Choosing a web-hosting company can be daunting. So many players are in the market these days, and sorting through them all to find the best fit for you is difficult. Many experts compare companies to the larger companies such as GoDaddy and HostGator who have much larger marketing budgets. Often, these companies draw customers in with ultra-low introductory prices only to hit their customers with expensive renewal rates and sub-par features and service.
We recently scoured the web looking for the highest rated web host for our own purposes, and we narrowed them all down to a top five list. Everyone’s needs are different, and your needs may be different from ours. However, we hope this review will help you understand our decision process and potentially help you with your own process. We had to choose based on a combination of customer service, hosting plans, and price.
The prices we show in this review are the expected ongoing costs. We do not show their introductory rate which is usually lower.
InMotion has been a top-rated web host with CNET for the past 14 years. That’s especially good considering they only started in 2001. Even their lowest priced plan (launch at $5.99/ month) has unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and email. It also comes with 2 websites (ideal for those looking for a production and development environment for testing your site’s functionality). All their plans offer free domains. They also offer a 90-day money back guarantee. Standard money back policies average at 30 days – barely enough time to migrate or launch your site much less observe its actual performance. The 90-day guarantee was a big draw for us.
Having a quick response in customer service inquiries was crucial for us. This is where InMotion shines. Their chat response times are almost immediate, with the longest wait time being under 1 minute. Customer service also points you to white papers and guides found on the site which address a majority of issues from changing DNS and Nameserver settings, configuring content delivery networks (CDN), to establishing your file transfer protocol (FTP) process.
Their average uptime is 99.97%, their load time is 644ms, with quick customer service response time. InMotion is among the best in the industry. What sealed the deal for us was their VPS and Dedicated hosting plans. They offer good rates for their VPS with bigger disk space than the competition. Starting at $34.99/ month, the base rate gives you 4GB of RAM, 75GB SSD storage, 4TB bandwidth, and 3 IP addresses. Their dedicated hosting plan runs on Linux servers (plus for us) and provide 500GB of SSD (bigger plus for us) and customer service performs your site’s backups for you.
Hosting Advice gave their top position for overall performance to Blue Host, but when they compared Blue Host to SiteGround and InMotion directly, Blue Host lost out. SiteGround’s custom software and customer service are second to none. SSD drives are included on all the shared and cloud plans, and they offer free migration. They also have their own caching system based on NGINX which has very good reviews. And they have servers in the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Their plans start at $9.95/ month.
Their uptime is 99.98%, their load time is 483ms, and their average customer service response time is 2 minutes. SiteGround scored highly everywhere we found a review except for their VPS. SiteGround provides cloud hosting, but few review sites even mention it. When they do, they rate the service lower than InMotion’s VPS. Their base rate gives you 2 CPU cores, 4GB of memory, 40GB SSD storage, and 5TB of data transfer. However, that costs $80/ month, more than twice the price of InMotion.
3. Blue Host
Hosting Advice gave Blue Host the best overall position, and so did WebHostingBest10.com. With more than 2 million websites under their belt, they must be doing something right. Among other things, they offer free cloud storage. They also score highly on their VPS which is a big deal for us. Their shared hosting starts at $7.99/ month which is a little lower than InMotion. Their VPS which starts at $29.99/month is much less expensive than InMotion’s. However, their RAM, storage, and bandwidth are all significantly lower than InMotion’s as well.
Also, their 3 key indicators are 510ms load time, 99.98% uptime, and 9-minute average customer service response time. If you’re needing VPS, you get a better bang for your buck with InMotion. At $29.99/ month, you get 2 CPU cores, 30GB SSD storage, and only 2 GB of RAM. The bandwidth is unlimited, but you only get 1 IP address. The cost-benefit is just not good enough for our purposes.
4. Fast Comet
The first thing that caught our eye was their price. Their low introductory price is higher than most, and that is the same price you will renew at. $3.95/ month is the flat rate for their base shared hosting plan. Their prices may be low, but the quality is top-notch. Their customer service is amazing, and they have jam packed their services with as many free features as they can such as free backup and restore, Cloudflare CDN caching, malware removal, etc. However, they are clearly targeting the shared hosting demographic.
Fast Comet doesn’t offer an uptime guarantee, but they have maintained 99.99% uptime. Their average customer support response was about 4 minutes, and we couldn’t find a reliable metric for their load time. We found a range from 9.2 seconds to 4.5 seconds, but these were for different types of sites that did not compare with our metric for the other five companies.
Also, we need VPS, and their VPS is more expensive with a lower quality offering than InMotion. Their VPS again is too expensive for what you get. Their base starts at $59.95/ month. You get a single 2.80GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, 30 GB of SSD storage, and only 2 TB of bandwidth.
Hosting Review gave HostPapa their top review at least for the non-US based websites we looked at. Since, we want to be a global company, we wanted to look for a host beyond US shores. InMotion unfortunately only has servers in the US whereas HostPapa has servers in North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and South America. That means your users will have a great experience regardless of where in the world they visit your site from. Since they are based in New Zealand, their prices are extremely reasonable, starting at $7.99/ month in New Zealand dollars. At the moment, that converts to about $5.50 in US Dollars.
Their uptime is 99.97% with an average customer support response of 4 minutes, but their load time is fairly slow at 1047ms. Their technical side is good, but their VPS hosting and prices are just not close enough to InMotion’s quality. Their basic VPS starts at $69.99/ month. It gives you a 4-core CPU but only 1.5GB of RAM along with 50GB of storage and only 1TB transfer.
We found InMotion to be the best fit for small to mid-sized companies. First, we like that they themselves are a mid-sized, private company with a staff of only 300. Their customer service is always willing to go above and beyond to ensure issues are handled in a timely manner. Lastly, there’s a “how-to” guide on just about anything you can think of for beginners to experienced website owners. Check them out here to receive a discount when you sign-up.