The 3 Best Web Hosting Companies for Your Money

Hosting Servers
Three of the best web hosting companies: MDDHosting, Hostgator, and MyHosting compared side-by-side for the best overall value and service.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. We receive commissions for referring new customers to these companies.

There was a time when web hosting was expensive, bandwidth was scarce, and every hosting account offered just enough disk space and features for one small website. Anything beyond that was enormously expensive. Those days are long gone, and web hosting is affordable and plentiful.

While the abundance of cheap web hosting alone should make it easier to find a host, it actually makes it more overwhelming. Hundreds of web hosting companies offer high bandwidth, large amounts of disk space, and low-price plans. Therefore, when searching for the best deal and most reliable service, you need to consider other factors.

To help you wade through the murky waters of the web hosting market, we have developed this side-by-side comparison of three of the top hosts:

We have cut through the gimmicks like unlimited bandwidth, all-in-one domain packages, and other special offers to reveal the features and service options that really matter.

Before we get to the head-to-head comparison of each web host, there are a few things you should consider before you start your evaluation.

Does Size Matter?

For some people, bigger is automatically better, and popularity is often confused with quality. The web host with the biggest advertising budget and attractive women in their commercials might be alluring, but the quality of its features and customer service might be severely lacking.

On the other hand, some hosting shoppers look to the small businesses that can provide a personal touch. For these customers, the best way to get customer service is to know the people who are giving it, something large companies do not usually offer.

Do larger companies offer better security and lower prices? Do smaller companies provide better customer support and less congestion? Which is more important, or do you need both?

In reality, the best web hosting provider may sit somewhere in between the two extremes, and it might be possible to have the best of both worlds: a large company without sacrificing customer service or a small one without sacrificing security, features, and affordability. Hostgator and MyHosting are both large web hosting companies, while MDDHosting is smaller. You should keep that in mind as you evaluate each.

3 Best Web Hosts Comparison

Before comparing the features of the three best web hosts, here is a brief overview of each.

MDDHosting

MDDHosting

Founded in 2007, MDDHosting is the newest hosting provider on our list of recommend web hosts. The company is based in Indiana, but its servers are remotely located at a data center in Denver, Colorado. Of the three web hosting companies, MDDHosting is the only one to use LiteSpeed web server technology which is purportedly 9 times faster than Apache HTTP Server, can increase PHP performance by up to 50%, and may be 3 times faster than Apache web server when using SSL.

Hostgator

Hostgator

Hostgator is an award-winning, world-renown hosting provider located in Houston, Texas. Established in 2002, it currently servers over 225,000 customers in more than 200 countries. Hostgator is a Green Hosting Provider and an excellent choice if you are looking for an eco-friendly solution. Among its awards are “fastest growing private company”, “best web host”, and several Editor’s Choice awards. Hostgator is BBB (Better Business Bureau) A+ accredited.

MyHosting

MyHosting

MyHosting is the veteran of the bunch, established in 1997. Its offices and servers are located in Canada, and it servers over 50,000 customers in 170 countries. MyHosting has pulled in several of its own awards, including being one of the fastest growing web hosting providers. It promises 100% website uptime and a 30-day money back guarantee. MyHosting is also a BBB A+ accredited hosting provider.

Shared Hosting Providers Basic Comparison

Features MDDHosting HostGator MyHosting
Available Plans & Prices*

*cost per month with yearly payment

Basic: $6.38
Intermediate: $9.78
Advanced: $13.18
Hatchling: $5.56
Baby: $7.96
Business: $11.96
Personal: $4.95
Business: $9.95
eCommerce: $18.95
Disk Space 10GB/30GB/50GB Unlimited Unlimited
Data Transfer (Bandwidth) 240GB/720GB/1200GB Unlimited Unlimited
Domains Unlimited Hatchling: 1
Baby and Business: Unlimited
Unlimited + 1 free domain name
Databases MySQL MySQL MySQL, PostgreSQL and MSSQL
Control Panel cPanel cPanel myhosting.com control panel
(in partnership with Parallels®)
PHP 5 Yes Yes Yes
phpMyAdmin Yes Yes Yes
E-Commerce E-Commerce Compatible Cube Cart
ZenCart
osCommerce
ZenCart
Cube Cart
Magento
Backups Automatic Daily Backups Instant Available from Control Panel
Server Software LiteSpeed Apache Apache/IIS7
Platform CloudLinux Linux Linux on Basic.
Linux or Windows 2008 on Premium and Professional.
Uptime Guarantee 99.9% 99.9% 100%
Support 24/7 ticket system 24/7 phone, live chat, and ticket system 24/7 phone and ticket system
Established 2007 2002 1997

So How Did Our Providers All Perform?

All of the providers guarantee close to 100% uptime, and all offer a good range of packages. Because of their size, Hostgator and MyHosting are able to offer unlimited disk space and bandwidth, but other than that, the playing field seems to be rather equal.

The Basic Package Showdown

Many people only need the basic essentials for web hosting. Therefore, a lot of the comparison information web hosts list may not be important. The following is a simplified table that only highlights those crucial features found in the basic plans.

Features MDDHosting HostGator MyHosting
Name of Plan Basic Hatchling Personal
Monthly Price Monthly: $7.50/month
1 year: $6.38/month
2 years: $6.38/month
3 years: $6.38/month
Monthly: $7.16/month
1 year: $5.56/month
2 years: $4.76/month
3 years: $3.96/month
Monthly: $7.50/month
1 year: $4.95/month
2 years: $4.75/month
3 years: $4.45/month
Disk Space 10GB Unlimited Unlimited
Data Transfer Allowance 240GB Unlimited Unlimited
Domains Unlimited 1 (unlimited with higher plans) Unlimited
Free Domain Name No No Yes
Sub Domains Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
MySQL Databases Unlimited Unlimited 3
Email Accounts Unlimited Unlimited 10
FTP Accounts 50 Unlimited 1
SSL Shared
(Private Available)
Shared (Private allowed with Baby plan, free with Business plan) Shared
(Private Available)
Dedicated IP $2/month No ($2 per month on Baby, free with Business Plan.) $1.95/month (Free with higher plans)

Basic Package Overview

As you can see, the basic packages are not that different. Do not let the “unlimited” bandwidth and disk space fool you. Even the lowest amount offered by MDDHosting is more than enough for a small to average website.

Hostgator has a significantly cheaper price when you pay three years in advance, while MDDHosting claims the LiteSpeed technology they utilize will improve website speed and performance. For some customers, having fast servers is more important than anything else. MDDHosting is clearly the smallest of the three, and it really boils down to preference, if you believe the benefits of the personalized touch you get from a small company make it more appealing. Their customers clearly love that aspect, as they have raving fans.

Special Features

As you begin evaluating your hosting options, you will notice that most hosts, big and small, offer similar standard features: bandwidth, disk space, domains, databases, web-based control panels, etc. To find one that truly stands apart from the others, you should look at special features unique to that host. Some features you might consider investigating are:

1. PHP Memory Limit

Even if you have never heard of PHP memory limit, it will probably affect you at some point, if you have a website long enough. Most free and open source content management systems and many commercial ones use the PHP programming language to generate dynamic web pages. PHP has a setting in its configuration file that determines how much memory a single script is allowed to use. Some shared web hosts keep this setting low, at around 8 MB, while others are more generous, offering as much as 64 MB. Some will also let you change the setting to suit your needs.

MDDHosting HostGator MyHosting
PHP Memory Limit: Default: 128MB
Maximum: 256MB
Maximum: 64MB No maximum

2. Automatically Installed Scripts

When it comes to hosting automation, the web host you choose will almost certainly provide a web-based control panel. This will allow you to add domains, users, databases, email accounts, and other tasks all from within your web browser. Since all hosts provide those features, you should look for added control panel features like automatically installed scripts.

When you want to install a content management system or blogging software, such as Wordpress, or a shopping cart like Magento, this control panel feature will do it with a few clicks. Good systems will also provide easy updates as well. You can literally have a working website in seconds. Therefore, it is important that you find out which hosts offer the scripts you want to install and how well their systems install and manage them.

MDDHosting HostGator MyHosting
Installer: Softaculous
138 scripts and applications
Fantastico DeLuxe
Over 50 scripts and applications
WordPress WordPress Wordpress
WordPress MU b2evolution Gallery 2
Nucleus Drupal Joomla!
Joomla! Joomla! Drupal
Drupal PHP-Nuke Zen Cart
MODx Xoops CubeCart
phpBB CubeCart Magento
Zen Cart OS Commerce phpBB
Magento Coppermine MediaWiki
More info: MDDHosting HostGator MyHosting

3. Scalability

Scalability is a term we usually reserve for dedicated servers, but it applies to virtual hosting and shared hosting as well. You need to make sure that the web host you choose gives you room to grow. Your website may be small now, but a year from now, it may need more domains, more space, more memory, an upgrade to a VPS (virtual private server), or even an upgrade to a dedicated server. You should choose a host that has fast servers anyway, but there should also be options to increase speed, power, and overall performance when necessary.

This does not mean that you should invest in something beyond your means, but at least make sure that your host provides you with the affordable opportunity to do so in the future.

Each of the 3 compared hosts have more than one shared hosting package and offer virtual private servers so upgrading when your traffic volume requires it will not be a problem (MDDHosting and HostGator also offer dedicated servers).

4. Advanced Features

Some of you may need advanced technical features, such as SSH access. Find out what each web host’s policy is for the features you need. Some, for example, require you to have a valid driver’s license on file in order to get SSH access on a shared hosting account. This is a security measure. Others may not give you the option to get SSH access at all. Whether you need a particular firewall port opened or a special script installed that requires the system administrator to configure something, you need to make sure you will be able to do what you must to make your websites successful.

MDDHosting HostGator MyHosting
SSH Access: available upon request can be self-enabled available upon request

Final Decision and Personal Choice

It would be easy for us to tell you which company we think is the best web host, but the decision is ultimately yours. Do you prefer the personal touch of a small company? Are fast servers a top priority? Do you like the sound of unlimited bandwidth? Do you need a host that offers advanced features like SSH access or flexible PHP memory limits?

Do you prefer:

  • 1. A multiple award winning, Better Business Bureau (BBB) A+ rated large enterprise company like HostGator or MyHosting
  • 2. A more personal company with reduced customer congestion like MDDHosting.

As you explore each host, you should make your own personal table with the features and price points that matter the most to you. The choice is yours!

Currently Active Special Discounts and Promotions

  • MDDHosting - 25% OFF hosting services with promo code 25OFF. Offer valid till 10/07/2012.
  • HostGator - 20% OFF hosting services!
  • MyHosting - 50% OFF shared hosting with promo code 50OFFSHARED.

*ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: If anyone reading this wonders what hosting provider and service we at WebmasterFormat use - our site is hosted on a Virtual Machine in the cloud at eApps.com. If you are looking for a cloud hosting solution, we can highly recommend their services.

About the author: Tavis J. Hampton is a writer for TavisOnline.com and All Blogs Considered.

Subscribe to WebmasterFormat RSS Feed Follow WebmasterFormat on Twitter
Jim L (not verified):

thanks for the review, went

thanks for the review, went with eboundhost. we'll see how it goes.

WF Admin:

eBoundHost chosen

I am glad this review helped you choose. Hopefully you'll be satisfied with eBoundHost. Do let us know after some time how it went.

Anonymous (not verified):

I choose justhost as the best

I am a justhost user. For me it's the best!

Frank W. Mouser (not verified):

Although MyHosting is not as

Although MyHosting is not as popular as Hostgator, this hosting is the most reliable hosting ever.

Anonymous (not verified):

I am using Infrenion Networks

I am using Infrenion Networks from last 5 Years. These people are great never let me down anytime. Great service

Bob Smith (not verified):

Another Better Service than these

I am using www.WorldSiteHost.com and found it more affordable and even more supportive than my previous service provider (one from these 3). World Site Host has all the features of these services; Unlimited Storage, Unlimited Bandwidth, Site Builder, Free Domain Name, Live Support with immediate and friendly response. And all of this is only for US$3.33/month.

Rob (not verified):

HostGator

I support HostGator all way, they have great prices and customer service!

Anonymous (not verified):

myHost

I think I will try myHosting. We need a 501c3 hosting rate and they seem to be the first to try out. Does anyone have any experience with '500 server errors' and memory issues at any of these for WordPress sites with lots of plugin usage?

Steve Balliett (not verified):

Choosing Website Hosting

These three services are probably pretty good.

However, astonishingly, most hosting services lack one important thing. The option to provide MONTH TO MONTH billing. I discovered this during my research of over 20 hosting services.

I am on a tight budget and I must have the MONTH TO MONTH option stay within my budget. Otherwise, I could never use this service. At $7.95 per month, this was a steal for me.

My hosting service does this and more. With unlimited bandwidth, domains, space, cPanel and Softaculous for loading my Wordpress website platforms, this made it the ideal choice for me.

Something else I discovered. They answer my call with a LIVE person within 5 minutes! They don't leave me hanging on the phone waiting for them to answer. I just love that. I can't stand those ridiculous instant chat options.

It doesn't matter if it is my Sales Rep or Tech Support person. They just get on it! And if I have a small glitch, they get it fixed right now.

Oh, and one other blessing I enjoy. My websites are ALWAYS UP and running online. Stable and reliable just like I need. I never worry if they are or not.

You have to find a service that meets your budget, has the best tools and that won't drop the ball on you once you start their service.

Be wise, use common sense and you can pick a good hosting service that will meet your expectations.

nemet (not verified):

hostgator

I've tried a lot of companies and i found one of them which is the best
in its space, quality and the price it's name is host-gator
and there are coupons for discount which is developed in this site
http://www.webhostingreviewz.com/top-10-reasons-hostgator-best-secure-hosting-company/