Shared hosting is the most basic hosting option designed to meet the needs of smaller websites that don’t get a high traffic load. If it’s your first time launching a personal website, your hosting needs will most likely be covered by a shared hosting account.
With shared hosting, hosting providers focus on delivering a low-cost hosting option that gets the technicalities associated with server management out of the way and focuses on providing you easy to use tools, so you can build a website, manage email addresses, databases, add domains, all this from a control panel that ranks high on usability.
What is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is when a physical server is partitioned into multiple accounts and its users share the resources of that server, while emails, domains and databases are managed separately. The costs of the server are also shared among multiple users, which accounts for the economical price of these hosting plans.
By far the most popular hosting plan, shared hosting is used by bloggers, small to medium sized websites, websites without much visitor load, and even small eCommerce sites that use PayPal as their payment method.
Top 5 Shared Hosting Providers
You won’t have a hard time finding a shared hosting plan since most web hosting companies will have this plan in their offerings. However, determining which hosting provider will offer you the best value for your money is slightly more difficult.
Here are the 5 top-rated shared hosting providers in the industry:
With almost 20 years of experience in the hosting industry, iPage prides itself with having the expertise and infrastructure to host your site, whichever the hosting package you need.
iPage offers a single shared hosting plan for an introductory price of $1.99/month, which is probably the lowest price in the industry. The plan also includes a free domain name. This shared account is unlimited in the sense that it comes with unmetered disk space, unlimited domains allowed, unlimited MySQL accounts, and scalable bandwidth.
Features wise, iPage’s shared hosting plan makes sure to cover the design, security and marketing related needs of your website. Thus, the design suite included with this plan contains a website builder, mobile-friendly templates, possibility to create blogs and even online stores. The security tools provided allow you to scan for malware and secure your website via the SiteLock security tool. For those who want to promote their website, iPage offers marketing tools including marketing credit and a site analytics suite.
Founded only a few years later than iPage, BlueHost is currently the flagship hosting for WordPress sites. Their hosting services are endorsed by WordPress and their shared hosting plans are fine-tuned to accommodate WordPress websites.
Instead of offering a single plan, BlueHost has a selection of three shared hosting packages of which 2 are unlimited plans. Prices range from $2.75/month to $5.45/month.
All plans come with a free domain name, unmetered bandwidth, and cPanel control panel, SSH access, free backups and CloudFlare content delivery network built into your account. Marketing credit, SpamExperts, DomainPrivacy and SiteBackup Pro are included in higher tier shared hosting plans.
BlueHost provides a robust server infrastructure that delivers the functionality, security and performance your website needs. If your website ever outgrows BlueHost’s shared hosting plans, you can upgrade your plan with a single click and enjoy the benefits of more resources offered by BlueHost’s VPS or dedicated plans.
InMotion Hosting is another important hosting company that offers some of the most full-featured hosting plans in the industry. Their plans are slightly more business-oriented; however, their plans are designed to meet every budget.
There are three shared hosting plans offered by InMotion, and you can find them under their Business Hosting offerings. These plans come with free SSD, free domain name, SSH access, free data backups, free 1-click installer, free website builder, WP-CLI enabled, cPanel, and 90-day money-back guarantee.
Their free drag and drop site builder tool, BoldGrid, allows you to easily build mobile-friendly websites, while their Softaculous 1-click auto-installer gives you access to over 400 applications. Keep your emails spam-free with the Spam Assassin tool also included with your plan.
All shared plans at InMotion Hosting are unlimited in terms of disk space and bandwidth, and plans differ in the number of websites and databases you are allowed to host on the server, as well as the type of support and ecommerce features included with each plan.
HostGator is another top hosting company that is worth your attention whether you’re looking for a pocket-friendly shared hosting plan or a highly scalable VPS plan.
HostGator offers three unmetered shared hosting plans priced $3.95/month (Hatchling plan), $5.95/month (Baby plan), and $5.95/month (Business plan) respectively. The Baby plan and Business plan are currently priced similarly because of a promotion.
Apart from the unmetered disk space and bandwidth, you can host unlimited email accounts and MySQL databases with any of the shared accounts. With the exception of the Baby plan, all shared accounts come with unlimited domains allowed. The Business plan includes a free dedicated IP, a free private SSL, and a free toll-free number.
Other features included with HostGator’s shared hosting plans include: cPanel, Soholaunch Pro website creation tool, hotlink protection, IP deny manager, instant backups, real-time updates, free marketing credit, 45-day money-back guarantee, etc.
InterServer offers the whole spectrum of web hosting plans including reseller and colocation hosting. They have a privately-owned datacenter and an on-site support team always available to help.
Of their shared hosting plans, InterServer recommends their Standard web hosting plan, which is available for the monthly price of $5. The plan is an all-unlimited plan (unlimited storage, websites, email, transfer, FTP accounts) that includes weekly backups, quick install scripts, free CloudFlare CDN, price lock guarantee, free migration, discounted email registration (only $1.99/year), a choice of CMSs and shopping carts, ad credit, etc. Accounts are hosted on SSD enhanced servers with SQL databases being stored on ultra-fast SSD drivers.
If you’re looking for a WordPress optimized shared hosting plan, InterServer provides a managed WordPress account for $8 a month. Another interesting shared hosting package is their ASP.NET plan, which is packed with amazing features costing only $5 per month.
By analyzing the shared hosting plans lined up by the top shared hosting providers in the industry, it’s safe to say that unlimited shared hosting is the industry standard. The features included with each plan are different from company to company, but there are certain features that are common for almost all providers in our list. These include cPanel as the control panel of choice, one-click installs, site builder tools, marketing credit, eCommerce capabilities, SEO and marketing suites all meant to make it easier for you to create, maintain and promote your website.