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
Yes, you can type “free website hosting” into a search engine of your choice, and you will get results. Don’t do it. At best, you will be stuck with shoddy service, semi-reliable uptime, and ridiculously short-lived storage and bandwidth capacities. The free options out there will frustrate you, and putting yourself through that makes zero sense when you can have quality hosting for as little as $2 a month.
If you're just getting started in web hosting, make sure to check out our primer on how to create a website. If, on the other hand, you think you're ready to start your own web hosting company, you should check out our guide to reseller hosting. The Best Courses for Learning How to Build Websites offers terrific video instruction for people who prefer that style of learning.
The best web hosts on the market include these web builders in their service offerings. Some include popular existing site builders like Weebly, while other hosting teams have engineered their own platforms for website design and development. For example, 1&1 has 1&1 MyWebsite, and InMotion’s BoldGrid sits atop WordPress for a more intuitive experience, whether you’re building your first site or your fourteenth.
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.
With our dedicated servers, you rent an entire server. This is optimal for people that have very high traffic to their websites or need to setup their server in a very specific way. Not everyone needs to have a fully dedicated web server however. If you’re just getting started with your website, you can save quite a bit of money if you rent a small portion of the server. Shared hosting is when you share a portion of the server with other users rather than rent an entire server to yourself.
Shared hosting is web hosting in which the provider houses multiple sites on a single server. For example, Site A shares the same server with Site B, Site C, Site D, and Site E. The upside is that the multiple sites share the server cost, so shared web hosting is generally very inexpensive. In fact, you can find an option for less than $10 per month.
Speaking of email and limits, you'll want the ability to create an unlimited number of accounts. Should your website grow significantly, you'll appreciate being able to scale your email accounts without spending additional money. Web hosts typically place a cap on the amount of storage per email account. In other words, you may be able to create an unlimited number of email accounts, but each one may have a 10GB storage cap. Take time to investigate a potential web host's email offerings so as not to be surprised by its messaging limitations. Again, find out what the unlimited gotchas might be.
I agree. I’ve used 1&1 for both domain registration and hosting, and have had some of the worst experiences and billing practices I’ve ever encountered. In fact I came to this site specifically to find a registrar (and host) OTHER than 1&1, which I personally consider just slightly higher than a scam and slightly lower than international financial terrorists.
Serving more than 15 million members, Bravenet provides a full-service hosting option for people looking for the complete package. In addition to a drag-and-drop site builder and unlimited storage, the Canadian company is one of the only free web hosters with an email marketing platform. Customers can also enjoy community-building features such as message boards, mailing lists, blogs, contact forms, polls, and other tools.
Complete Internet Solutions is not like that. The price they quote is your locked-in price. In addition, they offer a free twelve months on top of your term. So, if you sign up for two years at $3.95 a month, you pay $94.80 for the two years, and then pay nothing for another year. If you choose to renew at the end of those three years, you can repeat that pricing program without a fee increase. This is how it should be done.

Namesilo is cheaper than Porkbun – metal prices that they still have today that they have had since I’ve been hosted with them a few years ago and haven’t changed for “.com” registration $7.99 renewals and transfers $8.99 I am not an affiliate by the way or in any way related to them other than a satisfied customer who has been getting No Nonsense not trying to upsell me any BS from them for about 3 years
Whether I’m geeking out with Ryan, Laura, and the team, or sketching out server diagrams to explain the basics to my grandmother, talking about a career in web hosting is always a creative endeavor, and I love it. Hopefully, this guide has cleared up some of the common confusions of hosting services, and you’re ready to sign up with the web host that best fits your upcoming site needs.
A short, one-word name (ex. cat.com), and especially .com domains, will be pricy because simple titles have a lot of potential uses, meaning people probably already check them out on their own. If you are going after a registered .com domain, you will have to contact the current owner, and even then, prices could be high for misspellings and multiple word domains. In the past years, companies and individuals have settled for bizarre names, misspellings, and old tricks like adding “the” or “my” to the front; note, however, that this will also reduce domain performance.
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.
I have no plans to close the business also – but even if I did, I wouldn’t do it in a way that would lock people out of their own domains. People can freely come and go as they so choose, it is their domains, not mine. It’s not a bad idea to have help, and I will not hesitate to add it when needed, it is not off the table. Also, I do count on vendors, and I count on the work of a lot of other people before me, considering I use open source products everywhere, so I am not only “one man” in that sense, I couldn’t do this if not for those people, and I am grateful and glad for the opportunity to serve others.
Sometimes you need more power than an entry-level web hosting service can provide. If you're looking to take your business online and want to build your website on a server that offers more power, stability, and flexibility than shared hosting, but you don't want to pay the higher cost of dedicated hosting, VPS, or virtual private server hosting, may be the perfect middle-of-the-road service tier for your business.
We liked how Web Hosting Hub describes its new customer process. It tells new customers, "We walk you through setting up your account in a personal on-boarding call." The company has a few other wins as well. It offers an all-SSD infrastructure, automatic vulnerability patches and a custom firewall, SSH access for certain plans, free site migration and an excellent 90-day money-back guarantee. 
Beyond that, DreamHost is a top website hosting company for many reasons. It operate its own control panel, which is convenient and easy to understand. While phone customer support isn't available 24/7, it is responsive to live chat and tickets. The company uses super-fast SSDs for all its storage, has a free SSL certificate (for more secured web browsing) and provides SSH access for those plans that are intended for more technical users.
Rackspace’s Basic plan is $2 per month for one email account, 25GB of storage, and 50MB attachment sizes. Instead of 1&1’s multiple accounts with limited storage, you can buy one Rackspace account with more storage. You also can get unlimited email aliases to manage general accounts like [email protected] Rackspace is great for freelancers needing enough storage to save client communication histories and track project statuses via email.

Free hosting package is perfectly suitable for lightweight websites like Wordpress blog, Internet forum, or website built with our Site Builder. On average, free account can serve roughly 30000 daily visitors of PHP-based website, or virtually unlimited visitors of pure HTML website. We do not limit availability of your website – it will be online 24 hours a day.

VPS hosting sits in the intersection of shared hosting and dedicated servers. Unlike shared hosting, VPS is an isolated environment with dedicated resources, which means you have more processing power and your site loads faster. VPS is best suited for applications that have seasonal traffic spikes or RAM-heavy/CPU-intensive applications. If you are developing a new application that has a complex database and you’re not sure how many visits you’ll get, VPS hosting is the affordable option to start with before you upgrade to a dedicated server.
1&1 IONOS’ Basic Business plan starts at $1 per month for the first 12 months, then renews at $2 per month. They offer a free website domain so you don’t have to purchase one separately to set up your email. Each plan comes with a limited 2GB of storage but offers a generous 25 email accounts. Because you can assign each of the 25 email accounts to your employees, this is best for businesses with a small support team of no more than 25 employees.
We use this analogy on our web hosting page. Shared hosting is like an apartment building – lots of residents in the same building, sharing the same resources, but also very affordable. Dedicated servers are like having your state-of-the-art house, where you’ll pay a lot more, but you also don’t have to share the space or utilities with anyone. VPS is in the middle, like a townhouse, where you have a few residents in the same building, but you each have dedicated resources and are in full control of your home. It costs less than a dedicated server, but still gives you much of the same benefits.
Namecheap has the second cheapest renewal rate and an established business history. If you’re looking for easy and affordable domain management without unnecessary frills, Namecheap is a good company to go with. It’s easy to transfer your domains in and out as well. It is also our winner for best overall domain registrar, so for $0.04 more than Porkbun, we think they are worth a look.

When you need help, you can expect the best from us. For five years in a row, GoDaddy has won a Stevie Award for Customer Service. The international awards competition is based on Customer Net Promoter Scores (NPS), which consistently rank our customer care among the best on earth. In addition to phone support, we also offer an exhaustive collection of help articles on every conceivable topic.


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.
Make sure you can use their SMTP servers for outgoing email. Many hosting and domain name registration providers will not let you use their SMTP servers for sending emails. They assume you can send email via your internet server provider’s SMTP servers. However, a great many ISPs and broadband providers will only let you use their SMTP servers on their branded email accounts (i.e. [email protected]). This means that if you use your own email address (i.e. [email protected]), you won’t be able to send email via their SMTP servers. There are workarounds but you shouldn’t have to go to the trouble.
Free hosting package is perfectly suitable for lightweight websites like Wordpress blog, Internet forum, or website built with our Site Builder. On average, free account can serve roughly 30000 daily visitors of PHP-based website, or virtually unlimited visitors of pure HTML website. We do not limit availability of your website – it will be online 24 hours a day.

Setting up a business email address on your domain has lots of branding and administrative advantages. Think of your business email as a marketing tool – it’s likely the first impression your clients will get from you when you initiate contact. Using your domain in the email address means prospects and customers have an immediate reference point as to who you are and can search for your business online. By contrast, sending emails from a free email service such as Google or Yahoo will diminish your credibility and professionalism.


I was running a small private weather website in AWS and the satellite images got "picked up" by a news website and they regularly use them during major weather evenings. AWS' 12c per GB of outbound network traffic made things expensive and VPSServer makes this a lot more manageable and has excellent data volumes included with the price of the VPS. I also get many more CPUs for the price compared to AWS, so I am a happy customer.
×