Shared hosting is a lot like 19-year-old me as a college sophomore deciding that sharing an apartment made a lot of sense. It saved me a ton on rent and bills, and I still got access to all of the accommodations I needed. I figured I would get my own place once my lifestyle demanded it — and once it made more financial sense.
Shared hosting is no different and just means your website will share space on the same server as other sites. This tends to mean lower prices, as you’re essentially splitting the resources and associated costs you would be monopolizing on a dedicated server. Though great for beginners, a shared host can meet the needs of even very popular websites.
We took the top shared hosting providers for a spin — evaluating price, ease of setup, support, site builders, eCommerce features, and more. Below we cover the best of the best, by category.
1. Best Overall Shared Host
When shopping for a shared host, you should compare the cost against the number of amenities included (e.g., free domain, drag-and-drop site builder, unlimited email, and 24/7 support). A contender that truly deserves to top the list of shared hosts in any given category is one that is going to offer the most usable features for the lowest cost — yielding the greatest value.
- Known for high-performance, low-cost hosting
- FREE website builder with 1,000s of templates
- Endorsed by the WordPress.org team as a top WP host
- FREE SSL certificate and CDN acceleration
- Usually $7.99/month, but our visitors pay $2.95/month
- Get started on Bluehost now.
2. Cheapest Shared Host
Naturally, cost is probably a deciding factor in your web host shopping endeavors. They often say, “You get what you pay for,” but that doesn’t mean “cheap host” is synonymous with “crap host.” We’ve compared the most affordable shared hosts on the market to present to you the lowest-cost option that doesn’t cut corners on functionality, features, or support. That’s why our #1 recommendation is a host that is both affordable and reliable:
- Featuring easy setup and superb reliability since 1998
- FREE domain and FREE Google marketing included
- Unlimited disk, bandwidth, and emails
- FREE site builder and shopping cart
- Get more than 75% off today (was $7.99/month)
- Get started on iPage now.
3. Best Shared Host for Email
Email hosting is a crucial business need for SMBs to enterprises, and a shared web host can be your cheapest bet to get that need met quickly and cost-consciously. Some key features we look for in an email hosting provider are spam filtering, virus protection, auto-forwarding options, and of course, free unlimited email accounts — and our #1 pick offers it all:
- FREE software for webmail, newsletters, contact forms, list management, and spam filtering
- Unlimited addresses with forwarding & autoresponders
- Secure POP3, IMAP, and SMTP messaging
- Unlimited storage and transfer with FREE SSL
- Get more than 50% off today (was $7.99/month)
- Get started on A2 Hosting now.
4. Best Shared Host for Blogging
Every blogger needs a platform for their voice to be heard, and they don’t want to wait forever in the wings for their words to take center stage. That’s why features like one-click Drupal install or pre-installed WordPress carry weight when we evaluate the best blog hosts. We compared blog offerings, cost, security, and support, and now give you the best shared host for blogging:
- FREE domain and transfer, with WordPress pre-installed
- Host unlimited WordPress sites on a single account
- Unlimited bandwidth, plus FREE data backups and SSL
- User-friendly, 3-step Wizard for Google apps integration
- SPAM Safe™ email with IMAP support
- Get started with InMotion now.
5. Best Shared Host with Free Website Builder
Once you’re signed up for hosting, you’ll realize you actually have to build your site. Gulp. This is easy though, as many of the top shared hosts also offer a free drag-and-drop site builder among their offerings, so you can point and click to add text, images, and videos to your new site. Build your dream website from scratch, without touching code, with our favorite site builder host:
- No coding skills needed with drag-and-drop builder
- 100s of templates with niche-specific designs
- Add features via the App Market and Wix Events
- Easily create ecommerce functionality easily
- Great way to build small sites on a budget
- Get started on Wix now.
6. Best Shared Host for eCommerce Sites
As brick-and-mortars continue to move to the web and selling online as a second form of income continues trending, eCommerce hosting is on the rise. For those looking to launch an online store, we’ve compiled the hosts with the features that matter most to you: Single-click installations for Magento or PrestaShop, and free ad credits to get your brand noticed, as examples. Here’s our #1 choice:
- 1-click installs for eCommerce tools like WooCommerce
- FREE eCommerce plugin for WordPress
- Daily backups, a CDN, and FREE Weebly site builder
- Test changes to your online store within the staging area
- 24/7 support delivered by eCommerce gurus
- Get started on SiteGround now.
7. Best Linux Shared Hosting
Linux is a well-known operating system that’s widely supported by many of the best hosts out there, and rightfully so. It’s intuitive, it’s flexible, it’s a comfortable fit for mid- to senior-level users. After testing out the interfaces and comparing the hardware, security, uptime, support, and cost of the top Linux shared hosts, we present our recommendation below:
- All servers run on the CentOS operating system
- Secure FTP access and FTP manager
- Easy customization with PHP, Perl, and Python support
- Enhanced security suite ($100 value) and 24/7 monitoring
- Two datacenters with Cisco routers and load balancing
- Get started on iPage now.
8. Best cPanel Shared Hosting
A beloved web panel among shared hosting users, cPanel is one of the most popular and powerful interfaces used to manage your hosting and databases. A great many of the top hosts include cPanel in their packages (many in branded forms) due to its intuitiveness and wide array of readily available features. Find one-click installations of your favorite content management platforms, unlimited domains and emails, and 24/7 support with our #1 cPanel shared host:
- Secure logins for cPanel and WebMail
- 1-click WordPress installation and $200 in ad credits
- FREE domain and FREE site-building tools
- Expert support available 24/7
- Easy access to email tools and site statistics
- Get started on Bluehost now.
9. Best SSD Shared Hosting
If the fastest shared hosting provider is what you’re looking for, SSD speed is what you need. Solid-state drives (SSDs) help your webpages load quickly, and a trustworthy shared host will make sure your site is online as often as possible (uptime!). We compared it all — uptime rates, performance, security, and speed — and now present our top-rated choice in SSD shared hosting:
- FREE SSD drives included with all hosting plans
- Zero-downtime website transfers and migrations
- FREE data backups, SSL certificate, and DDoS protection
- Choice of East Coast or West Coast datacenter
- Multi-language support, including PHP, Ruby, and Perl
- Get started on InMotion now.
Good News: Shared Hosts Offer Fast Setup
Shared hosting is ideal for those whose websites are not quite ready to live in a space without a few roommates — and it can take as little as four minutes to get started. Even better, there are tons of hosts that promote instant account setup and activation, making sure you can get online as fast as possible.
The cost is hard to beat, the support is there for those who need it, and you tend to get as many free amenities as you need for as long as you need — but don’t be afraid to upgrade when you do start to outgrow that shared apartment. The best hosting providers will be there to help you grow, and your HostingAdvice family can’t wait to see you succeed!