Finding a reliable web hosting solution is not an easy endeavor these days. If you try googling the words “web host,” you’ll find more hosting companies than you can shake your fist at! And just to make matters more complicated, making the wrong choice here could easily lead to you screaming at tech support on your day off.
If you don’t have the patience to read this article, then let me go straight and suggest 3 web hosting companies you can’t go wrong with:
Bluehost: With over 2 million clients, it’s one of the most popular web hosting companies. They have pretty decent speed, uptime and support. What’s more, if you refer somebody they pay you $65.
Hostgator Cloud: It has one of the best upload times. Based on tests performed by the experts over at HostingFacts.com, if you host your site with Hostgator Cloud, it will load in 360 milliseconds. That’s one of the fastest upload times in the industry. Hostgator also has one of the lowest prices. Using a Hostgator coupon is the cheapest way to buy a premium hosting service.
A2 Hosting: While they are not as famous as Bluehost and Hostgator, they have blazing fast speeds and great uptime. That means, not only will your site load superfast, it will be live without any interruptions.
How to Choose a Good Web Host
In order to help you out a bit, I’ve compiled a list of six most important things you should pay attention to before settling on the right web host for your needs and sensibilities.
If you’re new in the world of web hosting, you’ll probably want to start small. The best way to do so is to open a shared hosting account – it’s easy to maintain, and it gives you the option to run many websites from a single box. This is also the most affordable way to get your site(s) up and running in no time. Other options include virtual private servers (also known as VPS) and dedicated servers. While these server types traditionally come with more options and offer superior performance, they are aimed at users with decent system management and maintenance skills. Finally, there’s cloud hosting, which focuses on virtual space and storing data over the Internet.
Domains and Sub-domains
Did you know that over 80% of experienced webmasters own more than five domains? It’s not hard to see why – domain and sub-domain names are so cheap that it’s hard to stop at just one! For this reason, it’s important to have an account that allows you to host multiple domains. Most providers let you host at least 25 domains on a single account, so try not to go below that threshold. Generally speaking, “parking” domains and choosing the appropriate sub-folders can easily be done via the admin panel.
Storage and Bandwidth
Before deciding on a hosting package, try to estimate how much traffic your website will get. If you don’t expect a lot of visitors, several gigabytes of storage and bandwidth should be enough to get you going. Bandwidth speeds are generally not that big of a factor these days, so most hosting companies will try to woo you by promising unlimited data transfer. Just to be sure, read the fine print before you commit to anything! In some cases, you’ll discover that bandwidth is only unlimited if you’re under the expected site usage – as soon as you cross that limit, you’ll be forced to pay the additional fees.
Among all the factors you should consider when deciding on a web host, server reliability is probably the most important one. Ideally speaking, you want your website to be online 24/7, and anything less than a 99% uptime score is not acceptable. Web hosts are more than aware of this fact, which is why they’ll often overestimate the power of their servers and network connections. Any claims of 100% uptime are almost certainly false – after all, scheduled maintenance is still a thing. The best way to test the web host’s actual uptime is to track them by utilizing one of many free server monitor tools at your disposal.
In case something goes wrong with your website (spoiler alert—it probably will), you want to have quick access to technical support. Basic customer service should include ticket, email and phone support, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Is the support available 24/7 or during business hours only? How long does it take them to respond to your email? Do they seem like they know what they’re talking about? Some hosting companies go the extra step by compiling a comprehensive knowledge base, which could save you some time and allow you to help yourself instead of having to contact the support. An active blog or forum is another good sign of ongoing support.
Price is always a consideration, especially in this economy. Some providers provide a discount if you pay an entire year at once, so spending some extra time to check out all the different payment plans on offer is always a good idea. Additionally, a lot of shared hosting packages combine cheap signup prices with costly renewal charges. Unfortunately, this is pretty much an industry norm nowadays. Unless you don’t mind changing up your web hosts every year or so, make sure to go through the terms of service carefully and ensure the renewal fees aren’t too outrageous.