The best Windows hosting services are perfect for those who want an alternative to Linux servers. Most web hosting (opens in new tab) packages run on Linux servers (opens in new tab), and it’s easy to see why: the operating system is fast, reliable, secure and free, with an impressive software ecosystem that includes some of the best web applications around.
For all these benefits, Linux won’t be the right setup for everyone. If your site is based on Microsoft technologies like ASP.NET or .NET, or you’re intending to run Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server or some other Microsoft stack product, you’ll need to choose a Windows plan. Opting for Windows hosting doesn’t restrict you to Microsoft products. Most plans offer easy one-click installation of popular apps like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PrestaShop (opens in new tab), phpBB and more.
There’s no cPanel (opens in new tab), but something similar (like Plesk) will make it easy to view your website status, create email accounts, tweak settings and generally manage your plan. Select a VPS (opens in new tab) or dedicated hosting plan and you’ll also be able to use Remote Desktop to manage the server from its own desktop.
Windows hosting has some issues. You won’t get the same choice of applications as with Linux, and there’s less help available for troubleshooting apps like WordPress on the Windows platform. Furthermore, there are Microsoft license fees to pay, so it’s a little more expensive than Linux plans.
Overall, though, if you need to take advantage of Microsoft technologies, Windows hosting can deliver a great service for a surprisingly low price.
We’ve tested and compared these hosting providers across various aspects, from their uptime and technical features to their storage, bandwidth, and overall performance. We evaluated the quality of their customer support, pricing plans, and flexibility of the contracts, among other things. Read on for five top Windows hosting providers you might want to check out.
Also, we’ve reviewed the best ecommerce hosting (opens in new tab) and the best cloud document storage (opens in new tab).
Best Windows Server Services of 2023
HostForLIFE stands out among web hosts because while offering both standard Linux hosting and Windows too, if you choose to go the Windows route, there’s no extra cost. So clearly, that’s an impressive benefit to begin with (as normally providers will charge more in this case). While there are plenty of low-cost shared Windows hosting packages around, they’re not the best choice for everyone. We suspect that many users who need a Windows website will also require more speed and functionality than the average customer, and budget hosting may not be good enough.
HostForLIFE’ Windows hosting offers no less than plan configurations, making it much easier to find and purchase the precise level of service you need. The baseline specification is impressive. Every plan offers SSD storage, and ultra fast network connectivity . You also get the ability to use Windows Server 2016/2019, along with fast response times for any support issues, and 99.999% uptime guaranteed overall.
The starter Tier 1 plan offers relatively limited resources, with one CPU core, 1GB RAM, 30 GB SSD Disk Space and 1000 GB Bandwidth. But it’s also good value at €12.99 a month. Those prices are for a monthly billing cycle, too – no lengthy contract required.
Upgrading to a higher tier gets you more power. The mid-range Tier 5 plan offers four CPU cores, 8GB RAM, 150GB disk space and 3TB bandwidth, for example, and is priced at €50.99 a month. Put it all together and these seem well-designed hosting plans which are powerful, configurable, with excellent support and a generous money-back guarantee. If basic Windows hosting isn’t enough, HostForLIFE.eu could be worth a try.
How to choose the best Windows hosting services for you?
If your site is media-heavy, it’s best to opt for hosting services that provide plenty of storage. Look out for the security features, the frequency of the data backups, and the quality of the customer support.
You’ll also want to check the provider’s pricing plans, free trial options, money-back guarantees, and flexibility of the contracts.
The best Windows hosting services: How we test
Due to the fact that only a small number of providers offer Windows hosting, comparing its strengths and weaknesses is relatively easy.
We test each feature provided from 24/7 security monitoring to DDoS protection using a test website that also uses other Windows tools and languages, like Microsoft Exchange or ASP.NET.
We also compare prices to make sure the Windows hosting service is good value for money.