When selecting a managed hosting provider, the good news is that there are more choices today than ever before. Unfortunately, that amount of selection can also make choosing the right provider harder than ever before. To help you make the best, most informed decision, we have put together this list of the top 20 managed hosting providers, including a brief description of what makes them the best and why they might be the right choices for you.
Established in 1997, and headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, iNetU consistently rates highly on customer service satisfaction for managed hosting providers. iNetU provides solutions for private clouds, public clouds, Amazon Web Services, dedicated servers and hybrid cloud environments. Pricing starts at $425 per month for a dedicated server.
Established in 2001 in Tampa, Florida, Hivelocity hosts over 10,000 separate accounts. With more than 100 hardware and bandwidth combinations, Hivelocity offers each customer exactly what the consumer needs and wants from a hosting provider. Available options include both self-managed and managed dedicated servers, shared hosting, reseller solutions, virtual private servers (VPS), media streaming capabilities, control panels, domain registration, and options to facilitate e-commerce. With a focus on more serious web services, pricing starts at $99 per month.
XLHost provides Linux and Windows dedicated servers along with VPS, cloud servers, and discount options. The company stays on top of the latest technology trends, offering state-of-the-art server facilities located in Columbus, Ohio. Discounted dedicated server racks run from $59 per month, cloud servers start at $0.011 per hour, and dedicated servers run at least $74 per month and up.
ReliableServers was founded by a group of former Webmasters who understand the importance of reliability in a managed hosting environment. That is why ReliableServers promises 100 percent uptime, 24/7 monitoring, no long term contracts, guaranteed reliable hardware, fast deployment, and a 1000+ gbps network. Its Tier 4 facilities are located in Piscataway, New Jersey, which serves as its main facility. Managed hosting services start at $99 per month.
- com is a relatively small company, with just 3,000+ customers, but it has some of the best technology and global reach on this list. It owns and operates six strategically located data centers with an ITIL-based control environment that is compliant with HIPAA, PCI, DSS, and SOC frameworks. Founded in 1992, the company is now headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Pricing is rumored to be around $400 per month for a hosted server, but the company keeps its pricing very discrete, asserting that it provides rates based on individual customer use and expectations.
Arguably one of the best known hosting providers on this list, GoDaddy rose to prominence thanks to its Super Bowl ads and ICANN-accredited domain registrar feature. GoDaddy boasts management of more domain names than any other registrar. Thanks to its size, it often offers products and services at a steep discount over the competition, with promotions allowing for hosting packages that start at just $1.00 per month for the first year. Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, the company has about 15.6 million accounts.
Verio caters to midsized companies and is a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Communications. Boasting about 300,000 accounts, it is not the largest provider on the list, but one of the best connected thanks to its infrastructure building parent company. This alliance puts Verio-connected servers in strategic locations around the globe, serving more than 200 countries. The company provides web hosting, application hosting, and cloud-based SaaS applications aimed at business users. Hosting plans start at just $9.95 per month and include a free website, e-commerce tools, blogging features, and email services. Additional features can be added for a minimal, additional monthly fee.
- NET focuses uniquely on ASP.NET developers. It provides cutting-edge, enterprise-class hosting solutions to developers using the Microsoft ASP.NET framework. Their infrastructure boasts the latest hardware and Windows Server functions, and supports IIS 8.5, ASP.NET, MVC5, WebSockets, node.js, VS2013, WebMatrix, and much more. Developed for a very specific clientele, hosting plans start at $10 per month, with steep discounts for quarterly or yearly prepayment. With datacenters located in both California (United States) and London (United Kingdom), DiscountASP.NET offers advanced ASP.NET shared web hosting around the world.
Dallas, Texas hosting company FireHost distinguishes itself through its advanced security features. It offers both traditional managed hosting services as well as newer cloud based plans, and has server facilities located around the world in three different countries (including two in the US). FireHost's services are both HIPAA and PCI data compliant and offer some of the best throughput and infrastructure available. Pricing starts at around $200 per month for its secure cloud hosting services.
JustHost focuses its business model on affordability. Its web hosting plans include features like unlimited disk space, unlimited transfers, unlimited email accounts, and unlimited domain hosting on a single account, all as part of a base price of just $ 2.95 per month for an introductory period. JustHost is a fairly small provider, still, with only about 3000 accounts—although that number is deceptive given its unlimited domain hosting feature. It offers web hosting, VPS hosting, and an improved cPanel interface, along with a host of other features not generally included in the base tier of other hosting provider's plans. JustHost does not advertise its location, but several sources believe it may be located in Chicago, Illinois.
iWeb provies reliable and scalable Internet hosting infrastructure solutions through both shared and dedicated web servers, managed hosting, cloud services, and colocation services. It offers server clusters, anti-DDoS features, Microsoft Private Cloud services, high-performance network infrastructure, and reseller web hosting services. Dedicated servers start at $79 per month, while cloud servers start at $0.06 per hour. Its primary datacenter is located in Montreal, with other server farms located in Dallas, Singapore, Amsterdam, and California.
Codero is one of the larger companies on this list, with 15.6 million accounts. It offers managed, dedicated, and cloud hosting services with a 100% uptime guarantee, fast deployment (less than an hour), 24/7 support, and high performance network infrastructure and hardware. Dedicated hosting starts at $80 per month (with an introductory rate of $25 for the first month), while cloud hosting starts at $5 per month or less than 0.01 per hour. Codero distinguishes itself through its commitment to service and support. Its state-of-the-art data centers feature tier 1 bandwidth, unique automation features, and the best and most reliable hardware and network architecture. With primary data centers located in Ashburn, Virginia; Dallas, Texas; and Phoenix, Arizona, it has points of presence across the entire continental United States.
Mclean, Virginia based ServInt is another managed hosting provider with a focus on customer service. ServInt focuses primarily on cloud VPS and dedicated managed hosting solutions. The ServInt customer service aspect that most impresses is its industry-leading, money-back Service Level Agreement (SLA) guaranteeing 100% network availability, 100% server uptime, and guaranteed access to support. Prices start at $49 per month for VPS hosting or $214 per month for dedicated servers.
SoftLayer offers world-class datacenter capabilities including the most advanced services, management, and administration features. Located in Plano, Texas, SoftLayer is an IBM company with datacenters and points of presence around the world. It serves clients ranging from small startups to global enterprises and offers bare metal and virtual servers, networking solutions, data management, private cloud services, and much more. Offering an easy-to-use customer portal, robust APIs, and other customer-centric features, SoftLayer positions itself as the "gentle giant" of managed hosting solutions. While a bit more pricey than some similar offerings, SoftLayer provides redundant gigabit network architectures that lead to an industry first "network-within-a-network" design that makes it quite powerful with independently rated uptimes of 99.69 percent. Pricing for standard hosting starts at $25 per month, while cloud solutions run about $0.09 per gigabyte used.
SingleHop offers unique, industry-leading automatic server deployment, remote server management, and accessibility features. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the company keeps a lean workforce through the use of these automation tools to remove human error, increase efficiency, and drive down operating costs. SingleHop offers the industry's only self-monitoring SLA that adjusts pricing based on performance. SingleHop's service are also highly secure and HIPPA certified. Offering both hosted private cloud and on-demand servers, SingleHop pricing starts at $159 per month for dedicated hosting and flexes based on usage for virtual cloud hosting.
Another very well-known hosting service, HostGator provides reliable service, excellent customer support, and affordable pricing for businesses and individuals. It offers shared, reseller, and dedicated hosting solutions. Located in Austin, Texas, HostGator boasts over 7.5 million accounts and more than 800 employees. It is another volume discount service, offering unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, easy control panels, 99.9 percent uptime guarantees, 24/7 technical support, and dozens of other included services. Prices start at $3.96 per month for a shared hosting plan.
1and1 claims the title as the largest web hosting provider in the world with over 9 million accounts. Headquartered in Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania, the company employs more than 3,500 people. It is an excellent generalist service, designed to work for every kind of user running any kind of software, all at an affordable price. Hosting starts at a reasonable $3.99 per month on a shared server, with cloud servers starting at $9.99 per month, dedicated servers starting at $39.99 per month, and virtual servers at $4.99 per month. While the available equipment and infrastructure are nothing special, its sheer volume and reasonable pricing makes it an excellent choice for reliability, simplicity, and price. 1and1 also offers a number of tools for fast and easy deployment and web development, even for the most novice of web designers.
Located in San Antonio, Texas, RackSpace is one of the most recognizable names in managed hosting. The company boasts a respectable 300,000 customers in over 120 countries, but has more than 3000 employees—an admirable ratio among hosting services. It also offers infrastructure and server volumes on a scale comparable to giants like Amazon. RackSpace offers public cloud, dedicated servers, private cloud, and hybrid cloud services. It also offers high-security, top-of-the-line global hosting infrastructure at datacenters located on four continents. It has 100% uptime and availability guarantees. While not the cheapest option ($73 per month for a hosted server) the price is impressive given the features: Windows Server 2012, 2 CPUs, 2GB Ram, 20 GB SSD storage, and 24/7 support.
2. Virtual Internet (VI.net)
Virtual Internet (VI) specializes in hosting infrastructure such as VMWare cloud hosting, managed and dedicated servers, and more. Each account receives a dedicated account manager and a team of support engineers, all necessary to ensure that it meets its 100% uptime guarantees. Based in London and Manchester in the United Kingdom, VI.net offers tier 4 servers combined with award winning engineer support to deliver exceptionally solid service. Virtual Internet offers cloud hosting, dedicated hosting, and personalized IaaS and SaaS services. It counts a number of large companies and government agencies among its many clients. While somewhat limited on options and included features, its bulletproof performance more than makes up for it. Prices start at $40 per month for a shared hosting plan.
Santa Rosa, California-based Arvixe provides a host of features, customer service, and value-added features at a remarkably affordable price. Shared hosting plans start at just $3.20 per month, with VPS starting at $20 per month and dedicated hosting starting at $429 per month. Arvixe's business model offers options geared towards the needs and usage expectations of the user rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. In addition to simple hosting services, Arvixe provides a solid website building tool, excellent email service, and e-marketing and e-commerce tools. Arvixe also includes a number of security features without additional charge and offers 24/7 technical support. The company's overall combination of pricing, tools, features, and service put it at the top of the list for managed hosting providers for 2015.
Choosing a Hosting Provider That is Right for You
Obviously, these 20 providers are some of the best by our standards, but they are only a small sampling of what's available in the market. Moreover, you need to understand the different features each provides and find the solution best suited to your business needs and budget. More managed hosting providers seem to come online every day, too, so you may find a newcomer with all the features you want at the right price that is not listed above. Just be sure to take your time, perform your due diligence, and ask someone in the know if you have any questions about your selection.