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Category: Best Web Hosting

FAQ about Web Hosting:

How to choose the Best Web Hosting:

Online customer reviews about different web hosts will, at least to some extent, give you an idea about the efficiency and overall performance of a company’s services. However, this is not always the best approach to evaluate a web host. Customer reviews are not always genuine and reviews by so called “industry experts” can’t always be trusted. These experts, more than often, are bribed by the web hosts to evaluate them while bringing out only the good parts of their service and to promote/recommend them.

Unfortunately, there is only one way come up with a 100% accurate evaluation of a web host; and that is to subscribe to their service. In our case, we evaluated 9 different web hosts and to assess their service fairly and honestly, we hosted a website with them and carefully observed different statistics of the website for several months. Only then was it possible for us to accurately obtain firsthand knowledge about different aspects of the web host such as uptime, loading speed, and customer support.

That being said, you can still obtain a good deal of information about a company’s service by doing a bit more ‘thorough’ research on the customer reviews. Instead of reading a handful of reviews from a single website, you simply have to analyze as many customer reviews as you can from different review websites. Although the information obtained won’t necessarily be 100% accurate and true, it will still give you a clearer picture about the web host. If too many people are complaining about a certain feature of a web host, then there is definitely a problem in that area. Similarly, if many people are applauding a particular feature, then it is very likely that the company does excel in that area.

You can also refer to the company’s website to assess the company’s claims about it services. Usually, these claims are not entirely true (especially the ones about uptime and speed), they will still give you a general perspective on the overall value a particular company offers.

While analyzing customer reviews or browsing through a company’s website, here are the most important features of a webhost that you should focus on.

Uptime: Uptime simply means the amount of time that your website remains online. It is undoubtedly the most important feature that you should consider when evaluating a web host. Almost all webhosts offer an uptime of at least 99%; however, it is best you go for a host with an uptime of at least 99.5% or more. Also, beware that even the best web hosts sometimes experience unexpected downtimes. Conduct a research through the customer reviews to find more concrete evidence about companies that actually uphold their uptime claims.

Speed: Speed refers to the amount of time it takes for your website to load when someone types in the address of your website in their browser. It is a very important factor both for the success of your website, and its ranking in the search engines. The average industry loading speed for a website is 820ms; however, this is not really an impressive speed and we suggest you go for better loading speeds. As a hint, there are some hosts in the industry that offer an average loading speed of about 520ms. Read through our reviews to find out more about these hosts.

Bandwidth: Bandwidth refers to the amount of data transferred to visitors when they open your site. Many web hosts claim to offer ‘unlimited bandwidth’; however, unlimited bandwidth doesn’t exist as such. The real details about this are often hidden deep down somewhere in the policy statements of the host, where they turn the ‘unlimited’ into limited in one way or the other. To give you a rough idea, a new website with no videos and audios will require no more than 3GB of bandwidth. As your traffic grows, you will need more bandwidth. Don’t go for huge bandwidths as you are not likely to need them in the beginning.

Customer Support: Almost every single web host will claim to provide you a responsive 24/7 customer support, these claims are not always true. Aim for hosts that provide a money back guarantee and try testing their services and customer support as early as possible, so that you can walk away if you find their service to be unsatisfactory. Also look for reviews from other customers on different forums. They’ll really help!

Control Panel: Control panel is basically a dashboard; enabling you to easily manage different features of your web account. A good control panel gives you maximum control over your web hosting account, and is usually minimalist and easy to use. Some hosts, such as HostGator, will let you experiment with a demo cpanel before you choose to buy a plan. Make sure you’re comfortable with your control panel because you will be working there quite often.

Specialized Hosting: Standard shared hosting is not what you really need if you have a WordPress website, or one based on WooCommerce. It is best to use specialized hosting for a number of good reasons. Make sure the host offers specialized hosting services if you are using either a WordPress website or a WooCommerce website.

Money Back Guarantee: Fortunately, almost all web hosts offer a money back guarantee. It is something you should pay attention to before choosing a host. With a money back guarantee in place, you can switch to a different web host if at any point you find that the company is not meeting your requirements.

Listed above are the most important factors that you should consider while evaluating the services of a web host. Pay special attention to uptime and loading speed as these features are vital for the success of your website.

Free vs Premium Web Hosting:

Whether to choose a premium or free web hosting is one of the most common questions asked by new webmasters. There’s no definite answer to this question, as it depends on the scope and purpose of your website and, of course, your expectations from your website.

It’s needless to say that with a premium hosting, you get many more perks and privileges as compared to a free hosting. In fact, most of the times, you may have very little control of your site with free hosting. So, when should you go for free hosting and when should you aim for premium?

The answer lies within your website. If it’s a personal blog/website - for which you probably don’t need a high bandwidth, storage, and speed – you can go for the free hosting. However, there are certain cons of free hosting which you should be aware of.

The greatest con of a free hosting is that you can’t have a unique domain name. You will have the name of hosting company in the URL (web address) of your domain name, which obviously does not create a professional impression. If you have a professional website or represent a business, it’s best you go for paid hosting. Another major disadvantage of free hosting is the lack of reliability. Unlike premium web hosts, your free hosting provider will usually not guarantee an uptime and is by no means obliged to make sure that your website remains up and running. Again, this can seriously harm your website’s reputation if it happens to represent a business.

Moreover, free hosting usually doesn’t feature any type of customer support. Unlike premium hosting, the hosting company won’t provide you any assistance if you encounter a problem with your website and you’ll have to pretty much figure it out on your own. Sometimes, it can become a serious headache, particularly for new webmasters.

As mentioned earlier, free hosting offers a very limited storage and bandwidth. If you expect some serious traffic to your website, you really need to consider spending a few bucks on premium hosting. Last but not the least; free hosting providers won’t let you monetize your website. You can’t run any advertisements on your website and if your site happens to attract visitors, the hosting company will place advertisements on your website and you won’t get any share of the revenue generated through those ads.

If your website has a professional context, represents a business, requires large storage, or expects high traffic, you shouldn’t think about free hosting because eventually, you’ll have to switch to a premium hosting. On the contrary, if none of the above holds true for your website, and you don’t mind the hosting company placing ads on your website, there’s nothing better than a free hosting!

The difference between Shared Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Virtual Private Server (VPS), Dedicated Hosting & Reseller Hosting:

Shared Hosting: Shared hosting is the standard form of hosting, suitable for small to medium websites that do not have very high traffic or storage/bandwidth requirements. It’s called shared hosting because you will ‘share’ a server along with many other people; all of you having the files of your website on the same server and thus, equally sharing the resources of that server.

Cloud Hosting: Cloud hosting is a special type of hosting based on the Cloud computing technologies. It allows unlimited number of machines to act as a single system (just like raindrops make up a single cloud). To make it simple and short, cloud hosting is an advanced form of hosting that is slightly expensive than shared hosting; but it offers almost double the power and resources of a shared hosting plan.

Virtual Private Server (VPS): A virtual private server is technically similar to shared hosting, but in a better way. Just like shared hosting, a virtual private server also has a single server with multiple users; however, the users in this case are too few as compared to shared hosting. To give you an idea, if a server in shared hosting is shared by 20 people, a private virtual server might be shared by 4-5 people max. Moreover, every user on a VPS has their own quota of CPU memory and resources, so the performance usually remains optimal for all users on a VPS.

Dedicated Hosting: Now this is the real deal. Dedicated hosting, as the name implies, is dedicated to a single customer. In this case, a server is dedicated to you which you don’t have to share with any other user. All the resources of the server will be exclusively used by you. It is the most powerful form of web hosting and the most expensive one as well.

Reseller Hosting: As you might have guessed from the name, this type of hosting gives you the ability to resell. Basically, you purchase a hosting from a web host and you can then resell your resources (bandwidth, disk space etc.) to 3rd party customers, usually for a profit.

The Myth of “Unlimited” Bandwidth & Storage:

So, is there really any “unlimited” bandwidth and storage as most of the web hosts claim on their websites? Well, the short answer is NO, it doesn’t exist. It should be quite obvious if you take a moment and think about it yourself. Would someone offer you any unlimited resource (bandwidth, storage, etc.) for a limited amount of money? Of course not!

The unlimited packages always have limitations but the company doesn’t disclose them to you upfront. You can always find the details about these limitations in the company’s policy pages, where these “unlimited” packages are turned into “limited” by imposing specific criteria. This criteria is usually known as the “fair usage” policy, where the company states that your “unlimited” resources will be limited if they seem to affect other users on your server, or even on your network.

To sum it up, there’s no such thing as unlimited bandwidth or storage so don’t be mistaken by these claims all those web hosts make.

Recommended Web Hosts

InMotion Hosting Review

Like any other web hosting company, InMotion has its own pros and cons but upon weighing the two, it’s not hard to see that the company offers a great overall value despite its few minor cons. InMotion stands tall in the areas that matter most for a web hosting company such as uptime, speed, and customer support. The prices are also reasonable, making InMotion an ideal web host for any type and size of website.

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Siteground Review

Weighing both the pros and cons of SiteGround, it can be concluded that SiteGround is one of the best webhosts overall. The most important aspects for a webhost to consider are their uptime, speed, customer support, and security; and SiteGround excels in all of these areas. If your website does not require a significant amount of storage and bandwidth, SiteGround is amongst the most ideal webhosts in the market today.

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DreamHost Review

While it is true that DreamHost is amongst the most expensive webhosts in the industry, we think the price is justifiable considering the stellar uptime, loading speed, and customer support it offers; along with some other distinguishing features such as their 97 days money back guarantee. We’d like to add, though, that it is not a good option for new webmasters because it’d cost them too much and they should consider starting with a cheaper substitute. All in all, DreamHost offers awesome services and is one of the few hosts that we do recommend.

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Below Average Web Hosts

HostGator Review

While HostGator has been around for quite a while now and has become increasingly popular over the last few years due to their tremendous marketing budget, we don’t regard it as one of the best hosts around. It is suitable for beginning webmasters, though, due to their affordable prices and ease of use. However, if you have a site that is crucial for your business or online presence, there are many better options that you can consider.

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1&1 Hosting Review

Considering the overall pros and cons of 1&1 hosting, it can be regarded as an average web host. It offers some unique features and great value to its customers, but lacks at some key areas such as loading speeds and ease of use. Nonetheless, considering its cheap prices and extra services offered, it is a good choice for new webmasters who want to get a feel of what it’s like to host a website.

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GoDaddy Review

While GoDaddy is a big name in the industry, their overall services are not as good as one would expect from a company of this stature. As great as it is as a domain registrar, the company needs a lot of improvement for its web hosting services. The company lacks greatly in customer support and loading speed, two of the key factors for the success of a web hosting company. While GoDaddy offers good value for new webmasters by offering a very affordable package, we suggest you find a better web host if you mean to do some serious business with your website.

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JustHost Review

Comparing the pros and cons of JustHost, it can be concluded that it’s a below-average web host that is certainly not suitable for a website that means some serious business. The site lacks at key areas such as uptime and loading speed and is not the best in terms of pricing as well. Nonetheless, it won’t be a bad idea for new webmasters to try out this service considering its easy setup, and a bit of value this service offers by providing a free domain. However, if you’re website is important to you (which it very likely is), we won’t recommend using this service.

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iPage Review

iPage is one of the cheapest web hosts in the industry offering a very attractive introductory price. The company offers tight security for your websites along with plenty of other features; however, these few pros and not as beneficial if we consider the cons of this company. iPage lacks in uptime and loading speed, two critical factors for a successful website. Another major con is the lack of cPanel, making it much harder for new webmasters getting used to the interface. Finally, the expensive renewal prices and domain names leave us no choice but to rank iPage as a below average webhost.

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bluehost Review

BlueHost has been in business for quite a while and hosts a significant number of websites. The company does offer an attractive introductory plan, tight security, and lots of extra features; however, it is not hard to see that the pros of BlueHost are clearly outweighed by its cons. The company lacks in key areas of uptime and speed, two vital elements for the success of your website. The pricing is only good if you choose to subscribe for at least 3 years, and they charge awfully high fees for training and site migrations. Considering the cheap price, we would have recommended it to new webmasters but it is fairly evident that new webmasters wouldn’t like engaging in a three year plan straight away. All in all, BlueHost is a below average web host which we don’t recommend.

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