The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it’s not because we hate it—it’s because it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest, but if you have a favorite, we want to hear about it. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips+hivefive@lifehacker.com!
Unlimited service offerings: Every company we reviewed claimed to offer unlimited services of some kind, most commonly storage and bandwidth. The web hosting industry is competitive, so companies will use this language to attract new customers. Know that unlimited never means infinite. Instead, each company has a predefined range of storage and bandwidth based on your plan. If you use more than your allotted amount, you may be required to upgrade your plan, or the company might suspend your account until usage decreases and the issues is addressed. Each company handles this differently, so it's important to look at the terms of service agreement before signing up.
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.

InMotion was one of our only top picks to not send us an email response to our queries. While we received all of the answers we needed from friendly phone and live chat reps, they didn’t go out of their way to help: If we had a question, they answered. If there was a natural follow-up question, they left it up to us to ask. That’s not a dealbreaker, but if you’re a beginner and attentive customer service is a priority for you, it’s something to keep in mind.

Offering the most fabulous website experience will be a breeze with SiteGround. It is the type of a hosting company which focuses on the essentials first. That said, their plans might not be sporting loads of features compared to some of the competition. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact, with fewer goodies to think about, they can put more focus on the actual performance. It is all about the must-haves when it comes to SiteGround’s web hosting services for your personal pages.

Things to note: - Who owns the domain? I've run into a lot of people who get duped by their website company because they website company actually purchased the domain "on their behalf" - Do you have important emails you need saved? All your emails will more than likely be lost when the domain transfers to the new servers. You will still have the ability to have your same email address, but you will basically be starting new. This goes for your contacts too unless you use Microsoft Outlook...
HostGator gained points for uptime monitoring and regular backups, along with free cPanel or Plesk. We liked that SSH is available for the more technically inclined site operators and that dedicated IP addresses could be purchased. We did take points off because it's sometimes difficult to tell what the price is once promotional plans run their course. That said, with a generous 45-day money back guarantee, there's a solution for almost everyone at HostGator.
Static cache takes a copy of your static content and puts it on the hosting server’s RAM memory – dramatically reducing the load times. Memcached does something very rare for shared hosting servers – it saves user requests as well, adding a layer of speed to the static cache. Finally, dynamic cache goes a step further and caches the entire website, converting it to HTML and saving even more time. With all of the layers combined, SiteGround Supercacher offers all of the latest web technologies for your website.
If you already own a server, you can co-locate it in one of Contabo’s data centers. They operate their two own data centers in Germany (Munich, Nuremberg). Both feature latest air-conditioning and UPS technology. Customer base ranges from private users to businesses. Their customer support is available on 365 days per year via E-Mail and telephone. Additionally, many upgrade options are available which help you to customize your server. Read More
Web hosting is, generally speaking, a critical element to your online endeavors. It allows us to get our website out and to the masses with little to no fuss, it can keep our emails churning, and it can even better the quality of our lives. However, up until now you may have been unaware of just how much money you can personally make from the world of web hosting. In fact, if you’ve never been told, one can make a fortune without hardly dipping a toe into the market.
One of the most popular web hosting types is  Shared hosting, which means lots of websites placed on one server and, in such way, connected to the Internet. Shared web hosting are run be a system administrator, who declares the capacity of your bandwidth and disk space. This capacity will be constantly increase, which will grant you more power in the future. Though it doesn’t give you a full control over the hosting and is less secure in comparison with others, it is much more affordable and is perfect for those users who don’t strive for an absolute supervision but need their website simply to work. InMotion Hosting, GreenGeeks and SiteGround are only few of the best examples of the most efficient shared hosting.
There are SSL certificates, beautiful website building software, website transfer or caching services, just to mention a few. Some providers may be even giving you additional website security or coupons to take part in various marketing programs. Companies are interested in providing their clients with something, that is going to keep them interested.
Storage space isn’t necessarily talking about space on your site, but rather, space to store your files on the backend. (Things like HTML files, email, images, and scripts.) Essentially, storage is the filing cabinet for the site. You’ll want to be aware of available storage space before signing up for a hosting service, because once the filing cabinet is full, that’s it.
Shared hosting customers commonly search for a good deal on domains, unlimited email and storage, and easy site-building options. That’s why iPage has our vote for best value hosting overall, offering shared server users a free domain; unlimited domains, email, storage, and bandwidth; and your choice of a drag-and-drop site builder or single-click installations for a CMS like Joomla or WordPress.
Pricing will range widely based on what company you're looking to partner with. Shared hosting plans can range from just a few dollars a month to around $30 per month. Our research told us that the web hosting industry provides "get what you pay for" services – if you're a small blog or site, the cheap plans may be your best option. If you're looking for a hosting company that can support higher volumes, storage and has more features, you're going to have to pay a higher monthly rate. VPS hosting and dedicated servers will be significantly more expensive than shared, WordPress or (in some cases) cloud hosting.
Bluehost was also one of the top performers in our original server performance benchmarks, outpacing every other shared service we tested. It boasted a near-perfect verified 99.99 percent server uptime rating, which means that it’s safe to assume website crashes will be few and far between. Bluehost also offers decent storage and speeds for a bargain price: shared hosting plans start at $3.45 with 50GB of storage space and unmetered bandwidth. For growing websites, Bluehost also offers a clear upgrade path for users who may need to move to a VPS or dedicated server in the future.
100% SSD • Free SSL • Choice of Datacenter (USA / Europe / Asia) • 1 Domain, 5 Sub-Domains, 25 Parked Domains (b2evolution can manage all 25 with a single install) • 25 Email Addresses • Unlimited RAID-10 Storage • 5 Databases • Free site transfer • Easy install & configuration of b2evolution at signup (many other scripts also available) • 24/7/365 US-Based Guru Crew Support • Green
Are you an experienced developer? You'll be happy to hear that we actually made a name for ourselves for being the "developer-friendly" host. In fact, we were one of the very first hosts to offer both PHP 5. Of course technology (and PHP versions) have changed a lot since we started back in 2003, our commitment to loading your account with all the web development tools you could want has not! You get everything from support for the best versions of PHP, MySQL, Apache, Python and more to resources like free SSH access, version control software like Git and so much more.
The Plus and Prime plans are $6.95 per month and throw in up to $200 in marketing offers. The Plus plan gives you 150 GB of web space and the option to host up to 10 websites while the Pro Plan pretty much offers unlimited everything. What's really cool about JustHost is that for an additional $2.99 per month, you have access to SEO optimization tools to help make your site more visible. 
Choosing is simple: select hosting that will support the script, platform, or CMS you want to use. And if you aren't sure, go for Linux hosting. For example, WordPress will run on Linux and Windows, but hosts generally recommend that you run it on Linux. However, if you want to use a Windows-specific technology like ASP.NET, you'll need a Windows host.
The downside to SiteGround is its packages offer less storage and bandwidth than others, with the starter package costing $3.95 per month (rising to $11.95 after a year) for a mere 10GB of webspace. However, if security is a big concern, you really can't go wrong with SiteGround. It's welcoming to webmasters who are new to the importance of security concerns, and takes some important worries off your mind. 
All of this infrastructure has been built out to support the a wide range of hosting services. The family-owned company gains points for understanding the importance of transaction security by offering free AutoSSL and Let's Encrypt SSL encryption for its plans. While the company offers sophisticated services for technically strong clients, it also has a Weebly web builder option to get you up and running quickly. 
You may not be sure which plan to get started with. The good news is that our plans are completely scalable. That means that as your website grows, so can your hosting plan. Our team can help seamlessly move your sites and account into a higher resource Shared Hosting plan if you outgrow your existing plan. And if you happen to outgrow your Shared Hosting package, we'll even help move you into one of our VPS Hosting or Dedicated Server solutions. The good news is that you can stick with A2 Hosting for the entire live cycle of your website. We're excited to grow with you!
Since 2009, FatCow has been committed to purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset its use of electricity; this year, the company will purchase enough RECs to offset its use of electricity by 200%. FatCow's commitment to the environment will prevent 999 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere, this year alone; that's equivalent to planting 213 acres of trees or taking 196 cars off the road!
Organizational tools are also included, such as free billing software and free domain reselling too, so you're good to go with your business right from the get go. It's not as cheap as some competitors but uptime is high and customer support is speedy and knowledgeable, while not being too intimidating. The 90-day money back guarantee is suitably reassuring too.
With 1&1’s Basic package, you get 100 GB storage, 1 free domain for the first 12 months and an SSL certificate. For scalability, level 1 is included. Meaning, up to 2.5 GB RAM of which half is always guaranteed. You see an instant traffic increase? This allows your website to work uninterrupted. Scalability goes up to level 5 in just one click. Be always prepared.
Unlimited service offerings: Every company we reviewed claimed to offer unlimited services of some kind, most commonly storage and bandwidth. The web hosting industry is competitive, so companies will use this language to attract new customers. Know that unlimited never means infinite. Instead, each company has a predefined range of storage and bandwidth based on your plan. If you use more than your allotted amount, you may be required to upgrade your plan, or the company might suspend your account until usage decreases and the issues is addressed. Each company handles this differently, so it's important to look at the terms of service agreement before signing up.
TMDHosting has data centers all around the world to make sure that your websites are live all the time, working seamlessly. Moreover, with TMDHosting, you get free application (read WordPress, Drupal, etc.) and components installation, free templates and free updates. While the web hosting service is cheap, it still delivers loads of goodies for you to benefit from. TMDHosting also guarantees total security of your websites with daily backups, day-to-day updates and traffic monitoring. Bring your project in front of the global audience with TMDHosting.
For VPS, users have access to a user-friendly control panel that makes it easy to accomplish various tasks, including rebooting your private servers and quick installs for web scripts. Conducting data backup and restoring files and databases can be done in a few button clicks, with double RAID protection ensuring crucial data are safe in the cloud.
You also want a web host with 24/7 customer support—if not by phone, then at least by chat. Forums, knowledge bases, and help tickets are all well and good, but sometimes you just need to communicate with another human to get things ironed out as quickly as possible. That said, not all 24/7 customer support teams are equal. Companies like GoDaddy and Liquid Web boast incredibly knowledgeable and helpful customer support squads—a fact that we confirmed in our in-depth reviews of those web hosting services.
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