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Choosing the best web host for your website is crucial to provide an unmatched user experience and ensure your business succeeds. It will provide reliability, security, and performance to delight your visitors, multiply your traffic, and bring greater revenue.
But if you do it wrong, your users can face difficulty accessing your site, and you may end up losing them. Your website can slow down while loading, downtimes may occur, and unnecessary investments can wreck your business. It’s a big no for any business.
Hence, it’s essential to choose a good web host.
But there are so many of them around, you may ask. And it’s challenging to decide what will be the best for your business.
In this article, I’ll help you choose the best hosting provider after familiarizing you with some basic concepts and then giving you some options to choose from.
So, let’s dive in!
What Is a Web Host?
A web host is a company that configures, runs, and maintains servers that house or allocate web space and resources to websites that users on the internet can access. And this type of service is called web hosting.
When you buy a web hosting service from a web host, you rent the server space from them to store all your site’s data, including media content, images, CSS and HTML files, code, and other files. Web hosts also provide additional services, connectivity, hardware, and software required to make a site go live and run it seamlessly. They may even handle the security, patches, updates, and other maintenance to ensure a site remains online and offers the best user experience.
Web hosting includes:
- A virtual or physical server to host a site
- Server facility or colocation to provide a physical space to the server with internet connectivity, electricity, cooling systems, security, and other vital resources
- A web server that runs on the host
- Domain Name System (DNS) configuration to name the website and direct it to a hosting server
- Resources like space to store files, site configurations, database, email connectivity, security systems, software, and log-in details to create, modify, and access the site.
What Are the Different Types of Web Hosting?
The most common web hosting types are:
In shared hosting, a website is hosted on a server shared with many other websites that can range from a handful of sites to hundreds. The sites will share the same pool of server resources, including RAM, CPU, disk space, and the same folder or directory to store site content and files.
However, the website owners or users won’t see or access each other’s files or private information. It’s because they don’t have root server access, so they are not allowed to perform certain tasks like modifying the entire server configuration, installing software, etc.
Shared hosting may offer some basic features, such as:
- A site builder like WordPress
- A database
- Control panel
- FTP and email accounts
- Security features like SSL certificates and DDoS protection
- Domain name for a limited period
Who it is for: Shared hosting is best for bloggers or businesses who are just starting. The available features can be sufficient for them to get started and build their presence, and they can gradually move to higher plans. It’s also best for people looking for affordable hosting as it can start from just $2 or $5 a month and requires low maintenance.
However, the service quality will significantly depend upon the web hosting provider. Shared hosting services don’t generally perform well if your website traffic is high. And if you want to grab the best deal, you may have to sign up for multi-year plans.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is a hosting service that can host various accounts on just one server (like shared hosting) but provide dedicated server resources for each user (unlike shared hosting).
It’s of two types:
- Managed hosting is beneficial for users with no technical expertise because the service provider will handle everything to offer a “managed service.” They run and maintain the servers. It’s costlier than unmanaged hosting.
- Unmanaged hosting requires the users to configure and maintain the server assigned to them for their site. You will perform security monitoring, install software and upgrade, perform server backups, etc. It’s great for owners and developers with technical expertise and is less costly.
This provides better performance than shared hosting. But run a background check on the service provider and look for the best one for your needs.
Who’s it for? Choose VPS hosting if you have a small or medium-sized business and want better control your server, offers an excellent user experience, and need a superb performance to meet your traffic demands.
However, this is more costly than shared hosting. So, it will be better if you are already into hosting services and want to upgrade to meet the demands. Or, if you have a growing business, you can consider using it.
Cloud hosting includes various web servers to host websites and provide them with superior uptime and performance. It offers outstanding availability because it can distribute web files to different virtual servers that are powerful and load-balanced to handle high traffic seamlessly.
In addition, using cloud hosting is effortless as its server management is simple to scale up and down quickly. You can also track your metrics easily, such as CPU and disk space utilization, data transfer, and more.
Cloud computing comes with many benefits, such as high scalability according to your needs and excellent security. If a server goes doom, others can compensate to ensure you get undisturbed performance, uptime, and reliability. Your site will also be available all the time to enable monitoring and preventing hacking attempts. Plus, service providers offer automatic and cloud backups to avoid data loss.
The downside of cloud computing is the higher cost than shared hosting and VPS hosting. But, nowadays, many offer affordable cloud hosting services. In addition, cloud hosting’s pricing is innovative; you only get to pay for the resources you use, unlike monthly or yearly plans where people pay even when they don’t use the resources.
However, determine your needs and how much you will use the resource to estimate your expenses.
Who’s it for: Cloud hosting is best for medium and large-scale businesses with high website traffic who need excellent performance, uptime, and security with a reasonable budget at hand.
Dedicated server hosting includes a physical server to host only a single client’s site(s). It means the servers are dedicated to serving your sites only, with no one else capable of renting that server for their site or sharing your resources. It gives you complete control of your server with root access, in general, so that you can change or modify server configurations according to your convenience. It can also be managed or unmanaged.
The benefit of using dedicated hosting is that you will experience optimum performance, uptime, and security for your website. It will provide dedicated resources, software, and tools so you can control your server and use it for your needs.
The downside of this hosting is the cost. It’s the costliest, ranging from hundreds of dollars a month.
Who is it for? It’s for enterprises with a reasonable budget who require uncompromised security, uptime, and performance for their heavy traffic website to meet customer demands.
Other types of web hosting are:
- WordPress hosting
- Reseller hosting
- Colocation hosting
- Clustered hosting
- Grid hosting
- Home server
Why Do You Need Web Hosting?
More businesses are considering digital ways to conduct their operations, and having a website to offer their product or services is one of the best ways. It will help you increase your presence throughout the globe and get more leads and revenue.
And to create a website, you need a web hosting service for the following reasons:
Whether you are a big or small business, you have important data that needs to be stored safely so no one else can get their hands on it. Using a web hosting service allows you to store all your website data like content, images, files, code, CSS and HTML documents, and other data safely on a server.
Web hosts host their services from a secure facility with high-tech infrastructure to mitigate threats and protect them from disasters or downtimes. Hence, you can rely on a web host to power your site that’s available all the time for your customers.
Ease of Use
Web hosts make it easy for you to get started with your site. They provide many features to build your website according to your convenience and use it. You will also get a smooth control panel to customize your settings.
Performance and Speed
Web hosts use the high-quality and latest server hardware and software to ensure you get the best performance and security. It will enable your website to run with optimal speed and performance, and customers can quickly take action without any hassles.
6 Tips to Choose a Web Host
There are many web hosts available with their unique features and pricing.
But how do you know what is best for you?
Here’s what to consider when choosing a web host.
#1. Understand Your Needs
Choosing a web host largely depends upon your needs. So, figure out your requirements as to why you need a website. You must also introspect what type of website and web hosting service suits you and how much traffic you expect. If you are a complete beginner, you can go with shared hosting and gradually explore other web hosting types.
Shared hosting is good for you if you are a blogger or have a startup with a limited budget. Similarly, if you are a medium or small business, you can get started with VPS hosting to see whether your plan is suitable for your website traffic or not. And if you are already an established business expecting high traffic, you can go ahead with dedicated or cloud hosting to meet your demands.
You also need to think about your technical expertise. You can go for unmanaged hosting if you have it, otherwise a managed service.
#2. Look For Features
A website hosting provider may offer many features to help you perform various tasks. Now the question is, are they all worthwhile to you?
Is something lacking?
Are some features not useful to you?
Find the answer to these questions and opt for a service that offers features suitable for your needs. For example, if you are a beginner, you won’t need all the features. The basics will be sufficient for you, such as:
- Security features like SSL certificate, anti-malware software, etc.
- A site builder like WordPress
- Timely data backups to prevent data loss
- Regular upgrades to ensure all your systems are up to date
- Sufficient disk space to store website data
- Enough bandwidth to process data according to your needs.
Suppose you receive approximately 1000 visitors every day; 10 GB of data a month can be sufficient.
- Email accounts to ensure your customers or clients receive your message from a professional address
- A smooth control panel that’s easy to use, such as cPanel, Plesk, etc.
- 1-click installer for software, plugins, and extensions
- FTP/SFTP access
- Free domain name for a year
- Other features like useful integrations for payment processors, SEO tools, analytics, and more.
#3. Check the Server Uptime
Server uptime is a highly crucial factor in offering a seamless user experience. If your site is unavailable whenever a user wants to access it, what’s the use of it? The users will be frustrated, leave your site, and visit another. Downtimes can cost a business a vast sum of money in leads, customers, and revenue, and you don’t want that to happen with you.
When choosing a web host, check their uptime scores to determine how stable your site will be. Web hosts generally offer a 99.90% and more uptime guarantee. The more you get, the better it is. So, always enquire their uptime, and if you can get 99.99% uptime or more, there’s nothing like it.
#4. How’s the Performance and Speed
Users love websites that load faster and offer excellent performance when browsing products and services, buying something, paying online, or reading articles. All these processes must be smooth to keep your users hooked to your site.
Hence, when you choose a web host, always ask what all technologies they use to ensure the performance and speed of your site. It would help if you got the latest software and hardware such as SSDs, HTTP/2, caching, fast CDNs, image compression, and other performance optimization techniques. You can also check their server responsiveness by TTFB testing specific tools like Geekflare TTFB Test, KeyCDN, etc.
#5. Customer Support
Not everyone is good with the technicalities of a website, and you may need the help of customer support teams at any time. And if nobody is there to help you, your site and your business can suffer in terms of security, downtimes, and customers.
Ensure you receive excellent support when you need it. Check how good a web hosting service’s customer support and technical support teams are. They must be reachable 24/7 at your disposal because issues can arise at any time. You may also face cyber attacks at any time, and every second will be crucial for you.
While choosing the web host, check all methods they offer for customer support. You must get multiple ways such as phone calls, email, and chat, in general, to ensure you can reach out to them by any of these means.
#6. Enquire About Pricing
Pricing indeed is one of the most critical factors you must think about before choosing a web hosting provider. It’s essential, especially if you are a beginner or small business owner with a limited budget at hand. And even if you are an established business, you need to ensure you invest your resources at the right places to get the services you will need.
So, always check the pricing of the best web hosting providers and the types of hosting you want. You can compare the pricing and the valuable features that different providers offer to make your best decision.
In addition, don’t forget to check if there are any hidden contracts or blockage that could hinder your flexibility. If you like a hosting service, you can also look for any free trial available. If yes, go for it first, and if you like the service, go ahead and buy the plan.
In general, shared hosting is the least costly, starting at $2 a month for many providers. On the other hand, dedicated hosting is the most expensive that may cost you $100 or more a month. So, choose the pricing based on your budget and the features you need.
Top Web Hosts
Whether you need a blog, online store, or website to offer services, they will provide a hosting plan suitable to your specific needs. They offer effective and affordable hosting plans with a 99.99% uptime guarantee, unique features, configurations, and a lot more.
Bluehost helps secure your website from DDoS attacks, reduces server latency, and ensures your online presence via plugin updates, security, data backups, and more. You get high website speed with caching, CDN, staging environment, marketing tools, hundreds of themes, etc.
In addition, you will get customization options, chat windows, secure payment gateways, and more. You can also track user comments, visitor analysis, and other activities happening on the website from the Bluehost dashboard. Developers and web designers can also manage everything with cPanel.
Start your hosting at $2.95/month and get a FREE domain for one year and a 1-click WordPress install.
SiteGround is crafted for simple website management. You will get secure and fast hosting for your small or medium business and manage WordPress sites with more freedom. It offers premium features, support, and a choice of site builder to launch your website. If you already have a website, migrate it easily with WordPress migration or get help from an expert.
SiteGround offers advanced caching, updates, security plugins, unique optimizers, expert support, etc., in every plan. You will also get advanced tools to collaborate on sites, manage your clients efficiently, and transfer ownership.
SiteGroud provides a technically superior and powerful hosting service on Google Cloud with high speed, redundancy through SSDs, and the fastest network. It leverages the latest technology to provide the best in-house-built solutions. Fully managed service helps you focus on your business, leaving the rest to the automated functions.
Start your website today at $3.99/month and get unmetered traffic, FREE CDN, email, daily backup, unlimited databases, and more.
DreamHost offers advanced features and tools to create a secure, fast, and always-up website loved by search engines and visitors alike. It allows developers, online businesses, bloggers, web designers, and others to create beautiful sites.
DreamHost’s custom control panel is straightforward to use to remove the hard work managing your hosting. It offers a fast WordPress hosting service, designed for performance and preconfigured for good maintenance. In addition, its VPS hosting comes with flexibility using Ubuntu, Nginx, IPv6, Node.js, HTTP/2, ultra-fast SSDs, and more. You will also get a 100% uptime guarantee and fast web servers to run applications with dedicated hosting.
DreamHost uses a free WHOIS privacy and anti-spam policy and provides security features, including Let’s Encrypt, multi-factor authentication, and auto-enabled SFTP. It also offers open-source solutions to help organizations make quick changes easily.
You will get a FREE domain for one year, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited traffic, fast SSD storage, pre-installed WordPress, and more in your plan starting from $2.95/month.
Boost your conversion rate and SEO with A2 hosting that provides unlimited transfer, SSD space, speed, easy site migration, free backups and SSL certificate, and 99.9% uptime. A2 Hosting offers faster loading speed to enable lower bounce rates, higher conversion rates, and better SEO rankings.
A2 Hosting offers shared web hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS web hosting, dedicated hosting, reseller hosting, domains, and more. Plus, A2 SiteBuilder helps you build a new site quickly and install a CMS system, such as WordPress.
The pricing starts from $2.99/month with 100 GB SSD storage and a money-back guarantee.
I hope this information helps you choose the right web host for your business needs and budget. While selecting a web hosting service, ensure you get excellent uptime, performance, security, reliability, and useful features to create your site and run your business well.