Whether I’m geeking out with Ryan, Laura, and the team, or sketching out server diagrams to explain the basics to my grandmother, talking about a career in web hosting is always a creative endeavor, and I love it. Hopefully, this guide has cleared up some of the common confusions of hosting services, and you’re ready to sign up with the web host that best fits your upcoming site needs.
Rather than storing data on physical servers, cloud customers are hosted on a connected network of virtual machines. The service is software-independent and perfect for folks who benefit from high availability and on-demand, pay-as-you-go resources. Ranked #1 for cloud-based VPS hosting, InMotion offers performance-enhancing SSDs, free data backups, and managed server options.
Established back in 1998, LunarPages operates three state-of-the-art data centers. Equipped with multiple GigE fiber connections to the internet backbone, the company built out seismically-braced racks and cabinets, fully-redundant Liebert HVAC cooling systems, a diesel generator that can run for weeks, and a pre-action dry pipe fire suppression system.
People use websites for all kinds of things, and exactly what you want to do will dictate what kind of web hosting you need. In addition to the types of web hosting we covered in the previous section, which can generally be used for many different types of websites, there are specialty options that cater to a specific subset of users. We will cover these options below.
Yes, you can type “free website hosting” into a search engine of your choice, and you will get results. Don’t do it. At best, you will be stuck with shoddy service, semi-reliable uptime, and ridiculously short-lived storage and bandwidth capacities. The free options out there will frustrate you, and putting yourself through that makes zero sense when you can have quality hosting for as little as $2 a month.
If you do need to upgrade, be ready to pay for it: The cheapest VPS hosting packages start above $10/month, and can stretch beyond $50/month depending on how much storage space you need. Dedicated servers are more flexible, but are even more expensive, starting at $100/month. Hopefully your website will be paying for itself before you need that kind of power.
Hostgator rolls out the red carpet for its new customers with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, tons of easy to install site templates, and an uptime guarantee, all starting at $3.96/mo for their most affordable plans. Even their low-end plans feature unlimited email, 1-click installs, and a $100 Google Adwords credit for all of your customer-building needs. Choose the plan that works for you, and the longer you sign up for the bigger discount you get on your monthly hosting bill. You can check out all of Hostgator’s plans here.
You gain the most web-building functionality if you create a self-hosted site. This typically involves transfering the free WordPress CMS to server or signing up for a web host's optimized WordPress plan. With an optimized plan, the host automatically handles backend stuff, so you don't have to worry about updating the plug-ins and CMS, and enabling automatic backups. In these instances, the WordPress environment typically comes pre-installed on the server.