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.
Pros: Flexibility to scale is a great benefit that cloud hosting can provide. That means if your business grows rapidly, your server will scale with it. It’s also a product that’s available for you as soon as you need it, since it’s constantly existing in one form or another in the cloud. It’s a reasonable cost and works very well for a low-staffed account.
Alexandra Leslie’s interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings to the table firsthand experience in reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.
cPanel is a control panel designed for managing your website hosting. Within cPanel you’ll be able to upload and manage your files, create email accounts, edit DNS records, and check the stats of your sites. And, with our new Website Builder added to cPanel, you’ll be able to build your website in just minutes. Your cPanel login details are found in your Welcome Email.

The company got bonus points for its policy of performing regular daily backups, even on the lowest-priced shared hosting accounts. It lost points because its promotional price on the low-cost shared hosting does go up after the promotional period. That said, Bluehost also gained points for offering 24-7 phone support and SSH access for certain plans.
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.
It's also a good idea to ask each company's sales team about what their defined range is and what their process is for handling customers who go over their pre-defined amount. If they try and convince you it's truly unlimited or a range that's wide enough for all businesses to operate comfortably within, press them for defined answers. It's important to be clear on what you're paying for and what you're getting as a business owner.

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.
Tom has been fantastic to work with in developing my website. I had ideas of what I wanted to include but Tom was able to transform those ideas and create a website that exceeded my own expectations. His design was crisp, simple, and clear. Tom’s professional guidance, experience, knowledge and flare for detail is why I would recommend him to anyone looking at developing their own website.
Unlike VPS hosting, which is limited by the physical server on which your website is hosted, cloud hosting allows you to use resources offered by multiple machines. For example, if you find that your website is lagging because of lack of bandwidth, you can increase the amount available to you. Often, you can make this change yourself via the host's control panel.

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.

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