Best Web Hosting In South Africa

If you are looking for the best web hosting in South Africa, we have compiled a list for you with an in-depth comparison. In today’s connected world, an online presence is an important part of brand promotion, whether it is for your personal brand or if you are learning how to start your own business. One of the first decisions you have to make in your foray into the online world is where you will host our website.

If you are looking to start a website (especially one looking to focus on traffic from all over the world), we have compiled a  list of hosting services that will serve as a good home for your online property. To understand the value of the best value available it is also good to understand the differences between hosting locally and internationally. These are our Best 5 hosting websites based on the features they come with and value for money.

How To Choose a Web Hosting Service

You’ll have to have few things ready before you even get started though. What kind of website do you want? Is it merely to advertise where there isn’t going to be many changes, and it’s just there for information? Will it have a shopping option for users to purchase items directly from your store? What kind of resources do you think you will be uploading? Do you have tons and tons of pictures to upload if you are a photographer, and you are promoting your services? These are things that you will need to have mapped before starting your search on the net, but now that you have decided what you need or want, let’s proceed.

Web hosting providers generally charge for their services, and depending on your requirements; the cost could be really high or pretty affordable. It’s essential to do your research though as more often than not, you will find a considerably cheaper provider, potentially offering more in return. You also have the option to have a server running from home but, honestly, that’s way more time, responsibility, money and more importantly, stress that you don’t need to put on yourself.

The other and highly recommended option is to have a provider host the site for you, including a website builder so that you can set up your site just the way you want it. Having the site hosted is the option that most people go for because the web host providers handle all the back end stuff. You work on their servers, and they maintain it and the only thing that you have to worry about it customizing your website to your liking and setting it up for your customers.  Doing this will make your life so much easier and allow you to focus on other essential things.

Most web hosting providers offer a variety of different tiers, and they all range at different prices, but they offer different options as well depending on your needs. It would be wise to understand the terminology used in an advertisement from a possible web hosting provider and be sure to read the fine print as well because some providers can be sharks.

The Best Web Hosting In South Africa

BlueHost

Bluehost is one of the largest and most trusted web hosting service on the net. It is the firm favourite for wordpress, recommended directly by wordpress.org. BlueHost, like A2 Hosting is one of the few hosting companies that has a Free SSL certificate in their packages and is the hosting service that we use yourselves.

One of the most popular web-hosting providers, BlueHost, founded in 2003 and based in Utah, supports over 2 million websites worldwide. Bluehost offers specific plans which cater to a variety of interests, ranging from business to personal blogs and everywhere else in-between.  Each plan has a variety of different features attached to them, but all of them make sure you receive the highest service possible. BlueHost is also one of those providers that don’t try and dupe you by surprise costs.

If you’re not exactly sure what you want, you can get hold of their live chat support which 24/7 and they can make recommendations based off of your requirements and have fun with agents as well because they are a friendly bunch. BlueHost also has a 30-day money-back guarantee; however, there is one tiny problem that I have with BlueHost, and that is that there is no monthly billing. You can only have annual billing, which reduces the number of customers they could potentially receive and alienating customers who are trying to start an online business that might be living on a month to month pay cheque.

If you can afford the annual billing and you want wholly reliable and friendly support, I would try BlueHost. With their varied plans and tiers, it would be a stretch to say you can’t find a plan for yourself.

+ Large provider                                         – No monthly billing

+ Variety of plans

+ No upsells

+ 24/7 support

+ Friendly staff

+ 30-day money back guarantee

Entry Package Features

  • 1 Website
  • 5 Databases
  • 50GB Storage
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • cPanel Control Panel
  • Free SSL & HHD (Good performance but not as good as SSD.)
  • Anytime Money Back Guarantee

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting, a company that initially started in 2003, has been serving private clients and businesses alike with their carefully tiered and well-designed web hosting plans for roughly 17 years now and they have gotten extremely proficient at it. Some people scoff at A2 Hosting because of their marketing hype; however, with their carefully chosen data centres and moving over to SSD Hosting, they are not wrong. Their speeds speak for themselves. Compared to other web-hosting providers, these are reasonable prices as well; however, one thing to be aware of is that it’s pretty cheap in the first month. But when it’s time for renewal, you will notice a significant increase in deductions so take note and be aware before committing to a plan.

They have data centres located in the United States, Europe and Asia, bringing you more clients from around the world closer to your website. They offer highly customizable server plans and excellent optimization that serves to increase your website speed, giving your customers a smoother experience online. They also provide free website migration and WordPress hosting so you can get going immediately. You will also be able to build and customize your website using an effortless drag and drop site builder for your convenience.

A2 Hosting also has enough confidence to say they have an “Anytime” money-back guarantee; however, it still needs to be used within 31 days; otherwise, it becomes complicated. Again, this is a worthwhile provider to check out. With affordability and completely customizable, you should find something here for you.

A2 Hosting, similar to GoDaddy has a local domain and the conveniences that come with it. The pricing however, remains dollar based and subject to change with the exchange rate. The entry level package is around R60. This is a bit more than the previous offer but it comes with SSL and SSD (much faster than HDD) which are a big deal.

Since July 2018, if your website does not have a SSL certificate, Google labels it as “Not secure” which will have a tremendous negative impact on your traffic is you rely on search engine traffic.  With hosts that do not offer SSL separately. Having it as part a package also saves you the hassle of installing it yourself which less technically savvy might struggle with.

+ Well-designed plans

+ Great speeds

+ 31-day money back guarantee

Entry Package Features

  • 1 Website
  • 5 Databases
  • Unlimited Storage
  • cPanel Control Panel
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Free SSL & SSD
  • Anytime Money Back Guarantee

HostGator

HostGator has been around for a very long time and has a suite of plans that match low and high budgets. It places an emphasis on simplicity and is a great option for beginners. If you are starting from scratch, you can use HostGator’s website builder which is included in all plans.

They offers a variety of products and services that covers all of your bases and are all excellent value for money.

Choosing a simple WordPress hosting account will net a tremendous low cost. However, at the expenditure of much better features and with every plan, a free migration service is included allowing you to transfer an already existing WordPress account. They also have a very easy to use drag and drop website builder, allowing you to design your site in any way you see fit. On first access, though, it might be confusing for new users as there are no clear instructions on how to set anything up. They have an option at the top of the screen that lets you get a pro to set up the page, but that is for an additional fee. It would have been nice if more precise directions had been more transparent so that new users could get going by themselves as most other companies provide.

Dealing with their customer support was also a pleasant experience as the agent was super helpful, friendly and patient. Hostgator offers 24/7 chat and telephone support which is toll-free in the United States, and a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is a lot more generous than some other provider offers and there is no catch. So you have nothing to lose by trying this one out.

+ Free migration                                          –  Instructions for new users could be clearer

+ Drag and drop builder

+ 24/7 support

+ Great customer support

+ 45-day money back guarantee

Entry Package Features

  • 1 Website
  • 5 Databases
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Transfer
  • cPanel Control Panel
  • Free SSL & SSD
  • 45 Day Money Back Guarantee

1 and 1

Located in Germany, 1 and 1 is the biggest hosting service in Europe. It is also one of the largest web-hosting companies in the world, competing with GoDaddy for the accolade. It has been around since 1988 and is a trusted name in Web hosting. Their entry level plan for hosting is affordable, at $0.99 for the first year and $7.99 after the first year. It gives good value for money, with features like a free SSL certificate and SSD storage across all of their pricing plans, which compares with the more impressive alternatives like A2 Hosting.

With 1&1 Ionos you receive immaculate value for money. They offer a variety of plans and services capable of meeting any company’s requirements, and there are no complicated pricing options. Generally, you have a monthly billing, and that’s it, no doubling up on renewal or anything like that, just a mere month to month deduction, still check the fine print as these things might change between regions. One other great thing is its WordPress hosting that comes with a range of plugins ready to be installed. The package will include plugins such as SEO optimization that will take all the grunt work out of making your page discoverable.

Overall this is an excellent value for money. Using shared hosting the pricing is simple to understand, the server has excellent response time, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The only thing that needs to be improved is the support team as some agents don’t take accountability, and it does not look very good on the company itself. Besides that, you should give this a try as it is just right for beginners, business pages or simple blogs.

+ Large provider                                        – Some complaints about after sale support

+ Variety of plans

+ No complicated pricing

+ Monthly billing

+ WordPress hosting with plugins

+ 30-day money back guarantee

Entry Package Features

  • 1 Website
  • 25 Databases  (1GB SSD)
  • 100GB Storage
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • cPanel Control Panel
  • Free SSL & SSD
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee


Wix

Wix is a powerhouse player in the web hosting community offering a variety of features and plans; however, despite being huge and having millions of people using it, it might not be ideal for big businesses. That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for it on this list.

The biggest sell for Wix is that it is easily accessible and is free if that’s how you want to use it. It’s perfect for maybe running a personal blog or using a site to showcase your photographs or business contact information. It is super easy for beginners to dive right into and start creating a website and advanced enough for veteran users who understand the Wix code.  Wix also allows its users to choose from over five hundred different templates that they can use to customize their site according to their liking. It’s compatible with loads of media types meaning you can add a variety of differently encoded video, audio and picture files with almost zero chance of it not working. Wix even comes with a market place where most add-ons are free. The only problem with the market place is that there are additional costs to remove watermarks and things of that nature.

Using the free option won’t net you access to e-commerce and lower-tiered plans has bandwidth limitations. The official support channel is also really lacking. However, if you’re using it as a free user, you want to test your design ability, and you have patience, you can get assistance from users on the forums from within the Wix community.

+ Variety of features and plans                    -Not ideal for big businesses

+ Easy for beginners                                   -Bandwidth limitations

+ Advanced for veterans                             -Costs to remove branding from market place assets

+ Compatible with a variety of media

+ Market place


Host Papa

Canadian based and independently owned web host provider, Host Papa, offers essential entry-level solutions to get your web page off the ground at a reasonable rate.

They give a starter plan, and a business plan and both include a WordPress starter account with two websites and free domain registration as well as a bunch of goodies dedicated to optimizing your site and making it more discoverable. Also included is a drag and drop website builder for you to unleash your creative ideas and make the site you want to create. Host Papa also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Remember when I told you earlier to read the fine print, well this is a good example. Even though they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee what they don’t communicate effectively is that the money-back guarantee only applies to plans which have an annual billing frequency. If you have sprung for the monthly billing plan, then you have 48hours to decide if Host Papa is the right fit for you.

Despite those little hindrances’, they do offer fantastic 24/7 telephonic support throughout 17 countries most of which have toll free numbers, and they have a track record of 100% uptime. Worth considering if you are on a tight budget.

Two websites                                             – hidden conditions in fine print

Free domain registration                           -48hrs money back guarantee with monthly billing

Drag and drop builder

30-day money back guarantee

24/7 support

100% uptime

Great customer support


GoDaddy

GoDaddy is the largest domain registrar in the world and is among, if not the largest web hosting company in the world. They are one of the most popular and trusted website companies in the world. They have a local domain tailored for South Africa so the user interface is easy to navigate. All prices are in rands so you don’t have to worry about currency conversions for pricing. The entry package is R39 and offers unlimited bandwidth and 30 GB of storage space.

They have several data centres located in the United States, Europe and Asia, giving those beautiful people access to your potential website from all over the world. They offer basic WordPress hosting, and surprisingly it’s pretty easy to get set up straight away. With GoDaddy’s auto-installer, you can create a WordPress site within a couple of minutes after forking over your hard-earned cash.  They also offer 24/7 live chat support, and in my encounter with one of the agents, I found them to be exceptionally friendly and helpful.

They offer a 30-day refund policy but again check the fine print because Go Daddy has a list of conditions that might need to be met if a refund is to be successful and if you are on monthly billing, you will only have 48 hours to decide if you like GoDaddy or not.

+ Large provider                               -If on monthly billing 48hrs to decide if you want to stay

+ Wide range of products

+ Lots of servers

+ Easy to get started

+ 30-day money back guarantee

Entry Package Features

  • 1 Website
  • 25 Databases (1GB Storage)
  • 30GB Disk Storage
  • cPanel Control Panel
  • No SSL & SSD
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

The reason that GoDaddy is placed mentioned so late in our list is because, since the adoption of Google’s SSL policy in July 2018, the lack of an SSL is a big issue. This is despite GoDaddy being one of the most popular and trusted services. A lot of newbies may not know about the importance of SSL and overlook a crucial part of hosting, so an integrated SSL solution is vital for website owners who are not professional designers or in the know.


Inmotion Hosting

Inmotion is a U.S. based company and has been in the web hosting industry for about 15 years and in that time offering users a variety of web hosting products and services. No matter what you are looking for, Inmotion more than likely has you covered.

Each tier that they offer has a clear explanation so that even a complete rookie will be able to make heads or tails of the specific services that are available. They won’t try and fish for money with unnecessary add-ons either. However, there is one caveat to this is, and that was when purchasing a plan they automatically added a backup manager. It’s not a hidden cost; it appears in your cart before final payment confirmation; it was just a little disconcerting. That aside, every plan has a built-in WordPress site migration utility which is available to use without any additional cost. They also include a staging area where you can make updates or changes to your site and preview them before making them live,  24/7 chat, email and phone support and they offer a 90-day money-back guarantee.

I was particularly impressed with their level of support because the agents are real and help you accordingly. They don’t refer you to a knowledge base of some kind; they stick with you to sort out the problem, and they are super friendly. If you are still on the fence about who your web hosting provider should be, check this company out.

+ User friendly                                            -Backup Manager automatically added

+ Staging area

+ 24/7 support

+ 90-day money back guarantee


Liquid Web

Liquid Web has been around for twenty years and is one of the biggest and most reliable web host providers you could find.

To date, they host over 500,000 websites and support well above 30,000 customers. While their prices seem high, they are, without a doubt one of the most reliable providers you’ll come across.

Compared to other web hosting providers Liquid Web does not have any free plans, however their focus on providing customers with powerful hardware and multiple products, tailored around your specific requirements more than make-up for this. One of the beautiful things about Liquid Web is that they don’t try and upsell anything to you. What they advertise is what you get and then some, as well as offering additional support and at times, reducing prices depending on your needs. They even go as far to assist you with a “help me choose” section when selecting a tier option, where they go out of their way to explain in laymen’s terms what you will be receiving. You can also get support from an agent, explain to them precisely what you are wanting, and they will make the appropriate recommendations.

They offer quality 24/7 customer support and usually reply within thirty-minutes of receiving a support ticket. They hardly have any downtime, and if there is a problem that causes an outage, replacing or repairing their equipment will happen within thirty minutes, and if they miss that window, they will credit you ten times the length of the outage. No other web hosting provider boasts this amount of confidence and user reviews speak for themselves. If you are looking for professional, reliable and thorough customer support and need only the best for your site, look no further.

+ Reliable                                               – None

+ Large base

+ No upsell

+ 24/7 support

+ Great user reviews


Green Geeks

+ Eco friendly -no site staging                   – If monthly billing a setup fee is charged

+ Unlimited storage -no optimization

+ Unlimited bandwidth

GreenGeeks is an eco-friendly web hosting provider which by itself is a noble and admirable goal considering how cruel humans are to the planet. GreenGeeks says, “For every amperage, we pull from the grid; we invest three times that in the form of renewable energy via Bonneville Environmental Foundation.” That’s great, but how are they at web hosting?

They offer a Lite plan which is kind of cool. It has unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth, free domain registration for one year, free website registration and WordPress hosting, however, that is only bare basics. It doesn’t come with any advanced features you might find with other providers such as site staging or optimization, which is a let-down. The extra’s make your life so much easier, and they are pretty much standard with other providers. If you don’t mind doing all the manual work such as web-page optimization and capturing metadata, then it won’t be so bad, especially if you are passionate about the eco-friendly message that GreenGeeks displays.

There is another downside, in the form of a setup fee if you decide to take the monthly billing option instead of annual. That’s a bit strange and unexpected and consider this a warning. I think GreenGeeks could go far. With the world becoming more eco-friendly in the last couple of years, it would be cool if more providers tried to adopt a similar philosophy.


The comparisons of the different web hosting products were based on the baseline (entry level) option offered by each company, which is on shared hosting (multiple websites on the same server). Shared hosting is the most widely used and cheapest form of website hosting. If your website has exceptionally high traffic, you might want to opt for a dedicated server instead as unequal resource allocation can lead to site slow-down.

We chose the most accessible and a user-friendly options that do not require too much technical know-how.

Which Web Hosting in South Africa does it for you? If you have a suggestion or want to share your own review, let us know in the comments below.

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