions to a problem

Coupon

Rackspace occasionally has time sensitive coupons on their site.

Rochen Review

#2 Rochen logo

Visit Website

Rochen is the runner-up in our dedicated hosting competition. They have servers in both Dallas, Texas, and London, and you have the option of choosing your server location. Rochen offers a managed infrastructure that keeps your site running fast with minimal downtime. They back that up with exceptional customer service and optimized platforms based on your type of system.

Pros

Cons

  • Data centers in both the US and the UK
  • All data is backed up twice daily to an off-server location and retained for one month
  • Rochen Vault restores your sites and files quickly and easily
  • No overselling
  • Offers carbon offsets & invests in environmentally-friendly technologies and business
  • 30-day full money back guarantee
  • Customer support only available via email ticket (but it’s 24/7)
  • More expensive than our winner, Rackspace
  • They also offer shared hosting. This doesn’t necessarily reflect poorly on their managed environment, but this means they are not a fully managed/ dedicated outfit, and they divert some of their resources to shared support

Coupon

Rochen often has time-sensitive coupons, find and share them here!

Read Our Full Rochen Review

Hostwinds Review

#3 Hostwinds

Visit Website

Hostwinds launched in 2010 and has become a major player in shared, VPS and dedicated hosting. This hosting service is packed with features, although they don’t do a great job of publicizing them on their website (you have to do a lot of digging).

Getting up and running with Hostwinds is a breeze, and they offer free site transfers. With their Softaculous Auto Installer, you can instantly set up and install hundreds of applications with just the click of a button. Customers give excellent reviews for Hostwinds’ uptime and quick, knowledgeable tech support.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7/365 support via live chat, phone and email
  • Solid state drives and MYSQL optimizations for fast, efficient performance
  • Free dedicated IP address
  • Nightly backups
  • VPN service available
  • 60-day money back guarantee
  • Pricing is slightly higher than competitors
  • Data centers in U.S. only
  • Domain registration is added fee
  • It’s difficult to find all their features on their website

Comparison Table

We also have a comparison table that compares pricing and other details side by side. See the terminology section on our main hosting page if you don’t understand any of the terms we use in our table.

Provider NameRochen (Shared 1st and Dedicated 2nd)A2 Hosting (Shared 2nd)SiteGround (Shared 3rd)RackSpace (Dedicated 1st)Hostwinds (Dedicated 3rd)BlueHostDreamHostFatCowHostGatoriPage
Intro Hosting price (Monthly)$7.95 shared; $200 dedicated$3.92$3.95$150.00$3.29$3.95$2.59$4.08$2.75$35.88/year
Windows HostingCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Linux HostingCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
WordPress HostingCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
BandwidthUnmeteredUnlimitedUnmeteredVariesUnlimitedUnmeteredUnlimitedUnlimitedUnmeteredUnmetered
Disk Space60GBUnlimited10GB-30GBVariesUnlimited50GB to unlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnmeteredUnlimited
Unlimited Hosted DomainsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Unlimited MySQL DatabasesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Website BuilderCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkAdded FeeCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Shared SSLCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Shopping CartsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Site StatisticsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
File ManagerCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Custom Cron JobsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Script LibraryCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Customized Error PagesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Raw Access LogsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
1-Click App InstallsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Unlimited MailboxesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Spam FiltersCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
.htaccessCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
FTP ManagerCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Unlimited FTP AccountsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
SSHCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Provider NameRochen (Shared 1st and Dedicated 2nd)A2 Hosting (Shared 2nd)SiteGround (Shared 3rd)RackSpace (Dedicated 1st)Hostwinds (Dedicated 3rd)BlueHostDreamHostFatCowHostGatoriPage

Other Popular Web Hosting Platforms

A rule of thumb in the hosting industry is that “bigger is not always better.” The other thing you need to be wary of is that lots of companies that started out as domain registrars, decided to “add on” hosting so they could compete in this lucrative industry and cross-promote their services. In most cases, while they continue to provide good domain registration services (since that’s their core competency), they have come up short in the hosting business.

Additionally, the hosting industry has more providers than you could possibly imagine, and it’s impossible for us to cover them all. There’s many great hosting providers out there, but for each legitimate, trustworthy service, there’s a couple bad ones. We have curated this review to cover some of the companies we feel are the best in their respective categories, and moved some of the more “popular” companies that we don’t feel merit a top ranking into a separate review.

On that page you’ll find us covering some of the larger-than-life providers that have massive marketing and advertising budgets, but in our opinion mediocre hosting service. These names include GoDaddy, IONOS (a “rebranding” of the popular domain registrar 1&1), Network Solutions, and others. We felt covering them here in our top ranked review would only give them additional exposure and take the limelight off the “pure” hosting companies that excel at what they do and deserve your attention. We’ve also refrained from covering “super popular” hosting companies that spend all their time advertising but don’t provide much quality or customer service when it comes to actual hosting.

Now without further ado, here are some other hosting companies that we do feel merit recognition:

BlueHost |DreamHost | FatCow | HostGatoriPage

BlueHost Review

Visit WebsiteBlueHost logo

BlueHost has been around for quite a while and is a good choice for those looking for plenty of back-end features. However, you may find the customer support to be slow if you are a user who requires more customer service than average. BlueHost does not push clients by up-selling to “better” services, and they offer a good number of features for a low price compared to many of their competitors.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 customer service via phone and live chat
  • BlueHost is known to update their user interface regularly and stay on top of adding new features
  • New and inexperienced users have stated that they find Blue Host easy to use for installation of features, especially with Joomla
  • One-click WordPress installation
  • Offers users the choice of having different class C IP blocks, which means you will white list all IP addresses under the first three octets of the IP address
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Many consumer complaints about poor customer support
  • When Blue Host servers run into errors caused by MySQL queries, logs don’t provide details on which MySQL query caused the error

DreamHost Review

Visit WebsiteDreamHost logo

New web hosters recommend DreamHost for their affordable, simple service. One-click installers and expert tech support are selling points for newcomers to DreamHost who are looking for a simple blogging platform. With no CPanel access and limited script running capabilities, this is not a good choice for a web host heavy user.

Pros

Cons

  • Users report excellent tech support assistance
  • Solid state drivers (SSDs) added to shared hosting plans to increase loading time
  • Offers users a well-documented wiki that provides detailed instructions on how to perform most functions
  • Comes with many pre-installed languages
  • Impressive 97-day money back guarantee
  • Doesn’t offer phone support, and live chat has limited hours
  • Many users feel that Dream Host is not a good fit for those running heavy scripts such as osCommerce
  • Does not utilize cPanel, which can make it confusing to navigate for newcomers to web hosting

Coupon

Get 40% off DreamHost web hosting plans via this link for standard hosting and this link for WordPress hosting.

Read Our Full DreamHost Review

FatCow Review

Visit WebsiteFatCow logo

FatCow provides users with affordable web hosting and access to immediate customer service assistance through a live chat feature. FatCow offers a web hosting solution that uses CPanel, which some users require, yet it does not require a dedicated server. Fat Cow servers are fully powered by renewable energy so you can feel good about using their service.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 phone and live chat customer service
  • Eco-friendly hosting company — 100% powered by renewable energy sources
  • CPanel is integrated with Google’s webmaster search console making many aspects of website management much easier
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Google ad credits
  • Many users complain about poor and slow customer support
  • Known for overselling and upselling their features
  • WordPress can be slow on their servers
  • User complaints about them taking their site down without warning

HostGator Review

HostGator logo

Visit Website

HostGator is a web hosting service that offers several one-click options as well as cPanel access, which makes web hosting an easy experience for newcomers. Host Gator frequently comes recommended as one of the best web hosting options out there for individuals and companies alike, both in price and features offered. They also offer VPS and dedicated hosting, in addition to shared hosting.

Pros

Cons

  • Offers 24/7/365 customer support
  • Among the most affordable hosting services
  • Flexibility of content regulations that allow for legal adult content hosting
  • 45-day money back guarantee
  • $100 Google AdWords offer and $100 Bing ad credits
  • Many user complaints about poor site performance
  • Tech support replies are slow at times
  • Data backup not as frequent as some other hosting services
  • Oversell resources
  • BBB reports a recent pattern of complaints about deceptive business practices and rude and unhelpful customer support reps

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from HostGator and this link for HostGator WordPress hosting.

Read Our Full HostGator Review

iPage Review

iPage logo

Visit Website

iPage is a web hosting company that offers many features for the experienced web hosting client. Newcomers to web hosting take caution —  with their focus on more experienced users and the lack of cPanel, you may face a steep learning curve. But if you are an experienced web host user, iPage offers much more advanced options than many of their competitors.

Pros

Cons

  • 24/7 phone and live chat support
  • Site builders make website building easy for beginners
  • 1-click installers for WordPress and shopping carts
  • Takes part in Green Web Internet Hosting, meaning that they offset their power use with wind-generated alternative power certificates
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • $200 in Google Adwords and Bing ad credits
  • Many user complaints that customer support has deteriorated over the last couple of years
  • Some clients of iPage complain of database connection issues and site downtime
  • Lacks cPanel
  • You can’t set custom cron jobs
  • Lacks a script library
  • No month-to-month pricing

Which Web Hosting Solution Is Right For You?

It’s important to find a service that offers functions that you need now as well as those you may need in the future. One of the most difficult parts of hosting a website is moving that website to another host if you don’t make the right choice the first time. This can occur for a number of reasons including growth, language/code changes, the addition of e-commerce or videos, etc.

There are some major factors you need to consider when choosing a web host. Check out the video below for some great tips.

What Other Website Solutions Do You Need?

Another huge decision you need to make for your website is choosing a domain name registrar. Although several hosting companies also offer domain name registration services, we don’t recommend hosting with your domain registrar.

Why? Hosting and domain registration are extremely different entities, and most companies simply aren’t great at both. With that in mind, be sure to check out our reviews of the best domain registration companies to find an affordable and reliable place for your site to reside.

What are you looking for in a web host? 

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations in the late 1990s, Sally began a long career researching and writing about business, technical and scientific topics.

Her decades of experience as well as a passion to stay on top of the latest online tools and resources combine to help small businesses (and freelancers like herself) flourish. Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

Please Comment Below!

Comments (33)