- What Is Web Hosting?
- Top 10 Best Web Hostings for WordPress
- Why Do You Even Need Hosting?
- Choosing Your Hosting – What Type Of Hosting Do I Need?
- Choosing Your Domain Name
- Web Hosting Features You Should Look For
- Final Words
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting or web host is simply a service that allows businesses and individuals to place a website on to the Internet. In a nutshell, as the name suggests, hosting is simply a computer (server) that HOSTS a website. That’s it! That’s all you need to know about hosting, no other fancy hosting definitions from Wikipedia will be provided further in this report.
The web hosting service provider is usually a serious business that provides many technologies and services needed for your website to be viewed seamlessly in the Internet by your audience. Once again, websites are stored (hosted) on a special computers called servers.
When Internet users want to view your membership website for example, all they need to do is type your website address (domain) into their browser. Their computer will then connect to the server where your website is stored and it will be shown in their browser.
However, if you are building serious membership site and you want your website to have the best user experience for your audience, it comes with a price. And we advise you NOT to be cheap when investing in hosting.
You will end up paying a lot more at the end, trust us. We’ve burnt ourselves in the past with these cheesy promotions. Thankfully, the price for having stable hosting is very affordable. But before throwing a bunch of numbers here about the prices, let’s first see the second part of our foundation story…
Top 10 Best Web Hostings for WordPress
Here we will just provide a quick review for our top 8 hosting companies but on a separate Excel document, you can see the complete features that each hosting company provides. Let’s start with our top hosting company.
Bluehost is a popular web host with simple, secure hosting. Whether you need cloud hosting or hosting that’s optimized for WordPress, Bluehost has a variety of plans to suit any website. Bluehost is ideal for beginners who might need a little assistance. Their 24/7 customer support team is ready to help you get your site up and running in minutes.
Blue Host provides reliable hosting since 1996 with one of the best customer support on the market, offering unlimited hosting space with advanced features like SSH support, Ruby, Python, etc.
BlueHost hosting offers a FREE domain for 1 year as well as many other freebies included, such as FREE Blog, Forum install, etc.
It is easily available and quite cheap with plans starting from as low as $3.95 per month (if you want to buy the most basic plan for 3 years).
If you want a highly reputable company that is longest on the market, then BlueHost is the right solution for you. We recommend buying the Shared Plus package that costs 5.95/mo for 3 years – $214.20.
|Basic Hosting Plan|
|Price: $4.95/mo for 1 year||1 Free Domain|
|50GB Disk Space||Host 1 domain|
|Unlimited Transfer||$100 Marketing Credit|
|100 MB per account||30 Money Back|
For complete features of BlueHost, follow our in-depth excel report.
HostGator is another big name to try in this cloud hosting market, with about 8 million websites hosted. HostGator is more commonly known as a top-rated WordPress development hosting provider, but the platform can also perform the best hosting features for your WordPress in general, and shopping cart in specific.
HostGator offers shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS, and dedicated hosting, with cloud hosting being the most ideal for established high-traffic shopping carts. Each version benefits each type of business size, from smaller to much bigger businesses. But whatever edition it is, all users can take advantage of HostGator’s outstanding features to optimize your WordPress performance. Some highlight features include:
- Automatic installation with one click
- 24/7/365 support
- Free HostGator website builder
- Free dedicated IP address included
- Private SSL certificate
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Unlimited subdomains and email accounts
- Instant backups
- $100 credit on Bing and Google Adwords
- Database resources
#3. InMotion Hosting
InMotion is another great hosting company with shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting options. This hosting company comes with an A+ rating and with over 20,000 positive reviews. It’s easy to see why so many small businesses choose InMotion for their hosting – they provide optimized hosting plans, free backups, and 24/7 support from tech experts. It includes a free domain and an incredible 90-day money-back guarantee.
However, their services can be a little more expensive comparing to other hosting companies. They charge $6.29/mo for 12 months, for the basic shared hosting package that comes with 2 separate web sites, up to 6 domains with email, and 2 MySQL databases. In our opinion that can be very low for such a price.
However, the advantage is that there is unlimited disk space and bandwidth for all plans.
We recommend InMotion only if you want to buy stable VPS hosting. Their VPS is one of the best on the market and the most basic plan comes with 60 GB RAID6 SSD drive setup, 4 GB burstable RAM usage and 2 TB data transfer for a price of $29.99/mo for 12 months. In our opinion, that’s great!
|Basic hosting plan||Other Features Provided|
|Price: $6.29/mo for 12 months||1 free domain|
|Unlimited Space||Free data backups|
|Unlimited Transfer||$250 Marketing Credit|
|Unlimited Email box||90 Days Money Back|
For complete features that InMotion Hosting provides, follow our in-depth excel report.
GoDaddy has always been a famous name in domain registration, but the platform continues to slay in the host providing market as well. GoDaddy was established in 1997 and started providing web hosting services in 1998. Over two decades in operations, the hosting service has gathered millions of users for its quality security and ease of use.
GoDaddy provides various web hosting plans for all companies of different sizes and types. Specifically, about the cloud hosting plan, GoDaddy’s service is popular for its scalability in which can help businesses expand tremendously. Furthermore, users of this platform can manage your WordPress site with ease thanks to its outstanding feature list provided, including:
- 24/7/365 customer support via email, live chat, phone or support center
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Unlimited storage
- Generous refund policy
- Free SSL certificate
We’ve ranked SiteGround as our number 1 web host. Not only because we are using it, but also for their long list of features and plans, which can be carefully tailored to suit you.
The other deciding factor was their most accurate support. Even though we’ve stumbled upon some technical issues with our websites, their chat support is incredible (2 minutes waiting time) and if the matter is more complicated, the issue is transferred to expert technicians (2-3 technicians, depending on the problem) who will solve your problem within 15-30 minutes. So there is 24/7 phone, chat and email support every time you need help.
Whether you’re installing WordPress for the first time or transferring from another provider, Siteground makes it extremely easy. You can transfer your existing websites from your old host for free. Siteground’s WordPress experts will carry out the transfer process for you. No downtime whilst they transfer your site.
We recommend SiteGround Shared Hosting for anyone starting out with WordPress.
They host more than a quarter of a million domains, manage 1000s of servers across 3 countries and over the last 30 days had an uptime of 99.99%.
|Basic hosting plan||Other Features Provided|
|10 GB Web Space||Free domain|
|Suitable for 10,000 Visits Monthly||cPanel & SSH Access|
|99.9% Uptime||Unlimited Traffic, Emails, DBs|
|Price: $3.95/mo||30 Days Money Back Guarantee|
|One website||Free Cloudflare CDN|
|Grade 5/5||Unlimited bandwidth|
For complete features that SiteGround provides, follow our in-depth excel report.
iPage has been hosting individuals and small businesses for over 10 years, helping over a million people get started online. iPage focuses on creating an easy-to-use hosting experience for technical beginners. They have shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting options.
What is great about iPage is that they come with a shared hosting plan that provides unlimited resources (and a free domain) for a very low price of $1.99/mo for 12 months.
They also have great support with fast online chat waiting time (2-5 minutes) and support tickets with a waiting time of 3-4 hours.
We recommend using iPage if you are on a budget and you want to have many not-so-heavy websites.
However, be advised that this price only applies for the first year! You will only pay $23.88 for the first year, for a renewal of your hosting it can cost you up to $155 each next year.
|Basic hosting plan||Other Features Provided|
|Unlimited storage space||30-day money-back guarantee|
|Scalable bandwidth||24/7 phone and chat support|
|Unlimited domain names allowed||Calls answered in a 2-5 minutes|
|Unlimited MySQL databases||Website backup software|
|Free domain for 1 year||$200 marketing resources|
For complete features of iPage, follow our in-depth excel report.
Based in Los Angeles, DreamHost provides web hosting and domain name registration services. It is completely owned by New Dream Network and was found in 1996.
DreamHost’s standard shared hosting plan has long been competitive and robust, with great support for developers. For non-techies who want a fast website that’s easy to set up and manage, Dreamhost is also a great choice. They provide all the tools you need to create a beautiful website with easy account management, plus 24/7/365 support and 97-day money-back guarantee.
Space and traffic are offered free and in unlimited amounts and it also gives you a perk of a free domain.
It also offers a 97-day money-back guarantee in case you are unsatisfied with the services. The portfolio of Dream host is impressive as it amasses over 40000 satisfied clients and over 1.5 million websites.
The price is $9.95/mo for 12 months or $119.40 per year.
|Hosted on Solid State Drives (SSDs)|
|1 Free Domain Name Included|
|Host Unlimited Domains|
|Unlimited Storage & Bandwidth|
|97 Day Money Back Guarantee|
GreenGeeks was founded in 2006; they are based in LA, California. They offer a wide range of web hosting products and services. Doesn’t matter if you are a small business owner or want to make a personal website, GreenGeeks will help you with everything you need to run a successful website.
GreenGeeks is a promising hosting company that many positive reviews and a lot of unlimited resources. Also, their support is great.
The price is $6.36/mo for 12 months or $76.32 per year.
|Unlimited Domains on 1 Account||24/7/365 US-Based Support|
|SECURE IMAP/POP3 E-mail Accounts||FREE Site Building Tools|
|Unlimited Web Space & Data Transfer||99.9% Service Uptime|
|FREE Marketing & SEO Tools||FREE Website Migration|
|FREE Domain Name Registration or Transfer||30 Day Money Back Guarantee|
Arvixe is one of the fastest-growing hosting companies in the world and provides plenty of resources with their hosting plans to help you get your website up and running quickly, from free domains to a free site builder, no coding knowledge necessary.
Arvixe is a great web host for those who want to host multiple websites on a limited budget. You can quickly create a professional website or online shop in just minutes.
The great about this hosting is that they provide a free domain with their hosting for life.
The basic price is $5/mo for 12 months or $60 per year.
|Unlimited Disk Space||Free Site Builder|
|Unlimited Monthly Data Transfer||Free Online Store|
|Unlimited Email Accounts||Easy control panel|
|Free Domain For Life||24 ours support|
JustHost isn’t one of our TOP favorite web hosting companies, but it’s worth checking out. It has an accessible, easy-to-navigate interface, as well as shared, dedicated, and virtual private server (VPS) hosting.
JustHost offers three Linux-based shared Web Hosting plans. The basic Starter plan ($5.99 per month) offers 100 email accounts, 100GB storage, unlimited monthly data transfers, one-year free domain registration and hosting, and basic Site Backup.
JustHost does a good job of balancing price and usability, but it occasionally has some problems with the uptime and it lacks some features offered by the competition.
|Free .com domain|
|24/7 technical support|
|Unlimited traffic, emails|
Why Do You Even Need Hosting?
We mentioned that hosting is basically a computer that hosts your website. But you may be asking yourself one very troubling question:
Why paying for a professional hosting company when you can host your membership website on your computer for free?!
We can list almost 38 reasons why you SHOULDN’T try to host a website on your PC, but let’s see a few of them that show why hosting a website on your computer is really a terrible idea. And “terrible idea” maybe even a small word for it.
|Self-Hosting On Your PC||Professional Web Hosting|
|Very low website performance
(Lot of waiting and response time)
|High website performance
(Fast loading website with headache-free)
(If your power goes out at your home, your website will go down automatically)
|Redundant power supplies
(Almost 100% uptime for your site thanks to the powerful backup generators)
|Dynamic IP Address
(If your internet connection has dynamic IP address it’s impossible to host your website)
|Static IP Address
(Your site need only one static IP address that hosting companies provide)
|Maintenance by you
(The hardware maintenance for your PC is completely on you. You can’t wait for 3 days for the burned cooling system to be replaced)
|Maintenance by expert team
(Hosting companies has a lot of experts that take care of the servers 24/7)
|Very difficult to configure
(Genius tech knowledge required)
|Interactive cPanel for beginners
(One-click solutions for every beginner)
By now you’ve probably answered correctly your first troubling question of why you need professional hosting. Nicely done. You are awesome.
Now move to the first step for getting your hosting.
Choosing Your Hosting – What Type Of Hosting Do I Need?
Choosing what type of hosting you need for your membership site is the first step you should consider. It seems like an easy step doesn’t it? Well, it’s not that simple. In reality, there are several things you should consider before you start that process.
The number of hosting choices available to the website owner today can be overwhelming. It is possible to get hosting for a couple of dollars a month and it is possible to get hosting that costs hundreds of dollars a month. But what is the main difference for such prices? Well, as may not surprise you, hosting choices are more complicated than they may appear and there are a lot of factors that dictate the price.
In this report we will be covering 3 main types of hosting available on the market:
- Shared Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting
Depending on the nature of your website, you may need different types of hosting. However, with our straight forward examples on the next pages, you will be IMMEDIATELY able to decide which one perfectly suits your needs.
These 3 options are used respectively for a small, medium and large websites. But what makes one website small or large? Usually, it is the number of visitors. So it’s a logical solution to start with hosting that can handle your small website at the beginning and later as your site will grow, you can switch to VPS or Dedicated hosting. Yes, we are talking about buying shared hosting first.
Shared hosting is by far the most popular and affordable hosting option for small businesses or individuals. With it, you rent space on a shared server with other site owners. This means you’re also sharing resources like bandwidth, memory, and processing power. Simply put, many websites are hosted on a single server (computer). The advantage to using shared hosting is it makes it extremely cheap because of the shared resources.
These shared hosting resources are easy enough for anyone to create something unique.
However, sometimes shared resources can be a problem, because a single server can have hundreds of websites. But most of these websites will get very little traffic, allowing hosting companies to offer more resources to the small number who require them and of course, there are limits.
Shared hosts can handle websites that run WordPress, Joomla, or others and also make this process very easy to set up by using the control panel or cPanel. A shared host can handle up to 30,000 visitors per month, which is more than enough for most websites. If you are just getting started with hosting, you should take a close look at shared hosting for its value and performance. If you want to make an active membership site with many images, blog posts and video content, you need a service that provides unlimited disk space. If you are planning to have an excessive number of viewers, then you should also look to find a shared hosting package with unlimited bandwidth.
Note that not all shared hosting is the same! Different companies use different servers with different amounts of resources. Also, some companies host more websites on a server than others. So there may be a good reason to pay for $10 per month hosting rather than $1.99.
However, don’t always associate the low cost with low value. If you are a small business owner who only needs a site to boost your business’s online status and you plan for moderate site visitors, this is probably the best option. Needless to say, we have many clients that are paying for cheap shared hosting ($1.99/mo from iPage.com) and are completely satisfied with the services that this hosting provides.
- Great for small web sites, up to 30,000 visitors per month
- Very economical (as low as $1.99 per month – for the first year)
- Nice support with low wait time
- Very simple to use and set up
- Unlimited storage but with some limitations (read the fine print marked with *) Usually has unlimited bandwidth
|Shared Hosting Grade|
2. Virtual Private Server (VPS) – Pay As You Go
Sorry to disappoint you, but for this type of hosting we don’t have a simple definition. It is more challenging to describe this type of hosting with one simple sentence, but we will give our best.
VPS stands for “Virtual Private Server” and basically, a VPS has a huge amount of computing resources from which a portion can be purchased for a price. Imagine a supercomputer with thousands of processors, terabytes of RAM, and unlimited hard drive space.
If you’ve exceeded the resources offered by a shared hosting plan, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, will arm you with highly increased performance. VPS hosting provides greater performance because fewer websites are using a single physical server.
Companies that expect a decent traffic increase in the short term should consider these types of hosting plans. The server spaced is still shared; however, you have more opportunity to customize your space management and benefit more from added security in comparison to shared hosting.
The great advantage of VPS hosting is you can scale from small to large websites without having to switch servers. If you find that your website is lagging because of a lack of bandwidth, you can increase it with the flip of a switch. The same thing goes for disk space and CPU usage.
Let’s stop here for a second and allow us to tell you about our story related to this matter.
When we first started at WebMaxFormance we bought a shared hosting. But as our sites grew, we switched to a stable VPS hosting. Everything was perfect, up until recently when we found that we need to further improve the speed of our websites. So we bought an extra CPU. Now the load time of our sites is below 200 milliseconds with proper performance optimization, but that’s a story for another time.
So that was our real-life example explaining the scalability and the power of a VPS hosting. If industry-leading uptime and rapid scalability are your two biggest worries, VPS hosting might be the ultimate solution for your problem. We guarantee you!
The good part is, you can reserve as much of that supercomputer as you need and you will pay according to your usage by the hour instead of having to pay a monthly fee.
We need to mention that this type of hosting is good for the more technically inclined people including programmers and web designers/developers.
- Good for small to large websites (can handle any number of visitors per month)
- Price scales with your website (starting at $15 per month)
- Can be complex to set up if you’re not a web developer or programmer
- Dedicated IP
- Highly scalable
- You can get exactly the amount of processing, RAM, and hard drive space you need You pay per usage, no monthly fixed fee.
|VPS (Cloud) Hosting Grade|
3. The Advantages Of Having Dedicated Hosting
By the simplest definition in the book, dedicated hosting consists of a single server that hosts a single website. The huge advantage of having a dedicated server is that the entire computer is focused on giving your website the best possible performance. So with this type of hosting your site won’t crash due to external websites spiking suddenly. This is the most independent way to go but should probably NOT be considered by personal bloggers or small business owners. The downside of this enterprise-level hosting type is the very high price tag.
While dedicated hosting can be somewhat expensive, it is worth the cost if your website demands very fast page-load times, a dedicated IP, and the means to handle a lot of traffic, with over 300,000 visitors per month. Also, dedicated hosting provides the highest level of security and the highest server customization possible.
So, if you’re ready to move beyond the sharing of hosting resources, dedicated hosting will provide you complete and unfettered access to a physical server. In addition, you can use your dedicated hosting for complex applications and advanced scripts.
Also, dedicated hosting needs to be considered if you have an expert or team of experts who will need to customize your server with any type of software or file formats. Typically, any maintenance needed on the server is done by the owner.
- Best suitable for websites of any size (can handle 300k visitors per month)
- Can be expensive (starting at about $75 per month)
- Some technical required to set up and use
- A HUGE amount of processing power
- Very secure
- Dedicated IP (up to 3-4 dedicated IPs)
|Dedicated Hosting Grade|
Other Hosting Types – Honorable Mentions
On the market, you can meet many other hosting types and you may wonder what they provide. Since we are at the current topic we will give a brief overview of other available hosting types:
Reseller Hosting is a special kind of hosting. If you want to sell hosting to customers while someone else maintains the server, reseller hosting is specifically designed for that purpose. You can get reseller hosting that is shared, VPS, cloud, or dedicated. With it, you buy access to server resources in bulk, and then resell it under your own brand. Clearly, reseller hosting is not for people new to web hosting. It is an advanced type of hosting, which requires you to provide your customers with the customer and technical support.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world. But since its launch in 2003, it has grown into a powerful content management system (CMS) that is used for a whole lot more than blogging. This type of hosting specializes in configuring and managing your WordPress installation. However, we don’t recommend using this kind of hosting due to many technical reasons. Also, the price is very high (up to $30/month), you have some limitations (you cannot run all WordPress plugins due to security reasons) and you have less control (since it’s mostly managed by the WordPress tech experts of the hosting company)
The whole idea behind “SEO hosting” is to fool a search engine into thinking related sites are unrelated by putting them on separate IP addresses (what SEO technicians refer as a footprint). Then because the sites are supposedly unrelated, links between them will raise the value of the site to a search engine, resulting in it being displayed in top positions in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
However, we NEVER EVER recommend you buy SEO hosting. You shouldn’t play games with search engines no matter what, because if you are being caught, the consequences can be very damaging for your websites (Google will penalize, de-rank, de-index or blacklist your sites and Private Blog Networks (PBN) for life).
With that being said, we’ve concluded the first step in deciding which type of hosting you need for your membership site. We hope that by know you are certain of what your preferred hosting plan will be.
Now we want to congratulate you on making though the first step. Well done! That wasn’t too bad, was it?
Choosing Your Domain Name
Choosing the right domain name is the second step you need to make. The web hosting companies that we recommend usually comes with a free domain for one year.
However, we DON’T recommend using their free domain and here’s why:
- The free domain is tied to the hosting
- You can’t change the domain’s DNS servers in case you want to change your hosting (in other words you can’t connect the free domain with a new hosting).
- If you want to continue using the free domain you must continue using the current web hosting, the free domain and the hosting don’t go separately.
In our WebMaxFormance Academy, we have a complete step-by-step tutorial on how to choose and register your perfect domain name with companies that specialize in selling domains (NameCheap for example). But for now, choose I already have a Domain, put the name of your desired domain and move forward.
Web Hosting Features You Should Look For
The many features that hosting companies provide often can become overwhelming. That’s why in this section we’ve selected the most important features you should look for.
1. Hosting Type
Of course, the first feature is the hosting type. We covered the different types of hosting in the previous section. A little graphical reminder…
The type of hosting plays a large role in the evaluation of a web host. One host may have excellent shared hosting and terrible VPS hosting, or the other way around. Sometimes hosts focus on being great at something like WordPress hosting but could care less about their shared hosting customers.
At the end of this report, we provide an overview of the hosting companies and their hosting types and plans, but for now, you need to spend some time determining the type of hosting first.
Again, we highly recommend you start with shared hosting and as your site grows you can upgrade to the cloud or dedicated hosting, but the decision is yours of course. Spend some time by making your own research and move forward when you are ready.
2. Number Of Plan Offerings
Shared hosting should be flexible. As we mentioned, as your business grows, your on-line presence should have the ability to grow with you. We measured that flexibility by how many plans a hosting company is offering and how easy it is to upgrade to a bigger plan.
The standard number of hosting plans that a hosting company provides is usually 3. Three different options give you room to grow if you’re feeling unsure about initially investing in a higher-priced plan. Still, many web hosts offer only one shared server plan. In rare cases, it can happen those hosting companies with a single plan to fail to provide enough bandwidth, storage and domain capability for the value. Upgrading from one of these single-offering shared plans requires paying significantly more with a VPS or dedicated server.
3. Bandwidth / Traffic
The bandwidth (or traffic) allowed by a web hosting plan refers to the amount of content sent from your server to a client’s browser. It’s a good idea to calculate the minimum bandwidth you’ll need before signing up for a hosting plan.
Follow Our Formula For Calculating The Desired Bandwidth:
Visitors per Month * Page Size * Pages per Visit = Bandwidth Needed
Let’s say you have an average page size of 1MB. If your site gets 10,000 visitors per month and they average going to 2 pages each, then your bandwidth calculation goes like this:
10,000 Visits * 1MB Per Page * 2 Pages per Visit = 20GB of Bandwidth
Keep in mind, you’ll want to choose a plan that exceeds your minimum bandwidth needs just in case your traffic grows beyond its current levels.
Sometimes you can meet a number of providers that offer nothing but unlimited plans with unlimited bandwidth. But “unlimited” doesn’t mean what most people think it does. All it means is that the company hasn’t set a limit on your resource usage. The demon is in the details, and the details will be found in the hosting provider’s terms of service (TOS). Luckily for all of us, pretty much every TOS says the same thing: you can’t abuse their servers.
Storage refers to the amount of content, data, and files you can store on your server.
Usually, websites do not have a tremendous amount of storage needs, but if you are hosting video or large images or user information, you may find this to be a concern. We do recommend having a minimum of 20 gigabytes (GB) of storage available for your web server.
Also, web hosting companies many times throw around the term “unlimited” storage as if it’s their slogan. As a consumer, it is important to know that unlimited does not mean infinite. Instead, the term technically means, “not exceeding regular use.” While the companies claim that 99.5 percent of their customers will never have a throttling problem, if you store large amounts of media on your site, you still may get a warning from the hosting provider informing that you will be slowed down or temporarily shut off. It is a shared server, which means you are at risk of taking other customer’s allotted unlimited space.
Standard Hard Drives vs. SSD
Also, there are two different types of hard drives used these days. The standard hard drives are usually just referred to as say, “20GB Storage.” The other type of hard drive is referred to as an SSD, which stands for a solid-state drive. These drives are typically faster than standard hard drives and you may see them listed as “20GB SSD”.
Most top hosting companies let you use solid-state drives to host all types of data. This means you can host your blog on one domain, your friends’ static website on another, and your clients’ eCommerce sites – all from the same hosting account. There are no restrictions on how you can use SSD Hosting. The result, SSDs massively outperform hard disk drives on input/output transfer and the hosted websites will be faster and more secure.
5. Processing Power (CPU)
Processing power can be a determining factor in choosing a web host, especially if you are looking at dedicated or VPS hosting.
Usually, web hosts will list the number of cores, or CPUs, that are available for each level of service. In general, the more cores that run at higher speeds, the better.
That wasn’t too complicated, was it? Let’s continue on the next feature.
6. Support Quality
Customer support is a HUGE factor when searching for the best hosting services. When you have trouble with your host, you want to be able to contact them and get an intelligible response in a timely manner. When a server inevitably fails temporarily, services should have a support team available 24/7 by both phones and live chat.
So you need to look for 24/7 US-based support (phone call or online chat) or at least email response within 24 hours.
In our reviews, we awarded higher the web hosts that offer phone or online chat support and are willing to help debug or explain technical issues. Some hosts focus on customer support and going above and beyond to solve your problem, while others will simply say, “Figure it out yourself” or buy one of their expensive plans.
The average wait time of our recommended hostings overall was about 10-15 minutes. The chat response time usually is 2-5 minutes while the support ticket can be 30 minutes to 2-3 hours.
It is important to remember that when you sign up with a web hosting company, you are not just purchasing a set of technologies. You are also entering into a business relationship. There are many non-tech reasons why you might choose one host over another. You need to be able to trust your hosting company. In addition to this, you need to be able to depend upon your web host when things go wrong.
It’s time for another our story concerning the hosting support
A long time ago, we have shared hosting at HostGator. But as you may know we are constantly developing websites for us and our clients. One night we were designing a small website for a special client when suddenly the website went down. But not just that one website, every other hosted website on HostGator was down as well.
When we tried to contact the HostGator support, we waited 45 minutes on the chat just to hear that we need to buy their WordPress hosting plan. No further explanation. In other words: “figure it yourself”.
Of course we’ve eventually figured out ourselves, but as the result we lose the client, a lot of sales and a lot of money. The next week we migrated our websites to another hosting, and we will always provide a negative review for HostGator from now on, as the result of their terrible support.
7. Quality Of Service/Uptime
Uptime is a very important issue for a lot of websites. Each company claims to have 99 percent uptime. In the event of a failure, meaning your site is inaccessible, a service can usually get it back up in no more than 20 minutes, but that time could mean lost income or traffic if your site is built for those purposes. Technical problems can happen at any time – and there’s not much you can do on your end. That’s why responsive tech support is critical.
In many cases, 99.9% uptime is acceptable, sometimes 99.99% is acceptable and sometimes 100% is imperative. Most hosts list their uptime as a percentage like this. Our hosting recommendations will include uptime for each host anytime so look for a firm number.
Security is mainly one step lighter when using a shared server, but that doesn’t mean your site should be left vulnerable. The best hosts use shared SSL and SSH. Many of these hosts backup and restore your site without incurring an additional fee. Some of the web hosts also protect your email account from spammers free, while others offer advanced anti-spam protection at a cost.
However, we’ve spent a lot of time on the security issue so you won’t be left completely in the hands of your hosting. Our security solutions include comprehensive tutorials for making your site 100% hacker-proof and tutorials for making scheduled backups on remote locations (outside your hosting).
9. Control Panel Usability
While each version of cPanel is similar, the best web hosts provide more features, simplifying the website creation process.
The standard interface is called cPanel, while some services, like iPage, use their own control panel, which allows for more customization. We evaluated which tools are available in the basic shared hosting plans, taking into account features like simple email creation, a disk usage meter, and access to create cron jobs. Many services in our lineup don’t have the option to back up a site manually or utilize a one-click install section.
For most web owners it’s really important to have a one-click installer in their cPanel (like Softaculous or Fantastico). It makes the creation of WordPress site super easy and it saves you a lot of time.
So make sure the hosting you want to choose have a one-click installer.
cPanel vs Plesk
The two most popular choices for web panels are cPanel and Plesk. They both offer very similar functionality; however, they are organized differently, have a different security model, and use slightly different terminology.
Generally, cPanel is better for Linux servers while Plesk is better for Windows.
However, the majority of the hosts use a standard cPanel and for good reason. It is the industry standard. While the dashboard isn’t much to look at, it provides most of the useful tools you need to create a site, manage the hosting and market it to the online world.
10. Linux or Windows Hosting
Besides choosing between hosting type and specialization, your other main choice when it comes to hosting a website is the operating system (OS) of the webserver. But some of your other choices may dictate what OS you pick. Note: you don’t have to use Linux for your work to use Linux hosting, or Windows to use Windows hosting.
Linux is the most common hosting platform in the world. Linux servers are a popular choice for many websites and applications. It’s a de facto operating system for web hosting. If you’re looking for a hosting platform that can handle today’s most common programming languages and applications (PHP + MySQL) – you should consider Linux hosting. It is the industry-standard hosting platform. In fact, it has a simple acronym, LAMP, which stands for Linux, Apache (webserver), MySQL (database), and PHP. When looking for ready-to-use software to power your website, like blogging platforms, content management systems, message boards, eCommerce tools, et cetera, many free, open-source, and industry-standard choices are available for Linux; while the same software can cost a lot of money for Windows hosting.
Everybody loves Windows, right? (OK, maybe not everybody).
Windows is the hosting platform powered by Microsoft. If you want a server that can handle Windows applications, databases, and programming frameworks like ASP.NET, you will need to get Windows hosting.
You should only choose a Windows host if you plan to use ASP or ASP.NET on your site. Otherwise, the more popular and affordable Linux option is probably best for you.
Even though it may seem counterintuitive, there is a 99.9% chance you should use LINUX hosting. Windows hosting needs are very rare and you should only choose this option if you have a very specific reason to do so. Don’t worry, Linux is not as intimidating as you may think, you won’t have to use the command line if you don’t want to with Linux. Most hosting plans come with great user interfaces that will take care of all of the hard parts for you.
Nicely done. You’ve successfully covered all the main features that need to be looked for before buying a web hosting.
Now let’s get on with it reviewing each of our recommended hostings one by one.
Now that you know everything that every web owner needs to know before buying a hosting, go ahead and visit the official websites of these recommended hostings. See what seems like a perfect solution for you and buy your hosting today.
With the knowledge that you’ve gained with this report, we ensure you that you can’t be wrong with whichever hosting company you will choose.
Build your foundation for your membership site now, and we will be waiting for you ready to take you to the next step.