Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: 12 February 2019
As a digital agency with a LOT of hosting accounts (we have a lot of side-projects and like to experiment), we’ve got a pretty good idea of what defines a good web host. The quality of your web hosting provider can have a massive impact on your potential success.
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… this is why a decent web host is vital!
We’ve done the analysis, web hosting reviews & comparisons so you don’t have to, resulting in a list of the best web hosting companies for New Zealand. The table below gives you a handy overview of – in our opinion – the top 5 website hosts, sorted by rating, detailing the cost/mo, & their best features.
|Web Hosting Company||Overall Rating||Price/mo.||Servers world-wide||Features||Reviews||Website|
|Visit Site||USD $3.95||50 GB||Bluehost Review||Visit Site|
|Visit Site||USD $3.95||Unlimited||GreenGeeks Review||Visit Site|
|Visit Site||AUD $5||1 GB||Panthur Review||Visit Site|
|Grab The Discount||USD $3.92 (was $7.99)||Unlimited||A2 Hosting Review||Grab The Discount|
|Grab The Discount||USD $3.95 (Temporary 67% discount, down from $11.95)||10 GB||SiteGround Review||Grab The Discount|
“Most people can get a bit overwhelmed with all the hosting options out there (+ all the different features to look at, like bandwidth, disk space, usability, support, etc.), and combine that with the added complexity of hosting a site in a country at the edge of the world (we need to find either a fast server as close as possible to New Zealand, or just a decent server actually in NZ)… no wonder it can get confusing. To put your mind at ease, there are actually a few great hosting companies out there that don’t charge NZ hosting prices, but are still very fast for your NZ based sites.
The top 8 below are our personal favourites, they have servers in either Singapore, or Australia, which is close enough to get you very decent speeds (and they’re super affordable). In our reviews below, we’ve used the following criteria to sort the top web hosts: Ease of Use, Affordability, and Performance / Power. Enjoy!”
Best Web Hosting New Zealand – Reviews February 2019
This is our all-time favourite hosting company, they’re affordable, have very powerful servers (the Singapore one is the one to use for your New Zealand sites), and most importantly, the support is top-notch with an average 10 minute response time on support tickets.
They also come recommended for WordPress, by WordPress (very few hosting companies can claim this! They can of course tackle any CMS you throw at them). As for performance, they’ve even built their own caching plugin to maxmise speed and minimise loading times. Oh, + they have a 30-day money back guarantee! Truly a no-brainer in our books.
- Impressive security features
- Multiple data centres around the world
- Recommended by WordPress
- Great performance
- Free CDN, Free SSL, and much more
2. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting is on par with SiteGround, they also have a blazing fast server in Singapore + have great support. While they don’t have the official WordPress recommendation, their performance with WP sites is amazing. + Having unlimited disk space is pretty neat!
- Servers in the US, Europe, and Singapore (SG is great for NZ sites)
- Unlimited disk space
- Anytime money back guarantee
Panthur is our favourite Australian host, we use them for a LOT of side-projects. While they’re a bit more expensive than SiteGround or A2, they definitely have an edge when it comes to raw power.
The performance of their servers keeps surprising us, and a 20 minute wait time for a support reply is pretty darn quick. Definitely recommended.
- Performance is impressive
- Decent support
- 3 data centres in Australia (good to be close to NZ)
- No global servers
- Only 2 GB disk space on their basic plan
The most important thing to know about GreenGeeks is that they’re putting back 300% of the energy they use back onto the grid, which is very impressive. Other than that, they offer pretty much the same as most other web hosting companies, but the services and support are higher quality.
We also really like how they handle security, they’ve actually custom built their own security systems to keep all servers super clean and running smoothly. The only downside here is that they don’t have any servers in or near New Zealand, so you’d have to use CloudFlare or another CDN to maximise speed.
GreenGeeks offers shared web hosting, reseller hosting, dedicated servers, WordPress hosting, and VPS hosting. They have a 30-day money back guarantee just in case you don’t like them.
- Good support
- Unlimited disk space
- No servers near New Zealand (yet)
Bluehost is very very well-known host. They used to be the best of the best, and together with HostGator, were one of the biggest hosting companies in the world. But then they got bought by EIG (as did HostGator), and support + quality went downhill… fast.
Fortunately, lately they’ve been working hard on improving their image, the quality of their service, and their support. They’re getting back to the point where we’re comfortable recommending them. As for hosting options, they offer shared hosting, cloud hosting, WP hosting, VPS, and dedicated hosting. Their cheapest plan starts at USD $3.95/mo.
They don’t have any servers in or near New Zealand though, so loading times will be slower unless you use CloudFlare or another CDN to speed up site delivery.
- A lot of disk space
- No servers near NZ
- Rocky reputation
If you’re looking to scale globally, and are a bit of a techie, or are willing to learn a bit more than the average Joe trying to get their business or blog online, then Cloudways might just suit you. They’re more of a middle man, using other companies (Amazon, Digital Ocean, Vultr, etc) servers and enabling you to deploy/manage apps/sites on those servers.
The performance you can get is incredible! And combine that with a decent CDN, your site will fly no matter where your visitors are coming from. Their setup also allows for great flexibility when you want to scale up or down.
This works great for resource-intensive applications and websites… like huge forums or e-commerce sites.
- High-performance hosting
- Very scalable
- More difficult to master
7. Digital Pacific
Digital Pacific has been around since 2000, they’re very well known in Australia, and while not a bad host, their performance isn’t that great compared to some of the competition (at least in out tests <- they might have improved since then though). The support on the other hand, was very good, super quick, and helpful.
They’re also pretty green (as in eco-friendly), and they like to give back to the community with various projects. We also like the amoutn of options they have when choosing your hosting package, it looks like they have something for everyone.
- Lots of choices
- A bit expensive
- Performance (might be improved since our last test)
Web Hosting in New Zealand: The Nitty Gritty
Creating and launching a website for your business or blog is a big step, with plenty of details and choices to consider before determining what will work best. However, details and innumerable choices don’t end with creating the website—you still must choose a web host for your site (no matter the CMS you’re using, though there are specialised WordPress hosts out there if you need one), which is equally important to the design of the website itself. There are a plethora of NZ web hosting companies and types of services out there, and choosing one that doesn’t fit your purposes could essentially nullify all the awesome features and plans you have for your website.
So, to help you navigate the realm of web hosting New Zealand, we have a brief breakdown of the different types of web hosting as well as what to look for when looking for the right host for you. Armed with this information, you should be ready to select the web host that will best serve your needs.
Types of web hosting in NZ
There are a wide variety of host types, each with their pros, cons, and specialties. The size and complexity of your website, the amount of traffic you foresee it producing, and whether you are tech savvy or tech intolerant will all help determine which option will work best for you.
Shared hosting is where one server is used to host many websites (possibly up to 100 other websites, depending on the provider). When your website is launched through shared hosting, you are sharing the server with other websites. There are, of course, both perks and downsides to this type of hosting.
Pros of shared hosting:
- Affordability: since you are sharing a server with numerous other websites, it significantly cuts down on cost.
- Hassle-free: again, because you are sharing the server with others, the server itself is owned and maintained by the host provider. This means you do not have to worry about having the tech savvy (or hiring the tech savvy) to maintain and fix the server when it has issues.
- Ease of use: the technical end of launching and running your website is handled by the host, meaning you do not have to have super technical knowledge to get your website running. You can stay focused on what matters most to you—the design and content of your site that gets your message out there.
Cons of shared hosting:
- Poor performance: due to the nature of sharing the server with others, this means sharing all its resources as well (storage space, bandwidth, etc). Consequently, if one of your fellow server users uses up more resources for his or her website, it leaves less for the other websites on the server to run on, resulting in poor performance quality.
- Slow loading times: depending on how many other websites there are, the server could be overly taxed and will run more slowly, leading to slow loading times.
- Weaker security: because the server is shared, it leaves you more susceptible to security threats, whether you do something wrong.
Based on these pros and cons, shared hosting usually is a great fit for small businesses or bloggers. It has easy to use functionality, does not demand a ton of attention to get it running or maintain it, and is very affordable (with SiteGround being our all-time favourite).
VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting provides a combination of the shared and dedicated server types. This is because a VPS Hosting utilises only one server, but separates it into isolated sections, each of which is completely dedicated to a separate website / operating system. Each isolated section of the server thus functions as a mini-dedicated server.
There are two types of VPS hosting: Self-managed and Managed. Self-managed leaves you with all the control of the server, which means the technical end of it as well. Managed means the hosting company takes care of the technical end so that you can concentrate on the New Zealand based business end of your website.
Pros of VPS Hosting:
- Value: VPS hosting provides nearly all the benefits that a dedicated server does but for much less.
- Performance: much better performance than a true shared server and without the risk of having a “neighbor” use up all the server’s resources, since the server is sectioned off.
- Control: more control and access to the server than the shared server option.
Cons of VPS Hosting:
- Price jump: while less expensive than a dedicated server, it is more expensive than a shared server.
- Technical knowledge required: while it allows you to have more control, it consequently requires greater tech knowledge and effort. If you don’t have the tech knowledge to manage it, you will need to hire someone who does to manage it for you.
Dedicated Server Hosting:
With a dedicated server, you have the web server completely to yourself. This means all of its resources are reserved for your website and yours alone. Let’s look at the pros and cons:
Pros of dedicated server hosting:
- Optimal performance: All the server’s resources are reserved for your website along, increasing its speed and performance exponentially, which means your website can do and contain more.
- Security: Having your own exclusive server also significantly increase the website’s security.
Cons of dedicated server hosting:
- Cost: A dedicated server is significantly more expensive than shared hosting. While it is relatively easy to find a shared server for under $10 a month, dedicated server’s generally start at $100 per month and quickly rise from there.
Because of the price and power of these types of servers, they are most appropriate for large companies in New Zealand that need high-performance and maximum security and reliability for complex, busy websites and web apps.
Reseller hosts are typically web agencies and/or designers who want to provide hosting services for their clients as well. The resellers purchase hosting in bulk and resell it to their clients, which allows them to have more control over the websites that they design. For the client, this results in more expensive and limited hosting option, though it requires less hands-on attention.
With cloud hosting, a network of machines is used to operate as a single system, whereas shared and dedicated hosting relies on one server alone. Because of this, cloud hosting can offer the same resources and power as dedicated hosting, while still functioning like shared hosting. It also provides the added stability of knowing that if one of the machines goes down, the others fill in and pick up the slack. In a shared or dedicated hosting situation, however, if the server goes down, there is an enormous risk for lost data.
Managed WordPress Hosting:
Managed WordPress hosting is essentially shared hosting, but specifically designed for WordPress websites. When using this host type, you will not have to manage any of the tech elements behind running or maintaining the website. However, this also means that you have less control as the user and that you are paying more (quite a bit more) to have someone else control it for you. It is, consequently, a good option for medium to large businesses lacking the techy knowledge to maintain and manage a larger website.
Web hosting NZ: what to look for!
As you hone in on the type of hosting service you want to use, remember to ask about / consider the below features, we use the same categories to do our own hosting research (this includes our other top web hosting lists like best web hosting Australia, web hosting Singapore, Ireland hosting, UK web hosting, website hosting India & Canadian web hosting):
It does in fact matter where the server host is located. Web hosting services located in, or close to New Zealand will run your website more smoothly, while choosing a web host from the US, for example, will increase lag times and various delays. If you want decent performance, choosing a host that has servers in or close to NZ is recommended (like SiteGround or A2 Hosting, they have fast servers in Singapore).
You will want to find out how much storage your web host provider can offer you. Storage determines the size (gigabytes) and number of files that you can upload to the server. Be sure to choose a web host that offers you sufficient storage space on the server for the content you want to have on your website.
Uptime refers to the time that the server (and therefore website) is operational. Most web hosts will promise near 100% uptime. However, it would be wise to check customer reviews and testimonials to find out whether the host’s promise is accurate or not.
Quality customer support is vital, though many tend to overlook its importance. Many web hosts provide 24/7 availability, phone support and live chat options. Make sure you choose a host that offers fast and quality support. Again, it may be wise to explore customer reviews to help determine how the web host really operates.
This is another feature that many tend to overlook. It is vital that you regularly back up your website, and you will want to make sure that the web host you select also performs regular backups. It would also be advisable to find out if they offer restoration services, should something be lost.
Bandwidth refers to the amount of information that can be processed in a certain period of time via the internet. The larger the bandwidth, the more data can be processed/transferred over the network at a faster rate. Therefore, the amount of bandwidth that your web host offers you will seriously impact your website’s quality of performance.
Number of allowed domains/sites
If you are hoping to create more than one website with the same host, you need to make sure that your web host provider allows multiple websites/domains. Many of the shared hosting plans are limited to only one website.
If you’re having issues with logging all these qualifiers to find the best web hosting providers for New Zealand, just use our research & check out our top 5.