Best Web Hosting 2020

Kinsta vs SiteGround vs Cloudways vs WPX Hosting

If you are creating or planning to create any website, you will need a domain name and hosting (disk space and other server resources) for this purpose.

In this article, I’ll review the best web hosting providers in the world.

 

Best Web Hosting 2020

 

For those who are looking for a good hosting provider I recommend foreign companies with high reputation and international prestige in the first place.

You can also choose one of your domestic (smaller) hosting providers, but this is your choice.

In this article, I will focus on discussing the best web hosting companies in the world.

And before I move forward, I have to let you know that, from my point of view, there is only 1 really useful and amazing hosting provider in the world.

The rest of them are mentioned just for the comparison purpose and not as a recommendation for you.

 

1. Kinsta

 

Kinsta

Kinsta is an amazing hosting company which was founded in December 2013.

It’s not the accident that this is the number 1 hosting in my article.

After testing a few various web hosting providers, I can boldly say that Kinsta is my number 1 hosting provider in the world!

Furthermore, this is the only web hosting provider which I haven’t had any issues with since I started blogging in 2016!

This is also why I decided to paste their banner on this blog’s sidebar.

Although I have created a separate article with my review of Kinsta, I will write some basic information about this company below.

Kinsta is a premium class hosting provider using Google Cloud servers.

This amazing architecture makes this service more expensive compared to their competition, but from my point of view, it is definitely worth that money!

Kinsta pricing 2019

When it comes to pricing, I would recommend you to choose the cheapest (30 USD) package at the beginning. 10 GB of disk space and 20,000 monthly visitors limits are high enough for every new website.

If your traffic exceeds 20,000 monthly visitors, you should make so much money that you’ll be able to pay slightly more for a more expensive package.

However, if your traffic exceeds the limit of your current package and you do not switch immediately to the next level package, your site will not go down. You’ll just be charged some additional fee for the extra traffic – 1 USD per 1,000 additional visitors.

This is a huge advantage if we compare Kinsta to other hosting providers.

In case of majority web hosting providers, your site would go down if you exceed any of their limits. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that if you host your sites with Kinsta.

As you can see below, there are almost no restrictions on the number of available CPU cores and the amount of RAM. Autoscaling dynamically allocates resources based on your current website traffic.

Kinsta - CPU RAM

In other words, if you host your sites at Kinsta, you don’t have to worry about your monthly limitations, but that’s not all.

Choose Kinsta and your server will be able to deal with any potential traffic spikes!

As I mentioned before, you can find more information about Kinsta in my Kinsta review.

By the way, I have to let you know that since October 2019, my blog is hosted at Kinsta. 🙂

 

Kinsta – Pros & Cons

 

Pros:

– all available servers belong to Google;

96 CPU cores and more than 100 GB of RAM available in every price package;

– user-friendly interface;

– separate websites are stored in separate catalogs;

– daily automatic backups;

– the option of changing the server to a more expensive or cheaper one;

built-in mechanisms to protect against hacker attacks and against malware;

a guarantee of free repair of potential damages caused by viruses or hackers;

a guarantee that the server will handle any load – in case of higher traffic the server will work all the time, at most an additional fee will be charged (however, higher traffic usually translates into a greater number of shares, greater brand recognition and a larger number of transactions, so maybe it is worth paying that fee);

regularly added new, useful features;

– exceptionally professional technical support;

you can easily access your sites using SFTP protocol;

Kinsta is 100% based on Nginx – no Apache and no .htaccess issues. 🙂

Cons:

– not the lowest price for the start and some risk of incurring additional fees (yet my experience shows that it’s worth to pay that price);

the list of banned plugins (this is the downside for some potential customers, however, I have my own ultimate list of plugins and all of them work great with Kinsta).

 

2. SiteGround

 

SiteGround - homepage

My two blogs had been hosted with this company for quite long period of time since June 2016 (since the time I’ve created my first website). In the meantime, I have tested a few other hosting providers such as: Cloudways, Kinsta, Flywheel, and WPX Hosting.

At the beginning, I will present a statistical average page load time (declared by SiteGround) on shared hosting from various hosting providers.

SiteGround - loading speed

Below you will find information about performance of individual servers.

SiteGround - performance

In terms of security, SiteGround is also one of the world leaders.

SiteGround - security

Technical support in SiteGround versus competition.

SiteGround - phone support

SiteGround - chat support

SiteGround - ticket support

SiteGround - issues - support

Very popular (especially for websites with small or medium traffic) shared hosting is offered by SiteGround in three different price packages and hardware configurations.

SiteGround shared hosting pricing 2020

 

Certainly, the most expensive version (GoGeek) offers the most powerful hardware specification. I had used this option since I created my first website in June 2016.

SiteGround-GoGeek-2018

GrowBig and GoGeek packages provide access to an interesting Staging feature. This feature allows you to create a copy of the site on which you can test various changes and carry out experiments without fear of unintentional destabilization of the publicly available site.

GrowBig and GoGeek packages also increase the possibilities of using website backups.

However, as it comes to staging itself – instead of using the function available in the hosting company you can use this free WordPress plugin.

Furthermore, I can assure you that you will get more and more experience with WordPress as time goes by. This way, you’ll be able to make any changes you want on your live site and you won’t destroy anything!

Besides, you should know that there’s an amazing tool called BlogVault on the market.

BlogVault creates incremental backups (in automatic mode) at least once a day and stores them outside of your web server! So with this tool, you’ll be able to quickly restore your site to any past version of choice.

As it comes to SiteGround packages, at the beginning you can, of course, choose the cheapest package (StartUp). Remember, however, that in addition to the weakest hardware configuration, you have the option of storing only one site on this type of account! Over time, however, you can upgrade from the StartUp package to GrowBig or GoGeek. 🙂

SiteGround - shared hosting - comparison

StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek packages are sufficient for traffic up to 10,000, 25,000 and 100,000 visits per month, respectively. Above the latter, you should opt for cloud hosting.

Personally, I switched to SiteGround cloud hosting in October 2019.

To my surprise, it turned out to be only slightly more powerful than the shared GoGeek package although it costs about 2 times more! 😮

From my own experience, I can say that you should start with the cheapest Kinsta package from day 1 of your blogging career and stay with that company.

But now, let’s go back for a while to SiteGround’s shared hosting.

Once you choose the right package for you, you have the option of choosing location of the server on which your files will be stored.

When I was taking uptime measurements on both my blogs, it was 100% according to Uptime Robot statistics.

SiteGround - alivebetter.pl - uptime

SiteGround - alivebetter.com - uptime

WordPress recommends SiteGround as one of the best hosting companies.

SiteGround technical support works very fast, professionally and reliably. 3 small technical issues that have happened to me in the first two years of my blogging career have been resolved in about 15 minutes.

Below are screenshots from my three tickets:

SiteGround ticket 01

SiteGround ticket 02

SiteGround ticket 03

It is also worth reading this article published on SiteGround blog. Artificial intelligence preventing attacks on the site is quite advanced and useful feature.

In addition, it is worth paying attention to the comments under the article. You can read some of them below:

SiteGround - comments

SiteGround - comments

SiteGround - comments

As you can see, SiteGround offers probably the best shared hosting among the existing companies on the market.

But does it make any sense to start with shared hosting and then start looking for a good cloud hosting?

In my opinion, it does not.

It’s much better to choose the best possible solution right from the start. 🙂

 

SiteGround Switches To Google Cloud Platform

 

In February 2020, I found an interesting news on the Internet – it turned out that SiteGround moved their servers from SingleHop to Google Cloud Platform. 😮

Theoretically, it would be an amazing news, but I’ve quickly found a few cons anyway:

1. There are only a few available server locations although GCP offers more than 20.

2. They still offer shared hosting which is a quite costly solution (Truth to tell, I don’t have idea how it’s possible to offer shared hosting on any cloud platform and what’s the point of that service).

3. There is a mix of Nginx and Apache servers which, unfortunately, causes double 301 redirects or any other HTTPS issue.

SiteGround - alivebetter.pl - HTTPS issue

As you can see above, HTTPS didn’t work correctly, and I wasn’t able to make it work properly although I have some experience in this topic.

What’s interesting, I managed to make it work properly very quickly after moving my blog to Cloudways.

SiteGround 301 redirect issue fixed by moving to Cloudways

Try not to compare my loading speed results from the two screenshots above since I haven’t activated WP Rocket after transferring my blog to Cloudways.

4. My blog’s TTFB was quite poor considering that it was supposedly hosted on Google Cloud Platform.

SiteGround - Google Cloud Platform - TTFB issue

5. In my case, auto-updates didn’t work at all. 😮

Here’s a screenshot with SiteGround autoupdates settings for my blog.

SiteGround autoupdates settings

Although all the options were enabled all the time, it didn’t work in my case.

Furthermore, I was trying to keep my plugins updated with Companion Auto Update but it didn’t work too. 😮

SiteGround - Companion AutoUpdate issue

After moving my blog from SiteGround to Cloudways, all the issues have gone.

SiteGround autoupdates issue fixed by moving to Cloudways

 

SiteGround – Pros & Cons

 

Pros:

– high uptime – 99.99% (I showed you before that I even got 100%);

– quite good technical support;

early access to the latest PHP version with recent bugfixes;

a modern, based on artificial intelligence, an incredibly effective system to prevent intrusions on the websites of SiteGround’s customers;

this is one of the three hosting companies recommended by WordPress;

– there are separate applications for separate websites (no subdomains anymore);

New Client Area and Site Tools instead of old cPanel.

Cons:

this service is not fully Nginx-based which may cause many .htaccess issues;

they offer (quite expensive) shared hosting which, in my opinion, is completely pointless these days;

there’s no option of monthly payments for those who decide to choose shared hosting at SiteGround;

– TTFB (time to first byte) is as low as it was before they moved to Google Cloud Platform;

– during my test, auto-updates didn’t work at all;

quite low limitations on each hosting plan – your site will quickly go down in case of any spike in traffic;

– no security guarantee;

although SFTP connections are offered in theory, they do not work in practice, FTP connections work but let’s face it – this technology is a little too old for these days.

 

3. Cloudways

 

Cloudways - homepage

It is a company founded in 2012. Recently, it has gained quite a lot of popularity.

As you can see on the screenshot above, this is a cloud hosting provider. There is no possibility to use shared hosting or dedicated servers what might seem to be an issue for some potential customers.

I used this company’s services since August 2018 till February 2019.

The first important information about the Cloudways company is the fact that the company uses servers from five different providers! These are: DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon and Google.

Cloudways - hosting providers

You can create any number of servers, but there is a condition here. If you create several servers in one day, your account will be automatically blocked, which will force you to contact technical support (which is of really low quality 😕 ) or to give up the platform.

For me, the first week of using the platform (in my case it was testing various configurations) was very hard. All I had to do was to create several servers, test them and delete them, and it meant that my account became blocked. The technical support employee unlocked the account, but their software rules were blocking it again.

Eventually, another technical support employee turned off those automatic locks on my account and since then I have not experienced any issues with Cloudways! 🙂

 

How Cloudways Payments Work

 

Payments in Cloudways are calculated on an hourly basis. This fee is fortunately automatically converted into the amount due per month, which you might have noticed on the previous screenshot.

The platform has a tab that shows you your current expenses and a forecast of expenses for the current month.

Cloudways payments - real time billing

The amount due is drawn from the virtual wallet, which can be credited with the use of a PayPal account or a credit/debit card.

 

Moving the Site from Another Hosting Company to Cloudways and Transferring Between Different Servers in Cloudways

 

Migrating site from another hosting provider to Cloudways is very simple. All you need to do is sign up with Cloudways and create a server (it’s better a bit too weak than too strong – later you can transfer your website to a more efficient server very quickly), and then install the Cloudways WordPress Migrator plugin in your dashboard (what’s interesting, this plugin is based on the excellent, recommended by me, BlogVault service). The next steps are described in Cloudways support section.

Migration of both my blogs (in August 2018) from SiteGround to Cloudways went without any issues.

All available servers can be scaled by increasing the disk space or switching to a more powerful configuration.

Cloudways - server scaling

In addition, you can also copy the entire contents of the server or any site of your choice to another server (of any configuration) located anywhere you want.

 

Cloudways – Pros & Cons

 

Pros:

cooperation with 5 hosting providers: DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS (Amazon Web Services), GCP (Google Cloud Platform);

– integrated CDN (works quite well but I recommend using free Cloudflare anyway);

– backups created with the frequency selected by the user;

very low server fees;

smooth operation of SFTP connections;

separate directories for separate sites (applications) instead of subfolders known from other hosting companies;

pay as you go payments;

the ability to transfer or clone the site to any other server (same or different provider);

huge selection of server locations;

the ability to change the server for more expensive or cheaper one;

user-friendly interface;

the possibility of a smooth and easy migration of any site from another hosting company using Cloudways WordPress Migrator plugin;

no forward contracts, the possibility of cancellation at any time;

quite good servers for very low fees;

although your site may go down in case of traffic spikes, you can run slightly more powerful server and move your site in about 10-15 minutes.

Cons:

– technical support much less professional compared to SiteGround, Kinsta, and WPX Hosting (I’ve seen many complaints on Cloudways’ support on different sites and here are some examples on Trustpilot);

– there is a .htaccess file so you should decide whether you want to tamper with it or not (if not, just go with Kinsta).

 

4. WPX Hosting

 

WPX Hosting

This is the second company in this article with headquarters in Bulgaria. The company was founded at the end of 2013.

WPX Hosting offers packages that are not based on limiting the availability of RAM or CPU. In case of WPX Hosting, there’s a limit of bandwidth in two cheaper packages.

WPX Hosting - pricing

An interesting feature of WPX Hosting is professional DDoS protection from Imperva (former Incapsula), malware detection and guarantee of removal of potential damages in case of an attack.

As you can see on the screenshot above, WPX Hosting offers only 3 packages, which is a huge advantage their for customers.

The most expensive package, costing just 99 USD per month, should handle traffic exceeding 1 million unique visitors per month, but this is an unofficial information.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found any official info in this topic.

What’s interesting, there are no additional fees associated with an increased number of visitors. 😮

People who like animals should be very interested in the fact that WPX Hosting helps survive hundreds of homeless dogs from Bulgarian shelters. It is a unique initiative in the technology industry. I think that it is worth supporting such initiatives.

 

One Thing That Could Be Improved

 

In WPX Hosting, there’s something called main domain.

WPX Hosting - main domain

In other words, if there’s more than one domain, they are not separate entities. There’s one main domain which cannot be deleted.

Not so long time ago, SiteGround offered very similar solution.

Fortunately, they have implemented separate domains with their New Client Area and Site Tools.

I hope that WPX Hosting will do something similar in the future.

 

WPX Hosting – Pros & Cons

 

Pros:

no restrictions on the CPU and RAM;

– the ability to host multiple websites in each price package;

very low prices of packages;

professional protection (from Incapsula) against DDoS attacks and malware;

free repair of the damage in case of potential attacks;

excellent technical support.

Cons:

– for some customers, the amount of disk space may seem to be not enough;

– websites hosted with WPX Hosting are not completely independent (it’s not a disaster, but I hope it will be fixed very soon);

– there is a .htaccess file since WPX Hosting is based on Apache – you should answer yourself whether you can accept it or not.

 

Examples Of Other Well-Known Hosting Companies

 

Examples of other fairly known hosting companies are: 1&1, A2 Hosting, BluehostDreamHost, HostGator, InMotion HostingWP Engine.

It is difficult to guarantee satisfaction of their potential customer looking at the fact that a lot of people move their websites from these companies to providers which I recommend in this article.

I have not personally tested the companies mentioned in this part of the article.

However, I have tested the hosting offered by Flywheel and I have to admit that the results of the tests disappointed me quite much.

Hosting is based on the Google Cloud platform, and yet in many tests the page loading time was as high as 10-20 seconds.

alivebetter.com - dotcomtools - Flywheel - Cloudflare

alivebetter.com - Pingdom San Francisco - Flywheel - Cloudflare

Closte also has an interesting offer. This provider’s services are based on Google architecture – both servers, CDN, DNS, as well as protection against attacks.

What’s interesting, there are no pricing packages. Charges are calculated depending on the CPU, RAM, disk consumption etc. The rates are included in a pricing.

The downside is that it is very difficult to transfer any page to Closte without contacting technical support.

No fixed fees at a certain amount and payment for the use of individual functions and components can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.

 

Summary

 

If you want to get a powerful and completely trouble-free web hosting service, there is only one choice – Kinsta.

If you are interested in quite good web hosting that you can get for the least amount of money, it will be definitely Cloudways. Their technical support is of really low quality, but besides it is a very good service.

Alternatively, you can also choose WPX Hosting, but as it comes to SiteGround, this company is really far from my top recommendations. 😕

 

Best Web Hosting 2020 Sorted By Features

 

– autoscaling at no extra charge – WPX Hosting;

– autoscaling for an additional fee – Kinsta, SiteGround;

– the ability to quickly transfer the site to any server of any of five suppliers – Cloudways;

– protection against attacks and malware – Kinsta, SiteGround, WPX Hosting;

– damage repair guarantee in case of potential attacks – Kinsta, WPX Hosting;

– best results in page load speed tests – Kinsta;

– excellent technical support – Kinsta (although SiteGround and WPX Hosting also have a good one);

– guarantee of monthly fixed fees – Cloudways, SiteGround, WPX Hosting;

– largest disk space – Cloudways;

– easy setting of HTTPS connections in just a few clicks – Kinsta;

– cheapest cloud servers – Cloudways;

– easy access to your site through SFTP – Kinsta, Cloudways, WPX Hosting;

– best overall choice considering all I’ve experienced and written above – Kinsta.