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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.

Often overlooked is the idea that these companies (the credible ones anyway) want your business for the long haul, and they know you will judge them on the quality of their free and basic plans. As we’ve mentioned, they want you to eventually upgrade into higher price points but know they’re going to have to deliver the goods at the free level first.

You also want a web host with 24/7 customer support—if not by phone, then at least by chat. Forums, knowledge bases, and help tickets are all well and good, but sometimes you just need to communicate with another human to get things ironed out as quickly as possible. That said, not all 24/7 customer support teams are equal. Companies like GoDaddy and Liquid Web boast incredibly knowledgeable and helpful customer support squads—a fact that we confirmed in our in-depth reviews of those web hosting services.


To revisit a familiar topic – it’s human nature to look for the best deal and it doesn’t get much better than free. That’s why the web hosting industry has jumped hard on the idea and run with it, becoming so jampacked with cheap and low cost options dangled in front of consumers like some kind of irresistible bait that it’s hard to sort them all out.
A dedicated server is best suited to anyone looking to build complex websites that need to look after hundreds of users in a no-compromise environment. (Think Amazon.) It’s like having your own computer: you don’t have to share your space, power or resources with anyone else. Dedicated servers are usually the fastest and most powerful choices available, though some of the high-end VPS options can give the lower performing dedicated servers a run for their money – so check the specs.
Before we launch into our buying guide, you should know the three different categories on offer: shared web hosting (a good basic option if you're on a budget), VPS hosting (more flexible) and dedicated servers (for those running a bigger operation and in need of something more capable). If you're not sure which is the best level for you, you’ll find a detailed explanation of the different tiers at the bottom of this guide. It's also worth bearing in mind that you need to pick something that's going to be able to grow and scale up with you.
HostGator has great shared plans ready for every individual, as well as exclusive WordPress packages. By being one of the leading hosting companies in the world, HostGator gives you a lot for your buck. Picking the cheapest option, their Basic shared plan is a flexible web hosting solution for a personal website. Like with every other plan, you get a free website builder, zero-cost page transfer and $200 marketing budget. You can use the latter with Google and Bing for a quick boost.
You also want a web host with 24/7 customer support—if not by phone, then at least by chat. Forums, knowledge bases, and help tickets are all well and good, but sometimes you just need to communicate with another human to get things ironed out as quickly as possible. That said, not all 24/7 customer support teams are equal. Companies like GoDaddy and Liquid Web boast incredibly knowledgeable and helpful customer support squads—a fact that we confirmed in our in-depth reviews of those web hosting services.

On the plus side, SiteGround offers free automatic daily backups, access to the Cloudflare CDN, high-performance SSDs for all plans, unlimited email accounts and integration of the free LetsEncrypt SSL certificate into sites. The company does limit bandwidth and storage, but even those who claim to offer so-called unlimited bandwidth and storage really have some limits in its terms of service.

At IONOS, we always strive to offer our products at competitive price levels - for all customers. However, due to the sheer size of our product portfolio, we cannot guarantee to have the best price available for all products, all the time. Instead, we focus on a selected range of domain extensions which are frequently sought after by our customers, such as a .com, and provide those domain names to you using a very aggressive price point.
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:
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