With so many different web hosting platforms to choose from, it can get a little overwhelming to keep tabs on all their features and make sure the one you pick is right. Different websites have different needs, so they must rely on different hosting capabilities to keep alive and kicking.
A useful web hosting service must have excellent customer support, tight security, and must be fast and easy to use. These are the fundamentals. A delay of just one second can decrease your page views by as much as 11%.
We’ve combed through all the web hosting providers in Australia to provide you insights and reviews that are honest and direct. For other countries, we have compiled top web hosting for the Canada list and best web hosting for the UK list.
Best Web Hosting Australia 2020
Hostinger is an import from Europe that started way back in 2011 and subsequently morphed into the most cost-effective web hosting solution in Australia. Starting in 2007 as 000webhost.com, it attracted a lot of goodwill for being free to use, and free of any advertising. Today, customers can pay to use it at a slight premium.
Hostinger’s most remarkable asset is its unbeatable price-to-performance ratio, as we discussed thoroughly in our Hostinger review. At just $0.99 per month in their basic plan, you get 99.95% uptime, 350ms speed, and 100GB of storage with a free website builder and domain name. They have a very accessible and intuitive user interface that makes websites easy to run for newbies with no website-building experience.
Updating billing numbers, tracking logins, email responses, and monitoring your different domains can be done from the dashboard. If you ever run into a problem, you can ring up their customer support, and they can talk you through it in different languages.
Some of Hostinger’s cons include these last two areas. First, you have to be logged in to a Hostinger account to access their customer support. If you don’t have one and you’re looking to migrate services, you can’t chat with them.
- Reliable uptime
- Fast speeds
- Non-English options for a customer care team
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Newbie friendly interface
- Free domain and website making tool
- Absence of a cPanel
- Inaccessible chat support for people looking to migrate
- New domain cancellations valid for a refund only four days from registration
- Extra domains come with additional costs
SiteGround has a great selection of hosting options that include WordPress, dedicated server hosting, and cloud hosting. They have some of the best numbers for speed and uptime, both averaging around 99.99% and 673ms, respectively. They have an expert customer support team that doesn’t offer multilingual support but is very knowledgeable about the complex problems that website builders may encounter.
Armed with one of the most consistent uptime records in Australia, SiteGround has grown more and more popular for its reliability. You can be sure that your site is running 24/7 and that people can visit anytime, which is especially useful for shopping sites with customers who shop all day.
SiteGround’s load times are standard-setting at only 673ms, placing it among the top 10 in Australia. They also offer free migration for one website, specializing in WordPress with a custom migration plugin. This makes it possibly the best WordPress hosting in Australia, as we mentioned in our SiteGround review.
The downsides to choosing SiteGround is their costly renewal rate. Their basic plan costs $6.99, but when it’s time to renew, that goes up to $14.99. Their upper tier offering costs $39.99 to renew.
- Outstanding uptime at 99.99%, guaranteed
- Speedy load times at 673ms
- Free migration for one site
- Free CDN and SSL certificate
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Costly prices for renewal
- No offered free domain
3. A2 Hosting
Established in 2001 with class-leading server speeds and options that can be freely tweaked by developers while remaining accessible to newbies, A2 Hosting is a quality choice for any Aussie client. They offer the best speeds of any hosting provider in the country today, and they know it. Their pricing plans are named “Drive,” “Turbo Boost,” and “Turbo Max,” when going beyond their basic “Startup” plan.
When you get A2 Hosting for your website, losing customers and clicks due to slow loading times will never be a problem. If you ever run into an issue, they offer customer support over chat, phone, and email. Their waiting times can extend up to five minutes, but their agents are professional and make it easy to get your questions answered.
They offer free HackScans that monitors your websites for DDoS attacks or threats to your encryption. They also offer migrations at no extra cost. You simply have to call their customer care team and give them your cPanel credentials, and you’ll be on your way.
- Probably the fastest hosting in Australia at 317ms
- Quality customer support
- Free HackScan malware protection
- Free migrations of one to 25 sites
- Their money-back guarantee extends beyond 30 days
- Costly renewal prices with a deadline of 15 days
- The basic plan has many restrictions
GreenGeeks, as their name implies, has a broader mission than just providing quality web hosting. They aim to be at the forefront of renewable energy used for powering websites, no matter how big they are. For every watt of energy used to keep your website running, they will purchase three wind energy credits to make the world a better place.
Are their services any good? Well, they have an excellent uptime of 99.90%, one of the most consistent in the industry, and the number promised on their website, which they frequently shoot over. Sometimes they average at 99.98% over 24 month periods.
Their loading times are also stellar, averaging at 445ms. That’s one of the fastest in the market. You will not have a problem with customers leaving your site because your webpages load too slowly. They will also allow you to keep your domain name as long as you keep renewing, and if you’re coming from another host, they will help you transfer for free.
They offer free CDN, nightly backups of your site, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Some of its cons include the need to sign up for three years to avail of the advertised prices on their website. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay up to thrice the amount. They will also deduct $24.95 from your refund if you avail of a free domain name.
- 99.98% uptime from independent tests
- Fast load times of 445ms
- Fights climate change better the more you use it
- Nightly server backups
- Great, well-maintained server farms
- Advertised pricing is only available through bulk purchases
- Refund policy with a potential hidden charge
Kinsta is one of the newer services on this list after having just been established in 2013. It’s one of the favourite WordPress hosting services across Australia, America and Europe, and one of the fastest-growing hosts overall in the world. It accommodates WordPress sites only, so, understandably, it has not garnered much name recognition outside its niche.
The Google Cloud Platform enables Kinsta to function the way it does, and customers can choose from 23 data center positions all over the world at signup. Its dashboard is intuitive, stylish, and modern, designed by Kinsta’s in-house design team to be as friendly as possible to newbie website builders. We have discussed it in-depth in our Kinsta review.
Perhaps one Kinsta’s strengths are its 99.90% uptime guarantee, which is only bested by the 100% by the much older Liquid Web. It has an average loading speed of 398ms, one of the fastest we’ve seen in the WordPress space. They also have their in-house CDN solution and free SSL.
- Staging environments that are available with a single click
- Daily backups that last for two weeks
- In-house CDN solution
- Intuitive interface that’s friendly for first-timers
- Access to SSH
- Great security features and knowledgeable customer support
- Very pricy, starting at $30 monthly up to $900 for its best plan
- Doesn’t offer phone support
Bluehost is currently one of the best web hosting services in Australia for its reliable uptime of 99.99% and average speeds of 405ms. Like many of its competitors, it offers live web support around the clock, unlimited bandwidth, and a free domain for migrators and first-time users in their first year of subscription. The basic plan starts at $2.75 per month with a free SSL certificate, backups of your site data, and enhanced security features.
Bluehost’s uptime of 99.99% is one of the best we’ve seen in the market, so you’ll never have trouble with your site being unavailable to customers. Browsing speeds of 405ms also remained constant through months of testing, even in mobile sites. The combination of these two is a near guarantee of site success.
Plan pricing is also upfront with little to no hidden charges. Their lowest price of $3.95 per month can be negotiated down to $2.75 with the elimination of some features. That’s the lowest we’ve seen in the market so far.
- Upfront low prices
- Great security for its price range
- Low load times and high uptimes
- Can be integrated with Joomla, Drupal, and many other apps
- Officially recommended by WordPress
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Costly renewal rates after the introductory period
- Website migrations have a $149.99 fee for five sites
Cloudways is a player from Malta offering one of the more unique web hosting services out there. It doesn’t host your site, per se, but only connects your platform to your chosen cloud provider. It’s very similar to a management platform.
As we have written in our Cloudways review, they work with some major names in the cloud industry like Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, and Google Cloud, which provide all the infrastructure for customers with a direct account. Cloudways bypasses that and allows you to deploy your site in a matter of minutes.
Cloudways made inroads in the industry as a WordPress host, simplifying HTTPS redirects, SSL installations, and other functions like it for first-time users. They have a custom control panel that allows users to add and manage domains, encrypt SSL, recover data, and configure PHP, MySQL, and PHP settings with just a few clicks. They make daily backups daily and provide an option to block specific IP addresses from accessing your website.
- Reliable uptimes, fast loading speeds
- WordPress staging can be done in a single click
- A dashboard and control panel that’s newbie-friendly
- Allows you to choose from five of the major cloud hosting providers
- Does not give a free domain name
- Does not feature a file manager
- You can’t host emails
- SSL is only scoped for 100 sites
HostPapa is a Canadian import that focuses on a small and medium enterprise clientele. It’s not tethered to any other web or cloud hosting provider and features a very low floor price for its hosting plans. From its early years in 2006, HostPapa has since hosted 500,000 websites, although reports show the number to be near 200,000 after eliminating redirects and other such gimmicks to inflate the numbers. 
For a completely independent company, their range of services is impressive. They offer site building tools, web hosting, and domain purchases, although dedicated servers are out of the question. To compensate for this, they provide virtual servers, common server hosting, and reselling to keep their customers happy.
They feature an impressive uptime of 99.97%, closely rivaling the big players. They offer some standard features that come with a hosting service such as 24/7 customer care, free SSL, website building tools, cPanel, 100 GB disk space, and a free domain if you avail of their plans for a whole year.
- Reliable uptimes
- Fast speeds of 705ms which you can only find in well-established players
- Offers a wealth of tutorial videos and support options to help customers out
- Good hack protection and antispam
- Some customers report a poor experience with their customer care team
- If you avail of their 30-day money-back guarantee, you will be charged $29.95 for setting up your website.
HostGator is a company based in Houston, Texas, and is one of the most tested and oldest web hosting services still in business. They have made many improvements to their initial offerings throughout their lifetime, which kept their customers from migrating to other competitive web hosting services. Their basic plan today comes with an SSL certificate, one free domain for your first year, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited website storage.
HostGator has customer care boiled down to a science. Their live chat agents can answer any query you might have about their products in seconds. However, despite their reliable uptime of 99.98%, their loading times could use some work as it averages around 1191ms, which is, unfortunately, one of the lowest we’ve seen in the industry.
They have an uptime guarantee of 99.90%. If the rating dips below, HostGator promises to give you a month of free use. This free month doesn’t cover planned maintenance or DDoS attacks, but new players across the industry are copying this tactic, which is an ultimate win for the consumer.
- A great customer care team
- Money-back guarantee up to 45 days
- Reliable uptime
- Free cPanel and website migrations
- Accessible even for first-timers
- Slow average loading speed that averages over one second, even for light webpages
- The addition of non-virtual backups, malware protection, and Gmail, is noncompetitively priced
DreamHost is the oldest web hosting service on this list at 25 years old, and it services more than 1.5 million sites. But their customers keep coming back to them for a reason: their uptime is above industry standard at 99.94%, and their loading speeds rarely dip below 648ms. Their plans come with WordPress, and support for website builders like Weebly or Wix.
DreamHost’s main offering beats others in the industry for its unlimited storage and bandwidth, and a money-back guarantee that extends to 97 days, one of the longest ones out there. You won’t suffer renewal rates that are more than twice or thrice the price of your original plan when you renew, and their policies are pretty straightforward.
The basic plan packs in features like free email addresses, privacy protection, Let’s Encrypt SSL, and automated backups. Some of these features can only be found in higher pricing tiers of other services. They have no network transfer limit and gives you infinite disk space for your website data.
- DreamHost is working diligently to keep their servers environmentally-friendly
- Reliable uptime and minimal loading speeds
- Unbeatable offering for its basic plan
- Subscription price does not increase with renewal
- They don’t feature a cPanel
- No free website migrations
- Chat support is automated, and it’s difficult to get ahold of a real agent
How to Find the Best Web Host for Australia
Australia is steadily rising on the map. The country’s technological landscape is keeping up with the first world, if not leading it in some areas. Businesses are booming in cities like Sydney and Brisbane, and the infrastructure to support them, especially in quarantines or increasingly unpredictable weather, is quickly catching up.
The rules for finding the best web host in Australia are the same as in any other country. Focus on speed, security, and customer care. Your website needs to be stable in times of high traffic and server maintenance times. You should also prepare it for DDoS attacks and other security threats.
Before paying a web-hosting service, you must know the source of the biggest chunks of your traffic. Server locations play a big role in the speed of your network, especially page loading times. Slow page loads are one of the biggest causes of why people click away from a webpage. E.g., If most of your visits are from the U.S., pick a host with U.S. server farms.
However, some web hosts offer free CDN, which can provide top speeds all across the globe by caching your web pages. Also, a server to the nearby country will provide fantastic response time, if the servers aren’t exactly in the place of your choice. For instance, most of our recommended web hosts in Canada do not have servers in Canada but in the US.
Probably the two most essential things to consider from a hosting service is uptime and speed. If your website crashes, especially on important times like holidays and sporting events, you will lose a lot of business. To ensure reliable uptimes, read customer reviews and note the host’s server type.
The bigger your website gets, the more disk space you’ll need. If you want to run a digital market like an Amazon or an Etsy, you will need a ton of space for the product images. Because our culture relies heavily on visual stimulation, a combination of animations, texts, and images is essential to keep your guests engaged.
Bandwidth and Data Transfer
A good web host shall provide a high amount of bandwidth and good transfer speeds to accommodate your site’s traffic and security. Data transfer is the amount of data you can transmit, and the bandwidth is how fast that can be accomplished. Many services now offer unlimited bandwidth and excellent data transfer speeds, although finding one with an affordable pricing structure can still be tricky.
Slow loading speeds, especially on mobile sites, are among the foremost causes of underwhelming website traffic, even on exquisitely designed sites. A website needs to be agile with short loading speeds, especially when navigating between product pages. If you’re just starting and trying to save on costs, make your website text-heavy instead of image-heavy, though that can only work for a time.
A growing trend in the web hosting space is the automated answering of questions by machines looking for keywords. This support is not very helpful for products as complicated as a website builder, mostly used by first-timers launching their businesses. Find a hosting service with a phone line and available agents that you can chat with 24/7.
SSL, shorthand for Secure Socket Layer, encrypts your website data to be transferred securely across the virtual space between the server and your visitors. With the prominence of hacking and information leaks, free services like Let’s Encrypt are available.
The kinds of SSLs are:
- Extended Validation
- Organization validation
- Domain validation, which is mostly free