15 Best: Web Hosting for Developers — ASP.NET & WP Tools (2017)

As a fresh-faced student learning how to code table-based designs and using this new-fangled contraption called WordPress, web hosting was just another nuisance. I barely understood what the service did, just that I needed to have it to get my projects online. I signed up with the cheapest, most well-known provider, and called it a day.

As I learned more and better understood the criteria of what makes a decent website great, I became an increasingly discerning hosting consumer. Now, as part of the HostingAdvice team, it’s my job to match others with the hosting plan that best serves their specific needs. Understandably, developers have much different hosting needs than first-time site owners who prioritize usability and affordability over attributes such as root access or solid-state drives.

No matter your programming language or server configuration of choice, we’ve compiled a list of the providers most worthy of hosting your portfolio, side project, or growing application. Click the links below to skip ahead to the section that is most relevant to you.

Best “Overall” Hosting for Developers

Although taking a gamble on a little-known, newly launched hosting company can end up being a jackpot, most developers should stick with a tried-and-true provider that provides plenty of stability. Sleep well knowing the company won’t suddenly go out of business or be acquired by a conglomerate that moves your files to lower-quality hardware and support services. Those reputable hosts are also more likely to provide prompt around-the-clock support, top-notch performance, reliable uptime, increased security, and added perks such as a free domain registration, automated backups, or solid-state drives.

Although many developers are perfectly served by high-end, upgraded shared hosting plans, we recommend the scalability and dedicated resources that come with a virtual private server, or VPS. You’ll get more control over a larger slice of a better server — that means getting exactly the coding environment you want with guaranteed resources and improved page load speeds.

Our favorite VPS host below makes server management exceedingly easy with the ability to add and allocate computing resources and featuring high rates of availability-boosting redundancy. Be sure to read our full review to get the full picture of the managed services, security systems, and developer-friendly tools included to help your project succeed.

VPS RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • 50% off the first month with added discounts the first year
  • Real-time redundancy powered by a cloud infrastructure
  • FREE cPanel/WHM licenses with enterprise-grade CentOS
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $19.99
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space 75 GB - 260 GB SSD
Domain Name New or Transfer
VPS Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/vps

Our Expert's InMotion Review

Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion offers the most attractive VPS plans you'll find anywhere. Each VPS plan comes with free SSD storage arranged in RAID 6,... read more +

Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion offers the most attractive VPS plans you'll find anywhere.

Each VPS plan comes with free SSD storage arranged in RAID 6, which is incredibly fast and secure. Each of their plans also come with an awesome amount of RAM for the server cost, so the speed-to-dollar ratio is high with this host.

InMotion’s VPS packages run on CentOS 6 Linux operating systems and all feature a license for cPanel. Each plan also comes with Web Hosting Management (WHM) software, making it super-easy to resell some unused server resources.

InMotion's reputation for uptime is second-to-none, with a solid track record as a large-scale VPS host and a large, friendly support team available at any time.

Lastly, InMotion has a 90-day money-back guarantee and offers a choice of datacenters, which are nice customer-centric features. Their support is top-notch and 24 hours. We highly recommend you check them out if you are looking for a VPS with great hardware and reseller options at a low price.

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See other top VPS hosts »

Best “WordPress” Hosting for Developers

Even though WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, developers have a strongly polarized love/hate relationship with the open-source publishing platform. According to StackOverflow’s 2017 developer survey, only 35.5% of developers said they loved WordPress, compared to 64.5% who dreaded using the system.

Despite the perceived security concerns and bloated code, the WordPress platform offers a no-brain-required installation and setup process and is among the best at providing a fast and efficient way to launch complex websites. What’s more, countless developers can make money by crafting and selling themes and plugins.

The powerful system is available for free and comes with one of the internet’s most vibrant online user communities for support and inspiration. The key to a successful WordPress experience is finding hosting providers that are best equipped to handle the platform’s quirks. For example, SSDs mitigate any performance concerns while free SSL certificates and automatic backups reduce most worries about security. The hosts below cover these features and more, occasionally even being endorsed by the team behind the core WordPress code.

WORDPRESS RATING
★★★★★ 5.0/5.0
  • WordPress pre-installed
  • FREE SSL certificate and unlimited bandwidth
  • FREE domain, site transfers, and data backups
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
WordPress Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/wordpress

Our Expert's InMotion Review

InMotion, long known for their shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon their reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, they do... read more +

InMotion, long known for their shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon their reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, they do include some nice features to help justify that cost difference.

Build on an all-SSD infrastructure, their speeds are very good. We would have loved to see options like integrated staging and caching included in order to help take full advantage of the nice, modern hardware. The choice of datacenters (East or West) is nice however, as it allows you to target your local audience with better load times.

InMotion offers three different levels to their WordPress hosting offerings, which allows you to tailor the hosting to your needs or budget. For those needing eCommerce support, their middle or top offerings have you covered. Their top offering also allows unlimited installs for WordPress, which is great to see.

Each hosting package they offer comes with a free domain, unlimited disk space, unlimited emails, and free data backups for data security. If you need it, each plan also has support for PHP, Ruby, Perl, and Python, and includes SSH access.

InMotion Hosting has made a name for itself on support and reliability. While not the cheapest of the budget WordPress hosts out there, the packages offered are solid in performance and feature sets.

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WORDPRESS RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Formally endorsed by WordPress
  • VPS technology and included CDN
  • ManageWP pre-installed
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
WordPress Hosting Plans www.bluehost.com/wordpress

Our Expert's Bluehost Review

Aimed at personal bloggers and first-time users, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages are a great alternative to simple shared hosting. These service come at a premium, compared to Bluehost’s standard shared plans, but the WordPress optimization... read more +

Aimed at personal bloggers and first-time users, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages are a great alternative to simple shared hosting. These service come at a premium, compared to Bluehost’s standard shared plans, but the WordPress optimization and platform-specific resources are arguably worth the cost.

Built on top of their VPS platform, Bluehost's WordPress managed hosting, though not as customizable as others, focuses on simplicity and speed. Their interface is easy to navigate and the instant provisioning allows for speedy setup. Integrated features, such as the MOJO Marketplace and ManageWP, are nice touches as well.

Though simple by design, Bluehost isn’t shorting you on some of the more important technical features. Integrated W3 caching, SiteLock security, and a CDN are standard across all WordPress packages. It’s also important to note that data backups are automated and resources are guaranteed.

Formed in 2003, Bluehost has long been one of the foremost shared hosts on the planet, and they now power more than two million websites. What’s more, Bluehost is on a short list of providers with the official WordPress seal of approval, doled out by the WordPress Core team. With an experienced team, competitive pricing, and always-there support, Bluehost is King when it comes to WordPress hosting services.

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WORDPRESS RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • FREE Cloudflare CDN and 1-click installs for WordPress
  • Turbo Server, SSD speed boost, and A2-optimized caching
  • A2-optimized WP plugins for performance and security
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $3.92
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space Unlimited RAID-10
Domain Name $14.99
WordPress Hosting Plans www.a2hosting.com/wordpress

Our Expert's A2 Hosting Review

If shared web hosting is what you need, A2 Hosting is the perfect host to help launch your site with your choice of CMS, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others. As part of A2's promise... read more +

If shared web hosting is what you need, A2 Hosting is the perfect host to help launch your site with your choice of CMS, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others. As part of A2's promise to emphasize performance, they've concocted several A2-optimized features specifically for WordPress.

Getting Started: cPanel, 1-Click Installs, and Softaculous

A2's shared web hosting plans come with cPanel 11 control panel, where users can access Softaculous auto-installer. Easily install popular web applications, including your choice of CMS, with one click.

"If you land on our WordPress landing page, and order WordPress hosting, we auto-install WordPress and our optimization plugin," Bryan said. "You don’t have to do anything."

A2-Optimized Software and Caching Tools

"We wanted to make these performance enhancements really accessible to people," Andy said, so A2 has come up with several plugins and tools designed to operate in their online environment. These features are available for all users, including VPS and managed services customers.

A prime example of A2's custom performance enhancers would be their exclusive Site Accelerator, which helps A2 users experience page loading up to 20 times faster than that of the average web host.

Auto-Configurations for WordPress, Joomla, & Drupal

A2 has optimized tools to auto-configure popular software, including WordPress, with auto-optimizations like compression and caching. "We're trying to ease all the friction points for the users and make sure we’re solving their problems," Andy told us.

Auto-Configurations for PrestaShop and eCommerce Options

Once you've installed PrestaShop, an A2-optimized cPanel plugin will automatically detect it and allow you to set up all "normal" optimizations. "We'll go in and configure everything the way that we know it will work best on our servers," Andy said.

Other eCommerce features include access to SSL certificates, PayPal merchant accounts, and a Merchant ID with E-onlinedata (with instant activation). When it comes to marketing your site or online store, A2 users can get $50 towards paid ads. Plus, with Attracta, a free SEO tool available in cPanel, sites are listed in Google within 24 hours.

A2-Optimized Enhanced Security

In addition to enhanced speed and performance, A2 Hosting includes "Perpetual Security," which features several custom technologies.

HackScan & KernelCare

All A2 accounts are offered a free hacking detection scan, featuring their own hacker detection mechanism: HackScan. A2 Hosting users also benefit from KernelCare: A2's product for conducting daily, rebootless auto-updates to kernels.

Proactive Protection & 24/7 Network Monitoring

A2 has built another custom plugin for WordPress users to prevent hacking. The software auto-hardens WordPress sites for proactive protection against hackers. Additionally, A2 offers virus scanning, a dual firewall, and brute-force attack protection — not to mention SPAM filtering for emails, which are also IMAP, POP3, and SMTP supported.

Final Words on A2 Hosting for WordPress

A2 Hosting offers 24/7 customer support and tons of A2-optimized features made with WordPress users in mind. Whether you're an online retailer looking to launch a fresh site with PrestaShop, or a moderately web-savvy WordPress user looking for speed and security excellence, we'd highly recommend A2 Hosting.

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See other top WordPress hosts »

Best “Cloud” Hosting for Developers

A close cousin to VPS hosting, cloud hosting involves virtualized server space and computing resources that come from a wide network of machines, as opposed to one physical server. As such, availability and rapid scalability are vastly improved in cloud hosting. Users pay only for the resources consumed, as opposed to the flat rates in VPS plans.

Business research firm Gartner expects the worldwide cloud industry to grow 18% in 2017, with cloud adoption strategies and decisions predicted to influence more than half of organizations’ IT outsourcing decisions. The flexibility, scalability, and cost benefits of cloud hosting make the service particularly appealing to developers and startups looking to maximize innovation and business growth.

Perhaps surprisingly to some, developers don’t need to turn to the massive and often difficult-to-understand Amazon, Google, or Microsoft cloud platforms to capitalize on the same advantages. Many traditional hosting providers actually build their VPS services using cloud-powered infrastructure. By choosing one of the companies below, you’ll be able to enjoy the personal support and included perks not typically found with the massive cloud platforms.

CLOUD RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Ranked #1 for cloud (VPS) hosting
  • FREE SSD included and up to 8GB of RAM
  • FREE control panel with SSL certificate
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $19.99
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space 75 GB - 260 GB SSD
Domain Name New or Transfer
Cloud Hosting Plans www.inmotion.com/cloud

Our Expert's InMotion Review

With leading-edge cloud technology, InMotion offers free site transfer, setup, and SSD drives for the ultimate cloud solution offerings. They include free data backups and offer fully managed servers to help you scale your site with cloud-based... read more + With leading-edge cloud technology, InMotion offers free site transfer, setup, and SSD drives for the ultimate cloud solution offerings. They include free data backups and offer fully managed servers to help you scale your site with cloud-based hosting… collapse info -
CLOUD RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Customizable VPS solutions you can upgrade as needed
  • Tons of storage with the scalability of the Cloud
  • Fully or semi-managed servers with root access available
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $19.98
Money Back Guarantee 45 days
Disk Space 25 GB - 3 TB
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Cloud Hosting Plans www.hostgator.com/cloud

Our Expert's HostGator Review

For a custom VPS experience with tons of included features, HostGator is a great host to know. They offer fully managed services with cPanel control, free site-building software, and 52 free scripts to be instantly installed… read more + For a custom VPS experience with tons of included features, HostGator is a great host to know. They offer fully managed services with cPanel control, free site-building software, and 52 free scripts to be instantly installed… collapse info -
CLOUD RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • Instant provisioning of VPS servers
  • Includes cPanel and VPS management tools
  • Options for 2-4 CPU Cores and up to 8GB of RAM
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $19.99
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space 30 GB - 240 GB SSD
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Cloud Hosting Plans www.bluehost.com/cloud

Our Expert's Bluehost Review

If you’ve outgrown shared hosting, Bluehost’s VPS hosting is a great option, and they make transitions from their own shared plans seamless. While activation may take up to days with most VPS solutions, Bluehost provisions servers in seconds… read more + If you’ve outgrown shared hosting, Bluehost’s VPS hosting is a great option, and they make transitions from their own shared plans seamless. While activation may take up to days with most VPS solutions, Bluehost provisions servers in seconds… collapse info -

See other top cloud hosts »

Best “ASP.NET” Hosting for Developers

Much of the hosting realm consists of server-friendly, Linux-based operating systems, as only about a third of all sites use Windows. However, Microsoft’s open-source, server-side programming language ASP.NET is second only to PHP in terms of usage.

Although Windows hosting plans might be harder to find, their presence is usually a sign of a knowledgeable hosting provider willing to go the extra mile to provide the services its customers are seeking. Keep an eye out for which frameworks and versions the host supports, in addition to the standard uptime, storage, bandwidth, and memory metrics. The best providers, especially the one we are featuring below, will give developers’ dynamic sites plenty of storage and database resources to grow and thrive.

ASP.NET RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • Ultra-performant Windows/ASP.NET hosting
  • Support for ASP.NET 2.x, 3.x, and 4.x, plus Classic ASP
  • Plenty of database storage and SQL support
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $3.92
Money Back Guarantee Anytime
Disk Space Unlimited RAID-10
Domain Name $14.99
ASP.NET Hosting Plans www.a2hosting.com/asp-net

Our Expert's A2 Hosting Review

A2 Hosting delivers ASP.NET Windows hosting fit for powerful, dynamic, speed-demanding websites and applications. Shared hosting plans feature Windows Server 2012 with support for recent versions of ASP.NET, PHP, MySQL, Classic ASP, MVC, and SQL… read more + A2 Hosting delivers ASP.NET Windows hosting fit for powerful, dynamic, speed-demanding websites and applications. Shared hosting plans feature Windows Server 2012 with support for recent versions of ASP.NET, PHP, MySQL, Classic ASP, MVC, and SQL… collapse info -

See other top ASP.NET hosts »

Best “Java” Hosting for Developers

Although rumors constantly swirl about the decline of Java, the object-oriented programming language still remains at the forefront of Android mobile development and enterprise applications. Java has topped the TIOBE Index, which measures the popularity of programming languages, for more than 15 years.

Although most hosting platforms support Java, developers will appreciate hosts that offer special features and compatibilities that demonstrate experience in providing the best environment to run dynamic Java websites and applications. For example, look for companies that support Java Servlet Pages (JSP) and/or Apache Tomcat, as well as access to server resources, ample RAM, and several application and service frameworks. Our favorite host for Java, listed below, meets the criteria and adds on high-powered servers and responsive, reliable support.

JAVA RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Highly available Java hosting powered by the cloud
  • Install Tomcat or Java Servlet Pages (JSP) on VPS 1024+
  • FREE SSDs for 20x faster Java hosting
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $19.99
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space 75 GB - 260 GB SSD
Domain Name New or Transfer
Java Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/java

Our Expert's InMotion Review

Few web hosts these days are going to offer Java-specific support, but the InMotion team will help you through the initial setup. Install and enable Apache Tomcat or JSP servlets and get going with your Java-based web application. Experience insane uptime... read more + Few web hosts these days are going to offer Java-specific support, but the InMotion team will help you through the initial setup. Install and enable Apache Tomcat or JSP servlets and get going with your Java-based web application. Experience insane uptime rates and the page load speeds of SSDs for free… collapse info -

See other top Java hosts »

Best “PHP” Hosting for Developers

Far and away the most popular server-side scripting language, PHP helps developers create everything from dynamic web content to client-side graphical user interfaces, often by interfacing with relational database management systems. As long as LAMP stacks continue to enjoy a stranglehold on the web hosting industry, PHP — alongside Linux, Apache, and MySQL — will be well represented and supported with optimized servers and solutions.

When looking for the prime PHP host to house your website or application, keep an eye out for which versions of the language are supported, and how seamlessly you can switch between the various options.

We appreciate hosts that regularly update their services to provide the latest technologies, while still giving customers the option to choose the configuration that works best for their specific needs. The hosting company below excels at this, while also including ample MySQL databases and a wide range of PHP-powered content management systems and other applications.

PHP RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Ruby, Perl, and Python
  • PHP version: 5.2.17+ and 5.3.10+
  • Have WordPress, Joomla, or PrestaShop pre-installed
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
PHP Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/php

Our Expert's InMotion Review

PHP is one of the most popular programming languages, so it makes sense that InMotion would be one of our most popular picks for creating a PHP-based website. InMotion delivers power, customization, and top-notch support… read more + PHP is one of the most popular programming languages, so it makes sense that InMotion would be one of our most popular picks for creating a PHP-based website. InMotion delivers power, customization, and top-notch support… collapse info -

See other top PHP hosts »

Best “Free” Hosting for Developers

It’s OK. We know that no matter the programming languages or features you need in a hosting plan, affordability is ultimately king — especially for individual developers starting projects with razor-thin margins. Finding a bargain on a high-performing host enables developers to more readily reinvest in their project, whether the money goes toward more computing resources or another pizza to fuel the late-night coding sessions.

Although plenty of free hosting options exist for risk-free experimentation with new ideas, we tend to be a little leery. Here, we’ve balanced our favorite free hosts with might-as-well-be-free companies that offer upgraded services, support, and a surprising number of features for less than $5 per month.

Top “Almost Free” Hosts for Developers

If your new idea for a website or application has any traction, you’ll want to sign up for a hosting plan that can grow along with you. Doing so eliminates the hassles of searching for another host and migrating from substandard free hosting infrastructure.

For just a few dollars per month, developers can enjoy added support for languages, higher uptime guarantees, 24/7 technical assistance, extra computing resources, and plenty of add-on or included services, including free domain registrations, unlimited email accounts, and access to upgraded security protections or a content delivery network. Here are our three favorite hosts based on affordability; all the companies listed below offer a prime cost-benefit ratio.

CHEAP RATING
★★★★★ 5.0/5.0
  • Featuring easy setup and superb reliability since 1998
  • FREE domain and FREE Google marketing included
  • Unlimited disk, bandwidth, and emails
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $1.99
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Cheap Hosting Plans www.ipage.com/shared
Our Expert's iPage Review
Whether you're a first-time website owner or a web veteran, iPage’s excellent hosting services and fantastic list of extras make them one of the best values in web hosting. Unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and emails... read more +

Whether you're a first-time website owner or a web veteran, iPage’s excellent hosting services and fantastic list of extras make them one of the best values in web hosting.

Unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and emails are just a part of what makes iPage’s shared hosting plans a great deal. They offer very good "suites" of extras focusing on web hosting necessities like security, marketing, and support.

If you don’t yet have a site, they include a free domain and website builder to get you rolling quickly. We especially love their inclusion of eCommerce templates and online shopping carts for the same low price.

Support is one factor that’s very important to us, as it should be to you. For customer support, iPage has US-based phone, email, and chat available 24/7. For the DIY crowd, they also have an extensive list of tutorials and helpful documents.

One of the very best budget web hosts out there, iPage offers great hosting features and server performance for a low price. If you are searching for a cheap, reliable web host, iPage should definitely be near the top of your list.

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CHEAP RATING
★★★★★ 5.0/5.0
  • Known for performance at a low price
  • Endorsed by WordPress.org team
  • FREE Weebly site builder and templates
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 30 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Cheap Hosting Plans www.bluehost.com/shared
Our Expert's Bluehost Review
If you’re looking for an affordable host, Bluehost is a solid, reputable choice, but their low cost coupled with their supremacy in the shared hosting arena is what makes this provider such a value deal.... read more +

If you’re looking for an affordable host, Bluehost is a solid, reputable choice, but their low cost coupled with their supremacy in the shared hosting arena is what makes this provider such a value deal. The Bluehost name is listed toward the top of many of our reviews categories, and with good reason. They offer excellent hardware configurations, a generous list of extras, and fantastic support and reliability — all at a price point that’s, generally, lower than the competition.

The speed and performance result from very modern hardware and a global content delivery network. They also offer nearly unlimited everything, including storage, emails, and bandwidth, and many other perks. For example, they include a free domain and marketing credits to get your site off the ground — adding to their value.

We rank Bluehost at or near the top for their WordPress, VPS, and dedicated options and if those fit your needs, please check them out. You’ll be happy to note their incredibly competitive pricing across the board.

We are convinced Bluehost has the goods to meet your hosting needs today and in the future, but more importantly, they are too. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee should you become dissatisfied with any of their plans for any reason; however, we’re willing to bet you won’t be.

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CHEAP RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • FREE BoldGrid builder and templates
  • FREE website and cPanel migrations
  • FREE SSD storage makes your site load up to 20x faster!
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $2.95
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space Unlimited
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Cheap Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/shared
Our Expert's InMotion Review
InMotion offers an excellent business-class shared hosting plan. While carrying a higher price tag than other cheap hosts, it has a very nice list of features to help justify the extra cost. For the... read more +

InMotion offers an excellent business-class shared hosting plan. While carrying a higher price tag than other cheap hosts, it has a very nice list of features to help justify the extra cost.

For the IT crowd in the audience, you’ll appreciate SSH access, as well as support for PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python, WP-CLI, and other popular languages. You’ll also appreciate the 20-times faster speed, which comes from all-SSD storage and your choice of datacenter locations. You needn’t worry about data security as InMotion plans include data backups.

For the rest of us, we can appreciate the convenience of the free website transfers and 24/7 US-based support. A free domain and website builder with eCommerce support are also appealing.

The overall package and business-class hardware make InMotion’s shared hosting a great choice for businesses or those looking for a little higher-end hardware. And, as one of the few remaining independently owned hosting providers left on the market, InMotion has taken every effort to remain cost-competitive.

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See other recommended and affordable hosts »

Top “Actually Free” Hosts for Development

Finally — after all the scrolling, you’ve reached the payoff of pay-free hosting options. Although the providers and plans listed above offer the best promise for long-term success, we absolutely understand the value of using a hosting environment free of pressure and cost to test out your concept. Be sure to read the fine print to fully understand each plan’s benefits and limitations, then go forth on your free hosting expedition! Our preferred providers below boast millions of users and ad-free services, as well as modern versions of cPanel, PHP, and MySQL.

14. 000webhost.com

  • Storage: 1GB
  • Bandwidth: 10GB
  • Email: 5 forwarders
  • PHP and MySQL: Yes
  • cPanel: Yes
  • 1-click installs: 50+

In the tumultuous world of free hosting, 000webhost’s decade-plus of service is quite admirable. Our other recommended free hosting provider, x10hosting, powers customers’ sites with SSD servers in a private cloud. Both services offer ad-free hosting with an included free site builder.

15. x10hosting.com

  • Storage: Unlimited
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Email: 3 accounts
  • PHP and MySQL: Yes
  • cPanel: Yes
  • 1-click installs: 300+

See other free hosts »

Managed Services: Skip Server Maintenance and Get Back to Coding

Interestingly, the more I learn about web hosting, the less I actually want to do. That’s not to say I’m signing off from the hosting world — rather, I’m much more inclined to work with hosts that offer top-tier managed services and hands-on attention. The extra support gives me more time to develop and less time updating the software and applications powering my hosting environment.

Managed web hosting services handle mundane server maintenance tasks to let you spend more time coding.

As your project grows, consider upgrading to managed services to capitalize on your host’s technical expertise, which often leads to improved reliability and increased security. Many of the top managed service providers will optimize your infrastructure and software configurations to eke out precious page load time savings. Managed hosting is particularly useful — and almost necessary — at the dedicated server level, though virtual and cloud server options are available if you look hard enough.

Across the industry, we’ve also noticed a particularly strong uptick in the number of hosting providers offering managed WordPress hosting services. We’re huge managed WordPress fans when the host makes a genuine effort to optimize a user’s WordPress experience with high-performing SSDs and added security measures, along with multiple caching layers and plugins. However, be sure to watch for hosts looking to capitalize on the WordPress buzz and popularity by offering so-called managed services that essentially repackage the same features as the standard shared plans.

Regardless of whether you choose a managed or unmanaged service, kick your feet up and settle in behind your computer for the long haul of developing your next big website or application. The right provider and plan will take care of the rest.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Stamey

Laura Stamey is a multi-talented communicator with a master's degree in web design and online communication and extensive experience creating web, print, and multimedia products. As a Contributing Editor for HostingAdvice.com, she combines her communication skills with web design experience, a passionate love for WordPress, and a strong desire to continue learning. When she's not addressing user questions via helpful how-to guides, you'll find her connecting with the folks behind companies that are powering the Web — covering their innovative technologies and the teams that engineer them.