Every business needs some form of online presence today. Whether you're running a small restaurant or a full-blown e-commerce store, one of the only ways for your customers to find you is through the internet. Conceptualizing, drafting and creating a great business website is oftentimes only half the battle. You also need to pair with a hosting company that can support the storage, volume and security you require.
VPS hosting is one step up. It uses a single server, but makes virtual copies of it — even though lots websites live on the same server (just like with shared hosting) each one gets its own personal copy. You get your own IP address, root access to your individual space, increased security, and stabilized site performance. VPS hosts are still designed to handle low-to-moderate traffic levels, but if you don’t want your site’s performance to be impacted by anyone else’s, it’s worth it.
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.
WordPress Hosting: Launched in 2003 as a blogging platform, WordPress has become a powerful content management system that powers around 26% of websites today. Consider a managed WordPress hosting package optimized for WordPress. If you want to spend less of your time managing the security and performance your WordPress website, and more time building your WordPress-powered website, then this might be the type of web hosting for you.
Unfortunately, this is the industry norm. Many of these companies lose money during the first two or three years they have a customer, so they charge the higher prices later to recoup their losses. A lot of customers don’t realize they are going to pay higher prices and they get sticker shock when they see the auto-charge on their credit card statement.
If you've ever been worried about the tremendous amount of power large data centers consume, you might want to sign up with Green Geeks. The "green" in the company's name reflects the Green Geeks' commitment to the environment. It purchases three times the energy it actually uses in wind energy credits, essentially putting energy back into the economy. The company does this through a form of renewable energy certificates, which, while a bit complicated, means that it's not just energy neutral, i's actually helping fuel the green energy economy.
Moving to another website consists of transferring the website’s files and databases, configuring your site with the new host, and directing your domain’s DNS to the new host. Once you pick a new site host, they can usually help you out with this process. The cost will depend on the host you’re switching to, but it will probably be anywhere from $150-$400.
With a VPS or Dedicated server, you get more resources, but also more control over the server itself. Keep in mind that a VPS can be much more complicated to use than your normal cheap web hosting. Managed VPS takes care of a lot of the important back-end stuff like security and monitoring, but you will still be responsible for the overall administration.
At 1&1 we offer our customers highly customizable domain names. Web addresses are made of two distinct domains: second level domains and top-level domains (TLD). In the example www.1and1.com, "1and1" is the second level domain and .com is the TLD. Our cheap web hosting plan offers flexibility in choosing both your second level domain and TLD. In addition to making your website memorable and helping your rankings, choosing a personalized TLD can localize your business or identify what type of business you are. Alternatively, if you already have an existing website that you would like to transfer over to 1&1 then you can easily do this. Once you've backed up all your important data, simply enter your current domain name into the search bar. You will then be asked to enter a code that your old provider will have sent you, and that's it! 1&1's low cost web hosting plans make acquiring or transferring your ideal domain name simple.
If you’re using a business credit card to place your order, the wait can be longer. We found that some companies needed additional information to verify our identity: discrepancies between your name and the card name can raise red flags for fraud. Usually, you’ll need to make a phone call to the company’s billing department and provide a scan of a government-issued ID to straighten things out.
The drawback of shared hosting is that if the hosting company shares too few servers between too many clients, then your site could become dramatically slow. This can be acceptable to some level if your primary concern is price (see our cheap hosting page). However, studies have shown that if your home page takes more than 10 seconds to load, visitors will start to abandon your site. On this top 10, we restricted our selection to companies capable of delivering professional speed & quality hosting services.
What is fantastic about Cloudways is that their services are very flexible and scalable. You pick the desired infrastructure, like Amazon, Google or DigitalOcean, and start from there. Depending on which you decide to go with, the location of the servers may vary. There are more than 25 global data centers, what ensures Cloudways to have servers the closest to your audience. Without giving it a second thought, these guys give you a full solution for your website and their cloud-based hosting is a great alternative to a VPS.
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!
InterServer is a New Jersey based hosting company that has been around since 1999. They have a proven track record of high quality hosting for sites of all types. Whether you’re looking to start a small personal blog or you run a Fortune 500 company website, InterServer can handle it all. They designed their own datacenter using state-of-the art technology throughout. Most importantly, however, is the fact that InterServer employees talented and friendly people who will be there to help you with anything you need. Read More
HostMetro promises to "take your web hosting to the max." They're certainly speaking the right language when they mention their "price lock guarantee." Their intro rates closely match their regular rates, and they reward their loyal customers. Their plans come with "maximum" disk space and bandwidth. They allow for unlimited domains and email accounts. They also include access to their website builder and script installer for free.
BlueHost has multiple 24/7 customer service platforms, including phone, email, and live chat. Bluehost’s help services are split into three departments — Sales, Tech Support, and Account Management — which are each further broken down into more specialized subdivisions. And if you want to avoid phone trees, you can easily call directly into the relevant divisions: It provides not one, but seven different contact numbers. New customer questions? There’s an extension for that. Questions about a plan? There’s an extension for that, too. And that’s in addition to BlueHost’s live chat and ticketed support system.
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.