- Web hosting companies are essential for the smooth functioning of the Web.
- GoDaddy founded a quarter of a century ago, in 1997, accounts for 15% of all websites on the globe; it is however in the process of handing over its infrastructure to another giant in this sphere, Amazon Web Services.
- Liquidweb also founded in the same year as its much larger competitor accounts for 2.12% of websites, i.e., over 500,000.
The world wide web isn’t a name we even use anymore, but it was not too long ago when going online was met with the now-nostalgic sounds of AOL dial-up tones and “You’ve Got Mail.” Today, everything from researching to reading a published article like this one will take place thanks to one of many web hosting companies and the internet.
Whether you want to write a blog, shop online, or order a prescription, a web hosting company is exactly what you need. These companies provide space on a server that stores website files and makes them available and accessible to you. You can think of it like you’re renting (or buying) a house online and then using it to store all of your files in closets, except these files can be viewed by anyone.
In the spirit of the wonderful world of web hosting, we’ve put together a list of the 10 largest web hosting companies in the world and what they do to help make content available to you.
Founded in 1997 by Matthew Hill, LiquidWeb is located in Lansing, Michigan, and is staffed by 250 engineers, web administrators, and technicians. The company supports more than 500,000 websites, giving it around a 2.12% market share of total websites hosted.
With so many websites under its management, Liquidweb needs to offer its customers best-in-class customer support. And they deliver just that, with 24/7 customer support available 365 days of the year, regardless of which Liquidweb service you are using. The company has also differentiated itself from the competition by committing to a 59-minute response time with their helpdesk through email and a 59-second response time via phone.
To use their exceptional customer support, you need to purchase a web solution. Liquidweb offers both a fully managed hosting service and a DIY hosting service for end-to-end user control. For general users looking for managed WordPress or WooCommerce support, hosting plans start around $13 a month and jump up as high as $1,498 per month for database-only hosting.
As the 9th largest web hosting company in the world, DigitalOcean provides support to over 623,000 websites around the world. That’s enough customers to take up a 2.19% market share across 185 countries.
Founded in 2011, CEO Yancey Spruill leads the company and its three global offices in New York, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Bangalore, India.
DigitalOcean is a subsidiary of DigitalOcean Holdings, which is also the parent company of Nanobox, Inc., Nimbella Corp, and CSS-Tricks.
DigitalOcean focuses on providing on-demand infrastructure and platform tools for software developers to host websites online. Startups to mid-sized businesses have found plenty to like about DigitalOcean’s platform to build, deploy, and scale their software applications.
One of DigitalOcean’s biggest advantages is its cost, as pricing for Droplets (virtual machines) starts at $4 per month with fully managed Databases available at $15 monthly.
#8: WP Engine
Powering more than one million websites around the world, WP Engine accounts for around 2.3% of all web hosting. Available in more than 150 countries, big names that utilize WP Engine web hosting services include Pandora, AMD, Yelp, Petco, and Thomson Reuters.
Founded in 2010, Heather Brunner has led the company since 2013 in its Austin, Texas headquarters. Even with its Texas headquarters, WP Engine has embraced remote work for more than 1,000 employees to work from around the world.
The company has a strong focus on WordPress and considers itself the #1 hosting platform for WordPress websites. It has a heavy focus on both small businesses as well as enterprise-level rollouts.
WP Engine pricing starts at $23 monthly for one site for up to 25,000 monthly visits, with scaling pricing depending on the number of visits per month a WordPress website will need.
The first non-U.S.-based web hosting company on this list, Hetzner, is based in Germany and has a market share of 2.86% of websites hosted, mostly in Germany and the rest of Europe.
Founded in 1997 after its namesake, Martin Hetzner, more than 300 employees help support the needs of customers. Hetzner prides itself on working closely with its customers by combining innovative technology and excellent customer service. Hetzner has been named the Reader’s Choice Service Provider Platin the last three years in a row.
As one of the largest web hosting companies in the world, Hetzner offers a multitude of services including cloud support, web hosting, storage share, and managed servers.
Compared to U.S.-based web hosting pricing, Hetzner is quite inexpensive, as web hosting prices start at €1.90 monthly, roughly $1.94 USD. Managed server support starts at €34.51 ($35.30) monthly, and cloud services start as low as €4.15 ($4.25) a month.
Founded in 2002 by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth in Provo, Utah, BlueHost has long been a standout name in the web hosting field, which made it an attractive target for acquisition.
In 2010, BlueHost was purchased by Endurance International Group, now known as Newfold Digital, and made part of a collective of multiple web hosting companies including well-known names like HostGator and iPage.
Even as part of a web hosting collective, BlueHost powers more than 2 million websites on its own, accounting for over 3.25% market share among the largest web hosting companies.
Supporting these websites are more than 750 employees who provide 24/7 customer service. Should you opt for it, BlueHost even offers a design team that can create an entire website for you, and is one of the few largest web hosting companies to do so.
Beyond building websites, BlueHost also adds WooCommerce and shared hosting as their chief services to customers. Prices are very attractive, with web hosting starting at $4.95 monthly and WordPress support beginning at $2.95 a month.
Another company that falls within the Newfold Digital collective, HostGator was founded in 2002 and purchased by Newfold in 2012.
Slightly larger than its Newfold sibling, HostGator accounts for more than 2.5 million websites hosted, allowing for a 5.7% global market share.
Like most of the companies on this list of the largest web hosting companies, HostGator offers a variety of services for customers small and large, including a fantastic introductory offer for those choosing Shared hosting. With a free domain offered for a year, Shared hosting starts at the low price of just $2.75 a month.
Pricing continues to be a leading argument for choosing HostGator, as WordPress hosting begins at $5.95 a month, website building at $3.84 monthly all the way through to Dedicated hosting starting at $89.98 a month. All of these features offer free SSL certificates and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Formerly known as 1&1 Hosting, IONOS is one of the largest web hosting companies in the world and one of the oldest, too. Founded in Germany in 1988, 1&1 Hosting merged with ProfitBricks in 2018 and would rebrand to IONOS in August 2021.
As the largest web hosting company in Europe, IONOS powers more than 12 million domains for 8 million customers. That’s enough domains to give it a 6.89% market share and a solid hold as the fourth largest web hosting company.
Supporting all of its customers are 90,000 servers across 15 facilities in nine different countries, all supported by 2,000 employees from around the world.
For its scale, IONOS offers a host of services including WordPress support, which starts at a very attractive $0.50 monthly. As a one-stop shop, you can register your domain name through IONOS, install WordPress, create a mobile version of the website, and keep the site online with 24/7 customer support.
#3: Google Cloud
As one of the largest internet companies in the world, it’s no surprise to see Google near the top of any list of web hosting companies. Google Cloud, which opened in 2011, is well ahead of its closest web hosting competitor, powering more than 44 million live websites for a 7.83% global market share.
Google Cloud is a combination suite of cloud computing services, including the popular Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite). That’s a major differentiator from other names on this list that often focus solely on WordPress hosting or managed servers.
All totaled, there are more than 90 on-demand services (150 total products) available, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, storage, mapping, cloud computing, and analytics. Domains can start as low as $6 per user per month and scale up to enterprise level which can range well above tens of thousands of dollars per month.
Some big names using Google Cloud include Spotify, Goldman Sachs, and IKEA.
#2: Amazon Web Services
Created in 2006 as an offshoot of Amazon.com, Amazon Web Services is the second largest web hosting company in the world. Powering more than 33% of the cloud computing market, that’s enough to give Amazon Web Services more than 10.96% of the total global market share.
Providing on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to governments, companies, and individuals, Amazon Web Services offers a deep level of products and services. That said, for a common website hosted on WordPress, prices can start as low as $8 per month on a Windows server or $3.50 per month on a Linux server.
Additional costs for hosting through Amazon Web Services work differently than other web hosting with a “pay as you go” model. Prices can vary depending on how much hardware, software, networking features, and operating system work a company needs as part of its web hosting solution.
Among the biggest spenders on Amazon Web Services include Netflix, Twitch, LinkedIn, Facebook, and ESPN.
As one of the best-known names in web hosting, it’s no surprise that GoDaddy is the largest web hosting company in the world. Founded in 1997 by Bob Parsons, GoDaddy currently hosts more than 15% of all websites worldwide, including 84 million different domain names for 21 million different customers.
In 2018, GoDaddy announced that it would start a multi-year process to transition its infrastructure over to Amazon Web Services. This would give it more leverage in the market around machine learning, analytics, databases, and containers.
All of GoDaddy’s work is assisted by 9,000 plus employees around the world, ensuring the GoDaddy guarantee of 99.99% of service uptime.
For general consumers, the largest draw of the GoDaddy business is its offers of WordPress and web hosting, an online store, website design services, domain registration, and email/Microsoft 365 support. Registering a domain costs as low as $0.99 per month or with website hosting, domains are free.
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