The availability of a website is measured by the percentage of a year in which the website is publicly accessible and reachable via the Internet. This is different from measuring the uptime of a system. Uptime refers to the system itself being online. Uptime does not take into account being able to reach it as in the event of a network outage. A hosting provider’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) may include a certain amount of scheduled downtime per year in order to perform maintenance on the systems. This scheduled downtime is often excluded from the SLA timeframe, and needs to be subtracted from the Total Time when availability is calculated. Depending on the wording of an SLA, if the availability of a system drops below that in the signed SLA, a hosting provider often will provide a partial refund for time lost. How downtime is determined changes from provider to provider, therefore reading the SLA is imperative. Not all providers release uptime statistics. Most hosting providers will guarantee at least 99.9% uptime which will allow for 43m of downtime per month, or 8h 45m of downtime per year.
Though its monthly contracts are a dollar or two pricier than other companies’, InMotion balances that out by not charging any setup fees for its shorter-term plans. The only exception is the Pro Plan, which costs $40 to set up. Among our featured picks, InMotion and GlowHost are the only ones to not charge additional setup fees for one-month trials: if a short-term contract is what you’re after, InMotion is a good company to try.
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.
With a shared hosting plan, you are renting space on a server that you share with other website owners. This also means you're sharing resources like bandwidth, memory, and processing power. This can be a problem, because a web host company typically supports hundreds, even thousands, of websites on a single server. Most of these websites will get very little traffic, allowing those who do see higher levels of traffic to use the resources they need. Nevertheless, there are no guarantees that you will get the resources necessary to support your website.
Many web hosts do include a website builder of some kind — whether a simple “fill out this form” tool that publishes a single page, or a more in-depth program with dozens of templates and customizations — but it’s not the focus of their business. An actual website builder, like SquareSpace or Weebly, will have the most robust set of tools to help you customize your website.
SiteGround offers Supercacher – a caching service, which is supposed to make your website load many times faster and help avoid problems caused by big surges in traffic. It’s SiteGround’s own sophisticated system, including 3 different layers: static cache, memcached, and dynamic cache. Here’s how these 3 SuperCacher layers work and what they do to improve your website:
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.