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The 7 Best Web Hosting Services Australia (For Businesses in 2019)

By February 6, 2019 March 2nd, 2019 All, E-Commerce, Reviews, Web Development
Best Web Hosting Australia for Businesses in 2019

Last Updated: March 2, 2019

Finding the best web hosting (Australia) for your business can be a make or break decision. One that’s critical to get ‘right’ the first time.

If you’re running an e-commerce business, the difference between a slow server and a fast server could be the difference between thousands, or tens-of-thousands of dollars in web sales.

Even an extra 1-second delay could turn away 11% of visitors (and potential customers).

Quick Tip: Looking for a fast answer and short on time? Here’s a quick takeaway: Australian hosts don’t tend to perform as well as offshore hosts in the region. It’s largely due to our infrastructure. Instead, you’re better off hosting with SiteGround, who we voted #1 on our list. Their Singapore data centre is blazing-fast and you can be up and running for less than $5/month. Check out why we ranked them first.

Why Choosing the Best Web Hosting is Important

Having a sluggish checkout process is one thing, but even worse – downtime.

Emergency server maintenance throughout peak trading hours could cripple your sales. When you’re growing a business, uncertainty is not something you can afford to bet on.

For some of our clients in the finance space, a core consideration (that’s easy to overlook) is that their customer data is required – by law – to be stored in Australian-based data centres.

Because of this, international web hosts – while they may be quicker and cheaper – simply aren’t suitable to work with (and if this is you, take note of the data centre locations we’ve included in our rankings).

Shared hosting vs dedicated hosting

Shared hosting plans allow you to save on hosting costs by sharing storage, bandwidth and resources with other sites (and other customers) on the same server.

Most, if not all hosts will offer shared hosting plans by default. While they’re suitable for most small business websites, they’re not without their drawbacks.

For example, if one site on your shared server experiences a large influx of traffic, there’s a chance that your site too (and all other sites on that server) could also experience downtime. Domino effect!

If you anticipate or know that your new website will exceed 100,000 visitors per month, or your sales are critically reliant on your website’s uptime, it’s worth looking into dedicated hosting. Unlike shared hosting, with dedicated hosting, your business leverages 100% of the server’s resources (rather than sharing them between multiple sites).

1 second of load lag time could cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales per year.

Australian vs offshore web hosting

Almost unsurprisingly given the general state of Australia’s IT infrastructure, there are many offshore web hosts that outperform their Australian counterparts.

What we found (and what others have also identified), is that hosts with servers in Singapore (like Siteground) delivered significantly better overall performance for websites that draw traffic from all over the world.

In fact, Siteground was even faster than many of the Australian-based hosts we tested (and more affordable, too).

With so many providers to choose from, it’s critical to figure out which web host is going to be best for your business. That’s why we’ve road-tested and ranked our Top 7: Best Web Hosting Services for Australian Businesses in 2019.

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How We Compared Hosts: Our Methodology

We signed up to 15 different web hosts (both Australian and international hosts) and cloned the same WordPress site onto each server (for control). Each host we signed up for had the same/similar plans, including SSD storage and bandwidth.

With the basis of our test set up, we ran each instance of our control site through PingdomGTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights. This allowed us to get a broad insight into how each host served our site to both Australian and global users. We used a Sydney server as our test control, but also compared those results with test servers based in Vancouver, Canada.

GTMetrix Test for Best Web Hosting Australia

What we’re really interested in here is two things: the server speed against Google’s guidelines of 200 ms and the real-world load time of the site. Not too bad!

Other considerations

Beyond just hosting speed, we also determined who had the ‘best’ web hosting Australia by looking at a few other, core considerations:

  1. Price and value
  2. Uptime (and downtime)
  3. Customer service

There’s naturally a bit of a price jump between entry-level and enterprise-level hosting solutions, so we also took that into consideration when we put together our final list.

Our final list represents what we found to be the best web hosts for business needs.

Best Web Hosting Australia – Who Wins?

While we tested 15 different hosts, we’ve filtered our list down to the top 7 best web hosting services for Australian businesses.

We’d be confident in recommending any of the following hosts based on their performance, price and customer service. They all faired well! But remember, your perfect host may differ from someone else’s. It’s a case-by-case choice, based on your particular needs.

For example, WPEngine is incredibly powerful for a growing business on WordPress or WooCommerce – and one of our top picks! But they wouldn’t be suitable for an enterprise-level site running on Magento.

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Closest data centre:

Singapore

Load time from Sydney:

94ms

Cost:

from $4.95/month with 67% discount

Uptime:

99.9%

Customer service:

Live chat (very responsive)

Overall rating:

5/5 Star Rating
SiteGround is our recommended web host for most business needs

Best Cheap Web Host

Key Features

  • 20GB SSD storage (on $7.45/month plan) – extremely cheap
  • Suitable for ~25,000 monthly visitors
  • Free SSL Certificate and Cloudflare CDN
  • 24/7 technical support

and claim your 67% discount on a web hosting plan

Easily the most versatile, popular and affordable host to make our Top 7. SiteGround is a crowd favourite for a reason. Their shared hosting plans are fast, offer excellent uptime and support and are incredibly cheap (by comparison).

SiteGround’s closest data centre to Australia is located in Singapore. That said, with a 94ms server response time when we tested from Sydney, it’s still incredibly fast. Adding to their credentials, you’ll see this speed replicated across the entire Asia-Pacific (and the world), thanks to their blazing fast hardware.

Each plan also comes with a free SSL certificate and an optional Cloudflare CDN. Value for money – SiteGround cannot be beaten. Best web host in Australia? SiteGround makes a strong claim for businesses who serve customers here and abroad.

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Closest data centre:

Sydney

Load time from Sydney:

3ms

Cost:

from $28/month with 20% discount

Uptime:

99.9%

Customer service:

24/7 live chat support + 24/7 phone support for 3/4 plans

Overall rating:

5/5 Star Rating
WPEngine Web Host Plans

Best Australian WordPress Host

Key Features

  • 20GB SSD storage (on Growth plan) – lightning-quick global servers plus Sydney data centre
  • WordPress and WooCommerce speciality host – best host for these types of sites
  • Staging sites (test environments) to fix bugs, test changes and rollout updates safely
  • Custom caching technology (Evercache) for maximum speed and scale on WordPress sites

and claim your 20% discount on a web hosting plan

WPEngine comes in at number 2 on our list as a specialised WordPress and WooCommerce host. They’re more expensive than many of the other hosts we tested, but you get what you pay for in peace of mind, uptime and instantaneous customer service (should you need it).

WPEngine didn’t go down once in our testing (which we ran for 3 weeks).

Based in Austin, Texas, WPEngine now has a data centre located in Sydney and you can also reach out to them in their Brisbane office. For users who need to have their data stored on Australian servers, WPEngine is an excellent web host.

Each plan from WPEngine comes with a free, automated SSL certificate and the option to install a global CDN. What stood out to us here is that they’re one of the few hosts who natively offer PHP 7.2 as well, which we’ve found to be an ENORMOUS upgrade over PHP 5 in terms of site speed.

Having that stable, tested framework means that your site with WPEngine is blazing fast at all times.

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Closest data centre:

Singapore

Load time from Sydney:

94ms

Cost:

from $7/month for Lite Plan

Uptime:

99.9%

Customer service:

Live chat and Email Tickets

Overall rating:

5/5 Star Rating
WPWeb Host Plans

Great Value WordPress Host

Key Features

  • 30GB SSD storage (on WP Lite plan) – very fast global speeds with Singapore data centre
  • WordPress and WooCommerce speciality host – best host for these types of sites
  • Free domain included in all plans + unlimited email accounts
  • Best cheap WordPress host for <10,000 – 150,000 monthly visitors

WPWebHost is another blistering-fast, WordPress-speciality web host with a data centre in Singapore.

By comparison, WPWebHost offer some of the best value-for-money plans and for only $7/month, you get a whopping 30GB of SSD storage, unlimited email and a lifetime free domain. That’s great value.

Perfect for blogs, company websites or small e-Commerce sites, WPWebHost also hands out free SSL certificates and over 100+ free WordPress starter themes to choose from. If you’re looking for a WordPress host who gets you the best bang-for-buck, WPWebHost is easily one of the best web hosts we reviewed.

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Closest data centre:

Singapore

Load time from Sydney:

95ms

Cost:

from $3.92/month with 51% discount

Uptime:

99.9%

Customer service:

Live chat and Email Tickets

Overall rating:

5/5 Star Rating
A2 Web Hosting Plans

Cheap, Versatile Web Host

Key Features

  • Unlimited SSD storage (on Swift plan) – extremely quick data centre in Singapore
  • Unlimited bandwidth + unlimited subdomains (on Swift plan)
  • Free website migration
  • Unlimited email addresses + spam protection

and claim up to 51% discount on a web hosting plan

Although they charge in $USD, A2 Hosting is an excellent choice for Australian small businesses. They offer 24/7 support via live chat, generous SSD storage and blazing fast server speeds via Singapore.

A2 claim that you’ll experience up to 20x faster web hosting with their ‘turbo servers’. In our experience, we found them comparable to SiteGround and WPWebHost – so, pretty quick!

There are a heap of great features that make A2 Hosting a worthwhile choice. Free SSL, global servers and the ability to run PHP 7, plus they’ll even help you migrate your existing site to A2 for free! It’s a solid offering and between our top 4 web hosts, we’re really splitting hairs.

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Closest data centre:

Sydney

Load time from Sydney:

3ms

Cost:

$19.90/month (or $199/year)

Uptime:

99.9%

Customer service:

24/7 Australian Support (Phone + Email)

Overall rating:

4/5 Star Rating
Crucial Web Hosting Plans

Best Australian-Owned Host

Key Features

  • 50GB disk storage
  • Unlimited transfer and email
  • No lock-in contracts
  • Australian-owned data centre

Crucial is one of the best Australian web hosts we tested. At $19.90/month, they’re more expensive than some of the other hosts on this list, but if you’re an Australian small business, they’re a good fit.

With lightning-fast data centres in Sydney, unlimited email and 50gb storage on starting plans, they’re a solid entry.

Crucial also supports a range of web platforms (not just WordPress). If you’re running on Magento, Drupal or anything else, Crucial will support you. The only downside we found is that they’re still only using PHP 5.6. It’s a stable rollout, but it’s not as fast as PHP 7.

What really sets them apart is their customer service. Their Australian-based team is only a phone call away at all times and it’s extremely easy to get fast support.

If you’re looking for the best Australian web host (100% Australian), Crucial is a fantastic choice.

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Closest data centre:

Sydney

Load time from Sydney:

3ms

Cost:

$16/month for Silver Plan

Uptime:

99.9%

Customer service:

Excellent Australian Support (Live Chat + Tickets)

Overall rating:

4/5 Star Rating
Relentless Hosting Plans

For Australian Small Businesses

Key Features

  • 15GB SSD storage (on Silver plan) and 100GB bandwidth
  • Unlimited hosted websites and email accounts
  • Free SSL certificates + Litespeed web server + PHP 7 support
  • Australian-owned data centre (Sydney)

Relentless Hosting is an all-Australian web host with excellent customer service. While they offer plans from $3/month, their $16/month Silver plan is more in line with the other hosts on our list.

Based in Sydney, Relentless Hosting has an easy-to-use cPanel which comes with an Express WordPress installer should you need it. Their servers also run on ‘Litespeed’, which Relentless claims is up to 9 times faster than web servers using Apache. With a 3ms response time from Sydney, we were impressed with their load time from within Australia.

Andrew from Relentless Hosting also goes above and beyond consistently to resolve support tickets. We’ve submitted tickets at 2am on a Friday night and had a response within 15 minutes. Now that’s good service!

With free cPanel migrations on offer (Relentless can move your website for you), Relentless Hosting is a growing yet robust choice in the bid to be Australia’s best web host.

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Closest data centre:

Sydney

Load time from Sydney:

7ms

Cost:

from $10.99/month with Business plan

Uptime:

99.9%

Customer service:

Live Chat + Email Tickets + Phone

Overall rating:

4/5 Star Rating
Digital Pacific Hosting Plans

Solid Australian Business Hosting

Key Features

  • 25GB SSD storage (on Business plan) and 100GB bandwidth
  • Unlimited email accounts and 1+ addon domains
  • Free SSL certificates + 30 day money back guarantee
  • Australian-owned data centre (Sydney)

Digital Pacific is a veteran in Australian web hosting. Since 2000, they’ve been offering Australian web hosting to small, medium and enterprise businesses across the country.

Based in Sydney, Digital Pacific is one of the more unique web hosts in Australia. As a Qantas partner, they offer 1 Qantas Point for every dollar spent on your web hosting. Pretty cool! It’s certainly an attractive offer for businesses who do a lot of travel.

With business hosting plans starting at $10.99/month, Digital Pacific is one of the cheaper Australian web hosts. Their Business Basic package offers a respectable 25gb of SSD storage, but only 1 additional addon domain.

It was refreshing to see a range of CMS platforms supported off the bat, including WordPress, Joomla and Magento. Disappointingly, however, Digital Pacific only offers PHP version 5, rather than version 7, which is both newer and faster.

While you shouldn’t expect blazing fast speeds outside of Australia, Digital Pacific’s Sydney server did ping back at 4ms in our test, which is incredibly fast. For a business that serves Australian customers only, Digital Pacific is a decent choice, but not quite impressive enough to

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Australian Web Hosting Compared

Final Thoughts and Verdict

We found it hard to include a majority of the Australian web hosts we tested in our Top 7. While all Aussie hosts generally excelled at home, their performance on a global scale was poor, overall.

Unfortunately, largely due to how (un)connected Australia is with the rest of the world, we discovered that offshore hosting was an all-around better alternative for most businesses. The difference in speed between a site served from a Singapore data centre, versus one in Sydney, wasn’t great enough to justify poor performance from everywhere else in the world.

What we did find is that Australian hosts had much better service than some of the cheaper hosts. Instead of sending an email ticket and waiting… we were pleased to find that a lot of Australian web hosts are usually within arms-reach during a crisis, by live chat or phone.

So who had the best web hosting Australia?

Here’s a recap of our top 3:

SPEED FROM SYDNEY
COST
SiteGround Web Hosting94ms$4.95/monthVISIT HOST
WPEngine Web Hosting Australia3ms$28/monthVISIT HOST
SiteGround Web Hosting94ms$7/monthVISIT HOST

Our choice for most Australian businesses is SiteGround. They offer an excellent mix of value, speed and customer service with extremely competitive pricing. In our tests, SiteGround’s Singapore data server was blazing fast. For the price, they’re a clear favourite, especially when you get excellent customer service, too!

If you’re a business that would prefer an Australian data centre, we found WPEngine to be a great fit. They’re a little more expensive and exclusively support WordPress builds, but their Sydney-based servers were practically unmatched in terms of speed.

The best Australian web host (non-WordPress), was a close toss-up between Crucial and Relentless Hosting. Both offer incredible support and reasonable (albeit more expensive) pricing.

We really picked at hairs putting this list together. It was disappointing that more Australian web hosts didn’t make the cut, but between speed, reliability, value and service, we definitely learnt a lot about Australia’s best web hosting options.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve had any experiences with the web hosts in our Top 7 list. What did you think? We’d love to know!

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