Many web hosts try to appeal to the masses, proudly announcing how easy they are to use. But as a developer, the simplicity of a basic hosting plan isn’t necessarily what you’re looking for.
Some hosts don’t offer the features you need to rapidly deploy websites and integrate with various frameworks. Some lack vital storage space or have rigid plans that make you pay for resources you don’t need.
For an accurate perspective on the best web hosts for developers, you need to understand what each provider does best, and what all the different plans include exactly.
To save you some time, I tested dozens of services to see if they can actually provide what a developer needs. These are the ones that stood out from the crowd.
In a Hurry? Here Are the Top Web Hosts for Developers in March 2021
- InterServer – Cloud VPS technology at shared hosting prices
- Hostinger – Affordable VPS plans that give you the possibility to host unlimited websites
- Liquid Web – Premium web hosting for developers with staging environments and excellent scalability
What We Look For in the Best Web Hosting for Developers
While evaluating the best web hosting services for developers, I prioritized the following criteria:
- Adequate Resources. You don’t want to have to turn down potential clients because you don’t have enough storage, RAM, CPU, or bandwidth to accommodate database-driven web apps.
- Scalability. The ideal web host lets you scale up when you need more resources and scale down when you don’t. Pay-for-what-you-use models are preferable because they give you the flexibility to switch between different-sized projects.
- Developer Frameworks. In most cases, you can manually install the needed dependencies using SSH, but pre-configured PERL, PHP, Python, Ruby, or MySQL can save time.
- Debugging Support. A developer-friendly web host will meet you halfway: if you’ve got a high-level technical problem that you can’t wrap your head around, they should offer debugging.
- Security Features. Advanced security tools and secure virtualization architecture are always a plus, especially on shared and VPS plans.
- Reliability. Uptime guarantees backed by a service-level agreement (SLA) are a big plus. You need a reliable web host that is proactive in ensuring the highest possible uptime standards.
If you’re looking for a free web host to test your sites, or if you’re currently learning development and you just need a place to experiment, you should choose carefully.
Some free hosting services can’t accurately simulate the experience of working with a premium service, and you may find yourself dealing with a lot of downtime or just waiting around for pages to load.
Check out our list of the best free web hosting services to see which ones you can actually rely on.
I have nothing but praise for InterServer’s decision to move its VPS to the cloud. It now offers higher performance, more reliability, and increased resource flexibility for web development. If you’re looking for affordable high granular control, this is it.
You can start working on your virtual machine almost instantly with InterServer since it has an average provisioning time of 15 minutes from the moment your payment is approved.
You can start with InterServer’s cheapest VPS hosting plan featuring 1 Xeon Haswell CPU, 2GB RAM, 30GB SSD configured as Raid 10, and a free premium Webuzo license that helps you 1-click install Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, or any other CMS. With Webuzo, you can configure your VM to act like a Python, Java, LAMP, or LEMP server.
InterServer’s VPS plans come with managed support and the promise to fix any server-related issues, such as DNS, Mail, or SQL service bugs. The support team will also re-install operating systems and/or control panels when needed.
Shared plans come equipped with a LAMP stack, which is ideal if you’re experimenting. As a student, you are eligible for one full year of free standard shared hosting with unlimited websites, storage, and emails.
- Reliable and customizable virtual machines running on cloud technology, Xeon Haswell cores, and nested Raid configuration with data redundancy
- 99.9% uptime guarantee backed by an SLA. If network availability falls under the uptime guarantee, you can be eligible to receive up to 50% of your monthly fees in credit
- Free Webuzo control panel for VPS plans and Breadbasket for Shared Plans
- Managed support included in higher tier VPS plans
To learn more, read our in-depth InterServer review.
|Rapid Deployment Tools||Free Webuzo on VPS|
|Managed Support||Yes, for higher tier VPS plans|
|VPS Resources||1-16 cores, 2-32GB RAM, 30-480GB SSD|
|Extra Features||Instant Cloud Provisioned VPS|
Hostinger provides the cheapest web hosting for developers. Like InterServer, it has moved its VPS technology entirely into the cloud. This move is a significant upgrade for you and your clients, who benefit from better uptime, faster page loading speeds, and full root control to boot.
If you want to run a medium-to-high traffic e-commerce website with as little cost and as much flexibility as possible, Hostinger’s VPS offers are perfect for you. Your server resources are guaranteed and, thanks to the VPS control panel, you can easily install scripts, applications, or manually back-up your files.
You benefit from both IPv4 & IPv6 protocols and a dedicated address. You’ll never have to deal with a null-routed IP, and your extensions will run at lightning speed. Several fail-safe mechanisms, Raid 10 configuration, and weekly/daily back-ups will protect your data.
All of Hostinger’s cloud hosting plans offer managed support. Whenever there is a roll-out of new versions for critical software, the tech crew will make sure to keep your system up-to-date and secure. Each server is equipped with Bitninja or Imunify360, custom firewall rules, Wanguard anti-DDoS traffic analyzer, and more.
- Reliable and affordable cloud VPS, Xeon technology CPUs, and nested Raid 10 raid configurations
- 99.9% Uptime guarantee backed by an SLA. If you experience more than 0.1% of downtime you are eligible for a 5% refund
- LiteSpeed Cache included on all plans to keep your web applications running smoothly
- Fully-managed support on cloud plans and back-end support on VPS
Find out more in our complete Hostinger review.
|Rapid Deployment Tools||Custom hPanel|
|Managed Support||Yes, for Cloud Plans|
|VPS Resources||1-8 cores, 1-8GB RAM, 20-160GB SSD|
|Extra Features||LiteSpeed Caching|
If you don’t mind paying a bit more for a premium service, Liquid Web is one of the best hosting solutions money can buy. You can play around with various CMSs on Liquid Web’s entry-level VPS plans, that include cPanel/InterWorx or Plesk license. Or you can go with a serious server cluster to scale an e-commerce business.
One of the things I love about Liquid Web is the ability to create a staging domain or a staging server. With this feature, you can easily clone one website (or everything on a server) and then test whether new features work as intended before they go live.
Aside from being HITECH Certified, the company combines the processing power of a traditional dedicated server with the flexibility of cloud technology in its Cloud Dedicated plans. If you know your way around the back-end of a server, you can save some money with the core or unmanaged options.
If you are a dev at an Agile company and want to keep your overheads to a bare minimum, you can rely on Liquid Web’s Private Cloud. You will get all the functionality of an isolated network infrastructure and none of the drawbacks.
- Powerful and up-to-date server infrastructure backed by Intel Xeon Silver technology.
- Guaranteed uptime of 100% for all services. You will get a credit worth 10x the amount of actual downtime
- Phone support with response time of under 59 seconds for all core and fully-managed services
- High-performing servers guaranteed by third-party cloud analytics
Get more information in our in-depth Liquid Web Review.
|Rapid Deployment Tools||cPanel, InterWorks, or Plesk license|
|VPS Resources||2-8 cores, 2-16GB RAM, 40-200GB SSD|
|Extra Features||Staging Environment|
I consider Scala Hosting a diamond in the rough for web developers. Its proprietary all-in-one SPanel hosting platform is one of the reasons why. Aside from sparing you a license fee, this powerful, white-label API streamlines the administration of individual hosting accounts.
Scala Hosting’s self-managed VPS plans are just 20-25% cheaper than the managed ones. Given the additional value you get from a fully-managed service, though, it makes more sense to choose one. Yes, the unmanaged plans would save you a couple of extra dollars every month, but in the process, you’d give up access to specialized technical support.
Unfortunately, you don’t have the option to choose a server in the SEA region (yet). If you have clients with local businesses in Asia or Australia, loading speeds will be slightly slower.
If you have specific resource requirements, Scala Hosting gives you the possibility to fully customize your VPS resources. Let’s face it; it would have been somewhat embarrassing (given their name) if the service didn’t allow easy scaling.
- Affordable fully-managed VPS plans
- 99.9% SLA-backed uptime guarantee. If your uptime is less than this, the service will issue a full refund for your month’s expenses
- Free, white-label hosting control panel and an individual account manager
- OpenLiteSpeed integration for fast loading times
Check out our expert Scala Hosting review for more details.
|Rapid Deployment Tools||Free SPanel|
|Managed Support||Yes, for higher tier VPS plans.|
|VPS Resources||1-24 cores, 2-32GB RAM, 50-500GB SSD|
|Extra Features||OpenLiteSpeed Integration|
One of the best things about A2 Hosting is its advanced support crew. The Guru Crew will lend a helping hand with debugging wherever possible, even on shared hosting plans.
While the unmanaged VPS plan is very cheap, keep in mind that it doesn’t include a control panel. You’d have to add the cost of a cPanel or DirectAdmin license to your budget. The good news is that all A2 Hosting’s managed VPS plans have cPanel included.
While I love the fact that I can select where my VPS server will be located (Asia, Europe, or either of the two US centers), A2 Hosting’s customizable VPS configurations can be quite pricey. The most affordable unmanaged option comes with just 510MB of RAM. If I want the baseline 1GB, the subscription price is double.
A2 Hosting boasts an anytime money-back guarantee, which means if you discover the service isn’t right for you, it’s easy to cancel your plan. Still, your goal is to choose a reliable, affordable, and easily scalable web developer environment from the start, not switch to one later on.
A2 Hosting doesn’t have cloud hosting plans for you to upgrade to. In the long run, if your projects involve high-traffic and require a serious amount of storage and bandwidth, switching to A2 Hosting’s dedicated option will be more expensive than going with Hostinger’s or InterServer’s cloud hosting.
- Knowledgeable support squad that help with debugging wherever possible
- Anytime money-back guarantee
- Easily-scalable VPS configurations
- Pre-installed developer tools: PHP, MySQL, Python, PERL, Node.js and more
If you’d like to learn more, don’t miss our full A2 Hosting review.
|Rapid Deployment Tools||Webuzo for Unmanaged, cPanel for Managed|
|Managed Support||Yes, on higher tier VPS plans|
|VPS Resources||1-12 cores, 0.5-32GB RAM, 20-250GB SSD|
|Extra Features||Pre-installed Developer Tools|
HostPapa’s hosting plans suggest that its target audience is mostly new users and small businesses. As a developer, your choices are limited, since the company does not offer an affordable unmanaged VPS solution.
While you can opt for a self-managed VPS, this won’t make a difference in terms of your monthly costs. You’re better off going with a managed option, which gives you a solo cPanel/WHM license that will ensure rapid deployment of your developer frameworks.
Despite its higher price tag, the basic plan starts at a comfortable 4 cores, 60GB SSD, and 2GB of memory. HostPapa’s real strength lies in its reseller hosting options. Its Gold plan includes a free billing and automation suite, namely Client Exec or WHMCS, 8 core CPU, 8GB RAM, and 120GB SSD.
HostPapa does not offer cloud hosting or dedicated servers. If you know you’re going to need to scale up soon, it might not be the best fit for you.
- Data centers powered by 100% renewable energy
- Reseller plans with great value
- Proactive security monitoring of network infrastructures
- PHP modules installation and upgrades for managed plans
Don’t miss our expert HostPapa review for the full list of features.
|Rapid Deployment Tools||On Managed or Fully-Managed|
|VPS Resources||4-12 cores, 2-32GB RAM, 60-1000GB SSD|
|Extra Features||Green Energy Hosting Solution|
SiteGround is an excellent choice for independent developers who regularly need to scale for big projects.
I love the fact that I can manually upgrade my VPS resources or turn on SiteGround’s auto scaling feature, which will add more RAM and CPU if traffic spikes test the current resources. This feature gives me peace of mind that my clients won’t experience unresponsive pages if their e-commerce storefronts are overloaded.
Even though you pay extra, cloud VPS servers come equipped with CentOS, Apache or Nginx, managed PHP versions, as well as complete support and active security monitoring.
Overall, SiteGround’s web hosting plans are perfect for you if you work with major applications and companies. Still, I would have liked to see a premium cPanel license included.
- Fully-managed and easily scalable cloud virtual machines
- Fail-safe, redundant data storage
- Intuitive customer area GUI with separate control panel
- Git and WP-CLI integration
See all the pros and cons in our in-depth SiteGround Review.
|Rapid Deployment Tools||Crystal cPanel Theme|
|Managed Support||Fully-Managed and Monitored.|
|VPS Resources||2-32 cores, 4-128GB RAM, 40-1000GB SSD|
|Extra Features||Smart Dynamic Caching|
GoDaddy’s attempt to become a one-stop-shop web hosting service for freelance developers is paying off. Although it doesn’t come cheap, the GoDaddy Pro program makes it easier to manage multiple websites and clients at the same time. The downside is that it’s not actually a hosting option, but a range of tools meant to make developers’ lives easier.
GoDaddy’s API dashboard is like a Star Trek bridge: you get control over features such as one-click bulk updates and backups, group security scans, central DNS management, and more.
However, GoDaddy’s VPS plans don’t include a control panel license, which is counter-intuitive if you are seeking rapid deployment. Instead, the hosting service promotes cPanel and/or Plesk licenses as additional purchases during checkout.
GoDaddy’s self-managed VPS offer is quite restrictive in terms of server resources. I get the feeling that the company is funneling web-devs towards the expensive fully-managed solutions.
- GoDaddy Developer API speeds up the process of managing many clients/websites
- Unlimited cPanel/WHM accounts for managed VPS plans
- Host websites in Europe, Asia, or North America
- A developer support team for high-tier VPS subscriptions
Learn more in our full GoDaddy Review.
|Rapid Deployment Tools||Only on Managed VPS|
|VPS Resources||1-8 cores, 1-32GB RAM, 20-400GB SSD|
|Extra Features||GoDaddy Developer API|
Which Host Is the Best for You?
There isn’t one best web host for developers. You have your own list of must-haves, and each service has its strengths and quirks.
Whether you’re just starting as an independent professional or looking for an infrastructure that will help you manage your clients better, you have to consider your needs carefully and choose your web host accordingly.
If you’re looking for the best mix of value and features, you should go with InterServer because its managed support, state-of-the-art network infrastructure, and low prices really stand out from the crowd.
If you want to enjoy peace of mind when taking on resource-hungry projects, Liquid Web is the provider most likely to give you the support you need. In exchange for a higher fee, of course.
For an overview of all the web hosting options included in my list, check out the table below.
|Rapid Deployment Tools||Managed Support||Extra Features|
|InterServer||Free Webuzo on VPS||On advanced VPS plans||Instant Cloud Provisioned VPS|
|Hostinger||Custom hPanel||Yes, for Cloud Plans||LiteSpeed Caching|
|Liquid Web||cPanel, InterWorks, or Plesk license||Yes||Staging Environment|
|Scala Hosting||Free SPanel||Yes, for higher tier VPS plans||OpenLiteSpeed Integration|
|A2 Hosting||Webuzo for Unmanaged/cPanel for Managed.||Yes, on higher tier VPS plans||Pre-installed Developer Tools|
On Managed or Fully-Managed
|Yes||Green Energy Hosting Solution|
|SiteGround||Crystal cPanel Theme||Fully-Managed and Monitored||Smart Dynamic Caching|
|GoDaddy||Only on Managed VPS||Yes||GoDaddy Developer API|
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re not sure which host is best for you, I’d recommend you check out our list of the best web hosting services right now.
You can use AWS for web hosting, but it’s complicated and time-consuming. You’ll have to register a domain, create buckets, configure the root domain, set-up traffic logging, and more. This complexity detracts from the rapid deployment you need from your web hosting service.