Best Shared Web Hosting: 2018 Edition
Here are the best shared web hosts based on factors like user reviews, support, and privacy practices. All web hosts on this list offer fast SSD hosting. Be aware that "unlimited storage space" and "unlimited bandwidth" are just marketing pitches when it comes to shared hosting. With cloud hosting, it's a bit more accurate, but when it comes to shared hosting, they will shut down your site if it consumes enough resources to negatively impact the other sites on the server. Hosting providers usually clarify how much of a server's resources you are entitled to use on their Terms of Service page.
Very highly rated hosting providers with almost instant support
Hosting providers that usually have less than 10 minute response time to support requests.
Ratings: FastComet is currently ranked #1 out of 4091 hosting providers - rated 9.7/10 by 485 user reviews - on HostAdvice. 4.86/5 rating on HostAdvisor based on 258 user reviews. 4.68/5 on Web Hosting Geeks based on 41 user reviews 5/5 on WhoIsHostingThis? by 35 user reviews. The user reviews on Hostjury, where FastComet is currently one of the best rated hosting providers, are usually between 4.5 to 5 out of 5 stars with only one user review going below four stars.
According to WebHostingStuff, FastComet has had two downtimes - 27 minutes in April of 2016 and nine minutes in December of 2015 - since WebHostingStuff started monitoring uptime for FastComet back in September of 2014. This puts FastComet's average uptime at 99.99%, which is quite impressive.
This is the only hosting provider on this list that I have personal experience with. I recommended them to my cousin for her photography website, and directly after she had placed the order, she got a call from San Fransisco from FastComet support who wondered what site she was making and if she wanted any help. They can transfer websites from other hosts, install and configure software, optimize websites, configure DNS settings and do pretty much anything you ask them for free if you file a ticket. The majority of tickets we filed - even the low priority ones - were answered within 10 minutes, which lines up with their claim that 93% of all support requests - in sample size of 10 000 support requests - were resolved in less than 10 minutes. You'll also get Let's Encrypt SSL certificates and daily, weekly, and monthly backups for free. Their shared hosting is a pretty good bang for your buck considering the service and hosting specs you're getting.
FastComet is based in the United States and has data centers in Dallas, Texas, United States; Chicago, Illinois, United States; Newark, New Jersey, United States; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Frankfurt, Germany; London, United Kingdom; Tokyo, Japan; and Singapore.
SiteGround is probably the most well-reviewed web host on the Internet: 4.9/5 on Shopper Approved based on 2984 user reviews 5/5 on HostSearch based on 1806 user reviews 5/5 on WhoIsHostingThis? based on 1559 user reviews 9.6/10 on TrustPilot based on 1231 user reviews 9.7/10 on HostAdvice based on 1147 user reviews 9.7/10 on The Webmaster based on 1059 user reviews 5/5 on WebHostingStuff based on 760 user reviews 9.8/10 on top5hosting based on 755 users 4.58/5 on Web Hosting Geeks based on 673 user reviews 10/10 on Web Hosting Hero based on 378 user reviews 8.5/10 on HostingFacts based on 213 user reviews 4.73/5 on HostAdvisor based on 100 user reviews The vast majority of the 1267 user reviews of SiteGround on WPBeginner are very positive. On Hostjury, the vast majority of the many user reviews rate SiteGround between 4 - 5 out of 5 stars, making them one of the top rated web hosts on the site.
According to WebHostingStuf, SiteGround has had 28 outages of a total of 388 minutes of downtime since WebHostingStuff started monitoring uptime for SiteGround back in September of 2005 with the single longest downtime being 77 minutes long. This puts SiteGround's average uptime at 99.99%, which is quite impressive. According to Inline Host Blogger's uptime tracking tool the last 90 days (January 16th, 2017 - April 15th, 2018), the combined uptime of their seven SiteGround sites were 99.98% with 23 outages. This is largely thanks to special server monitoring and troubleshooting software. An hourly updated speed test for SiteGround can be found on HostingReviews.Website.
SiteGround was a firm opponent of the SOPA and PIPA legislations back 2012, launching a "Stop Censorship" campaign against the controversial bills.
SiteGround guarantees that support tickets will be answered within 10 minutes. Let's Encrypt SSL certificates and daily backups are provided for free. SiteGround are very quick to patch vulnerabilities (such as WordPress and WordPress plugins) when they are announced by security researchers, and their response to the global WordPress brute force attack back in 2013 was quite amazing. They offer free site migrations, but only up to 1 GB; any larger than that, and you either have to pay them a $50 fee or do the site migration yourself.
SiteGround is based in Bulgaria and has data centers in Chicago, United States; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; London, United Kingdom; Milan, Italy; and Singapore.
Privacy friendly hosting providers
Note that even though the countries mentioned below have strong privacy laws, many of them still preform mass surveillance to some degree. Sadly, that seems to be the trend in the more industrialized countries. Of the countries mentioned, the Netherlands and Switzerland perform mass surveillance, and Finland is preparing a law that will the allow the Finnish government to do it.
FlokiNET is an Icelandic hosting provider that is quite popular with privacy advocates. It is one of the most privacy friendly hosting providers on the planet: They allow users to pay with cryptocurrencies like Monero (and of course Bitcoin), as well as cash by mail and Paysafecard (prepaid card). It is rated 3.5/5 by 12 reviews on HostSearch. FlokiNET doesn't have the glorious near perfect review ratings that OrangeWebsite has, but it does offer a bit more storage space (though with a bit less bandwidth) on their shared Icelandic servers in comparison to OrangeWebsite and it is a nice option for those who want privacy friendly hosting in Romania or Finland. Romania is the country with the least surveillance in Europe (though that might have changed since the report is from 2010) and Finland places 3rd on Reporters Without Borders' 2017 World Press Freedom Index. A good sign that FlokiNET takes privacy and freedom of speech seriously is that they allow Tor exit and relay nodes as well as VPN services to be hosted on their dedicated servers and virtual servers, which not many companies do, especially when it comes to Tor exit nodes that get regular abuse complaints. FlokiNET also runs several Tor nodes themselves in order to support the Tor Project. FlokiNET's servers are encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption and FlokiNET preforms daily backups for free. Porn is technically illegal in Iceland, so that is not allowed to be hosted on their Icelandic servers, but is allowed on their servers in Romania and Finland. FlokiNET doesn't enforce DMCA - and also has a legal department to deal with abuse complaints like that - which is good considering how out of control DMCA has gotten.. The FlokiNET staff only use end-to-end encrypted communication systems and their all of their work stations are pre-boot encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption.
OrangeWebsite is an Iceland-based offshore hosting provider that focuses on privacy and freedom of speech. The owner of OrangeWebsite is said to be an anarchist that strongly supports freedom of speech and both he and the company itself were strongly against the SOPA and PIPA legislation. OrangeWebsite ignores complaints that does not violate Icelandic laws or OrangeWebsite's Terms of Service. A good indication of OrangeWebsite's commitment to privacy and freedom of speech is that they accept Tor relay and exit nodes to be hosted on their VPS servers, which not many companies do, especially when it comes to exit nodes that get regular abuse complaints. OrangeWebsite offers two-factor authentication, only require an email address to create an account, and - in addition to accepting credit/debit cards via PayPal and bank transfers - they also accept anonymous payments via cryptocurrencies like Monero, and of course Bitcoin. OrangeWebsite's servers run on 100% green energy. OrangeWebsite is the highest rated Islandic web host with a rating of 4.72/5 on HostSearch based on 107 user reviews and 9.0/10 on TrustPilot based on 104 user reviews. According to WebHostingStuff, OrangeWebsite has an average uptime of 99.95%, which is above the industry average of 99.94% uptime. From February 2011 to Feburary 2018 it has had 57 outages, resulting in a combined 52 hours and 20 minutes of downtime in seven years.
Iceland is widely regarded to be the best country to host websites for those who value privacy and abhor censorship. The[2016 Data Center Risk Index rated Iceland 100/100, making it the safest country for data centers among the 37 countries they looked into. This is the country that told the FBI to leave when they came there to get Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The Pirate Party is Iceland's third largest party, and the party's leader is a former WikiLeaks member. That politician was in 2010 the chief sponsor of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which set out to make Iceland a journalistic safe haven. The proposal was adopted unanimously by parliament and under that proposal the Icelandic government is now tasked with finding ways to strengthen freedom of speech and freedom of information, as well as provide strong protections for sources and whistleblowers. Another advantage with Iceland is that it's situated between North America and Europe, making it the optimal country if you want to provide fast loading times to both continents without using a CDN. Porn has technically been illegal in Iceland since 1940 (though this is almost never enforced), so if you think that you or your users might upload content that might fall into that category, Iceland is not the place to host your website. So don't go and host the next big image hosting site in Iceland.
Greenhost is an environmentally friendly hosting provider based in the Netherlands that focuses greatly on privacy and security. Greenhost hasn't logged any data since 2009 and have urged other hosting providers to do the same by setting up an informative website about data logging in the Netherlands. Greenhost is a big supporter of open source software and encryption, is mostly built on open source software, has integrated free, open source Let's Encrypt TLS certificates into their hosting platform, and suppors DNSSEC. Greenhost performs daily website backups and daily database backups for free.
Ratings: 4.6/5 based on 25 user reviews on webhosters 4.7/5 based on 11 user reviews on Facebook 4.4/5 based on 7 user reviews on Host-reviews.nl 100/100 based on 7 user reviews on ISPGids.com
Greenhost was one of seven Internet service and communications providers to file a legal complaint calling for the end of GCHQ's unlawful hacking of network infrastructure for mass surveillance. It also signed an open letter calling for state ambassadors to implement Net Neutrality in the EU, making it the only hosting provider to sign the open letter and also the only corporate signee as all other signees were organizations. Greenhost signed another open letter urging Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook - to defend Net Neutrality on Facebook's Internet.org platform. Greenhost has published a 244 page long "Basic Internet Security" manual, helps journalists and and activists around the world to communicate freely and sponsors organizations that are committed to freedom, sustainability and culture, such as Free Press Unlimited and De Concertzender, helps five whistleblowing sites with their technical expertise, and is the hosting provider chosen and promoted by the non-profit organization Privacy First. Greenhost also developed a now discontinued proxy plugin for WordPress to prevent censorship.
NFOrce Entertainment is a Netherlands-based hosting provider that is known for donating dedicated servers to the Tor network via torservers.net. They are also one of the three hosting companies Proton VPN uses for their Dutch VPN servers). Needless to say, they are quite trusted when it comes to handling hosting with a high need of privacy and security. NFOrce Entertainment offers paid backups with recovery points. However, they don't use SSDs for their shared hosting packages. User reviews for NFOrce Entertainment are positive and can be found on Web Hosting Talk and Reddit.
Highly rated hosting providers with lots of storage space
Infomaniak is based in the Switzerland. It is rated 4.48/5 based on 340 user reviews on Top 10 Hébergeurs, 4.7/5 based on 178 user reviews on Facebook, and 4.69/5 based on 14 user reviews on SiteGeek. Infomaniak has had an uptime of 99.98% between September 2010 and March 2018, with 11 outages resulting in 611 minutes of downtime combined during that time period (and the longest outage being 407 minutes), according to Web Hosting Stuff. This is far above the industry standard of 99.94% uptime, and it's quite impressive. Since they are not bound by American laws, they do not take action on DMCA complaints, which in my opinion is a good thing, since the DMCA system is poorly designed and has gotten out of control. If anyone wants to take down content hosted by Infomaniak on copyright grounds, they have to go through the Swiss legal system, which, unlike its American counterpart, gives the site owner a fair chance to defend their site before any action is taken against it. Switzerland has the most lenient copyright laws in the western world, which shows by the number of large streaming and torrent sites that are hosted in the country. If you're going to host a site that accepts user submitted content, I'd recommend looking into Infomaniak or another DMCA free hosting provider and save yourself the trouble that is DMCA. In addition to being in a great legal jurisdiction, they also have very good prices for great hardware specs, as Infomaniak is the largest hosting provider in Switzerland and operate its own data centers (three of them, to be specific). The data centers are located at undisclosed locations. Automatic daily backups are included for free.
TransIP is one of the largest hosting providers in the Netherlands, and likely the highest rated one as well, with a 9.1/10 score based on user 550 reviews on TrustPilot, a 97% score based on 305 user reviews on ISPGids.com, a 8.3/10 score based on 236 user reviews on HostingWijzer, a 4.3/5 score based on 179 user reviews on webhosters, a 4.6/5 score based on 68 user reviews on Hosting-reviews.nl, and a 4.7/5 score based on 49 user reviews on Serchen. TransIP offers quite a lot of storage space, so if you're going to host a media heavy site, TransIP might be a good fit for you. TransIP provides daily backups for free.
Budget web hosts
BuyShared is probably the most affordable shared web host that is still somewhat good. They have three hosting plans for $5, $10, and $15 per year, which includes free SSL certificates from Let's Encrypt. According to this uptime log, BuyShared had between 98.79% – 99.92% uptime per month; that's not bad considering that you're paying them $5 – $15 per year. You won't get the 99.99% uptime that other web hosts offer though, so I wouldn't use BuyShared for anything critical or related to e-commerce, but for small hobby projects, it's a very affordable option. You can find user reviews on Web Hosting Talk, LowEndTalk, and Reddit. You can choose between data centers in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA and Roost, Luxembourg. Freedom of speech is strongly protected in Luxembourg. It is also the country with the least surveillance in continental Europe among the countries that have very good press freedom rankings. There is currently no DMCA takedown enforcement in the Luxembourg data center. Frantech Solutions, the company behind BuyShared and BuyVM, is based in Canada.
Hello. Good list of web hosting places! Will be updated this list for 2020? Best Regards