It makes sense.
That’s the whole point of the Web — connecting us regardless of our geographical boundaries.
Still, there is a fair share of businesses which, for one reason or another, choose to cater to people in a single country or region.
So how does hosting fall into all of this?
Our topic today is web hosting in India and how providers are responding to the local market demand.
India is among the fastest-growing economies in the world. GDP projections for the next four years predict a 7.2% increase. SMBs are nearing the 51 million mark. Analysts expect the IT and Business Service markets to grow to $13.9 billion by the end of…
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In short — the economy is booming!
All those emerging businesses will need a reliable web service, and this is the time for quality providers to shine.
We have hand-picked a list of companies that fully deserve to compete for the title “best web hosting in India.”
Along with the essentials, this article will also give you:
- Detailed reviews of every host
- How we picked the best web hosting companies in India (our methodology)
- 5 key things to check before purchasing website hosting in India
- The benefits of a good local provider
Let’s get right into it, shall we?
What does the local market have in store for us?
Best Local Hosts
+ Rich set of features
+ Great support
Price: from 89 INR / $1.24
BigRock is one of the many hosting companies worldwide that operate under the EIG hat. The Endurance International Group acquired BigRock for $160 million in 2014, along with three other sister companies — LogicBoxes, ResellerClub, and Webhosting.info.
Today, BigRock powers over 6 million domains, primarily operating in the Indian market.
The provider guarantees cheap web hosting in India, 99.99% uptime, and 24/7 local support.
Sounds promising, but let’s see if BR can deliver.
You can choose between two server locations with BigRock — USA and India. The Indian data center is located in Mumbai, and hosting accounts there are a bit more expensive than in the US due to the different cost of servicing.
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The plans are quite robust — even the entry-level deals pack 20GB space and 100GB bandwidth.
The web servers are quite impressive— Intel Xeon E5 with 64GB RAM and CloudLinux. The Varnish web accelerator is a nice addition to that setup.
What this means for you is that you can count on a fast and secure website for your Indian clients.
Price-wise things are also looking good. You can host a single website on the Starter package for just 89 INR per month, which is a little over a dollar. If you are looking for something bigger, you can check the Pro plan or Cloud servers, at 499 INR each.
Here is one thing I noticed about website hosting services in India, though.
International hosts tend to give amazing discounts, but the fine print says you have to sign up for 1-3 years to secure the deal.
With Indian hosts, that period is most often ten years.
Not the best option for people with a fear of commitment.
I can write a book about my horrible experiences with the EIG hosting support.
In fact, someday I probably will.
But every time I give them the benefit of the doubt because hey, who knows…
I am glad I gave BigRock a try, especially as it was last on my list of tests. I had run into such poor support with the other companies that I had little to no hopes from this provider.
What I got was instant assistance, clear answers, and an overall excellent understanding of my issues.
I guess BigRock kept its old support after the acquisition, as this was nothing like the overall uselessness of the EIG help team.
BigRock has some of the best web hosting offers in India. The accounts provide plenty of resources, and the prices are perfectly fitted to the needs of Indian businesses. The support team is also noteworthy, as it goes way and beyond when assisting the company’s millions of customers.
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+ SSD caching
+ DDoS protection
+ Free SSL certificate
Price: from 53 INR / $0.74
ZNet Technologies saw the light of day in 2009. Founder Munesh Jadoun saw an early opportunity in the emerging Indian market and managed to quickly add two more office locations with over 100 trained employees.
The hosting industry recognizes quality services quickly, and ZNet already has 26 awards and accreditations.
You do the math.
ZNet Live primarily operates in India but has also made inroads into the US market. In 2012 the company added a data center location in Texas.
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Indian providers don’t usually go overboard when it comes to packing their accounts. They understand most new clients have very basic needs and use limited resources, and this is exactly what the majority of hosts offer.
ZNet Live has a different strategy.
Why not give even startups a more robust and complete deal? After all, most people start a web project with the idea to grow, right?
ZNet ensures optimal speed and performance for every client with SSD caching on its servers, a RAID 10 storage setup, and MOD_PageSpeed activated.
The Starter plan gives you a whopping 40GB storage space, more than any other entry-level deal we reviewed.
I noticed a common occurrence with most Indian hosts. If you want to host multiple websites, even if they are small blogs, you would have to opt-in for the more expensive deals.
Speaking of prices, ZNet Live is quite affordable for the market — less than $1/mo for the Starter plan.
But something was off.
The website said I could secure the best discount, 35%, with the 10-year account.
Yet, just under that, the drop-down menu stated that I get 31% off, even less than with the 5-year deal.
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I had to get to the bottom of this.
ZNet addresses sales questions through a 24/7 live chat, and existing clients can benefit from phone and ticket support as well.
So off to the live chat I was…
It took me three attempts to get through, which is never a great start.
When I brought up the price discrepancies on the website, the rep was insistent the 10-year discount is 35%, even though I sent him links and screenshots.
I got frustrated at this point and was just about to leave when the operator made a final effort to check the issue.
Much to his dismay, I was right.
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Turns out there was a bug on the website when switching between the US and IN versions of the page. In the end, the rep thanked me for the feedback and got right on with fixing it.
So it is possible to get things done right with ZNet, you just have to push the company harder.
ZNet Live is a solid choice for local businesses that want to expand their influence in India. The servers are fast. The prices are cheap. What more can you ask for? The support services can benefit from some improvement, but you can still get decent assistance from the extensive knowledge base.
[Net4 — BitCatcha screenshot]
+ India-centric services
+ Customizable plans
+ Great prices
Price: from 30 INR / $0.75
Many renowned international companies like GoDaddy and HostGator operate on the Indian market. That’s why I was surprised to find a local provider topping the charts.
Net4 is the leading web hosting company in India, with a 10,04% market share.
The company offers servers spanning across seven key locations — New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. This density ensures maximum coverage and speeds from any point of the country.
So what makes Net4 so unique that the majority of Indian customers trust it for their online presence?
First thing I noticed on the company website is that Net4 offers quite a lot of plans.
Three plans for small businesses, three for medium ones, three for enterprises, and another trio for cPanel hosting.
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A closer look reveals that the choices are actually pretty limited. The storage space can barely handle a decent-sized project, and hosting more than one website will require you to open the wallet for the more expensive plans.
Still, there is a very cool option to customize your package with as much space as you need.
Kudos for that.
There isn’t much more to the hosting accounts — you get unlimited bandwidth, 50 subdomains, and secure FTP. Forget about free add-ons like Website Hosting Review/blog/ssl-stats/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>SSL certificate or CDN.
The prices more than make up for the lack of features. Accounts start at 30 INR, which makes it super easy to start a new website.
Unlike other Indian hosts, Net 4 lets you benefit from the best price with any 5+ year prepayment, not just a 10-year deal.
And then comes support…
I already knew Net4 was the largest Indian host, so I had high hopes for its support team.
The chat was for sales questions only, so I decided to pose as a client who needs to host 2-3 small websites.
The operator initially told me I’d need at least the 2GB plan (one of the most expensive ones).
I asked if I can get a plan for one website and add the other two as addon domains. No, not possible
Just when I was about to leave, the operator (seemingly) changed her mind — You can host more than one website on a plan with at least 500MB space.
So, just 500MB, not 2GB? Perfect!
Last confirmation — so I can host 2-3 small websites on the Advanced Plan with 500MB?
No, you’ll need a 2GB account for that.
It was a vicious cycle, and I was right in the middle of it.
To summarize, the operator gave me controversial information and did not make any effort to keep me as a client.
Compared to the competition, Net4 isn’t the cheapest or the most feature-packed web hosting in India. Customer support is quite basic. What drives the company forward is the understanding of the ins-and-outs of the Indian market and how to tackle common issues entrepreneurs face.
So how are the international players competing in this highly specific environment?
Best Global Hosts
1. Hostinger India
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+ Fast speeds
+ 100% uptime
+ Super affordable
Price: from 49 INR / $0.68
Hostinger is a Lithuania-based hosting provider established in 2004. Fast forward fifteen years, and we are now talking about a company with over 29 million customers.
Those are collective numbers from Hostinger and its subsidiaries…all 178 of them!
The provider follows a very efficient business model — it establishes local companies in untapped markets and targets clients with both free and low-cost hosting.
Hostinger offers six data center locations — in the US, the UK, Netherlands, Brazil, and the two closest to India — Indonesia and Singapore.
Hostinger focuses on the mass user. The one who doesn’t know a lot but doesn’t need a lot either.
As such, its plans are not super impressive.
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The entry-level deal gives you room to operate with a single website and email account, 10 gigs of space, and 100 gigs of bandwidth.
That’s it. No free SSL. No backups. Only the bare essentials.
That being said, the speed and uptime tests of Hostinger were remarkable. The results were a great sign of a suitable environment for a fast and active website.
But when affordability comes into play, Hostinger is truly unreachable. With prices starting at just 49 INR, even local hosts struggle to keep up.
Keep in mind this is an introductory price with a 90% discount, so come renewal you will be facing a much more hair-rising bill.
At the moment, Hostinger offers 24/7 assistance to potential and existing clients via live chat, tickets, and email. Phone support is unavailable.
I expected a company with so many clients to have constant workload and skip through cases without getting into much detail.
My live chat conversation with the support operator proved me wrong.
The representative joined the chat in less than 20 seconds and managed to clear my doubts swiftly and politely. He didn’t try to spam me with links from the knowledge base or push me for a quick sale.
He had just the right approach.
I enjoyed the overall level of assistance, and hopefully, the same proficiency will be shown with more complex technical issues.
Hostinger is one of the cheapest hosting sites and an excellent choice for a web host in India. The company offers reliable services, and tons of happy customers can attest to their quality.
2. Bluehost India
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+ Great server speed
+ Unmetered storage and bandwidth
+ 30-day money-back guarantee
Price: from 209 INR / $2.90
Bluehost is an EIG-owned host, one of the biggest in the industry. In fact, it’s so big it currently occupies the #5 spot, with a 2.24% market share.
The provider covers all types of services — from shared hosting, through WordPress-optimized packages, to Cloud and Dedicated servers.
One thing to know about EIG, though — it’s a massive organization flaunting billions of dollars, but it follows a strict corporate model. It acquires popular hosts and gradually replaces the staff and technology with its own, basically creating an army of clones.
Let’s just say that money rules the game with this tech giant.
As with other EIG hosts, Bluehost utilizes a colossal 50,000 square feet facility in Provo, Utah.
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BH performs very well speed-wise, but the lack of servers near India makes the ping times from Bangalore less than impressive — 642 ms was the lowest score on our list.
All Bluehost accounts come with unmetered space and bandwidth, but don’t think this means you can go overboard with a large-scale project. There are tons of other resource limitations you will reach (like RAM or file count) before you grow too much.
But worry not — the host compensates with some impressive server setup.
All machines are WordPress-optimized and packed with security enhancements — ClamAV virus protection, secure FTP access, and IP blocking, to name a few.
Bluehost throws in some automatic backups as well, but those get overwritten every week, so it’s best you download a separate copy offline.
BH might not offer the cheapest web hosting plan in India, but prices are reasonable for the market.
The single website plan starts at 209 INR (about $2.90/mo), or you can go for the Pro plan and host unlimited projects for 399 INR (about $5.55/mo).
One thing you might notice is that you can switch between the US and IN. India is the more expensive option, as it supposedly places your account on a closer server location.
But wait a minute, Bluehost has servers only in Utah.
I had to find out what was going on…
I tested the company live chat one afternoon.
I double-checked the server locations with the BH representative and got to my real question.
Imagine my surprise when he firmly told me Bluehost.com and Bluehost.in are completely different companies.
I mean sure, you have the same domain, website, logo, even the support email box was firstname.lastname@example.org.
But no, he was insistent — it was a different company.
Nevertheless, you get 24/7 support via phone, email, and tickets with Bluehost.in, but don’t expect any in-depth assistance.
Bluehost is a solid choice for web hosting in India. The company puts reasonable prices on its products, with an accent on the unmetered space and bandwidth. If support was on the same level, it could easily sweep the market.
3. GoDaddy India
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+ WordPress-optimized plans
+ Free daily backups
+ Malware scans
Price: from 502 INR / $6.99
GoDaddy is a name that needs no introduction.
After all, we are talking about the biggest web hosting provider and domain registrar worldwide. Both titles held by a large margin.
Over 9,000 employees ensure that the millions of GD customers get a quality hosting service.
The company owns a data center in Arizona and leases six more around the world — Los Angeles, Chicago, Virginia, Ashburn, Amsterdam, and Singapore.
GoDaddy spends a lot of money on sponsorship deals — IndyCar, Nascar, Super Bowl, anything that can get its name out there.
But are its hosting services tailored to the needs of the Indian market?
Let’s find out.
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The first thing you will notice on the GoDaddy India website is that there are no standard shared hosting packages.
Instead, you can choose a site builder solution or a WordPress-optimized account.
Let’s choose the latter, as it gives us broader opportunities.
What do we have here?
Startups with a single website can enjoy 10 GB space and unmetered bandwidth. Free daily backups and free CDN are also part of the deal.
As it’s still a WordPress package, there are some WP-oriented perks as well.
Apart from the optimized server setup, you can benefit from automatic software and security updates, 1-click installation, and more.
The GoDaddy hosting prices don’t seem particularly oriented toward the Indian market, though.
Even the cheapest deal will cost you about 502 INR, which is $6.99/mo.
More than twice than any other host we’ve reviewed.
And that’s only an introductory discounted offer if you prepay for three years.
Customer assistance has never been GoDaddy’s strong suit.
I mostly blame the company policies for the attitude toward its paying clients.
The company doesn’t see them as humans, only as numbers on the sales board.
So why should it bother having humans serving them?
GoDaddy trains robots. I imagine you go to this huge office building, sit in your cubicle, open a doc with templated responses, and start your 8-hour shift that sometimes seems endless.
What a grueling thought…
So yeah, if you are looking for 24/7 support assistance via chat, phone, email, and tickets — you’ll get that with GoDaddy. Just don’t expect anything more than basic help and links to the knowledge base.
When it comes to WordPress hosting in India, you might find GoDaddy’s solutions suitable to your needs. You’ve got a rich set of features and decent server power. But then you have poor performance scores, high prices, and inadequate support tipping the scales in the other direction.
Now that you’ve read our in-depth reviews of the main contenders:
Do you have a favorite for the best website hosting in India?
Here is how we picked ours…
So how does it all work?
What factors and experiments are involved in ranking the best web hosting in India?
At Website Hosting Review, we strive to provide detailed information and unbiased reviews of the top hosts in various categories. This way, everyone looking for new prospects can get more ideas and save some time.
In fact, here is an Website Hosting Review/blog/web-hosting-statistics/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>extensive article about web hosting statistics that might further help you with the choice.
One thing is for sure.
There is a range of factors that influence our analysis, but only a few hold the real power.
The sale-sealers and the deal-breakers.
Those that can easily skyrocket or bury a business.
- Speed – Is it really necessary to emphasize how crucial speed is for any online venture in 2019? If so, make a quick detour to our Website Hosting Review/blog/how-speed-affects-website/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>infographic about the importance of website speed.
How fast your pages load is one of the prime factors that will influence your incoming traffic, search engine ranks, even sales. We performed extensive speed tests across several platforms to outline only the best-performing hosting providers.
- Uptime – The whole point of an online website is…well…being online. Every second of downtime can have devastating effects for your business, be it scheduled or not.
We created accounts with each host and measured the uptime statistics for over a month with tools like StatusCake. They give a good indication of how reliable the provider is in the long run.
 Global providers don’t have servers in India, so we tested their services from the closest possible location.
- Features — The bag of goodies is what often separates the best web hosting services in India from the rest. Any host can give you the bare essentials, but which ones go the extra mile to ensure you have everything you need and more?
We analyzed the feature sets included with the shared hosting service deals and compared their usefulness, benefits, and added value. This should give you a good idea of how much bang for your buck you’re getting.
- Support — Your technical skills and knowledge can only get you to a point. Whether it’s for a technical issue, optimization question, or billing case — sooner or later you will need support. So you better make sure your host excels at that.
Our team outlined the range of communication channels of each host. We then tested the online representatives on several occasions and at different times of day to ensure they are up to the task.
- Price — It all boils down to the price tag. You can find the perfect host on paper, but if you can’t afford it — it doesn’t really matter, does it?
Our reviews don’t just cover the introductory prices most web hosts advertise for new clients. We go neck-deep in details about renewal fees, hidden and extra charges, vague terms.
At the end of the day, local entrepreneurs can’t complain about a lack of suitable choices when it comes to web hosting in India.
A whopping 68% out of the 50+ million Indian SMBs are still offline, and providers seem prepared for their digital future.
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But potential clients need to be careful, as not everyone is reliable enough to handle the specifics of their Indian-based business.
Here are five essentials to check before you make the final leap.
Five Things to Check Before You Choose Your New Web Host
So what research we can do by ourselves to ensure we pick the best hosting service for our needs?
- Connectivity Speed
Your connectivity speed is just as important as your website speed, especially in the early stages of building a website.
When your server is sluggish, you are in all kinds of trouble.
File uploads and downloads are slow.
Traffic is congested.
Server timeouts start bothering you frequently…
So you see, even if your host utilizes a data center in the heart of India, your speeds can still be insufficient.
But worry not!
You can test the server speed of a potential provider even before you become a client.
Simply contact your shortlisted candidates and tell them you want to test their server response time. They should give you a test file hosted on one of their machines. You just need to download the file and see how fast that goes.
- Sales Assistance
How your hosting provider reacts in times of technical difficulties or site attacks is an excellent indicator of its support capabilities. In reality, no host is safe from breaches, even the best Indian websites. How they handle the pressure separates the best from the rest.
Luckily, proper support is incredibly hard to come by, so you can spot it from a simple sales conversation.
Checking the host’s responses in the live chat before you purchase is a must.
Ask the rep some general stuff but also experiment with some tricky questions, especially if you know what you’re talking about.
Average support will give you short, templated responses, push links, and generally miss the details.
Excellent support will be proactive, ask you questions to understand your case, and generally treat you as a friend.
- Pricing Structure
Looking at what hosting sites in India can offer, we can easily be swayed by the bold promises and amazingly low prices.
So much so that we tend to forget to check the fine print.
Extra fees involved.
Costs can quickly spiral out of control and eat up your entire hosting budget.
Before you make your final decision, have a quick chat with the support about their pricing structure. This way, you can see if the cost-to-quality ratio suits you and make long-term budgeting plans.
- Data Center Locations
If 90% of your visitors come from Indian IPs, it would make the most sense to get web hosting services in India.
The logic is obvious.
The closer your hosting servers are to your visitors, the less distance your information has to travel to reach them.
In short — your website gets even faster.
Contact your shortlisted hosts and confirm all available server locations with them. Even if they don’t offer a data center in India, you can look for nearby geographical locations.
- Online Reviews
In the age of technology and social media, people are not shy to share their opinions.
Especially if they are unhappy.
Many hosts also share customer reviews, but they often appear moderated and fake. Any WordPress testimonial plugin lets the site owner disguise himself as a happy customer and leave heaps of self-praise.
So, take the info on the company website with a pinch of salt and do your own research. There are tons of trusted review platforms (like Website Hosting Review/blog/how-speed-affects-website/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>TrustPilot and WebHostingGeeks) where you can find opinions from real hosting customers.
Look for frequent issues — are many clients reporting downtimes or maybe poor support experiences?
Gather as much info as possible to avoid biased feedback from disgruntled customers who didn’t have their way.
The Importance of a Good Local Web Host
Taking into account all the above factors, there are clear benefits in opting-in for hosting in India.
- Servers close to your target audience
- Optimized speeds
- Support in your native language
- Services tailored to the market
That being said, many local hosts are still inferior to the top US and European providers. So make sure to keep an open mind when choosing your new hosting partner.
India presents fantastic opportunities for web hosts to expand their presence on one of the biggest (and still untapped) markets in 2019.
Not only do you have millions of businesses without a digital presence, but 800+ new startups pop up every year as well.
Doesn’t matter if you provide server hosting in India or on a global scale — you have to try and take a piece of the pie.
Your sales numbers will be the best reward!
Q: How much does web hosting cost in India?
A: There is a significant difference between local and global hosts, both feature- and price-wise. Even the best web hosting in India will come at around 100-200 INR ($1-3), which is great, but you can expect minimal resources. You don’t have such a problem with global hosting providers, but starting prices are 2-3 times higher than offers from Indian-based companies.
Q: Is Bluehost good for India?
A: BlueHost is one of the providers on our list because it shows a great balance between features and their cost. The company has long experience, solutions for any-sized businesses, and prices in tune with the market. The best thing is that the customer service team resides in India, so you can always get someone who knows the local culture and its peculiarities.
Q: How can I start a web hosting company in India?
A: You can launch your own web hosting in India without much effort. You actually have two options:
a/ Buy and own a server
b/ Rent a server from a reliable host and resell its services
Whichever you choose, you can start a company and get your first clients in no time.
The post Best Web Hosting in India — Go Global or Stay Local? appeared first on Website Hosting Review.