Matthew RogersAuthor: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: 2 August 2019
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an Australia based web agency (Brisbane), we know web hosting inside-out and are always on the look-out for the best web hosting services. Aside from hosting our clients, we also bulk buy web hosting accounts (lots of side-projects :)), and actively log & analyse their hosting performance.

web hosting research

The quality of your web hosting provider can have a massive impact on the potential success of your website, so choosing a good web host is pretty important! While we use a LOT of factors when writing our hosting reviews (security, support, ease of use, speed, key features, etc), support and speed are the 2 major ones we consider when reviewing a web hosting service.

Let’s take website speed for example, did you know that a 1 second delay means page views decrease by 11%? That means over 1/10 of visitors will just turn away for every second your site is still loading… Or did you know that just because your server is in Australia it doesn’t mean you’ll get the best loading speeds, a lot of hosts with servers in Singapore (like SiteGround) actually outperform local hosts.

A few of the better-known brands/sites that link to our content:

featured on logos

We’ve done the analysis, web hosting reviews & comparisons so you don’t have to, resulting in a list of the best website hosting companies for Australia.  The table below gives you a high-level overview of – in our opinion – the top 5 website hosts, sorted by rating, detailing the cost/mo, & if they have servers around the world. Then just below the table we go a bit more in-depth and review a total of 15 hosts.

Web Hosting CompanyRatingPriceServers world-wideFeaturesReviewsWebsite
siteground2Grab Your DiscountAUD $4.95 (Temporary 67% discount, down from $14.95)
  • Easy to use
  • Lightning-fast servers
  • GREAT 24/7 support!
  • Custom built bullet-proof security
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Officially recommended by WordPress = winner!
SiteGround ReviewGrab Your Discount
hostpapaVisit SiteAUD $3.36 (down from $8.99)
  • Very cheap (great value for $$$)
  • 100GB Disk Space
  • Good Support
  • US based servers, so definitely slower loading times.
  • But again, so cheap.
HostPapa ReviewVisit Site
PanthurLogoVisit SiteAUD $5
  • Great performance
  • Lots of choice.
Panthur ReviewVisit Site
A2HostingLogoVisit SiteUSD $3.92 (around AUD $5.22)
  • Unlimited Disk Space
  • Great with WordPress
A2 Hosting ReviewVisit Site
Media Fortress logoVisit Site$7.7
  • One stop shop for digital marketing
  • 100% Australian
Media Fortress ReviewVisit Site

Web Hosting Reviews for Australia 2019

1. SiteGround

SiteGround Logo

Price

AUD $4.95

Disk space

10 GB

Support

Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

Global reach

Yes

In our opinion, the best web hosting for Australia is SiteGround, not only are their data centres blazing fast (choose the Singapore centre for local sites, it blows the competition out of the water), but they even have their own in-house caching system (SuperCacher) to serve your sites faster than ever before.

They’re also an official WordPress recommended host (This is a pretty big deal! They can, of course, tackle any system or CMS you throw at them, AND have their own site builder).

As secure hosting is an absolute must, we really like their in-house security setup that crawls all their hosted sites, constantly keeping an eye out for potential security issues. They also have a dedicated security team that tracks new vulnerabilities on a daily basis, and then patches those issues to keep everything running smoothly. It’s very impressive!

Other additional benefits include free SSL to secure your sites, daily backups for peace of mind, and much more.

They have 3 hosting plans for shared hosting, starting at only $4.95/mo (67% off the usual price)! Oh, + they have a 30-day money back guarantee, an absolute no-brainer for anyone that wants a great and affordable web host!

SiteGround provides a lot of options for customer service including a Knowledge Base, Tutorials, Live Chat, Phone, and Ticket Support. According to the company, Phone and Live Chat Support will help you get instant replies while Tickets would take 10 minutes on average, which is quite impressive.

Customer reviews of their support system are very positive. Most customers stated that support staff was very polite and helpful. Yay for SiteGround!

When it comes to speed, SiteGround has plenty to offer. They provide SSDs for faster website loading times compared to traditional drives, as well as extra tweaks and custom setups to optimise speed. As mentioned before, they also have a custom built caching plugin called SuperCacher for even faster loading speeds. Data centres of the company are located in the US, UK, NL, and SG, so their global reach is very good. They’re definitely one of the fastest web hosting providers around.

Pros

  • Very user-friendly
  • Great security
  • Multiple data centres around the world
  • Free CDN, SSL, etc
  • Recommended by WordPress
  • In-house caching system for super fast loading times

Cons

  • N/A

Read Our SiteGround Hosting Review Here

Get Started Today & Grab the 67% discount while it lasts!
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2. HostPapa

HostPapa logo

Website

hostpapa.com.au

Price

AUD $3.36

Disk space

100 GB

Support

Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

Global reach

No

This one is interesting, while their logo could use a bit of a refresh, their cost to value ratio is outstanding. For only AUD $3.36 you get 100GB of disk space, a free domain name, and very decent support. The only downside here is that they don’t have any servers in or near Australia, meaning that unless you use a CDN like CloudFlare (which is admittedly pretty easy to setup), your loading speeds will suffer a bit.

But if you’re looking for decent very cheap hosting, these guys bring the goods! Aside from having a handy website builder, they of course also support all the popular CMSs like WordPress, Joomla and others (400+ apps with 1-click installers).

HostPapa offers shared hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting and WordPress hosting, as well as web design services, G suite, and Office 365 integration support.

All in all, if you’re on a budget, HostPapa gets our stamp of approval, and with our exclusive discount, it’s only AUD $3.36/mo!

HostPapa provides 24/7 customer service through phone, live chat, and support tickets. Usually, budget hosts like these lack in support, but HP’s support is surprisingly responsive and helpful in fixing issues. Kudos to HostPapa.

As for speed, HostPapa’s data centres, are very good. They boast 99.9% uptime and it looks like they deliver. As mentioned before though, because they don’t have any local servers, loading times will be a bit slower compared to SiteGround. But then again, this can be fixed by enabling CloudFlare, which can serve your site from their own nodes around the world. Setting up CloudFlare isn’t that hard and HP’s support can definitely help you out.

Pros

  • Plenty of disk space
  • Additional services
  • Good 24/7 support
  • Free domain name
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • No servers in or near Australia

Grab Your Discount
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3. Panthur

Panthur Logo

Price

AUD $5

Disk space

10 GB

Support

Phone, Tickets

Global reach

No

Panthur is an experienced & excellent hosting provider that initially started as a non-commercial organisation. They offer super-fast web hosting services and 24/7 customer support (which is also lightning fast). They’re a local web host with servers in the country, though have none overseas if you want to target other countries.

Panthur has 3 main plans that you can additionally customise: Economy, Business and Stealth hosting, each level increasing in server resources as you go up.

They also offer domain name registrations and reseller hosting web designers and agencies. They recently got bought by Hostopia and while the switch was a bit rocky, everything looks to be back normal… including their fast support.

Their cheapest plan starts at $5/month (though we recommend going with their bronze business plan for that perfect value/cost balance).

Panthur provides 24/7 support through phone and support tickets. They’re usually pretty fast at responding, and most issues get resolved quickly.

As for speed, while they don’t have a custom caching plugin like SiteGround… as their data centres are located in AU, and combined with the power of their servers, loading times are very good across the board, just make sure you choose a hosting plan that fits your site (meaning that you probably shouldn’t choose their economy plan to host a massive forum).

Pros

  • Local web host
  • Great performance
  • Good support
  • 3 data centres in Australia

Cons

  • No overseas servers
  • Only 2 GB disk space on their basic plan

Go with Panthur
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4. A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting Logo

Price

USD $3.92

Disk space

Unlimited

Support

Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

Global reach

Yes

With 24/7 support, super fast SSD drives, unlimited storage & a Singapore-based data-centre for max speed for Aussie sites… they’re a well-deserved #4 on the list!

They have hosting packages for shared hosting, reseller, VPS, and dedicated servers. What sets them apart is their anytime money back guarantee… though we haven’t tested it yet.

Just like SiteGround, they also offer 3 shared hosting packages, their cheapest plan starts at only USD $3.92/mo (around AUD $5.22/mo).

They offer 24/7/365 customer service through all the usual channels like Chat, Phone, and Support Tickets. Reviews are pretty good and things usually get resolved quite fast. They also offer free site migration to make the transition to their services as smooth as possible.

A2 Hosting is very proud of their “Turbo Servers”, which provides 20x speed compared to your average server. They do this through a combination of an enhanced Apache alternative, more resources per user and fewers users per server. They also have custom caching and, of course, use SSD’s. It’s a very good setup. They have 4 data centres around the world for a decent global reach comparable to SiteGround.

Pros

  • 4 global servers
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Anytime money back guarantee

Cons

  • Charges in USD

Get Started With A2 Hosting
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5. MediaFortress

MediaFortress logo

Price

AUD $7.70

Disk space

1 GB

Support

Phone, Tickets

Global reach

No

They started in 2009, are still 100% Australian owned and definitely know the industry quite well.

While they’re definitely on the expensive side and their basic plan only includes 1 site and 1 GB of storage, the advantage they have is that they’re also a digital marketing agency, so they can not only help with hosting but also with the site build and marketing itself. A one-stop shop basically. Their services include web design, SEO, PPC, social media marketing, email marketing, etc.

We haven’t had to use their customer service, but they offer to help out either over the phone, or through support tickets. Because they’re a smaller hosting company, the support is usually more personal, with people that care about their reputation.

Also no complaints about the speed. They’re using well-optimised local servers and guarantee a 99% uptime, great for your average business sites or personal blogs.

Pros

  • One stop shop
  • 100% Aussie
  • Quality services

Cons

  • Expensive

View Their Plans
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6. GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks logo

Price

USD $3.95

Disk space

Unlimited

Support

Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

Global reach

Yes

GreenGeeks is going through a massive growth spurt at the moment. The benefit they have is that they’re putting back 300% of the energy they use back onto the grid, very very cool. Their services and support are pretty impressive, but they don’t have any servers near Australia (yet), hopefully, they’ll get that sorted soon. We really like their custom built security tech to keep everything running clean and smooth. While they have a website builder, they also support most major CMS’s out of the box.

GreenGeeks offers shared web hosting (great for small businesses and blogs), reseller hosting, dedicated servers, WordPress hosting, and VPS hosting. They also have a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with their services.

They have always been good with support. They offer it 24/7, via the phone, chat, or support tickets. Their support staff are pretty knowledgeable and are well-trained.

When it comes to speed, they know how to optimise their servers, and it shows in the speed they offer. They use a combination of fast SSD’s, PowerCacher, and PHP7 to really try and get as much juice out of their servers as possible. Pretty impressive!

Pros

  • Eco-friendly
  • Affordable
  • Great support
  • Unlimited disk space

Cons

  • No local servers

View Their Plans
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7. Netregistry

Netregistry logo

Price

AUD $9.95

Disk space

20 GB

Support

Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

Global reach

No

Netregistry has been around for ages and definitely knows the web hosting industry in AU, but high hosting costs and an insane $199 for an SSL certificate is a bit crazy (you can get them for free). They also had some bad reviews lately, and quite a few complaints popped up on different fora.

Netregistry does offer a lot more than your usual hosts. They also offer web design services, and pretty much everything related to online marketing, including SEO, PPC, and social media marketing. Another example of a one-stop shop.

At the moment though, probably stay clear of this one.

Netregistry offers phone, email support or live support chat during business hours. As mentioned before, the reviews aren’t that great.

Their speed isn’t the best, pretty average. They have data centres in the country, so we’d expect their loading times to be a bit better, but they’re still acceptable for your average business site.

Pros

  • Local host

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bad user reviews
  • SSL pricing

View Their Plans
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8. Host Geek

Host Geek logo

Price

AUD $4.58

Disk space

400 MB

Support

Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

Global reach

No

Like Media Fortress and Netregistry, Host Geek offers digital marketing services on top of their hosting services, giving customers the whole package when it comes to their online marketing needs, which is handy if you’re a small business.

They are more affordable than most on the list, but their basic plan only comes with 400 MB of disk space, which people will outgrow very quickly. They have a data centre in both Australia and Singapore, which gives them a bit more reach than the competition.

As for hosting plans, they have packages for shared hosting, reseller hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, and more specialised hosting plans for WordPress, Joomla, and Magento. The specialised plans are more expensive but optimised for each CMS.

They offer customer service through all the usual channels like Phone, Live Chat, and Support Tickets through their client portal. It’s cool that they also do web design and digital marketing, so they can help you out with more than just hosting issues.

As for speed, loading times with SSD’s are decent, definitely not bad. It’s handy that they also have servers in Singapore.

Pros

  • One stop shop
  • Affordable
  • A lot of choices
  • 100% Aussie

Cons

  • 400 MB is not a lot of disk space

View Their Plans
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9. WPHosting

WPHosting logo

Price

AUD $19

Disk space

5 GB

Support

Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

Global reach

No

We do like these guys. If you’re running WordPress and have the budget (and your target market is in Australia as their servers are local), they’ll make sure your site runs silky smooth. That being said, there’s no phone support on their basic plan and I didn’t see any free SSL options either.

What they do offer is high-quality hosting for WordPress, including premium features like DDOS protection, daily automated backups, and malware scans to keep everything super secure.

They offer support through all the usual channels like Phone, Live Chat, and Support Tickets. As they offer WP hosting, their support staff are experts at WordPress!

Their servers are fully optimised for running WordPress, and it shows. The loading times are very impressive, they use SSD’s, PHP7, Gzip, and MariaDB to optimise speed!

Pros

  • WordPress hosting kings
  • Great support

Cons

  • Probably won’t work if you’re on a budget…
  • Or don’t use WordPress

View Their Plans
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10. Crucial

Crucial logo

Price

AUD $19.90

Disk space

50 GB

Support

Phone, Tickets

Global reach

No

Since they started in 2003, Crucial has grown quite a lot, known for its simplicity, as for web hosting, they just have the main plan for shared hosting. Which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. At $19.90 though, there are far cheaper options available that come with more features.

They also offer reseller hosting and VPS hosting (which again comes in 2 flavours). Their servers are in AU and they offer 24x7x365 support, which is always handy.

Crucial offers 24x7x365 support through phone and support tickets. Reviews are generally positive.

With local servers running on SSD’s, speeds are solid. Though maybe they should change their promoted PHP version to PHP7, rather than referencing PHP 5.6+ as their latest and greatest…

Pros

  • Great at VPS hosting
  • Simplicity is not a bad thing
  • High-quality services

Cons

  • Expensive shared hosting

View Their Plans
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11. HostingCloud

HostingCloud logo

Price

AUD $2.50

Disk space

5 GB

Support

Tickets

Global reach

No

The new kids on the block, like brand-spanking new. They’re definitely cheap and offer free SSL, but like most Aussie web hosts, are tied to AU unless you use a CDN (which SiteGround and A2 Hosting for example, offer for free). They look perfect for small businesses wanting to get their feet wet.

They have 2 plans, one with 5 GB disk space, and one with 10 GB. Both include cool features like Free cPanel Migrations, 7 Day Backup Retention, and Network DDoS Protection. And all the hosting runs on SSDs max speeds.

As they’re a budget host, they only offer support through tickets, though they’re pretty responsive, so generally a thumbs up from us.

As for speed, the usual, Australian servers running on SSD’s. Sites run as smooth as expected, pretty good for a budget host imho.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Good value

Cons

  • Might need better support options
  • No overseas servers

View Their Plans
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12. Digital Pacific

Digital Pacific logo

Price

AUD $6.90

Disk space

1 GB

Support

Phone, Tickets

Global reach

No

Digital Pacific started in 2000, and quickly grew to become one of the more well-known providers for web hosting in Australia. While they have a lot of choices when it comes to hosting options, performance was a bit questionable compared to other hosts, on their shared hosting plans at least.

When we tested them, we directly compared them with Panthur (who offer a cheaper plan) and let the servers really crunch a few heavy scripts, we weren’t really impressed. Their support was pretty responsive though (after our tests crashed our site).

We also like how eco-friendly they are, and the way they give back to the community by involvement in great projects and other events like Movember.

Digital Pacific offers 24/7 support via phone and support tickets through their client portal. They’re usually very responsive and can resolve any issues efficiently.

Like most other Australian web hosting providers, Digital Pacific focuses on local servers running SSD’s for storage, and it works well for your average personal and business websites.

Pros

  • Experienced
  • Lots of choices

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • Performance (might be improved since our last test though)

View Their Plans
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13. Bluehost

Bluehost logo

Price

USD $3.95

Disk space

50 GB

Support

Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

Global reach

Yes

Bluehost is a very old host now, we consider it one of the veterans. Once upon a time, they ruled the kingdom together with HostGator (they were to go-to hosts if you were a small business), now they both got bought by EIG, the massive corporation that’s buying up as many web hosts as it can (like iPage and Fatcow, which are on this list).

Bluehost went downhill fast over the last few years, which definitely hurt the company, luckily, lately, they’ve been improving their services and support, to the point where they might start moving up our list again.

As for hosting options, they offer shared hosting, cloud hosting, WP hosting, VPS, and dedicated hosting.

BlueHost gives you a Knowledge Base, Video Tutorials, Live Chat, Ticket Submission, and Telephone Support. They are available 24/7. Reviews regarding BlueHosts’ customer support service were still mostly negative. <- but again, they’re working on it.

Performance (including speed) of their cheapest Shared Hosting plan is undisclosed. It only states that the said plan has “Standard” Performance. According to their support representative, Standard Performance means you are given 25GB of RAM and your website will load within 2-3 seconds.

Upon research on their knowledge base, you can have more CPU, memory, and resources for USD 25.99 per month. However, their Pro Package is labeled as “High Performance” wherein it has 80% fewer accounts per server which allow it to use more resources per account. With this package comes increased speed and power due to fewer users. Data centers are located in Utah, USA, meaning that you’ll need a CDN like CloudFlare to get decent loading times in Australia.

Pros

  • Free SSL
  • Plenty of disk space
  • Affordable

Cons

  • US servers
  • Rocky reputation

View Their Plans
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14. Cloudways

Cloudways logo

Price

USD $10

Disk space

25 GB

Support

Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

Global reach

Yes

Cloudways is a different beast, they use other companies’ raw servers and allow you to deploy, manage, and monitor high-performance apps and websites on those servers, cutting out the usual web hosting middle-man. If you’re even slightly techie, this can save you a lot of money.

They work with massive cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Vultr, Amazon AWS, and more. The real benefit here is the scalability cloud hosting offers. This works great for resource-intensive applications and websites… like huge forums or e-commerce sites.

Cloudways gives you various options for support including a Knowledge Base, Ticket Submission, Live Chat, Platform Status Page, and Online Fill-Up Forms. Through the fill-up forms, you can request a call, inquire on sales, and become a partner.

Their reviews are superb. Most reviews stated that their customer support system was very quick and prompt. Representatives know what to do to fix both easy and complicated problems. Overall, customers were pleased with their customer support service.

With their cheapest plan, 1GB worth of memory (RAM) is provided. Servers are based on solid-state drives for faster loading speeds compared to traditional mechanical drives. Servers are also PHP 7 Ready. PHP 7 is the choice of web developers at present giving superior and faster performance of websites and applications compared to PHP 5.6. CloudwaysCDN also allows for faster website loading speeds across the world as data cached in multiple locations around the world.

They have Optimized Stacks with Advanced Cache such as Memcached, Varnish, and Redis for expedited responses. Fast hosting speeds for WordPress and Magento is also available because of its Breeze cache and Full Page cache, respectively. Also, they currently have 60 data centres around the world which you can choose from.

Pros

  • High-performance hosting
  • Very scalable

Cons

  • More difficult to master

View Their Plans
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15. Inmotion Hosting

InMotion hosting logo

Price

USD $6.39

Disk space

Unlimited

Support

Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

Global reach

No

InMotion Hosting is another veteran here, but they focus mostly on business hosting and solutions, hence the higher cost. And again, no local servers. The support is pretty good though, as are the rest of their packages… so if you’re targeting the US, definitely one to consider.

As for hosting options, InMotion offers shared hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, and specialised WordPress hosting. They also offer web design services if you can’t find anyone locally (which would be odd as web designers are everywhere these days).

In addition to the usual phone support, knowledge base, and support tickets, they also have a Skype account you can contact. Generally, the user reviews are positive, and support is responsive and efficient at fixing issues.

With the combo of their business class server configs and PHP7 support, speed and performance is very smooth across the board. They also offer WordPress specialised hosting for even better performance for WP websites.

Pros

  • High-quality services
  • Good reputation

Cons

  • Servers in the US
  • Expensive

View Their Plans
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Why we review web hosts for Australia

Picking the right web hosting service can really make the difference between a thriving business, or a failing one. For example, if our site goes down for 2 days, that would be a potential loss of around 4 to 8k (on average <- yes, we calculated this). So to actually prevent this from happening to anyone, we’ve clarified some of the hosting terminologies and required specifications below (side-note: Every epic cheap web hosting company in our top 10 supports WordPress and all other major CMS’s, in case you were wondering).

So in case you’re going the manual route in researching Australian web hosting providers and want to create your own website hosting reviews, these are the specs to look out for when choosing a host, enjoy!

ps: We also just added our personal top 5 of the best web hosting for NZbest hosting Ireland, best UK web hosting, best Canadian hostingbest web hosting Singapore, best web hosting USA, & best web hosting India.

Australian web hosting research

How to choose the best web hosting service for Australia?

Web Hosting Terminology: Domain Hosting vs Web Hosting vs Domain Registration

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to choose a suitable web hosting provider, let’s answer one of the most common questions we get regarding hosting terminology. What exactly is the difference between domain hosting, web hosting, and domain registration?

Domain Name Registration

Let’s start with domain registration. This refers to the buying or registering of a domain name (yourcompany.com.au), which can be done through a registrar. Most web hosts offer this service, meaning you can buy your domain name and host your site with the same provider, which is the ideal situation as support is centralised. If you’re just looking to buy domain names and not web hosting, it’s best to go through a normal registrar like NameCheap. Registrars have the authority to delegate the sales of domain names and assign them for IP addresses.

Web Hosting Explained

updating name serversNext up, web hosting. This refers to the online space where you host the files that make up your website, it’s why you’re on this page, to find a great web host for your website. Once you have registered your domain name, you then point that name toward your hosting space to make the site show up in browsers. You usually connect your domain name and web hosting provider by updating the domains’ nameservers. Nameservers are basically servers owned by web hosts, specifically to manage the domain names associated with their customers. The common format is something like ns1.yourwebhost.com, ns2.yourwebhost.com.

To connect the 2, you just paste your hosts’ nameservers in the nameserver fields in your domains’ settings on the registrar. But again, if you buy your domain name the same time you buy your web hosting package, with the same provider, they do it all for you. Then all you have to do is install your favourite CMS and voila, your site is live. We’ve even written a massive guide on how to build a website from scratch, check it out.

Domain Hosting

Finally domain hosting. This isn’t actually a thing, domain hosting is a combination of domain registration and web page hosting, presumably used by people actually looking for web hosting, but don’t know the correct terminology so they search for “domain hosting Australia”.

Alrighty, now that that’s clear, let’s get started!

What are the types of web hosting?

There are 3 main types of hosting: Cheap Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, & Reseller Hosting. For most of those reading this (including those looking for business web hosting), you’ll want to go for the cheap web hosting type (shared hosting), as it’s perfect for small to medium-sized businesses.

It’s a different story if you’re trying to sell 1000s of products online, or have a thriving forum, in which case dedicated hosting or a VPS is a better option.

Before we go on and do a web hosting comparison of these hosting types, there’s one thing that you should really understand about the hosting world: 99.9% of the time, you get what you pay for.

Shared Hosting

If your main focus is to look for cheap web hosting services, this is what you came for. While there are companies that offer free web hosting packages, they usually don’t last long due to too many limitations. What shared hosting means is that your website will be hosted on a server with a bunch of other websites. How many other websites? It depends on the hosting provider. Some companies put as much as 100 websites on a single physical server, while some are hosting 20 websites or less. For people looking specifically for small to medium business web hosting for Australia, shared hosting is most likely the best value web hosting type for you. Shared hosting can even be used to host e-commerce sites (depending on the size of the site). Anyway, let’s lay out the pros and cons of shared hosting.

Pros:

  • Relatively cheap with website hosting costs that start as low as $3.95/mo
  • Everything works out of the box
  • You don’t need technical knowledge to get your website up and running
  • You can do pretty much everything from a simple cPanel
  • Usually, comes with 1-click install scripts for WordPress & the other major CMS’s like Joomla, Drupal, etc.
  • Most hosts have plans for both Linux hosting & Windows hosting (and the most common languages like PHP, Java, and others)

Cons:

  • Your website can load slowly if the server is overloaded with too many sites.
  • You’re open to security threats even if you’re doing nothing wrong.
  • Someone from your neighbours can take more resources, and as a result, you’ll get inferior website performance.

Note that not all shared hosting plans are the same. There are plans that provide a VPS-like performance (like the mostly US based managed WordPress hosting providers). You’ll recognise these shared hosting plans by their price (quite expensive) – Our own top 5 is a nice balance between cheap web hosting, and super premium business web hosting. Shared hosting is good for blogs and small websites that are not resource-intensive.

If you combine a decent shared host like SiteGround with caching and a CDN, you can get incredible results. Below is a snapshot of the loading time of one of our side-projects, pinged from Melbourne (yes, that site loads in under a second!).

website speed test

Cpanel – A quick explanation

A quick word about Cpanel, the most used control panel in the hosting industry (this goes for most hosting types). If you’re not familiar with it, don’t worry, Cpanel is super easy to use and usually comes with 1-click installers for WordPress, Joomla, & many other systems. In fact, if you see that a certain cheap web host has Cpanel under their listed features, it’s a plus! Hosts that use their own proprietary control panels can have some issues (personal experience).

VPS Hosting

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. VPS hosting is a special type of hosting service where hosting providers create a number of virtual servers on one physical server. If you’ve ever played with virtual machines, you already know what I’m talking about. Although it may look familiar, this is very different from shared hosting. Companies usually offer 2 types of VPS hosting:

  • Self-managed VPS, you’re in control of every aspect of the server including the technical stuff.
  • Managed VPS, the hosting company handles most of the technical things, while you primarily focus on your business. This option is more expensive.

The web hosting costs for VPS services vary from $30 to $100+ per month. Let’s lay out the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • You get your own CPU, RAM, and Storage on the virtual server
  • Significantly better performance
  • Full control and root access

Cons:

  • Much more expensive than the more affordable shared hosting.
  • You’ll need to have technical knowledge to maintain the server
  • If not, you may need to hire a system administrator


Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated server hosting is the most powerful option of all. Instead of having to share resources with other people – which is basically the case with both of the upper 2 hosting types, you get a fully functional physical server all by yourself. This is as good as it gets for server performance. But on the downside, dedicated hosting is insanely expensive. That’s why this type of hosting is primarily intended for big companies that have resource intensive websites and web apps. Prices generally start at $100-200 per month.

Reseller Hosting

Australian reseller hosting is usually only used by web agencies or individual web designers looking to start hosting their own clients. These plans enable you to create different accounts per client and manage them all from a single dashboard (preferably WHM in combination with Cpanel), setting bandwidth & space limitations, add-on domain limits, and much more. Reseller plans are definitely more expensive than your regular hosting package as they allow to host multiple websites each with their own Cpanel.

Web Hosting Servers in Australia

Web Host Server Locations: In or out Australia?

If you’re based in Australia, you should look for a web host that’s either in or close-ish to Australia, it’s that simple. Why? Because if you host your website on a server in the US for instance, you’ll probably encounter fun issues like lag, slower load times, delays, etc. Server location matters, but don’t worry about it on a city-specific level, so it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for web hosts in Brisbane, Sydney (like Digital Pacific), or Melbourne… you won’t notice the speed difference anyway.

Using a CDN: Going Global

That being said, just because your site is hosted on a specific server in a specific location doesn’t mean you can’t get speedy loading times around the world, in every country. With the help of a CDN you can serve up your site everywhere with minimal lag.

CDNA CDN or content delivery network is a geographically distributed network of servers that will use the site visitors location to serve up a cached version of your site’s content from its closest node or server. This not only helps with loading times, but can also block spammers, increase security, and protect you from potential DDOS attacks. One of the most popular CDNs is CloudFlare, they actually have a free plan and a lot of web hosts integrate with them pretty seamlessly.

Server Uptime

You need to know whether you can rely on your web hosting company to provide stable servers and maximized server uptime. We started tracking both overall uptime, and response times for the major hosting companies on our web host status page. Most web hosting providers will guarantee you a 99.9% uptime, unfortunately, that’s not always the case, our top 5 does a great job at maintaining maximum uptime though. You need a reliable web hosting provider.

Disk Space

The amount of storage implies how much files you can upload to the server. For blogs and small websites, you won’t need more than a couple of GB’s, which is what most cheap web hosting companies offer. But if you’re looking to host a larger website, you should get a hosting plan with more storage capacity. Make sure to give an advantage to companies that use SSD drives for storing data instead of regular HDDs. SSD performs up to x10 better in reading and writing speeds.

Bandwidth and Data Transfer

Many website hosting providers promote these two things as one. But, they are totally different. Bandwidth is the rate at which data can be transferred. Data transfer, on the other hand, represents the data traffic that your website generates – usually measured and limited per month. Data Transfer depends on how many visitors you have, and how large your files are. So be sure to check what’s the limit for the hosting plan you want to choose.

Speed

Server speedWhile this one might seem easy, it’s actually multi-layered. Most people think that getting the fastest web hosting service is a combination of server performance + location, meaning that as long as the server runs smoothly, and the location of the data centre is in Australia (as mentioned above), it should be alright. This is definitely not the case though.

In fact, there are multiple web hosts with servers in Singapore that outperform ones with servers in AU (like SiteGround). The truth is that the best hosts usually use custom-built systems and scripts to squeeze as much performance as possible out of their data centres. If you combine that with superior hardware and features like server-side caching, PHP7 support, LiteSpeed integration, it’ll blow the Australian web hosting competition out of the water. The correct server config can really make a difference when it comes to loading times and speed, just check our SiteGround vs HostGator comparison for the difference there.

Customer Support

First, we look at the number of support options and their response times. These can include phone support, live chat, support tickets, a detailed knowledge base, and even video tutorials.

We’ve found that support tickets are still the most efficient way of getting most issues resolved, they’re also the most easily scalable for the web host (which is critical when an entire server goes down and they receive a massive influx of complaints).

Then we need to consider if the host outsources their support, or if it’s in-house, both options have their pros and cons, with outsourced support being better for scalability and consistency, but in-house support is usually quicker on the ball and more knowledgeable.

Email Features

If you want the complete hosting package from a single provider, you need to check for email features (usually more important for people looking for business web hosting as they’ll probably need multiple email addresses). Not all web hosting services you to create email addresses for your domains. If they do, check whether they provide an interface for the webmail, and integration with external services. Also, watch out for limitations. Some providers allow you to create up to 100 email addresses or send 200 emails per hour.

Web Host Backups

Backups are very important, but unfortunately, it’s low on the priority list for most people. You’ll need to backup your website, database and email files on a regular basis. Check whether the company offers backups, and how often do they backup your files. Also, find out how can you restore the files if something goes wrong. Some companies charge for a backup restore, while some provide the service for free.

Number of Addon Domains/Databases

This is important if you plan to host more than one website with your website hosting plan. The cheaper hosting plans are often limited to only one website.

That being said, if you see super cheap plans with unlimited domains, know that the overall performance will most likely go downhill fast the more domains you add. This is because your server resources will not scale according to the number of domains you’re using, resulting in really poor performance on all your sites.

SSL certificates

Securing your site with an SSL certificate is quickly becoming a requirement rather than an option, so not only e-commerce sites need one, but every other site as well. Google will even label non-https sites as non-secure, which will impact your conversion rates. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is basically a technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server (web host) and a client (the browser). SSL enables personal info like credit card numbers and login details to be transmitted securely.

SSL certificate Australia

When you’re researching potential web hosts, see if they offer free SSL certificates (preferably with an easy 1-click install option like SiteGround does). If they don’t, you can still get a free certificate from Let’s Encrypt, and ask your host to install it for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best web hosting for small business?

In our opinion, the best web host for small businesses is SiteGround. It’s honestly the best value host around if you look at the quality of their services. SiteGround offers 10GB of disk space on their basic plan, and it comes with free SSL, SSD hosting, 24/7 support and a 30-day money-back guarantee. They’re also very good at keeping their servers secure and running smoothly at all times.

How much is web hosting per year?

Web hosting can cost as little as $20 per year, though that would be on the cheap side. If you want a quality web host for your business website or blog, then you can expect to be paying around $60 per year. It could be more expensive if you want to host bigger websites like e-commerce stores because you might need more disk space or CPU resources and RAM.

How can I host my website for free?

You can host your website for free with WordPress.com and similar services. They take care of everything but you will get stuck with a subdomain rather than more professional domain (yourbusiness.com.au). With WordPress it would be yourbusiness.wordpress.com, other services that offer similar free hosting would be Wix and Blogger.

Can I host my website on Google?

Google do not host normal websites or business websites, you need a dedicated web hosting provider to host your site. Google does own a service called Blogger that enables you to get a basic website for free, but you’ll be tied into a specific content management system without much flexbility design-wise.

Can I host my own website on my computer?

You can host your own site on your computer by using a local installation. WAMP is the correct term to use and you can use WampServer to install the full stack. It’s not super easy to do if you’re not familiar with things like MySQL, PHP, Apache, etc. The easiest thing to do would be to follow an online guide on installing WordPress locally.

Global server network

And that’s it, it might seem overwhelming to cover all the points, but just take it one step at a time. Maybe even create a spreadsheet and log all the specs for the web hosting companies you find, so you’ve got an easy overview.

OR

Pick a host from our top 5

About Us

Tom from MangoMatter has been extremely helpful, professional and great support for establishing my Website, he is a wealth of knowledge and very efficient. I have no hesitation in recommending MangoMatter and have already done so.
Michelle Watson
iFix

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MangoMatter Media Pty Ltd
Fortitude Valley,
Queensland
4006
Phone: 07 3106 3330

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18 Comments

  • Avatar Jenny says:

    Thanks for the info, I had no idea hosting overseas could be faster than in Aus, Siteground here we come 🙂

    • Matthew Rogers Matthew Rogers says:

      No worries Jenny. Yeah it’s quite funny, it also has to do with how the servers are setup. SiteGround definitely knows their stuff, there’s a reason for their insane growth.

  • Matthew Rogers Matthew Rogers says:

    Well, as Panthur recently got bought by Hostopia, a US company (they had a temporary support issue due to the switch but it seems to be back to normal now), either choice wouldn’t do the trick I’m afraid. So knowing that, I’d go for SiteGround personally!

  • Avatar Evie Marco says:

    Thanks for putting this together, got one question though. What if I’m expanding beyond Australia, and want to target Canada? Won’t that be an issue if my site is hosted in Singapore?

    • Matthew Rogers Matthew Rogers says:

      You can use a CDN to serve most static content from the closest node to your visitor, I’ve got a section talking about it on this page. Most hosts offer free CDN through CloudFlare :). Pretty easy to set up.

  • Avatar Bart says:

    Just wanted to say thanks :). I ended up going with SiteGround and they had me up and running within the hour, good stuff!

  • Avatar Bill Marto says:

    Hi, I just managed to hook Hostgator up with CloudFlare CDN for better loading times, is the premium/pro version worth it?

    • Tom De Spiegelaere Tom De Spiegelaere says:

      The free version is good enough for most sites, pro gets you better security and fancy image compression.

  • Avatar Victoria says:

    HI Tom, thanks so much for this article. I am just beginning a business and all this tech is new to me. I spent hours trolling info about hosts, domains, urls, emails and comparisons and site ground didn’t come up. I then found this last night and reread it this morning and have gone with siteground. i needed help to set up and process the package and tech support was really fast and reassuring.

  • Avatar Simon says:

    SiteGround is AMAZING, I switched from a local one to SG because of this page, and wow, the customer services was so helpful! Thanksssss

  • Avatar Robert P. says:

    Thanks man, so much info here… had no idea hosts with servers outside of Aus could outperform local ones, good stuff!

  • Avatar Ron says:

    Hi Tom,
    Came across your article and also had looked already at SiteGround, but I find all of this stuff extremely confusing, that why once I had everything set up I’ve been sticking with it ever since. I’m only a one-man business and have a very basic one-page website with links to the websites of my suppliers. The website and email is currently hosted by AUSWEB, but I also have 3 domain names that are with Crazy Domains (two I don’t do anything with and the main one http://www.lightoptronics.com.au is managed by AUSWEB, but they are not linked). I would like to get everything under one umbrella, as I was made aware of by Crazy Domains today, and they would like me to move everything to them? However their reviews are not that great and so I started to research and came across SiteGround and then your article. With SiteGround do I keep ownership and control of my website and domain names? I rarely do anything with my website and get a friend (who acts as my website manager, at a small monthly fee) who has access to my AUSWEB account to make any changes or updates to my website for me when needed? As you may have figured by now, all is a bit all over the place. I like the sound of SiteGround, but am worried that once I get started and have to go through the set up, that I might stuff everything up, as I’m not very computer savvy; – because at present all is working okay? Sorry for the lengthy message.

  • Avatar Graham says:

    Hello Matthew,

    Firstly, thank you for providing this web hosting review. I have a reasonable understanding of domains and hosting, but I still found your review to be very informative, and it explained a lot about various aspects of hosting that I knew nothing about, and I’ll educate myself more about those things.

    I want to ask a couple of things. I am about to set up a small new business, and I am trying to choose a host for a domain that I already have registered. I have previously been with a local company who were very good, but they have sold the business. I have read another review that says to avoid hosts with local servers due to the slow speeds, in favour of Singapore based servers. But you say to look for a web host ‘that’s either in or close-ish to Australia’.

    Speed is very important, but so is support, and it’s for this reason I like local businesses of all descriptions, including hosting, because I’ve found that local support is normally superior to what you get offshore. So Media Fortress and Panthur are of particular interest. So will I get good speeds, do these companies offer good support, and which one would you recommend?

    Also, the domain that I already have registered, was purchased and hosted by the same local company before they sold to an overseas outfit. That company says that I have to set up an account, and choose a plan to gain any access to my domain. But if I go with Media Fortress and Panthur, or whoever you recommend, will they be able to successfully migrate my domain from the overseas company to their server once I have set up an account with them?

    Regards
    Graham

    • Matthew Rogers Matthew Rogers says:

      Hey,

      Both Panthur and Media Fortress are very decent re speeds, as for value, you do get more bang for your buck with Panthur. And as for support, Media Fortress is Australian through and through, while Panthur was sold to a US company maybe 2 years ago (don’t quote me on that, think it’s around then). Their support did go downhill for a bit while they were migrating systems, but as far as we’ve experienced, they’re back in full force.

      Then the domain name, usually it’s not a problem for Panthur, for example, to take over your domain name (they even have a dedicated migration page on their site for domain names specifically), but your situation sounds a bit more complex. I recommend hopping on their site and either give them a call, explaining the situation, or send them a quick email through their contact page.

      Hope this helped.

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