12 best web hosting services

We all know why creatives need beautiful websites, but once you've designed yours, you'll also need a reliable hosting service. Web hosting is not the most exciting part of running a successful design business, but it is essential to make the right choice so that you have a robust, reliable website. 

Discovering which web hosting service to choose is a minefield, as there are myriad options with various tailored solutions to help your site thrive. Here we try to strip away the jargon and condense the spec sheets into bite-size chunks. Here are 12 of the best web hosting services from around the world.

01. GoDaddy

US-based GoDaddy is one of the largest web hosting companies around and, as one of the few that has done television advertising, it is probably the best known, too. 

Even its bargain-basement package comes with 100GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, and a free domain – with plenty of options due to GoDaddy's vast domain name repository. On every package you can increase hosting capacity on demand directly from your account – handy.

02. Media Temple

With web hosting powering more than 1.5 million websites in 100 different countries, Media Temple has the experience and expertise to put your mind at ease. But don't think that it only deals in big business: Media Temple has hosting platforms and packages tailored for everything from simple portfolio sites to multinational corporate behemoths. 

Although not the cheapest, Media Temple insists that it gives you more for your money with fast hardware (with regular investment in hardware innovation), strong software, and great service and support.

03. WP Engine

WordPress is still the most popular website builder, and WP Engine is a WordPress hosting wizard. Whether you have a small portfolio site or a larger multi-site setup for your design organisation, WP Engine has a plan for you. 

You can try out any of the WP Engine plans free for 60 days, and with a free site migration service and free SSL certificate, switching over is simple and secure.

04. Namecheap

As the name suggests, Namecheap is cheap. At least, its basic packages are super-cheap, but they offer almost nothing but some token server space. Startups can begin with the Value pack ($9.88/£7.63 for the first year, $38.88/£30.03 per year thereafter) and upgrade as your site grows.

After that you'll probably want to use the Ultimate plan, which gives you unlimited storage, unlimited hosting and up to 50 websites. This costs $29.88/£23.08 for the first year then $129.88/£100.32 per year thereafter.

05. 1&1

At under a dollar a month for the first year, 1&1's Basic package will literally get you started for pennies. That will give you enough to kick things off on your site, until the fee is bumped up to $7.99/£5.99 per month after 12 months. 

At that point you would probably be better switching to the Unlimited Plus package for only two dollars/pounds more per month. That gives you unlimited storage, databases, websites and email accounts, and full SSL certificate support on top.

06. OVH

OVH's cheapest Personal plan gives a full 100GB of disk space and unlimited traffic (which we take to mean bandwidth), but only 200MB of database. 

That means that for anything but a portfolio-type site you would be better off with the Professional plan, giving 250GB of storage and four databases, still at a very reasonable £5.63/€4.99 per month with no fee staircasing after a year, unlike some rivals.

07. SiteGround

SiteGround's basic plan is termed StartUp, and as you'd expect it gives you the web hosting features that you'd need for a new website or an existing blog, portfolio, or small business website. After your first year, you'll pay $9.95/£8.34 per month.

SiteGround is keen to make web hosting as simple and site transfer as undaunting as possible – included is a free drag-and-drop website builder, free site migration, and one of its support team will call to guide you through your set-up.

08. DreamHost

DreamHost is keeping things simple – there is only one plan (which comes with a 97-day money-back guarantee) and it provides a free domain for your first year. 

That's along with annual hosting plans, free domain privacy protection and SSL/TLS certificates, and unlimited storage, bandwidth and domain hosting.

09. Heart Internet

Heart Internet is a UK-based web hosting service that provides packages with a minimum of 5GB storage, 30GB bandwidth and 1,000 email boxes. The beginner package is £2.49 per month plus a £10 set-up fee, which is perfect for small websites, portfolios and low-traffic ecommerce. 

You can administer your site using a mobile app, and Heart provides free support all year round.

10. CWCS

If you hate the thought of being put on hold every time you need technical assistance, CWCS could be the web hosting service for you – its live dedicated technical support is available at all times by telephone, email and live chat, with immediate response to emergency support tickets. 

And it promises to respond to emails within 90 minutes. Its optional free 12-month hardware upgrade is something you won't find with most rivals, either.

11. Simply Hosting

Formerly known as Poundhost, Simply Hosting is a UK-based web hosting service that majors on providing dependable, dedicated servers. Its server range starts at £29 per month, but Simply Hosting prides itself in offering bespoke packages tailored to your needs with a bewildering array of configurations available. 

You can increase your bandwidth for a smidge extra outlay, add more storage, speed up your connection – whatever suits your site's requirements.

12. Fasthosts

Fasthosts provide a well-judged web hosting package called Ignite, which provides 10GB of web hosting space, two 1GB databases, basic SEO tools and 24/7 support. After the first year's introductory rate expires, the price of this plan rises to £5 per month.

A secure certificate will necessitate purchasing the next-level Momentum product, but for £7 (for the first 12 months, and £10 after) you also get double the space, 10 times the storage, three websites and advanced SEO tools.

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