Ranked: The Three Best Web Hosts on the Planet in 2017 (Based on Speed, Reliability & Security)
I didn’t do my research, I didn’t look at the features, and I ended up choosing the first web host I came across.
The web host I chose was slow (it took ages to load my site). It was unreliable (my site was regularly offline, for no good reason). And the service was terrible (I couldn’t get through to the customer service team when something went wrong).
It’s infuriating when your site doesn’t work. And it took me a while to realize that my web host was the problem.
Flash forward to today, and I’ve now tested dozens of web hosts – good and bad. Your web host is just too important to get wrong. It’s your website’s engine. It determines everything from:
- Security (a good host will help prevent you getting hacked)
- Peace of mind
A poor web host will cause a slow and unreliable performance. And that affects loyalty and trust of your visitors. It will even drag your sales and conversions down.
It’s that important.
So I’ve pulled together three outstanding web hosts. The best of the best. They are fast, reliable and affordable.
How Do We Test Web Hosts?
We never recommend a web host we haven’t rigorously tested or used ourselves. In fact, we use one of the recommended hosts to power this website (Inmotion hosting, if you’re wondering).
For the others, we set up staging sites and test sites to measure the five key things that matter most to you:
- Speed Speed is the core of a good web host. We created the Bitcatcha server speed checker to measure exactly how long it takes for your server to respond. And then we rank it against thousands of others. Most other online speed tools measure the total website load time. We test just the web host. So it’s super accurate.
- Reliability We expect a web host to deliver at least 99.8% “uptime”. We start by gathering the web host’s official uptime figures, but we also measure the uptime ourselves too by setting up test sites and recording uptime with uptimerobot.com.
- Customer service If you’re running a website, you want to know you can contact someone if things start going wrong. We test every web host’s service through chat, tickets and phone.
- User interface and user experience Web hosts are complicated, but their UI doesn’t need to be. We explore behind the scenes and make sure it’s user-friendly.
- Security We look for all the features that ensure your web site stays secure and safe from hackers. (Features like auto-updates, backups, malware scanners etc.)
When we recommend a web host, you can trust that we’ve done our research, tested, and then tested again! So what are the top three web hosts for 2017?
- cPanel & SSH access
- Free CloudFlare CDN
- Free daily backup
- Priority tech. support
"Best for everyone! E-commerce, business, global sites, super affiliates and bloggers."
SiteGround is the perfect all-rounder. It’s fast, reliable and super secure. Let’s start with its best feature: speed.
- Speed Siteground recorded the highest results on Bitcatcha’s server speed checker, making it the fastest web host on the market in 2017. And it’s not just fast in America. It uses data centers situated all over the globe to ensure lightning fast load times across the planet. No matter where your audience is located, your site will load instantly.
SiteGround also gives you free access to CloudFlare. CloudFlare is a ‘content delivery network’ (CDN) which stores your website data on servers all over the world. So if someone visits your website in Japan, your site will load from a server near Japan. Fast and efficient.
- Reliability We set up a test site using SiteGround and the reliability stats are phenomenal. We recorded a 100% uptime on our test site. It never went down.
- Customer service You can contact SiteGround 24/7 via live chat, phone and a ticketing system. Replies are almost instant when submitted by phone or chat. And tickets usually receive a response within ten minutes. You also get a personal profile of the person you’re talking to. So you know who they are and what their expertise is.
- Security SiteGround’s systems and servers automatically block malicious bots and attackers. It also comes with a free SSL certificate (through “Let’s Encrypt”) which adds encryption to transactions on your site. Security rules are updated weekly, and they run the most up-to-date software. While nothing is completely bulletproof, SiteGround keeps on top of all the biggest threats.
- Usability Behind the scenes, SiteGround is simple, easy to use and intuitive. You won’t feel lost or frustrated when you’re making changes.
- The technical details SiteGround uses an SSD (solid state drive) on all servers to give it 1000x increase in performance output. It also has a built in ‘SuperCacher’ that boosts load speed. SiteGround is also one of the sites to employ HTTP/2 which is faster and more secure (because it requires encryption).
- Cost The popular package (GrowBig) is just $5.95, which grows to $14.95 for renewal. It is the most expensive of our top three, but it justifies the price with a super-charged performance.
Any Downsides for SiteGround?
SiteGround is the only one of our top three hosts to place a limit on storage and bandwidth. You’ll need to upgrade if you get more than 25,000 visitors per month or exceed 20GB storage.
What Customer Says?
Ralph de Groot (SiteGround user since 2008)
On getting started: “I signed up with [SiteGround] and within five minutes I was ready to go.” On their customer service: “I need to solve problems fast. SiteGround usually responds in 15 minutes.”
- Max Speed Zones™
- Unlimited data transfer
- PHP7 & SSD included
- SSH access
- 24×7 US support
"intermediate level user, professional blogger, all sized websites, US-audiences."
I use Inmotion Hosting here for the Bitcatcha website. That’s how much I trust it. It’s super fast and reliable, and we are pleased to offer all our readers an exclusive 56% discount too.
- Speed Inmotion Hosting scores an A+ grade for global speed on the Bitcatcha speed tool – our highest rating. It’s especially fast in the US where it has two data centers (on the east coast and the west coast for complete coverage). Inmotion also uses Max Speed Zones, which makes sure every visitor is served by the closest data center.
- Reliability Like SiteGround, Inmotion Hosting also recorded a 100% uptime. Even better than their advertised uptime.
- Security Inmotion Hosting comes with a free SSL certificate which makes sure all transactions on your site are encrypted. It also offers automatic backups in case your site is hacked (you’ll usually pay extra for this service with other hosts). Lastly, Inmotion runs malware protection to protect against the most common threats.
- Customer service Inmotion Hosting boasts that it received 27,000 compliments in 2016, and we can advocate for its good customer service. You can get in touch by phone, live chat or ticket. But if you prefer to use Skype, you can use that too.
- User experience The host uses a customer login system called ‘AMP’ (Account Management Panel). It’s not quite as clean and intuitive as SiteGround or HostGator, but it’s still very user friendly. There’s also the familiar cPanel which is universal across most hosts.
Note: if you already have a host elsewhere, Inmotion Hosting’s free transfer service is incredibly simple and user-friendly.
- Technical details Experienced developers will find a lot to love here. You can use a wide variety of programming languages. It also utilizes PHP7 by default, which is the fastest, most efficient new way to execute code.
- Cost The entry-level package starts at $3.49 (growing to $7.98 upon renewal). That makes it slightly more affordable than SiteGround and it includes unlimited bandwidth and storage. It’s also worth noting Inmotion’s 90-day money back guarantee, which is far more generous than the others on this list.
Any Downsides for Inmotion Hosting?
The user interface isn’t as clean as others and the server response time is a little slower than SiteGround.
What Customer Says
Kathryn Marr (Inmotion user since 2013)
On customer service: “The representative was polite, spoke English well, and was able to completely restore a backup… I do recommend Inmotion Hosting to everyone of my clients.”
- Unlimited resources
- cPanel included
- Instant backups
- Free website builder
- No contract with 45-day money back
"Ideal for beginners, portfolio websites, personal, small business website, bloggers"
HostGator was originally known for its ‘budget’ hosting. And while it’s still affordable, it is much, much more than a cheap host. The servers are among the fastest in the world, and it boasts one of the slickest user dashboards.
- Speed HostGator also scores A+ on the Bitcatcha server speed checker, making it faster than most. However, it is slightly slower than SiteGround and Inmotion Hosting. This may be because there’s no mention of PHP7 which the other two use to execute faster systems. Still, server response is almost instant, especially in the US.
- Reliability We set up a test site using HostGator and it recorded a 99.98% uptime.
- Security HostGator features an automatic weekly backup. But if you want more sophisticated security features (like daily malware scans), you will have to buy an extra package. Free SSL certificates are available to those who purchase the more expensive cloud hosting.
- Customer service HostGator’s support team is responsive and knowledgeable. Support is available 24/7 via phone, chat and ticket system, and they are particularly fast when you’re logged in as a customer.
- User experience This is one area where HostGator beats the competition. If you’re new to web hosting, HostGator makes it incredibly simple. The dashboards are slick and simple. It’s intuitive and easy to understand.
- Technical details We think HostGator is best suited to beginner-intermediate users, but it still comes with plenty of advanced features. Expect phpMyAdmin access and MySQL databases, as well as support for most major programming languages and modules.
- Cost HostGator starts at $7.17 (growing to $11.95 upon renewal) for the ‘Essentials (Baby)’ plan. The price bases on 12-month subscription using our exclusive coupon code ‘bitcatcha‘.
Any Downsides for HostGator?
There’s a lack of built-in security features and advanced users might miss the expert features of SiteGround and Inmotion Hosting.
What Customer Says?
Kevin Adkins (HostGator user since 2011)
On his favourite thing about HostGator: “Fast loading times. I have tried many other hosting companies and my websites load fastest from HostGator’s servers.”
Best of The Rest
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, take a look at these ten additional web hosts.
The perfect all rounder for all type of websites.
Ideal for beginners with option to upgrade.
Super fast Turbo-Server that is optimized for WordPress.
Build something decent on a tight budget.
300% green! Leave no carbon footprint!
An old-school host with solid features and budget pricing.
Recommended by WordPress.org
Fully managed WordPress hosting
Bottom Line: Choosing The Right Host
Searching for the right web host can be exhausting, and it’s not always easy to distinguish between the different companies. But when you break down the performance in speed, reliability and security, there are three clear winners. If you’re looking for an all-round solution, there’s no better choice than SiteGround – it’s the fastest host we tested and scored 100% uptime. Inmotion Hosting is a close second with similarly powerful performance, and beginners might prefer the simplicity and affordability of HostGator.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to drop us a message.