Web Hosting is one of the key factors of a successful website. Choosing the best web hosting that is suitable for your website can improve your business a lot. When considering hosting, there are many types you can choose from: free, shared, vps, dedicated, managed, cloud, etc. In this tutorial, I will help you choose the best host for your website.
How to Choose a Web hosting Company?
Probably the most important factors you need to consider are the speed, security, reliability and support. If one of these fails you will have a hard time to get back on track with your website. But most important when you considering a hosting company is to know your needs. Figuring out the hosting needs for your website can save you a lot of time and money and will lead you to the company that offers you exactly what you want.
The Essential Plan offered by iPage is an all-in one shared hosting type, where you don’t have to worry about data transfer or the amount of disk space. The plan includes a free domain name, as well a free site builder tool. It is also possible to claim up to $300 marketing credits on various networks with every new hosting plan your purchase. Ipage is perfect for personal projects and small business websites with low traffic.
BlueHost is one of the best shared hosting providers. While their main focus is on shared hosting, you can upgrade your account anytime to VPS or dedicated plans. BlueHost also offer WordPress optimized plan. As you may recall, BlueHost work well for WordPress websites as well for small business sites with small to medium traffic.
InMotion offers business class shared hosting, as well VPS and dedicated plans. Their shared plans are suitable for hosting larger Joomla or eCommerce websites as well bigger WordPress blogs. It can support medium size websites. InMotion provides a strong support and great technology to ensure a flawless hosting experience.
Different Hosting Needs and Options
You probably know that there are different types of hosting plans available such as free, shared, virtual, dedicated and managed hosting. Let’s go through every hosting type and see what the main aspects of each are and decide which plan would be the most suitable for you.
What is the Catch in Free Web Hosting
If you do a quick search in Google, you will find many free hosting services, but almost all of them have some downside along with the service they offer. Usually free web hosting is offered by companies that want to attract newbie users with free service and market them to upgrade their plan to paid service. There could be cases when the owner of the server will force banner ads or text links on your website and you can do nothing about it. The worst situation is when the person who manages the server decides to discontinue the free service and delete all accounts. In this case you won’t be able to recover the lost data, and all your hard work is gone. If you are planning to build a professional website, then please never bother with free hosting.
Your site will born here – Shared Hosting
Used by beginners and small websites, shared hosting is the most popular plan. It is affordable and pretty strait forward; it is a good starting point for newbie users and webmasters. The concept of shared hosting is very simple: a server is divided in many accounts that are sold to individual users. Multiple websites then are hosted on the same server, sharing the same server hardware, software and bandwidth. Some times this may cause security and performance issues, because if one website overloads the system it will affect all sites hosted on that particular server. Nowadays, hosting companies offer unlimited shared hosting, but this is not actually unlimited: there are still restrictions to server load and to number of files hosted on one account.
If your site grows you will have to think anyway to upgrade the hosting account, but until that shared hosting is a very good solution to small sites and blogs.
Powerful and Still Cost Effective – Virtual Private Hosting
Virtual private server, known as VPS is basically a server partitioned in few different accounts. The difference between VPS and shared is that on a virtual server your account will not be affected by the other accounts, because here the server is designed so that each account have its server resource, software, use its own bandwidth and IP address. Sure this type of hosting costs lot more then shared hosting, but it can handle high traffic websites. It requires some level of technical knowledge to set up the server; however you can purchase a managed VPS and forget about the technical things, the company will provide support and will manage all system upgrades for you. Our website is currently running on a virtual server.
VPS hosting is best for high traffic blogs, medium-sized business websites and developers/designers who may offer hosting service as well for their clients.
Top Tier Web Hosting – Dedicated Server
In this case you actually rent a physical server. You can choose server location, and have full control over the hardware, operating system, software, bandwidth, etc, of your server. You won’t need this type of hosting, unless your site grows as big as Facebook or similar websites. Probably you will need to hire a system administrator for your server if you don’t have experience, or you can purchase managed dedicated hosting, that works the same way as the managed VPS, mentioned earlier.
Dedicated server hosting is best for websites that receive extremely high traffic on daily basis.
Now that you know what hosting options are available, you can make a decision and choose what the best is for you. We are running several websites that are receiving hundreds of thousands of page views per month. We worked and tested many hosting providers, so we know what is good in the industry. Our team manually picked the following hosting providers:
Are you looking for something else or want to learn more about a specific web host? If so, please check out the hosting reviews section, where you can find more info on different hosting providers.
Choosing a Very Cheap Web Hosting
Ok, so you are just starting out with your website. You don’t want to spend too much money on hosting and building your website, so you are going to think of choosing the best cheap hosting you can find. The question is if it worth choosing a cheap hosting?
There are many hosting providers that offer low cost hosting plans, but when choosing an inexpensive hosting, you have to be very careful. Many of these hosts are unreliable, has very poor technical support or just bad billing practice. The above mentioned companies are just great if you are looking for an inexpensive hosting plan to start and grow your website.
Do they Offer Multiple Domain Hosting?
When you purchase a hosting plan, probably you are not thinking of creating multiple sites, because you just want to build your first website. Believe me, that in a few months you will want to build another website, or maybe host a friend’s website on your hosting account. Well, in this case it is worthy to have a hosting account that allows multiple domain and website hosting.
The Essential plan from iPage allows you hosting as many websites and domains you want on a single account, while the Basic plan from BlueHost allows one domain and the Launch plan from InMotion allows two domains. I always recommend getting an account that does not have a cap on the number of hosted domains, even if it costs a little more.
What About Uptime and Performance?
Many users consider pricing to be the most important when selecting a hosting plan. It is fact, that everyone is looking to get the best deal and pay less for their web hosting service, but pricing should not be the main concern. Performance and uptime of your hosting server is also a very important aspect. You can have the best marketing strategy and best products, if your website is not available for the users, you will not make any sale. In fact you will be using money, because all your effort in marketing and products will be wasted.
But how can you determine if a hosting provider offers good uptime and has great performance without testing them? The good news is that you don’t have to. For instance at WebHostingMedia you can find a list of the best web hosting providers, that offer the best uptime and performance. These guys are monitoring and testing different web hosting companies and share the results on their review pages. Doing online research before buying hosting is a must! Do not rely only on one source. Read through multiple websites, ask questions on hosting forums, don’t trust hosts that has only positive reviews.
I wrote an article about fake hosting reviews a while ago, where I explain how to find out if a review is real or fake. I suggest to read that as well.
Online Technical and Customer Support
Online support is also a must in web hosting. Good and reputable hosting providers offer 24/7 online support for their clients. This might be a very common practice among web hosting firms, but there are still companies who only reply to emails and chat in office hours. Well, in this case, if you have an issue at 6PM with your website, most likely you will have to wait until next morning to get a response.
Choosing a hosting company that has 24/7 online support is recommended. Before you choose a hosting company, I recommend browsing through their support options. Make sure that they have the support channel that you like. Not everyone likes to call if there is a problem with their website. So having multiple options make it easier and more confortable for you to get help.
As you can see, there are many different hosting options and things to consider before choosing a hosting provider and hosting plan. Different type of websites need different hosting plans. Now it is up to your needs and budget, which host you select.
If you still have any questions regarding this topic, or you would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate writing a comment below.