Best Hosting Companies

Are you looking for a company to host your website? Do you need a reliable site for your customers or clients? A web hosting company can provide what you'll need to keep your website up and running and accessible to your customers.

To help you determine the best hosting company to use for your website, we have reviewed five of the best options. After reading through our reviews, you should be able to find the perfect hosting company to use.

Top 5: Hosting Companies Review

Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)

Product Name

Contact

Bluehost

9.9

Hostgator

9.8

Siteground

9.6

GoDaddy

9.3

iPage

9.2

Recommendation #1

Bluehost

9.9

Recommendation #2

Hostgator

9.8

Recommendation #3

Siteground

9.6

Recommendation #4

GoDaddy

9.3

Recommendation #5

iPage

9.2

Bluehost

Bluehost offers a variety of options for shared hosting. Bluehost offers three different types of hosting services. The three options are shared hosting, VPS (virtual private servers) hosting, and dedicated hosting.

Shared hosting plans are best for some small business, blogs, and other smaller sites. All of Bluehost's shared hosting plans include a domain, marketing credits through Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads, and SSL certificates.

You also have the option to change or upgrade your plan as your business needs change. There are four different shared hosting subscription options. They are Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro. Among other features, the Basic plan includes one website, 5 parked domains, and 50 GB of SSD storage.

As you work your way up to the Pro plan, you'll also receive unlimited websites and unlimited domains, parked domains, and sub domains. The Pro subscriptions also include unlimited SSD storage and two spam experts.

Bluehost

VPS hosting is a more stable option since you are guaranteed to receive the amount of RAM, disk space, and CPU that you signed up for. There are three different subscription packages to choose from for VPS hosting. The standard package includes 30 GB of SSD storage, 2 GB of RAM, two cores, and one IP address.

With the Enhanced package, you'll receive 60 GP of SSD storage, 4 GB of RAM, two cores, and two IP address. The Ultimate package will provide you with 120 GB of SSD storage, 8 GB of RAM, four cores, and two IP addresses.

The last hosting option offered by Bluehost is dedicated hosting. This is a better option for larger companies or those who are looking for better performance and higher security.

There are three different subscription options that offer varying amount of RAM, bandwidths, IP addresses, and Mirrored Storage.

Pros

  • You can choose from shared hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated hosting
  • A variety of subscription levels
  • There are a variety of inexpensive option to choose from

Cons

  • If you plan to purchase one of the higher-level packages, be prepared to spend a good amount of money each month
Hostgator

When you sign up with Hostgator, you'll also receive a free domain for your first year. Hostgator also offers shared hosting VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting plans to help you meet your specific needs.

They offer three different options for their shared hosting plans. All three options include one click installing, unmetered bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate. The Hatchling plan, which is the lowest priced option, includes a single domain.

Hostgator

The Baby plan will provide you with unlimited domains. When you choose to upgrade to the Business plan, you'll also receive free dedicated IP and SEO tools. All three of the plans include unlimited sub domains, unmetered bandwidth, and a 45-day money back guarantee.

If you are looking for VPS hosting, Hostgator has three different subscription plans to choose from. The three plans, Snappy 2000, Snappy 4000, and Snappy 8000, offer increasing amounts of RAM, CPU, Diskspace, and Bandwidth.

For dedicated hosting, there are also three plans to choose from: Value Server, Power Server, and Enterprise Server. These three plans build on each other and offer increasing amounts of RAM, storage, and processors.

Pros

  • Their shared hosting plans are very reasonably priced
  • They offer a 45-day money back guarantee
  • You can choose various packages for shared hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated hosting

Cons

  • Some other companies offer additional features with their shared hosting packages
Siteground

Siteground's hosting services are designed for both business and personal websites. Depending on your needs, you can choose from their three different hosting options. The three options are StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek.

The StartUp subscription provides you with one website, 10 GB of web space, and around 10,000 monthly visits. You'll also receive a free email account, free site builders, and free daily backups.

Siteground

When you upgrade to the GrowBig plan, you'll receive 20 GB of webspace and about 25,000 visits each month. Your subscription will also include free site transfer, WordPress staging, and on-demand backup.

The GoGeek option is the most inclusive plan Siteground offers. This option will give you 30 GB of web space plus about 100,000 visits each month. You'll also receive more server power than the other options offer and advanced priority support.

Siteground offers website building through WordPress of Weebly. They also offer support in transferring existing websites to their platform.

Pros

  • There are three different plans to choose from
  • The basic subscription plan is very inexpensive
  • If you choose to sign up for the GoGeek option, you'll receive around 100,000 visits to your website each month

Cons

  • Siteground's packages do not offer as much storage space as other companies do
GoDaddy

GoDaddy is a well-known hosting company. All their hosting plans include a guaranteed 99.9% uptime for your website. When you sign up with GoDaddy, you'll also have access to customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

GoDaddy offers four different subscription packages for shared hosting. The Economy package provides you with 100 GB of storage for one website and unmetered bandwidth. You'll also receive a free business email for your first year and a free domain when you sign up for an annual plan.

The Deluxe package includes all the features in the economy package plus unlimited storage, unlimited websites, and unlimited subdomains. GoDaddy's Ultimate package adds unlimited databases and 2x processor power & memory to the features of the Deluxe package. You'll also receive free DNS and a free SSL certificate for your first year.

GoDaddy

If you choose to sign up for the Maximum package, you'll also receive twice as much power, memory and maximum site traffic. The Maximum package also includes a free SSL certificate for the duration of your subscription.

All of GoDaddy's subscription plans include access to their user-friendly control panel and one-click setup for domains registered with GoDaddy. You will also get 1GB of databases storage as well as constant security monitoring. With your subscription, you'll also be able to install over 125 free application with just one click.

If you are looking for hosting options for your business, GoDaddy also offers four different plans. The different plans are called Launch, Enhance, Grow, and Expand. These different options offer varying amount of storage space RAM and CPUs.

Pros

  • There are four different package options to choose from
  • All the subscription plans include 1GB of database storage
  • The Deluxe, Ultimate, and Maximum packages all include unlimited websites

Cons

  • Some other companies provide a free SSL subscription with your plan, but with GoDaddy you'll have to pay for it or you may only receive a free one-year subscription
iPage

iPage is another company that provides options for shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting. They offer one shared hosting plan. This plan includes unlimited disk space, unlimited domain names, website builder tools, PayPal integration, and a customizable email address among other features.

iPage has three different VPS hosting packages for you to choose from. Each option includes free domain registration for a year as well as customer support and assistance. The three plan options are called Basic, Business, and Optimum.

iPage

With the basic plan, you'll receive a one-core CPU, 1 GB of RAM, one IP address, and 1 TB of bandwidth. The Business plan increases what is included in the basic plan, so you'll receive a two-core CPU, 4 GB of RAM, two IP addresses, and 3 TB of bandwidth. If you choose to upgrade to the Optimum plan, you'll enjoy a four-core CPU, 8 GB of RAM, 2 IP addresses, and 4 TB of bandwidth.

If you're looking for dedicated hosting, iPage offers three different plans for you to choose from. The plans are named Startup, Professional, and Enterprise. As you upgrade the different plan options, you'll receive increasing amounts of RAM, disk space, IP addresses, and bandwidth.

Pros

  • You can sign up for shared hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated hosting
  • The shared hosting plan option includes unlimited domain names
  • There are three plan options to consider for VPS hosting and dedicated hosting

Cons

  • There is only one shared hosting plan option

Buying Guide

A hosting company can provide you with a platform for your website. They can also help you with managing your website and bring traffic to your site.

Here are a few things you'll want to think about before choosing a hosting company. First, you will need to decide what type of hosting services you are looking for.

Many companies offer shared hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated hosting. Within each type of hosting, there are different packages and options that offer varying amount of storage spaces, bandwidth, and domain options.

You will want to assess your needs to help you determine the best option for you. If you are just operating a blog or a smaller site, you will probably be ok signing up for shared hosting.

For small businesses, choosing a VPS hosting package may be a better choice for you. If your company is larger or handles a lot of secure information, you may want to sign up for dedicated hosting.

As you compare the different hosting companies and decide on which package is best for you, be sure to think about your business or personal needs.

Top Pick

Our favorite hosting company is Bluehost. Bluehost allows you to choose from a wide array of packages for shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting. This will allow you to create a customized package to meet your specific needs.

Bluehost

All of their packages can be easily upgraded if your needs change in the middle of your subscription. This will allow you to add on additional services as you need them, instead of waiting until the end of your current subscription.

For each type of hosting service they offer, Bluehost's plans are comprehensive and will provide you with what you need to get your website up and running and ready to be viewed by potential customers or fans.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Hosting Company?

A hosting company is a business that offers users what they'll need to operate a website. They provide the various services that are necessary to make a webpage accessible for others to view on the internet.

What Is the Difference Between a Domain and a Host?

A host is the company that is allowing you to set up and run your website. The domain is the web address for your website.

Should You Host Your Own Website?

Generally, the answer to this is no. To host a website, you will need a more advanced network and redundant connections. This is not possible with the internet you are able to receive in your home.

Do You Have to Pay a Hosting Company?

Yes, you will need to pay your hosting company each month. The cost will vary for different companies and based on your website's size and usage.

A Complete Guide To Web Hosting

Although website hosting has become a sort of commodity in the online space, it isn't a simple matter. If you are planning a web presence online, either for personal or business use, hosting is an unavoidable necessity. You will, therefore, find yourself asking the question: "How do I select the best website hosting?"

Contrary to hosting being a service with seemingly limitless options to choose from, doing your due diligence is important. The service you choose will impact everything from the speed and security of your website, to its stability and performance. Furthermore, choosing a hosting service isn't something you want to take lightly.

Because of the setup and costs involved website hosting, finding out that another service would've been better is an inconvenience. Having to cancel the service and migrate your website to a new provider can be a serious hassle.

Luckily, website hosting doesn't have to be an obstacle to creating a website. We'll go through all the terms and concepts you need to be familiar with. By the end of this guide, you will be able to choose the best type of hosting for your site and configure it properly.

What is Website Hosting?


Website hosting is the service that allows you to present your content online, thus making it accessible to users on the World Wide Web. This presentation comes in the form of a website where you can display text, images, sound and video. There are different types of hosting which we will get into

All you need to know now is that hosting is a computer or set of computers that store and serve data. These computers are specially configured machines called servers. Depending on the provider, we could be talking about a small business with a handful of clients or a corporation housing over 20% of websites, like GoDaddy.

Servers are not much different from your home computer. They run an operating system, store files and connect to the internet. The difference with your personal computer is that servers are open to the public. The act of visiting a website is simply a connection to a server where your browser downloads the site's files via a browser.

To better understand hosting as a service, think of it as a company renting you space on their servers. You place your files on the server and the hosting company assumes the role of content gatekeeper.

Web Hosting and Domains


Now that you understand what hosting is, it's important to differentiate between hosting and domains. Knowing how your hosting interacts with your domain name is key to making decisions that can impact your website's functionality.

When signing up for website hosting and being allocated space on a server, you are given an I.P. address. This address is useful for people wanting to access your webspace. For example, one of the I.P. addresses of a server that hosts Facebook is 69.63.184.142.

This can be ascertained by running a WHOIS IP lookup using tools you can find for free online. However, because I.P. addresses aren't the easiest thing to remember, domain names are used instead. Imagine having to state your I.P. address to people asking you about your website.

Domain names are easy to remember substitutes that point to your hosting I.P. address. If you type in the domain of your website, behind the scenes you are being redirected to the I.P. Address. It's a lot easier to say mywebsite.com that having them type in a whole bunch of numbers separated by periods.

9 Things to Ask Yourself When Getting Started


Depending on your needs, you'll need to select the appropriate website hosting. The following questions will help you narrow down your options and arrive at the nest option.

1. What is Your Budget for Website Hosting?


The first potentially limiting factor that will decide which website hosting service you choose is your budget. If you are operating on a limited budget, you may have to forego some extras. We will discuss pricing tiers later on.

For now, you only need to come up with an amount you are comfortable paying. Many hosting companies offer better pricing for booking multi-year packages. If you're running on a tight budget, you can select a cheaper option and upgrade down the road when your website starts bringing in sales.

2. What Type of Website You Will You Be Creating?


Besides price, the type of website you're creating will dictate most of how you choose your website hosting. You can choose between a static site or a dynamic one. Whether you use HTML or a content management system like WordPress, Magento or Ghost, each type comes with a different set of requirements.

3. What Are the Technical Requirements of the Website?


When you decide on the type of website you'll be creating, you need to come up with the relevant list of requirements. We'll be analyzing the requirements associated with the most common types of websites further on.

4. What is the Necessary Level of Security?


It's not enough to just put your content out on the internet for people to see. There needs to be a level of security that will prevent dubious parties from harming your website. Cybersecurity is a growing concern for website owners and you will need to provide accordingly.

A blog should be fine with SSL encryption and strong password protection. E-commerce websites, on the other hand, may require credit card processing and handling customer information. This will require a greater degree of security to guarantee transactions.

5. Will You Be Needing E-Mail Hosting?


Having an e-mail address that is tied to your domain rather than a free provider like Gmail is a matter of professionalism. Even if you are creating a personal website or blog, it is preferable to have an e-mail like [email protected]

Also, most website hosting services give you one e-mail address per domain. You may need to pay extra for further addresses. So, on top of [email protected], you may need a [email protected] and a [email protected]

You should also check to see that the e-mail hosting is adequate for your needs in terms of storage space. If your e-mail activity is low or average, this should not be an issue. Those that will require a lot of e-mail use and would rather keep it with their web hosting provider rather than using a separate provider.

6. Will You Be Creating One Website or Many?


If you will be creating one website, you can purchase an appropriate hosting account for it. In the case that you need to create multiple websites, your thought process will be more involved.

Multiple websites can either be on different subdomains of the same domain or on different domains altogether. In the first case, you may be creating a portal with different subsections that need to be distinct from one another.

So, as an example of different subdomains, a news portal might have subdomains such as news.yourdomain.com, sports.yourdomain.com and weather.yourdomain.com. On the other hand, multiple websites may be completely separate.

This is more geared towards freelancers and consultants that create websites for others. So, you may have clientwebsite1.com, clientwebsite2.com and clientwebsite3.com. This may also be the use-case for you if you want to run multiple websites as a marketer.

Digital marketers multiple websites that they use to promote products and services. A website hosting package that allows you to have many websites under the same roof will be very useful for this.

7. How Much Data Will You Be Storing?

The last thing you want to do is pay for website hosting only to realize that the allocated size isn't enough. Keep in mind that there are two factors to consider with regard to data. These factors are the size of your data and the capacity to serve traffic.

To be exact, the amount of storage depends on the size of the hard drive that is allocated to you for files. Bandwidth, on the other hand, pertains to the amount of data that your website transfers in a given period of time.

A website that is mostly composed of text will require a small amount of storage and bandwidth. Websites with high definition images need both more space for your files and bandwidth to share them with users.

Consider bandwidth as a sort of life bar in a video game. One the bandwidth is exhausted, the spigot is cut off from the server and files cannot be transferred to your audience. In effect, your website is incapacitated as it isn't visible to users.

Selecting website hosting with enough bandwidth to serve your audience is important for maintaining seamless operation. There isn't a bigger turnoff for visitors that look forward to your website's content only to be met with an error message.

8. How Much Will Your Traffic Grow?


We talked about storage capacity and bandwidth when you're getting started, What will happen in the future, though? Your goal is to make your website grow its audience. This means that your initial volume requirements will grow and your website hosting should be able to adapt.

The best approach is to start with a plan that accommodates your initial needs yet is flexible enough to grow once your expectations are exceeded. Make sure your hosting provider offers hassle-free upgrades for traffic volume and be sure to have a clear understanding of the pricing plans. You don't want to celebrate a 30% growth in traffic only to find that your hosting bill doubled because of a data volume upgrade.

9. How Much Technical Knowledge Do You Already Have?


Different types of websites will need different levels of technical expertise. Fortunately, you can build most types of websites without going through a steep learning curve. With the help of various content management systems and other software, you don't need to be a developer.

If you are shooting for a demanding website yet are lacking in some technical areas, there are always viable options. You can look for fully managed services where a company will do everything on your behalf. We'll talk more about this option below.

Types of Websites and Their Technical Requirements


Since we just mentioned technical requirements, let's look at what you need to know for each type of website Knowing what technical requirements to fulfill hinges on the type of website you will be creating. The first and foremost thing to check is whether the hosting service supports the type of website you want to build.

What Languages and Frameworks Does Your Website Need Support For?


By languages, we're not talking about the language of your content but rather programming languages. Most, if not all, of the hosting providers, have support for languages like HTML, JanaScript and CSS by default. Other languages and frameworks, though, need special support as they are handled on the server.

Some examples of languages or frameworks that your website may need include PHP, Ruby on Rails or Node.js. This information will stem from the research you do after you decide what type of website you'll be building. Make a list of required languages and frameworks necessary for your site and compare it against what hosting providers offer.

Will Your Website Need a Database?


For dynamic websites like blogs, e-commerce stores, forums or content portals, the answer is yes. Only in the case that you are creating a simple, static website can you overlook the issue of databases.

If you will indeed be needing a database for your website, you need to confirm that the hosting provider offers the type of database that fits your dynamic site. To determine this, just check your content management system for the database type and version required. Website hosting companies usually state the types of databases they support in their product descriptions.

Using Static HTML


The good thing about setting up a static website with HTML is that the technical requirements are simple. Any website hosting provider you choose is bound to what is necessary without the need for further support.

The only case where you need to provide for some extra functionality when creating a static website is if you will be including a contact form. Some e-mail scripts that transfer data from a contact form require CGI. For this, just check to make sure your hosting provider offers CGI.

Alternatively, you can avoid CGI if you don't want to go through the hassle. There are service providers that offer embeddable forms. This way, you can leave it up to this separate provider to handle your e-mail processing through their own server.

Beyond the inclusion of a contact form, creating a static HTML website is easy on virtually any hosting provider. Now, let's move on to dynamic websites where you'll have to do a little more research into hosts' technical capabilities.

What is a Dynamic Website?


A dynamic website is made up of pages that are generated in real-time. This includes web scripting code that works behind the scenes to serve the content that the user sees.

When users click on a link to open a page, the code within the dynamic website interacts with the webserver. This results in HTML that is sent to the user's browser to be viewed. The process of creating the website and serving the content to users is facilitated by a content management system.

What is a Content Management System?


Content management systems are software applications that allow you to create and edit digital content. Rather than having to learn programming languages and spend countless hours formatting your website, a content management system does all that in a graphical user interface environment. So, if you can use Microsoft Office or a web browser, you can create a dynamic website with little effort.

Technical Requirements if Using WordPress


WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems in the world. Its simplicity and functionality have attracted millions of website creators worldwide. With over 100 million websites created using the platform, it is likely to become your platform of choice.

When creating a WordPress website, there are two types of requirements you need to check for. The first has to do with those of WordPress itself. This includes the most recent versions of the protocols and databases that the content management system uses.

Specifically, you will have to check what versions of PHP and MySQL WordPress is currently using. Browse the website of the web hosting provider you are thinking of using to see if they support the most recent iterations of these.

Although most providers cater to these basic needs, it's better to be safe than sorry. Rarely, providers may support outdated versions of PHP or MySQL, rendering your web creation efforts useless. A few seconds looking through the host's site will avoid this.

The second type of requirements you have to look for have to do with the themes or plugins you need in creating your website. In WordPress, themes are predetermined designs that give your website its structure while plugins are software add-ons that offer additional functionality.

Themes are plugins are best understood in the context of building a new home. A theme is the style of architecture you choose for your house while an example of a plugin would be a garage door opener. The first determines the appearance of the structure while the second provides a specific operation.

WordPress Plugin and Theme Requirements


The tricky part about themes and plugins is that they may have requirements beyond those necessary for WordPress. This means that you'll have to do a little extra research and possibly ask your host to add these to your hosting package, if possible.

Such additional technical requirements can include functionality that involves fetching information from external sources. Another type of task that may require additional functionality is the ability to run tasks automatically. Some of these requirements may be things like ImageMagick, cURL, Ioncube Loader or Cron jobs.

Don't let these names deter you. Simply take a look at your theme or plugin requirements and check for any of these terms. If you find that the previous functionalities or any other are required, don't hesitate to ask the hosting provider. Hosting services are keen to answer any question you may have so you can make an informed decision.

Using a Different CMS


Although WordPress is likely to meet most peoples' needs, there are other platforms that may be a better fit for you. Drupal and Joomla are two popular choices that are just as capable of providing the foundation of a dynamic website.

To find a list of technical requirements for each platform, just check the download page. You can also find these technical requirements on the installation documentation included in the software.

E-Commerce Website Systems


You can create an e-commerce website using WordPress but many users choose to an e-commerce-specific system. Platforms tailored to the creation of e-commerce websites need less customization to achieve their sales functionality.

E-commerce systems are divided into two types choose from. The first consists of plugins that can be added to existing platforms for e-commerce functionality. The second is stand-alone e-commerce solutions.

The first type of e-commerce solution needs very little introduction since we discussed plugins earlier. Applying a plugin-based e-commerce solution is as simple as downloading an addon onto your WordPress installation or other content management system.

As with any plugin, you need to check with the prospective hosting provider as to whether they support all technical requirements. Beyond that, you will only need to customize the plugin through its settings.

In the case that you choose a stand-alone e-commerce solution, the options include platforms like Shopify, Opencart, Magento, ZenCart and Pretashop.

When choosing between one of these systems, visit their respective websites to determine what their specific technical requirements are. At the very least, these systems may require PHP and a MySQL database.

Using Ghost for Blogging


Those looking to get into blogging and are in search of an alternative to WordPress can look into Ghost. It is a platform that uses the JavaScript-based Node.js. Many website hosting providers do not offer Node.js support.

However, this shouldn't deter you from choosing Ghost if you truly believe it is the blogging platform for you. The option of hosting your blog with Ghost's managed Ghost(Pro) service exists and you also have the ability to self-host on a service such as Digital Ocean.

8 Specifications for Website Hosting


Beyond the technical requirements discussed above, there are a few general specifications that will influence your choice of host. We touched on a few earlier but will go into more detail so as to make your selection optimal for your specific project.

1. Security


Breaches in security are always a concern for website owners but in recent years seem to be increasing. Hackers and spammers are constantly on the lookout for websites they can breach and defraud. This requires you to put in place adequate measures to combat such dubious entities.

For those using a content management system, this may be as simple as installing a security plugin. However, in terms of security, you should strive to cover all bases so that you have complete peace of mind.

Check the website hosting provider's documentation for any security measures they offer. Companies that value the safety of their clientele's websites offer assurances like malware detection and firewalls. Does the host scan their servers regularly in search of unusual activity?

A little competitive research will go a long way. Not all hosts are created equal and each company chooses a different mix of security measures. Keep looking until you find the provider that makes you feel the safest.

2. SSL Certificates


In recent years, having an SSL certificate has become an important sign that webmasters take their site's security seriously. If you take a look at the address bar while visiting any website, you'll see a small lock to the left of the address. This lock, whether shown open or closed, represents the presence or absence of an SSL certificate on that website.

An SSL certificate is a technology that ensures an encrypted link between your site's server and the user's browser. In effect, it keeps third parties from interfering with peoples'interaction with your website.

Installing an SSL certificate used to be more complicated than it is today. If you are using WordPress, installing an SSL certificate can be as simple as installing a plugin. You just have to make sure that the hosting provider you are using supports SSL.

3. IP Deny


IP Deny is a function that certain hosting provers offer to you. In effect, this feature gives you the ability to block traffic from specific IP addresses to your website. Effective use of IP Deny requires you to identify IP addresses used by potential hackers and adding them to your blocked list.

4. Backup Implementation


Backing up your website regularly should be a top priority. Although you may never experience any loss of data or security breach, it is better to be safe than sorry. A hacking attempt or a system glitch on the part of your hosting provider can be enough to drive a sane person mad.

Rather than having to recreate your website from scratch, having a backup of your these and content will make getting back online simple. Some hosts do regular backups so that even if your personal backup plan fails, you have a fail-safe to fall back on.

Check the host's website for information on backup frequency. You don't need to settle with a monthly backup from your host. Some providers offer backups every 24 hours so that you can rest assured that your data will not be lost.

Those that use content management systems like WordPress have the option of installing a backup plugin on their website. Both manual and regularly scheduled automatic backups are possible, making your website's content safe from loss. Additionally, these plugins store your data in a format that is easy to restore if you experience any technical problem with your website.

5. Storage and Bandwidth Allocation


Determining how much data you will need to store and the volume of data transferred is a main factor in choosing a host. We talked about how your choice of hosting provider is a product of storage and bandwidth but now will go into how to estimate your needs.

When you have made sure that the amount of space offered covers your content creation needs, you'll have to verify that you do not run out of bandwidth. Calculating your bandwidth is as simple as multiplying the volume of your site data times your traffic.

For example, let's assume your website has an image gallery with 10 images, each sized at 300KB. This makes the total amount of storage necessary 3MB. Let's also assume that the gallery is viewed by 10 people. This means that 300MB of bandwidth is used in order for these users to download the images.

If we then assume that the website is viewed by 100 people instead, the bandwidth requirement grows to 3GB. Although most websites start off with small bandwidth requirements, you want to take the future of your site into consideration.

6. Projecting Forward


Those that look ahead will have an easier time adjusting once their websites start to grow. You don't want to leave the possibility of upgrading for later.

the best way to ascertain the flexibility of your hosting provider in offering you storage and bandwidth upgrades is to ask. Most hosting companies provide online chat or phone support. Call and ask a representative about the possibility of upgrading your hosting plan once certain traffic milestones are surpassed.

Also, make sure the upgrade process is easy for you. Is it something they handle or do you need to follow a complicated process?

Running out of bandwidth results in downtime. If you're just starting a personal blog, this may not be of any significant consequence. However, if you've set up a business website, downtime can translate to a loss of sales and customer discontent.

Most hosting providers have automatic messaging for bandwidth limits. As you approach your monthly bandwidth limit, an e-mail will be sent to your main account. This allows you to keep abreast of what's going on and adjust accordingly.

7. Domains Allowed


Most basic hosting packages will allow only one domain name to be hosted on the plan. This is perfectly fine for those wanting to focus on a single website. Freelancers and others interested in creating multiple websites will have to make sure they purchase a plan that allows for multiple domains.

The number of domains that are allowed on your plan will depend on your projected future needs. Some plans may include two or three domains while others may include more. These packages are priced accordingly and should factor into your final decision.

8. Database Types


The final factor to consider when purchasing a hosting plan is the type and number of databases offered per plan. It only makes sense that if you're creating multiple dynamic websites that you'll be needing multiple websites as well.

Although in the vast majority of cases you'll be using a MySQL database, this isn't the only choice. SQLite and PostgreSQL are two other options available. Be sure to check the hosting provider's website for availability and version of the database you need.

Choosing Between Shared, Reseller, Dedicated and Managed Hosting


By now you should know what to look for with regards to your website's needs and the technical specifications associated with them. The final consideration in choosing your hosting provider has to do with

What is Shared Hosting?


Shared hosting is a plan where you are allocated space on servers where other customers also house their websites. It is kind of living in an apartment building with numerous tenants. The overall maintenance of the hosting environment is done by the company while each account owner is responsible for uploading their data.

Shared hosting plans are the cheapest options in hosting. Their shared nature allows companies to run on lower expenses, thus passing the difference on to the customer. Shared hosting accounts are also very intuitive for beginners and do not need a lot of hands-on time.

The same advantages that shared hosting provides results in a few disadvantages. Due to the nature of shared hosting, servers can become overcrowded, causing a drop in performance. Another disadvantage is that they offer limited storage and bandwidth.

Shared hosting is ideal for beginners or small startup ventures. If your demands do not require high-performance levels, a shared hosting account is highly recommended.

What is Dedicated Hosting and Who is it For?


As the name implies, dedicated hosting is a server that is entirely for you. You do not have to share resources with others and you have total control of all aspects of your hosting, starting with the operating system.

The main advantage of dedicated hosting is that since you aren't sharing the server, your performance does not suffer. Dedicated hosting plans also come with plenty of storage space and bandwidth. It is a highly customizable type of website hosting where you have ultimate control.

This last point is simultaneously a potential disadvantage for those less technically-minded. Having to manage the hosting yourself means that you will need to have advanced technical knowledge. A further disadvantage is the pricing which is understandably in the highest tier regarding hosting.

Dedicated hosting is for those that have higher expectations of their website's performance. People that already possess the technical knowledge and are creating an ambitious online project are the best candidates.

About VPS Hosting


Virtual Private Server, or VPS, is an intermediate option between the two previous types of hosting. A single server is sectioned off into virtual servers where each implementation has its own instance of the operating system. In simple terms, it is like shared hosting but with fewer customers and with a more distinct barrier between each one.

VPS is a slightly cheaper option than dedicated hosting and has very similar performance metrics. There's plenty of storage space and bandwidth to go around while also possessing a good degree of customization.

On the flip side, due to the fact that there may need to be some management on your part, technical proficiency on certain topics will be necessary.

When thinking about whether you're a good candidate for VPS, consider whether an intermediate solution is best for your needs. If you're not a complete novice but also need improved performance and storage, consider signing up for a VPS plan.

What is Reseller Hosting?


In the example of the apartment building, consider the possibility of renting half of a large high rise. You could then go ahead and sub-rent the individual tenants for a markup and take in the profit.

This is exactly what you are doing with reseller hosting. It is structured like shared hosting but with the added benefit of being able to manage individual units. You can create multiple websites and keep them under the umbrella of a shared hosting package.

Reseller hosting comes with an easy to use interface that allows you to manage the various accounts in your plan. In terms of cost, it is closer to shared hosting than any of the other types and allows you a great degree of control.

In the category of potential disadvantages, consider that you may experience lagging performance compared to the more advanced types mentioned above. The admin panel is relatively intuitive but may prove a hassle for some.

What is Managed Hosting and Who is it For?


Managed hosting is a convenient option for those that want to do the bare minimum in taking care of their hosting. The various tasks that come with the other types of hosting include installing a content management system, updating software, providing security against attacks, creating backups, arranging for credit card processing and a whole lot more.

Managed hosting providers focus on a certain type of website and provide all the necessary upkeep and support. This type of hosting offers very good performance when compared to the shared and reseller options.

As you can imagine, managed hosting is more expensive than shared or reseller hosting and often allow fewer accounts per plan.

Managed hosting is the best option for those that do not want to learn any technical skills or spend time on maintenance. The fact that managed hosting takes care of credit card processing in a secure manner is a great benefit for e-commerce site owners.

Customer Service and Technical Support


Last, but certainly not least, is the matter of customer service and technical support. Some website hosting providers offer more in this area than others. If you will be needing guidance and assistance, it's best that you do extensive research. Comparing your options on the basis of customer service and technical support can mean the difference between a stress-free website and an anxious disaster.

When signing up for website hosting, it's essential to accept that not even the best provider can guarantee a problem-free experience. Technical issues can occur and even communication and billing differences can result.

Doing your due diligence means finding which web hosting company has prompt customer service. You don't want to be waiting for days or weeks to resolve a technical issue.

Furthermore, check to see that they have an online chat option. Try starting a chat session and ask the representative for some help. It is totally acceptable to contact support before you make a purchase and ask any questions you may have.

Note the waiting time on the chat or the phone call if you choose to dial in instead. Do they offer 24/7 availability for customer support or is it only during business hours? The best hosting companies offer continuous support throughout the year, any time of day.

Finally, spend some time searching for reviews online. Is there a common trend of complaints about a specific provider? What kinds of things do people mention in their reviews? The experiences of others should be your guide in judging the level of customer support a host provides.

Start Your Search for Website Hosting Today


Now that you know the types of web hosting packages and how to identify your needs, start your search for the best plan today. Make a list of your specifications and run a comparison with the different companies in the space. You should be able to come up with the best option for your website's needs.

Final Verdict

Now, take some time to determine exactly what you are looking for from your hosting company. Then, choose your favorite company and get signed up so you can get your website up and running right away.

REFERENCE & RESOURCES


The Official Top 5 Review team is dedicated to testing and researching the top products available for many different industries. We do the research and testing so that you don't have to! We welcome you to provide your feedback on your experiences with any products that you have experience with.

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