I didn’t do my research, I didn’t look at the features, and I ended up choosing the first web host I came across.
The web host I chose was slow (it took ages to load my site). It was unreliable (my site was regularly offline, for no good reason). And the service was terrible (I couldn’t get through to the customer service team when something went wrong).
It’s infuriating when your site doesn’t work. And it took me a while to realize that my web host was the problem.
Flash forward to today, and I’ve now tested dozens of web hosts – good and bad. Your web host is just too important to get wrong. It’s your website’s engine. It determines everything from:
- Security (a good host will help prevent you getting hacked)
- Peace of mind
A poor web host will cause a slow and unreliable performance. And that affects loyalty and trust of your visitors. It will even drag your sales and conversions down.
It’s that important.
So I’ve pulled together three outstanding web hosts. The best of the best. They are fast, reliable and affordable.
How Do We Test Web Hosts?
We never recommend a web host we haven’t rigorously tested or used ourselves. In fact, we use one of the recommended hosts to power this website (SiteGround, if you’re wondering).
For the others, we set up staging sites and test sites to measure the five key things that matter most to you:
- Speed Speed is the core of a good web host. We created the Bitcatcha server speed checker to measure exactly how long it takes for your server to respond. And then we rank it against thousands of others. Most other online speed tools measure the total website load time. We test just the web host. So it’s super accurate.
- Reliability We expect a web host to deliver at least 99.8% “uptime”. We start by gathering the web host’s official uptime figures, but we also measure the uptime ourselves too by setting up test sites and recording uptime with uptimerobot.com.
- Customer service If you’re running a website, you want to know you can contact someone if things start going wrong. We test every web host’s service through chat, tickets and phone.
- User interface and user experience Web hosts are complicated, but their UI doesn’t need to be. We explore behind the scenes and make sure it’s user-friendly.
- Security We look for all the features that ensure your web site stays secure and safe from hackers. (Features like auto-updates, backups, malware scanners etc.)
When we recommend a web host, you can trust that we’ve done our research, tested, and then tested again! So what are the top three web hosts for 2019?
- cPanel & SSH access
- Free CloudFlare CDN
- Free daily backup
- Priority tech. support
“Best for everyone! E-commerce, business, global sites, super affiliates and bloggers.”
SiteGround is the perfect all-rounder. It’s fast, reliable and super secure. Let’s start with its best feature: speed.
- Speed Siteground recorded the highest results on Bitcatcha’s server speed checker, making it the fastest web host on the market in 2019. And it’s not just fast in America. It uses data centers situated all over the globe and their proprietary SuperCacher to ensure lightning fast load times across the planet. No matter where your audience is located, your site will load instantly.
SiteGround also gives you free access to CloudFlare. CloudFlare is a ‘content delivery network’ (CDN) which stores your website data on servers all over the world. So if someone visits your website in Japan, your site will load from a server near Japan. Fast and efficient.
Bitcatcha.com is the nearest testimonial of SiteGround. We are hosted on their Chicago datacenter and you can see how quickly this website responds to your requests.
- Reliability We set up a test site using SiteGround and the reliability stats are phenomenal. We recorded a 100% uptime on our test site. It never went down.
- Customer service You can contact SiteGround 24/7 via live chat, phone and a ticketing system. Replies are almost instant when submitted by phone or chat. And tickets usually receive a response within ten minutes. You also get a personal profile of the person you’re talking to. So you know who they are and what their expertise is.
- Security SiteGround’s systems and servers automatically block malicious bots and attackers. It also comes with a free SSL certificate (through “Let’s Encrypt”) which adds encryption to transactions on your site. Security rules are updated weekly, and they run the most up-to-date software. While nothing is completely bulletproof, SiteGround keeps on top of all the biggest threats.
- Usability Behind the scenes, SiteGround is simple, easy to use and intuitive. You won’t feel lost or frustrated when you’re making changes.
- The technical details SiteGround uses an SSD (solid state drive) on all servers to give it 1000x increase in performance output. It also has a built in SuperCacher that boosts load speed. SiteGround is also one of the sites to employ HTTP/2 which is faster and more secure (because it requires encryption).
- Cost The popular package (GrowBig) is just $5.95, which grows to $14.95 for renewal. It is the most expensive of our top three, but it justifies the price with a super-charged performance.
Any Downsides for SiteGround?
SiteGround is the only one of our top three hosts to place a limit on storage and bandwidth. You’ll need to upgrade if you get more than 25,000 visitors per month or exceed 20GB storage.
What Customer Says?
Ralph de Groot (SiteGround user since 2008)
On getting started: “I signed up with [SiteGround] and within five minutes I was ready to go.” On their customer service: “I need to solve problems fast. SiteGround usually responds in 15 minutes.”
- Low Introductory Price
- Unlimited websites
- Custom hPanel
- Great for beginners
- 6 Datacenters
- Awesome localised support
“An amazing web host, great for new entrepreneurs. Fantastic quality to value ratio!”
Making this list has got to be one of the most difficult things we had to do, because our top 3 web hosts are all so awesome! Here’s why Hostinger is our number 2.
- Speed Our Hostinger test sites performed really well, with our US-based site producing a worldwide average of 143 ms. Our Singaporean test site also did a great job, with an epic worldwide average of 175 ms. These results put them in our A+ category. If you’re targeting the European market, our Netherlands test site came back with 65 ms.
Hostinger has 6 data centers worldwide, alleviates our worries about server distance to target audience; you just have to pick one that’s closest to your customers and you won’t have to worry about speed at all!
If this isn’t convincing enough, they’ve got an entire host of speed boosting features, such as NGINX caching, WordPress Optimization, HTTP/2 and their very own Cache Manager which enables your site to load much faster. Very good value for money!
- Reliability So far, our tracker has given us a 100% uptime for our Hostinger test sites. With Hostinger’s 99.9% uptime guarantee, we don’t expect to see this number drop.
- Customer SupportWe found Hostinger’s support to be much better than average. Conveniently located in the corner of their custom dashboard is a widget that instantly brings up a chat window, connecting to their live team.
This chat interface allows us to send attachments (which is great because sometimes, a screenshot speaks a thousand words) and they’ve implemented emojis and gifs to make it easier for us to emote. Some say that this is gimmicky, but we say that it really help diffuse tense situations.
Also, their support team serves over 20 countries in their native languages, which makes it a lot easier for people to communicate with them!
- User Experience Hostinger’s hPanel is a beautifully designed custom version of cPanel. It’s very intuitive with minimalistic icons which makes you feel like you’re in minimalist heaven. Everything is sorted logically, so you’ll have no problem navigating through the dashboard.
- Free Domain Hostinger is one of the very few web hosting companies out there that includes a domain completely free with their web hosting plans. It really helps to keep the costs down, which is something new business owners are always thinking about.
- Cost New business owners and entrepreneurs will be happy to know that Hostinger’s introductory price is one of the lowest in the market. Starting from only $0.80/ month, this web host is just perfect for beginners. They may not have certain features that we’d like, but it’s still value for money, considering how awesome Hostinger’s services are!
Any Downsides for Hostinger?
Unfortunately, security isn’t part of the benefits for Hostinger because of the lack of SSL and daily backups. (Those are premium features that can be purchased separately)
Even though they rank number 2 on this list, Hostinger sure provides adequate value for money! Check out our detailed review on Hostinger for more information.
- 20x faster Turbo servers
- Unlimited websites
- Unlimited email addresses
- Free SSD storage
- Datacenters in US, EU & Asia
“Affordable web hosting with unlimited resources. Great choice for all sorts of websites, globally.”
Although A2 plays second fiddle to Hostinger in this list, we’ve gotta say that they came super close to ranking number 2, and here’s why:
- Speed With a worldwide average of 149.8 ms, A2 is not as fast as Hostinger & SiteGround, but they’re still an A+ ranking web host, according to our speed tests.
Furthermore, this test was done on a regular swift account, on super light test sites. Their Turbo accounts are purportedly 20x faster than regular servers which might even give them an edge in real world applications with heavier themes and plugins.
Data centers also plays an important role in server speed. While SiteGround has 5 data centers across 3 continents, A2 has 4 (2 in the US, 1 in EU & 1 in Asia). While A2’s data center coverage may not be as wide as SiteGround, they’re giving our champion web host a run for their money!
- Reliability Our test sites for A2 web hosting are giving us a 99.95% uptime, which is really impressive! We really shouldn’t be surprised though, since A2 has an 99.9% uptime guarantee. Solid reliability!
- Security With A2, you’ll get free SSL via Let’s Encrypt. You’ll also find a whole host of security features, including DDOS protection, brute force defence, and round-the-clock security monitoring, keeping your site safe from any malicious activity.
- Customer service As awesome as they are as a web host, we feel that A2 can improve on their customer wait times, especially on live chat. The people that responded to us were really helpful and knowledgeable, but it took a little longer for us to connect to someone on live chat, compared to the other web hosts. Aside from that little issue, the support team is outstanding, assisting us with our issues patiently.
- User experience A2’s client login page is easy to navigate through. It’s user friendly, all the important information is clearly highlighted so that you never feel lost, and it’s doesn’t overwhelm you with too much information. If you don’t like their UI, you can still get everything important done via their cpanel login.
- Technical details You’ll be pleased find that all of A2’s web hosting plans come with SSDs for that lightning quick performance. You’ll also find the option to upgrade to their Turbo plan to take advantage of their Turbo servers, which are purportedly 20x faster than regular servers.
With A2’s Optimized WordPress feature, you won’t have to worry about tweaking your WordPress site for speed. This feature automatically optimizes your site to make it load as fast as possible, sparing you the headache.
- Cost Starting at only $3.92 per month (you’ll get this price if you purchase a 2-year term), we find A2’s pricing to be very attractive especially considering the fact that they’ve managed to pack almost unlimited everything into their plans!
As a matter of fact, they’re the web host that packs the most punch with their plans. Check out our detailed review on A2 web hosting for more information.
Any Downsides for A2 Hosting?
Their support is very patient, helpful and knowledgeable but the waiting que time could be long.
Best of The Rest
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, take a look at these six additional web hosts.
The perfect all rounder for all type of websites & Bitcatcha.com hosted!
Crazily low introductory price + awesome support.
Super fast Turbo-Server that is optimized for WordPress.
Perfect for websites with US audiences.
Premium managed WordPress hosting.
300% green! Leave no carbon footprint!
An old-school host with solid features and budget pricing.
Recommended by WordPress.org
Fully managed WordPress hosting
If you are looking for specialty hosting, here are some best host lists that you might find handy.
Best Host Series
The best managed WordPress hosting.
Best web hosting for Australia audiences.
For those of you who are targeting Malaysians.
Singapore datacenter is your best bet to reach SEA audiences.
For the serious bloggers & marketers in India
Serve Africans and the rest of the world at the same time.
Having a tight budget doesn’t mean you have limited choice.
Because a professional email address is essential for your business.
Who is the best fastest web hosting?
Use our filter tool to explore more host companies.
Bottom Line: Choosing The Right Host
Searching for the right web host can be exhausting, and it’s not always easy to distinguish between the different companies. But when you break down the performance in speed, reliability and security, there are three clear winners. If you’re looking for an all-round solution, there’s no better choice than SiteGround – it’s the fastest host we tested and scored 100% uptime. Hostinger has the best beginner-friendly pricing and it is super fast. A2 Hosting is a close one with similarly powerful performance.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to drop us a message.