When you’re building a website to show off to the world, you’re going to need somewhere to store all the files. In the good old days, you could just fire up a dedicated PC in your home, connect it to the internet through your broadband router, and off you went. However, with the greater security demands of the modern internet, along with the vast increase in the number of people online, this is no longer a viable method of hosting.

It’s also probably against the terms of your broadband contract!

With that in mind, here are the top 10 web hosts for 2018 – but they are not ranked like a normal “top 10”. Each host has special features that will appeal to certain projects, so where one might be cheaper another might be faster. It’s up to you – and your project – to choose which one suits you best.

HostPresto

HostPresto are a well-known hosting company, established in 2001. Their servers run at 99.99% uptime, and are fast and responsive. Hosting starts at a standard price of £3.60 per month, but this is reduced by buying 3 years up front, with offers to £1.60 a month (or even less). At this price, you can host 2 websites with up to 1GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth. And this includes email. Higher priced options are available, but this is a good choice if you are just starting out.

Hostgator

Hostgator has been around since 2002 and have prices starting at $2.75. Their servers run at 99.96% uptime, so very slightly less than Bluehost. The $2.75 package allows hosting of 1 website with unlimited storage and bandwidth and includes a domain name and SSL security. Unlimited POP3 email is included, and advertising credits for Google and Bing form part of the package.

GoDaddy

GoDaddy also have a 99.96% uptime, and although their prices start at $2.99, coupons are often available to reduce this. Basic hosting includes 1 website with up to 100GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth. A domain name and free (for the first year) business email is also included.

1&1

1&1 are a German company that has been around since 1988, and offer hosting from as little as $0.99 for the first year. With an uptime of 99.99%, you can host 1 website with up to 100GB of storage on the basic plan. Again, there is unlimited bandwidth, a domain name, and SSL security included. Up to 500 email address can be set up. Very cheap and good performance.

FastComet

Fastcomet take a slightly different approach. Their basic package is $2.99, but if you register or transfer a single domain to them, it is renewed for free, for life. The downside is their basic storage space is only 15GB – but how big is your site in comparison? Your $2.99 gets you 1 website with unlimited bandwidth (25,000 visitors), 99.98% uptime, and unlimited email.

Dreamhost

Dreamhost claim 100% uptime, and offer a refund of the price of 1 day of hosting for each hour of interruption to their service. Hosting starts at $7.95 per month (if you sign up for 3 years, $10.95 on pay monthly) and includes unlimited websites, storage and bandwidth, along with SSL security.

Namecheap

Namecheap have packages starting at $2.88 that include hosting of up to 3 separate websites. Storage is limited to 20GB but bandwidth is unlimited. Like Dreamhost, Namecheap aims for 100% uptime and issue credits should they fail to meet it. SSL security certificates are also included

Fatcow

Fatcow hosting offers unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited email addresses and a free domain name, all starting at $4.08 per month. Advertising credits for search engine marketing are included in the plan, as is SSL security. Unlimited domains can also be used with each account, meaning this is an ideal solution if you have multiple websites you need to host. After the 1-year promotional period, the price per month increases to between $12.95 and $14.95 (depending on the contract term you choose), which for unlimited hosting still represents good value.

InMotion

InMotion offer a basic hosting package starting at $7.99 ($6.39 after discounts) per month. You can host 2 websites with unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth. A domain name and SSL security is also included, along with advertising credits to help you get your creation off the ground. InMotion hosting has an uptime of 99.97% and guarantees that your website will be hosted on an SSD drive, allowing faster loading that many other hosting companies.

WP Engine

WP Engine is a specialized host dealing exclusively with WordPress-based websites. Their platform has been optimized and tweaked to get the best out of the WordPress software, and therefore should be seen as the go-to host for running a WordPress site. However, this degree of specialization does not come cheap.

The basic “Startup” plan comes in at $35 per month. Granted, you get a CDN (Content Delivery Network, a group of servers linked together to deliver your site to a browser quickly and efficiently) and SSL security included, but if you’re just starting out this may be prohibitively expensive.

You’re also limited to 25,000 visit per month and 50GB of data bandwidth. While this is quite a large amount, it is not unlimited, which again may be a factor in your choice.

WP Engine is undoubtedly high-performance, but is not cheap or flexible.

In conclusion

All of the above-named hosting companies have near-100% uptime, and all have fast servers. It’s difficult to choose which company you might want to go with, but look for the features you need. Do you need to host a single domain name, 2 or 3, or many? Is cost a major factor, or do you see little difference between $3 a month and $15 a month?

And are you running just WordPress or something else instead?

As long as you know exactly what you need from your hosting, you’ll be able to find the host that suits you perfectly.