The 10 Largest Web Hosting Companies in the World, and What They Do

Web hosting services are the backbone of the internet, providing the servers and infrastructure needed for over 1.7 billion websites to function. As billions of people access websites every day for information, communication, entertainment and business transactions, reliable and high-performing hosting is critically important.

The web hosting ecosystem has massive scale – analysts estimate the industry generated over $150 billion in revenue globally in 2022. However, much of this revenue flows to a small number of dominant, mega-providers. The top 10 web hosting companies alone account for over 50% of total websites hosted worldwide.

In this comprehensive guide, we analyze the world‘s leading web hosting companies based on websites hosted, explore the range of services offered, provide pricing comparisons, and overview key company history. Read on for profiles of the 10 largest firms powering websites big and small across the globe.

#10 – Liquid Web

Founded: 1997
Headquarters: Lansing, MI
Key Executives: Jim Geiger, Matt Hill
Websites Hosted: Over 500,000
Market Share: 2.12%

Veteran hosting provider Liquid Web emphasizes premium services and strong support. The company touts exceptional customer service, with 24/7 phone and email assistance and 59-minute response time guarantees.

Liquid Web provides fully managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting plans starting at $13/month. It also offers virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, and managed database hosting for larger businesses. Pricing ranges up to $1,498/month for high-performance database servers.

The company has remained independent and grown steadily since its late 1990s founding. Today it employs over 250 IT professionals and engineers to keep over half a million sites online.

#9 – DigitalOcean

Founded: 2011
Headquarters: New York City, NY
Key Executives: Yancey Spruill (CEO)
Websites Hosted: Over 623,000
Market Share: 2.19%

DigitalOcean focuses specifically on developers and startups, providing infrastructure and tools for deploying modern applications. With headquarters in New York City and an employee base approaching 500, DigitalOcean now powers over 623,000 websites globally.

The company offers virtual machines ("Droplets"), container deployment, managed databases, VPCs, load balancers and other services for stage-to-production application development.

For startups and SMBs, DigitalOcean‘s pricing is attractive – virtual machines start at just $4/month and managed databases at $15/month. The company has raised significant venture funding, allowing it to undercut more established players while pursuing fast expansion of its cloud infrastructure and product portfolio.

#8 – WP Engine

Founded: 2010
Headquarters: Austin, TX
Key Executives: Heather Brunner (CEO)
Websites Hosted: Over 1 million
Market Share: 2.3%

As a WordPress-focused hosting specialist, WP Engine powers over a million sites globally with optimized WordPress infrastructure. The Austin-based company offers tailored WordPress development, staging, hosting and management across SMBs, enterprises and ecommerce sites.

WP Engine‘s WordPress expertise has attracted major customers like Yelp, Thomson Reuters and AMD to adopt its specialized hosting. For SMBs, shared hosting plans start at $23/month for 25,000 visits. The company also offers enterprise WordPress hosting scalable up to billions of monthly page views.

With backing from Silver Lake Partners and other investors, WP Engine continues growing rapidly, expanding headcount to over 1,000 employees globally while pursuing acquisitions to consolidate WordPress expertise and technologies.

#7 – Hetzner Online

Founded: 1997
Headquarters: Gunzenhausen, Germany
Key Executives: Martin Hetzner (Founder), Jonas Ströher, Julian Hein
Websites Hosted: Over 700,000
Market Share: 2.86%

German hosting provider Hetzner Online focuses primarily on European customers, powering over 680,000 websites in Germany alone. With additional infrastructure in Finland and the U.S., the company now hosts over 700,000 sites globally. Hetzner claims to operate 89,000+ physical servers across its data centers, providing substantial computing power behind European websites and cloud applications.

In addition to traditional dedicated server hosting, Hetzner offers VPS, storage boxes (comparable to AWS S3 Object storage), and other infrastructure services. The company emphasizes performance and reliability of its hosting network – it promises 100 Gbit/s bandwidth capacity and offers floating IP functionality to enable seamless failover.

For European users in particular, Hetzner represents an affordable hosting option: basic shared hosting plans start under €2/month, significantly less than U.S.-based counterparts. Hetzner continues investing to expand network capacity and next-gen cloud infrastructure across Europe.

#6 – Bluehost

Founded: 2003
Headquarters: Provo, UT
Key Executives: Suhaib Logde (Managing Director)
Websites Hosted: Over 2 million
Market Share: 3.25%

One of the oldest and most widely-used hosting providers, Bluehost now powers over 2 million websites. Bluehost offers beginner-friendly, shared WordPress hosting starting at just $2.95/month. The company also builds custom sites through its website design services.

Now owned by Newfold Digital, Bluehost serves as the web hosting entrypoint for millions of small business owners just launching their first sites. Bluehost‘s low pricing and one-click WordPress installation has fueled steady customer adoption over nearly 20 years in business.

As sister companies under Newfold, Bluehost joins forces with other major hosting brands like HostGator,, MOJO Marketplace and others. Collectively, these providers represent key web infrastructure supporting individuals and small businesses across the globe.

#5 – HostGator

Founded: 2002
Headquarters: Houston, TX
Key Executives: Suhaib Logde (Managing Director)
Websites Hosted: Over 2.5 million
Market Share: 5.7%

HostGator is another major brand under Newfold Digital‘s umbrella. The hosting provider powers over 2.5 million sites with WordPress-optimized infrastructure.

The company offers new users an extremely affordable entrypoint into web hosting and WordPress. With introductory offers like a free domain registration and sites hosted for just $2.64/month, HostGator makes launching basic sites accessible even to website owners on very limited budgets.

The company scales up to serve larger businesses needs as well through dedicated servers, VPS hosting, managed WordPress options and advanced functionality like free SSL certificates.

HostGator‘s expertise in affordable, easy-to-use shared hosting combined with Newfold‘s growing portfolio of hosting brands is mutually reinforcing. Together they provide an end-to-end solution for fledgling small business websites through advanced WordPress deploys at enterprise scale.

#4 – IONOS by 1&1

Founded: 1988 (1&1), 2021 (IONOS rebrand)
Headquarters: Montabaur, Germany (1&1 IONOS SE)
Key Executives: Ralph Dommermuth (CEO)
Websites Hosted: Over 12 million
Market Share: 6.89%

Germany‘s 1&1 IONOS stands as Europe‘s largest web hosting provider, delivering hosting, cloud and SaaS services to over 12 million websites and domain names globally.

With a history dating back to 1988 and 900,000+ business customers, IONOS combines extensive experience and capability serving European web infrastructure needs. The company boasts data centers in Europe, the U.S. and Asia – its 90,000+ servers provide scale to support global customer bases.

In addition to traditional hosting services like shared servers and WordPress environments, IONOS offers proprietary site builder tools for fast site creation, along with domain registrations, email services and Office 365 plans. The company‘s integrated offerings provide affordable, bundled solutions tailored specifically to European SMB web presences.

#3 – Google Cloud Platform

Founded: 2011
Headquarters: Mountain View, CA
Key Executives Thomas Kurian (CEO)
Websites Hosted: Over 44 million
Market Share: 7.83%

As one of the "Big 3" global cloud providers, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) may not be a household hosting brand – but it powers popular apps and sites reaching billions of users daily. GCP provides the backend infrastructure, services and APIs supporting companies like Snap, Spotify, Betterment and Wix.

Analysts estimate GCP hosted 44 million+ live websites as of 2021. Combined with Google Workspace‘s massive productivity suite adoption, Google could ultimately challenge for the #1 hosting provider position currently held by GoDaddy.

In addition to IaaS and PaaS capabilities, GCP offers turnkey AI and ML services like computer vision, speech recognition, and predictive analytics that smaller hosting competitors simply cannot match. For startups and enterprises building sophisticated web apps, GCP provides uniquely advanced cloud infrastructure and next-generation functionality.

#2 – Amazon Web Services

Founded: 2006
Headquarters: Seattle, WA
Key Executives: Adam Selipsky (CEO)
Websites Hosted: Over 52 million
Market Share: 10.96%

The market leader in cloud infrastructure and platform services, Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosts over 52 million websites and accounts for 33% total cloud hosting market share. AWS powers some of the most trafficked sites worldwide, including Netflix, Facebook, Twitch and LinkedIn.

With 220+ services spanning computing, storage, networking, databases, analytics, machine learning and more, AWS offers an unmatched breadth capabilities to developers. Its first mover advantage in public cloud has allowed AWS to achieve scale and maturity substantially beyond competitive offerings.

AWS enables customers ranging from savvy startups to enterprise giants like Pfizer, GE and Goldman Sachs. Its ease of use and pay-as-you-go pricing removes barriers for smaller organizations to access world-class infrastructure. Combined with fierce ongoing investment and innovation, AWS is positioned to defend its dominance in coming years.

#1 – GoDaddy

Founded: 1997
Headquarters: Tempe, AZ
Key Executives: Aman Bhutani (CEO)
Websites Hosted: Over 84 million
Market Share: 15%

The world‘s largest web hosting provider, GoDaddy accounts for nearly 1 out 6 websites worldwide. The company powers more than 84 million domains globally for over 21 million customers spanning individuals, small businesses and organizations.

GoDaddy is the most recognized brand in hosting, thanks to its sizable advertising campaigns and sponsorship affiliations. For many everyday users and mom-and-pop operations, GoDaddy represents the first stop for registering a domain, launching a basic website or setting up email accounts.

In addition to shared hosting and starter WordPress plans, GoDaddy serves larger SMBs through ecommerce stores, Microsoft 365 email and productivity tools. GoDaddy also provides services for domains, SSL certificates and online marketing. Its extensive product portfolio and constant mass advertising helps fuel conversion of millions of aspiring individuals into happy hosting customers each year.

The top 10 web hosting companies profiled above collectively host over 50% of all websites worldwide. Just the 3 largest providers – GoDaddy, AWS and Google Cloud – account for over a third of sites hosted across the internet.

This concentration of power among mega-providers likely reflects the technical complexity andresource intensity required to effectively host websites at tremendous scale. Maintaining global content delivery networks, investing in next-gen hardware andbuilding advanced cybersecurity protections necessitate the financial backing of larger corporations.

Yet with oligopoly control comes potential complacency among top players in customer service and continuous improvement. Here smaller competitors have opportunities to disrupt – through specialization, outstanding support and leading-edge functionality targeting underserved niches. We can expect the hosting landscape to remain vibrant and fast-moving even with high barriers to matching the raw size and might of category giants.

Who is the #1 web hosting company globally?

With over 84 million websites hosted, GoDaddy is the world‘s largest web hosting provider, controlling around 15% total market share.

What about market share breakdowns among top global providers?

The top 3 companies worldwide – GoDaddy, AWS and Google Cloud – collectively host over a third of all websites globally. The top 10 highlighted in this guide account for over 50% of sites hosted across the internet.

How have acquisitions impacted competition dynamics?

Recent acquisitions and consolidation among brands (like Newfold Digital‘s purchases of Bluehost, HostGator and others) have partially counterbalanced the dominance of GoDaddy, AWS and Google Cloud. Shared infrastructure, leadership and go-to-market strategies among merged providers can bolster competitiveness against mega-players.

What is the typical pricing range for hosting services?

For basic shared servers and WordPress hosting from mainstream providers, most individuals and very small businesses can expect to pay $5-15 per month. Mid-tier plans including extras like custom domains and more robust specs average $25-50 per month. Enterprises with large traffic volumes or advanced needs can pay hundreds or thousands monthly for dedicated hosting infrastructure and management.

Are there alternatives to major shared hosting providers?

Yes – for developers and technology companies building modern web applications, specialized cloud platforms like DigitalOcean, Linode and Vultr offer alternatives. These companies cater more specifically to programmatic deployment and infrastructure-as-code workflows. Businesses with advanced network security, compliance or hardware performance needs also pursue dedicated server hosting from providers like Liquid Web.

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