Best Web Hosting For Beginners in 2021
You’ve got a hot idea for a new business. Great!
You’re all fired up and ready to conquer the world of commerce with a brand new website.
Or, you would be if you could only figure out which web hosting company to use.
If only somebody would put together a short roundup of the best web hosting for beginners.
We hear you. And, we’ve got this.
By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll have found your perfect web hosting solution.
Now, let’s take a look at our picks of the best web hosting services for beginners and why these three companies earned their space here.
Best Web Hosting for Beginners
Best Web Host for New Bloggers
Bluehost has been in business since 2003 and currently powers 2 million websites in hundreds of different countries.
They’re also the default choice for many bloggers and people who teach blogging because they’re easy to use and very affordable.
Bluehost is probably best known for its shared hosting packages. But they do also supply VPS, managed, and dedicated server solutions to relevant customers.
Ease of setup
This company figured out that the lower the barrier to entry for using their web hosting services, the more customers they’d have.
That’s why they make starting a blog as easy as possible – new users only have to complete a handful of steps.
- Choose to register a domain, or not
- Choose your pricing plan
- Pay for hosting
- Choose a password
- Choose your theme
- Verify your email address
- You’re good to go
This is a huge improvement on the days when you’d have to manually set up an SQL database and then install WordPress via FTP.
With Bluehost, you can get a blog up and running with the bare minimum of technical knowledge.
Free domain- Anyone signing up for a basic 12-month account with Bluehost gets a free domain name. While this is a nice feature we’d never trust a web host with “owning” the domain name our entire business is built upon.
SSD storage – Bluehost was one of the first companies to offer SSD (Solid State Disk) storage as part of a shared hosting account. Put simply, SSDs are much faster than conventional hard drives, allowing your site to load more quickly in a visitor’s browser.
Hosted Email – Your account comes with 5 free hosted email addresses with 100MB of storage in total, which should be more than enough for most bloggers or small businesses.
Free CDN – Bluehost customers also get access to their ‘SiteLock CDN’. This serves two purposes – keep your site secure from hackers and speed up the delivery of your content to international locations. This feature can potentially save you anywhere from $10 – $20 per month in fees for a separate service.
Bluehost offers 24/7 customer support via chat or their knowledge base and a phone-based WordPress setup assistance service called ‘BlueFlash”. Premium support via their ‘Blue Sky’ option costs $99 per month.
Bluehost claims to deliver 99.9% uptime for all customers.
Bluehost is currently running an introductory offer where you can get hosting for just $5.95, based on a 12-month contract.
Just be aware that this price will increase after your first year. As of right now, that would mean paying $8.95 per month instead of $5.95 each month for the same hosting service.
Bluehost is ideal for somebody just starting out on their blogging career, especially anyone working with a limited budget.
Best Shared Hosting Company
SiteGround is a popular choice with bloggers who want a little more from their WordPress hosting…and are prepared to pay extra for that.
So where Bluehost is like booking a room with a hotel chain, SiteGround offers a boutique experience.
Basically, they’re not trying to appeal to customers looking for the cheapest service but instead clients who want a best-in-class shared hosting service.
SiteGround positions itself as premium web hosting but is actually more like advanced shared hosting. It does offer a superior service when compared to cheaper hosting companies, but it is still very much a shared hosting platform. They do, however, offer high-end hosting in the form of their managed, WooCommerce, and Cloud hosting services.
Ease of setup
Getting up and running with SiteGround takes a handful of minutes. They simplify the entire process, reducing setup to filling in the blanks on a single form and then clicking ‘Pay Now’. They take care of all the technical stuff in the background, so you don’t have to.
Note: You do not get a free domain name when you sign up with SiteGround. You can either pay them $15.95 to register one for you or use a separate registrar instead.
SiteGround is another web host that now offers SSD disk space as standard, so your site will benefit from the additional speed that comes with that technology. Another benefit is that the SSD technology they use can result in extremely low levels of downtime.
SG Optimizer plugin
You don’t need to figure out which caching plugin to use on your site because SiteGround created one for you in the form of their ‘SG Optimizer’. The benefit here is that the plugin is written specifically for sites hosted on their servers. This offered a pretty significant speed improvement during testing.
This does exactly what it says on the tin – your WordPress site is set up and ready to go with all the required plugins ready to be activated. This means you can start publishing blog content literally minutes after you pay for your SiteGround account.
SiteGround offers customer and technical support via their chat service and ticketing system. But they do also provide phone support if you really need it.
SiteGround claims to deliver 99.99% uptime for all customers.
Their introductory pricing of $4.99 per month increases to $14.99 per month after your first year. Or a 3x increase in costs for the same service. You can use SiteGround on a month-to-month basis…but you’ll have to pay $19.99 every 30 days for the privilege.
SiteGround is a great choice for the blogger who cares more about performance and features than price.
Best Premier Web Host
Cloudways is true managed WordPress hosting, but with a twist.
Instead of requiring you to use whatever cloud hosting they have an internal preference for, you can choose from 5 different cloud hosting providers.
So this allows you to create a cloud hosting package that’s tailored not only to your specific needs but your budget too.
And the really weird thing about Cloudways is they offer a surprising amount of power for what can be less than you pay for certain types of shared hosting.
Cloudways is a legitimate managed cloud host – there’s no need for advertising gimmicks. That also means they do not offer any type of shared hosting.
Ease of setup
Setting up an account with Cloudways is straightforward, as is creating your WordPress installation. But you will need to be more comfortable with navigating an entirely different interface/control panel and slightly more advanced aspects of website administration. But with that said, you can either migrate an existing site to, or set up a new site on, Cloudways in under an hour.
You can choose to upload your site to a selection of five of the best cloud hosting providers in the world, including Google, AWS (Amazon Web Services), Digital Ocean, Linode, and Vultr. These are the same cloud hosts used by huge brand names.
A Vultr High-Frequency plan will outperform any shared hosting package you can find, and for as little as $13 per month. In our testing, we found that sites hosted on Cloudways performed up to 6x faster than on shared hosting.
Cloudways can not only grow with your site as you get more traffic, but they allow you to do that yourself with their ‘Vertical Scaling’ feature. You simply slide up to the resources you need, and click ‘Scale Now’. It’s that easy.
Cloudways offers support via chat and their ticket system. Their ‘Advanced Support’ package is an addon that starts at $100 per month, and their ‘Premium Support’ (including phone) package starts at $500 per month.
Cloudways promises to deliver 99.999% uptime for all customers.
The nature of their business models means that Cloudways has dozens of different pricing plans. But their cheapest cloud hosting plan starts at just $10 per month.
Cloudways is the hosting service bloggers choose when they want the absolute best performance and support available in managed cloud hosting.
Your Specific Requirements
It’s important that you’re honest about what you need from your hosting.
And this will come down to:
- Your business model, and
- How much you can afford
A typical affiliate site, for example, will quite happily live on basic hosting for at least the first 6 months of its life.
But maybe you want to pre-empt a future migration to another host by simply signing up for a managed host now.
You also need to forecast your hosting budget for your first year of being online.
$30 per month for managed hosting might not sound like much. But, it comes to a total of $360 per year. If you add a CDN to that mix then your annual hosting bill will be at least $500.
Or you could pay $70 per year in total for a shared hosting account instead.
Managed hosting means finding the equivalent of an extra mortgage payment in your budget each year.
Shared hosting, on the other had, for a year costs the same amount as a few large pizzas and beer.
Your Hosting Checklist
Now let’s take a look at the individual aspects of a web host you must evaluate to find a winner.
We’ve included some personal recommendations for what we consider to be the best web hosting for beginners at the end of this article.
But we want you to have the tools you need to make an informed choice when it comes to any web hosting provider.
You might be sat there thinking that you don’t really care if your website pages load quickly.
After all, won’t people just wait if they really want the information, product, or service on your page?
Statistically, 24% of people will bounce (click away from) any page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Just 10 years ago an Internet user would wait up to 8 seconds before clicking away from a site.
That’s because the average attention span has decreased dramatically in the last 15 years alone, measuring just 8.25 seconds today.
But it’s actually more serious than just measuring attention span.
As in, what if we told you that your conversion rate drops by 4.42% for every additional second added to your page load time.
The performance of your web host does matter quite a bit more than just patience – it could cost you revenue.
A fast web host typically offers:
- SSD drives
- Low server load (fewer sites on a server)
- Built-in CDN
- On-server caching/Host-specific caching plugin
Getting set up
The vast majority of shared hosts provide a “One-click WordPress installation” feature. This makes it easy for anyone to set up their first blog.
But some hosts take it a step further by not only installing WordPress for you but even adding several commonly-used plugins and themes to your setup.
This means that your blog is ready to use by the time you’ve finished entering your payment details.
Cloud hosting and managed hosting solutions typically require a bit more thought and effort on your part, so aren’t always for the faint-hearted.
The fewer technical hurdles you face in the early days of your online business the better.
The WordPress interface itself is easy enough for even the most technophobic of people to learn.
That’s because this CMS was designed to make online content publishing accessible to the masses.
But the same can’t always be said of the interfaces that allow users to interact with the more advanced features of their hosting account.
So make absolutely certain that you won’t have to spend two weeks figuring out how to add an email address to your account.
The only reason web hosting providers can offer ludicrously low prices is by signing customers up for a multi-year contract.
It’s a great business model for them but a terrible idea for any new blogger.
Yes, you will save money with a 3-year plan.
But you have our word that you will most likely outgrow your shared hosting within the first two years, if not less.
You can (and probably will) migrate to a new host eventually. But, if your current web host has already been prepaid for 3-years of service…a refund is highly unlikely.
The moral of the story is that you should only sign up for a max 12-month contract with any web host.
Then, at the end of that first year you get to decide if they’re worth staying with. And if not, then you simply choose a new web host instead.
The quality of the support offered by your hosting provider is incredibly important; as is their response time.
For example, what happens if your site goes offline on Saturday morning – do they have weekend support available or will you have to wait until Monday?
Also, always ask if a host’s technical support teams are in-house or outsourced. In-house support teams are highly preferable.
Outsourced teams are usually busier shifting blame to literally everyone else than resolving real technical issues.
It might sound like a ridiculous thing to ask, but does your web host provide @yourdomain.com email (self-hosted) addresses as standard?
Or is email a separate add-on or feature that you have to pay more for?
And if that’s the case, how much does it cost per month?
Some web hosts are making up for their “$2 per month” plans by charging extra for adding an email address to your site.
Any company with a shred of business sense features a number of glowing testimonials and reviews somewhere on their homepage.
The problem is that you never get to see the negative or “so-so” feedback from customers.
So do your due diligence and look for the not-so-great reviews and customer feedback in relation to your future web host.
Just bear in mind that around 25% of the negative reviews are fake, typically published by competitors and serial complainers.
Paying for your web hosting should take minutes and require the bare minimum of information from you.
Your web host should also offer multiple payment methods, including credit and debit cards, and maybe even PayPal.
We would also expect more forward-thinking web hosts to start accepting payment in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the near future.
You can get a lot more detail on each of the above points in our previous article on how to find a good web hosting company.
Some Final Advice
And just before we finish up, let’s give you a quick list of things to watch out for:
- Don’t sign up for multi-year contracts with a company you’ve never used before
- Do try to keep your domain registration separate from your web hosting
- Take all social proof/reviews on hosting company homepages with a pinch of salt
- Never think an expensive web host makes you a better business person
- Always ask if hosted email accounts come as standard
Wrapping Things Up
And that brings us to the end of our roundup of the best web hosting for beginners.
Why did we only feature 3 hosting providers?
Simply because we know you want to make a decision in the near future, so overloading you with information right now is counterproductive.
Plus, these are the web hosting services we’ve actually used ourselves, so we know their real pros and cons.
This isn’t stuff we just made up to write a review.
We truly do want to help you make the best possible decision for your business.
Because we can only enjoy success if you do.
Let us know if this was helpful and who you decided to go with in the comments below. We’re looking forward to your success!
About Matt Collins
With a rapidly growing team of readers, my mission is to teach hungry professionals how to maximize their net worth with scalable side hustles and responsible financial management practices.
My reputation is of the utmost importance to me, which is why I only provide completely honest, 100% true, unbiased recommendations for systems and software I know and trust.