- Why do you need website hosting?
- What features are the most important in a hosting service?
- What are the best hosting providers?
If you feel confused about looking for the best web hosting providers, be sure, that you’re in the right place. This article will help you figure out if you need web hosting and then find out who are the best website hosting providers nowadays.
Why do you need website hosting?
If you are the owner of a business, web hosting isn’t an optional luxury anymore; it’s a necessity. Nowadays people all around the world stay in touch via the web. Even the smallest local shops must be discoverable by means of the internet. At the least, every company should have an online page where potential customers can find its business hours and location.
We live in the internet era, when people find out about new businesses via search engines like Google or Bing. The web page is your opportunity to build online word of mouth. If your company doesn’t have a sharable website address, there are almost no chances of discoverability and therefore there is every chance you’re losing money.
Necessity of having website hosting isn’t only for businesses. This also applies to personal blogs and websites.
What features are the most important in a hosting service?
Now that we’ve decided that website hosting is required, let’s study the principal features that are offered by the providers. Studying the characteristics, try to choose the most suitable for your site. Below we will consider the most popular highlights.
Scale of Resources
First of all, stop thinking that an unlimited amount of the essential resources costs a fortune. So far, many website hosts are able to provide an appropriate amount at quite affordable prices. Be careful to choose the provider who can deliver the client all the necessary resources without compromising his budget.
Recent studies have shown that because of even a small delay (e.g. 2 seconds) your website can lose potential buyers. On the internet, online surfers used to think that everything should happen at the speed of lightning. That’s why they expect that every page must load in a two-microsecond period. This has resulted in an extremely short attention span of users.
While looking for a provider, choose the one who provides an instantaneous page load. With the reliable sources or on the official provider’s website you can find specific information about the average loading time.
Taking the least amount of time for loading is certainly a good feature, but it has no value if interested customers aren’t able to access your website. So far, the average uptime of the site should be no less than 99.94 %. That’s why you should not even consider web hosts that offer a lower uptime percentage. Choose a provider who has a good uptime history for their clients and who is confident in their capabilities.
For hosted websites, the mandatory and the most necessary measure to have is free SSL certificate. Further, a good website hosting service should offer scanning of network and servers . To guarantee secure financial transactions an ecommerce website should be PCI-compliant. In addition, your chosen web host must protect your site from cyber-attacks and remove detected malware.
Knowledgeable and quality customer support plays the most important role in hosting services. In fact, eventually every site becomes the victim of an issue or some kind of crash. It may lead to huge losses and problems for your business if the support team doesn’t respond in time to the call for help, or if it responds in time, but isn’t able to find the required solution.
If you used another website hosting service before, you should look for a new one that doesn’t charge extra to move your site from the previous host. Most providers mention this in their hosting plans. Transferring a website may not seem like an easy task, and that’s why paying extra for such a service is a big disadvantage. Definitely, it would be better to avoid this inconvenience.
Many leading web hosts provide domain registration. You only need to choose a domain name and then check its availability. This service may be included in the provider’s hosting plans, so you shouldn’t pay any extra money. This option is the most appropriate for website owners with a tight budget. In other cases, the domain registration is offered at a discounted price or you can pay a small charge upfront.
Data backups are usually provided by the hosting plans in a daily or weekly basis. It depends on the set price. For the more affordable backups, it can be set to a fixed number of data backups per day or a particular number of days for delivering the backups. This option can be either manual or automatic. Automated backups with daily frequency are thought to be the best choice.
Choosing a good provider, you will have an opportunity to have on your domain name an unlimited number of email accounts or in some cases a fixed number of accounts. In addition, with the package some security measures are offered so your inbox will be protected from spam. Another feature is an auto-responder so that, for certain emails, the default response will be prepared.
Support for the content management system (CMS) is crucial. CMS and WordPress are the leading platforms, but you can always choose other platforms (Drupal, Magento, PrestaShop, Joomla etc.) which are more specialized. They optimize many time-consuming functions.
To provide your site with a developer-friendly environment choose a hosting service which is compatible with the platform and the most popular programming languages. In this category, the common features of hosting service include support for some versions of Node.js, Perl, PHP, Apache, and Python. These additions may be valuable enough for the developers on your team.
In addition to all of these recommendations, read customer reviews on the respective pages of the service provider and test the customer support.
What are the best hosting providers?
The right web hosting provider can help your business reach its full potential in the shortest period of time. A perfect head start with great speed, crucial security measures, a full package of essential resources, and 100% uptime – all these features will be the keys to your success.
Let’s consider the best website hosting providers to find the one you need.
If you sign up with this provider, for the first years of use you will receive the domain name as well as the SSL certificate absolutely free. Bluehost is the primary choice for WordPress users. It offers special hosting plans with management support. In addition, the company offers SSH access for particular plan options, 24/7 phone support, and the guarantee of money-back within 30 days if you aren’t satisfied. A huge advantage of Bluehost is performing regular daily backups on all the hosting accounts, even on the lowest-priced ones.
Website migration is available for an additional fee. It’s important to note that after the promotional period the price does go up.
Hostinger offers many plans that can be easily optimized for WordPress. Even the cheapest plans are provided with a certain level of the SSH access, and many clients, who really need it, like this option. Regular backups, guarantee of money-back within 30 days, dedicated IP, 24/7 customer support and SSD performance are also at your service.
HostGator has plans that can satisfy almost all customers’ needs. The sophisticated site builders are able to choose Windows or Linux hosting as well as customize their virtual or dedicated service. Although SSDs are not supported on all plans, some of its services may be provided with faster drivers. Other features include regular backups, free Plesk or cPanel, guarantee of money-back within 45 days, and uptime monitoring. You also have an opportunity to purchase a dedicated IP address.
This company offers SSH access, the basic website migration, an all-SSD infrastructure, 24/7 telephone support, as well as live chat and email support. Backups, malware detection, and SSL are free. WordPress support is available with the integrated WP-CLI. InMotion Hosting guarantees money back within 90 days. To lower the price you may use the "loyal customer discount," a special option provided by the company.
SiteGround is the best solution for small businesses with atypical web needs. This web hosting provider has many useful options like creation of Git repo in one click and access to the staging server. The company offers high-performance SSDs, automatic daily backups (free), integration of the LetsEncrypt SSL certificate into websites (free), and unlimited email accounts. In addition, SiteGround actively protects customers’ security.
To complete the list of the best web hosting for small business eCommerce, and for large businesses, we should also mention the following website hosting providers and their key features:
- GreenGeeks (secured hosting environment, excellent server speed, free site migrations and domain registrations, website builder)
- Shopify (own POS system, unlimited products on all the plans, quality eCommerce support tools)
- A2 Hosting (pre-configured server caching, phone and live chat support, SSD storage, offsite backups)
- HostPapa (user-friendly control panel, reliable & secure business email, easy-to-use apps and tools, fast loading speed)
- Hostgator Cloud (auto malware removal and updates, ability to scale up server resources with little downtime)
All these companies provide solid hosting performance >99.95%.
Taking a risk can be really fun sometimes, but when it’s about hosting the site, stay serious and attentive to choose the most appropriate and reliable hosting provider.