Looking beyond Malaysian shores for the best hosting around doesn’t mean stiffer fees. Often, you’ll find more competitive rates, even in USD. Top choices like A2 Hosting, TMD Hosting, or Hostinger also bring the benefit of international standards and SOPs.
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1. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting US Headquarters: 2000 Hogback Rd Ste 6, Ann Arbor, MI 48105-9735
A2 Hosting may not have a local presence in Malaysia nor Singapore but they make a strong case with their web hosting plans. This is especially true if you take into account their strategic data center locations in the USA (Michigan and Arizona), Europe (Amsterdam), and Asia (Singapore).
If you’re looking to serve Asia-region web traffic, then hosting your site in the Singapore data center will do just as well as hosting within Malaysia. They also offer a wide range of plans which start at less than $3/mo.
Having hosted a site with them for some time now, they aren’t the fastest in the business (nor the slowest). The speeds offered by their web servers though, are more than sufficient to meet Google speed guidelines – so long as your site itself performs well.
A2 Hosting offers a strong range of plans from entry level to the best there is. While prices may be in USD, they are very competitive. Best of all, there’s little need to worry about time zone differences since support is offered 24/7.
Notable Features for Malaysian Websites
- Servers in the US, Europe, and Asia
- Free site migration
- Encrypted backup solutions
A2 Hosting Ratings & Performance
A2 Hosting Pros
- Server locations in North America, Europe, and Asia
- Free website migration assistance
- Custom optimizations tools available
- High sign-up discounts and anytime money back guarantee
- Developer-oriented features even on shared hosting
- Encrypted backup solutions available
- Root access with all VPS plans
A2 Hosting Cons
- No free domain name
- Free site transfers mainly for cPanel installations
- HTTP/2 only on TURBO plans
A2 Hosting Tested Performance
2. TMD Hosting
TMD Hosting HQ: 618 E South St, Orlando, FL 32801, USA
Another US-based web hosting provider, TMD Hosting nevertheless performs well globally. They are another international-reach host that offers plans at much more competitive rates that what you can often find locally here.
Perhaps the biggest factor that puts them in favour is their wide range of data center locations that cover seven regions including Singapore. If you want to target regional traffic, this is a very valid choice for you.
One more important note is that hosting with TMD gives you access to the Weebly website builder. For those needing a site building tool that’s easy to use and powerful, there’s no need to pay top dollar – just choose with TMD Hosting.
Most of the value-added features found with this host are actually a cut above the norm. Aside from Weebly, you also get free SSL (Wildcard SSL on Enterprise plans), site migration, and lots more.
Why TMD Hosting for Malaysian websites?
- Strong choices in web server locations – Singapore, Japan, Holland, England, Australia, and United States
- Built-in Weebly site builder
- Support for Perl, Python, and other scripts
TMDHosting Ratings & Performance
- Unmetered bandwidth and storage
- Choice of seven global data centres
- Easy to use centralized dashboard
- Access to Weebly website builder
- Free SSL (Wildcard on Enterprise Plan)
- Free domain name
- 24/7 customer support
- Free white glove migration
- Perl, Python and other scripts available
- Limited free backups on files and database
- Free domain has no privacy protection
- Knowledge base could be improved
TMD HostingTested Performance
Hostinger HQ: Jonavos g. 60C, 44192, Kaunas, Lithuania
Hostinger is not present locally in Malaysia per-se, but they do have a localized version of their site. This means that if you don’t want to deal with USD, there’s no problem, it’s all available in Malaysian Ringgit as well.
Aside from that, Hostinger also comes with very attractive price tags if that is your primary concern. It is one of the best budget-oriented hosting service providers available. Any cheaper and they’ll be giving it away for free.
The low prices of course do not reflect sub-standard hosting. Hostinger servers offer decent speeds and strong reliability. For Malaysia, you can choose a data center in Singapore – but if you’re looking to target other regions, Hostinger has choices in six other locations as well.
Hosting packages here comes with many of the usual freebies as well, including free SSL, daily backups, anti-DDoS protection, and more.
Key Highlights with Hostinger
- Very budget-friendly plans
- Multiple data center locations
- Free website builder (Zyro)
Hostinger Ratings & Performance
- Highly competitive pricing
- Seven different data centers available
- Good spread of hosting plans
- Free domain name on Premium and Business shared hosting
- User-friendly control panel (hPanel)
- Wide range of payment options accepted
- Git environment available on shared hosting
- Full root access and live chat with VPS plans
- No auto-setup support for free SSL
- High renewal pricing
Hostinger Tested Performance
Exabytes HQ: H1-6, Block H1, Level 6, SetiaWalk, Persiaran Wawasan, Pusat Bandar Puchong, 47100 Puchong, Selangor
Exabytes is perhaps the most well-known brand that offers local hosting in Malaysia. They are supremely aggressive to the point of repeatedly reaching out to customers that have long ceased using their services.
If for some reason you must have your web hosting server located in Malaysia itself – this would be the go-to web host for you. Locally, their servers are located in the Kuala Lumpur Data Center in the heart of the city with another in Cyberjaya. They also have server presence in Singapore, the US, and Indonesia.
For a local host, Exabytes isn’t the cheapest option you could go with. In fact, there are many other choices that can beat them hands down where pricing is concerned. However, as a local company, there are some advantages you might not find elsewhere.
What Makes Exabytes Tick for Malaysian Websites
- Malaysia-based servers available
- Local currency and support
- Many other digital services
Exabytes Ratings & Performance
- High scalability
- 24/7 Technical support
- Specific purpose-driven plans
- Some business cloud applications available
- Choice of Windows or Linux servers
- No general-use website builder
- Limited resources
- Malaysia-only data center
- Overly aggressive marketing department
Exabytes Tested Performance
Big Domain HQ: 1-21-1 Suntech Penang, Lintang Mayang Pasir 3, Bandar Bayan Baru, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Big Domain doesn’t just sell domain names, but local Malaysia hosting as well. They are in fact, one of the cheapest around and you can get a plan from them for as little as $3.67 per year. Yes, that’s an annual fee, not monthly.
Even more shocking is that this is built around a cPanel-based plan. You also get email services packaged in along with free SSL. Of course, if you need more, you can opt for one of their better plans or even VPS instead.
Currently running servers out of Menara AIMS in Kuala Lumpur, Big Domain is looking toe expand that to Technology Park as well as the Johor VADS areas.
Key Highlights with Big Domain
- Malaysia-based servers
- Ultra-budget hosting available
- Full range of digital services
BigDomain Ratings & Performance
- Free hosting plan available
- Cheap domain name registration
- Additional business services & support
- Exclusive promo for members
- Free domain only on higher plan
- Limited data transfer
Exabytes Tested Performance
Serverfreak HQ: 12, Jalan Teluk Pulai, Kawasan 6, 41100 Klang, Selangor
With a name like Serverfreak, one might think this host would be kind of funky. However, the site is 100% proper and businesslike. Despite selling heavily on WordPress-based hosting, you can actually choose from multiple options in their inventory.
On an international scale, prices may seem pretty decent at around $5/mo to start with. However once you convert that into Malaysian Ringgit, that’s when reality bites and you may feel the pinch.
* Note: We do not run a test site on Serverfreak at this moment.
Key Highlights with Serverfreak
- Local servers
- SSD storage included
- Free domain name and SSL
Popular Malaysian Host to Avoid
Web hosting as a whole is a very wide industry and where pearls exist, so too do swine. You will find that most web hosts will put up a fairly professional front. However, once you’ve signed up, things will go downhill pretty quickly.
One strong example of this is Shinjiru, a web host that has plans specifically catering to the Malaysian market. On paper it all sounds good – local data center, all the right specs, and local currency.
When it comes to performance though, Shinjiru falls pretty flat. I hosted a number of sites with them for a couple of years and it was a horrific experience. The only reason I didn’t move away from them more quickly was that the sites I ran there were basically just burner sites for testing.
Now some of you may think it was due to the way I set up my sites, bad design, and so on. Let me show you something:
At the time I hosted with Shinjiru I was getting response times of over 4,000 ms (as you can see from the image, it occasionally stretched to an unbelievable high of 20,680ms). Once I shifted out, response times dropped to around 400ms.
I had spoken to the support staff at Shinjiru multiple times about the matter and received many responses. Almost all of them were on the gist of “our servers are fine, you need to upgrade your plan.”
If you have any other choice, avoid this hosting company like the plague.
Which Web Host is Right for Malaysian Websites?
Web hosting for Malaysia is at the moment something that is quite pivotal. As the country advances in digitization, it is quickly becoming a top regional competitor to neighbours like Singapore and Thailand. This applies to both service and infrastructure.
For those who actually live in the country or somewhere in the surrounding, it can also be difficult to look past the strong marketing of local web hosting companies. Hosting providers like Exabytes are especially aggressive in their quest for market share.
However, unless you have specific reasons to opt for a local web host, you will find that casting your net wider can reveal much better choices. HostScore actively keeps track of how well the servers of key web hosting providers perform and oftentimes, local hosting just isn’t worth it here.
Localization at What Cost?
Perhaps the biggest reason that many who decide to host locally have is pricing. There is a mindset that because local web hosting companies are charging in Malaysian Ringgit, they are bound to be cheaper than their US-dollar competitors.
This, however, isn’t really true.
There have always been a large number of web hosts around the world that offer varying costs of entry. For example, Hostinger, where you can get shared hosting for as little as $0.99/mo on an entry level plan. In contrast, the cheapest business hosting at Shinjiru starts at around $7.00/mo.
The problems with hosting locally don’t even end there. There are many other factors which need to be taken into account as well (we’ll discuss these further on). Suffice to say, if price is your biggest consideration, hosting locally isn’t always the ideal solution.
What Else to Look for in a Web Hosting Provider for Malaysia?
Unless there is a specific reason why you need your data to stay in Malaysia, there is only one other real reason to do so. The Malaysian government is offering to subsidize local companies that host locally as part of their efforts to support local players.
Perhaps the biggest appeal for digitization is the increased capacity to serve an international client base. This means perhaps working out of your comfort zone and looking at international service providers as well.
Once you do that you’ll find that in many cases, you will be able to get not just better speeds but sometimes even see advantages in features and support. All of this at rates comparable to local service providers or in some cases – cheaper.
While governments may be looking for ways to boost local economies, the Internet doesn’t quite work that way. Placing greater focus on performance and other factors will likely matter more. After all – Google doesn’t care where your data is, as long as your site is fast.
Malaysia, established in September 16, 1963, is a Southeast Asian country comprised the territories of the Malay Peninsula, the island of Singapore, and the island of Borneo today. In August 1965 Singapore seceded from the federation and became an independent republic. Malaysia’s population in 2020 is estimated at 32.7 million with Selangor as the most poplous state (source).
Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, is home to the iconic, 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers. Other major cities include Petaling Jaya (Selangor), George Town (Penang), and Johor Bahru (Johor).
Web Hosting Buyers FAQs
Web Hosting is the service that allows you to store files where they can be served up as web pages on the Internet. A website owner uses web hosting space to store their website files. When a visitor types in the address of the website into a web browser, that request is routed to the web server software which then delivers the information needed for the visitor to view the website.
Domain names are the addresses of websites used by browsers to locate them on the Internet. Each domain name is made up of two parts, the name and the extension. An example of a typical domain name is Google.com, where Google is the name and .com is the extension.
Generally, shared hosting plans ranges from $3 to $7 per month on signup. If you were looking at VPS – the average signup price ranges from $15 to $30 per month – depends on the server capacity and addon features.
Note that hosting providers slash their prices to win new customers – so it’s always cheaper when you signup. We did a study on web hosting renewal price and found that shared hosting is, on average, 160% more expensive during renewal.
Both website builder and web hosting solve the same “hosting server” needs for their users.
However a website builder also bundles different services into one platform where users get to create, manage, and host a website in one place. Most website builders like Squarespace or Weebly allow you to create a website with pre-built templates and implement advanced features (ie. processing payment) with ready-made plugins.
Performance, security, support and cost are the four main factors to consider when it comes to choosing a web host. Server response speed, reliability, scalability, backup and recovery capability, and website migration support are some key consideration factors.
Visit this page for our 16-point web host checklist.
Generally there are four types of web hosting: Shared, VPS, Cloud, and Dedicated Hosting.
Shared Hosting – as the name implies, is a server shared by multiple (sometimes up to hundreds) users. The pool of resources – including storage and server memory, is shared among all users.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is simulation of dedicated hosting – hence the term “virtual”. In VPS hosting, each user account is isolated from each other and allocated a fixed amount of server resources. VPS users can choose what Operating System to install, what applications you want to use and even the types of environments you wish to support within your VPS account.
Cloud hosting is a concept where traditional hardware boundaries are overcome by combining and pooling all resources into a big “cloud”. What is sold are slices of the cloud, depending on user needs. This gives cloud computing much greater potential in terms of scalability.
Dedicated servers are usually expensive and offer users the opportunity to keep all the resources of a single server for their own website(s). These servers can be rented from the web hosting service provider, or users who wish to use their own equipment can choose to simply rent space in a data center for it.
If you are unsure – just start with a shared hosting plan. You can always upgrade to a higher package (ie. VPS, dedicated) later with the same provider.
Web hosting can be a profitable business if done the right way. There are many web hosting companies today which have been around for a long time, some as many as two decades. From what we see, innovativeness, service, and reliability all play a major role in their survival.
While GoDaddy is alright it isn’t exactly out host of choice. Our choices of recommended web hosts take into consideration multiple areas of consideration. In many cases, they surpass (or at the very least equal) what GoDaddy has to offer.