As a web agency with a LOT of hosting accounts (we have countless side-projects and like to experiment), we’ve got a pretty good idea of what defines a great web host. These are our best Linux hosting providers, great hosting without breaking the bank.
Best Linux Hosting 2019 Reviews
SiteGround is a popular Shared hosting Company. They have three plans to choose from:
- Startup – We recommend this plan if you’re just starting out and not really sure on how to go about your online presence. You’re only allowed one website with this plan (so take note of that).
- GrowBig – This is SiteGround’s most popular plan. The reason a lot of people prefer this plan is that you can host an unlimited number of websites with it. Basically, you have more room to grow when you choose this plan (compared to the Startup plan).
- GoGeek – If you want premium features with your subscription, go with SiteGround’s GoGeek plan. Needless to say, you can host an unlimited number of websites with this plan. It’s also bigger and faster than the first two plans we mentioned above.
If you’re unsure about which plan to subscribe to, we recommend going for their GrowBig option (mainly because of its unlimited websites feature). Or if you want, you can also start with their Startup plan as you can always upgrade to a higher plan anyway.
No matter what type of plan you choose, keep in mind that you can always use SiteGround’s built-in website builder to quickly put up your site. And should you need any help with this, their customer support team is always there to assist you.
- Great customer support
- Flexible pricing plans
- Easy site management
If you’re considering HostGator as your hosting provider, know that you have three options to choose from – Hatchling, Baby, and Business.
Hatchling is their cheapest plan and it’s really very affordable. However, note that you can only have one website with it.
Baby, their middle-priced plan is actually the Company’s most popular plan. We actually recommend it over the Hatchling plan as you’ll get so much more with it (by only adding a few dollars to the cheaper plan). What’s more, you can host unlimited sites with it.
Of course, if you can afford it (and if you want all of HostGator’s best features), the best option is to go for their Business plan. This type of hosting can handle demanding businesses and also online stores.
HostGator is also giving its customers a 45-day money back guarantee to ensure that they’re really satisfied with their chosen plans. So, we recommend working on your site immediately upon signup so as not to waste those 45 days (they’re your deciding point if you’re going to settle for HostGator or not).
Know that HostGator also has a user-friendly cPanel – you’ll learn it quickly. And if not, you can always depend on their customer support. They do have a good one.
- Stable uptime
- 1-click installation for apps
- Good response time
- Low prices only apply for the first years.
- Expensive premium plan
- No free SSL certificates
3. A2 Hosting
Unlike most web hosting providers, A2 Hosting provides unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth for all their plans. Their cheapest plan is the Lite plan which indeed carries unlimited storage and bandwidth but for only one website. We actually find this a bit unusual as most businesses with one website typically don’t require unlimited storage and bandwidth anyway.
A2 Hosting’s middle-price plan called Swift is more realistic. Aside from the unlimited storage and bandwidth, it also comes with unlimited websites and unlimited transfers.
Turbo plan (A2 Hosting’s most expensive plan), is also good feature-wise. It comes with all the features found in the Swift plan but is a lot faster. A2 Hosting actually uses Cloudfare integration (in their whole system) – and that explains their fast-loading pages.
We also like A2 Hosting’s money back guarantee. Aside from giving you 30 days to test their site, they also refund unused services in some cases.
A2 Hosting also gives you a lot of payment options such as credit cards, PayPal, and bank transfers.
And of course, they support a lot of apps like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and others.
As far as customer support is concerned, they also deliver in this area. They have live chat, phone support, email, etc.
- Unlimited everything in all their plans
- 30-day money back guarantee or prorated refund
- Supports a lot of CMS apps
- Price increase upon renewal is really high
- Only 1 website is allowed with their cheapest plan
- No automatic backups on their cheapest plan
4. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting has long been providing their customers with good web hosting services. If you’re considering getting your hosting plan with this Company, know they have three plans to choose from – Launch, Power, and Pro.
Know that all their plans come with free domain, unlimited storage, and unlimited bandwidth. The main difference between the plans is the number of websites allowed for each plan.
Should you choose to go for their cheapest plan (Launch), you can only host up to a maximum of 2 websites while you’re on this plan (keep in mind that you can always upgrade).
Now, if you’re only planning on having around 6 websites, the Power plan may be more suitable for you as it allows for up to 6 websites.
Go for the Pro plan if you feel that you’ll be needing more than 6 websites down the road. With this plan, not only does it allow for unlimited websites, but it also provides your websites with the most power (compared to the other two cheaper ones).
If security is one of the main priorities on your websites, know that InMotion Hosting is equipped with Threat Defense System (it’s highly effective against various attacks).
- Great defense system against malicious attacks
- Unlimited space and bandwidth on all plans
- Free site transfer
- No immediate account access as their verification process can take some time
- If you live outside the U.S., the verification process can prove to be troublesome
- You can only save a lot of money if you pay upfront for the first 24 months.
If you’re planning on choosing DreamHost as your hosting provider, know that it’s actually one of the most popular web hosting Companies today. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s THAT good, but it actually comes with a lot of features such as the following:
- 1-click installer for CMS apps
- Has a website builder called Remixer
- 97-day refund policy (which is A LOT longer than most hosting providers)
- 24/7 customer support via an in-house team (plus email, article knowledgebase, forums, etc.)
- Accepted payment methods include major credit cards, checks, money order, PayPal, etc.
If you’ve decided on getting your host from DreamHost, they have two Shared hosting plans to choose from – Starter and Unlimited.
While both the Starter and Unlimited plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth, you’re only allowed one website on the Starter plan. So, if that’s a big deal to you, go instead for the Unlimited plan as it comes with unlimited websites.
As for the Company’s reliability when it comes to performance, know that DreamHost commits to 99.96% uptime – and they meet it most of the time. Their site speed is also known to be good.
- Clear pricing plans
- Renewal prices are not very high
- Account activation is quick
- Too many steps in the signup process
- The control panel can prove to be quite confusing (especially for beginners)
- Site transfer is not free
Choosing a Linux Hosting Plan
With so many different providers offering Linux hosting, you have the opportunity to choose from some of the best plans on the market. When choosing a Linux hosting provider it is key to find a plan is feature-rich and will maximize your ability to easily manage your server create website designs with ease. In addition to the basics of simple resource allocation, uptime guarantees, and 24/7 customer support, you can also select a plan based on other important factors like disc space, bandwidth, email addresses, database, and more.
To help you find the best Linux hosting for your needs, we have compiled our top recommendations.
What is Linux?
Linux is the most commonly used operating system in the world for website hosting providers. In addition to its high popularity, Linux is also the most affordable web hosting option, with some even offering free or “freemium” packages.
Several hosts actually default to Linux because it is considered the market leader by far, especially for shared hosting. In fact, Google operates on Linux with its constantly growing banks of servers which have tallied to more than 15,000 so far.
The History of Linux
The Linux was created in 1991 by a Finish systems engineer, Linus Torvalds, who created the operating system as part of his computer science degree. Linux, which was named after its creator, became extremely popular in the following years in the developer community acquiring a huge following of fans who have continued to improve it and sustain it to this day. In 1996, Linux was branded with its famous logo, which features a penguin—which, fun fact, was inspired by a penguin at the Australian National Zoo who bit Trovalds.
Over the years, the operating system’s brand has been split, merged, rebranded, reimagined, and undergone continual changes and improvements. Today there are several different Linux distributors which is why you may see it called by several different names, including Red Hat Linux, Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu, and more. However, despite the large community that has continually supported Linux, not everyone is a fan of this operating system. For example, Steve Ballmer (the former executive of Microsoft) notoriously commented that Linux has “characteristics of communism” at a 2000 event in Seattle, Washington.
One thing about Linux is that it can be adopted by companies and used to create unique operating systems from it. Google Chrome’s operating system, for example, is essentially a version of Linux and Android has also adapted the OS too. And, despite Steve Ballmer’s former complaints, Microsoft has also dabbled with Linux, using it for its Nokia X range phones. Dell also sells laptops that are pre-installed with Ubuntu, and the creators of Ubuntu, Caconical, are selling a Linux smartphone.
Benefits of Linux Hosting
Many people choose web hosting without even realizing it. This is because it is the most affordable type of hosting, so it is a great option for those who are working with a budget or may not be experienced in the technical aspects of managing a server.
Some of the greatest advantages of the best Linux hosting plans include:
- As long as the server is kept up to date, Linux hosting is very secure and has fewer hackers.
- Many consider migrating hosts much easier with Linux than Windows because Linux is compatible with cPanel and other popular web hosting software.
- It is one of the most affordable hosting options, even free in some cases
- There is a general standardization amongst hosts
Modern Linux servers are configured according to the LAMP standard which is an acronym for:
L – Linux (the operating system)
A – Apache (the server application)
M – MySQL (Structural Query Language)
P – PHP (hypertext processor)
With this standard, you can create a modern website with little hassle. While there are something things that you will need to learn to become more advanced, like Linux file permissions, there are many resources available to support Linux hosting.
Why is Linux Popular Amongst Web Hosts?
There are several reasons why hosts choose Linux, some of which include:
- It is a powerful hosting system
- It is easy to scale as your hosting needs grow
- It is affordable, often even free
- It has a large community of users and supporters
- It is compatible with older servers
- It is easily customizable
- cPanel and other control panels allow the host to secure the server so that customers don’t accidentally reconfigure the operating system
Many web hosting companies have invested significantly in Linux making familiarity with its operating system a desirable technical skill for technicians and developers to have. In fact, there are a couple different types of certification programs, like the RedHat Certified Engineering Program that allow candidates to prove their proficiency with Linux and companies can train their technical support team on the latest innovations and updates.
Windows Vs Linux
Linux and Windows are the two most popular types of hosting, and depending on your needs one might be better than the other. While Linux is the most popular choice worldwide, many languages and scripts can also be used on windows. For example, WordPress, PHP, and Perl can be run on a Windows server, however, these applications work much smoother on Linux. For WordPress in particular, there are also many more resources available for those hosting through Linux than Windows.
However, there are also some applications and scripts that Linux does not support. IIS, and ASP, for example, cannot be run on Linux but they are compatible with Windows. For those looking to use these specific applications and scripts, Windows could be a more practical option.
Linux Hosting FAQ
What is Linux?
Linux is the most commonly used operating system and web hosting solution worldwide. There are several different Linux distributors which took the OS and adapted it to create their own versions (commonly referred to as distributions). Many of these distributions are available for free or at extremely low-cost rates.
What is LAMP?
LAMP is the standard combination of technologies that is needed to publish websites. Specifically, this acronym stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP and together these applications and scripts are referred to as the “LAMP stack”.
Why is Linux the most popular type of web hosting?
The majority of the websites hosted throughout the world are supported by Linux. This is primarily due to its balance of both affordability and power. Many Linux distributions are free, making them accessible to a wider clientele and making it a popular option for hosting providers. Further, Linux is a very cost-effective option for businesses because it minimizes overhead expenses as the company grows and their hosting needs increase—not to mention they do not need to invest in a license.
In addition to affordability, Linux has been praised for its security, another reason why it is so popular.
Is Linux hosting user-friendly?
Many consider Linux an easy hosting solution to manage and use. Linux can be a good choice for beginners because with the best Linux hosting most of the server management can be completed through the easy to navigate cPanel.
What is included in a Linux hosting package?
The specific features of a Linux hosting package will vary amongst providers, however, there are certain standard commonalities. For example, with shared Linux hosting, you usually get a limited amount of space and bandwidth on the server. In most cases, you will also be allowed to install other scripts, such as wikis, forums, and CMSs.
What programming language does Linux use?
Every host uses a different programming language so there is no standard associated with Linux hosting, however, common languages tend to include PHP, Perl, and Python. However, not only is there no standard language, but different providers will also use different versions of each of these languages.
When you are shopping for a hosting plan, make sure you enquire about the supported languages of each package.
Does the Linux distribution version that I have make a big difference?
In most cases, it doesn’t matter that much which distribution of Linux you have as part of your hosting plan as they are all deviations of the same system. The basic web hosting functions usually work exactly the same across Linux distributions and the biggest differences between Linux distributions are only noticeable on a desktop computer in the Graphical User Interface (GUI)—which is never seen on a web hosting account.
Do I have to have Windows hosting if I have a Windows computer?
No! The type of operating system that you have on your home or work computer is completely independent of the type of operating system of your server. You can use any type of operating system, including Linux, even if you have a Windows computer. The only time that this may affect your hosting is when you are trying to develop large Windows applications.
What software is required for Linux hosting?
After you purchase your Linux hosting plan, you can decide which programs you would like to install to create your website. Depending on whether you chose to code your website yourself or use a web developer application, you may need to install a CMS, a blogging application, or another type of software for web development.