Looking for the best shared hosting providers? We’ve got you covered. We go into detail on the most popular shared hosts so far this year and why you should be using them.
Most companies these days offer a shared hosting package that will give you everything you need to get started. However what you get with one provider will differ with another.
Below is our rundown of the top shared hosting companies right now based on our very strict checklist.
Best Shared Hosting in 2018
Each site below has been rigorously tested by our in-house geeks, who eat and sleep hosting (yes, they are very weird like that).
1. SiteGround: THE BEST and the easiest for novice hosters
2. Bluehost: RUNNER UP and perfect if you're on a budget
3. A2 Hosting: Very fast with great support
4. HostGator: Very reliable and affordable
Why are They the Best Shared Web Hosting Sites?
Shared hosting has it’s drawbacks, but if you can find a quality provider (ahem, pick any from the list above), then you’re going to be in good hands.
The technology has come a long way and it’s very easy to find a decent host that’s affordable. The reason we have chosen these hosts and the “best”, is because they met our stringent criteria of:
Everyone wants great support, so we need to make sure that each support team responds quickly and helps us to resolve any issues we have. The worst kind of support is one that directs you to articles or forums and doesn’t help you directly. The best shared web hosts all offer AMAZING support.
Price is a big factor when it comes to cheap hosting like shared. So we’ve checked each company to see if they can meet a certain level of standard, whilst sticking to a good price point.
There’s nothing more annoying than signing up for an account and having to wait several hours for it to be set up. Each of the providers listed will set your new account up on the shared server inside of 90 minutes.
Quick Note Setup happens immediately after you create an account and pay. You'll usually receive a support email seconds after with the instructions of what to do next.
Ease of use
Who has time to learn how their hosting panel or backend works? Not us. That’s why it was essential to find hosts that made it super easy to do anything within the account. For example... setup forwarding emails, add new “addon” domains, install the free 3rd party apps etc.
Unlimited bandwidth, domains, shared SSL certificates and free apps are all part of the package that top providers offer to new customers. These are everything we look for in a shared account.
They have a guarantee of at least 99.99% uptime, meaning your site very rarely goes down and if it does, it will only be down for a couple of minutes.
What is Shared Web Hosting and How it Works (for Non-Techies)
Shared hosting is simply one server or a cluster of servers, which house multiple accounts under the same IP address. So you will be one of hundreds (if not thousands) of websites/blogs all hosted on the same server.
It’s an incredibly efficient and cost effective approach to hosting that most people start out with when launching a blog, site or small business project.
Whenever you create a new account with any provider you allocated a specific server, allowing you to point your domain towards them and use the same server setup/resources of everyone else.
Speed: Unlike a dedicated server, shared hosts can set you up in a matter of minutes.
Easy to use: The control panel or UI for all shared accounts is usually cPanel which is incredibly easy to use.
Affordable: Super cheap for everyone, you can never complain about the prices. There are even free shared hosting plans out there (not recommended though).
Sometimes slow: Because you’re on the same server as hundreds of other servers, if any other account gets a surge in traffic, it will slow your site down too.
No direct server control: You won’t get any in-depth direct server access. Only what you see on the front end. This is ok for most people just starting out though.
Same IP: Each server uses a dedicated IP address which you will be sharing. This is considered risky for multiple reasons. However it’s now possible to buy a dedicated IP just for your account.
Who Should use a Shared Host?
There are several reasons why you should consider using shared web hosting over everything other type of hosting on the market.
If any of the following four things make you think “Yep, that’s what I want!”, then you should be using shared hosting.
Quick account setup: You want a hassle free setup, with no frustration and manual configuration. Saving you hours of headache.
Very affordable: You don’t want to spend a lot of money. Obviously! Cheap shared hosting is an important motivating factor for you.
Simple to use UI: You want 1-click installs and step by step everything. Nothing is too hard to create or setup and you won’t feel lost.
Dedicated support: You want unscripted, 24/7 support that will help you with whatever you need.
As we said early, most people are fine using a shared environment. The only time you won’t need to use it is if you are going to be getting a ton of traffic or you need to ramp up on the security side of things.
Shared vs Cloud Hosting (or Even VPS)
You may have heard about cloud hosting and wondered how it compared to shared. There are pros and cons for both, but the short answer is... it really depends what you want.
Quick Note If your top priorities were saving money, getting setup quickly and top notch support, then you should choose shared.
However, if you want to spend a little more money, think you will scale quickly and need very good load times for your site or blog, then cloud hosting might be a better option. The top shared hosts have all types of hosting and can help you migrate if needed though.
Shared Hosting FAQ’s
If you can’t see an answer to your question below, just get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to answer whatever question you have.
Is shared hosting secure?
Yes. Without a doubt it’s very secure. There are some folks (experts) who will say it’s not, but they are usually referring to running custom sites and apps that are resource heavy with highly sensitive data. For the average person, shared servers are very safe.
How much traffic can shared handle?
Quite a lot actually, more than you might think and it’s fine for the majority of folks. However if you are getting more than a thousand unique visitors a day, then you’re going to want to upgrade to either cloud, VPS or dedicated hosting.
PRO TIP If you don't want to spend too much money, sign up for a free Cloudflare account, point the nameservers to them and they will eat up the bandwidth that is draining your shared host. BOOM! Faster and no more money spent.
Does shared hosting affect SEO?
The short answer is no. There was a point a while back when it was considered an issue because hundreds or thousands of people can use the same IP at the same time, but no, shared hosting will not have any impact on your SEO.
What’s better, Linux or Windows shared hosting?
This very much depends on if you want to build specific apps or websites that work with the server. If you are using PHP, then go with shared linux hosting. If you are using ASP then go with shared windows hosting.
Best Shared Hosting Plans: The Bottom Line
So know you know who are the top shared web hosts, you should be able to make the right choice in deciding on a provider.
Even though we strongly recommend you try SiteGround as they offer rock solid shared hosting services, in all honesty you can choose any company from the list above and you’ll be happy.
But... here’s the deal:
Don’t get bogged down with the technical details, because they will all start to sound the same. Your main focus should be on what you want most in a host and then running with that.
Also don’t forget, most of them offer a money back guarantee. So if you’re not happy with the service, just cancel and sign up for something else!