Which web hosting is best for beginners in 2021
We’ll start by sharing the criteria that we used to make this list. Then, we’ll share our opinions on the best web hosting for beginners based on those criteria. Here are the six hosts that we’ll be looking at:
What makes for the best web hosting for beginners?
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Here are the criteria that we were looking for when building this list:
One-click website installersA beginner-friendly host should make it easy to install WordPress, or whatever software you want to use for your website. Typically, you’ll get a one-click installer where all you need to do is enter some basic details and then the tool handles everything else.User-friendly dashboardThere’s more to managing your site than just a one-click installer – you’ll also use your host’s dashboard to control other parts of your hosting, like email accounts, SSL certificates, backups, and more.All of the hosts on this list have built their own custom hosting dashboards that are beginner-friendly. You’ll be able to perform these types of advanced actions – like installing an SSL certificate to secure your site’s data – without requiring any technical knowledge.Useful features like email hostingThere’s also more to web hosting than just hosting your website. For example, you’ll also probably want a custom email address like
[email protected]. A beginner-friendly host should make it easy to create and manage email addresses, as well as other features like domain management.Affordable pricingIf you’re a beginner, you probably don’t want to start off with an expensive host. You can always upgrade as your site grows, but it’s much better to start with an affordable option until you learn the ropes and understand the resources that your site needs.Most of the hosts on this list cost under $10 per month.Good documentation and supportNo matter how user-friendly a host’s dashboard is, you’ll probably still run into situations where you need a helping hand. Ideally, a beginner-friendly host should have quality documentation so that you can learn about key features as well as 24/7 support if you need some one-on-one help.
Six best web hosting for beginners
Bluehost is a popular web host that makes a great option for beginners thanks to its affordable pricing and beginner-friendly onboarding process.
Once you sign up for Bluehost, the Bluehost website wizard will guide you through setting up your website in just a few minutes. Bluehost also has built their own custom hosting dashboard on top of the “standard” cPanel dashboard that makes it a lot easier to manage important parts of your hosting account, like creating your own custom email address.
Top features for beginners
- Simple setup wizard – Bluehost has built a super simple onboarding process that helps you quickly get up and running with your first site.
- One-click installers – Bluehost also includes a one-click installer if you want to create additional sites after you go through the initial onboarding.
- Custom hosting dashboard – Bluehost built their own custom dashboard (on top of cPanel) that makes it easy for beginners to perform key actions.
- Automatic WordPress updates – if you’re using WordPress, Bluehost automatically updates the software for you to keep you up to date.
- Free email hosting – Bluehost makes it easy to create your own email account at no extra cost.
- 24/7 support – get help whenever you need it via phone or live chat.
Bluehost offers affordable plans, especially if you’re willing to pay for multiple years upfront.
- Basic – from $2.75 per month for a single website.
- Plus – from $5.45 per month for unlimited websites.
- Choice Plus – from $5.45 per month for unlimited websites with added features like CodeGuard backups.
Most beginners looking for a simple web hosting solution should go with at least the Plus plan because it gives you the flexibility to create multiple websites. The Choice Plus is also a good option because it adds automatic backups, which will keep your data safe.
You’ll also get a free domain name for your first year, which is a nice benefit.
Note – you’ll get a special discount for your first billing cycle (up to three years), which are the prices listed above. Once you renew, you’ll need to pay the full price, which is listed by “Normally…” on the pricing page.
SiteGround is one of the most popular web hosts with a first-class reputation stretching far and wide, from Canada to Singapore. You know why? They tick all the boxes. Not only do they offer a custom-built beginner-friendly dashboard, but also an easy onboarding process, and excellent support.
Maybe that’s why SiteGround is a little pricier than Bluehost, but they make up for that with some of the best support in the hosting industry.
Top features for beginners
- Website setup wizard – after you sign up, SiteGround offers a simple wizard to help you launch your website.
- User-friendly custom dashboard – SiteGround built its own user-friendly hosting dashboard that makes it easy to manage your website(s) and access key tools.
- Free email hosting – SiteGround makes it easy to create your own branded email address.
- Automatic WordPress updates – if you’re using WordPress, SiteGround automatically updates the software for you.
- Automatic backups – SiteGround automatically backs up your data on all plans to keep for peace of mind.
- Excellent 24/7 support – SiteGround offers 24/7 support via phone, live chat, online tickets, and has top-rated support according to the 800+ users who participated in our WordPress hosting survey.
SiteGround offers three hosting plans:
- StartUp – $2.99 per month for a single website.
- GrowBig – $4.99 per month for unlimited websites.
- GoGeek – $7.99 per month for unlimited websites with more resources and priority support.
For most beginners, we recommend the GrowBig plan because it gives you the ability to host unlimited websites and adds new features that speed up your site and help you more conveniently manage your site.
Note – as with Bluehost, you’ll get a special discount for your first billing cycle (up to three years). After that, the prices jump back to the regular price, which is a big difference. If possible, we recommend paying for three years upfront to lock in the cheap promo prices.
Hostinger offers cheap web hosting for beginners with a unique twist:
The same company behind Hostinger also offers a 100% free hosting service called 000webhost. With 000webhost, you can register for an account and build a website without opening your wallet. If you’re just getting started, free hosting can be the best web hosting for beginners while you learn the ropes.
Now, there are some limitations with free web hosting, so we don’t recommend 000webhost as a permanent option. However, it is a great place to learn about what it’s like to host a website in a risk-free environment. Once you feel confident, it’s easy to upgrade your website to the paid Hostinger service without losing any data.
Top features for beginners
- Free hosting option – you can get started for free with 000webhost to learn the ropes. Then, upgrade to the paid Hostinger service when you’re ready to get serious.
- Affordable prices – Hostinger is one of the cheapest web hosts on this list.
- One-click installers – get easy one-click installers for WordPress and other website tools.
- Custom hosting dashboard – Hostinger built their own custom dashboard that’s easy to use – you’ll get the same dashboard with 000webhost.
- Email hosting – all of Hostinger’s plans include easy and free email hosting.
- 24/7 support – all Hostinger plans come with always-available support.
Again, Hostinger has the cheapest prices on this list, though you’ll need to purchase multiple years upfront to get the best deals:
- Single Shared – from $1.99 per month for a single website and one email account.
- Premium Shared – from $2.49 per month for unlimited websites and email accounts.
- Business Shared – from $4.99 per month for unlimited websites, daily backups, and improved performance.
For most beginners, the Premium Shared plan is the best option to get started with because it allows for unlimited websites and email accounts.
Note – as with other hosts, make sure to pay attention to both the promotional and renewal prices.
You may also be interested in:
DreamHost is another affordable and beginner-friendly host that’s created a custom dashboard and hosting experience. If you want to use WordPress, DreamHost even offers its own WordPress website builder that will guide you through setting up a custom WordPress website.
DreamHost also offers an affordable month-to-month billing option, whereas the previous three hosts all make you pay for at least one year at a time.
Top features for beginners
- WordPress website builder – in addition to installing the core WordPress software, DreamHost will also set you up with a drag-and-drop builder and 200+ templates to help you quickly build a beautiful website.
- One-click installer – in addition to the WordPress builder, there’s also an all-purpose installer that lets you install WordPress or other content management systems.
- Custom hosting dashboard – DreamHost built their own user-friendly hosting control panel to help you manage your sites.
- Automatic WordPress updates – if you’re using WordPress, DreamHost will automatically update the core software for you.
- Automatic backups – DreamHost automatically backs up your site to keep your data safe.
- Free email hosting – DreamHost will host your email for free and makes it easy to set up. Note – this doesn’t apply to the cheapest tier – there’s a small fee to add email hosting to the cheapest tier.
- 24/7 support – you can get help whenever needed.
DreamHost offers two types of hosting, both of which are excellent for beginners and include the WordPress website builder.
If you want the absolute cheapest entry point, you can use their shared plans:
- Starter – from $2.59 per month for a single website.
- Unlimited – from $3.95 per month for unlimited websites.
One of the unique things about DreamHost’s cheap shared plans is that you also have the option to pay month-by-month. The month-to-month billing plans are $1.99/month for the first month and $7.99/month after.
If you’re using WordPress and willing to spend a little more, DreamHost also offers an affordable managed WordPress hosting service called DreamPress. This service will give you better performance and more features, such as on-demand backups or staging sites (which give you a safe spot to test changes).
The DreamPress plans start at $16.95 per month with annual billing or $19.95 per month with month-to-month billing.
You’ll also get a free domain name with any annual plan.
Flywheel is managed WordPress hosting, which means that you can only use it to create a WordPress website.
Because it’s 100% focused on WordPress, Flywheel is able to create a super beginner-friendly experience for making and managing a WordPress site.
Top features for beginners
- Automatic WordPress installation – when you sign up for Flywheel, they’ll help you automatically install WordPress according to your preferences.
- User-friendly hosting dashboard – of all the hosts on this list, Flywheel has the most user-friendly dashboard. It’s a joy to use!
- Automatic WordPress updates – Flywheel automatically updates the core WordPress software for you, as well as any WordPress plugins that you’re using.
- Automatic backups – Flywheel automatically backs up your site every day which gives you peace of mind that your site’s data is safe.
- Performance optimization – Flywheel implements a number of performance optimizations for you, which lets you focus on growing your website.
- Free premium WordPress themes – for no extra cost, you’ll get access to the premium Genesis Framework and 30+ StudioPress WordPress themes.
- 24/7 expert WordPress support – because Flywheel only hosts WordPress sites, their support staff are all WordPress experts who are ready to help you out.
Note – Flywheel doesn’t offer its own email hosting service, which is a bit of a bummer if you want to easily set up your custom email address. However, you can set up Google’s G Suite ($6 per month) or Zoho Mail (free) and use your own email address alongside Flywheel.
Flywheel is a little pricier than these other hosts, but it does include an affordable option for small websites:
- Tiny – $13 per month for up to 5,000 monthly visitors.
- Starter – $25 per month for up to 25,000 monthly visitors.
Ok, Wix is not technically a web host – it’s a hosted website builder tool. However, if you’re a beginner, it might actually be your best option because it completely eliminates hosting from the equation.
Instead, you just sign up with Wix and you’ll be able to design your website using pre-built templates and a visual, drag-and-drop editor.
You’ll still be able to use your own domain name and, depending on your plan, you can even use Wix to accept payments and build an eCommerce store.
If you like the idea of Wix, there are lots of other great tools in this space, like Squarespace and Weebly.
Top features for beginners
- Hosted website builder – to create a website, all you need to do is register for an account.
- Pre-made templates – Wix lets you choose from hundreds of professionally-designed templates.
- Drag-and-drop editor – once you choose a template, you’ll be able to customize it using Wix’s drag-and-drop editor.
- Apps – you can easily add new Wix apps to extend your website’s functionality.
- Hands-off maintenance and security – because Wix handles hosting for you, you never need to worry about security or maintenance.
- Easy eCommerce – if you want to create an eCommerce store, Wix makes it very easy to start selling online.
Note – like Flywheel, Wix does not offer its own email hosting service to create a custom email address. However, it does offer an integration with Google G Suite to help you easily create your own email address for $6 per month.
Wix has a very limited free plan that you can use to test the service. This is a great way to play around with the builder and see if you like how it works, but it’s not a viable option for a serious website.
Paid plans start at $16 per month. However, for a serious website, we recommend that you go with at least the $12.50 per month Unlimited plan because:
- It lets you use your own custom domain name (you’ll also get a free domain name for one year).
- It removes the Wix.com ads.
- You’ll get access to the Site Booster app, which helps you rank your website in Google and adds other useful tools.
Which is the best website hosting for beginners?
Best web hosting for beginnersHostStarting from $/mo.Beginner-friendly?Bluehost$2.75
Overall, the best easy-to-use web hosting for you depends on your own needs, knowledge level, and budget.
However, if you’re not sure where to get started, here are some recommendations.
For the simplest starting point at an affordable price, we recommend Bluehost because of its user-friendly, streamlined setup wizard. Within just a few minutes, Bluehost will help you set up a working website. Then, Bluehost also makes it easy to manage your site thanks to its custom hosting dashboard. You can check out this guide to set up Bluehost and install WordPress.
SiteGround is another good option here that’s a little more expensive but had better-rated support in our WordPress hosting survey. And if you don’t want to pay for an entire year upfront (which both SiteGround and Bluehost require), you might like DreamHost for its affordable month-to-month billing option.
Finally, if the idea of hosting already sounds too intimidating, you might prefer Wix. It’s not going to be as flexible as purchasing your own hosting and installing a tool like WordPress, but it is easy to use and hands-off, which makes it a great option for beginners. Learn how to make a Wix website.
For a detailed guide on how to get started with your first website, check out our tutorial on how even total beginners can create a website.
Still have questions about the best web hosting for beginners? Ask us in the comments and we’ll try to help!