The goal behind Top Reviews is to inform our readers about the overall top rated services and products in each category that we cover. We want to help you save time, by not wasting it on researching hundreds of options and instead to let you focus just on the top performers in each category.
Top WebHosting Companies
If you have a business, you need a website - but you might not know how to go about getting one. Don't worry, that's normal. When Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens famously referred to the internet as a "series of tubes," he was merely singing along with a chorus of confusion. Most people have no idea how the internet works, let alone how to build a website. It sounds complicated, too: Getting your business online means renting server space, building a website to store on that server, and wrapping it all up in a dot-com (or org, or net, etc.) domain name. Every single one of the 15,000 hosting companies we came across (really!) can help you do this, but the best web hosting companies also have excellent customer support, an intuitive and easy-to-use back end, and a reputation for reliability. And to be honest, quite a few web hosts fit that description. InMotion Hosting took the crown for 2016 Best Overall web hosting company by doing it with just a little more class.
What kind of hosting you need depends on your business requirements, but it basically comes in three flavors:
Shared Hosting: The least expensive and most common form of web hosting. It's also the least powerful - different customers "share" a server's resources among potentially hundreds of clients.
Dedicated Servers: These offer unmitigated control of the server's resources, but can be pretty expensive, and are probably overkill for most projects.
Virtual Private Servers: This option lies somewhere in between: the versatility of a dedicated server without the expense of renting an exclusive hardware stack.
If you're not sure what you need, Shared hosting is a good place to start. You can always upgrade to VPS, Dedicated, or a custom hosting package later. Simply Googling a shared web host won't get you far, though: There are thousands of companies leasing webspace, and at a glance they all look kind of the same. They aren't - some companies specialize in only one type of hosting; some have poor customer service, are unreliable, or run on outdated technology.
We separated the wheat from the chaff by merging the top-ranked, US-based hosting companies from sites like WhoIsHostingThis, HostMonk, WebHostingStuff and CNET, among others - outfits that ranked sites based on server uptime, verified user reviews and technical support. This left us with just over 200 well-regarded hosting companies. A good start.
We then filtered out the "losers". First we eliminated providers without a clear upgrade path, then we eliminated all providers that didn't have an independentely reported uptime of 99.95% or higher and we eliminated all the hosts with ambigious pricing. This left us with a much more manageable sample size, and allowed us to do a full comparison.
Our Best Overall Winner - InMotion Hosting
We picked InMotion as our overall winner because they get the little details right. They have a very easy onboarding process, they have amazing support and they will never spam your email account. What's more they have a great knowledge base where you can find an answer for any question you might ever want to ask. Their pricing is also very clear and very competitive for the level of service you are getting. For one, they use SSDs instead of traditional hard disks, giving you that extra performance. They also have automatic backups/restorations so that you'll never lose your data. And they do offer a 90 day guarantee, which shows extreme confidence in their offering.
Runner Up - Bluehost
We almost picked Bluehost as our overall winner. It only lost by a very narrow margin. And that was mostly due to their customer service procedures. Unlike most hosts, when you call Bluehost for customer service, you have to provide the last 4 letters of your password. The passwords are hashed, so its a security feature. But it's still something that can make a lot of people uncomortable which is why InMotion is our overall winner.
Hosting is always on sale - whenever you go to a hosting website, you'll always see an active promotion. Most of these promotions are year round, so you shouldn't take them into account when making your decision. No, there aren't limited time offers in the hosting game. So you can take your time to do your research. The only exception to this rule is during Black Friday.