Spec-wise, GlowHost and FastComet are pretty neck-and-neck, but GlowHost does provide a few additional server locations in Australia and the US. Theoretically, this means GlowHost is more flexible in how quickly it can serve websites up to customers across the globe, but this benefit is primarily for its higher service tiers: If you’re signing up for shared hosting, our rep told us that you’ll most likely be assigned a server based in Salt Lake City or Phoenix.
The most basic shared hosting plan starts at $2.75 per month with that price giving you unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email addresses. Things steadily ramp up depending on your needs with cloud hosting of a similar quality starting at $4.95, and a WordPress optimized solution at $5.95 per month. All those prices are dependent on you tying yourself into a three-year plan though, so be aware if you only have short term aims.
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.
Another single plan service, IdeaHost has made an attempt to cram everything they can into one hosting option. For starters, you get the basics. A free domain name, email address, and website builder come standard for all customers. The website builder is particularly feature-laden. It's completely drag-and-drop with thousands of templates. You can easily incorporate a blog, photo galleries, a store, or anything else you need for your site.
Especially if you are operating a website for business purposes, you will want your own domain name. With many web hosting service companies, this can be an expensive proposition. When you choose Servage, you will have the opportunity to choose your own domain name, giving you that branding you need to set your site apart from the crowd. Alternatively you can transfer your existing domain name for free.
When you’re ready to take your data into your own hands and run your own blog, own your own photos, and host your own apps, it’s time to find a good web host that can put it all on the web for you, give you the tools, bandwidth, and storage you need, and support you when you need help. Thankfully, there are dozens of great companies looking for your business, and this week we’re going to look at five of the best, based on your nominations.
GlowHost had the best customer service of any web hosting company we tested, endearing itself by responding to our emailed list of questions with detailed and thoughtful answers within an hour. As we sent more questions its way, by email and phone, GlowHost continued to impress with friendly and courteous conversation (although we’re pretty sure its live chat relies on a bot).
This hosting provider is also recommended by WordPress itself as an ideal platform for running WordPress-powered websites due to its easy installation and data management. With its intuitive dashboard, you can quickly understand and monitor your website performance, from uptime and download speed down to usage trends, You don’t have to worry about suffering from server downtimes should you wish to improve your online presence. Simply pick a more powerful plan or separately purchase more capacity for your website as you see fit.
Auto-renewal: Many companies will automatically renew your service at the end of your contract term. You may need to provide written notice 30 days in advance to cancel your service at the end of your contract term. This isn't something we directly analyzed in our reviews or best picks, but it's an important practice to be aware of. The renewal process is usually outlined in the terms of service agreement of each company. If you're worried about getting poked with a refreshed contract, make sure you understand the renewal and cancellation process before you sign up. Talking to a sales representative may be your best bet.
We got answers when we posed our questions to BlueHost’s customer service reps, but it wasn’t as easy as with some other companies: our questions in the live chat were answered vaguely (“We have servers around the US”), and we had to prompt the representative to answer our questions more thoroughly after they suggested we check the homepage for more information about pricing. Granted, quality may vary between reps, and BlueHost’s were very responsive, just not the most forthcoming with their advice and expertise.
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 best companies will provide a full suite of features for your business and solid customer support. These features include hosting multiple domains and subdomains, MySQL database integration, open-source coding platforms like Ruby on Rails, Perl or PHP 5, and business email hosting. You should also look out for customer support in the form of live chat, phone and email support. Overall, the web hosting industry provides way more than just a server to host your website on. Treat each web hosting solution as a full-scale service with multiple different features and plans.
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.
Domain validation (DV) is the most affordable and most common option, and it’s free with all of our top picks. This level certificate indicates that the domain is valid and the applicant controls that domain. It’s easy to obtain and doesn’t require any paperwork. On a site with DV, you’ll see a green padlock in the browser bar, and for most sites, this is plenty.
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.
Many web hosts offer limited features in their starter packages and then expand the offerings (sometimes tremendously) for higher-tier plans. Read the small print to make sure the plan you are selecting offers what you need. If you need a site builder application to design your website, make sure that the low-cost web host you are picking actually comes with a site builder. Many of them require you to pay for the builder as a separate add-on. Website builders usually don't cost a lot of money, but if you can find a web host that includes one for free, that's money in your pocket. And, if it's integrated with your hosting service, you're more likely to have a smooth, supported experience.