Big List of Website Hosts.com

So many Website Hosts, it's Scary!

Overwhelmed by the number of
WEBSITE HOSTS?

Yes, it can be frightening. Hundreds and hundreds of website hosts, all vying for your business. Reaching out from web pages with exclamation marks, goofy cartoon characters, limited time offers, and photos of smiling, beautiful business people--often with their thumbs up.

But if you think that's bad, wait till you see what's in store on so-called review sites. Editorial reviews should help separate the wheat from the chaff. But too often the "editors" sound like paid shills for the companies they review. And user reviews? Because they're anonymous, we don't know if they're actual users, or employees, or competitors looking to trash the company.

We have a different approach. We've identified the most popular website hosts, and yes it's a big list. But we've made it manageable by ranking them according to an objective benchmark -- BBB scores (that's the Better Business Bureau, the nationally-recognized consumer watchdog). To that, we've added commentary and analysis by website developer and skeptical consumer D. Alan Carter. Read more on how we compiled and ranked our list.

Website Hosts, ranked by Better Business Bureau Scores

Website Hosts... BBB Report... Pricing... Thumbnail Review...
Visit... GoDaddy
A+
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$2.99

www.godaddy.com | Without question the big dog of the website hosting industry with 10's of millions of domains hosted. Flamboyant founder and sexy female marketing props make for juicy buzz, but company actually delivers on a number of critical issues. Read in-depth REVIEW.

Visit... HostGator
A+
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$3.96
www.hostgator.com | Over 8 million domains now hosted. Unlimited disk space, bandwidth and sub domains with cPanel controls. The company claims a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and offers a rare "no contract" hosting plan. An early proponent of green hosting. Read in-depth REVIEW.
Visit... Bluehost
A+
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$6.95

www.bluehost.com | In business since 1996 and still adding 20,000 new customers per month. Host unlimited domains on 1 account; unlimited disk storage. Generous freebies. Shared hosting only; no dedicated or VPS servers. Tech support is 100% in-house (in Utah). Read in-depth REVIEW.

Visit... InMotion Hosting
A+
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$5.95

www.inmotionhosting.com | An employee-owned company with award-winning customer support and designation as a CNET Certified Service Provider. 99.9% uptime guarantee, cPanel controls, no-cost data backup, and a 90-day money back guarantee. Read in-depth REVIEW.

Visit... Yahoo Web Hosting
A+
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$3.49

www.yahoo.com | A name practically synonymous with the Internet, Yahoo! Web Hosting is best suited for beginners in need of a simplified control panel, easy website creation tools, and comprehensive help and support. Advanced users may find it limiting. Read in-depth REVIEW.

Visit... Just Host
A+
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$3.75

www.justhost.com | Relatively new on the scene, but moving quickly up the ranks for 3 reasons: stellar customer support, significant bells & whistles, and inexpensive pricing. Cancel your account anytime, and they'll refund the remainder of your term.

Visit... Green Geeks
A
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$4.95

www.greengeeks.com | Great idea: wind energy actually sends more electricity back to the grid than the company uses--300% more. Bad idea: third-party FTP account is required (i.e., SmartFTP, CuteFTP or FileZilla). Otherwise, a solid offering.

Visit... HostMonster
A-
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$6.95

www.hostmonster.com | In business since 1996. Sister company to Bluehost. 100% in-house customer support, excellent site builder tool, and expected bells & whistles. Well suited to first-timers; advanced users might chafe at the database restriction.  

Visit... iPage
A-
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$2.95

www.ipage.com | Over 1.5 million domains under management, fueled 100% by wind power. Full complement of bells & whistles. Unique among hosts: a security suite that includes malware scanning and domain privacy. We also like the anytime money-back guarantee.

Visit... Fat Cow
A-
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$3.15

www.fatcow.com | Since 1998, company has prided itself on simplicity... and barnyard nomenclature. Shared hosting only; minimal plans (that would be 2), decent feature set, proprietary & simplified control panel. Advanced users may feel the fences.

Visit... Start Logic
A-
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$3.95

www.startlogic.com | Started in 2003 and currently hosting over 100,000 websites, the company offers 3 plans and a decent set of bells & whistles. Achilles' heel is vDeck control panel which is significantly harder to learn than the industry standard cPanel. 

Visit... BigCommerce
B+
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$24.95

www.bigcommerce.com | Beyond hosting, BigCommerce is an all-in-one ecommerce solution that allows the user to create a fully functional online store. Design your storefront, promote & market, process & ship orders, and track inventory--all via a monthly subscription. Read in-depth REVIEW.

Visit... 1&1
B
Read BBB Report
Starting at...
$2.49

www.1and1.com | Founded in 1988, Germany-based 1&1 is one of the world's largest web hosting companies -- and domain name registrars. Feature-rich packages. Standout feature: dual hosting (your site is stored on 2 separate, distant servers, mitigating any potential downtime by way of redundancy).

Why (and How) We Selected These Web Hosts

In today's world, any Tom, Dick or Harry can be a website host. At a minimum, all it takes is a reseller account with some other hosting company, a splashy logo, and badda boom -- Harry's in business. Or, for the more tech-savvy, line up some servers in your basement, load up on the latest software, and keep your phone duct-tapped to your thigh 24 hours a day.

But just being in business doesn't mean Harry's providing a value-added service to prospective customers, especially considering the competition. There's a reason why a company like HostGator is hosting over 8 million domains and Harry's Hot Hosting has signed up only 3 customers. Namely, HostGator has invested millions in infrastructure, has developed a well-oiled tech support staff, and has learned a thing or two about pleasing customers during the decade they've been in business.

Do you want to be a pleased customer? We're guessing, yes. Given that, we think there are certain things to look for in a website host that will stack the odds in favor of a customer-pleasing experience. For example, we looked for website hosts that met the following criteria:

That the firm has accumulated a sizable number of domains under their hosting tent. That's often due to a combination of investment, marketing and longevity. But long term success for an online service provider is difficult if not impossible unless they embrace a pro-customer attitude. So yes, we looked for number of years in business and total domain names hosted. We also looked for customer complaints posted on web forums, and most importantly...

That they were subject to scoring by the Better Business Bureau. The BBB typically grades companies on a scale from 'A+' to 'F' based on length of time in business, sufficiency of information about the company, the volume and types of complaints initiated against the firm, and the response by the company to those complaints.

And finally, that the breadth of services offered by the host was adequate for the typical prospective client (i.e., that the host offered reasonable disk space and bandwidth for the price, offered a popular control panel), that tech support was 24/7, etc.



The website hosts listed above are organized first by BBB score (A+ through F), then by size (as determined by the number of hosted domains). So for example, among the A+ website hosts, the ones at the top of that scoring category are the ones with the largest number of hosted domains. For the B website hosts, same thing -- the top ones listed are the larger hosts. And so on down to the F's.

BTW, steer clear of the F's. Save yourself the heartache.

Best of luck,
Editors, Big-List-of-Website-Hosts.com

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