Cloud hosting is relatively new and has the potential to be the best option for everyone because, in theory, your website will never go offline. It’s not tied to anyone particular server, so if one fails, your site will bop over to one on a different cloud. And you pay for only the server space you use: you’ll pay less when you have slower traffic and more when you have a traffic spike. The downside is that it’s new enough technology that security is a concern — no one is quite sure how safe information in a cloud can be.
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The user gets his or her own Web server and gains full control over it (user has root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, the user typically does not own the server. One type of dedicated hosting is self-managed or unmanaged. This is usually the least expensive for dedicated plans. The user has full administrative access to the server, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of his own dedicated server.
Web hosts not only host your website, they give you tools to access, create, update, and maintain it. Most of our finalists use versions of a software called cPanel to do this — it’s one of the most common and universal interfaces for web hosting. If you ever want to change between web hosts, it’s good to have a common interface between your old and new hosts, since this can make the transition easier.
To choose the best web hosting service for your website needs you need to consider many options like, how much do you want to spend? How much space do I need? Do I need a domain? There are some top quality web hosts around who have been in the industry many years, so they can offer you a higher level of service than some web hosts who can charge nearly 3 times as much. So with web hosting you don’t always get what you pay for. Try to stick with reputable companies, who you know will have the best uptime and reliability for you website. They usually can afford to offer you better deals also as they have economies of scale from hosting many hundreds of thousands of websites. Sites like eHost.com, iPage.com, BlueHost.com are first class website hosts who you should definitely consider.
For beginners, FastComet offers two website builder tools to help you get up and running. A simple site publisher with nine templates — choose the one you like, fill it out, and you instantly have a one-page website displaying basic information. Plus, a more involved website-building tool includes 300 templates featuring drag-and-drop design. If you don’t know anything about HTML or CSS, this tool makes it easy to build a professional website without hiring a web developer.
The standard plan, Nitro, starts at $5.99/month. That opens up the ability to set up an unlimited number of websites. You also get access to an unlimited number of databases. The ad credits increase, to $175. You also get unlimited parked and sub-domains. This plan also gives you the ability to choose which data center you want to host your site(s).
SiteGround is said to be one of the fastest low-cost web host services out there. No matter which plan you choose, you have access to stable server hardware that is SSD based, which basically means that all your input and output operations should run smoother than some of the competition. On top of that, the company offers a free JetPack plug-in from the developers behind Wordpress. The JetPack plug-in can help the images on your webpage load faster for your viewers.
Uptime measures a company’s track record for keeping websites online all of the time. In a perfect world, your website would be available to readers 100 percent of the time. But companies typically only guarantee 99.9 percent uptime, since occasional technical difficulties are inevitable. We used a third-party monitoring service to verify uptime claims and spot top performers: companies that kept their websites up at least 99.95 percent of the time. Less than 1% of difference in uptime may seem trivial, but each .01% of downtime equals 52 minutes of a broken website in real time.
Another thing to consider is bandwidth and storage constraints. If you're launching a business site and expecting it to grow quickly, you want a package that offers a substantial amount of bandwidth. Oftentimes, storage isn't as big a concern though, unless you're uploading many high resolution images to advertise your products. Don't get enticed by a service that offers more than you could ever possibly need. It might be false economy.
Hostinger is used by millions of customers worldwide, with the provider touting local services in 39 countries. Users can benefit from steady website operations with Hostinger guaranteeing a 99.99% uptime, offering 5% credit on your monthly fees should they fail to meet this standard. It has 24/7 customer support accessible through a dedicated live chat support. With Hostinger, you don’t have to take the plunge from the get-go, as they offers a 30-day risk-free trial.
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.
According to GreenGeeks, each web hosting company is responsible for up to 1,390 pounds of CO2 every year, just for consuming the power it needs to run its servers. With tens of millions of servers worldwide and counting, web hosting’s carbon footprint will only grow. GreenGeek is a 300 percent green company, meaning it buys three times as much green energy as it uses and pumps that clean, wind-farm energy back into the local electrical grid. It’s also a recognized EPA Green Power Partner. How many web hosts can say they’re doing something nice for the planet?
Aptly named the “Best Host to Grow With,” HostGator is one of the most well-known and well-respected web hosts in the industry. Their plans include user-friendly Weebly site builder, no contract commitment, and unlimited storage, emails, and site traffic. Start with shared hosting and grow your business to dedicated-server scale, and the HostGator team will be there to help you grow every step of the way.
Many web hosts do include a website builder of some kind — whether a simple “fill out this form” tool that publishes a single page, or a more in-depth program with dozens of templates and customizations — but it’s not the focus of their business. An actual website builder, like SquareSpace or Weebly, will have the most robust set of tools to help you customize your website.
InMotion is the only one of our picks without any international servers: this means if you know your site will be getting traffic from around the world, it might be a better idea to go with another provider. InMotion’s servers are based in Los Angeles, CA and Ashburn, VA, so if your intended audience is based in the US, these two servers on each coast should cover your bases.
Once you decide you price range, you need to consider how long you'll need web hosting. If it's a short-term project—say, less than a month or two—you can typically receive a refund should you cancel your hosting within 60 days. Some companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees, others offer 90-day money-back guarantees. Once again, it's beneficial to do your homework.