The best web hosting services in 2022 – IT PRO

The best web hosting services in 2022 – IT PRO

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The best web hosting services are integral to building your first website or your latest. Choosing a web hosting provider is key, like finding the best website builder, because your site can't exist online without hosting. A busy market filled with similar packages can, however, make this choice tough, but we're here to help.
If you're new to web hosting, our FAQs section outlines what you need to know to choose the right package. We advise that you consider your budget; bear security and reliability in mind; outline the storage and bandwidth levels you'll require; and make sure your chosen provider offers leading customer support and service.
Read on to see our analysis and ranking of the best web hosting services.
Hostinger: the best all-round web hosting service
Hostinger is our top web host thanks to a great range of advanced tools at top-value prices. Our exclusive deal on its Premium Shared Hosting, available for £1.99 a month, includes 100 sites, 100GB storage, and unlimited bandwidth and MySQL databases.
WP Engine: best web hosting for WordPress users
WP Engine provides powerful managed WordPress hosting for developers with automated backups, integrated development, and staging environments. Its high-level performance and market-leading tools are ideal for WordPress experts wanting scalable, flexible sites.
Hostwinds: market-leading performance and tools
Hostwinds offers excellent value-for-money, advanced tools, and excellent performance alongside a solid uptime guarantee. Modern server infrastructure, easy installations, and website builder integrations ensure it's one of the top hosts currently available.
Hostinger is the best web hosting service available. It offers the best budget hosting, top tools, the excellent native hPanel, high-level security integrations, Zyro's website builder, one-click Cloudflare installation, and built-in domain registration.
WP Engine provides leading performance and advanced services for WordPress devs with advanced web experience. Hostwinds' excellent performance levels, features, integrations, excellent service, and value-for-money rank it highly too.
Cloudways, GreenGeeks, SiteGround, Namecheap, Liquid Web, HostGator, Bluehost, DreamHost, InMotion Hosting, and are all also worth considering thanks to their own particular strengths and focuses.
The best web hosting service available
Score: 4.5/5
Hostinger is the best web hosting service currently available. It's also our pick for the best cloud hosting, the best web hosting for small business, the best VPS cloud hosting, the best WordPress hosting, the best VPS hosting, and the best free web hosting (via 000webhost).
It relies on its own technology, and doesn't let third parties have a say in performance, feature management, or control. Customers can choose between three cloud, three shared, six VPS, and two email plans. It also offers cPanel, WordPress and Minecraft hosting, in addition to CyberPanel VPS hosting, and includes the Zyro website builder with all plans.
Hostinger offers great hosting at a fraction of the price of many competitors, and the native hPanel control panel is a standout feature we'd argue is as good as (if not better than) cPanel, the industry standard. Streamlined SSL setup, a full CloudFlare CDN integration, and other top features combine with excellent performance metrics to keep it at the top.
*This is the annual cost of a four-year subscription. Expect to pay significantly more per year for shorter subscription terms.
WP Engine
The best hosting for experienced WordPress users
Score: 4.5/5
WP Engine's powerful managed WordPress hosting is aimed at developers, with automated backups, integrated development, and staging environments building on high performance.
While not cheap, its tools are market-leading, though it can be harder to get to grips with for first-timers. It's best suited to those with site creation or WordPress development experience aiming for scalable, flexible sites. All plans include 10 professionally-designed themes and a simple, block-based WordPress site builder, while automatic site and staging environment back-ups are simple to set up.
Each site includes development, staging, and production environments, allowing you to test changes; try out new code; upload and make live changes; and get feedback from collaborators. A built-in CDN improves performance too, while single sign-on makes using the service seamless.
Pricing-wise, WP Engine offers two plans: Managed WordPress for business sites, and eCommerce Solutions for online stores (Advanced Solutions are available for enterprises on request). Both have Startup, Professional, Growth, Scale, and Dedicated levels, with storage, bandwidth, and other elements increasing with price.
Sites share storage and bandwidth, with monthly or annual payments accepted (the latter offers a 17% discount). While not the cheapest, the level of features you get with WP Engine is second-to-none for experienced WordPress site builders and developers, offering tools for scaling up sites and ensuring continued smooth performance.
The best web hosting for dedicated plans
Score: 4.5/5
Hostwinds is the master of dedicated hosting, boasting powerful configurations catering to both regular sites and high-demand, resource-draining gaming servers. It also provides shared, business, VPS (for Linux and Windows, managed and unmanaged), and cloud hosting.
This highly customisable provider offers several base options you can tailor to your own needs. Even its cheapest dedicated packages come with a four-core single processor and 8GB RAM. In fact, its range of unlimited features across plans means it's the best unlimited web hosting provider, in our opinion.
Additional features include various RAID configuration options, and a Weebly builder for free. All plans include full server management, so you can relax and not worry about sysadmin: ideal for less tech-savvy users. It also provides server monitoring and nightly backups, and guarantees to never throttle traffic thanks to a 1Gbps network link available to all users, regardless of what bandwidth option they’ve selected.
We had a bone to pick on a couple of matters — SSL certificate installation could be clearer, and pricing could be less confusing — but excellent performance and plans more than make up for these issues.
*We’ve listed the standard prices here. Expect to receive a discount of up to 50% for your first billing cycle.
The best cloud hosting provider
Score: 4.5/5
Cloudways offers extremely flexible, pay-as-you-go plans across different cloud infrastructure networks. A strong focus on security includes dedicated firewalls and DDoS attack protection, advanced bot detection, 2FA, and automatic patching.
Other top features include a custom PHP app automatic installer for WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, and other services, as well as a proprietary Breeze WordPress caching plugin to reduce page load times. All plans offer 24/7 real-time monitoring, free SSL certificates and site migrations, 24/7/365 support, unlimited app installations, and automatic backups.
Other add-ons are available for extra customisation, and its performance is among the best we've tested for, with 100% uptime during our testing period, and great average server response times too.
Pricing is a little complicated. as you can choose subscriptions from five networks: DigitalOcean, Linode, VULTR, AWS, and Google Cloud. Some are separated into Standard and Premium plans. Hourly and monthly payments are available, but there are no long-term discounts. You're not locked-in, so can cancel at any time, while a free trial lets you see what it offers before you pay.
*Significant discounts are available with longer-term subscriptions, and you may be required to pay more on renewal.
The best eco-friendly web hosting platform
Score: 4/5
GreenGeeks is dedicated to eco-friendly hosting, proclaiming itself as the "world’s #1 green energy web hosting provider". These aren’t just empty words: its 300% energy offset scheme means that for every amperage pulled from the grid, it invests three times that in renewable energy.
That said, its offering is bland at best, but shared hosting does stand out, while it also provides WordPress, VPS, and reseller hosting. Features include unlimited resources — web storage, bandwidth, databases, and email — Cloudflare CDN integration, the Softaculous app installer, shared SSL, LSCache, nightly backups, and a free domain for a year.
Prices aren’t hefty either, with a three-year deal on its Lite packages costing only £2.42 a month, which increases to £8.98 a month. This is best for small sites and blogs that are just getting started, as it only covers one site. 
If your needs are greater, you can pick Pro at £4.97 a month (increasing to £13.41 a month after the initial period), offering twice the performance; or Premium at £9.15 a month (which renews at £21.81 a month), for four times the power, a free dedicated IP, and a free premium SSL. 
All packages are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a user-friendly Weebly website builder is available via separate plans starting from £2.08 a month. There's also a phone line if you need direct contact with customer support.
£21.81* / £110.45*
*GreenGeeks offers monthly, annual, biannual, and triannual billing with its shared hosting products. Monthly prices decrease with longer subscription terms.
The best web hosting for feature-packed plans
Score: 4/5
SiteGround's capabilities and wealth of hosting features and tools help it stand out among competitors, maintaining quality at the expense of higher prices. Offering a simple, guided setup, the host offers a well-designed native management dashboard alongside the aforementioned range of hosting elements.
These include, but are not limited to, management tools, advanced developer integrations, a wide range of sophisticated security elements, a domain registration portal, a full staging environment, app and integration marketplace, and the SuperCacher tool for advanced caching capabilities.
If there's a downside at all, it's that its performance was surprisingly middling compared to other top-level hosts, but it should be noted that it performed far better than the average, and a 99.99% uptime figure adds increased confidence.
Its costs are higher than you might expect, with three shared plans starting from £2.99 a month but increasing to £11.99 a month after the first year. Despite that steep increase, bear in mind that all plans are managed, and a wealth of its tools and add-ons are included in the price where other hosts would charge extra.
The best cheap and unlimited hosting provider
Score: 4/5
Namecheap focuses on providing affordable services without cutting corners on quality. It certainly succeeds, as you’ll see if you purchase one of its more advanced packages across WordPress, reseller hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers. The Site Maker website builder is also available for simpler sites, on separate monthly or annual plans.
Its cheapest shared hosting plan, at only £1.84 a month (£1.58 a month for the two-year plan), doesn’t get you much — only 20GB storage and 30 email accounts. However, it's a real bargain, and includes free CDN support, one domain name, and coverage for three websites.
Increase to £2.68 a month (£2.42 a month for the two-year plan) and you’ll get access to unrestricted SSD storage, unlimited websites, and auto-backups. At £4.19 a month (£3.77 a month for the two-year plan), you’ll receive 50GB SSD, cloud storage that guarantees zero interruptions, ultimate stability, and top-notch data protection.
As well as a 99.9% uptime guarantee and above-average speeds, Namecheap is beginner-friendly, and does its best to ease you in with helpful information in its welcoming email, alongside a huge online knowledge base.
*This price only applies to the first year of your subscription, and renewal prices will be significantly higher.
Liquid Web
The best managed hosting service
Score: 4/5
Liquid Web does an excellent job of providing various expert managed hosting services for all types of users and requirements. These range from WordPress and email to WooCommerce, dedicated, VPS and cloud hosting, and its capabilities shine.
Take its WordPress solution as an example — you get automated WordPress and plugin updates, applied first in an isolated environment to avoid any potential problems affecting you later, before being forwarded to your site.
Data centres run entirely on managed hardware and network infrastructure allow Liquid Web to provide a wide variety of powerful features. These include a professional-level virus and spam defense system, deep system monitoring, key software installation, updates, support, and free external migrations. 
Via its WordPress plugins add-on option, Liquid Web also offers you the ability to create WordPress sites. Its incredibly expedient and professional customer support is the cherry on top, and while it doesn't come cheap, good things rarely do, this provider certainly justifying the cost. 
*Monthly prices for managed WordPress plans double after the first six months
Score: 3.5/5
HostGator is one of the best web hosts whose trump card has “budget” written all over it. Several plans are available for each and every pocket and project, with two shared hosting plans — Hatchling and Baby — offering attractive features such as unmetered bandwidth and disk space, support for FTP and email accounts, MYSQL databases and subdomains. 
You'll also enjoy cPanel-based website management, and £125 of Google and Bing Ads credits. Hosting comes with guarantees relating to 99.9 percent uptime and a 45-day money-back period. It also offers the Gator Website Builder as a separate subscription, a drag-and-drop editor packaged with a free domain, unmetered storage and bandwidth, and free SSL certificate. 
Other hosting offered includes WordPress, dedicated, VPS, and reseller packages. One main drawback HostGator is guilty of, like other budget providers, is that its cheapest plan covers only one site. Its security is not great either, especially compared to the competition. However, this is hardly a cause of alarm when the next plan up costs only a fraction more, and will hardly leave a dent in your budget. 
*Introductory prices are quoted, rates will increase significantly on renewal.
The best feature-rich shared hosting
Score: 3.5/5
Bluehost offers affordable yet effective shared hosting, with a variety of plans and options to suit most businesses. However, check pricing going forward, as it's not always clear how much you'll pay on renewal.
It offers managed and unmanaged WordPress, shared, dedicated, and VPS hosting. You can also sign up for a drag-and-drop WordPress website builder, available as part of a great number of the hosting packages and on its own via two plans.
We like that there are plenty of customer support options available, on the off-chance you need help or things go wrong. An inexpensive host that doesn’t skimp too much on features, Bluehost offers consistency despite having comparatively fewer features than many others.
It also has a range of potentially useful add-ons for search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising management, making it a solid choice for those willing to pay a little more for good support. Its performance does let it down on cheaper plans, however. 
*Monthly payments aren’t available, so the monthly prices shown are derived from the price of a subscription with a one-year term. Prices will increase significantly after your initial subscription.
The best web hosting for email plans
Score: 3.5/5
DreamHost offers the full gamut of hosting packages at competitive prices, ranging from shared to VPS, managed and unmanaged WordPress, dedicated, and cloud hosting. 
With top performance, its straightforward packages are stuffed with value-adding features, and it has a strong focus on privacy and security that's not often seen as much across web hosting as it should be. However, it doesn't include any top-level marketing tools, and with all servers US-based, it's not ideal for customers in other regions.
For email hosting, it's the top pick, with some very reasonable rates. Monthly plans cost £1.66 per mailbox, while the annual subscription will set you back just £1.40 per mailbox. Plans come with 25GB storage, email syncing between desktop and mobile, and handy webmail software, regardless of whether you've chosen a monthly or annual subscription. 
To make sure all emails are not just spam-free, but also protected against malware and viruses, its smart anti-spam filter adapts to all new threats. What's key to note here is that every DreamHost web hosting plan, except for its Remixer Standard and the Shared Starter plan, includes email hosting for free.
If you're looking to keep everything in-house, a drag-and-drop WordPress website builder is also available from £2.16 a month
* Undiscounted monthly rates
** Undiscounted one-year rates

InMotion Hosting
The best reseller hosting platform
Score: 3/5
InMotion Hosting is a web hosting veteran, and it's easy to see why, as it offers a long list of features, bundles and pricing plans for every user and budget. Starting with shared hosting, it also offers WordPress, VPS, and dedicated packages.
These come with access to a dedicated team of professionals, who offer high-level support at any time. What separates InMotion from the crowd is its propensity to offer bonus features at no extra charge, including protection from DDoS attacks and malware, email spam shield, and an option for the creation of functional backups.
Hosting is powered by cPanel and Softaculous platforms, which act as its seals of quality. All of this is easily checked within a 90-day guarantee period, more than enough time in which to make up your mind. However, its performance is poor on the cheaper packages, and not much improved on more expensive plans.
You can refer friends to earn a year of free hosting, while a website builder from BoldGrid is available if you want to build and host your site together. 
*After introductory offers expire
The best budget-conscious hosting for beginners
Score: 3/5 is among the more cost-effective and reliable of the hosting providers featured here, with shared hosting attracting the most attention. The Basic plan includes unlimited storage and plenty of bandwidth, albeit for only one site. There's also WordPress hosting available, starting at as low as £3.13 a month.
Features include five FTP logins, ten databases, ecommerce solutions, and one Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate free of charge. At £5.54 a month, you can get your hands on the Deluxe option, which covers as many sites as you want, and extends the number of FTP logins and databases to 25 too. 
The Ultra account removes all limitations, and is available at a monthly rate of £11.28. Unlike many competitors, only offers one, two, and three-year packages. It doesn’t differ in pricing based on the monthly price equivalent, and offers its own website builder across three plans, ranging from personal to ecommerce.
*Cost per month based on the annual price.
Looking to learn more about web hosting? Take a look at our frequently asked questions below, which tackle some of the most common queries around web hosting, and will help you understand what benefits you can expect from web hosting for your business website.
Web hosting allows you to lease online server space where your site's content is hosted (images, videos, or text). When visited by a user, all of these resources are loaded onto their device from your host's server.
Shared hosting sees you share resources on a server with other users, won’t cost much, and will offer decent service, but can affect loading speeds. Virtual private servers (VPS hosting) mimic dedicated servers in a shared environment, giving you your own storage and hosting space.
If you need huge levels of devoted resources, dedicated hosting is the way to go. Consider service-level agreements defining commitments on uptime guarantees, support hours, response times, security levels, and compensation when these aren’t met.
Cloud hosting offers flexibility and scalability, and doesn’t require as much infrastructure or space. In comparing managed vs unmanaged hosting, managed hosting takes charge of administrative tasks, so you can focus on business; unmanaged is ideal for those with more experience.
WordPress hosting mainly focuses on managed hosting. Sites are often migrated too, and when comparing web hosting vs WordPress hosting, there are similarities but also stark differences.
Anonymous hosting helps protect privacy, as you don't have to provide personal, identifying information. Sign up via a pseudonym and/or email, and pay with an anonymous method, to reduce the risk of breaches.
The cost of hosting your website can vary wildly depending on what type you require. For basic sites which aren’t expecting high levels of traffic, shared hosting is more than adequate: costs start very low, on average around $2.49 a month.
With more specialised, expansive hosting, the scale and costs rise from VPS hosting via shared servers, up to cloud hosting, and dedicated servers. VPS is a little more expensive than shared; cloud hosting is parcelled out via pay-as-you-use pricing; and dedicated servers for high-traffic, high-performance sites will see you pay in advance of $80 a month.
What’s worth noting is that while cheap web hosting looks ideal, introductory rates are often for the first year only. Make sure to read the fine print, because many services increase rates substantially after that first term. 
The short answer is paid hosting. The best cheap web hosting is perfectly suitable for a personal site or blog, but businesses require a more complex platform, so don't cut corners. Paid services will typically provide an SSL certificate, which shows visitors your business is serious and trustworthy. You’ll also get more bandwidth and storage space, not to mention necessary backups.
When choosing from the best web hosting services, there are common features to be aware of and mistakes to avoid. Free hosting is fine for hobby sites or blogs, but large business sites need serious power and substantial investment. Always read the fine print: if a full price isn’t displayed (usually crossed out by the discounted price), it'll show during payment. Take advantage of introductory discounts, as cheap shared hosting can offer unlimited bandwidth, sites, or storage. Also consider how much support you’ll need.
When we review the best web hosting providers, we test response times and uptimes, as these are integral to site performance. If a builder's included, we'll test out the building process; if not, we'll examine another key feature. We also look at how web security stands up, and at how responsive customer service teams are. Finally, we look at pricing in-depth, as many packages can be very confusing, with large initial term discounts. Each in-depth review compares a host to competitors too, providing as much information as we can to help you choose.
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