When you are in the process of putting together a new website, there are many different aspects to consider. We tend to focus on things like layout and content which are certainly very important.
However, another important aspect that many people often give too little time and attention to is your web hosting service. It is important to know what web hosting services can do and why it is so important for your site to have the best web hosting.
In this short guide, we’ll cover the essential points of the topic including what web hosting is, what the best hosting sites can offer you, tips for choosing the best hosting service, and a comparison of some of the best web hosting sites out there right now.
Web hosting is a kind of service that allows you to make your website accessible on the internet. A web hosting company has a server on which they will provide space for your site. Some hosting sites are free but many charge a regular fee for keeping your site on their server.
Beyond this, there are a few different kinds of web hosting services, including:
There are many other types of web hosting that we could talk about but these are some of the more widely used options that you will find.
At first, the idea of free web hosting can sound appealing. After all, it’s free and it gets your site online for visitors to start browsing, right? We understand that it can be very tempting, especially when you aren’t really sure why you should even care which web hosting service you go for.
There are some upsides to free web hosting that we can’t deny but, in most cases, it is a far better idea to look for a reliable, paid service. But before we get into that, let’s look at what free web hosting offers, who might get away with using it, and what the many drawbacks are.
The advantages of free web hosting include:
With that in mind, these benefits come with a lot of drawbacks. Here are a few of the key disadvantages of free web hosting:
In short, if you are seriously building a website that you hope actually helps grow your business, improve marketing, and increase revenue, free web hosting is a terrible option. It’s really only a valid option for those who aren’t trying to build a profitable website.
If you’re just an individual who wants to gain some beginner skills in web hosting and site building, go for a free option. If you’re starting a new business and you simply don’t have the cash for a quality service, search for free trial options at a company that meets your needs.
Your website is one of the best ways you can engage with your existing customers and attract new customers to your business. The best web hosting services will be an asset to your website, helping it to reach a wider audience and to function more reliably.
Here are a few of the benefits of investing in a great web hosting service:
So with a cheap or unreliable web hosting service, you risk losing money when your site goes down or runs too slowly. You risk having too low of an SEO ranking. You are at higher risk for malware attacks and other security issues.
There are so many risks to using a bad web hosting service and so many benefits to using a great one that it’s easy to see the extra investment in quality and reliability is not only worth it but absolutely indispensable.
Web hosting companies are not a one size fits all thing. What works best for your website may not be the best option for another. And you do not want to find yourself paying for services or space you do not actually use or even need. Furthermore, you do not want to pay for web hosting that is lacking the services and features you actually do need.
So when you are shopping around for the best web hosting company to meet your needs, take the following things into consideration to help you make the right decision:
When choosing a plan, consider the needs of your website:
Now that you’ve got a stronger grasp of what web hosting is and what you should be looking for to find the best hosting service for your website, let’s take a look at some of the options that many consider to be the best hosting sites today.
Below you will find a webhosting comparison with short reviews of some of the leading services. We have also written more extensive reviews and comparisons that you can use to get a better idea of what kinds of services each hosting company is offering.
FatCow prides itself on simplicity and user friendliness. It’s making its claim as an alternative to the overly technical web hosting services that expect customers to be experts in the technical aspects as well.
The company provides a lot of user friendly features and a variety of monthly payment plans. It’s especially well-suited to retail businesses.
However, despite how easy it is to use this service, there will be moments where you want to reach out for customer support and here, FatCow is a bit lacking. They have an average wait time of about 13 minutes which is certainly not the worst but it’s also not ideal.
Bluehost gets a lot of rave reviews. And there are some good reasons for that. It has a very reliable uptime of 99.94% which is comfortably above the average of 99.90%. It also has some very affordable introductory plans that are great for those who are just starting out and can’t afford a massive, advanced web hosting plan.
However, there are some notable drawbacks. Pages load pretty slowly. Customer support is also slow and you can expect to wait as much as 45 minutes during peak hours. And you get locked into long contracts lasting as much as three years (unless you’re willing to pay a premium for a shorter contract).
Godaddy is probably one of the most widely recognized brands in the web hosting business. And it’s for good reason. They provide a variety of tiered hosting plans and no cancellation fees so you can easily scale their services to your growing needs. It also has a very easy to use control panel.
However, the basic plan does lack backup support for your database and customer support is slow. Overall, it’s worth keeping it on your list as you research which company and which plans are best for you. But it may not end up being your top pick after you see what else is out there.
Where Arvixe excels is in the sheer number of plans. You have many different hosting plans to choose from so there’s almost certainly going to be something that meets your budget and your needs. They also provide a great email service and unlimited monthly data transfers.
However, they have experienced a lot of issues with uptime and their customer support has very long wait times—a combination which is endlessly frustrating. So while the options and features are great, the actual functionality in the end is lacking.
JustHost has a great website builder that makes creating your website a pretty easy and intuitive process. It also has surprisingly quick and helpful 24/7 customer support. Plus, there’s no extra set up fee.
We also like that they offer both windows and linux based servers. However, there are some features missing. For example, while registering, there are multiple attempts to upsell which gets frustrating. And it’s difficult to import your existing WordPress blog.
Overall, it has a decent balance of features and price so it can be a starting place but it’s definitely not top of the line.
Hostgator is a leader when it comes to versatility and features. You can choose from shared web hosting, virtual private server, or dedicated web hosting plans, depending on your budget and your needs.
You also have access to very helpful and easy to use site building software, tools, and other features to help you create a professional and functional website even if you aren’t the biggest tech nerd in the world. They also provide good customer service that’s very helpful and responds relatively quickly.
There is some room for improvement when it comes to their virtual private server packages and email security could be better. But overall, this is one of the best options out there and should definitely be on your list of companies to look into.
Web hosting is an important but often overlooked aspect of maintaining a website. You do not want to just go with any cheap or free service but you also do not want to pay more than you need to for the services and features that would actually benefit you.
It is an important decision to make so it is worth putting the time into researching the web hosting companies that are out there and figuring out which one provides the scope of features and services that you actually need.