Choosing a web host for your sites can be an ordeal. Finding the right one makes all the difference between having a successful long standing relationship that leads to years of continued partnership.
The best hosting provider for you will depend on a few factors. The type of hosting you need, the type of site you want to be hosted, which resources you will need and how much of those resources. Different hosting providers rank differently in each of these categories. We will take a look at each of these categories specifically and provide the hosting providers that are best suited to your website.
So, what type of hosting do you need? This entirely depends on the size of your web traffic and how resource intensive your site is. There are three configurations set depending on the size of your traffic The first is the Shared hosting service. In this configuration, the web hosting customers share a server and its resources. A small or medium website would find this configuration to be ideal. First time website owners are also recommended to go for a shared hosting service. Settling down for a shared hosting service with high web traffic can be disastrous to the performance of the website. Bluehost.com is a great choice for shared hosting services, in fact, according to these top website hosting reviews from Hosting Foundry, it is the best when it comes to providing shared hosting services. It is also very cost effective with a monthly bill of $7.99.
Managed vs Unmanaged Hosting
Most webmasters start off by hosting their WordPress websites on shared servers and hence the concept of management does not apply. The term only becomes applicable when we start looking for Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and Dedicated Servers.
What Is Managed Hosting?
A Managed hosting plan refers to a hosting plan which provides management services in addition to the basic components of a hosting plan. The basic components of a hosting plan are the servers, operating systems, and the requisite software used for running websites.
These additional management services may include a control panel, SSH access, automated backups, malware scanning and removal, status monitoring, security sweeps, automated software updates, and much more. It is these additional management services which are the basis of the name “Managed Hosting” for this hosting plan.
Advantages and disadvantages of Managed Hosting
The advantages of Managed WordPress hosting are increased reliability, improved speed, improved security and a wider range of management services for a much lower cost.
The Disadvantages include reduced flexibility, limitations, and higher monthly cost. If you want to try a managed solution, special discount plans are periodically available.
Virtual Private Server
The other type of hosting service provided is the Virtual Private Server. This service acts as a halfway point between shared hosting services and having a dedicated server which is the third type of hosting service. With the virtual private server, you still share the server with other customers however, the server is divided into virtual machines which act as independent dedicated servers. They enjoy greater control and more resources than those with a shared hosting plan. inmotionhosting.com has the leading VPS software on the market. They charge a monthly premium of $19.99.
VPS has become extremely popular lately and prices are continuously coming down. This trend is expected to continue. Below are some features and advantages common to VPS plans.
Complete User Control
VPS offers you a much greater degree of control over your environment and resources. Restrictions are minimal and you are free to install software, configure things as you would like them and use your choice of control panel. Shared hosting does not give you that freedom. Another important benefit is that you will get root access and you are able to make use of scripts. This gives you great flexibility to do things yourself as and when you need to. You are also not bound by some of the security restrictions one finds on shared platforms.
Flexibility and Scalability
The great thing about a VPS hosting solution is you only select and pay for the resources you need at the time. It can quickly and easily be scaled down or up as you go, without any down time. It is a completely customized, tailored solution. If necessary, you can easily add, or decrease, RAM, disk space or vCPUs.
You never know at the start exactly how busy a website will be and traffic, as well as other factors, can change literally overnight. This flexibility is a great way to save money on unnecessary resources while still having them instantly available if and when needed. You can drive and grow your website safe in the knowledge that when there is a surge in traffic, you can immediately adapt accordingly.
Security is a major issue with hosting and a VPS offers greater levels of security than a shared solution. You are able to put in custom firewalls and set them according to your requirements. You will not be affected by threats against other websites on a shared hosting platform. Also, you will be given a unique IP address. This will prevent the conflict that often occurs on a shared system where other users are blacklisted for any reason.
An issue that is becoming more and more important these days is the environmental impact of a business. All companies need to try and reduce their carbon footprint and make use of eco-friendly technologies. Using a VPS is one way a company can assist with this. With a dedicated server, you are using all the resources of that server for yourself. With VPS, the resources, and therefore the environmental impact, is shared over multiple users. This makes VPS a greener friendly solution.
Cost effective solution
As the technology improves, the cost of hosting on VPS has come down significantly.
What was previously only viable for big business is now and affordable option even for small business. As previously stated, you only need to pay for those resources you require at the outset and upscale resources as you grow. So, you get the many benefits of private hosting for a reasonable monthly cost.
Dedicated hosting. This entails using an entire server to power your website. You do not share any server resources with anyone. This comes with a whole load of features, like top-notch hardware at your disposal, management services, 24-hour support provided, automatic backups of data, dedicated IP addresses and much more. All this commitment does not come cheap, of course, Liquid web is a phenomenal web host. They do dedicate servers better than anyone else out there charging $129 a month for their services.
You should also consider what type of website you want hosting when choosing a suitable web host. A blog, for example, would have different preferences to an online store. A blog would be most suited to a web host that supports WordPress. Most web hosts allow one-click installation of WordPress but the best provide upgraded hardware and dedicated WordPress support. inmotionhosting.com provides one of the best wordpress features out there. It allows one to hold unlimited WordPress sites on one account.
An online store looking for a host should consider the following things in finding the right host. The host must have security features around the customer and payment information, keeping the information from being accessed by a third party. They should also have access to shopping cart software and be integrated with online payment services such as PayPal.
For a personal website that allows one to have an online presence, whether to put your resume online or any other information that you would want to put online. A personalized website is possible even if you do not have the technical know how to build your own website, it is now possible to build one using such platforms as wix and squarespace. My personal favorite is wix.com. With thousands of templates to choose from wix can be used for any website in any field out there.
Having provided a comprehensive breakdown in each of the specific fields, I find that it is necessary to provide an overall list of top five web hosting companies in the market today.
- Siteground.com (great support, backups and recommended for wordpress)
- inmotionhosting.com (good flexibility)
- Hostgator.com (great value)
- Wix.com (great for beginners)
Does the web host have a dedicated customer service department? Are they easy to reach? Is their contact info displayed prominently, and is there an option to both call and e-mail? Does the web host offer help pages and resources to guide you through the process of setting up your site? Try calling the customer service phone number just to see how easy it is to reach a real person. The hosts mentioned above for example, provide flexible packages, monitoring, installation, tuning, and a 24/7 support team.
Please some of our recommended hosting deals below. You can report any bad coupons here.