Best Web Hosting 2021 for non-WordPress websites

Best Web Hosting 2021

Best Web Hosting 2021

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Best Web Hosting 2021: Of all the web hosts available in 2021, there are four reliable hosts that keep costs to around five dollars per month and still compete with their higher-priced competitors. So to find out which of the four is the best, I purchased a plan from each one and uploaded the exact same website to all four.

The four hosts we’ll be comparing are

HostGator
Bluehost
Dreamhost
Ionos

And we’ll be looking at their shared web hosting packages specifically for Branding, Lead-Gen, Publishing, and Support type websites. Among the many options available for web hosting, these four are the most affordable, reliable, and accommodating of users with beginner experience levels.  

PRICING

HostGator’s Hatchling Plan is the best bet for basic needs. A yearly subscription’s checkout cost is just over fifty dollars in the U.S, which is about four dollars per month. It includes hosting for one website, a free domain, and a standard SSL Certificate.

Bluehost’s best package for our website types is their basic plan. The checkout cost for their yearly subscription is around seventy-two dollars USD and averages out to about six dollars per month. It includes hosting for one website, a free domain, and a Standard SSL Certificate, and a free CDN.  

Dreamhost’s best package is their Shared Starter Plan. At around five dollars per month, checkout cost is only four-ninety-five. The best part about Dreamhost’s package is that there’s no contract but the trade-off is that there’s no free domain either, but they still give you a standard SSL certificate.

And finally, Ionos. Ionos does have a great Starter plan but their Business plan is really hard to pass up, I couldn’t. For a twelve-dollar checkout, I got a year’s worth of hosting for an unlimited number of websites, a free domain, a wildcard SSL Certificate, and a professional email. That’s quite a bit of value for a buck a month.

Of course, for all of these hosts, these packages are introductory rates for new customers, so be aware that all of them can, and most likely will, increase your rate as soon as your subscription is up. But that’s the best part about a DIY HTML website, it stands alone and you can easily hop from one host to the next with minimal effort.

RELIABILITY

In general, a good host will rarely have server problems resulting in a downed hosted site, and to assure their customers of this, it’s standard practice for hosts to offer anywhere from 99 to 99.9 percent uptime guarantee.

HostGator and Ionos both offer an uptime guarantee of 99.9 percent. This means that if your server goes down for longer than 0.1 percent of a given time frame, there’s a way to get compensated for that downed time.

Bluehost does not offer its customers any guarantees at all. In fact, they give themselves plenty of wiggle room with this disclaimer. And as far as customer experience, well, this is their rating on TrustPilot.

The host who takes the cake on uptime guarantees is Dreamhost with a 100 percent uptime guarantee. This means that if your website goes down at all because of a server-related problem, you’re guaranteed some form of compensation. And this is their rating on Trustpilot. And so that we’re fair, here’s the rating for HostGator on TrustPilot and Ionos on TrustPilot.  

Here’s how they stack up for ease of use. I’m in here quite often so this is very familiar to me, but it could be a little daunting for a beginner simply because there’s so much here. However, they do have an extensive library of well-written tutorials which helps a lot. So overall, I’d give them three stars for ease of use for beginners. A beginner could easily get lost, but there are enough guideposts to help them find their way.

Next up is Bluehost’s customer portal. Similar to HostGator, they use Cpanel, so there’s a lot going on in here. However, unless you’re setting up a WordPress site, which we are not, their user interface is not intuitive at all. To upload your own site, the option is hidden under “Advanced.” That’ll get you in to cPanel. Once there, it’s just a matter of identifying the correct folder to upload your files. It’s public HTML by the way. For ease of use, I give them two stars if you’re not uploading a WordPress site.

Now let’s take a look at Dreamhost. Dreamhost’s dashboard looks similar in layout to Bluehost, but there seem to be a few tweaks in here, in all the right places, that make the user experience better than Bluehost’s. Taking a look at the left-hand menu, “Domains” makes for the best first place to look to figure out where you might upload your site. Once you click on it, the dropdown assures you that you actually are in the right place. From there, it’s fairly intuitive. You click “Websites”, and then over to the right, my files are easily identified by a nice folder icon.

Finally, let’s look at Ionos’ customer portal. After signing in, the hardest choice you have to make is choosing the correct card, but “Hosting” is a fairly obvious choice. The next page offers many choices, but “Webspace” probably makes the most sense. Once there, you’re good to upload your site. One thing I wanted to mention about Ionos that’s different from the other three hosts is that Ionos does not allow you to add multiple files at once. You have to do each file one at a time. But it’s not that big of a deal unless you have a lot of files on your website, in which case uploading could get pretty tedious. Just something to keep in mind.

SERVER SPEEDS

To test server speeds, I used the same website that’s available for free download on alanajen.com and uploaded it to all four hosts. I then ran Bitcatcha on all four servers to compare server times and I also double-checked page load times using Google’s Page Insights. Here are the results.

If most of your traffic is coming from Central and the Western U.S., Ionos beats out HostGator and Dreamhost. Granted it’s marginal, but it’s also almost twice as fast as Dreamhost.

If your traffic hails from the Eastern U.S., Dreamhost is exceptionally fast, it’s mind-blowing in fact. Dreamhost also beats out the other three hosts by a large margin for Canadian traffic as well. But if you’re not sure where your traffic is going to come from, but your audience is somewhere in the U.S., Ionos is the fastest. But if you’re targeting the U.S. and Canada, either HostGator or Bluehost are the hosts that offer the most consistent speeds no matter where your visitors are coming from. So which is my top pick?

Well, I’ve actually been using Hostgator for a couple of years and they’ve been hosting a few of my websites. I found them to be reliable, easy to use, and consistent. And I’ve never actually needed to contact their support. So you can’t go wrong with HostGator and I think they’re a solid choice. I’d also have to say that Dreamhost is great for anyone not sure if they want to maintain a website or just want to try it out for a month since there’s no contract. And if my traffic was primarily from the East coast of the U.S. or Canada, I’d seriously consider them.

But my top pick has got to be Ionos. I’ve purchased three domains from them and I’m using them to host a client’s website and so far there haven’t been any issues. Plus their value is hard to beat. That 12 dollars introductory rate for a whole year of unlimited websites, a wildcard SSL, and a free domain is pretty juicy. Plus their service speeds are great for the U.S. So for whatever it’s worth, Ionos by the German web hosting company 1&1, gets my vote for Best Web Hosting provider for 2021. But let me know below, which web host is your top pick? If you found this video helpful, share it with a friend who might need a web host.

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