As longtime website owners and hosting nerds, we've been asked often: "Which web host is your personal favorite?" We recently decided to take this question seriously — exhaustively testing accounts with all the best web hosting services to analyze their uptime, features, pricing, support, and more. So who do we believe offers the best web hosting? See below for our top reviews of 2020, conveniently broken out by category:
Many web hosting services offer a low "starting price," but require you to prepay for two or three years of service to get that price. After the promotional period, the renewal price for some web hosting services can be two, three, or even four times the initial promotional pricing. While the initial deal might be incredible, the cost of transferring your site (or paying the added fee) in a couple of years may be something to consider.
I didn't think I'd be able to do all of this web site stuff myself, but I wanted to try to save our small business some money. Tommie walked me through the process, educating us on the right products for our business and putting up with my endless questions. He made me feel like he cared about our business and seemed excited about bringing us into the 21st century. :-) He also has quite the singing voice. I now have his version of Adele's "Hello" and Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" in my head. While I'm not overly grateful for those memories, I am grateful for his patience and expertise. Thanks, Tommie!
You can certainly do that, but it’s often a lot of effort. Not sure it it’s worth it. Even when you narrow it down to one contact – it may not be that one contact at all, but something about his or her email provider, the path to that email provider or something else. It’s difficult (and inadvisable) to point fingers. On the other hand, it’s fairly common when signing up for mailing lists, or leaving comments on web sites that require an email address to use a specific email address to see if THEY end up spamming you. People use Ask Leo! – specific email addresses when leaving comments all the time. (And, no, I don’t spam ’em 🙂 ).
In this day and age, you don’t have to be a 5-star designer or experienced developer to have a website. That’s why man invented website builders — the time-saving, headache-free, web-design-for-dummies alternative to complex coding. You can point and click to add elements like photos or videos, type content into a visual editor, click one more button, and watch as it all magically appears live on the Internet. Seriously, these tools are brilliant, and it gets better:
SiteGround developed several in-house innovations that put them ahead in this market, including a unique technology to actively monitor their servers, preventing downtime in real time, and custom software for live chat and support ticketing. These examples of going the extra mile for the user have resulted in 99.996% uptime annually and exceptional customer support around the clock. Read our review for more on why SiteGround is a stellar choice for small business hosting.
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Senior Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web hosting, music, utilities, and video game copy, Jeffrey makes comic books, mentors, practices bass and Jeet Kune Do, and appears on the odd podcasts or convention panel. He also collects vinyl and greatly enjoys a craft brew. You can a find Jeffrey online at jeffreylwilson.net, or send him a tweet at @jeffreylwilson
Is there another way? Yes, there is. Businesses should be making use of a domain name registration company to centrally administer all their domains. There are lots of very professional domain name registration companies that have been in business for years and that provide fully functional control panels that give their customers full control over their domain names. Then, all they have to do is change the name server details from their old host to their new host for each domain.
Every free hosting account includes the powerful VistaPanel. This is an advanced control center for your website and domains, it allows you to add extra domains, sub-domains or park an existing domain onto your free website, create MySQL databases and using the MySQL manager and PHP MyAdmin you can edit your databases, run queries, import and export SQL data.
When it comes to server operating systems, Linux is typically the default option. Still, some services offer a choice of Linux or Windows hosting. If you have specific server-side applications that require Windows, such as SQL Server or a custom application written in .NET, then you need to make sure your web host has Windows hosting. But don't let the idea of a Linux host intimidate you. Nowadays, most web hosts offer a graphical interface or a control panel to simplify server administration and website management. Instead of typing at the command line, you'll click easily identifiable icons.
In particular, Web Hosting Hub uses BoldGrid as a site builder. BoldGrid is actually an add-on to WordPress, so there's no lock-in. This overcomes the major problem of most site builders: you're locked into that host and that tool, often requiring you to completely rebuild your site if you want to expand. By using a WordPress-based solution, all of the rather considerable power of WordPress is available for future expansion.
A website is a critical part of building brand awareness as a small business; to build your website, you need web hosting that stores your website files on a server and makes those files viewable to visitors online. Bluehost offers a basic web hosting plan with a free domain and matching email for $2.95 per month. To get the free domain, simply use the domain search widget below to find an available domain name, then complete the steps for registration.

In particular, Web Hosting Hub uses BoldGrid as a site builder. BoldGrid is actually an add-on to WordPress, so there's no lock-in. This overcomes the major problem of most site builders: you're locked into that host and that tool, often requiring you to completely rebuild your site if you want to expand. By using a WordPress-based solution, all of the rather considerable power of WordPress is available for future expansion. 

But, again, operationally it's quite strong. 24/7/365 customer support is available not only by live chat and email, but by phone. It offers free site migrations with some dedicated attention paid to making a transfer as smooth as possible. And, if you're willing to go for one of the higher-end plans, the company has put some serious attention into performance and caching.
SiteGround has the best support and good performance but all that comes with a price (high renewal cost). The cheapest plan starts at $3.95/mo (with the 12-month commitment) and renews at $11.95/mo. You can host 1 website and the plan includes 10GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, and free SSL. Your purchase is backed by the 30-day money-back guarantee.
BigCommerce is a bit different from our other hosting plans in that it's a SaaS (software-as-a-service) provider instead of an IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) provider. In other words, rather than renting space on a virtual machine where you setup and configure your own site, BigCommerce provides you with an app you login to that creates and online store.  

The company's entry-point pricing is extremely low, and while this will buy you up to three years of very low-cost hosting, do be aware that its post-promotion price will increase substantially, putting its subsequent year pricing more in line with the rest of its competitors. That said, we liked its 24/7 phone customer support, SSD support on some plans and 30-day money-back guarantee.

This is how I started doing hosted e-mails, but I recently switched to using Google Apps. If you have a small business (up to 10 users), you can use Google Apps 100% free. Gmail handles the mail, your e-mail has your domain associated with it, and you can link that e-mail up to other Google features (Google docs, Google voice, add-on apps like a CRM or accounting). Best of all, I can sync it all effortlessly with my android phone, so now all of my e-mails still come to my phone… but they’re sorted neatly by account.
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