Matthew RogersAuthor: Matthew Rogers
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Last Updated on September 16, 2020

As a web agency with a LOT of web hosting accounts (partially for hosting our clients, and partially because we have lots of side-projects and like to experiment 🙂), we’ve got a pretty good idea of what the best shared web hosting service should look like.

We went through all our accounts, reviewed which web hosts are working well, and which ones aren’t (and why). Then we decided to build this massive comparison page to share what we found!

Many equate shared hosting with low-quality hosting, but we are here to tell you that this isn’t the case. In fact, there are many reliable hosting providers out there that offer high-quality shared hosting solutions.

Plus, if you’re looking for a shared hosting solution, it’s very likely you’re dealing with an entry-level website and are still finding your way around hosting in general. And when we consider all the random information on the internet, it’s understandable why it’s so confusing.

The 9 Best Shared Web Hosting Providers are:

  1. Hostinger – Best Cheap Shared Host
  2. HostPapa – Great Shared Hosting for eCommerce
  3. Greengeeks – Great Shared Hosting for Beginners
  4. A2 Hosting – Best Shared Hosting for Resellers
  5. SiteGround – Best Shared WordPress Hosting
  6. Bluehost
  7. DreamHost
  8. HostGator
  9. InMotion Hosting 

When writing our website hosting reviews, we considered a lot of factors.

These include uptime, support options and response time, speed, server locations, ease of use, cost vs value, disk space, etc.

The 2 most important factors we focus on, are support 🗨 and speed ⚡.

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 hosting provider is vital!

As you can see, the quality of your web hosting provider can have a massive impact on the potential success of your site!

 

A few of the sites we’ve been featured on:

Featured on sites

Best Shared Web Hosting 2020 – Reviews

1. Hostinger

Best Cheap Shared Host

www.hostinger.com

Hostinger Logo

Price: $0.99 per month
Disk space: 10 GB

Hostinger is probably one of the cheapest web hosts you can come across (not only for shared solutions, but for other web services too!). It really is our go-to recommendation for those who are on a tight budget, yet in need of a reliable web hosting provider.

Hostinger Features

Its cheapest plan, the Single Shared Hosting plan, costs $0.99 per month and comes with 10 GB SSD storage, making it a great option for entry-level websites and beginners. It includes 1x processing power and memory, a single website, 100 GB bandwidth, and 2 MySQL databases. There’s one email account as well. This plan comes with 2 subdomains per account, 2 parked domains, 2 Cronjobs, and 1 FTP account. It also has 200000 inodes.

Next up in the queue is the Premium Shared Hosting plan, which is suitable for personal websites. It offers an unlimited number of websites, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, and 20 GB SSD storage with 2x processing power and memory. This plan has 100 subdomains per account, 100 parked domains, and unlimited FTP accounts included. It provides users with 400000 inodes. There’s also SSH access and an unlimited number of Cronjobs.

The Business Shared Hosting plan, as the name implies, is optimized for small-sized businesses. It includes unlimited websites, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, and 100 GB SSD storage. There’s 4x processing power and memory, and unlimited FTP accounts. Similarly to the Premium Shared Hosting plan, this one also comes with 100 subdomains and 100 parked domains, providing users with 600000 inodes. The Business Shared Hosting plan also includes unlimited Cronjobs and daily backups.

All three shared hosting solutions also come with the following features:

  • 99.9% uptime guarantee;
  • a free domain name;
  • a free SSL certificate;
  • 24/7 customer support (via live chat and email);
  • a control panel;
  • webmail access;
  • DNS management;
  • File Manager;
  • 30-day money-back guarantee;
  • weekly backups;
  • multiple PHP versions;
  • Cloud Linux;
  • Git;
  • Hotlink protection.

Pros:

  • very reasonably-priced hosting solutions
  • a free domain name even with the cheapest plan
  • user-friendly

Cons:

  • renewal prices are a bit higher
  • has its own control panel instead of the traditional cPanel (which may be an issue for some)
Get Started Today & Grab The discount!

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2. HostPapa

Great Shared Hosting for eCommerce

www.hostpapa.com

HostPapa logo

Price: $2.95 per month
Disk space: unlimited

If you want an environmentally-friendly hosting provider for your eCommerce site, you can’t skip HostPapa. HostPapa is a Canadian-based web hosting company founded in 2006, and it’s been steadily growing ever since. A fun fact about HostPapa: the company’s current logo along with the “Papa” character were a direct result of a logo design contest in 2012.

HostPapa features

Now, onto its eCommerce hosting options!

First is the Starter plan, which is the most basic plan out of the three eCommerce hosting options. It costs $3.95 per month and comes with 100 GB storage space, two websites, and a Starter Website Builder (2 pages). There are 100 email accounts plus 100 email forwarding accounts.

The Business plan includes unlimited websites, unlimited storage space, and unlimited bandwidth. It also has a Starter Website Builder (2 pages). It has some advanced features too, such as: unlimited add-on domains, unlimited email accounts, unlimited MySQL databases, and 2x more CPU and MySQL resources.

The Business Pro plan comes with unlimited websites, unlimited storage space, unlimited email accounts, and unlimited bandwidth. There’s a Business Website Builder (1000 pages). Besides the advanced features as the previous plan, the Business Pro one has some performance enhancements such as:

  • rocket fast servers;
  • fewer accounts per server;
  • 300% performance boost;
  • 4x more CPU and MySQL resources.

It also has security enhancements including: a premium Wildcard SSL, automated website backup, domain privacy, and SIteLock detect.

All three web hosting plans come with the following features:

  • free website transfer;
  • free domain name registration;
  • a free CloudFlare CDN;
  • a free Let’s Encrypt SSL;
  • cPanel control panel;
  • Softaculous with more than 400 free apps;
  • CloudLinux servers;
  • 24/7 customer support team (via email, phone, and support tickets);
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee;
  • 30-day money-back guarantee;
  • free one-on-one training to get you started.

Besides eCommerce web hosting services, HostPapa also offers reseller hosting, managed WordPress hosting, virtual private server – VPS hosting, CMS hosting, and shared plans for your new website and/or small business.

Pros:

  • committed to using green energy
  • a free domain name across all plans
  • fast loading times

Cons:

  • no automatic backups for low price plans
  • a limited choice of data centers
Get Started

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3. GreenGeeks

Great Shared Hosting for Beginners

greengeeks.com

GreenGeeks logo

Price: $2.95 per month
Disk space: unlimited

GreenGeeks is yet another environmentally-friendly web host – it has even been recognized as a Green Power Partner by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. So, if you’re a beginner, but you appreciate web hosting companies that use green energy, then GreenGeeks is definitely worth checking out.

Its shared plans are secure and fast, and offer much more than other cheap web server hosting providers out there. The Lite plan is the most affordable one – it costs $2.95 per month, and it’s the best web hosting option for those who are just getting started. It includes one website and standard performance.

The Pro plan is suitable for growing websites in need of more resources and speed. It provides 2x performance and includes an unlimited number of websites.

The Premium plan is aimed at busy online shops or larger businesses. It has 4x performance, unlimited websites, and a dedicated IP.

The first two plans come with a standard SSL certificate, while the third one has a premium one. All three plans include unlimited storage space, unlimited bandwidth, and a free domain name for the first year.

They also come with the following features:

  • free nightly backup;
  • a free content delivery network (CDN);
  • unlimited email accounts;
  • updates for your WordPress site along with a WP Installer;
  • unlimited databases;
  • LSCache;
  • unlimited subdomains and parked domains;
  • 300% green energy match;
  • 30-day money-back guarantee;
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee;
  • 24/7 technical support (via live chat, email tickets, and phone).

There are highly scalable computing resources, as well as multiple data centers that users can choose from (such as Montreal, Amsterdam, Toronto, Phoenix, and Chicago). There’s also real-time security scanning, spam protection, and proactive server monitoring.

Furthermore, GreenGeeks provides WordPress hosting, which is highly compatible with almost all WordPress plugins and themes. It also has other specific app hosting solutions – Joomla hosting, Drupal hosting, Magento hosting, WooCommerce hosting, and so on.

Besides shared hosting, they offer VPS hosting, reseller hosting, and dedicated hosting.

Pros:

  • eco-friendly hosting packages
  • high security
  • unlimited storage space, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited email accounts across all plans

Cons:

  • higher renewal prices
Get Started

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4. A2 Hosting

Best Shared Hosting for Resellers

a2hosting.com

A2 Hosting logo

Price: $13.19 per month
Disk space: 30 GB

Resellers are always exploring various hosting options and are always on the lookout for the next smart hosting opportunity. Keeping this in mind, our advice is to consider using A2 Hosting’s shared solutions for your reselling endeavors.

A2 Hosting has four hosting solutions: the Startup plan, the Drive plan, the Turbo Boost plan, and the Turbo Max plan.

The Startup plan, however, includes a single website, so it may not really classify for reselling purposes. It has 100 GB storage space, 5 databases, and unlimited bandwidth.

The Drive plan comes with an unlimited number of websites, unlimited storage space, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited databases. There are also free automatic backups.

Next up is the Turbo Boost plan, which has unlimited websites, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited NVMe storage, and unlimited databases. It also has turbo servers and free automatic backups.

The turbo features provide:

  • up to 20x times faster page loads;
  • higher SEO rankings;
  • lower bounce rates;
  • improved conversion rates;
  • LiteSpeed enhanced web server and so on.

Additionally, they offer growth features such as 2x resources, free server rewind data backup protection, performance plus traffic spike protection option, to name a few.

Finally, the Turbo Max plan is the fastest hosting option you can opt for. It includes unlimited websites, unlimited NVMe storage, unlimited email accounts, and free automatic backups. It has turbo servers that provide the same turbo features we already discussed with the Turbo Boost plan. This plan has 5x more resources.

All plans also come with:

  • anytime money-back guarantee;
  • unlimited subdomains and parked domains;
  • DDoS protection;
  • 24/7 customer support (via chat, phone, emails, and tickets);
  • a free SSL certificate;
  • cPanel;
  • 30-day money-back guarantee;
  • free website transfer;
  • free CloudFlare CDN (the Turbo Boost and the Turbo Max plan include a CloudFlare plus to increase search engine rankings on google even more and boost uptime);
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee;
  • dual firewall;
  • Softaculous (includes one-click WordPress, WooCommerce, Drupal, and Joomla install);
  • webmail, POP3 and IMAP, and spam protection.

A2 Hosting also provides WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, reseller hosting, and dedicated hosting solutions. It functions as a domain name registrar too.

Pros:

  • powerful servers
  • scalable plans

Cons:

  • more costly than other hosting providers
Get Started

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5. SiteGround

Best Shared WordPress Hosting

siteground.com

SiteGround logo

Price: $6.99 per month
Disk space: 10 GB

If you’re running a WordPress website and you’re looking for a suitable web host, you’ll most definitely come across SiteGround. In fact, SiteGround is recommended by Yoast, WordPress.org, and WooCommerce. So, rest assured your WordPress website is in good hands if you settle on SiteGround.

SiteGround’s WordPress hosting is made up of three separate plans: the StartUp plan, the GrowBig plan, and the GoGeek plan. Each tier corresponds to a specific WordPress website, depending on the number of features you require.

So, the StartUp plan is great for beginner WordPress websites. It costs $6.99 per month, comes with 10 GB storage space, and allows for ~10,000 monthly visits. It includes a single website.

The GrowBig plan, which is suitable for WordPress sites undergoing expansion, can host unlimited websites, comes with 20 GB storage space, and supports ~25,000 monthly visits. It also has on-demand backup copies, speed-boosting caching staging, and the option to add collaborators.

The GoGeek plan is for large WordPress websites. It includes an unlimited number of websites and comes with unlimited storage space. It supports ~100,000 monthly visits. This hosting tier also provides users with:

  • on-demand backup copies;
  • speed-boosting caching;
  • staging and Git;
  • add collaborators;
  • white-label clients;
  • priority support;
  • the highest tier of resources (such as more simultaneous connections and processes, higher process execution time, more CPU seconds, and so on).

All three hosting plans additionally include the following features:

  • 99.9% uptime guarantee;
  • unlimited bandwidth;
  • WordPress auto updates;
  • a free CDN;
  • Free WP Migrator and free WP installation;
  • unlimited databases;
  • 24/7 customer support (via phone, live chat, and tickets);
  • a free SSL certificate;
  • 100% renewable energy match;
  • 30-day money-back guarantee;
  • unlimited email accounts;
  • unlimited subdomains and parked domains;
  • spam protection;
  • unlimited FTP accounts;
  • WordPress advanced security.

Besides WordPress hosting, SiteGround offers shared hosting, WooCommerce hosting, reseller hosting, enterprise hosting, hosting for agencies and students, as well as scalable cloud hosting solutions. What’s more, SiteGround functions as a domain name registrar, however, the plans themselves don’t include a free domain name.

Pros:

  • many data centers to choose from (including the Netherlands, the UK, the US, and Asia)
  • high tier WordPress hosting solutions
  • user-friendly

Cons:

  • no free domain name
  • offers only Linux-based hosting
Visit Site

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6. BlueHost

www.bluehost.com

Bluehost logo

Price: $2.95 per month
Disk space: 50 GB

Bluehost is probably one of the most well-known names in the hosting industry – even if you’re just starting out and have just learned what hosting is you must have heard about it. Bluehost has been around for almost two decades and it’s a web hosting company owned by Endurance International Group. Bluehost’s main hosting operations are in Utah, the United States. Other than that, the company has various data centers across the world to cater to various clients’ needs.

Its cheapest, shared server plan, the Basic, is $2.95 per month. It comes with 50 GB storage space, a single website, and standard performance. It has 1 domain, 5 parked domains, and 25 subdomains included.

The Plus plan includes unlimited websites, unlimited storage space, unlimited domains, unlimited parked domains, and unlimited subdomains. There are spam experts too, and 1 Microsoft Mailbox free for 30 days. This plan offers standard performance.

Next up is the Choice Plus plan, which has the same “unlimited” features as the Plus plan: websites, storage space, domains, parked domains, and subdomains. It provides standard performance, and there are spam experts included too. This hosting plan also comes with domain privacy and protection, as well as site backup – CodeGuard Basic. You also get 1 Microsoft Mailbox free for 30 days.

Finally, the Pro plan is the most advanced one. It goes without saying that it includes unlimited websites, storage space, domains, subdomains, and parked domains. This plan provides users with high performance and comes with 2 spam experts. You also get 1 Microsoft Mailbox free for 30 days, domain privacy and protection, and site backup – CodeGuard Basic. The Pro Plan has a dedicated IP included as well.

All hosting plans come with the following features:

  • a free domain name for the first year;
  • a domain manager to track, update, transfer, and purchase domains from a single place;
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee;
  • 24/7 customer support (via live chat, phone, and tickets);
  • a free SSL certificate;
  • marketing credits ($100 for Microsoft advertising and $100 for Google Ads when/if you spend your first $25 on a new Microsoft advertising and Google Ads account);
  • unlimited bandwidth;
  • cPanel;
  • 24/7 network monitoring;
  • Hotlink protection;
  • a free CDN;
  • SSH access.

Pros:

  • a very beginner-friendly host
  • great customer support

Cons:

  • higher renewal prices
Visit Site

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7. DreamHost

dreamhost.com

DreamHost logo

Price: $19.95 per month
Disk space: 30 GB

DreamHost is yet another web host you want to keep in mind when you’re searching for shared hosting solutions. It was founded 24 years ago, so the team behind it has decades of experience under their belt. DreamHost offers 24/7 customer support via online chat, email, or ticket-based support.

Its most affordable plan, the Shared Starter plan, starts at $2.59 per month (to secure this price you need to opt for a three-year contract) and comes with 50 GB storage space. It’s great for entry-level websites, and it actually includes a single website. The Shared Starter plan has 5 subdomains, 6 FTP/SFTP/ Shell users, and 6 MySQL databases included.

The Shared Unlimited plan includes unlimited websites, unlimited storage, unlimited subdomains, unlimited FTP/SFTP/Shell users, and unlimited MySQL databases.

Both hosting plans also include:

  • a free domain name and free domain privacy;
  • a free SSL certificate;
  • WP website builder;
  • 100% uptime guarantee;
  • unmetered bandwidth;
  • automated daily backups;
  • a custom-built control panel;
  • 97-days money-back guarantee (very flexible, unlike the well-known 30-day money-back guarantee);
  • 24/7 customer support (via online chat, email, or ticket-based support).

Apart from offering shared hosting, DreamHost also has managed WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated hosting. It also functions as a domain name registrar. DreamHost is also known for its web design services – the company is partnered up with RipeConcepts, a web design company.

Finally, DreamHost is a web company that strives to keep up with latest updates and trending culture – it tries to lessen its impact on the environment by including the following:

  • LEED Platinum and EnergyStar-certified facilities;
  • advanced lighting control with occupancy sensors;
  • LED and low-mercury CFL lighting;
  • highly optimized HVAC plants.

Moreover, its data centers have cooling infrastructure and power-efficient processors. They’re also powered by grids that get electricity from a wide range of renewable sources.

Pros:

  • 97-day money-back guarantee
  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • green hosting efforts

Cons:

  • no Windows-based support
Visit Site

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8. Hostgator

hostgator.com

HostGator logo

Price: $2.75 per month
Disk space: unmetered

HostGator has its place among the hosting leaders and this isn’t random – it’s a web host that provides more than solid uptime, versatile features, a generous money-back guarantee, and great loading times.

Its basic plan is the Hatchling Plan, which starts at $2.75 per month. It includes a single domain name, has unlimited storage space, and unlimited bandwidth.

The next one up is the Baby Plan which includes unlimited domains, unlimited storage space, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited add-on/parked domains.

The Business Plan has the same unlimited features, but it also comes with the following: anonymous FTP, a free dedicated IP, free upgrade to positive SSL, and free SEO tools.

All three hosting plans additionally include:

  • a free SSL certificate;
  • 45-day money-back guarantee;
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee;
  • 24/7 customer support (via phone, live chat, and email);
  • instant backups;
  • $100 Google Ads credit;
  • $100 Bing credit;
  • free setup;
  • unlimited MySQL databases;
  • the latest cPanel;
  • Hotlink protection and IP deny manager.

There are useful email hosting features which come with every hosting plan, such as:

  • unlimited POP3 accounts;
  • web mail;
  • mailing lists;
  • Auto responders;
  • mail forwarding;
  • email alias;
  •  SMTP;
  • IMAP support;
  • spam assassin.

Apart from its shared hosting plans, HostGator offers dedicated hosting, reseller hosting, and VPS hosting plans too.

HostGator has its very own website builder, called the Gator Website Builder. It’s a drag-and-drop website builder that includes mobile-friendly templates suitable for every website type (including eCommerce, blog, business, technology, and portfolio). There are also social, analytics, and productivity tools to help you make the most of your site.

Finally, we mentioned there’s 24/7 customer support, but HostGator really takes special pride in it. It’s award-winning customer support with a knowledgeable team behind it which furthermore includes 24/7 hosting server monitoring.

There’s also an online support portal with over 500 video tutorials and more than 680 help articles. Its knowledge base is very detailed and provides assistance with a variety of website-related matters such as partnership programs, DNS, billing portal, and so on.

Pros:

  • even the cheapest plan comes with unmetered storage space and unmetered bandwidth
  • a flexible money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • higher renewal prices
Visit Site

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9. InMotion Hosting

inmotionhosting.com

InMotion Hosting logo

Price: $5.99 per month
Disk space: 50 GB

InMotion Hosting is a reliable hosting provider that has been steadily growing since its beginnings in 2001. To support its reliability, it’s enough to know that InMotion has the highest service routine possible (A+) from the BBB (Better Business Bureau), a consumer protection agency that analyzes and reviews US-based and Canada-based businesses in terms of their integrity and overall performance.

Its cheapest shared hosting plan, Launch, starts at $4.99 per month, but to lock this price you need to sign up for a 3-year contact. The plan comes with 50 GB storage space and can host up to 2 websites. It has 3x performance and speed and includes 10 email addresses. There are 10 parked domains, 20 subdomains, and 3 MySQL and PostgreSQL databases.

The Power plan comes with 100 GB storage space and includes 50 websites and 40 email addresses. It provides 4x performance and speed. It also comes with 100 parked domains, 200 subdomains, and 50 MySQL and PostgreSQL databases. This plan is eCommerce-friendly.

Finally, the Pro plan includes 200 GB of storage space and can host up to 100 websites. It offers 6x performance and speed and unlimited email addresses. It’s also eCommerce-optimized and has pro-level support. There are unlimited subdomains and unlimited parked domains, as well as 100 MySQL & PostgreSQL databases.

All three plans include these features too:

  • easy Google apps integration;
  • unlimited bandwidth;
  • a free domain name;
  • 30-day, or 90-day money-back guarantee depending on the hosting account you’ve purchased;
  • UltraStack servers;
  • SSH access;
  • malware protection;
  • a free SSL certificate;
  • a Backup Manager;
  • a user-friendly control panel;
  • spam experts;
  • 24/7 customer support (via email, support tickets, phone, and live chat)
  • 99.99% uptime guarantee;
  • free advertising credits ($150 value);
  • a drag-and-drop website builder – BoldGrid;
  • one-click installs of more than 400 apps.

InMotion Hosting additionally provides WordPress hosting, managed VPS hosting, Cloud VPS hosting, and managed dedicated hosting solutions. It also has more high-tier hosting such as enterprise-level and reseller hosting services. InMotion Hosting offers hosting tools and solutions for WordPress, WooCommece, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, Jetpack, cPanel, and Prestashop.

Pros:

  • robust servers and overall performance
  • scalable hosting plans

Cons:

  • US servers only
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What factors are important in choosing a shared web host?

When you’re a beginner, hosting-related matters can seem very intimidating. From shared resources, backups, and bandwidth, to CDNs, customer support, and uptime, you might find yourself even regretting starting your website because it seems as though you’ll need to spend more time focusing on finding the best web hosting provider aspect rather than the actual website.

web hosting research

This doesn’t have to be so, however. Of course, you need to spend time researching various hosting providers, the services they provide, and the features they include with each shared hosting plan. It’s very important to spend enough time getting familiar with a wide range of web hosts – the more research you do, the better decision you’re going to make (lucky for you, we did that part for you!).

You’ll know you feel comfortable with your chosen host when you’re confident that you have someone to look after the technicalities of your website.

That being said, to choose a reliable host you need to know what exactly to look for in a shared web hosting provider first – and this goes much deeper than just looking for an affordable option. It’s about getting value for money, while feeling you’ve got more than just the basics shared hosts are known for.

All our chosen web hosts are way above the average hosting providers, so we got you covered.

Now, let’s dive into their features and specifics so that you know what to pay attention to!

Uptime

A generous uptime guarantee is a good indicator of a reliable web host. The industry standard nowadays is 99.9%, and that’s what most hosts strive to provide. That being said, it’s always good to check whether this applies in practice too.

Of course, you can’t try all of them on their own to see what they’ll “do” to your website, but you can read reviews and testimonials, check out research articles about certain hosting providers’ uptime, and so on.

That being said, there are many events and circumstances that are outside your host’s power. DDoS attacks, scheduled maintenance, and other external factors can influence your website uptime but they don’t happen very often so you shouldn’t stress or worry about them all the time.

The point we’re trying to make is to find a web host that can keep up with their uptime claims the rest of the time, not only in such unfortunate events. However, when such events do happen and when you see how a web host handles them and how promptly they react, you’ll know the level of professionalism and credibility a specific company has.

Security and SSL

Many believe that if you’re running a small-sized website and you’re using a shared server, you’re less likely to get hacked. However, that can’t be further from the truth.

SSL sertificates

This is contrary to the popular belief that only well-known brands and large websites are of interest to hackers. In fact, when a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack occurs, there are many malicious bots programmed to send a flood of traffic to a website. Then the website starts using more resources from the server so it can cater to the sudden and unexpected surge in traffic. This leads to less resources being available to other websites, which means all websites are equally affected. The purpose behind such attacks is simply collateral damage.

Overall, some of the best ways to secure your website are:

  • install an SSL certificate (most hosts offer them for free);
  • spam filters;
  • PCI compliance;
  • advanced firewalls.

Speed and CDN

Many who opt for shared server hosting worry about their website speed. They believe website speed could be an issue, as they’re sharing many resources with other websites, including the actual physical server.

That being said, there are many ways and methods you can use to improve your website speed. Here are some of them:

  • optimize your images;
  • reduce the number of plugins (if you’re using a content management system such as WordPress, for example);
  • minimize your HTTP requests;
  • file compression;
  • always opt for mobile-friendly themes.

Server speed

Also, don’t forget it’s your host’s responsibility to help you provide your visitors with the best website experience, and keep an eye on your site’s speed. So, very often hosting providers:

  • offer a content delivery network (CDN), which is a lot of times free and included within a specific hosting plan;
  • make sure they have fast servers;
  • include higher bandwidth and RAM storage within their plans;
  • offer multiple data centers clients can choose from.

Support

Customer support is always a very significant feature, but if you’re a beginner settling on a shared hosting solution, then it’s even more important. Having a knowledgeable team that can assist you in times of trouble is truly beneficial (and shows you whether you’ve chosen the right web host as well!).

A knowledgeable customer team can help you pinpoint a specific website-related problem, help you choose a hosting plan, tell you whether you should consider scaling, assist you in times of cyberattacks, and help you in other ways as well.

Most web hosts tend to provide 24/7 customer support in the way of tickets, email, and/or phone. Besides the actual “human” help you can get, many include various video tutorials, self-help articles, or extensive forums where you can ask/answer questions and solve many problems instead of contacting a member from the customer team. This isn’t only time-saving but helps you learn a lot too.

Backups

Website backups can be a life-saver. Imagine waking up to an email that lets you know your website has been hacked or finding out your files have been deleted from the databases.

As long as you have website backup, these situations can be solved smoothly, although we’re aware they’re never comfortable to start with.

There are many ways to do website backups. Many web hosts even tend to include them for free (depending on the hosting plan you’ve chosen you’ll either get daily ones or weekly ones). However, you can always take matters into your own hands and do website backups on your own whenever you feel like it.

Here are some ways to do backups:

  • manual backups (means FTPing the files to your local computer);
  • use a cloud-based solution;
  • Rsync backup.

Finally, you can always pay for a website backup service if you don’t feel like doing it yourself and/or if your web host doesn’t provide them as part of your hosting plan.

Disk Space

Whenever shared hosting is discussed, disk space seems to be on top of the list. Many struggle to determine whether the disk space limitations that come with most shared hosting plans are logical and necessary or whether web hosts should be a bit more “generous” with disk space allocation.

In general, the truth is that even if you get unlimited disk space (as it happens with higher-tier plans) there are still some limitations to it, but they’re so high that you’re likely not to surpass them (however, the point is they do exist).

Also, the limits that usually come with shared hosting plans aren’t illogical, that is, they more than satisfy the needs of entry-level websites. That being said, when you start crossing those limits, it means it’s time to scale up and you can simply move on to the next hosting plan (or opt for another hosting solution instead).

Add-on domains/ Extra sites

Add-on domains are fully-functioning domains you can usually create in your control panel area. This is how add-ons work and this is what you can expect when you create one:

  1. There’s a folder created in the public_html directory;
  2. A subdomain is created for the primary domain and then it’s attached to the new folder;
  3. The new domain is linked to the subdomain;
  4. This is all applicable automatically when an add-on domain is assigned to an account.

To clarify things further, here’s what an add-on domain may actually look like:

  • abc.com/789
  • 789.com
  • 789abc.com

So basically, the primary domain abc.com gets the add-on domain 789.com assigned (and all three of them point to the same directory). Now, in terms of the number of add-ons you can get with a specific plan, all we can say is – it varies depending on what your host has decided to include. For example, if you’re using a shared hosting plan, you won’t get a lot of these.

web hosts

The same applies to extra websites. Usually, you should choose a higher tier plan to get unlimited websites. The cheapest/basic plans tend to include one or two.

Control panel

Having a control panel included in your shared hosting plans means you got one of the most user-friendly tools you can wish for. A control panel allows you to manage your server with a graphical interface (GUI) without any technical skills.

Control panels allow you to: do backups (and you already know why backups are important, right?), add domain names and manage them, install an SSL certificate, and so on. There are basically many reasons for having a control panel.

In terms of actual control panels, here are some of the most well-known ones: cPanel (probably the most used and embraced by users), Ajenti, DirectAdmin, Plesk, and ISPConfig, to mention a few. It’s also not uncommon to come across web hosting companies that have a customized control panel. This is the case with Hostinger – they’ve created their own control panel.

 

Which Shared Web Hosting Type Is Right for Your Website?

Shared Hosting for eCommerce

In terms of choosing a hosting provider for your eCommerce site, there are several key aspects you need to take into account:

  • Costs associated with hosting (as you’re dealing with shared hosting, these will be minimal, but you still need to plan accordingly);
  • eCommerce software compatibility (it’d be nice if your host provides you with features such as shopping cart functionality, otherwise you’ll have to look for them separately);
  • Basic security features (SSL certificates; strong firewalls; DDoS protection; spam filters; and basically anything that will secure your clients’ sensitive data such as credit card info, addresses, personal names, and so on);
  • eCommerce-optimized features (such as payment gateways, PCI compliance, an easy-to-use checkout, and so on);
  • Uptime (you can’t sell your products/services if your website is down most of the time, right?)
  • Satisfactory website speed (we already talked about website speed, so basically the same rules apply);
  • SEO features (you need to help potential buyers find you in order to have them make a purchase, and there’s no better way to help them than to rank higher on Google).

For more information, have a look at our page reviewing the best eCommerce hosts.

 

Cheap Shared Hosting Providers

Shared hosting is definitely one of the most frequently used ones. Not only that, but it’s the type of hosting everyone has heard about at some point – if you’re just starting out, this is the only option you need to be looking at, and if you’re running a large business now you probably used a shared server when you were starting out.

Shared hosting is very affordable in general, and if you opt for a year, two-year, or even a 3-year contract, it gets even cheaper. Basically, the longer you commit to a specific web host, the lower the price gets.

Besides affordability, some of the benefits that come with shared hosting are: easy scalability so you can upgrade at all times, low maintenance levels, no technical skills, easy site management, and so on. The only downside to it is probably the fact that you need to share resources and the actual physical server with many other websites.

Also, you get the basic features and resources only, but if we’re honest, that’s what you actually need anyway. You’ll see you won’t even be able to go above the storage space/bandwidth limits. But when you do, it’s a sign you need to upgrade – not that there’s something wrong with your website, your host, and/or the way you use your resources.

For more information, have a look at our page reviewing the best cheap web hosts.

 

Shared Windows Hosting

When you choose a web host, you make a lot of decisions: the features you need, the type of hosting plan that matches your website needs, and so on, but what many don’t know is they need to choose which operating system will run on your server.

Choosing a Windows server is the logical step for those already familiar with the Windows operating system. There are many reasons why webmasters opt for a Windows-based server, and here are some of them:

  • they feel it’s much easier than Linux;
  • they built their site with programming that only works well with Windows;
  • they’re working with tools such as MySQL, FrontPage and/or Visual Basic;
  • they’re using Plesk as a control panel;
  • they’re building their site with the ASP.NET framework.

There are many advantages to using Windows-based hosting such as flexibility (for example, you’re running an Apache server or Microsoft Internet Information Services), it’s very user-friendly (understanding Windows OS is fairly easy), there are frequent software updates (to ensure high-level protection), and there’s compatibility with other Windows apps and programs.

For more information, have a look at our page detailing the best Windows hosting providers.

 

Shared WordPress Hosting

If you’re using WordPress as a content management system (CMS) to build your website, you’ll need WordPress hosting. Having a reliable WordPress host can greatly improve the overall performance of your WordPress website.

In general, a shared WordPress hosting is shared hosting that has been specifically optimized for WordPress. You’ll get the basic features that you can expect from the majority of hosts, but you can also get features such as one-click installs, automatic WordPress updates, WP Installer, and so on. Shared WordPress hosting is the most affordable WordPress hosting you can get.

That being said, you don’t need WordPress hosting to use WordPress – any hosting solution will do. But if you want to make the most of your website, you have better possibilities with a WordPress-optimized host. For example, WordPress hosting is compatible with almost all plugins and themes WordPress offers (and choosing a random web hosting solution may not have the same compatibility).

Also, there are many other benefits to using WordPress hosting. It’s a great way to speed up your site, you get higher security and protection levels, better uptime (due to the seamless integration of your server and the CMS), up-to-date software (along with the latest WordPress updates), and a reliable customer support team for all WordPress-related issues.

For more information, have a look at our page reviewing the best WordPress hosts.

 

Shared Hosting for PHP

PHP is a scripting language and an open-source interpreter, meaning it’s able to interpret in real-time. Its purpose is to produce dynamic content, and it’s oftentimes embedded within working HTML code. PHP is one of the most frequently used scripting languages, and it’s very easy to identify it – all files that have the “.php” extensions are written in PHP.

There are many benefits to PHP hosting:

  • it easily integrates with databases (it’s one of the main requirements for forums, online shops, blogs, content management systems, and so on);
  • it’s very fast (it doesn’t consume a lot of server resources, which allows for better site performance and loading times);
  • it’s reasonably-priced (as PHP is a free, open-source scripting language, the costs associated with PHP hosting are generally lesser than other hosting solutions);
  • PHP is highly compatible (as PHP is a universal scripting language, all sites created using PHP will be compatible with almost all new devices including Android devices, iPhones, and the likes).

Overall, PHP assists in many complex undertakings such as creating dynamic site content as well as interactive sites that need user input, sending and receiving cookies, and displaying the best version of a specific website so as to fit particular screen size requirements.

For more information, have a look at our page detailing the best PHP hosts.

 

Shared Hosting for Drupal

Drupal hosting refers to any type of web hosting service that provides compatibility with Drupal, a content management system (CMS).

Drupal is a free, open-source written in PHP, and it’s distributed under the GNU General Public License. It’s popular among a wide range of sites including personal blogs, corporate, political and technology websites, enterprise sites, and many others.

Similarly to what we discussed in the shared WordPress hosting section, we can say that shared Drupal hosting is a hosting solution optimized for Drupal. In other words, it tends to include features and resources to help you make the best out of your Drupal experience.

There are many benefits to using shared Drupal hosting plans:

  • easy installation (a Drupal hosting plan will usually include a one-click installer, and so linking your content management system to your hosting plan is literally a click away);
  • no compatibility issues (when you opt for a Drupal plan, you can expect each feature to integrate well with your Drupal website);
  • double customer support (besides having the Drupal Slack community at your disposal to connect with other Drupal fellows, you’ll also have your web host to assist you in times of trouble);
  • better uptime and security levels.

For more information, have a look at our page comparing the best Drupal hosts.

 

Shared Hosting for Magento

You probably know what to expect in this section already – the same “hosting rules” that applied to Drupal and WordPress, apply to Magento too. In other words, any Magento hosting solution is a hosting plan that’s optimized for Magento sites.

As Magento is an eCommerce platform, the hosting plan you’ll opt for needs to be eCommerce-friendly as well. This refers to important eCommerce functionality features such as a shopping cart, SSL certificates, easy check-outs, account creation and payment gateways, PCI compliance, the option to list products and check availability, and many others.

Of course, you won’t get all of these through your host (many come with the eCommerce platform), but some are included – and the more features you get, the better it is for your eCommerce site.

Now in terms of choosing a Magento hosting provider – here is why you should consider doing it:

  • one-click Magento installation (after Drupal and WordPress, you probably expected this bullet point, this basically applies to many one-click apps);
  • compatibility is guaranteed (this bit should also be clear by now, but with Magento, this is especially important because we’re talking about eCommerce sites, and eCommerce sites have very specific features and design);
  • proper security and protection (this is where the features that we mentioned such as SSL certificates come into play)

For more information, have a look at our page comparing the best Magento hosts.

 

Web Hosts by Country

When choosing a hosting provider, many get confused about the host’s location. They aren’t sure whether them being in Europe, and their host in the United States is an issue. If a host offers multiple data centers, they aren’t sure which one to choose – should they focus on THEIR location or their target audience’s location?

In fact, they aren’t sure if the host’s location is an issue to start with.

And this is especially true if you’re looking for a shared hosting solution, as you’re more than likely to be a beginner.

That being said, with today’s technology and versatile hosting features, the host’s location isn’t an issue. Of course, you wouldn’t want an Asian-based host if you’re living in the UK (if that host doesn’t have any CDNs, server farms, and so on).

But guess what? With today’s competition among hosting companies and overall market demand, it’s more than likely you won’t come across such web hosts. Sure, there are hosts every now and then that have fewer data centers to choose from, but even with that, they have other solutions.

And if you’re worried about your website speed (because you’re using a shared server, and it’s well-known that website downtime is a bigger issue for shared hosting solutions than it is for dedicated server plans, for example), there are still ways to handle this.

For instance, many web hosts offer a CDN even with the cheapest, most basic hosting plan (take GreenGeeks as an example – they have included a free CDN in the cheapest Lite plan, which we already discussed).

Needless to say – your web host will have you covered.

Best web hosting services by country: 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is GoDaddy shared hosting?

GoDaddy doesn’t provide only shared hosting services. In fact, GoDaddy is one of the most versatile web companies out there – besides shared hosting plans, it offers WordPress hosting, WooCommerce hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, business hosting, and reseller hosting.

It has both Windows and Linux hosting. Apart from its web hosting services, GoDaddy has email hosting, website and marketing, and a wide range of SEO tools to help you evolve your site.

That being said, it’s logical why GoDaddy is best known for its shared hosting services. According to Built With statistics, GoDaddy is the most popular hosting provider in the “Shared Hosting Usage Distribution in the Top 1 Million Sites” category, with 84%.

Finally, if you’re eyeing GoDaddy, please note it has three shared hosting solutions: Linux plans using cPanel, WordPress Hosting, and Windows plans using Plesk.

Is shared hosting slow?

While shared server plans may not have the exact same speed as dedicated servers (or a VPS one), they’re far from what you would consider slow. There’s a catch to this though.

If a web host has older servers, you’re using a shared server (but have site traffic that calls for a higher tier hosting solution), or every now and then you experience a server load spike, because many users are using the same physical hardware, then your website may be slow(er).

Also, sometimes there could be a specific issue with a particular website on the server (so it may not even be yours), which causes all websites to crash, or be slower than usual, and so on. This is one of the risks that come with shared hosting solutions, but if you’re aware of them, there’s nothing that can’t be solved if you’re dealing with a reliable and high-quality hosting provider.

Is Bluehost shared hosting?

Bluehost is well-known for its shared hosting services (similar to what we discussed with GoDaddy) because it’s very user-friendly and has affordable options backed by nice hosting features and reliable customer support.

One of the reasons why many beginners tend to choose Bluehost when starting out is that it has versatile hosting plans that allow you to upgrade or downgrade. So even if you begin with a shared hosting plan (you can move on to another more advanced shared hosting plan) or you may even scale up and opt for a dedicated server solution or a VPS option depending on your current site needs.

That being said, many use Bluehost’s other web hosting services such as WordPress hosting, dedicated server hosting, reseller hosting and so on, or they opt for its professional email and/or wide range of marketing services.

What is the difference between cloud hosting and shared hosting?

While the main purpose behind cloud hosting and shared hosting is the same, and that is to provide a type of web hosting service to a specific user, the way they carry this out differs.

First of all, shared hosting is a hosting service that allows users to share a physical server along with allocated resources. It’s a cost-effective solution, you’re free of all technical responsibilities, and you receive the basics to get your website up and running.

Cloud hosting, on the other hand, allows you to use computing resources stored on a cloud facility. Plus, you can use resources from several servers rather than just one. Cloud hosting provides great scalability, faster load times, and it’s hassle-free, as the hosting providers are responsible for maintaining the infrastructure.

Finally, many argue that one is better than the other, but the type of hosting that fits your business best will depend largely on your current website needs.

How much traffic can a shared hosting handle?

Many web hosting providers tell you how much traffic each hosting plan is able to support on a monthly basis. Of course, this isn’t always a fixed number, but it gives you approximate limits that you need to stick with.

For example, when we were discussing SiteGround, we mentioned that its StartUp plan can support ~10,000 visits on a monthly basis, the GrowBig plan ~25,000, and the GoGeek ~100,000.

If you’re just starting out, it’s logical that you’d expect to be in the first group – plus, it’s more than likely it would take you some time to even reach the 10K visitors. On the other hand, if you already have ~50,000 visitors you should definitely consider the third option and neglect the first two.

Also, hosting providers often don’t pose any restrictions or limitations on the number of visitors, but there are many limits associated with RAM and CPU server availability, so it’s only logical to know you can’t expect a million visitors on a server that can only handle a couple of thousand.

What does shared hosting mean?

Shared hosting service is a type of web hosting service where many websites reside on a single web server. So, they share the same server and the resources.

Each website gets a certain amount of disk space, bandwidth, and other features so that it can function properly. Shared hosting is usually the most affordable hosting option. What makes it such a cost-effective solution to get your website online is because all server maintenance costs are split among different users.

Reputable and reliable web hosting providers ensure all resources are split equally among users, and that each one has fair access to what it needs.

Shared hosting is generally very flexible, requires little management on your part, allows you to save money, and although it only allows for a modest level of customization, it has enough for entry-level websites.