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Best Shared Hosting Providers 2020: 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

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.



The 5 best shared hosting providers for small businesses

Best choice for shared hosting
Best choice for shared WordPress specific hosting
Best for uptime performance
Best for help and support
Best value for money

Bluehost – Best choice for shared hosting

4.7
Help and support
Features
Value for money
Disk space
Uptime performance

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 plans

PlanFeaturesPrice
Basic1 website
50 GB SSD Storage
Unmetered bandwidth
Free SSL
1 domain
£2.20/month
PlusUnlimited websites
Unlimited SSD storage
Unmetered bandwidth
Unlimited domains
Spam experts
1 Microsoft 365 Mailbox - free for 30 days
£4.06/month
Choice plusAll of the above +
Domain privacy and protection
Site backup - Codeguard Basic
£4.06/month
ProAll of the above +
High performance (more resource for your website)
Dedicated IP
2 spam experts
£10.40/month

Bluehost shared hosting pros

  • Near perfect 99.98% uptime performance
  • A 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

inmotion logo
4.7
Help and support
Features
Value for money
Disk space
Uptime performance

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 plans

PlanFeaturesPrice
Lite1 Website
10GB SSD Storage
Unlimited Bandwidth
2x Performance & Speed
Free Email Address
Security Suite
Marketing Tools
Free SSL
£1.95/month
LaunchFree Domain
Up to 2 Websites
50GB SSD Storage
Unlimited Bandwidth
3x Performance & Speed
10 Email Addresses
Security Suite
Marketing Tools
Free SSL
£3.91/month
PowerFree Domain
Up to 50 Websites
100GB SSD Storage
Unlimited Bandwidth
4x Performance & Speed
50 Email Addresses
Security Suite
Marketing Tools
Free SSL
£3.91/month
ProFree Domain
Up to 100 Websites
200GB SSD Storage
Unlimited Bandwidth
6x Performance & Speed
Unlimited Email Addresses
Security Suite
Marketing Tools
Free SSL
Pro Support SLA
£10.18/month

InMotion shared hosting pros

  • The best shared WordPress offering on the market
  • The highest monthly visitor allowance of any of our top shared hosting providers
  • Top marks for features, disk space, and help and support

InMotion shared hosting cons

  • Ranks fourth best for uptime
  • Unlike rivals, it doesn’t offer unlimited storage

Try one of InMotion's shared plans today!


HostGator – Best for uptime performance

Hostgator
4.6
Help and support
Features
Value for money
Disk space
Uptime performance

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 plans

PlanFeaturesPrice
HatchlingSingle Domain
One Click WordPress Installs
Free WordPress/cPanel
Website Transfer
Unmetered Bandwidth
Free SSL Certificate
Free Domain Included
£2.16/month
Baby planUnlimited Domains
One Click WordPress Installs
Free WordPress/cPanel
Website Transfer
Unmetered Bandwidth
Free SSL Certificate
Free Domain Included
£3.10/month
Business planUnlimited Domains
One Click WordPress Installs
Free WordPress/cPanel
Website Transfer
Unmetered Bandwidth
Free SSL Certificate
Free Upgrade to Positive SSL
Free Dedicated IP
Free SEO Tools
Free Domain Included
£4.67/month

HostGator shared hosting pros

  • Uptime champion – a 99.99% uptime performance record
  • Very generous allowances across all plans

HostGator shared hosting cons

  • Doesn’t offer free backups

Try one of HostGator’s shared plans today!


Siteground – Best for help and support

4.3
Help and support
Features
Value for money
Disk space
Uptime performance

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 plans

PlanFeaturesPrice
StartUp1 Website
10 GB Web Space
10,000 Visits Monthly
Unmetered Traffic
Free SSL
Daily Backup
Free CDN
Free Email
Managed WordPress
Unlimited Databases
100% renewable energy match
30-Days Money-Back
£5.99/month
GrowBigUnlimited Websites
20 GB Web Space
25,000 Visits Monthly
And all the above
+
On-demand Backup Copies
Speed-boosting Caching
Staging
Add Collaborators
£8.99/month
GoGeekUnlimited Websites
40 GB Web Space
100,000 Visits Monthly
And all the above
+
White-label Clients
Highest Tier of Resources
Ultrafast PHP
Priority Support
£12.99/month

Siteground shared hosting pros

  • Excellent help and support services
  • Main data centre partner offsets 100% of its energy consumption

Siteground shared hosting cons

  • Very expensive for what you get

Try one of Siteground’s shared hosting plans today!


A2 Hosting – Best value for money

a2 hosting logo
4.2
Help and support
Features
Value for money
Disk space
Uptime performance

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 plans

PlanFeaturesPrice
Startup1 Website
100 GB SSD Storage
Free & Easy Site Migration
Money-Back Guarantee
£2.35/month
DriveUnlimited Websites
Unlimited SSD Storage
Free & Easy Site Migration
Free Automatic Backups
Money-Back Guarantee
£3.92/month
Turbo BoostUnlimited Websites
Unlimited NVMe Storage
Free & Easy Site Migration
Free Automatic Backups
Turbo (Up To 20X Faster)
Money-Back Guarantee
£7.84/month
Turbo MaxUnlimited Websites
Unlimited NVMe Storage
Free & Easy Site Migration
Free Automatic Backups
Turbo (Up To 20X Faster)
5X More Resources
Money-Back Guarantee
£11.77/month

A2 Hosting shared hosting pros

  • Hands down the best value of any top shared hosting provider
  • Generous allowances on all plans

A2 Hosting shared hosting cons

  • Worst 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.


Henry Williams
Henry Williams

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 contributed to many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Young Guns, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides. Before joining the team, he reviewed films for a culture website, and still harbours ambitions of being a screenwriter.