Best Web Hosting Services of 2021
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What are Website Hosting Services and how does hosting work?
If you already have an idea for a website and have chosen a domain name, website hosting is next. Your website needs to be posted onto the Internet, and after that, it can be accessed by your customers anytime.
Website hosting companies provide you the technologies for your website or application on a server. Sometimes its only the storage and other necessary features and sometimes they help you build your entire website.
Choosing a website hosting depends a lot on your business model. You have to know in advance the kind of website you want to host, the goals, and the infrastructure needed for your website.
Once you’ve done that, the search begins. It can be difficult to choose the right one between dozens of companies, but we’re here to help.
How to know which hosting provider is the best for you?
Web hosting is essential in having a website that performs well and is successful, so you must take your time choosing the right one.
The wide web hosting market might make it a bit difficult cause there are so many providers out there, but there are some things you must know to make the right choice.
The availability rate or also known as the uptime is an important factor to consider. It shows the time your website is going to be available to your clients.
For whatever reasons your website might experience downtimes, but most web hosting companies tend to achieve a goal of 99.99% uptime. This means that with a 99.999% uptime your site will be down only a few minutes per year.
For an uptime of 99.98% it will be down for 1 hour and 10 minutes and so on.
The accepted standard is 99.95% and some of these hosting companies might promise better uptimes but the reality might not be the same, so make sure to search for data.
One of the most basic needs of your website is bandwidth. Bandwidth means how much data you can deliver to your website visitors in a given time. It is usually measured for one month, including both uploads and downloads.
If your website will include a lot of images and flash, media downloads, or if you expect it to have lots of visitors per month, you should go for “unlimited” bandwidth or providers that allow you to upgrade your bandwidth.
Bandwidth affects your website’s speed and connectivity, but if your website is small, it will run smoothly with only a few GB of bandwidth.
Small businesses are often targeted and attacked, and considering the fact that even successful companies have had their difficult moments regarding site security, it is a difficult task to choose a secure web hosting company.
When choosing your provider you should look for free services like SSL certificates, DDoS attacks, firewall, or malware protection.
Choosing the right web hosting provider might make things easier but other things like updating your software, password management, and frequent backups must also be done to ensure maximum protection.
Cybercriminals can take your site down and cause financial loss, damage your ranking in search engines, or the customer experience so it is very important to make sure your website is safe and secure.
Some web hosting providers offer both Linux and Windows servers, while most of them only offer Linux-based servers. Linux servers are open source and rarely the target of cybercriminals and they cost less.
It supports multitasking functionality but it’s not that user-friendly, and some professional software doesn’t work with Linux.
Windows serves, on the other hand, have a more friendly interface, have better support and better integration with Microsoft applications, and more features.
Windows has a very powerful web application framework, ASP.NET while Linux is favorable for languages like PHP, Python, Ruby, or MySQL. Chose your operating system carefully because changing it later can cause a lot of problems.
Depending on the business and the need there are a few options when choosing the right hosting plan including :
Let’s break down the most popular ones and find out more.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting is often the cheapest and basic plan that most of the companies provide. Shared web hosting means that you share the server and the resources with other websites(it can be up to 100 websites or even more).
It is a good option to start with especially if you’re hosting a small website that won’t get a lot of traffic.
The resources aren’t shared equally, but your site can get more storage or bandwidth than others if they need it, this way your page’s growth can affect other page’s access to resources.
When reaching the limit, your hosting provider might suggest you make some changes or upgrade your plan.
Your site security is also in danger because if a website hosted on the same server as you spread viruses, it has a lot of chance that your site will get infected.
The shared web hosting prices are very low, especially the introductory prices, but the prices may go higher on renewal.
The bottom tier is a great start for a small project, but if your site has other necessities you might consider VPS hosting.
Virtual Private Hosting is also a popular choice for hosting. A virtual server creates the idea of a dedicated server, even though websites share the resources and the hosting is isolated from other websites.
This type of hosting is in the middle of shared web hosting and dedicated hosting, you have unrestricted root permission, better than shared web hosting but worse performance than dedicated hosting.
Your website is safer and you have your resources, that you won’t have to share with other websites.
Its prices are often affordable for small and medium businesses, even for large ones, because dedicated hosting can get very expensive.
Dedicated or managed hosting is a hosting option when a physical server can be entirely used by a single customer. It is a very expensive option and recommended for bigger websites that get a lot of traffic.
The speed is significantly better than with the other hosting options, and you have full access to configure the server to match your necessities. Your site is even more secured with dedicated hosting, and you get a lot more disk space.
For sites that cannot afford downtimes and low load speeds, dedicated hosting is the perfect hosting type for you, of course at a price. Your server can be managed or unmanaged.
The unmanaged one is the client himself the one who does the administrative work and has to manage other technical tasks himself, while with a managed server all the tasks are managed by the provider.
WordPress servers are optimized for WordPress websites to improve performance and security. It is similar to shared web hosting but designed for specific WordPress needs.
The prices are more expensive than shared web hosting, but be careful to choose a WordPress plan that does offer more than shared web hosting plans to improve your site’s performance.
Other features to consider:
Unless you’re a pro and like to solve problems only by yourself, you’ll be going to need the help of the technical team one day.
There’s no such thing as the perfect hosting company and when things go wrong, the help from the technical staff is more than needed. It is an important factor that you must consider especially if you’re a beginner.
When choosing between two providers with similar prices and plans, you must go with the one with the best customer support. Almost every provider offers email support, which is often used for non-critical issues.
Live chat and phone support in your country are other forms of support that you should look for.
The customer support experiences depend on the preparation of the agent, the situation, or the problem you’re facing so that’s you always see mixed reviews for the customer support.
Along with the uptime, a fast load time is essential for a website. A fast server can help you grow your business, improve user experience, and your SEO, search engines penalize slow sites.
According to researches made by Google, more than half of the users leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load (mobile users). SiteGround and A2Hosting provide the fastest load times in the industry.
Server location affects the site’s performance so the closer the server the better.
Most of the American hosting companies have their servers only located in the US, but if your visitors are mostly Europeans you should consider providers with servers in Europe, for better performance.
The more server locations that a provider has the better too because it’s the closest server that responds when a visitor tries to access your website.
Prices are determined by the packages and the features they provide. Shared web hosting prices range from $0.99 (Hostinger) per month up to $10 per month (first term prices for three-year contracts).
One of the biggest factors that affect the clients’ choice when choosing a web hosting company is the price.
Price is not always in correlation with value unfortunately, you must take into consideration other factors when choosing your host, depending on your website.
Most of the hosting providers provide plans for long subscriptions and they’re the ones with the most discount amounts.
You should also take into consideration the fact that your website might grow a lot in the future, so take a look at the other plans too, in case you want to upgrade.
Email accounts can be a big factor for some businesses when choosing the right web hosting providers. Most of them offer free email accounts only for the top-tier plans.
A professional email, [email protected] would cost you an average of $28.88 for a year, but you can get them for free if you chose the right provider.
They might come with limitations regarding the frequency of the emails sent per hour, numbers of emails you can have, email size, etc.
As it was mentioned before, you should search for a hosting provider that fits your need and your website.
For example: if you have an online or affiliate store you should look for companies that provide e-commerce and marketing tools.
Also, find a provider that allows you to download CMSs or use scripts to keep an eye on your insights and make changes depending on your needs.
Check out some of the best hosting providers :
As confusing as it might look if you’re a beginner, you must take your time and evaluate all the options to choose the right provider for your website.
The goal is to find all the features you need in an affordable package, keeping in mind all the factors you must consider when choosing your host.
Also, you must aim for a provider that you will partner with for a long time without sacrificing your site’s performance for the price.