In addition to drag-and-drop platforms and 3rd-party integrations, web hosting companies also provide domain name registration and support. You can purchase and own a domain name through a hosting company without paying for hosting services as well, in some cases. All the companies we reviewed offered a wide variety of domain names. This includes ".com," ".org" and industry-specific domains like ".biz." This added service is another instance where web hosting companies are looking to go beyond standard web hosting services.
It's important to understand that at some point, the company is going to raise your prices. Ask the sales team when this will occur – it could be after the first month, year or the next time you try and renew your contract. If you're happy with your services, it may be worth it to pay the higher rates. If you're not satisfied, however, it's a good idea to have an exit plan as well.
Have room to spare. The digital space can be quite unpredictable, which means you need to prepare for the worst case scenario, but without going overboard. For example, you should have enough leeway for your bandwidth, with layout changes and traffic spikes possibly affecting your website performance. And you definitely don’t want this to happen, with research teams discovering that a single second delay in page response inadvertently causes a 7% decrease in eCommerce conversions. Moreover, this is another reason why uptime is important, as you will surely lose out on potential leads or website visitors from short downtimes. Not only does website downtimes impact your overall traffic and cost you some lost sales, it can also leave a bad impression on your search engine rankings.
The company's entry-point pricing is extremely low, and while this will buy you up to three years of very low-cost hosting, do be aware that its post-promotion price will increase substantially, putting its subsequent year pricing more in line with the rest of its competitors. That said, we liked its 24-7 phone support, SSD support on some plans, and 30-day money-back guarantee.
GlowHost had the best customer service of any web hosting company we tested, endearing itself by responding to our emailed list of questions with detailed and thoughtful answers within an hour. As we sent more questions its way, by email and phone, GlowHost continued to impress with friendly and courteous conversation (although we’re pretty sure its live chat relies on a bot).
When you buy web hosting at the lower introductory price, you will have that hosting at that price for that purchase term. For example, if you buy one year of hosting at $5 a month, it will cost about $60 for that year. After that year is up, your hosting will renew at the normal price. This means that the more years you buy up front, the more you save. If you know that you’ll have your website up long term, we always suggest buying the most hosting you can get. This way you can get the most bang for your buck when it comes to cheap web hosting.
HostGator has great shared plans ready for every individual, as well as exclusive WordPress packages. By being one of the leading hosting companies in the world, HostGator gives you a lot for your buck. Picking the cheapest option, their Basic shared plan is a flexible web hosting solution for a personal website. Like with every other plan, you get a free website builder, zero-cost page transfer and $200 marketing budget. You can use the latter with Google and Bing for a quick boost.
That's both good and bad. It means you can utilize an attractive design that works just as well on a smartphone as it does a desktop, but you're limited in terms of scope and what else you can do with that webspace. It's also a little more expensive initially than a shared hosting package, at about $12 per month for a personal site or $18 for a business package, which adds e-commerce features.
GreenGeeks doesn’t let its planet-friendly slant get in the way of its services. This host ticks every box in our evaluation checklist. In addition to boasting an independently verified 99.98 percent server uptime, GreenGeeks sites are hosted on high-speed solid-state drives, have access to multiple one-click install interfaces via the standard cPanel backend, and enjoy free nightly backups. Free hosting plans start at $3.95 per month, and come with unlimited bandwidth and storage.
FatCow's actions have not only inspired Moo Crew members who have made simple changes in their daily routines to contribute to the effort, but also our customers who proudly display their Green Server badges on their websites. Every FatCow customer is given a badge that they can place on their website to let visitors know that they're surfing a website backed by eco-friendly web hosting services. To learn more about FatCow's eco-friendly, visit our Green Hosting page.
A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms (e.g. ASP.NET, ColdFusion, Java EE, Perl/Plack, PHP or Ruby on Rails). These facilities allow customers to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. Also, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is typically used for websites that wish to keep the data transmitted more secure.
SiteGround developed several in-house innovations that put them ahead in this market, including a unique technology to actively monitor their servers, preventing downtime in real time, and custom software for live chat and support ticketing. These examples of going the extra mile for the user have resulted in 99.996% uptime annually and exceptional customer support around the clock. Read our review for more on why SiteGround is a stellar choice for small business hosting.
There are two other factors that led to the nearly perfect score earned by Dreamhost. First, the company's pricing is pretty transparent. There are no hidden gotchas in the rates. Plus -- and this is the best we've seen across all our hosting providers -- Dreamhost provides a 97-day money back guarantee. There's quite literally zero risk in giving them a try.
Having multiple servers hosting the same content for better resource utilization. Clustered servers are a perfect solution for high-availability dedicated hosting, or creating a scalable web hosting solution. A cluster may separate web serving from database hosting capability. (Usually web hosts use clustered hosting for their shared hosting plans, as there are multiple benefits to the mass managing of clients).
One thing we learned in reviewing the services listed here (and many more) is that even though the packages are very similar, they are not identical. Some are more security-focused than others, offering anti-spam and anti-malware tools. Others offer a variety of email marketing tools. While most of the hosts we've reviewed have built-in e-commerce, you may want to consider using a more-robust third-party online shopping cart application like Shopify instead.