Your Guide to the Best Website Hosting Services
If you've already registered your domain, you can use it with your new host. If you haven’t registered your domain, don’t worry. Most of the hosting services recommended offer free domain registration when you sign up.
If you need some advice or have any suggestions, head over to our discussion forum. You can also check out our informative blog posts which will help you as you build your website and give you more advice about choosing an appropriate web host.
Good luck with your new website!
Web Hosting Basics - What do You Need to Know?
Simply speaking, web hosting is a service that allows people who use it to make their sites available to all those who request them (for example by using a web browser and typing a domain name).
To make your website accessible to other people you need to store it on a computer that has permanent access to the Internet. Of course, keeping your home PC online 24/7 and busy with storing your website is not the cheapest and most secure or convenient idea.
Instead, you should use the services of a hosting company, which rents out space on their servers (or whole machines) to people who want to host their online properties. Because websites differ among one another, there are a few different things you should consider before choosing the hosting that's right for you.
What Type of Hosting Should You Choose?
If you are just starting out, choosing a shared hosting plan is a very good idea. This most basic option usually starts as low as $2-$5 per month and provides you with a bit of space on the company server and a few additional options. Usually, the cheapest shared hosting options allow you to host one domain, but if you pay just a little bit more, you can get a lot of other features. The most common are access to CPanel (a very convenient management system which you use to manage your server space), unlimited number of hosted domains and bandwidth (the measure of data that can be sent to and from your site) or WordPress support.
As you grow, you’ll most likely want to jump to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) and ultimately, to a dedicated server. Both come as managed and unmanaged services, which often give you a lot of customizability but may require knowledge to secure and set them up correctly (unless you can afford someone to do that for you). The price range differs significantly from shared hosting and starts at around $10 for a low-end VPS up to a few hundred for a top dedicated server per month.
Think about other options that you may need. Do you want easy, one-click WordPress installation? How many MySQL databases (a popular database used by many web applications) and domains do you plan on hosting? Are there any specific e-commerce solutions such as Magento that you require? These factors can all count towards choosing a good host.
If you are just starting out, your main priority should be to look for a cheap, reliable hosting service with excellent customer support, because that’s where you may spend most of your time in the very beginning and hence it’s good if they answer all your queries fast, providing clear answers to your questions. If you are building a website using WordPress, you may even select special WordPress shared hosting packages offered by some of the companies.
As you grow and drive more traffic, start looking a bit more at technical parameters – check server uptime (how long has it been working and accessible; usually everything above 99.5% is good). Pay attention to hardware. As your site and traffic grows, you might want to increase the RAM and CPUs which you have access to and ensure that the server is using SSDs (solid-state drives) instead of HDD (this significantly increases the speed of the whole server).
Make Sure it’s Easy to Migrate or Refund
Sometimes, even the best hosting companies may put your website on a defective machine. This may lead to a loss in uptime of your site which could lead to a decrease in your revenue and harm your business.
This is why you should make sure that you can easily request a refund if a situation like this ever occurs or ensure that your website will be securely migrated to another machine. Similarly, make sure that you can quickly update your current hosting option, without having to move your sites manually to a new server. Security is another thing you should never forget – check if backups are done regularly and stored on separate, safe machines.
The above are just a few things that you should consider when choosing a web host. Other than that, you should always check the reviews and opinions of the hosts. There are so many hosting companies available you shouldn’t risk your website by hosting it with a mediocre company.
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If you have a great idea for a website, the most important next step is to find yourself a good web host.
There are so many hosts out there it can be hard to choose the best one for your website. To help make that decision simple and easy, we have reviewed 7 of the most well regarded hosting services available across the web, highlighting the features offered, so you can quickly and easily choose the one that's just right for you.