If you run a small business, a local club, church or charity it's essential that you have a web presence. It's important to get your business listed on Google as well as other relevant places, but these days people expect to be able to click through to your website from Google and not merely get a phone number or address.

Since you're reading this, you probably already know all of that and are trying to decide which hosting provider to use to put your website online.

Here we explain what to look out for in a hosting package and recommend ten different services. Scroll down past the reviews to find more in-depth buying advice.

5 essential things to know about web hosting

  1. Don’t skimp on cost. If your website is for a small business, then it’s a usually a false economy to opt for the cheapest package you can find. You want a reliable host so visitors can access your site all the time, and pages should load quickly.
  2. Web hosting is usually offered at a big discount for the first year or two. Check the cost after the introductory period and don't forget to add VAT or taxes if you have to pay them as the prices you see almost always exclude them.
  3. Check out a potential hosting provider’s credentials. Hopefully you’re doing that right now by reading this article: the hosts we’ve included below are all what we consider reputable companies that offer good customer support and are well established.
  4. Customer service can be key. If you’re not experienced and may need help getting your site online, or with other aspects of hosting such as email and databases, be sure to pick a provider that you can phone or offers 24/7 live chat.
  5. We’ve mentioned it already, but it’s crucial your website doesn’t go offline because there’s a problem with the provider’s server. Look for uptime guarantees and high bandwidth (and unmetered bandwith too). If your site becomes popular, you want it to still perform well with lots of people viewing it at the same time.

Most of these packages also include a domain name - your website's address - and website builder to actually put the pages together. You can also see our pick of the best website builders, if you want to use a separate tool to make your site, and if you already know you want to use WordPress, here are the best hosting providers for WordPress.

10 Best Web Hosting Providers 2021

1

1&1 IONOS

1&1 IONOS

  • SSL certificate
  • Email accounts included
  • Free domain name
  • DDoS protection
  • Backups included

1&1 - as it used to be known - is now IONOS, but you don't really need to be concerned about that. The range of products on offer is broad, so whether you need plain web hosting or a fully fledged online website builder, it's all here.

The website building option that comes within the 1&1 IONOS account area might be pretty basic but it offers a fun experience and lets you produce presentable pages too.

Read our full 1&1 IONOS review

2

Hostinger

Hostinger

  • Affordable web hosting
  • 1-click WordPress installer
  • 24/7 support
  • SSL certificate

You won't find many hosting providers offering plans which cost less than £1 / $1 per month, and there are catches to this deal: it's for a maximum of four years, has limited bandwidth and doesn't include a domain name or other extras such as an SSL certificate.

However, the Premium and Business plans offer similarly good-value long-term deals which give you more and are less restrictive.

Read our full Hostinger review

3

Fasthosts

Fasthosts Web Hosting

  • UK data centres
  • 24/7 support
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • SSL certificate included
  • SSD storage

Fasthosts is a UK provider with web hosting packages - including WordPress - as well as dedicates plans for those who want to use the service to host and create their website.

It's all very easy to use, so is ideal for beginners and it's also a reliable and speedy service.

The half-price offer only lasts three months, but it's still very affordable after that compared to rivals.

Read our full Fasthosts Web Hosting review

4

InMotion

InMotion Hosting

  • WordPress hosting
  • SSL certificate
  • Malware / hacking protection
  • Free domain
  • Unlimited storage & bandwidth

InMotion offers good-value plans and is a good option if you need to put a WordPress site together and there's helpful tech support to guide you along the way.

There's a 90-day money-back guarantee so if you're not happy with your site's performance then you're not tied in.

Read our full InMotion Hosting review

5

HostGator

HostGator Web Hosting

  • Unlimited storage & bandwidth
  • 24/7 support
  • SSL certificate
  • cPanel management
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee

HostGator offers all the types of web hosting you'd expect, but what you wouldn't expect is such good value from even the entry-level packages.

If you want to create a site, the website builder plans are also good value, as is the WordPress hosting.

Read our full HostGator Web Hosting review

6

GoDaddy

GoDaddy Web Hosting

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free domain name
  • Office 365 Business email
  • 24/7 support

GoDaddy is a great choice for small businesses. It's one of the best-known web hosting providers and has millions upon millions of domain names on its register.

It offers various packages depending upon whether you need pure hosting, you want to create a website (its site builder is very easy to use) or if you want to host a WordPress Site.

There's a 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 support and unlimited bandwidth and storage - unless you opt for the Economy plan. 

Prices are not the lowest you'll find, however.

Read our full GoDaddy Web Hosting review

7

SiteGround

SiteGround

  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • SSL certificate
  • 24/7 support
  • Daily backups
  • CloudFlare CDN

SiteGround is very WordPress-centric, but that's a good thing if you're happy to use that platform for your website. There are just three main plans to pick from, which keeps things simple.

You don't get a domain name with any of them, and adding one will cost you £14.95 per year. Also bear in mind that the introductory prices double after a year.

A nice feature is that WooCommerce is offered as a free plugin, and it's available even in the base StartUp package. As one of WordPress.org's recommended hosting providers, this is a very good choice for WordPress sites.

Read our full SiteGround review

8

Bluehost

Bluehost

  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • SSL certificate
  • Built for WordPress
  • Domain name included
  • WooCommerce-powered online shop available

Bluehost offers an express-lane style WordPress experience for anyone who needs a dynamic web presence using ready-to-go templates and themes.

There are cheaper options if you want plain hosting, but we love the simple way that Bluehost lets you dip into the full power of the WordPress content management system and it’s pretty easy to use too.

Read our full Bluehost review

9

Weebly

Weebly

  • Free plan available
  • Excellent site builder tool
  • Online shop available
  • Edit your site from your phone

Weebly is aimed at the novice who wants a web hosting provider that will handle absolutely everything, from the actual hosting of the site as well as all the tools required to build it.

And Weebly is well regarded as one of the easiest to use out there, and is even used by some other web hosting providers.

Like Wix, you can use it completely free, but you’ll have to stump up for at least the Pro package if you want your own domain name and pages that aren’t littered with Square adverts. So it isn’t the cheapest out there, but it does hold your hand the entire way and lets you build a great-looking site.

Read our full Weebly review

10

Wix

Wix

  • Easy-to-use website builder
  • Free plan offered
  • 99.9% uptime
  • Online store available with business plans

In some ways, you can’t really call Wix a web hosting provider, nor compare it directly with many of the others here. It’s aimed at beginners and makes it a breeze to create a basic site which can then be put online, meaning Wix is indeed a web host.

It isn’t the best value if you have more demanding needs – unlimited bandwidth is only offered if you opt for one of the more expensive plans, and it’s even more expensive if you want priority tech support.

Read our full Wix review

Free, shared or dedicated hosting?

When you look at a web hosting provider's website, it can be a bit overwhelming. You'll probably see a few different types of web hosting:

  • Shared web hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • VPS hosting

Here's what it all means.

Shared hosting

The vast majority of people should choose shared hosting

Shared hosting simply means your site and other websites will share one server and its resources (such as processing power and RAM) will be divided among all these websites. Most public web hosting services offer shared hosting packages because it keeps costs down.

Unless you’re looking to run a large business website, this type of hosting will be fine. The only drawback - and it's an unlikely scenario - is if another site that's hosted on your shared server receives a lot of unexpected visitors, your site's performance could be negatively impacted. 

Shared hosting prices tend to range from a couple of pounds or dollars per month up to around £15 / $15.

Completely free web hosting is unattractive as connections can be slow and the provider is not obligated to have it online at all times. They may also put their own adverts on your pages, so avoid this type unless you don't really care about your site.

Dedicated hosting

This is only for websites that will be receiving a lot of visitors. Fingers crossed that’s your site one day, but it may not be to start with. It involves renting the physical server itself and having exclusive use of it. It’ll still be housed at a data centre, but it’s all yours. Therefore, it’s a lot more expensive.

VPS hosting

There's a step in between: VPS. Most hosting providers offer it, and essentially it's shared hosting but you get a fixed amount of server resources so that site performance won't be affected by other sites running on the same server. It can be worth spending an extra £10 / $10 per month on a VPS package especially if you expect your site to attract many visitors.

Domain names

A domain name is the website’s address. Ours is www.techadvisor.com. You’ll need one, but it won’t cost much (from pennies to £15/$15 per year if you get it as part of the hosting package).

If you use a free web hosting service you must use their domain name, for example techadvisor.freehosting.com rather than simply techadvisor.co.uk. This is another reason to avoid free hosting.

Email

Many packages come with email addresses, and you’ll want this to add a level of professionalism to your business. Sure, you can get free email from Gmail or Outlook, but it’s much better to have email addresses that match your domain name, such as [email protected]