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The Best Web Host Providers
as Voted by the Users

Condensed from my original hosting research page

Web Hosting By ICDSoft.com
ICDsoft.com is the best high bandwidth / space host according to my research.

Hunting for a decent web hoster?

If you want to maximize the performance of your website and ensure its best chances of success, it's absolutely vital to have a good host provider.

The problem is, many people don't have time to research all of the available options and simply plump for one of the "big name" providers. Others read reviews, but how can you be sure that the writer's views are impartial and unbiased? The writer might be tempted to shower praise on a company offering an attractive affiliate scheme or they might even be from the company itself!

What's the solution?

We have painstakingly researched the best (and worst!) providers in the only way that can possibly yield fair and accurate results. Using Google, the most popular search engine, we entered both positive and negative phrases (such as "I love host x" or "host x sucks") and counted the results. Naturally, we looked deep into these results, weeding out any that appeared to be unusually biased as well as sarcastic comments, duplicates and advertisements. If you want more information on how we achieved this, click here for the filtering details.

So which is best?

The table below represents the five very best out of a total of the 63 most popular providers. We have only shown the top five here simply because we didn't think you would be interested in the rest. However, click here for the featuring all 63 providers as well as their specs and scores (sites further down the table are plagued by the usual problems - lack of disk space, bandwidth, or customer service issues such as site downtime, missing email, download/upload speed, and cost).

Top 5 Affordable Hosts
(under 20 dollars per month)

Host name and deal

Vital statsNegative
web comments
Positive
web comments
Host Name Basic specs:
Disk space, monthly
bandwidth
, and cost
Popu
larity
Bad
to
good
SCORE N1N2N3N4 N5 P1P2P3P4P5
1
(-)

icdsoft.com
1000 MB 20 GB $6
10000 MB 200 GB $10
751 / 5391.3% 0 (0) 0 (13) 0 (0) 1 (3) 0 (1) 12 (14) 8 (17) 4 (5) 8 (10) 42 (107)
2
(9)
liquidweb.com 1000 MB 60 GB $14.95
2500 MB 160 GB $25
40000 MBhd 350 GB $100
120000 MBhd 3200 GB $189
128
32
14 / 76
4 / 21
79.0%
68.2%
4 (7)
1 (1)
7 (11)
2 (4)
0 (0)
0 (0)
1 (2)
1 (3)
4 (5)
0 (2)
17 (24)
6 (9)
11 (24)
1 (2)
3 (3)
5 (7)
9 (12)
2 (4)
72 (103)
14 (27)
3
(7)
westhost.com 50000 MB 1000 GB $10
250000 MBhd 3000 GB $210
83
29
10 / 52
3 / 19
76.0%
68.8%
1 (2)
0 (0)
4 (9)
2 (3)
1 (1)
0 (0)
2 (3)
1 (3)
4 (4)
0 (0)
13 (23)
3 (6)
8 (9)
1 (1)
5 (5)
5 (7)
7 (7)
3 (4)
38 (59)
14 (40)
4
(11)
discountasp.net 1000 MB 80 GB $10 skytopia
50
13
4 / 27
0 / 8
74.7%
66.3%
1 (1)
0 (0)
2 (3)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
2 (6)
0 (0)
5 (13)
3 (8)
1 (2)
1 (1)
1 (1)
0 (0)
3 (6)
0 (0)
35 (57)
9 (22)
5
(3)
asmallorange.com 75 MB 3 GB $2
1000 MB 25 GB $10
4500 MB 100 GB $30
56
29
6 / 31
0 / 18
73.1%
80.9%
1 (2)
0 (0)
3 (21)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
2 (2)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
5 (6)
3 (5)
2 (2)
1 (2)
4 (5)
0 (0)
2 (2)
3 (3)
37 (50)
22 (37)

Most popular hosts (not best!)
1: Geocities2069
2: Tripod1122
3: Angelfire966
4: Freewebs705
5: Bravenet489
6: Brinkster354
7: Dreamhost348
8: 1and1186
9: Powweb174
10: Netfirms169
11: Interland152
12: ipowerweb129
13: Hostrocket121
14: Fortunecity120
15: Lunarpages98
The percentage rating is based on the ratio between positive and negative comments. However, weighting is applied where there are more comments to ensure that a host with one positive comment and no negative won't score 100% :-)
For the curious, the following formulae were used to calculate the rating:

Conclusions

The table shows ICDsoft to be the winning provider. I find it interesting also that they happen to one of the very few providers that supply a 3 month money back guarantee (most go for one month).

For those on a limited budget, asmallorange.com is an interesting choice. However, you will have to forego the extra bandwidth and disk space that the other four hosts provide. Furthermore, as your website grows, switching to a superior provider might be a time-consuming and inconvenient necessity. It might be worth paying that bit extra to start with to protect yourself against growth and to ensure any future improvements and expansions to your site can be implemented without additional hassle.


Why not go for a free provider?

It is tempting to look for a free host, but with a few exceptions, this can be quite a dangerous trap to fall in to. The help and support of free providers can be very limited, and certain features (forums, ordering etc.) are either unavailable or restricted. You might also have to put up with banners, pop-ups and other unwanted inclusions. This site explains in more detail some of the pitfalls of choosing a free web hoster: www.2createawebsite.com.
Any other considerations?

Some users will have specific requirements or special features. These include PHP, CGI/perl, MySQL, number of email accounts, email POP / SMTP Access, Windows and Linux/Unix hosting, FTP access, number of domains hosted, access to raw logs, free domain registration/transfer, and other special discounts.

We would advise checking the provider's website to ensure that their package meets your requirements. This includes the terms and conditions as well as any smallprint.


Web Hosting By ICDSoft.com


Other resources:

  • Finding the best web site host the Googalistic way - The original long version of this article. Find more information on how we gathered the data, and filtered it to find the best hosts.
  • Choosing a web host to build your website - Following on from this article, we detail what features you'll want from a host, and discuss whether you should go for a free or paid host.
  • Webhostmagazine.com - One of the most comprehensive host information resources out there, and what appears to be one of the most reliable from what I can see. Also read their section on host finding
  • Webhostingunleashed - Excellent resource for host hunting, though ICDsoft.com should be up there! :)
  • Web Hosting Jury - User Reviews - One of the best host tables I've seen, with tons of ratings and reviews by customers.
  • Hosting-comparison - Reviews and rankings of many hosts
  • Webhostingratings.com - Another web host ranking resource. Filter your ideal host using a comprehensive form.
  • Webhostmagazine.com - How to Find Your First Web Host (For Beginners)
  • 2createawebsite.com - Lists disadvantages of free web hosts.
  • Free-webhosts.com - What it says by the looks of it. Reviews and rankings of many free hosts.



    Created and researched by Daniel White © 2005+
    Article first published 14/10/2005 (last updated 03/02/2009)

    All pictures, data and text on this page are copyright 2005 onwards Daniel White.
    If you wish to duplicate any of the information from this page, you must contact me for permission.