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Best Cheap Web Hosting

Best Cheap Web Hosting

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Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top picks? The best cheap web hosting service for most people is Hostinger or DreamHost.

There’s no need to pay a fortune for web hosting if you’re launching a new website. Cheap web hosting will work just fine.

But how cheap is too cheap? There are a lot of attractive options out there. Separating the good deals from the scams is important.

If you are looking for a lowest price on hosting, there are really only one or two dozen reputable vendors to consider. That list gets even smaller when it comes to cheap web hosting plans that actually deliver good service.

Ready to get your site online for as little as possible? These are my top picks, followed by a brief guide to help you assess your options.

#1 – Hostinger Review — The Best Web Hosting Plan Under $2

Hostinger has the absolute cheapest price for hosting at $1.99 per month for the Single Shared Hosting plan. So what’s the catch?

You have to sign up for a 48-month contract, which sounds a little heavy. But, bear with me. 

Four years of Single Shared is going to cost less than a single year of hosting through most other providers. 

Seriously, other low-budget hosting plans are still twice to four times as expensive. Plus, the introductory rates you get with competitors might skyrocket when you have to renew. Once the honeymoon period is over, you might be looking at $10 or more each month.

With Hostinger on the other hand, your rate for shared hosting goes from $1.99 to just $3.99/month upon renewal. That’s still a great price.

In other words, the Hostinger full rate is still less than introductory rates from other good cheap hosting options.

Okay, great. But I know you’re thinking the low rate must mean that there are annoying domain limits and few free tools to build your business. 

Untrue. Hostinger is loaded to the brim with features and function.

Hostinger’s Single Shared Hosting plan supports one site, and includes:

100 GB bandwidth30 GB storage1 email accountFree SSL certificate99.9% uptime guarantee24/7/365 customer supportOptimized for WordPress with one-click installationUser-friendly control panelCloudflare protected nameservers

There’s no free domain name included, which isn’t a big deal if you already have one. Bluehost and DreamHost come with a free domain name for the first year, but higher per-month rates.

If you need a free domain name, more storage, or unlimited bandwidth, Hostinger lets you upgrade your plan while keeping costs low:

Say you need to move to Premium Shared Hosting to support another site. That will cost $3.49/month to start and $6.99/month when you renew. That’s not going to break the bank, and you can host up to 100 websites.

Hostinger does a lot to ensure that the service is easy to use. Set up takes minutes and absolutely zero technical skill.

If you ever have issues, Hostinger’s customer service is always available and has a phenomenal reputation. The company gets you in the door with budget-friendly prices, and keeps you around with quality support.

Choose Hostinger for the lowest per-month plan on the market. Try it today risk-free, as Hostinger will refund your purchase if you aren’t happy within the first 30 days.

#2 – DreamHost Review — The Lowest Spend on Day One

Not everyone wants to sign a long contract for hosting, but you usually have to in order to get the lowest price. Typically, you have to pay the whole amount upfront, which can get expensive even when you are looking at cheap plans.

DreamHost offers similar discounts if you want to sign a contract, but if you don’t, DreamHost’s month-to-month pricing is the lowest out there. 

DreamHost Shared Starter is only $1.99/month for one site. No contract necessary.

There’s really no way to get a lower price without a commitment. This can be really important for cash-strapped startups betting on growth. Instead of a big upfront spend, they can budget a predictable monthly hosting cost into the equation.

Freedom isn’t free, they say, and it’s especially true with hosting. Many young companies have found themselves locked into a long contract with no way out. Now they’re spending money on a service they don’t like at a time when every dollar counts.

With DreamHost, you can still get cheap hosting, but you don’t have any of the long-term risk that comes with a multi-year contract.

When you look at the month-to-month pricing for other plans on this list, there is no competition. A2 Hosting is $10.99/month, HostGator is $10.95/month, and Hostinger is $9.99 with a $4.99 set up fee.

Bluehost and iPage don’t even offer plans without at least a year-long commitment.

All of these other plans are great, don’t get me wrong, but if you are looking for a no-contract option, DreamHost is the clear leader. Especially because you get such a solid range of features and free tools to build your site:

Unlimited traffic50 GB storageFree SSL certificateFree WordPress website builderFree automated WordPress migrationsAutomated WordPress updates24/7 live chat and ticket support

Like Bluehost, DreamHost is officially recommended by WordPress. The integration is deep and all of the updates are handled automatically. This is good for security purposes and saves you the trouble of doing it yourself.

So you can get all the benefits of tight WordPress integration without the commitment and large down payment required by Bluehost.

Now you might think that no contract would mean no money-back guarantee. The truth is DreamHost has a zero-risk 97-day money-back guarantee. That’s the longest time to try a web host that I know of.

DreamHost offers a Shared Unlimited plan that starts at just $2.99/month that works for an unlimited number of sites:

If you just have one site, Shared Starter is all you need. 

Stop worrying about when the honeymoon period of your introductory pricing is going to end. 

Get DreamHost and pay a low, predictable rate each month. No more contracts, no more inflexible commitments. Just reliable hosting at a consistent price.

Try DreamHost today and use it risk-free for more than 3 months!

#3 – Bluehost Review — The Best for New Sites (Especially WordPress)

There’s probably no easier way to get your new website off the ground than with Bluehost. And it won’t cost you much at all, as the company offers incredibly feature-rich shared hosting starting at $2.95/month.

For most people with a new site—especially if it is their first site—Bluehost is what they want.

If you are building a WordPress site, I really recommend checking out your options at Bluehost. The company is one of only three hosting providers that is officially recommended by WordPress. The integration is amazing and installation is automatic.

We’ll talk more about why it’s so good for WordPress in a second, but I want to talk about why it’s good for just about anyone with a new site.

First off, Bluehost has some of the cheapest hosting rates around. And even the most basic plans are loaded with features and value. 

You get a free domain name for the first year. Not only do you get to skip that expense, but the convenience of registering your domain through Bluehost cuts down on the time it takes to go live.

If this is your first site ever, you will be grateful at how simple the process is. If you’ve built sites before, you will really appreciate everything that’s done for you. 

For example, you get a free SSL certificate for your site,and enabling it takes one click on the dashboard. This is critical for keeping all of the information on your site secure and lets visitors know that the site is safe to visit.

You can get free SSL certificates from other places, but they will not be this easy to install, trust me. And you will have to renew them every couple months. 

With Bluehost, it’s completely hands-off and you are always protected.

You also get a free content delivery network (CDN) through Bluehost’s partnership with Cloudflare. This is going to improve site speed and performance with near-zero work on your part.

Okay, so on top of the free domain name, SSL certificate, and CDN, Bluehost gives you:

50 GB storageUnmetered bandwidth24/7 customer support via phone and live chat$100 Google Ads creditsAutomatic WordPress installations and updatesCustom WordPress themes30-day full refund if you aren’t satisfied

All of these features are included with the Bluehost Basic shared hosting, which starts at $2.95 per month. If you have to upgrade, prices stay affordable at the higher tiers.

You can even go for the second-most powerful package, Choice Plus, for the same price as the Plus package. Bot offer unlimited websites and storage, but Choice Plus comes with domain privacy included and one year of free automated backups.

One thing to be aware of is that Bluehost renewal rates are about two to three times higher than the introductory rate. This is why I recommend signing up for a long plan to max out the discount period.

Even at full price, though, Bluehost is really competitively priced compared to the field. This is especially true when you consider the long list of features you get and the ease of getting set up.

It’s as hands-free of a hosting experience as you could ask for and when you want to develop your site, all the tools are right there. 

WordPress is automatically installed on Bluehost, for example. This means full integration and automatic WordPress updates. 

With Bluehost shared hosting, you can use another content management system (CMS) besides WordPress if you want. 

But if you know that you are only going to use WordPress, I highly recommend going with one of Bluehost’s WordPress Shared Hosting plans

These start at $2.95/month, which is the same price as regular shared hosting. The difference is that the servers that have been optimized exclusively for WordPress. There’s no other type of software on them, so servers can be better configured and more easily protected.

If you have a new site in mind, make Bluehost your one-stop-shop for getting online. Get everything set up in a single place instead of having to go through a domain registrar. Best of all, you’ll get a great deal in the process.

So if you have a new site: Get Bluehost Basic shared hosting.

And if that new site is a WordPress site: Get Bluehost Basic WordPress hosting.

There’s a reason that more than 2 million sites are hosted through Bluehost. Find out why today.

#4 – A2 Hosting Review — The Best Web Hosting Under $3 for Online Stores

If you grow your ecommerce site past a certain point, the cheapest web hosting options won’t work. But, if you are just getting your online store up and running, there is no better budget-friendly option than A2 Hosting.

In fact, you can get everything you need to launch for $2.99/month with the A2 Startup plan. You’ll have to sign a contract to get the lowest rate, but you’ll be ready to go within minutes.

Along with PayPal integration, the cheapest A2 hosting plan comes with one-click installs for five of the top ecommerce platforms, including WooCommerce, OpenCart, and Magneto. There’s hardly any backend IT work to start selling.

A2 Hosting offers some of the best site speed and security for the price, which are really important for online stores. 

Shoppers won’t stay if your content is slow to load. A2 takes care of all the technical legwork that goes into maintaining high performance servers. It’s compatible with Cloudflare’s free content delivery network, which can boost your speed as well.

Most shoppers won’t even come if Google says your site’s not safe. That’s going to happen if you don’t have an SSL certificate. A2 includes one for free, and it’s always enabled.

This is a huge perk, because you can get free SSL certificates elsewhere, but it’s on you to configure and renew them, which can be frustrating.

Most of the other security benefits are similarly hands off. The virus scanner, firewall, and brute force defense are on autopilot—you’ll receive notification if there’s something you need to do, but A2 handles a lot on its own.

And if you have an issue you can’t solve, A2 will help. Go read reviews. The company has some of the happiest web hosting customers on the planet. If you need to move your old site to A2’s servers, they have a team that will do it for free.

Some of the other excellent benefits of A2 Startup include:

100 GB storageUnlimited bandwidthUnlimited email addresses24/7/365 customer support via phone, live chat, email, and ticketing 99.9% uptime commitmentOptimized WordPress hostingDNS management toolsWebsite staging

Website staging is really useful for online stores. You can test new features and buttons on a page in a development area before pushing it live. This way you can see if anything breaks before it impacts your customers.

The A2 Startup plan is aptly named—it won’t be enough once your site matures. But by the time you’ve hit that milestone, your site will be bringing in more than enough money to justify the cost of upgrading.

I like A2 Hosting for online stores because of the speed, security, and generous limits on storage. 100 GB is twice as much as you get with Bluehost.

And if you aren’t happy with your service, A2 Hosting will refund your account within 30 days of purchase. It’s a true hassle-free money-back guarantee.

Your online reputation matters, so it’s a huge peace of mind to know that customer service is always there. A2 Hosting representatives are extremely knowledgeable. They will help you resolve issues quickly, before your online store takes a hit.

Sign up with A2 Hosting today for the cheapest possible way to host your online store.

#5 – HostGator Review — The Best Way to Host Your Existing Site for Cheaper

When your current host jacks up the rates or takes a customer service nose-dive, you need to switch. Whatever the cause, there is no reason to pay for substandard hosting.

HostGator will help you migrate your old site for free. This includes the cPanel, email accounts, files, databases, scripts, etc. They also include one free domain registration transfer, which saves a few bucks, too.

All you have to do is fill out a transfer form within 30 days of signing up. HostGator will do the rest.

You get the free migration with any of HostGator’s shared hosting plans, including Hatchling, which starts at $2.75/month with a three-year contract.

With HostGator, you can lock in a really low rate and get great uptime for less than you paid before. After the zero-stress migration, you get high quality customer support available any time of day by phone and live chat.

Better still, they offer some of the best renewal rates in all of web hosting. If you lock in that Hatchling plan for three years when you first sign up, you can renew for another three years at just $6.95 per month. That’s a good two to three bucks cheaper than other providers.

It’s cheaper web hosting, better service, and very few limits on what you can do. And if they can handle the job of hosting your website for the long haul, you can save a boatload of money over the duration.

Some of the highlights include:

Unlimited storageUnlimited bandwidthFree SSL certificateFree emailFree domain (or registration transfer)One-click WordPress installFree website builderFree Google Ads and Bing Ads credits

The good news is that HostGator provides tons of tools to help you optimize the content on your site and keep things running at top speed. The interface is very easy to use, which gives you complete control over your site and databases.

It’s comparable to Bluehost in a lot of ways, which I like better if you have a brand new site.

But if you already have a website, Bluehost won’t move it over for free. HostGator will. If you have more than one site to migrate, HostGator will give you a quote for the cost, but the first one is free.

This makes your transition to cheaper hosting a lot easier. Plus, HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like what you see, you have more than a month to jump ship without paying a cent.

Quit spending too much on hosting and find out why so many people love HostGator.

#6 – iPage Go Review — The Best If You Have Multiple Sites

iPage Go lets you create unlimited websites for under $2/month. Every other plan on my list requires you to purchase an upgraded plan to support more than one site.

I really like iPage Go because there is one plan. Without tiered pricing, you don’t have to worry about upgrading your plan until you need something more substantial than shared hosting.

In other words, you can build as many websites as you want without having to stress about paying more to do more.

With iPage Go it’s unlimited sites, domains, and storage. Like similar “unlimited” offerings, your service has no hard and fast limits, but there are restrictions on how much your site can demand from the shared server.

So, when iPage says they offer scalable bandwidth, it means they aren’t metering the traffic to your site. You could still hit restrictions, but there is no set cap for the number site visitors.

Most people looking for cheap hosting for their websites won’t have to worry too much about these limits. iPage is able to support 99.5% of customers without any issues at all. In fact, the company will work with you to make sure you’ve optimized your site if you start to approach restricted usage limits.

In addition to providing the cheapest multi-site hosting option, iPage gives customers access to a ton of free tools to build and nurture their site.

You get a free domain name for the first year, along with a free SSL certificate. On top of that, you get free email with autoresponders. You can use the email provided, or manage your website accounts with Microsoft Outlook and other third-party apps.

iPage hosting includes a free website builder, which can help you customize the look and feel of all your sites. WordPress is a one click installation as are other popular content management systems like Joomla and Drupal.

For less than $2 per month, all of this is yours. Other benefits include:

24/7 customer serviceUnlimited databasesOne-click installs for OpenCart, Magneto, and PrestaShopPayPal integrationIntegration with popular email marketing software servicesSite traffic reporting30-day money-back guarantee

There is no month-to-month pricing for iPage Go. You can sign up for one, two, or three years. The longer the contract you sign, the lower the introductory pricing and renewal rate you get:

I’m not aware of another hosting provider who gives you a discount on your renewal rate for signing a long contract, so that is a unique perk.

As I mentioned, you’ll never have to upgrade to a different shared hosting plan. You get everything they offer with iPage Go. There are hardly any limits on your resources, and if your site gets too popular to be supported by shared hosting, iPage has some more powerful hosting solutions at competitive prices.

Until then, host all of your websites for one low price with iPage.

#7 – GreenGeeks Review — The Best Price for Managed WooCommerce Hosting

If you’re starting with a WordPress site (as many people do) and you’re looking to transform it into a potent online store, you ought to deploy WooCommerce. Sure, the plugin is free, but you’ll still need hosting and to manage your newly WooCommerce-enhanced site.

But, if you go with GreenGeeks, you can take care of all that in one fell swoop.

Much like A2 Hosting, you can get an affordable hosting plan that allows for an easy, one-click install of WooCommerce on your site. But, unlike A2, you get managed features like daily backups and automatic updates even at the lowest pricing tier.

Speaking of pricing, GreenGeeks offers three levels of managed WooCommerce Hosting:

Lite: starting at $2.95/monthPro: starting at $5.95/monthPremium: starting at $10.95/month

The only drawback of that pricing structure is that the starting price is for a three-year commitment.

That could be a bit too much of a commitment for someone just trying GreenGeeks on for size or worried about massive, rapid scaling over that time. But GreenGeeks’ prices don’t jump up wildly for shorter terms, unlike some other providers.

For example, with the Lite package, a two-year commitment only raises the monthly cost $1 to $3.95/month. For a one-year term, it’s $4.95/month. Of course, month-to-month is the most expensive, but that rate of $10.95/month is right on par with A2’s base plan rate.

I mentioned above that even the Lite plan has daily backups and automatic plugin updates, but it also includes a free Wildcard SSL, unmetered data, a free domain name for the first year, and 50 GB of space for one website.

And, if you’re worried about scalability over the long haul, GreenGeeks’ Premium plan can put those fears to bed. With it, you get everything mentioned above, plus LSCache, LiteMage shop accelerator, a free dedicated IP, capacity for unlimited websites, and more.

All of this comes backed by some of the best customer support in the category.

You can browse the GreenGeeks knowledge base or reach out to a rep via live chat, phone call, or email. Their phone center is available Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to midnight Eastern and GreenGeeks has a great track record of responding to any email request within 20 minutes.

Get a great deal on WooCommerce hosting by starting with GreenGeeks today.

What I Looked at to Find the Best Cheap Web Hosting

You’re looking for the cheapest plan out there, but you still need a dependable host.

There’s no shortage of budget-friendly web hosting options available. Each one promises great uptime, site performance, and customer support.

It seems like anyone can get their site up for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

What’s the catch?

If you understand your options and pick the right one, there is no catch.

I’m going to guide you through saving every dollar possible without getting scammed or locked into a plan that you’ll regret later.

Use these four criteria to cut through the advertising gimmicks, rule out plans that are “too good to be true,” and hone in on the best deal for lowest price.

Price

When looking for web hosting in general, price is pretty important. But in looking at cheap web hosting, I’ve made pricing the most important criteria by far. 

In other words, I asked myself: How can I get dependable hosting at the absolute lowest price?

Since you have to pay for hosting each month, even a few dollars’ difference between plans will add up over time.

I focused on web hosts with a rock solid reputation because their cheap hosting options don’t cut corners. These plans are no-frills hosting, for sure, but I made sure they cover all the essentials. 

With some of the less reputable hosts out there, you can get a rock-bottom price and a rock-bottom experience. 

The providers I chose have super-affordable plans that won’t cause trouble now, trap you into upgrading, or wind up costing a fortune down the road.

Contract Terms

Lots of web hosts might seem cheap at first glance, but you need to review the contract terms to truly get a sense of the actual cost. 

To lock in the lowest possible rate, you’ll likely have to commit to a two, three, or even a four-year plan. 

Importantly, these contracts are typically paid up-front and in-full. 

That means that web hosting advertised at $3 per month could actually cost you upwards of $100 today.

Along with the length of the contract, you need to check the renewal rates. It’s common practice in the web hosting industry for hosting plans to skyrocket upon renewal.

Promotional pricing might cost $3 per month, but then automatically renew at something like $10 per month.

That would more than triple your rate upon renewal. Suddenly it’s not so cheap anymore.

Domain Limits

How many sites do you want? 

If you add a site or two, you could accidentally get forced to upgrade and pay a lot more.

iPage, for example, lets people create as many websites as they want with their cheapest hosting plan. 

With Hostinger, on the other hand, you’ll have to upgrade to host more than one site. That said, Hostinger’s next plan up is still less than $3 per month and you can build up to 100 websites.

Another important limit to consider is bandwidth. This is the maximum amount of data your site can transfer to users during a set amount of time. 

Now there’s no such thing as unlimited bandwidth, but you are definitely going to see that advertised with a lot of the cheapest web hosting plans out there.

Why can they say this?

Because these are shared hosting plans where your site is on a server with a bunch of other sites. On a typical day, these sites are not going to use all of the server’s resources, so they say it’s unlimited.

The truth is that you will definitely still have limits on how much of the server’s central processing unit (CPU) your site can use. 

Getting too many visitors to your site may exceed your CPU limits, and the provider may ask you to upgrade.

Shared hosting plans with unlimited bandwidth are perfect for cheap web hosting, just don’t equate it with unlimited visitors.

Free Tools to Build and Grow Your Site

You’d be surprised, but even some of the least expensive web hosting plans are packed with free tools and capabilities. Getting these freebies as part of a bundle can help you save in other areas.

Some of the features to look out for include:

Ad credits: free Google or Bing advertising credits to target your audienceDomain name: your site’s online address at www.your-domain-name.comEmail account: an address @your-domain-name.comSSL Certificates: protects online privacy and lets visitors know your site is secureVisual website builder: an application that lets even total newbies design beautiful pages

Everything that’s included with your hosting plan is something you don’t have to spend more money on. 

It’s not hard to register your domain name, but if your hosting plan includes it, that’s going to save you $10-15 in the first year.

Getting a free professional email is another $30 in your pocket. The freebies add up.

Even Hostinger, which can be purchased for less than $1/month, comes with an email account, SSL certificate, and a website builder that requires zero coding knowledge to use.

Conclusion

You don’t have to spend very much to get your site online, but if you aren’t careful, web hosting can wind up costing a lot more than you think.

Choosing a reputable provider is the first step, but you don’t have to worry about that if you stick to my list of best cheap web hosts. These are all really well-known companies with a long history of dependable service.

Hostinger — Best web hosting plan under $2DreamHost — Lowest spend on day oneBluehost — Best for new sites (especially WordPress)A2 Hosting —Best web hosting under $3 for online storesHostGator — Best way to host your existing site for cheaperiPage Go — Best if you have multiple sitesGreenGeeks — Best price for managed WooCommerce hosting

My top recommendation is to go with Hostinger. At less than two bucks per month at the outset and a better renewal rate than anyone else, you can rest assured you’re getting the best deal with them.

Of course, if you don’t want to lock into a long contract to get low rates with Hostinger, I recommend DreamHost. You can get high-quality hosting for less than $5/month without any commitment.

If you have a new site in mind and you want to get it off the ground quickly, Bluehost is the choice for you. It’s a little pricier than Hostinger, but still under $3/month. Plus Bluehost includes a free domain name for the first year (you’re going to need that for a new site), which saves another $10-15 right there.

If you have multiple sites to host, iPage should be your first and last stop. Unlimited websites for less than $2/month. Say no more.

Shortlist A2 Hosting for online stores. It’s well set up to handle the extra security and performance demands of ecommerce. If you’re running a web store on WooCommerce, think about GreenGeeks for a little extra savings for comparable performance.

And if you are tired of your current hosting situation, let HostGator help. They will migrate your site to their servers for free. Then you can start saving money and enjoying quality customer service again.

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The Best Web Hosting Services (In-Depth Review)

The Best Web Hosting Services (In-Depth Review)

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top picks? The best web hosting service for most people is Hostinger.

With today’s web hosting services, it has never been easier to get your site online. For a few bucks a month, the host takes care of all the technical stuff and you get to enjoy casually updating your website.

The options I like are affordable and walk you through the setup process. You can have a website up and running within an hour or less, even if you’ve never done it before.

Here are my recommendations for the best web hosting services of 2021 for you. Keep reading for my top picks, and a brief guide about how to find the right choice for you.

#1 – Hostinger Review — The Best Low-Cost Shared Hosting Options for Startups

Hostinger is offers some of the most affordable shared hosting solutions on the market.

Their prices literally start at just $1.99/month. That’s a stellar deal.

You’ll have to sign a four-year contract to get the lowest monthly rate possible, but that total contract is going to be way less than even a single year with other hosts.

You don’t get a ton of storage, but your site will be able to handle around 10,000 visits each month no problem.

You can take an easy step up to either of Hostinger’s other plans and reap the benefits of more resources and the capability to host up to 100 sites while still paying some of the lowest rates around.

With Business Shared Hosting, which is $4.99/month, you can get unlimited bandwidth, 200 GB storage, and daily website backups.

That means even if you mess up badly, you always have access to previous versions of your website.

Another reason I really like Hostinger is that 24/7/365 support is baked into the price of every plan.

For companies with a small or non-existent IT staff, the expert customer service is a huge perk.

It is the best option if you’re searching specifically for a shared hosting service that’s affordable and reliable.

Hostinger provides a 99.9% uptime guarantee and a 30-day money-back policy. That’s hard to beat for a monthly hosting price that’s less than a cup of coffee.

#2 – DreamHost Review — The Best Option if You Want Quick and Responsive Website Changes

DreamHost has been going above and beyond for their customers since 1996. 

Because of their ability to adapt quickly to new trends they’re still considered one of the best in the business.

They don’t look at your website as just another website.

They know that your website is your own vision for the future.

Just look at their two shared hosting packages. Both are eminently affordable while also including a boatload of useful features and benefits.

With Shared Starter, you get 50 GB of storage for one website, up to five subdomains, WordPress preinstalled and ready to go for you, and a domain, SSL certificate, and WordPress builder included for free.

Get the best price on that by signing up for three years up front.

Scale up to Shared Unlimited with no effort and very little extra expense to handle unlimited websites and subdomains, with unlimited storage plus free email attached to your domain. So that plan is very true to its name.

Either way, you’re never looking at more than $4 per month, unless you choose a month-to-month plan. In fact, you can even get DreamHost’s Shared Unlimited for the same low price of $2.95 per month on a one-year plan today.

#3 – Bluehost Review — The Best for WordPress Hosting

If you’re looking to set up your website in less than a week, you’re probably considering WordPress.

And if you’re looking for the best hosting option for your WordPress website, you can definitely trust Bluehost.

They’ve been doing WordPress hosting for a long time. You can get a web host that fits your site like a glove and at a very low price, to boot.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Bluehost is one of three hosting providers officially recommended by WordPress.org.

Their pricing options are competitive. Basic WordPress hosting starts at just $2.95, while mid-tier plans run just over $5 per month. Either way, that makes it easy to get a plan that’s more powerful than entry-level for cheap.

This is really affordable considering all the unlimited features they bring to the table.

Regarding website loading speed, as long as you don’t fill your WordPress site with plugins, you should be good.

And even if you make a crucial mistake or overload your website with different plugins, you’re in good hands.

Their Customer Support is extremely responsive. They have both an active telephone line and a live chat you can rely on at all times.

#4 – Nexcess Review — The Best for Ecommerce Hosting

If you want a hands-off hosting solution for your online store, Nexcess is an incredibly smart choice. Use coupon code NEIL40 for 40% off 4 months.

They offer a fleet of fully-managed hosting options, including specialized packages for WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Magento.

Plus, you get one-click auto-scaling to handle unexpected traffic spikes, 24/7 monitoring and customer support, and premium SSL certificates to keep your site and visitors safe.

So, you get everything you need to start, manage, and scale your online store.

On top of the amazing features, Nexcess has been around for 20 years with more than 500,000+ websites under their belt.

As such, they know a thing or two about how to help make your life easier.

With that said, it’s not the cheapest option on this list. But you do get more features, better support, and improved performance with the higher price tag.

So, if you need advanced security or expect to grow quickly, Nexcess is an excellent e-commerce hosting solution.

WordPress hosting plans start at $15 per month for one store, 15 GB of space, and two TB of bandwidth.

However, pricing varies based on the platform you choose. Use coupon code NEIL40 for 40% off 4 months. Sign up now.

#5 – Cloudways Review — The Easiest Way to Get the Performance Boost of Cloud Hosting

A lot of my picks on this list focus on getting the best deal on shared hosting. But what if you know shared hosting isn’t going to cut it for your site?

You don’t need to spring for dedicated hosting, nor do you need to go with a difficult option that requires serious technical know-how. Cloudways makes it stupendously easy to get all the performance benefits of better hosting without sacrificing ease of use.

Cloudways, true to its name, delivers the exceptional speed, reliability, and scalability of cloud hosting. With cloud hosting, your site can pull from a wider infrastructure of servers spread across the country or globe. That way, if there are load time or uptime troubles with one, your site can pull the same data from another without a dip in visitor experience.

Scalability is another prominent virtue of cloud hosting and Cloudways makes it easy to tweak resources to your site’s exact needs.

Start with selecting your initial package. Choose your preferred server provider, selecting from DigitalOcean, AWS, Linode, Vultr, or Google Cloud.

Then, select your plan. For each server provider, there are either four or eight options that scale up in terms of RAM, processing power, storage, and allotted bandwidth.

DigitalOcean and Vultr are unique, in that they have parallel plans for standard and more powerful server configurations. With DigitalOcean, you can opt for premium droplets which sport better processors and storage drives. Vultr’s high frequency options are similar, also adding higher quality memory.

Cloudways hosting plans start as low as $10 per month for the most basic DigitalOcean package.

And, since Cloudways is a pay-as-you-go service where you only get charged for the resources you use, you can even opt for hourly billing. That can slim down your monthly bill quite a bit if you have the type of website that experiences stark peaks and valleys of popularity.

If ever you need to adjust your specs or even switch infrastructure, Cloudways allows you to do so quickly and without incurring penalty fees.

Plus, you get the benefits of fully managed hosting. That means Cloudways will take care of automated backups, caching, monitoring, and server maintenance for you. You never have to get your hands dirty to ensure you’re getting top performance.

That’s further supported by their always-on customer support. Get live chat help any time of any day.

Plus, you can even get started on that plan for free. That’s right, Cloudways offers a free three-day trial with no credit card required, allowing you to test drive it and then scale resources up when you’re ready to pay.

It’s a great total package at a reasonable price. So, if you don’t want to mess around in the shallow end of shared hosting any longer, look to Cloudways for the easiest route to getting better performance with cloud hosting. Use promo code NEILPATEL to get 25% off for 3 months.

#6 – HostGator Review — The Most Affordable Option for Startups

HostGator give you solid web hosting for one of the lowest rates out there. They’re perfect if you’re looking for the most affordable way to begin posting online.

Shared hosting rates start at a jaw-dropping $2.75/month.

You might not get souped-up hosting features at a price like this, but you’re getting a reliable host that gives startups a cheap option to get their website up and running.

And, just like Bluehost, they have a responsive telephone line with a live chat you can access at any moment.

You can also find a giant database with common questions beginners have, together with professional opinions and solutions to those problems.

So, HostGator also works as a fantastically low-risk option for those of you who have never set up hosting for a website before.

If you need to host several sites on a simple shared plan and still want a low price, HostGator’s intermediate package (called the Baby Plan) starts at only $3.50 per month.

These great introductory rates are only available if you commit to three years of HostGator service up front.

Signing up for a single year will inflate that entry-level shared hosting plan (Hatchling) to $3.95 per month.

So, you’ll be committed to this host for 36 months. Keep that in mind if you have a strategy for rapid growth.

That being said, HostGator offers upgraded hosting options if you find your website is getting wildly popular. They also sport some of the best rates for more powerful VPS hosting.

If you want to get your website to start getting found for the lowest cost possible, take advantage of HostGator’s 45-day money-back guarantee and try their shared hosting today.

#7 – WP Engine Review — The Best for Managed WordPress Hosting

We’re getting to the more advanced options now.

With WP Engine you get a blazing fast and ultra-reliable WordPress site without any work on your part.

The company invented the idea of managed WordPress hosting—where the provider takes over all the backend technical work—and WP Engine is still the leader in the field.

WP Engine hosts WordPress exclusively. Their servers are optimized for just this type of site. And when you reach out to customer service, you will be talking to an expert who handles WordPress issues 24/7.

Of course, the top-notch uptime, speed, and customer service is not as cheap as some of the others on the list.

But if you don’t have to hire a WordPress developer to maintain your site’s security and performance (or spend time figuring that out yourself), going with WP Engine can actually be cost-effective.

And, as a reader of my site, you can use the neilpatel20 coupon to get 20% off your first payment, which makes WP Engine an even better deal:

There are two tracks to choose from: one for standard managed WordPress hosting and another for managed WordPress with ecommerce functionality. The former starts at $25 per month, while the latter’s entry-level plan is $30 per month.

Every plan comes with best-in-class tools to develop your WordPress site. No other host offers such a variety and depth of features, such as one-click staging areas where you can build and test your site before it goes live.

Test that new social media WordPress plugin in the staging area to make sure it doesn’t cause problems for other plugins or themes. This is way better than discovering an issue after it breaks the site and kills traffic.

It’s a great hosting service if you’re looking to take your WordPress site to the next level without the IT headaches and responsibilities. Your teams can focus on creating great sites and let WP Engine ensure everything is running correctly.

Don’t expect cheap services, but expect great quality and support on the way to your successful business.

#8 – InMotion Review — The Best Option for Scaling BIG

Are you positive that your website is going to dominate the online space?

If you’re 100% sure, then you should definitely take a closer look at InMotion.

Their VPS and Dedicated hosting services are far from cheap.

But with Premium prices come Premium services. We are talking fast loading speed and devoted customer support.

Obviously there’s also affordable WordPress Hosting and Shared Hosting options.

But if you’ve tried these before and now you’re looking for the next step.

InMotion is going to overdeliver on every promise.

Check out their plans and choose the one that fits your needs best.

#9 – SiteGround Review — The Best for WooCommerce Hosting

Do you want to sell your products online? Then you’re probably in need of a good, reliable WooCommerce hosting service.

If that’s that case, then you should take a look at SiteGround. They have a dedicated set of hosting plans that will make it easy to get your WooCommerce site off the ground.

SiteGround really wants to overdeliver, even if you choose their cheapest options. You get unmetered traffic and 10 GB of storage space on their lowest-cost hosting plan.

You also get a bunch of useful extras for free, like a CDN, SSL certificate, email, and daily backups, as well as a free site migration and one-click WordPress installation.

That all comes in the StartUp plan, which costs just $3.99 per month. That only requires you to commit to a year, as well. A lot of other hosts only give introductory pricing this good on two- or three-year upfront commitments.

If you’re looking to launch and host a fleet of web stores, SiteGround’s two higher-octane plans allow for unlimited websites. GrowBig and GoGeek give you progressively more storage space and monthly visits while also adding power user and agency features.

So if you’re looking for the best WooCommerce solution, SiteGround is the hosting service for you.

#10 – GreenGeeks Review — The Best for Always-On Support

Nothing is more frustrating than having something go wrong and there’s no one available to ask for help.

And, in the high-stakes world of web hosting, not having a support center to contact is unacceptable. Just think of the lost revenue and frustrated visitors (who may never come back) if your site is down at a crucial time.

With GreenGeeks, you get a robust knowledge base, 24/7/365 live chat support, email support that gets back to you within 15-20 minutes, and live phone support available Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight (Eastern Standard Time).

That’s not only a lot of options to get help when you need it—that’s support that’s always available in the moment. Which is better than a lot of other web hosts out there.

“Sure, the support’s great,” I hear you asking, “but what about the, you know, actual hosting?”

Well, not only does GreenGeeks offer the full array of hosting options—from basic and WordPress-specialized options to VPS and reseller hosting—but they provide an eco-friendly option at incredible prices.

Seriously, most of its hosting plans start at $2.49/month (including WordPress and WooCommerce hosting).

If you want a bit more power, GreenGeeks’ VPS hosting plans start a little pricier than others ($39.95/month), but don’t require an annual commitment to secure. So, no price hikes after a year and no surprises.

I mentioned, too, that GreenGeeks is an eco-conscious hosting solution. You probably guessed that anyway by the name. But they’re very committed to offsetting some of the negative environmental impact that maintaining server farms creates. For over a decade, GreenGeeks has been buying renewable energy credits at 300% what they consume.

So, if that matches you company’s environmental philosophy, you’ve just found another reason to go with GreenGeeks.

Check out their hosting options and sign up with GreenGeeks today.

#11 – A2 Hosting Review — The Best for Sites with Lots of Visual Content

Among the factors that differentiate one hosting plan from another, speed and uptime grab all the headlines. And, for good reason—no one wants a slow or unavailable site.

But if you have ambitious plans for displaying lots of media on your website, or large files like videos and 3D renderings, don’t sleep on judging web hosts by the amount of storage they offer.

If that resonates with you, give A2 Hosting a serious look as your next web host. They come with some of the most generous storage space allotments in all of web hosting.

This applies no matter what type of hosting you’re in the market for.

A2’s entry-level shared hosting, called the Startup plan, starts as low as $2.49 per month yet comes with 100 GB of SSD disk space. Most other providers’ cheapest shared plans might go as high as 50 GB. Right off the bat, A2 is leading the pack and giving you more room for videos, images, GIFs, and more.

Any of A2’s shared plans above Startup come with unlimited storage, and its highest two tiers upgrade you from SSD to NVMe drives which tend to be at least three times faster.

“Unlimited” storage might set off some alarm bells to you if you’ve done some web hosting research. And, truly, that doesn’t mean you can just start uploading terabytes worth of files to your A2 website willy-nilly.

But they are generous with their acceptable use policy regarding your plan’s disk space. Your primary limit to keep in mind in the raw number of files you can upload. As of this writing, their total limit is 600,000 files—that should be more than enough for most of you.

And, heck, if you’re approaching half a million media and other files on your website, it might be time for some spring cleaning anyway.

The other thing to keep in mind is any limits on your backups and server rewinds. A2’s emergency site recovery service only covers up to 50 GB of site data. If you’re blowing past that, make sure to stay vigilant about storing your own backups.

But that’s really it for stipulations. A2 sets you up for media-rich websites on every plan better than any other hosting provider.

That applies, too, to their WordPress and VPS hosting options. The former gives you NMVe storage on every plan, starting at 50 GB on the cheapest one. That means you can have plenty of content on your WordPress site and know that it will load faster for visitors than it would on comparable WordPress hosts.

With VPS, you have three standard and three turbo plans to select from, with the former utilizing SSD and the latter employing NVMe.

Any way you slice it, A2 Hosting brings the goods for people who want to make their websites pop with images and video—or even if you want to let your site visitors upload pics and videos of their own.

What I Looked at to Find the Best Web Hosting Services

When it comes to the best web hosting services you have to look at various important factors.

If you jump in too quick you might get into something that’s not suitable for your business.

But don’t let any of that doubt creep into your mind. 

Instead, sit back and relax while we present to you all the factors that you need to be aware of before making a decision.

You can weigh the different web hosting services and decide which is the best solution for your specific business.

Hosting factor #1 – Uptime reliability: 

If your hosting is down, no one would be able to access your website.

And obviously you want your website running 24/7.

Luckily, in 2021 this is not a huge problem since most web hosting providers offer a ‘99.99% network uptime guarantee’.

That means that your website would go down very rarely.

And even when it does, you can contact your hosting service and you will get compensation.

Most of the time that would be in the form of hosting credits.

If you want to prepare for the worst, you can check out our Website Downtime Survival Guide.

One of the best practices to making sure everything runs smoothly even when you’re taking a break is to sign up for a tracking tool like uptime robot

If your hosting service crosses the line, this tool will notify you that you need to find a new webserver to host.

Hosting factor #2 – Speed is key:

Website loading speed is extremely crucial when it comes to SEO optimization in 2021.

That’s simply because if your pages load slowly, people will bounce out of your website and your ranking will fall down the drain.

You need a trustworthy host provider that can guarantee optimal website loading speed.

The thing is that you can’t know the exact loading speed before you try the hosting service yourself.

But you can always optimize your website loading speed using free tools and effective loading speed practices.

And the best news is that even if your budget is tight, you can still get a good loading speed.

But don’t expect anything spectacular for say $4/month.

Generally, the higher the price, the faster your pages will load.

Anyways, we will include our personal experience regarding loading speed for each of the options down below.

Hosting factor #3 – Customer service:

Good Customer Service will come in handy when something goes wrong.

Especially if you’re new to websites, you’re bound to make mistakes that may lead to your website being down for a while.

And the more time it’s out, the more it will cost you.

So a good support team will help you get the issues solved in no time.

Even if you made a major mistake that’s impossible to come back from…

Most support teams will have a full backup of your website so you can get back to a working version.

You always want your support team to have a live chat or a telephone you can call.

Email just doesn’t make the cut if you want to resolve the issue fast, which you should want, given that your website is down.

We made sure to include only website hosting services with strong communication skills.

Conclusion

You’re most likely going to have a long-term relationship with the hosting service you choose. So carefully look into every option that caught your eye today and select the one that fits your needs best.

To recap my top picks:

Hostinger – Low-cost shared hosting options for startupsDreamHost – Best option if you want quick and responsive website changesBluehost – Best for WordPress hostingNexcess – Best ecommerce hostingCloudways – Easiest way to get the performance boost of cloud hostingHostGator – Most affordable option for startupsWP Engine – Best for managed WordPress hostingInMotion – Best option for scaling BIGSiteGround – Best for WooCommerce hostingGreenGeeks – Best for always-on supportA2 Hosting – Best for sites with lots of visual content

These are all dependable hosting providers with a record of quality service. Whether you choose one of my top recommendations or scout out your own, use the tips and best practices we talked about to make an educated decision.

Having a reliable web host is a must in today’s world. Make this decision like the future of your business depends on it.

Because it does!

Have you worked with any website hosting companies in the past? How did it go and did you get the results you hoped for?

Read More

Best Web Hosting for WordPress

Best Web Hosting for WordPress

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top picks? The best WordPress website host for most people is Hostinger and Bluehost.

WordPress is what I use to manage my blog and other sites. Millions of visitors read content and interact with my site each month. Without the best WordPress web hosting, there’s no way I could deliver a high-performance experience.

It’s different from regular hosting in that your provider is only going to host WordPress on the servers you use. This makes it easier to optimize performance and maintain security because there’s only one type of software on it.

So, if you’re currently using WordPress or planning to use WordPress for your website, you really ought to invest in web hosting that’s made for that platform. 

And it’s extremely affordable.

Which WordPress web hosting provider is the best? Keep reading for reviews of the top providers I trust. The reviews are followed by a brief guide to help you find a host that makes sense with your goals and budget.

#1 – Hostinger Review — The Best for Cheap WordPress Hosting

Hostinger offers optimized WordPress hosting for as low as $1.99/month. Even at that rock-bottom pricing, it has the essential package of features and resources necessary to get a WordPress site off the ground and looking sharp.

Everything is easy to set up, even if it is your first time getting hosting or using WordPress. 

A four-year contract is required to get the best price. So, there is a little bit of a commitment, but the total price tag of four years at those low rates is still well below a single year with other options.

You also save with the free email account, domain name, CDN, and a free SSL certificate that’s super easy to enable. Your site will be faster and more secure with hardly any effort on your part.

Hostinger’s entry-level plan is not aimed at developers and the like who need to put a big strain on their site. You get 30 GB of storage, two databases, and weekly backups. 

The lack of daily backups might not work for some users, but if you don’t need to update your site all the time, a weekly backup is a comforting insurance plan.

At the low price, there’s obviously no white-glove customer service, but it is still available 24/7/365. Customers tend to review Hostinger’s support very well, even if the response time is slower than you get with a managed plan. 

There are going to be upsells in the platform, but there’s no catch. It’s a really great value because Hostinger hasn’t cut costs where it counts. 

You get a 99.9% uptime guarantee and site speed is reliable for up to 10,000 visitors each month. If you are just getting started, this is more than enough.

And Hostinger has really has optimized the WordPress experience. The LightSpeed cache accelerates your site and works well with most popular plugins. 

It’s not just increased performance—Hostinger provides a helpful suite of tools to get your site looking professional.

One-click WordPress installation, a site setup wizard, and lots of helpful tutorials. You’ll be able to take advantage of free WordPress plugins and themes to improve your site at no cost.

Hostinger has ultra-competitive introductory pricing for all of the WordPress hosting plans they offer:

Renewal rates jump a good bit higher than the introductory rate (between $2 more per month to as much as $5 to $7 more on the higher-octane plans), but that has a lot to do with just how deep of a discount they offer. Don’t be thrown by the jump in pricing, the full rate is comparable to other shared WordPress hosting.

And, if you snag the best deal by going with a four-year commitment up front, you won’t have to worry about paying more for your hosting for a good 48 months.

At the end of the day, if you are looking for a low-cost hosting plan that’s optimized for WordPress, Hostinger is a very good option. It’s a no-frills plan that covers all your bases and delivers great performance.

You can sign up and try Hostinger risk-free for 30 days.

#2 – Cloudways Review — The Best for Total Customization

If you’ve been shopping for WordPress hosting for a bit, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of providers start to run together after a while. It can be a parade of largely similar options with only slight differences in price, management, or other options.

Cloudways does everything a little bit differently, though—and that could be to your benefit.

This provider’s goal is to strike a unique balance between user customization and the stress-free nature of managed WordPress hosting.

It starts with something novel right off the bat. You select the cloud server infrastructure you’d like from five of the top platforms out there:

DigitalOceanAmazon Web ServicesGoogle CloudVultrLinode

Each offers at least eight data centers to choose from, sprinkled across North America, Europe, and Asia (with some even having options in Australia, Africa, and South America).

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to customizing your Cloudways package. Each infrastructure option comes with four pre-set pricing packages, but you can easily adjust or reallocate resources after getting signed up (for free).

Plus, all plans are billed monthly for pay-as-you-go pricing, so you only pay for the resources you’re actually using and can make plan changes with ease.

There’s even an hourly billing option that can come in handy for super short-term site projects and testing endeavors.

Plus, depending on your comfort level with server management, there are a host of ways to fine-tune your hosting experience, including:

One-click backups on demandAutomated backupsOne-click application force stopVarnish cache settingsApp web root changesSupervisord process managerWP-CLI control over WordPressCron job rules and scheduling

You get all of this control, plus deep optimization features for WordPress sites, robust security, and expert support with Cloudways.

Pricing varies greatly based on the server infrastructure you choose, resource levels, and premium options (for DigitalOcean and Vultr). For ease of comparison, here are Cloudways’ entry-level plans for DigitalOcean:

As you can see, you can get started for just $10 per month with no commitment. That gives you more storage and bandwidth than a lot of other base WordPress hosting plans from other providers, while giving you a truly managed hosting experience with extra-fine levels of control on your end as well.

Cloudways isn’t for beginners, but if you know enough to handle some server-side maintenance and management, you can really reap all kinds of benefits from this provider. Get everything just the way you want it—without getting a bill that punishes you for customization—by getting started with Cloudways for free. Use promo code NEILPATEL to get 25% off for 3 months.

#3 – Pressable Review — The Best for Agencies, Designers, & Developers

Whether you’re designing sites for clients or building their entire marketing strategy, adding web hosting to your service suite is a wise move. You can handle one more thing for your clients (making your services more valuable) and, with Pressable, give them quality hosting while adding more revenue to your own bottom line.

Pressable delivers both managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting, giving you two options to offer your clients. Whether they need a WordPress site (or multiple) for their campaign or need you to lay the foundation for their web store, you’ve got them covered.

No matter which web hosting type you need from Pressable, they deliver fantastic speed, uptime, and security with their cloud hosting infrastructure.

And, since their hosting services are fully managed, you get the extra help of free migrations on every hosting plan, true and attentive 24/7 support, and performance monitoring provided by the Pressable team. They’ll help you and your clients get the absolute most out of their web hosting.

You can get all the managed hosting bells and whistles from WP Engine, but Pressable is more valuable to those who are designing and building sites for others. For one, you don’t get migrations on every WP Engine plan, something that is immensely valuable to client-based website work.

You also tend to get more bang for your buck with Pressable.

Standard managed WordPress hosting starts as low as $19 per month ($15.83 per month when you pay annually). But that only supports one WordPress site.

Fortunately, Pressable has plans segmented by either the number of sites you need hosting for or the number of total monthly visits you expect.

The plans for three and 10 sites are great deals. The former is just $37.50 per month when you pay for a year up front. You’re allowed up to 50,000 monthly visits and get 20 GB of storage, plus the managed services mentioned above and Jetpack Security included.

That’s both cheaper and provides a bit more storage than WP Engine’s comparable plan.

Need WooCommerce hosting? No problem. In fact, it’s the same exact price for three sites as the standard WordPress option, plus you get 10 more GB of storage.

If you need more, Pressable makes it ridiculously easy to scale up. So, none of your clients can ever complain about outgrowing the Pressable hosting you’re providing them.

Get to know Pressable’s great WordPress and WooCommerce hosting and start delivering a high-quality home on the web to your clients.

#4 – Bluehost Review — The Best for New WordPress Sites

Powering more than 2 million sites across the globe, Bluehost is an industry leader in the web hosting space, especially for WordPress sites. In fact, it’s one of the few web hosts that’s officially recommended by WordPress.

Bluehost is a great option for anyone building a new website from scratch. When you sign up for hosting, you get a free domain name for a year and WordPress is a one-click install.

Normally a domain name costs $10-15, but your saving time in addition to money. Instead of having to go and register a domain and download WordPress, you can get everything done in a single step.

Plus, the cost of WordPress hosting is about as low as you will find.

WordPress hosting from Bluehost starts at just $2.95/month. You’ll have to sign a 3-year contract to get the best deal. If you are always going to need hosting, I say lock in the best discount for as long as possible.

Getting everything set up is really easy. I walk you through the whole process in my post about how to start a WordPress blog

Trust me when I say you don’t need any special skills to start blogging right away.

Navigating around your new WordPress dashboard is fairly straight-forward, but you can reach out to Bluehost support if you have questions. Representatives are available any time of day by phone or live chat.

Lots of the best parts are baked right into the service—a free CDN to boost performance and security and a free SSL certificate is always enabled. You don’t have to configure any of it in order to benefit from the faster speeds and safer traffic.

It’s easy enough to take advantage of free WordPress themes and find a layout you like. Plus, there are tons of incredible options via the Bluehost WordPress marketplace if you are willing to spend a couple bucks. 

Other noteworthy highlights from Bluehost include:

Automatic WordPress updatesUnlimited traffic50 GB storage$200 in free marketing credits (Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising)Securely configure your WordPress login credentials

All of this comes with Bluehost Basic WordPress web hosting, starting at $2.95 per month. For an entry-level plan, 50 GB of storage is a lot. More than twice as much as you get with other plans. 

There are no arbitrary limits about traffic, but if your site starts to impact other sites on the server, they may ask you to upgrade to a higher tier plan.

The Plus and Choice Plus plans let you build as many sites as you want, whereas Basic limits you to just one. You will also get unlimited storage (within acceptable use limits, of course) and greater server resources with the higher tier plans.

Or, you can choose to take advantage of either managed hosting plans for WordPress or Bluehost’s specialized WooCommerce hosting.

Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting starts at $9.95/month with a three-year contract. The introductory rate is very attractive compared to other managed plans, which is great for getting managed-level service locked in for the near future.

However, it is lacking some features compared to more robust managed WordPress plans, like the ones offered by WP Engine.

But if this is your first site, you shouldn’t even be worried about managed hosting. You’ll be fine with shared WordPress hosting. Bluehost will get you set up with everything you need at an affordable price.

I really like their online store-specific hosting, as well. It’s a great way to get a WooCommerce store set up in a pinch, with its included store builder, preinstalled WooCommerce and Jetpack, one-click install for payment processing, and capability for manual order creation.

Get in touch with Bluehost today.

#5 – WP Engine Review — The Best for Managed WordPress Hosting

WP Engine is the original managed WordPress hosting provider and still leads the pack in terms of providing concierge service and expert support. The company has also developed a platform full of exclusive tools designed to help you take your WordPress site to the next level.

If you are just getting a small site or blog online, WP Engine is overkill. This is a good option for people with online stores, a bunch of sites, and other complex WordPress hosting needs. 

WP Engine allows you to get high-performance sites without having to hire a developer or stress about maintenance.

You’ll unlock blazing fast speed, incredible uptime, and best-in-class security without any work on your part. 

In addition to optimizing the IT environment, WP Engine will keep the WordPress Core and PHP up to date. The company is constantly monitoring and blocking threats, keeping your sites fast and safe.

WP Engine has a legendary customer service record. The company does not host anything besides WordPress. You are always going to get a rep who knows the platform inside and out and handles relevant issues all day, every day.

With so much taken care of with WP Engine, you have more time to focus on building a great site. 36 premium StudioPress themes are included with every hosting plan.

Normally, that would cost hundreds of dollars, but you are free to experiment and customize these powerful themes as you like.

Some of the other highlights include:

Automatic WordPress updatesFree CDNFree SSL CertificateGeotargeted contentFree automated WordPress migrationsDevelopment, staging, and production environments

No other managed WordPress host offers separate dev/staging environments. This is a boon to WordPress developers, as it solves some of the pesky problems associated with one-click staging environments.

Managed WordPress hosting starts at $25/month with a one-year contract. You can also sign up for one month at a time—which some hosting providers don’t allow—and it’s only $30/month.

Normally, it costs a little more, but the price I’m giving you here includes a discount for being a reader of my blog. So definitely click through the link or remember to use the NEILPATEL20 coupon code at checkout to get the savings.

Although WP Engine isn’t cheap, there are no skyrocketing rates or hidden charges.

The Startup plan works for one site and comes with 10 GB storage and 50 GB bandwidth, which can handle about 25,000 visits each month.

Upgrading to the Professional, Growth, or Scale plans will let you build more sites and host more traffic. At the top end, Scale, you’re allowed 400,000 visits each month while getting 50 GB of storage 500 GB of monthly bandwidth.

There’s also a separate track of plans for ecommerce. Those plans scale resources in the exact same way as the standard managed WordPress plans, they just include powerful web store features as well. The Startup plan for WordPress ecommerce starts at $30 per month when paying annually.

For most people, the standard WP Engine plan is everything they need and more. This is my top recommendation for managed WordPress hosting, and I am hardly alone in that opinion.

Make WP Engine for your first and last stop for managed WordPress hosting. Sign up for a year today, and get two months free.

#6 – SiteGround Review — The Best Support for Affordable WordPress Hosting

To get the best possible white-glove, rose-petals-on-your-pillow customer service, you have to get a managed WordPress hosting plan. It’s an order of magnitude more expensive than shared plans, but you get a level of support that outclasses everything else.

For people that want high quality support, but aren’t ready to commit to an expensive managed plan, I suggest checking out SiteGround

What the company offers is called managed WordPress hosting, but in truth it straddles the gray area between shared and managed WordPress hosting plans. Essentially, you can get a lot of the benefits of managed WordPress hosting at a price that is similar to shared.

SiteGround is officially recommended by WordPress and has consistently outstanding reviews. You don’t win two Stevie awards for customer service by accident.

All of their WordPress hosting solutions come with platform-specific support. From assisting with migrations to troubleshooting plugins, SiteGround is ready to help. Customer service is always available via phone, live chat, and tickets.

In addition to solid support, SiteGround takes care of updates, security, and caching configuration that keeps your site fast. 

Some of the other features include:

Automated WordPress installation and powerful WordPress starter kitFree website builderFree WordPress migrationsManaged security and updates at the server and application levelPerformance optimized for WordPress sitesFree SSL certificatesUnlimited free email accounts

SiteGround offers a low introductory rate for all plans, starting at $3.99 per month for a one-year commitment:

You aren’t going to find a more feature-rich WordPress hosting option with as much support as SiteGround’s StartUp plan. And, getting it for just under $50 for your first year is a steal.

After the promotional pricing ends, the same plan renews at $14.99 per month. That’s a steep increase, but still very competitive considering it’s a fully-managed WordPress hosting plan with a lot of great features.

The GrowBig and GoGeek plans can hold their own with other managed WordPress hosting plans. You’ll get a staging area, on-demand backups, improved caching, and more resources to power your sites.

During the discount period, the higher-tier plans are an absolute steal as well.

If you aren’t ready to pull the trigger on a premium managed WordPress hosting plan, but you still want your provider to handle a good amount of the backend legwork, SiteGround StartUp is a good fit.

The company offers a 30-day money back guarantee. 

Try SiteGround today risk-free and see just how good their customer support—and web hosting for WordPress sites—truly is.

#7 – DreamHost Review — The Lowest Day One Spend for WordPress Hosting

DreamHost, along with SiteGround and Bluehost, is one of the few hosting providers that’s officially recommended by WordPress. Unlike the other two providers, DreamHost offers extremely competitive month-to-month rates.

This is really attractive for people who aren’t looking to sign onto a long contract in order to get a good price. DreamHost does offer discounts with longer contracts, but you can still access the WordPress Starter plan for $4.99 a month. No contract or long-term commitment.

Another reason DreamHost keeps your day one spend down is that a free domain name is included for the first year. That saves another $10 to $15 right there. 

DreamHost also includes domain privacy, which keeps your personal information off the public record. That may cost as much as $15 each year with other hosts.

Bluehost will give you the domain for free, but you don’t get as many tools to help you build your site. DreamHost gives you a full website builder. 

Get set up quick with more than 200 starter sites built for restaurants, real-estate, fashion, web design, and more. Use the simple drag-and-drop builder to add your content and finishing touches.

DreamHost handles all of the WordPress and security updates and includes automatic daily backups. This is unusual for shared WordPress hosting and saves you the expense of buying a plugin like JetPack to backup your site.

You also get:

50 GB storageUnmetered bandwidthFree SSL certificate24/7 ticket supportLive chat supportDeveloper accessFree automated WordPress migrations

DreamHost offers a wide range of plans to choose from. In addition to the affordable shared WordPress hosting, the company offers DreamPress, a managed solution, and WordPress hosting on a virtual private server (VPS):

The DreamPress managed hosting solution is a cost-effective no-contract option for people wary of putting down a few hundred dollars to sign up for a traditional plan.

Similarly, the VPS for WordPress plan will work well for people who need more resources and control over their server than a shared plan allows.

The price is competitive across all DreamHost plans, but there’s nothing to be anxious about. The company has a 100% uptime guarantee. DreamHost will actually pay you for your troubles if your site goes down unexpectedly.

Plus they offer an unbelievable 97-day money back guarantee. No other host will give you as much time to try their service risk-free. 

DreamHost is confident about the quality of service it provides. You can be too. 

Get started with DreamHost today for just a few dollars down.

#8 – Nexcess Review — The Best for Budget-Friendly Managed WordPress Hosting

Nexcess has a unique pricing and plan structure that puts managed hosting within reach for businesses which can’t justify the spend necessary to get WP Engine.

Plans start as low as $19/month with no contract or $12.67/month if you sign up for a year. 

Nexcess is truly managed WordPress hosting. One of my favorite aspects of the service is that every feature they offer comes with every plan.

With SiteGround, another affordable managed hosting solution, you have to upgrade to get site staging and on-demand backups. With Nexcess, on the other hand, you can move up from plan to plan to get more hosting resources, but you never have to upgrade to access capabilities.

Nexcess takes care of a ton of the tedious maintenance through plugin updates and 30-day backups. Just to note, you only get plugin updates with WP Engine’s Managed Hosting Plus plan, whereas Nexcess includes it standard. 

Some of the other benefits you get with Nexcess managed WordPress hosting are:

Free CDNFree SSL certificateUnlimited email accountsIThemes Security ProVisual regression testing24/7/365 phone, live chat, and email support

I also want to draw attention to the generous hosting resources. The 15 GB of storage that comes with the Nexcess entry-level plan, Spark, is great for the price and the 2 TB of bandwidth is beyond belief. That’s four to five times the bandwidth that comes with other WordPress hosting plans that are more expensive.

And if your site consumes more resources than your plan allows, Nexcess will auto-scale it for 24 hours free of charge. That’s time to get in front of a positive trend or weather a random traffic spike without an issue.

As I mentioned, Nexcess has a really flexible pricing structure that accommodates small businesses looking for top performance and enterprise businesses that need excellence every minute. 

Let’s take a quick look at the most affordable options first:

Since every plan has every feature, you really only need to consider the number of sites you want and hosting resources you need. 

Spark completely outfits one site and comes with everything I’ve mentioned so far. The Maker plan is good for five sites, increases bandwidth to 3 TB and 40 GB storage. The next plan up, Designer, works for more sites and gives you more storage and greater bandwidth. 

In total, there are seven different plans. Whether you have one site or hundreds, Nexcess has a managed WordPress hosting solution to fit your needs.

If you want managed WordPress hosting at a low price, Nexcess Spark is your choice. And, you will be able to stick with the company as you grow.

You won’t get all the WordPress tools that come with WP Engine, but you get serious hosting resources and a platform that’s been optimized for WordPress. Don’t worry about speed, security, or uptime with Nexcess.

Get set up with Nexcess hosting today for less than $13/month. The Spark plan has a free trial, so you can test out the platform risk-free.

#9 – A2 Hosting Review — The Best for Moving an Existing Site to Better Hosting

Lots of providers offer “free migrations” to help you move your WordPress site over from your old hosting situation. What this means in reality is that you can use a plugin that automates a lot of the process. 

It’s not too bad, but A2 Hosting has an actual team of humans dedicated to making the switch.

The result is a stress-free and problem-free transfer. Your site is in a better place now with incredibly fast servers, a top-rated customer support staff, and phenomenal pricing.

A2 is going to work whether you want shared hosting optimized for WordPress or a managed plan that’s more hands-off. The account migration is free either way, but you can pick from a lot of different options.

Looking at the shared WordPress hosting plans, it’s remarkable how much is included:

100 GB storageFree SSL certificatesVirus scanning and hack defense, Ecommerce integrations, Cloudflare free CDN compatibilityUnlimited email accounts24/7/365 email, live chat, phone, and ticket support

Yes, I’m talking about the Basic shared WordPress hosting plan from A2. The 100 GB storage is way more than you get with other plans. And unlimited free email? Usually you don’t get more than a couple free accounts, if any, with shared hosting plans.

So if you are looking to move your site to a more feature and resource-rich platform, but you don’t want to commit to managed hosting, A2 is a very attractive option.

The Basic plan is good for a single site. Upgrading to get additional sites and resources remains cost-effective on A2’s higher shared WordPress plans:

One of the benefits of upgrading to Turbo Boost or Turbo Max hosting plans is the increased performance. You’ll be able to handle up to nine times as much traffic with A2 Turbo Servers, and your site speed will be up to 20 times faster.

A2’s managed WordPress hosting starts at $11.99/month with a three-year contract. It’s got a lot to recommend to it, but the renewal price puts it well over solutions like WP Engine.

At the end of the day, A2’s managed WordPress hosting just isn’t as convenient out-of-the-box as plans from WP Engine or Nexcess. With A2, you’ll have to use plugins like Jetpack to accomplish a lot of maintenance that is just handled for you by the other vendors.

You also don’t get a free domain name, but if you are trying to move your site, you’ve already crossed that bridge. There is no reason whatsoever to stay with subpar hosting. A2 will make the transition completely stress free for as low as $2.49/month.

Give A2 Hosting a call today and get onboard with a quality host.

What I Looked at to Find the Best WordPress Web Hosting

Before you can find the best WordPress hosting plan for your site, you must know what to look for as you’re shopping around.

Since I’ve been using WordPress blogs as a major part of my business for many years, I’ve had to use and evaluate multiple web hosting options.

Now you can launch a WordPress site with any web host, but in this post I’ve focused on providers that offer WordPress web hosting. Unlike general hosting, which can support any type of site, the plans I am looking at only work for WordPress sites.

The upside is that servers for these hosting plans are configured perfectly for WordPress. Everything about the backend IT environment has been optimized for WordPress in ways that wouldn’t work if there were other types of software. This boosts performance and minimizes crashes.

If you want a hosting solution that works for WordPress and other types of sites, I recommend checking out the overall best web hosting services.

If you know that you just want hosting for WordPress, keep reading. I’ll walk you through the major criteria you should evaluate in order to find the option that suits you best.

Shared vs. Managed WordPress Hosting

If you want the most affordable option, go with shared WordPress hosting. It’s got all the benefits of WordPress-specific hosting at a very low price. 

With shared WordPress hosting, you’ll still have to do the maintenance and updates in order to keep the site running great.

The good news is that the user interface for maintaining your WordPress is designed for just that. It’s going to be way easier than working with something meant for all-purpose hosting.

If you don’t want to handle the backend maintenance of your site, then you want a managed WordPress hosting plan. 

Your hosting provider will take care of the IT legwork that goes into making your site fast, secure, and easy to use, including:

Automated daily backupsEasy on-demand backupsWordPress Core UpdatesBuilt-in staging area to test sitesMalware scanning and removalSecurity updates and patchesPremium 24/7 support

Instead of fussing with plugins to accomplish all of this, your teams are free to spend more time creating killer content.

Understandably, managed WordPress hosting plans are more expensive. For some companies, there’s a lot of value in having someone else manage their WordPress. Spending a little more each month on hosting might mean not having to hire a developer.

Plus the customer service that comes with managed WordPress hosting is a cut above. The ability to connect with an expert 24/7 minimizes serious problems and eliminates the need for an in-house WordPress guru.

WP Engine, the original managed WordPress hosting provider, continues to satisfy their customers with prompt and comprehensive service. People are more than happy to pay a premium for the peace of mind and high-performance.

Here’s the thing. There used to be a clear dividing line between managed WordPress plans and everything else. Now there is more of a spectrum of services available.

In one sense, this means you need to be aware that “managed” doesn’t mean the same thing for every hosting provider. 

If you see managed WordPress hosting for something like $10/month, double-check that you are getting everything you expect.

How do they define premium WordPress customer support? Also know that the price might be a low introductory rate that could jump on renewal.

The upside is that it’s not black or white. You can get less expensive managed WordPress plans. They might not be as full-bodied as WP Engine, but you can still get some of the essential maintenance off your plate.

Traffic Volume

How much traffic does your website get? For new sites, how much traffic are you expecting?

The answer to this question will definitely have an impact on the type of WordPress hosting solution that’s right for you.

A site that has 5,000 visitors per month should be on a different plan than sites with 50,000 visitors per month. Plans that can accommodate 100,000 visitors per month won’t necessarily be suitable for sites with millions of monthly visitors.

Some hosting providers give you approximate numbers for the amount of traffic each of their plans supports. SiteGround, for example, gives an approximate number for the suitable number of monthly visitors each plan can handle:

This is pretty straight forward, but what about the shared hosting options that offer “unlimited traffic” or “unmetered bandwidth”?

Shared WordPress hosting from Bluehost, Hostinger, Dreamhost, and A2 Hosting doesn’t set any hard and fast limits on traffic. 

It’s not truly unlimited though, because there are the physical limits of the shared server. If your site gets too much traffic, it will strain resources like CPU and memory usage, which will cause problems for every site on the shared server.

Dreamhost Basic, for example, starts at less than $3/month and comes with “unlimited traffic.” You will never get an overage charge if you have too much traffic, but Dreamhost may ask you to upgrade or restrict your site out of courtesy to the other tenants on the shared server.

So shared WordPress hosting is good for small sites, but it may not be enough to power larger, high-traffic sites. If your Dreamhost Basic plan is not enough, you might want to look at one of Dreamhost’s other options:

You could opt for a DreamPress plan, which is managed WordPress hosting and more resources. There are three tiers of DreamPress plans, with the top tier built for approximately one million visitors per month.

Alternatively, you could upgrade to VPS for WordPress, which is hosted on a virtual private server. This isolates your site from others on the same server, which gives you more control and your own dedicated resources.

Unlike shared hosting, VPS hosting will not be impacted by traffic spikes on other sites.

VPS WordPress hosting can be a good option if you are extremely comfortable with managing your WordPress backend. If not, I would find a shared or managed plan that fits with your expected traffic.

Speed and Uptime

By getting WordPress specific hosting, you are already guaranteeing better performance than you are likely to get anywhere else. 

So what separates the better from the incredible?

SiteGround, Dreamhost, and WP Engine have WordPress specific caching tools that boost site speed. Caching creates a static version of your site and serves it to visitors, which cuts down on the work your server has to do to respond to requests.

Normally, you’d have to install a caching plugin to do this, but most WordPress hosts build this functionality right in.

Another thing to look for is a content delivery network (CDN), which is included for free with some of the plans I’ve reviewed. A CDN stores images, pages, and other assets across a network of servers distributed around the globe.

Having a CDN will boost speed and make your site more resilient–a single point hardware failure won’t jeopardize your site because so much of the content is distributed.

Nexcess, SiteGround, Bluehost, and WP Engine include a CDN with every WordPress hosting plan they offer. 

Caching is one of the best ways to optimize your WordPress because it delivers information

Spoiler: you don’t have to worry too much about uptime if you pick one of the options I reviewed. They all have phenomenal uptime.

Hostinger, for example, guarantees 99.9 percent uptime for their Single WordPress hosting plan, which starts at $1.59/month. A2 Hosting also provides a 99.9 percent uptime commitment for every plan.

One thing to be aware of, with regards to speed and uptime, is that your site’s performance hinges on how well your site is managed. Even with the best hosting environment and configuration, a faulty broken plugin can have a huge negative impact.

The question here is do you want to invest the time and resources to develop in-house WordPress experience, or pay more for a managed plan?

Support

Like everything good on the internet, WordPress sites have their bad days. When something goes wrong, how quickly can you resolve the problem?

Getting timely and quality support is important, especially for users that aren’t jazzed about getting into the WordPress backend to fix issues.

One of the benefits of WordPress hosting is that customer service reps really understand plugins, themes, and other common site issues. With non-specific hosting, there is no guarantee the repr is going to knowledgable about WordPress.

You may notice that all of the options on my list include some version of 24/7 support.

But you want to pay attention to the quality and availability of support. Do you get to make support requests via live chat or waiting for email responses. How quick is that email response?

For the shared WordPress hosting plans, A2 Hosting and SiteGround had some of the best customer service reviews. 

A2 offers chat, email, phone, and ticket support from hand-selected expert technicians. Any time you have a problem, you are going to get knowledgeable support quickly.

On top of that, A2 provides free site migrations, which is a huge time-saver if you already have a WordPress site and want better hosting.

SiteGround has a similar range of support as A2 and is able to address most issues in under five minutes. Lightning-fast resolution is going to save you a lot of frustration and money.

When it comes to managed plans, WP Engine is in a class of its own. WP Engine techs don’t handle anything other than WordPress, and they are true experts of their domain. 

Plus, WP Engine knows that support is one of the major reasons its customers stay. You can always count on the company’s reps to go the extra mile to ensure everything is working perfectly.

Summary

If you’re running a WordPress website, you should definitely consider a hosting plan that’s optimized for WordPress.

Which plan is the best? It depends on what you’re looking for. The recommendations listed above will definitely be the best place for you to start your search. Here they are, just to recap:

Hostinger – The best for cheap WordPress hostingCloudways — The best WordPress hosting for total customizationPressable — The best hosting for agencies, designers, and developersBluehost — The best WordPress hosting for new websitesWP Engine — The best for managed WordPress hostingSiteGround — The best support for affordable WordPress hostingDreamHost — The lowest day one spend for WordPress hostingNexcess — The best for budget-friendly WordPress hostingA2 Hosting — The best for moving an existing site to better WordPress hosting

The best option for people on a budget is Hostinger. You’ll have to sign up for a longer contract to get the best price, but there isn’t a lower-cost option I trust. I mean 99.9% uptime for 10,000 visitors at less than $2 a month? That’s phenomenal.

For new sites, I recommend Bluehost. You get a free domain name included with your hosting, and the platform is very welcoming for first-timers.

If you want managed-level support and total control over your resources and setup, look no further than Cloudways. They offer a unique blend of customization and managed care that no one else can match.

If you’re an designer, developer, or agency looking to deliver quality hosting to clients, look no further than Pressable. Their rates are fantastic for both managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting, plus you get huge benefits like managed migrations included on every plan.

If you aren’t looking to sign a long contract to get up and running, DreamHost offers your best month-to-month pricing. For a few bucks and no commitment, you can get set up on one of the fastest, most dependable WordPress hosting platforms.

Looking at the managed WordPress hosting plans, WP Engine is the clear overall winner. No platform comes with more tools and customer support.

If the price of a managed plan like WP Engine is putting you off, take a look at Nexcess. The entry-level managed hosting plan, Spark, is very reasonable and includes more server resources than any other plan I looked at.

Another good “lite” managed hosting solution is SiteGround. The entry-level plan there, StartUp, is a good midway point between shared and managed WordPress hosting. You will get some of the essential features you expect with a managed plan, but at a price that’s comparable to shared hosting.

What do you use for WordPress hosting?

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Best Email Marketing Services

Best Email Marketing Services

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

What if I told you there was a single marketing channel through which companies are finding a 3,800% ROI? That’s earning $38 for every dollar spent.

This magic marketing channel is called email. Yes, just good old email. And that insane average ROI is one of many email marketing statistics that have held true for years now. 

There’s this perception that email is an outdated time-sink, but it doesn’t align with the statistics. 

If it were really too labor intensive to run an efficient email marketing campaign, the average ROI wouldn’t even be 1/1000 of what it is, year after year.

The key is finding the right email marketing service. You’re going to be able to send more emails with less work, and more importantly, you’ll be able to see how your campaign is performing. Figure out what’s working well and fine tune your messaging to stand out from the crowd.

Below you will find my top five recommendations followed by a brief buyer’s guide to help you find the right service for you.

#1 – Constant Contact Review — The Best for Ecommerce

Constant Contact offers some of the best email marketing services alongside top-notch solutions for ecommerce, event hosting, website building, and multi-channel marketing.

They average a 97% deliverability rate. This is only possible because the mature platform blends powerful behind-the-scenes functionality—like blocklists, proactive monitoring, and multiple forms of authentication—with an intuitive UI that helps teams craft effective messages that don’t bounce.

You can get Constant Contact up and running very quickly, and it will eliminate much of the legwork associated with email marketing. 

Automate product recommendations, for example, by sending shoppable emails based on the items a customer has in their cart, the weather, or tendencies of like-minded shoppers.

Trying to accomplish this task without an email marketing service would be extremely time-consuming. With Constant Contact, the process can be automated by just about anyone.

Some of the other reasons millions of people use constant contact include:

Unlimited email sendsCustom and branded templatesCampaign performance trackingSubject line A/B testingDrag-and-drop email editorRich ecommerce capabilitiesSubscriber management, segmentationRSVP, survey, and poll

Constant Contact helps with lead generation, too, via landing pages, customizable pop-up forms, and free hosting for a mobile-responsive website. This includes a blog, where you can leverage your email content as posts for SEO.

There are three pricing tiers for Constant Contact email marketing services and the amount you pay is based on the number of contacts. The plans are:

Email: Starting at $20/monthPlus: Starting at $45/monthPro: Starting at $195/month

Constant Contact Email and Plus are two of the most popular email marketing services available today.

Constant Contact Pro uses AI-driven marketing automation to provide personalized product recommendations, smart subject lines, behavioral segmentation capabilities, and more advanced workflows.

I would consider a Pro subscription if you are thinking about marketing automation, but aren’t ready to pull the trigger on a heavyweight product like Pardot or Marketo.

#2 – Sendinblue Review — The Best Ease-of-Use

Sendinblue is a unified CRM, chat, Facebook, SMS, and email marketing platform. It’s loaded with features that are super easy to learn.

In other words, lots of tools with very little training. Creating personalized, on-brand email campaigns is far less work with the drag-and-drop editor.

Unlike other options on this list, every Sendinblue subscription (including Free and Lite) comes with a sales CRM, marketing automation, real-time reporting, advanced segmentation features, and more.

How’s that for out-of-the-box function? But wait. There’s more.

With popups, landing pages, and chatbots, you can build out your contact list with minimal effort, turning website visitors and Facebook passerbys your next lead.

And once people are on your list, Sendinblue gives you a ton of great tools to nurture leads, build out customer journeys, and communicate effectively every step of the way. The key features include:

Unlimited contacts with any planMobile-friendly visual email editorRetargeting adsCampaign performance trackingA/B TestingCustomizable signup formsTransactional emailsEmail API, SMTP relay, and other core API featuresAdvanced email automation

Sendinblue offers a free forever version, and paid plans at several pricing tiers:

Lite: Starting at $25/monthPremium: Starting at $65/monthEnterprise: Contact sales

The amount you pay is based on your tier and the number of emails you send each month. You can store as many contacts as you want without affecting the price, which is not true with most other platforms.

Notably, Sendinblue’s pay-as-you-go plan includes the same great features as whatever tier you choose, except the phone support. This is also something you won’t find in other options, like Zoho Campaigns.

There is no prior knowledge or technical skill necessary to start using Sendinblue, and their free forever plan is one of the best available. 

#3 – Zoho Campaigns Review — The Best for Simple Campaigns

Zoho Campaigns is a lightweight, cost-effective email marketing service that comes with all the must-have features.

In Zoho Campaigns, everything has been trimmed, but not watered down. So you can still accomplish 80-90% of what you can do with an email marketing service that costs three to four times as much. 

The ease-of-use is on par with agile project management software like Trello. Not only can non-technical users navigate Zoho Campaigns, they can master their domain.

Intuitively control the following features:

Drag-and-drop email editor and template builderEmail autorespondersEmail automationMerge tagsSubscriber managementA/B testingTeam collaborationReal-time analytics

Keep in mind that Zoho Campaigns also has integrations with popular CRM, ecommerce, and contact management products. 

Tying these data sources in can help you better target and personalize your email campaigns, yet Zoho Campaigns will remain fairly easy to use. 

Integrating Google Analytics, for example, can enrich the amount of customer data you pick up on each interaction, providing data visualizations to help you make sense of relationships over time.

Pricing is straightforward for Zoho Campaigns:

Email-based Plan: starting at $3/monthSubscriber-based Plan: starting at $4.50/monthPay-as-you-go Plan: starting at $7/month

The Subscriber-based Plan is my favorite because it includes email automation, which doesn’t come with the Email-based or Pay-as-you-go Plans. At $263/month for 100k contacts with the Subscriber-based Plan, the automation will pay for itself many times over.

You can also try the Zoho Campaigns free forever version. It’s limited to 2,000 subscribers, but you get a lot of the marketing and content management features, as well as the chance to see if you like the interface. 

#4 – Marketo Engage Review — The Best for Segmentation and Personalization

Marketo Engage, from Adobe, is a full-service marketing automation solution ready to support your strategy across any channel. 

Centralize and analyze customer data in an intuitive environment that allows for email campaigns with fine-grained segmentation and dynamic personalization. 

You can customize intricate workflows with behavioral triggers that wouldn’t be possible on other platforms because they can’t capture as much information as Marketo does. 

Every feature is full-bodied. A/B/n testing, for example, lets you pilot multiple versions of the same site or email rather than just binary A/B testing, which is where many other products stop.

There’s also Adobe Sensei, which uses AI and machine learning to personalize content. Sensei analyzes the performance of all your assets, learns which content works best for whom, and updates emails accordingly.

Other great features that come with using Marketo for email marketing include:

Drag-and-drop workflow builderLead and account scoringDeep engagement and performance analyticsAttribution and ROI dashboardCustomer lifecycle managementOne-click campaign cloningChampion/Challenger testingA/B/n testing

You’ll have to contact Marketo to get a price. It’s going to have a higher total cost of ownership than a dedicated email marketing service, but if you want superior segmentation and personalization, this can get a lot more done.

#5 – Pardot Review — The Best for B2B Marketing Automation

Pardot is the marketing automation platform from Salesforce that’s built specifically for B2B marketing.

Do you need to hear more, or are you already sold? It’s as good and as deep as you think it is.

Pardot has 2,000+ integrations, a rich feature set, and a surprisingly intuitive UI. To be honest, the platform is a few steps ahead of its competitors in the dedicated email marketing space. 

It’s going to take some time and effort to build out the backend, but once everything is set up, Pardot gives you unrivaled visibility into your campaigns.

If you feel like the sophistication of workflows is lacking with your current setup or your analytics and data visualization tools aren’t giving you the insight into campaigns that you need, Pardot is the ticket. 

Some of the advanced email marketing features include:

B2B Marketing AnalyticsEngagement history dashboardsMerge fieldsVisual lead nurturing designerSocial profilingROI reportingMulti-touch attribution modelsDeveloper sandbox

Pardot is not a cheap option, but it is money well spent in service of a high-growth campaign. 

There are four pricing tiers:

Growth: starting at $1,250/monthPlus: starting at $2,500/monthAdvanced: starting at $4,000/monthPremium: starting at $15,000/month

Other marketing automation solutions, like Marketo, are going to be in this neighborhood price-wise.

There are certainly email marketing platforms you can get for a fraction of the cost, but they’re not going to give you anywhere close to the oversight and customization Pardot affords.

What I Looked at to Find the Best Email Marketing Service

Email marketing services are packed features to help you save time at every step of a campaign.

Every step.

My favorite products get you minutes back on every task. Professional templates, drag-and-drop email editors, list management tools—they make all the hard parts easy.

On top of that, many of the most time-consuming campaign processes can be automated with an email marketing service.

The minutes you save turn into hours quickly, especially if you’re churning campaigns on a large scale.

More effective campaigns. Less effort. That’s the goal.

Let’s walk through the core features available with email marketing services so that you understand which product is going to deliver you the best results for you.

Ease-of-use

Unless your marketing teams double as developers, it’s essential to find a tool that anyone on your team can use.

As you browse, pay attention to the templates and pre-set workflows offered by each email marketing service. Are you excited to use these or do you intend to create your own custom templates? Some email marketing services lose their reputed ease-of-use once you step outside their pre-defined pathways.

It’s a definite plus if your solution comes with visual design tools to build emails and workflows. A simple-to-learn editor can be used right away by the people who need it. They don’t need training, and aren’t stuck waiting on someone who’s comfortable with the editor.

The best email marketing services also provide support, documentation, and walkthroughs to educate users and ensure that their product is truly self-service. 

If reviews indicate that customer support is sluggish, or that answers are hard to find, that’s a red flag.

Integration and Implementation

An important question to ask: How easily is your email marketing service going to mesh with your existing stack? 

Solutions that integrate with products you use are going to speed deployment and encounter fewer issues moving forward. This is especially true of your existing customer relationship management (CRM) software and any other customer data sources.

Some products, like Sendinblue, come with their own CRM as part of the package, which can be nice for companies that aren’t looking to purchase multiple products in service of their email campaign.

Email Deliverability

The emails you send need to reach your recipient’s inbox. End of story. 

Without a high deliverability rate—I would be worried about anything below 95%—your email campaigns are dead in the water.

All good email marketing services ensure high deliverability in two ways. 

On the backend, they authenticate emails with DKIM, SPF, and SenderID, while also working with internet service providers to make sure that customer IP addresses aren’t blocked. 

Plus, quality platforms will provide ready-made email templates that are both visually appealing and compliant with privacy and anti-spam laws.

On the user side, email marketing services help you craft compelling subject lines and content that encourages customers to actually open your message. They also provide tools for managing subscribers so you can keep a clean list and avoid the spam folder.

Email Automation and Customer Journeys

One of the biggest defining (or limiting) features of an email marketing service is the level of sophistication your workflows can manage.

Entry-level tools can help you automate welcome series of emails for new subscribers, and other similarly straight-forward processes. 

If you want to start adding conditional or logical triggers that branch the customer journey into more personalized paths, you are going to need a more substantial tool.

You are also going to need to know a lot about your audience. Products that have really good list segmentation features will pick up tons of information on your customers, which in turn makes your automation more accurately targeted.

Segmentation really drives your ability to automate personalized emails, for example. You can set workflow triggers that respond to customer engagement, shopping habits, and other tendencies to ensure that customers are only receiving messages they’re likely to care about.

Subscriber Management

Quality email marketing services come with a lot of tools to manage the subscribers on their list. They will help you:

Import lists: Seamlessly integrate contact lists from CRMs and other databases.Keep a clean list: Identify and remote inactive subscribers and spam traps that reduce deliverabilityGenerate leads: Create new contacts with pop-ups, landing pages, and other multi-channel tools that start an ongoing conversation.Segment your list: Automatically group subscribers based on many criteria, including everything from what time zone they live in to how they signed up, and everything in between.

Campaign Performance Tracking

Email marketing strategies must be agile. 

Every service reviewed in this article comes with the ability to track traditional KPIs like:

Bounce rateClick through rateConversion rateDeliverabilityForward/share rateList growth rateOpen ratesUnsubscribe rate

By keeping tabs on these metrics, companies can tweak their campaigns accordingly. 

Many email marketing services offer A/B testing, which allows you to test different versions of emails or subject lines to see what performs better. 

Look for that, because it’s super helpful for adjusting campaigns in the right direction over time.

More advanced email marketing services will help you tie traditional metrics to revenue, letting you see ROI per email sent and other business-critical metrics.They’ll also let you see how content is performing with features like click heatmaps, which show where your customers are spending the most time. 

You’ll probably have to spend more for those features, but they can provide crucial information that pays for itself.

Marketing automation software, like Pardot, provides multi-touch attribution models that let you visualize each touchpoint in the entire customer lifecycle. Marketing attribution drives business growth and informs your future campaigns by spotlighting the key elements of each customer relationship.

Summary

The sooner you find the right email marketing service, the better. It empowers your employees, engages your customers, and supercharges the growth of your business.

Start with my top recommendations and explore these products further:

Constant Contact – Best for ecommerceSendinblue – Best ease-of-useZoho Campaigns – Best for simple campaignsMarketo Engage – Best for segmentation and personalizationPardot – Best for B2B marketing

There’s a lot of variety in this list, so check out my reviews to get a better sense of each one.

Zoho Campaigns is a really great starting point. These tools are easy to use and many have free forever options.

For companies that need more visibility into their campaigns but don’t want to struggle with a new platform, Sendinblue will be great. It’s also not prohibitively expensive, even at the premium tier.

Constant Contact is another great option in the SMB price range, especially for ecommerce. It comes with some of the functionality you find with marketing automation software, but there’s no loss to it’s ease of use.

If you need the marketing automation and business intelligence functionality of Pardot or Marketo, budget it in. After a certain point, dedicated email marketing services aren’t going to handle the automated journeys you have in mind.

If Pardot and Marketo give you sticker shock, but you still want true marketing automation, check out Freshmarketer, or one of the other best marketing automation software solutions.

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Does Word Count Impact the Performance of your Posts? 

Does Word Count Impact the Performance of your Posts? 

When I first got started in marketing, people told me that I needed to write 2300-word articles if I wanted to rank on page 1.

Now they didn’t have to be exactly 2300 words, but anywhere around that was good.

Let’s face it. For certain industries and topics, I don’t think people want to read that many words. Just think of someone searching for “how to tie a tie” on Google. Would you want to read 2000 words? Or even 1000?

Probably not. You’d rather just see a few images or a video that teaches you how to tie a tie.

These days Google looks at whether someone clicks on a search result and exits right away. If a lot of people are exiting out of a specific article, that tells Google it probably isn’t that great and shouldn’t be ranked so high.

But the question is, does word count impact your rankings or overall traffic, and how does it differ per industry?

To answer this question I didn’t want to rely on my gut, so my team pulled data from BuzzSumo, Ubersuggest, and Ahrefs to do a proper analysis.

We looked at over 10,000 articles that were popular in the industries below based on social traffic, backlinks, and SEO traffic:

EducationInvestmentEntertainmentTravelSportsE-CommerceRetailInsuranceEconomicsTechnologyConstructionAutomotiveReal EstateEngineeringEnergy

Here’s what we learned:

What is the average word count of content types related to each industry?

As you can see most people aren’t writing 2300-word blog posts. In most industries, it doesn’t make sense for all content to be super detailed.

The average for each industry we looked at was around 900 words or less.

Now let’s look at what type of content was produced for each industry.

It varied per industry but “How To”, “What” posts, and “Why” posts were popular for most industries.

Now let’s look at the word count per industry for each content type.

What is the average word count per industry for specific content types?

With this analysis we looked at the 4 most common types of posts:

“How to” posts“List” posts“What” posts“Why” posts

Here is the average word count for each of them per industry.

Compared to the average word count per industry graph that was first shown above, you can see “How To” posts tend to be much longer.

Engineering tended to be much lower, but when we dove into why, a lot of the engineering content was skewed more towards videos. That makes sense when you consider that a lot of engineering-based topics can be pretty advanced.

Plus we analyzed a bit more than 10,000 popular articles around the web. So it wasn’t the biggest sample size for every industry.

The average word count for “List-Based” posts for most industries was similar in length to “How To” posts.

Although, that wasn’t the case for “What” based posts.

On average “What” based posts were longer than “How To” and “List-Based” posts.

Lastly, the graph above shows the length of “Why” based posts per industry.

Now let’s dive into backlinks.

What is the average number of backlinks for posts at each word count threshold?

Here is the backlink count based on the article length.

Keep in mind we are analyzing the results of the more popular articles in each industry. Not all articles get this amount of backlink counts.

As you can see in the graph above, posts with a word length of 1001-1500 or 1501-2000 get over 1700 backlinks. Same with the word count lengths of 3001-3500 words.

From what this graph tells us, aiming for a content length within these 3-word count ranges has the highest likelihood of producing more backlinks… assuming your content is high in quality.

What is the average traffic received for posts at each word count threshold?

Backlinks aren’t everything.

Even if you have a ton of backlinks, it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed traffic. Here is the average traffic for posts based on word count.

Posts that were 2501-3000 words generated by far the most traffic. It was then followed by posts that were 3001-3500 words and then 3501-4000 word posts.

If you are optimizing for traffic, you can clearly see that sticking in a range of 2501 to 4000 words is the best way to go, but that may not be true for every industry. So let’s dive into the data a little bit more.

Here is what the traffic distribution by each word count threshold looks like for each industry.

Every industry is different as you can see above.

In the Education space, it’s clear that people prefer shorter content that is under 500 words. At the same time, posts that are 3501-4000 words do well in the entertainment industry, and 4,000+ words posts do well for Technology or Travel.

What is the average number of social media shares for word counts in each industry?

Let’s see what social media users liked.

For the graph below, we focused on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest because not all social networks would give us sharing data.

As you can see, some industries just aren’t as sharable as others. For example, I don’t think most people care to share articles on Engineering or E-Commerce, or Insurance.

Travel and Technology, on the other hand, did exceptionally well.

To get even more granular, here is the data broken down by industry on Facebook.

Here is the data for Twitter broken down by industry.

Lastly, here is the Pinterest data.

Based on your industry, and the word count you’re targeting for your article, the 3 charts above will give you guidance on which social media channels you should focus on to get more shares.

How many keywords are ranking on the 1st page of Google for content with different word counts?

For this analysis, we shortlisted between 80-100 URLs at each word count threshold that was looked at manually to identify the number of keywords in positions 1-10.

Approximately 8.5% of all URLs from the total analysis were used to answer this question.

Articles with 1001-1500 words tended to have a lot more page 1 rankings than shorter articles. Articles within the 2501-3000 word range also did well.

Now, this doesn’t mean that if you want more page 1 rankings your articles should be within these specific word count ranges. You should always focus on delivering quality at whatever word count range you end up being in.

The shorter your article means fewer words and less valuable content you are able to include. So, in theory, you would see fewer page 1 rankings on Google.

However, after a certain point such as with 1001-1500 word posts, Google has seen enough “words” to determine what your article should rank for.

What is the average word count of top-performing content for each industry?

For this section, we selected the posts from each industry that received:

the top 10% of trafficthe top 10% of total social media shares (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest combined)the top 10% of backlinks

That way, you could clearly see the average word count for the best performers.

It’s clear that if you want to be in the top 10% in your industry the chances are your article will be at least 500 words and probably under 1500.

Conclusion: Does Word Count Impact Performance?

Word count doesn’t guarantee success from a social share perspective, backlink perspective, ranking perspective, or traffic perspective.

However, the data above will help guide you on roughly where you should aim for your article to be for your industry. When you pair that with your SEO and paid advertising efforts, you can experience a lot of success.

Generally speaking, you don’t want to have “fluff” in your content and you should keep it short and to the point. At the same point, you want your article to be detailed and thorough enough so people can clearly understand all the points you’re trying to make.

You’ll also want to use subheadings similar to what I did in this article as it makes it easier to skim your content especially if it is long. It can also help to take a look at your sources to see how you can get better data from your content to make better conclusions.

How long is your content and what word lengths do you usually target?

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