Best Shared Hosting Providers 2021: A Guide for Small Businesses Need a shared hosting plan for a small business website? We’ve assessed and ranked the top 5 shared hosting providers to help you decide which is best for you Henry Williams May 18, 2021 7 min read Our experts Startups was founded over 20 years ago by a serial entrepreneur. Today, our expert team of writers, researchers, and editors work to provide our 4 million readers with useful tips and information, as well as running award-winning campaigns. Our site is governed by the Startups editorial manifesto. This article was authored by: Henry Williams Content Manager Shared hosting is the most affordable and reliable way for small, low-traffic websites to get online, and stay online.But choosing from numerous providers, who often seem to have near uniform offerings, can be particularly difficult.To help you out, we’ve ranked the five best shared hosting providers for small businesses. This ranking was based on an in-depth investigation into their shared plans, and an assessment of five key metrics: features, disk space, help and support, value for money, and uptime performance.Our researchers found Bluehost to be the best overall shared hosting provider, followed by InMotion, then Hostgator. But you should know that best overall doesn’t necessarily mean best for you. To that end, we’ve also said what each provider’s main strength is.For example, if you’re looking for shared WordPress hosting, InMotion is probably your best bet. But if your priority is getting great value from your shared hosting provider, then we’d recommend A2 Hosting.Check out the best five shared hosting providers for small businesses below. 0 out of 0 backward forward Logo Overall score Based on our in-depth research and user testing Best Cost Visit 4.6 4.5 4.0 4.1 4.0 Overall hosting providerFor shared and VPS hostingFor customer serviceEnergy efficiencyFor affordability£2.20 – £90£2 – £410£2.10 – £110From £5.99 per month£2.30 – £225 Try Bluehost Try InMotion Try HostGator Visit SiteGround Try A2 Hosting Still not sure? Take a look at the headings below to find the hosting provider you want to get more detail on. This article will cover: Bluehost InMotion HostGator Siteground A2Hosting Our methodology: How did we choose the best shared hosting providers? Bluehost – Best choice for shared hosting 4.6 out of 5 Types of hosting 4.5 Help and support 5 Features 4 Value for money 4.4 Up time performance 4 Try Bluehost Offering excellent help and support, decent uptime, and a wealth of nifty features for small websites, Bluehost is our best overall provider for shared hosting.With four plans available – ranging from a very reasonable £2.20/month to a more than affordable £10.40/month – you can be sure to find a shared hosting plan that caters to the needs of your small website or blog.Every plan apart from Basic offers unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth, as well as a free Microsoft 365 Mailbox for 30 days. With Choice Plus and Pro, you also get the added benefit of domain privacy + protection and site backup.Buehost has a fairly generous monthly visitor allowance. Across all plans, your website can handle around 7,000 to 8,000 visitors per week – more than enough for a small, low traffic website. However, this compares pretty unfavourably to the likes of nearest rival InMotion, which allows a staggering 400-500 per hour.But how’s that all important uptime performance? Well, our researchers found Bluehost achieved 99.98% uptime overall, which is pretty close to perfect. That puts it level with Siteground in second place, and just behind our uptime champion, HostGator, which is sitting pretty at 99.99%.To top it off, we awarded Bluehost a perfect score for its help and support offering, which includes a handy knowledge centre, 24/7 live chat phone support, and tech tickets.And if you need help actually building or designing your website, Bluehost has that covered too, with full design and website marketing services available to all customers.Bluehost shared hosting plansPlanFeaturesPriceBasic1 website 50 GB SSD Storage Unmetered bandwidth Free SSL1 domain£2.20/monthPlusUnlimited websitesUnlimited SSD storageUnmetered bandwidthUnlimited domains Spam experts1 Microsoft 365 Mailbox - free for 30 days£4.06/monthChoice plusAll of the above +Domain privacy and protectionSite backup - Codeguard Basic£4.06/monthProAll of the above +High performance (more resource for your website)Dedicated IP2 spam experts£10.40/month Bluehost shared hosting prosNear perfect 99.98% uptime performanceA comprehensive help and support package to help you deal with any issue that comes your way Bluehost shared hosting cons The monthly visitor allowance is alright for most purposes, but can’t compete with rivals like InMotion Try one of Bluehost's shared plans today!InMotion – Best choice for shared WordPress specific hosting 4.5 out of 5 Types of hosting 5 Help and support 5 Features 5 Value for money 4.3 Uptime performance 3.5 Try Inmotion With top marks for features, disk space, and help and support, InMotion is another superb choice of provider for any business looking for a shared hosting plan.InMotion promises that performance and speed improve exponentially with every plan (though this is difficult to assess), and every one of its four shared hosting packages is fairly comparable in terms of cold hard features – indeed, each comes with a security suite and marketing tools.What really distinguishes between the plans is your allowances. For example, while you’re getting 10GB of storage with the Lite plan (£1.95/month), this goes all the way up to 200GB for the Pro plan (£10.18/month).However, this doesn’t match up to the unlimited storage offered by Bluehost and A2 Hosting on the majority of their hosting plans (though unlimited doesn’t always actually mean unlimited). Likewise, it has relatively generous allowances for the number of sites and sub domains included with each plan – although unlike some of its rivals, they’re not unlimited.As we said above, InMotion’s monthly visitor limit is more than sufficient. All four packages give your website the capacity to handle 360,000 visitors per week – the highest figure of any provider we’ve reviewed.When it comes to uptime performance, InMotion’s 99.97% is still up there with the best providers, but can’t quite go toe-to-toe with our best providers. We don’t think that 00.01% should disqualify it from your consideration, though.Finally, we’ve got to mention InMotion’s shared WordPress offering. Its three WP specific plans come with top of the range performance, essential hack and malware protection, and a free WordPress drag-and-drop website builder.And if you’re not satisfied with your InMotion shared hosting package, you can take advantage of its 90-day money back guarantee.InMotion shared hosting plansPlanFeaturesPriceLite1 Website10GB SSD StorageUnlimited Bandwidth2x Performance & Speed Free Email AddressSecurity Suite Marketing Tools Free SSL£1.95/monthLaunchFree DomainUp to 2 Websites50GB SSD StorageUnlimited Bandwidth3x Performance & Speed 10 Email AddressesSecurity SuiteMarketing ToolsFree SSL£3.91/monthPowerFree DomainUp to 50 Websites100GB SSD StorageUnlimited Bandwidth4x Performance & Speed50 Email AddressesSecurity SuiteMarketing ToolsFree SSL£3.91/monthProFree DomainUp to 100 Websites200GB SSD StorageUnlimited Bandwidth6x Performance & SpeedUnlimited Email AddressesSecurity SuiteMarketing ToolsFree SSLPro Support SLA£10.18/month InMotion shared hosting prosThe best shared WordPress offering on the marketThe highest monthly visitor allowance of any of our top shared hosting providersTop marks for features, disk space, and help and support InMotion shared hosting consRanks fourth best for uptimeUnlike rivals, it doesn’t offer unlimited storage Try one of InMotion's shared plans today!HostGator – Best for uptime performance 4.5 out of 5 Types of hosting 5 Help and support 5 Features 3.5 Value for money 3.5 Up time performance 4.5 Try HostGator HostGator is our uptime champion, with a super reliable, tried and tested 99.99% uptime performance – the best of any shared hosting provider assessed by our researchers. But it’s no one trick pony.Our researchers also gave HostGator full marks for its unlimited disk space, and for its comprehensive package of help and support. It also has a good, if limited range of shared hosting features, with website transfer, unmetered bandwidth, a free WordPress control panel, and one click WordPress installs in particular worth mentioning. Unfortunately, it’s the only provider we looked at not to offer free website backups, which instead start at a not insignificant £18.73/year.That said, it allows unlimited sites, sub domains, and email accounts across most of its plans, and you get a more than adequate monthly visitor limit of 240,000 on all shared hosting plans.And all this comes at pretty reasonable prices. Its plans range from £2.16/month to just £4.67/month. Although its most advanced plan isn’t as richly featured as the advanced plans offered by Bluehost and InMotion, you do get free SEO tools, a free dedicated IP, and a free upgrade to ‘Positive SSL’, which is basically a more advanced site security certificate than your average SSL. You also get a generous 45-day money-back guarantee on every plan.HostGator shared hosting plansPlanFeaturesPriceHatchlingSingle DomainOne Click WordPress InstallsFree WordPress/cPanelWebsite TransferUnmetered BandwidthFree SSL Certificate Free Domain Included£2.16/monthBaby planUnlimited DomainsOne Click WordPress InstallsFree WordPress/cPanelWebsite TransferUnmetered BandwidthFree SSL Certificate Free Domain Included£3.10/monthBusiness planUnlimited DomainsOne Click WordPress InstallsFree WordPress/cPanelWebsite TransferUnmetered BandwidthFree SSL Certificate Free Upgrade to Positive SSL Free Dedicated IPFree SEO Tools Free Domain Included£4.67/month HostGator shared hosting prosUptime champion – a 99.99% uptime performance recordVery generous allowances across all plans HostGator shared hosting consDoesn’t offer free backups Try one of HostGator’s shared plans today!Siteground – Best for help and support 4.6 out of 5 Help and support 5 Features 4.8 Value for money 3.9 Disk space 3 Up time performance 4 Try SiteGround Siteground is the one and only Bulgaria-based shared hosting provider featured in our ranking – all the others are US-based. This doesn’t really mean anything substantial, but it's an interesting tidbit nonetheless.What is substantial, however, is Siteground’s help and support offering. Our researchers ranked the provider as number one for help and support, thanks to its excellent knowledge centre, 24/7 phone and live chat support, and more. These can be invaluable tools for a small business entering the world of hosting for the first time.The disk space on offer from Siteground leaves something to be desired, especially when you compare it to the unlimited space offered by many of the other providers in this ranking. You get a max of 30GB with its most advanced plan, GoGeek.That said, the monthly visitor limit is large enough for most needs – 10,000 on Start Up, 25,000 on Grow Big, and 100,000 on GoGeek – and you get unlimited email accounts and sub domains across all plans.We should also flag up its renewable energy match. Siteground’s main data centre partner, Google Cloud, matches 100% of the energy consumed by its global operations with renewable energy, and maintains a commitment to carbon neutrality.But, overall, you’re paying a lot for what you get. Starting at £5.99/month for its most basic plan, every single one of Siteground’s shared plans is more expensive than comparable ones from rivals, and that doesn’t equate to more features or allowances.Siteground shared hosting plansPlanFeaturesPriceStartUp1 Website10 GB Web Space10,000 Visits MonthlyUnmetered TrafficFree SSLDaily BackupFree CDNFree EmailManaged WordPressUnlimited Databases100% renewable energy match30-Days Money-Back£5.99/monthGrowBigUnlimited Websites20 GB Web Space25,000 Visits MonthlyAnd all the above+On-demand Backup CopiesSpeed-boosting CachingStagingAdd Collaborators£8.99/monthGoGeekUnlimited Websites40 GB Web Space100,000 Visits MonthlyAnd all the above+White-label ClientsHighest Tier of ResourcesUltrafast PHPPriority Support£12.99/month Siteground shared hosting prosExcellent help and support servicesMain data centre partner offsets 100% of its energy consumption Siteground shared hosting consVery expensive for what you get Try one of Siteground’s shared hosting plans today!A2 Hosting – Best value for money 4 out of 5 Types of hosting 5 Help and support 5 Features 3.5 Value for money 4.2 Uptime performance 2.5 Try A2 Hosting Coming in fifth in our ranking of the best shared hosting providers for small businesses is A2 Hosting. But last in a list of the best is by no means least.In fact, taking into account the cost of its plans, as well as its features and allowances, our researchers found A2 Hosting to offer the best value for money out of all the top five.All plans except the most basic – Startup, which still offers a decent 100GB – have unlimited storage. You also get free site migration, free backups, and unlimited websites on the three most advanced plans, as well as five star help and support.You get a good deal more for your money as you scale up through the hosting plans as well. A2 Hosting claims that its most advanced plan, the conspicuously-named Turbo Max, is 20 times faster than its most basic, and dedicates five times more resources to its customers – though there’s no way to independently verify this.But if you’re not convinced that A2 Hosting is the right shared hosting provider for you, then you can take advantage of its unparalleled anytime money-back guarantee.However, it would be remiss of us not to mention its uptime performance, which maxed out at a relatively unimpressive 99.95%. In the grand scheme of things, this is still a pretty reliable figure. But when you’re trying to choose between broadly comparable providers, it could be a dealbreaker.A2 Hosting shared hosting plansPlanFeaturesPriceStartup1 Website 100 GB SSD StorageFree & Easy Site MigrationMoney-Back Guarantee£2.35/monthDriveUnlimited Websites Unlimited SSD StorageFree & Easy Site MigrationFree Automatic BackupsMoney-Back Guarantee£3.92/monthTurbo BoostUnlimited Websites Unlimited NVMe StorageFree & Easy Site MigrationFree Automatic BackupsTurbo (Up To 20X Faster)Money-Back Guarantee£7.84/monthTurbo MaxUnlimited WebsitesUnlimited NVMe StorageFree & Easy Site MigrationFree Automatic BackupsTurbo (Up To 20X Faster)5X More ResourcesMoney-Back Guarantee£11.77/month A2 Hosting shared hosting prosHands down the best value of any top shared hosting providerGenerous allowances on all plans A2 Hosting shared hosting consWorst uptime performance of any of our top providers Try one of A2Hosting's shared plans today!Our methodology: How did we choose the best shared hosting providers?The scores and rankings above are based on in-depth research into the shared hosting packages offered by these five providers.As such, you may see these providers ranked differently elsewhere on the site. The fact is that some providers are better or worse at different types of hosting than others. Just because any particular provider has a great range of VPS packages doesn’t mean it does shared hosting just as well.Nevertheless, whichever type of hosting our researchers are investigating, they use the same five key metrics: help and support, features, value for money, disk space, and uptime performance.These are the five areas we know are most important to small business owners, and the five things we know to be the best indicators of the overall quality of a provider’s offering. Share this post facebook twitter linkedin Henry Williams Content Manager Henry has been writing for Startups.co.uk since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also acted as project lead on many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Business Ideas, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides.