The best Web Hosting Providers for 2020 (Part 2)

This is Part 2 for the best web hosting providers for 2020. You can find Part 1 easily here.


mocha

MochaHost

As dedicated coffee fans, we love the name MochaHost. The company has a wide range of offerings, but by far, the stand-out feature MochaHost provides is a 180-day money-back guarantee. That’s the best we’ve seen so far, and it removed just about all of the risks from any hosting experience.

Overall, we were impressed with how customer-centric the company’s offerings are. For example, unlike some of the hosting providers we’ve profiled (and deducted points from), MochaHost’s published prices don’t balloon once you’ve settled in with its service. It has a lifetime price-lock guarantee.

You get other customer-centric bonuses for 24/7 customer support, including 24/7 toll-free callback phone support, free domain name and SSL certificates for as long as you remain a MochaHost customer, a website builder with 500 free templates (and a service that will custom-design your site if you need) and a site migration service. In addition, all plans are e-commerce ready and come with free shopping cart software.

For more business-oriented customers, it offers a full range of VPS and cloud hosting, along with serious Java Tomcat hosting, including shared and private JVMs, as well as Java VPS offerings. With a company named MochaHost, you’d expect some quality Java support and it has it. So brew yourself a cuppa, open a browser window and give MochaHost a spin. You have half a year to make up your mind, so if it turns out MochaHost really isn’t your cup of tea, it’ll understand.


300x250-hub-logo

Web Hosting Hub 

  • Shared hosting starting at $4.99/mo.
  • WordPress hosting starting at $4.99/mo.

Web Hosting Hub has an entry-level starting price, but some surprisingly valuable benefits for such a low-price entrant.

In particular, Web Hosting Hub uses BoldGrid as a site builder. BoldGrid is actually an add-on to WordPress, so there’s no lock-in. This overcomes the major problem of most site builders: you’re locked into that host and that tool, often requiring you to completely rebuild your site if you want to expand. By using a WordPress-based solution, all of the rather considerable power of WordPress is available for future expansion.

We liked how Web Hosting Hub describes its new customer process. It tells new customers, “We walk you through setting up your account in a personal on-boarding call.” The company has a few other wins as well. It offers an all-SSD infrastructure, automatic vulnerability patches and a custom firewall, SSH access for certain plans, free site migration and an excellent 90-day money-back guarantee.


Other hosting providers

Web Hosting Pad

Web Hosting Pad has a strong international presence. The company has servers in the US, Hong Kong, mainland China, and Korea, and you can specify which server and location you want when you sign up.

In terms of what many vendors call unlimited service, Web Hosting Pad’s terms of service indicate that its definition of unlimited is what it calls “incremental.” Basically, as you need more capability, it wants to discuss that with you, both to help you get the most out of its services, and to make sure you’re using its systems without abusing them.

The company’s entry-point pricing is extremely low, and while this will buy you up to three years of very low-cost hosting, do be aware that its post-promotion price will increase substantially, putting its subsequent year pricing more in line with the rest of its competitors. That said, we liked its 24/7 phone customer support, SSD support on some plans and 30-day money-back guarantee.


HostPapa

Established back in 1998, HostPapa operates three state-of-the-art data centers. Equipped with multiple GigE fiber connections to the internet backbone, the company built out seismically braced racks and cabinets, fully-redundant Liebert HVAC cooling systems, a diesel generator that can run for weeks and a preaction dry pipe fire suppression system.

All of this infrastructure has been built out to support a wide range of hosting services. The family-owned company gains points for understanding the importance of transaction security by offering free AutoSSL and Let’s Encrypt SSL encryption for its plans. While the company offers sophisticated services for technically strong clients, it also has a Weebly web builder option to get you up and running quickly.

Some plans offer SSD performance, and while there’s no uptime monitoring provided, the company also gained a nod for its offering of both Linux and Windows plans.

For the technically inclined, SSH access is available for a $2/mo upcharge, as is a dedicated IP address. The company allows for backup through its various dashboards and permits customers to build scripts to automate the backup process. While the company doesn’t automatically perform malware scans, you can request one if desired.


BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a bit different from our other hosting plans in that it’s a SaaS (software-as-a-service) provider instead of an IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) provider. In other words, rather than renting space on a virtual machine where you setup and configure your own site, BigCommerce provides you with an app you login to that creates and online store.

So instead of worrying about servers and hosting applications, SSH and cPanel, you’re going to be paying more attention to the business applications you can integrate with, the selling channels you use and the products and inventory you spotlight.

The key benefit is that, out of the box, you are able to host securely, drive traffic, convert visitors, accept payments, and ship and fulfill orders. There’s even an API so that if you do scale and need special integrations unique to your business, you can make it happen.

Service price varies a lot. There are really two factors: how much you pay per transaction and the features offered. All plans charge $0.30 per transaction plus a percentage.

At the lowest end, you’ll be paying 2.9% of the amount you charge. Bumping up to the Plus plan gets you a lowered 2.5% of the transaction fee and adds Google customer reviews, the ability for customers to filter their product searches and custom SSL (a security certificate you may have already purchased).

The Pro plan is costly, but you get a lot. First, you share considerably less of each transaction’s cost, down to 2.2%. Then, on top of the Plus plan features, you get even more customized filtering, price lists, unlimited API calls, can have sales up to $400K per month, and get premium hosting account services.

If your hosting needs lean towards setting up an online store first and foremost, give BigCommerce a look.


GreenGeeks 

  • Shared hosting starting at $2.95/mo.
  • WordPress hosting starting at $2.95/mo.
  • Reseller hosting starting at $19.95/mo.
  • VPS hosting starting at $5/mo.
  • Dedicated servers starting at $169/mo.

If you’ve ever been worried about the tremendous amount of power large data centers consume, you might want to sign up with Green Geeks. The “green” in the company’s name reflects the Green Geeks’ commitment to the environment. It purchases three times the energy it actually uses in wind energy credits, essentially putting energy back into the economy. The company does this through a form of renewable energy certificates, which, while a bit complicated, means that it’s not just energy neutral, it’s actually helping fuel the green energy economy.

Just because it’s green doesn’t mean it limits your power to do what you need with your websites. Rather surprisingly, its low-end account provides both SSH and WP-CLI (useful for automated WordPress deployments) access, along with Git preinstalled. It’s also possible to customize PHP and PHP.INI, a capability unheard of on a low-end plan.

The company offers an all-SSD infrastructure, 24/7 phone support, 30-day money-back guarantee, free site migration, and malware detection. The only concern we had is that after your discounted purchase period expires, basic shared hosting jumps to $9.95 per month.


 GlowHost 

GlowHost offers a wide variety of plans for those with very different hosting needs. We were particularly impressed with its media hosting plans, which include offerings for FFmpeg, SHOUTcast and podcast hosting.

The company doesn’t list a virtual private server offering, but it bills its Elastic Sites service as a VPS alternative, offering the ease of use of a simple shared hosting plan and the performance and scalability of a VPS. GlowHost also offers a number of different cloud hosting plans, with special attention to providing enterprise-grade services.

GlowHost earned our kudos for its 91-day money-back guarantee. It’s six days short of DreamHost’s 97-day guarantee, but with these numbers, who’s quibbling over a few days? The company also offers 24/7/365 phone support option and free cPanel offering for most plans. The company operates 18 data centers worldwide. Finally, the company garnered extra kudos by driving all its hosting services with wind power.


1&1 IONOS 

  • Shared hosting starting at $4/mo.
  • WordPress hosting starting at $1/mo.
  • VPS hosting starting at $2/mo.
  • Dedicated server starting at $45/mo.
  • Cloud hosting starting at $15/mo.

1&1 IONOS provides a wide range of hosting services, along with a full e-commerce stack, domain name registration, Office 365 solutions, and online marketing programs.

The company also offers higher-end Windows and Linux servers, available with Plesk and cPanel respectively. We were very intrigued to see that the company offers low-end Atom-based dedicated servers as well as the more traditional Xeon-based machines. One great resource for those doing some basic experimentation, or site development, is that it has a free, three-month trial for one of its lightly equipped Atom servers.

Be careful when placing an order with this company. Most of its plans jump in price after a year, but some (like dedicated servers) jump after six months, and the buck-a-month advertised basic web hosting plan jumps to $4 per month after just a month of service.

Good phone, email and chat tech support, along with SSD-based hosting for faster performance and a free SSL certificate round out the offerings.


SiteGround 

  • Shared hosting starting at $3.95/mo.
  • WordPress hosting starting at $3.95/mo.
  • Reseller server starting at $42/year.
  • Cloud hosting starting at $80/mo.

SiteGround sits in the middle ground between a consumer web hosting provider and those who cater to enterprise business solutions. If you’ve got a small business with more complex web needs than a typical small business, SiteGround is an ideal solution.

Although offerings start as low as $3.95 per month, we particularly like the company’s GoGeek plan, which is chock full of useful features, including access to a staging server and one-click Git repo creation.

There’s a lot to like about SiteGround, but the company did lose some points due to its policy of more than doubling your hosting costs after the first year. That nice $3.95/mo price shoots up to $11.95 per month. The company calls it the first-year discount, but that’s in very tiny, light gray print.

On the plus side, SiteGround offers free automatic daily backups, access to the Cloudflare CDN, high-performance SSDs for all plans, unlimited email accounts and integration of the free LetsEncrypt SSL certificate into sites. The company does limit bandwidth and storage, but even those who claim to offer so-called unlimited bandwidth and storage really have some limits in its terms of service.

SiteGround is proactive about protecting its customers’ security. It has a dedicated security team that writes necessary patches and web firewall rules that help mitigate zero-day vulnerabilities. It also uses an AI-based system to monitor and apply fixes to all its servers dynamically.

Finally, the company offers an entire tier of custom enterprise business services. So, if you start out with a small business and do GrowBig (as its midtier plan is named), you’ll be able to stay with the company no matter how big you get.