What's best web hosting service
Finding a good web hosting service can take a lot of time and money.
Web hosting is a service that allows websites to serve resources on the internet with the ability to be accessible anywhere on the World Wide Web. These companies buy or lease servers in data centers connected to the Internet, and sell space on these servers.
A web server in a data center can contain one or more websites. The operating system settings are different if you have shared hosting, dedicated hosting, or VPS hosting.
Websites are just a bunch of files – HTML files, CSS files, images, and photos, etc. All data live in a folder on a computer connected to the Internet. That computer is a “server” because it serves up files when people come to visit.
When Internet users want to view a website, all they do is type in the web address into their browser. Their computer then connects to the server and webpages (files) are delivered through the browser.
To build a website, you need both a domain and a hosting account. If you don’t have a domain, you can purchase one as an add-on.
You can perform domain registration and host separately. However, you’d have to point your domain to your web host by editing the DNS records. If you purchase the domain name and website hosting from the same company, you will not have to change your domain settings.
But for example, if you already have a website with GoDaddy and want to host with another provider, you’ll have to change your DNS records.
Here are some other things to keep in mind when choosing a provider:
Know your hosting needs
Look into server reliability and uptime guarantees
Investigate hosting upgrade options if scalability is important
Look into signup prices vs. renewal prices, as they may be very different
Research the control panel for ease of use
Make sure the hosting platform has essential features: a one-click installer, FTP and STFP Access, .htaccess files, disk space, and data transfer capacity
Research sites speed, page loads times, and if they integrate with a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Uptime and load time are two of the most important factors when choosing a web host (next to their cost).
Here is our review process in detail:
We sign up with the web hosting plan offered by the hosting service
We set up a blank WordPress website
We monitor their performance, such as uptime and load time
We check their features, limitations, pricing and customer support
We publish the review (updating once a year)
Things to Consider When Choosing Web Hosting
1. Site Transfers And Migrations Are Not Always Free
What if you pick a web host only to discover that you don’t like it? Site transfer, also known as site migration, allows you to move your website to another host.
Moving to another website consists of transferring the website’s files and databases, configuring your site with the new host, and directing your domain’s DNS to the new host.
Once you pick a new site host, they can usually help you out with this process. The cost will depend on the host you’re switching to, but it can range anywhere from $150-$400.
But some web hosts on our list, like HostGator and GreenGeeks, offer free web transfers.
For paid transfers, you can sometimes transfer more than one site. For example, it’s $149.99 to migrate 5 websites and 20 email accounts to Bluehost. The site transfer will usually take a few days.
For a host like HostPapa, it will take 5 to 7 days to complete a site transfer. They recommend modifying DNS entries before starting the transfer so that it takes less time. They can also update your DNS entries, but this service will add 24 to 72 hours before your site becomes live. With A2 Hosting, it’ll take anywhere from 2 to 4 days.
2. Renewal Rates Are Usually Higher
Most web hosting providers double or triple their price once it’s time to renew your deal. The renewal fees can jump to $7-10/mo for a basic plan that initially costs $2.99/mo. The features and performance you get from the plan stay the same, but you’ll have to pay more.
For example, GoDaddy’s Economy plan will jump to $8.99/mo once it’s time to renew.
A2 Hosting requires customers to submit a written cancellation request 15 days before the beginning of the renewal. However, if you forget to request cancellation your renewal will automatically start and the price will be doubled.
However, some of the web hosting providers on our list don’t follow this industry-standard trick. If you sign-up for a three-year plan with DreamHost your plan will renew on the same pricing.
Furthermore, while most web hosting providers offer “free domain” – what it means is that you get the domain for the first year free. After that, it usually renews yearly somewhere between $10 – $20/year.
3. Bandwidth, Storage, And Email Account Limits
When it comes to bandwidth and storage there are also limitations.
GoDaddy’s cheapest plan provides users with unmetered bandwidth and 100 GB storage which is enough for a single website.
Hostinger offers 100 GB bandwidth and 10 GB storage, while iPage offers scalable bandwidth and unlimited MySQL databases.
Customers interested in unmetered bandwidth and storage should check out Bluehost, HostGator, SiteGround, and GreenGeeks.
Website owners interested in hosting providers that offer free SSL should consider using Bluehost, DreamHost, HostGator, SiteGround or iPage. They all include a free SSL certificate in all their hosting plans which is not always the case with major hosting providers.
For example, GoDaddy charges very high fees for SSL certificates. When it comes to email accounts, web hosting solutions differ in their offers.
For example, all SiteGround, HostGator, A2 Hosting and Hostinger hosting accounts include a free email account.
GoDaddy includes a free business email for the 1st year with their basic plan. The Microsoft Office 365 mailbox comes with 5GB of dedicated storage and a shared online calendar.
iPage and GreenGeeks let users create unlimited email accounts. They are branded for the user domain and include email forwarding and autoresponders.
4. Once Your Site Grows, Consider Changing Your Hosting Plan
Web hosting providers offer different hosting types. If you are just starting out or have a low-traffic website, you should opt-in for shared web hosting. It’s more than enough to maintain and run your website(s).
However, once your site(s) grows, it’s easy to migrate from one hosting to another or upgrade to more expensive web hosting.
Shared web hosting – Best for new websites and blogs. All websites are stored on one physical hosting server where they share server resources like storage, bandwidth, RAM and computing power. If your website doesn’t get much traffic, this is the best place to start.
VPS hosting – VPS stands for a virtual private server. Although VPS is similar to shared hosting (speed and uptime wise) and it stores multiple websites on the same server, it provides more customization options and you’ll have more control. With VPS you can scale your resources based on your needs.
Cloud hosting – Type of hosting service which allows many computers to work together, run applications, and use combined computing resources. Cloud-hosted websites can use the resources of multiple servers, which means they’re not limited to a single server location.
Managed WordPress – Best for high traffic WordPress sites. WordPress managed hosting covers the same hosting needs as general web hosting services, however, its main focus is to optimize the performance of a WordPress site.
Dedicated hosting – Best for big, enterprise websites. Type of hosting server that gives website owners the resources of one entire server for their website. This type of hosting provides websites with the ability to handle large amounts of traffic and the ability to customize it to their needs in terms of CPU, RAM, disk space, and software.
Best Web Hosting Services by Product, Service and Industry
When launching a new business, money is not normally free-flowing to begin with. And until you’ve built up a solid user base, you can’t expect to have high volumes of traffic visiting your site. For this reason, shared hosting is a great option, given its affordability and capability of handling regular amounts of traffic.
Best providers for Startups:
Once you’re established in your field and need a website to advertise your services, you’ll either need a solid shared hosting plan or VPS hosting. The purse strings should be a little looser, and you’ll need to focus on quality over the cheapest package.
Best providers for Small Businesses
When it comes to ecommerce websites, hosting needs to be a priority. You rely on your site as a source of revenue, and need it to be able to handle spikes in traffic during popular online events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Automated backups are also an important feature to ensure you don’t lose anything.
Best providers for Online Stores:
At the top end of business sites, shared hosting is no longer a viable option. You should be looking at dedicated hosting with advanced features, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited storage. It’s all about having the best quality hosting to match your established brand.
Best providers for Enterprise Businesses:
Unless you’re a celebrity, personal sites shouldn’t experience huge surges of traffic. If you have your own blog, portfolio, or even online résumé, you can rely on a shared hosting plan with reliable uptime. Added features are a bonus, but really, it’s a matter of picking an affordable provider who offers an intuitive service.
Best providers for Personal Sites:
This one speaks for itself really. If you’re new to the field of hosting, you’ll want to prioritize things like user friendliness and great support. If you don’t already have a website, a provider that offers an easy-to-use website builder would also be favorable.
Best providers for Beginners:
Bloggers and Authors
Blogging sites, for the most part, will be set up on WordPress (given its extensive blogging options). For this reason, one-click WordPress installation is a vital feature, alongside good support and uptime. Offers of free domain names and email accounts also won’t go amiss.
Best providers for Bloggers and Authors:
Like most websites, the type of hosting you require will change on how much traffic your site receives, or may one day generate. For example, you need to be prepared for peaks in traffic in case a subject related to your topic area has some big or breaking news. VPS hosting would be our recommendation as a good way to keep the cost down, but ensure you site can manage.
Best providers for Forum Sites:
If you operate as a charity, it’s important to keep the costs down. Price is crucial, as is having good uptime and support. Depending on your needs, you may want a provider with tons of storage, but this isn’t usually essential.
Best providers for Nonprofits:
Any hosting to do with money needs to be as secure as possible. Should anything go wrong, you will run into legal problems that could damage much more than just your brand. Dedicated hosting is a good route to go down; think of it as investing in your website’s future.
Best providers for Finance:
How Much Do Web Hosting Services Cost?
The cost of web hosting varies drastically depending on the type you need. Hosting can cost as little as a couple of bucks a month. If you are running a small business site, though, you’ll probably want to fork out a little more for a better quality, feature-rich service.
For top-of-the-range dedicated hosting, you could be looking at anything from $100/month to $600/month.
Do Any of Them Offer Free Plans or Trials?
No providers currently offer free web hosting, but a lot have money-back guarantees should you be dissatisfied with the customer service you receive. Dreamhost, for example, offers a 97-day money-back guarantee. For totally free hosting, you’ll have to use a free website builder to design your website.
Which is the Best Web Hosting Company for Me?
The size and type of website you own will dictate the type of hosting plan you need. Your budget, the features you require, and how you built your site will also play a part in your decision. But ultimately, it’s best to choose one priority that you value most, and base your decision on that feature.
For example, if customer service and value for money are both important to you, but you’re most concerned about having great uptime, then HostGator is your best bet. But if great value for money is your non-negotiable top priority, then Bluehost will give you the most bang for your buck.