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Our Best Web Hosting Picks of 2014

We've performed in depth research on the leading web hosting service providers. We compared their pricing, features, bandwidth and storage space, ease of use, support and more to help you determine which hosting provider is right for your personal or small business website.

Last Update: December 1, 2014
Ranking Criteria: *The rankings and ratings expressed on this site are the opinion of Consumer-Rankings.com and are subject to change based on our ranking criteria seen above. To keep this valuable service free, we generate advertising revenue from some of the companies featured across our site.
Best Overall
iPage offers industry-leading features at unbelievably low prices. Their services include Integrated Google Tools, an easy to use…
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Our Rating:
User Rating:
*9.6/10
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Visit iPage.com
#2
Best Overall
1&1 provides customers with affordable and reliable hosting options. All of their hosting packages include a free domain…
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Our Rating:
User Rating:
*9.6/10
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Visit 1&1.com
#3
Best Overall
We love that BlueHost utilizes custom designed in-house servers and software to ensure optimal performance for every type…
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Our Rating:
User Rating:
*9.2/10
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Visit Bluehost.com
#4
Best Overall
HostGator's "Unlimited" hosting approach offers unlimited disk space, bandwidth & email while still guaranteeing 99.9% up-time. Bonus: Powered…
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Our Rating:
User Rating:
*9.2/10
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Visit HostGator.com
#5
Best Overall
JustHost lives up to its name by providing everything you need to get up & running: site builder…
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Our Rating:
User Rating:
*9.1/10
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Visit JustHost.com
#6
Best Overall
FatCow offers simplistic web hosting powered by 100% wind energy. Each hosting plan includes a free mobile site…
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Our Rating:
User Rating:
*8.9/10
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Visit FatCow.com
#7
Best Overall
Yahoo Small Business Hosting seamlessly integrates Yahoo's many online merchant solutions. They even have a Live Web Insights…
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Our Rating:
User Rating:
*8.4/10
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Visit Yahoo.com
#8
Best Overall
GoDaddy's massive infrastructure from its domain registration business allows them to offer incredibly scalable services with simple, one-click…
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Our Rating:
User Rating:
*7.9/10
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Visit GoDaddy.com
#9
Best Overall
Founded in 1999, IX Web Hosting is a home-grown service based in Ohio, that provides full-featured and reliable…
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Our Rating:
User Rating:
*7.9/10
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Visit IXWebHosting
#10
Best Overall
Arvixe knows hosting; specializing in VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated services. Even their "Personal Class Hosting" enjoys a 99.9%…
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Our Rating:
User Rating:
*7.9/10
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Visit Arvixe.com

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Tips for Choosing a Web Hosting Service

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a web host is your needs: just like it wouldn't make sense to use a smaller web host if you're building a huge website that requires multiple servers, it wouldn't make sense to pay for a lot of storage and features you're not going to use if you're launching a small blog. If you are planning on starting with a small site that will become very large, your best bet is to choose a basic package with unlimited disk space, which will give you enough space for all of the pages you'd like to have and make you to accessible through search engines. When your website expands, you'll always have the option of switching to a large host later to accommodate your traffic.

The more you know about the different features and publishing tools that are available, the more you can make your website an inviting environment for visitors. Also, try to grasp the more complex technological specs of each web host. Even if it sounds like jargon to you now, it will begin to make more and more sense as start understanding the different features each host offers.

Once you feel grounded in these technological aspects, make sure your website has features in place to find the customers that you're trying to reach. Almost all web hosts provide means of reaching consumers through free advertisement credits. Shopping carts and multiple email addresses can have a big impact on how professional you look to interested consumers. Checking security features would also be a good idea if you're trying to set up a small shopping website, as well as CMS availability and integration for each web host. Remember, the more you know, the better website you'll ultimately have.

Web Hosting Prices

Many web hosting services let you choose from several types of packages, each with a different price and slightly different range of offerings. The prices can range from $4.25/month to over $40/month. These price differentials can be attributed to the different features included within each plan and to the eagerness of some newer hosting companies, such as iPage, to grow their brand by offering extremely low rates. In order to help you stay within your budget, we've compared the prices of the best web hosting services of 2012 across all the plans they offer.

Bandwidth and Disk Space

Even if you're planning a small site, you should look for a minimum of 5 GB of disk space and 250 GB of bandwidth from your web hosting plan. While this may be enough for most websites, it's important to note that many web hosts such as FatCow are offering an unlimited amount of both at a price that's comparable to more limited plans. Our side-by-side comparison shows what each host offers to help you decide which plan will best suit your needs.

Ease of Use

Choosing an easy-to-use web host is particularly important if you are new to web hosting. We set up accounts with several web hosting services and used each control panel for a variety of tasks in order to evaluate the ease of use. Since only StartLogic lets you test out their control panel with a free demo, we've recorded our findings to help you determine which control panel will be easiest for you to use.

Customer Support

Both web professionals and novice webmasters will likely need assistance from their web host's customer support staff at some point. Since nearly every hosting company promises impeccable support, we put them to the test to show you how helpful and friendly each support team truly was. We tested the hold times, relevance of the response and politeness of both phone and chat representatives. We also tested the email responses of each web host. Finally, we surveyed the self-help services offered by each web host, in case you prefer to find answers independently.

Standard Web Hosting Features

One thing that tends to complicate the decision of choosing a web host is the large (and often unnecessary) features list that each service provides. Although price, bandwidth and disk space are often the biggest determining factors, it's also important to evaluate what other features and add-ons each host offers. Our comprehensive features comparison will help you determine which host offers the features you want. Or, if you're not sure exactly which features your website will need, take a look at our comparison to determine which ones sound helpful and which ones may not be worth the added expense.

Uptime and Page Load Time

Of primary importance to the success of your website is whether or not your visitors will be able to load your site's pages quickly and to see at a glance what your site is all about. While we found iPage to live up to it's 100% uptime guarantee, we were surprised to see that HostGator fell short of it's 99% guarantee. We tested the uptime and page load time of the best hosting services to help you determine which ones are more reliable.

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