This is unfortunate because, these days, owning a website is becoming a crucial part of running a successful business, and more and more folks are establishing a web presence for their personal brand as well. You can use hosting to sell online, store and share your portfolio, or even publish your freelance writing samples and resumé. Yet, even the basics — What is web hosting? — can be lost on the average web user.
For renewals, the only way to keep prices low is to do ‘web host hoping’ (meaning, keep switching host every time when the contract expires). And, for budget hosts that provide ‘Anytime Money Back Guarantee’, I would recommend to sign up for a longer subscription period as it allows you to enjoy the low price a little longer (and take back money if you do not like your host any more).
If you're not sure of the type of hosting your business needs, you might want to start small, with shared Web hosting. You can always graduate to a more robust, feature-rich package of, say, VPS hosting or even dedicated hosting in the future. Unfortunately, some hosts don't offer all hosting types. Consider how much you expect to grow your website, and how soon, before you commit to anything longer than a one-year plan. It's worth spending the time up front to make sure that the host you select with is able to provide the growth you envision for your site, as switching web hosting providers midstream is not a trivial undertaking.
We required all of our web hosts to offer at least three types of hosting: shared, dedicated, and VPS or cloud hosting. Shared is most likely your first step if you’re just starting to build your website. Dedicated and cloud hosting are upper service tiers that can help your website flourish as it grows, and an upgrade option will save you the future trouble of migrating to another company as you expand.
You can host your web site or photo gallery with Linode, but unlike other traditional hosting companies that offer shared hosting solutions, Linode offers Virtual Private Server hosting (VPS) where you spin up a virtual server with the memory, disk space, and file transfer that you need for whatever application you’re building or web site you’re hosting. Some users even use their Linode servers as remote desktop replacements, others use it as private, cloud-based application servers, and others use them to host their webapps, developed applications, and blogs. You get full SSH and root access on your servers, guaranteed resources, and your choice of linux distro on the servers you purchase. Prices vary depending on the type of server you’re looking for and the resources you want it to have, but start at $19.95/mo. You can check out all Linode’s offerings here.
Their 24/7 support obviously specializes in WordPress, enabling them to fix any issue without a hitch. On top of that, they also take care of any WordPress core updates so you don’t have to worry about it. And when it’s a major update, they actually test the site first before updating to be sure nothing breaks, top notch service. They also have live real-time threat detection, actively block DDOS attacks, and they’ll even fix your site for free if it does get hacked…
GreenGeeks is one of the companies you just know is doing everything right, they’ve seen a massive growth since they went live in 2008. The reasons for their success is pretty clear once you start working with them, it’s a combination of global reach (multiple data centres around the world), awesome performance, great and pretty speedy support, and last but not least, they’re putting their energy consumption back 3 times into the grid through wind energy, which is quite amazing!
You can also host your website on WordPress.com, but that's different from the kind of hosting mentioned above. WordPress.com uses the same code from WordPress.org, but it hides the server code and handles the hosting for you. In that sense, it resembles entries in our online site builder roundup. It's a simpler but less flexible and customizable way to approach WordPress hosting. It's definitely easier, but if you want to tinker and adjust and optimize every aspect of your site, it might not be for you.