There's no getting around the fact that running a website takes some dedication — trust us, we'd know. If you're aiming to be anything more than a friends-and-family blog, and want to end up with readers in the tens of thousands or beyond, the platform you host your website on is extremely important.
Whether from the point of view of stability and site speed, or that of keeping costs as reasonable as possible, the better deal and service you can get, the easier your life will be. Keeping that benefit in mind, we've scoured the market to examine some of the leading service providers in web hosting, and have compiled a list of big-hitters for you to consider if you're looking for a new contract.
In each case we'll let you know what they do well, and why you might like to sign up to have them host your website.
Our pick of the best web hosts available today
Bluehost takes the top spot, with a superb blend of cheap and easy entry-level plans the scalability to grow with your website if you do find success. A more expensive tier of plan covers WordPress sites, and is worth every penny with easy automatic setup processes, and a range of apps that you can choose to add to your site as well.
If you want to build from scratch, it can help with that, too. It's fairly basic as design suites go, but the fact that you get it thrown into the bundle makes it a real bargain. Plus, all importantly, if you get stuck or have any issues they've got great customer support to get you back into the game. It's a compelling all-in-one package.
If you're on the lookout for a specifically cheap deal, but don't want to sacrifice stability and reliability, Hostinger is a great option. If you're happy to sign up for a relatively long-term contract your monthly costs can be incredibly low, and with loads of upgrade options and compatibility with a range of add-ons your setup can change as you need it to.
Sometimes, you can't argue with value. Hostinger shows that you don't have to pick between price and features.
Pedigree and reputation come with time, and InMotion has been around for years building up a great name in hosting. For good reason, as its services are quick and reliable with great customer service on standby if you need help or something goes wrong.
You get a great range of services to choose from, and while prices aren't the cheapest in the industry, they're totally fair for the level of service you get. Plus, a 90-day money back guarantee if you're not satisfied shows the confidence InMotion has in its own product.
The excellent HostGator takes us back into the lovely world of budget options, representing great value for the services it offers. It lets you design and host a website for next to nothing each month, with pricing plans for WordPress options, and options to scale up to VPS and dedicated servers in time.
Money back guarantees, free ad credits and great customer support sweeten the deal to give great value for money.
You might be thinking that you recognise GoDaddy, but not the logo above – its zany doodle of a company identity has been phased out over time for a more modern look, but the core of the business hasn't changed much.
A huge player in the market, which also sources and secures domain names by the thousands, GoDaddy's hosting options bundle in useful features like a business email account, a great uptime guarantee, and good storage. Throwing a domain name in there for free only sweetens the deal, and pricing is sensible too. Plus, if you ever have a huge surge in traffic, your plan can flex temporarily to account for it without your site buckling under the pressure, a great little feature.