Web hosting is an essential part of establishing an online presence. You must choose a web host that fits your business needs and budget perfectly.
There are many web hosts today, making it difficult to know what and who among the web hosting service providers.
Fortunately, this article is written to help you put all the puzzles together and connect you to the right web host for your projects.
We’ve compiled invaluable information about choosing the right web hosting services based on experience and use cases.
Once you understand the criteria for picking a hosting service, you can decide and start your blog on the right path to success.
So, in this article, we will discuss the followings:
- What exactly is web hosting?
- Why do you need website hosting?
- The essential features you need to pick the right web host.
- Different types of web hosting
- The best web host for you
- And our top editorial pick
What is Web Hosting?
Web Hosting is the business of making individual or organization websites/web pages visible on the internet.
A web host provides the space and technology required for the website to live online.
Without it, your website has no place on the internet. Therefore, it won’t be visible to people who dial your domain URL.
Imagine what a parcel of land does to a building. That’s what Hosting does to a website.
You have no place to set bricks upon without the land to build your house.
So, in simple layman’s terms, hosting companies provide the parcel of land you need to build your website online so it becomes visible to people.
This parcel of land is what they call servers in digital marketing terminology. Your website’s files are stored on your web host server, ready to be accessed 24/7/365 days.
If you require more information, check out this Wikipedia definition.
Why Does Web Host Matter?
When starting a new blog, the choice of Hosting could be the last thing on your list. But the attention you give to this area could also determine the success or failure of your business.
Today, so many choices exist that it’s easy to opt for cheap, low-cost services.
But think about it…website hosting should be part of your business investment. It is one of the most critical aspects of your online business. You shouldn’t settle for less.
This is because the availability and performance of your website will go a long way in determining how people use your website.
If people can’t get through your web pages quickly or it takes ages to load, you might lose money and an audience.
So choose your web host wisely.
What to Look for in a Web Host?
For beginners, even pro internet marketers, there are specific criteria one should look for in any web host before making a choice.
Here are some essential features you should watch for in a potential web host.
1. Responsive Customer Support
You should look for customer support channels in any potential web hosting provider. Take it or leave it; no matter how good a web host is, something will surely break someday.
You need your web host support team to be there at the point of need.
If your web host only provides one support channel, that indicates an unreliable support team.
Imagine you’re in the middle of a BIG launch, and suddenly, your website is offline.
You tried everything you could from your end, but nothing seemed to be working. It appears you need your web host to get it back online.
You quickly opened a support ticket; behold, it was the weekend, and no one responded to your email.
What’s going to happen?
All your efforts, investments, preparations, potential sales, etc…everything will count for nothing.
A good web host will provide several support channels to reach out in need.
At least, there should be an email, live chat, Twitter, and Phone call support system on the ground 24/7/365 days.
2. Clear Pricing Details
Hosting prices should be laid out on the website. This is because price increases are a common practice in the industry.
Price changes usually result from growth in your business and an increase in blog sizes. As your website traffic and needs increase, more disc space, bandwidth usage, and budget are required.
Opt for a web host with prices, terms, and conditions visible on the website.
3. Server Uptime and Reliability Guarantee
Server downtime is one of the reasons I left my first web host. A few things in online marketing are more frustrating than seeing your website offline.
Most web hosts displayed the 99.9% uptime guarantee sales tactic on the sales page, but from experience, many web hosts don’t deliver even up to 90% server uptime.
Check with your web host to verify server uptime and guarantee policy, or read an honest review from previous or current customers; it will guide you to more reliable and valuable information.
4. Bandwidth and Storage Capacity
If you’re on a Shared hosting plan, this is something of concern, as unlimited bandwidth is not always unlimited.
Though you’re starting with a simple blog with low traffic, bandwidth and storage capacity might not be an issue.
But as your blog grows in popularity and traffic, there are chances you might exceed bandwidth limits.
The good thing is to choose a web host that discloses bandwidth limit and storage capacity.
As per the storage limit, you will never hit the maximum limit unless you upload video and media content to the server and collect and store user data.
You can always switch hosts or migrate the existing blog to another, but choosing a web host provider offering scalable packages is a good idea.
6. Renewal Fee
There is a standard marketing tactic in the web hosting industry; most first-time purchases are introductory prices – this means you get a significant discount on being a first-time customer.
Some web hosts offer up to 80% discounts if you use the annual or multiple-year hosting plan. And you could even get a discount on renewal, but that’s not always the case.
You must read the pricing details carefully to understand the renewal cost after your initial hosting period expires.
You don’t want to subscribe to a plan you might not be able to renew when it’s time.
Different Types of Web Hosting
Businesses differ in many aspects; marketing needs will vary from company to business.
Your web hosting choice will depend on your business type, needs, traffic level, management skills, budget, etc.
With that being said, let’s walk through the available options today.
1. Shared Hosting – Best for Beginners
As the name suggests, Shared Hosting is when you share server resources (such as CPU, RAM, Storage, etc.) with hundreds of other websites on the same server.
Shared Hosting is the ideal option when starting a blog with low traffic.
If you’re looking for a cheap web hosting plan (HostPapa shared Hosting is a good example), this is the perfect option for beginners.
It is believed that shared Hosting is less fast than others.
This is true when you compare the average speed on a Shared server with a website on either VPS, dedicated, or cloud servers.
One of the most significant advantages of Shared Hosting is it’s cheap and very affordable.
Being on a Shared Hosting server also means every website on the same server shares the operational cost.
The web host shared operational costs among all websites on the same server. This makes it very affordable for people on a tight marketing budget to start their blog without high costs.
Here is a typical example of a Shared Hosting type in the real world.
As you can see, many apartments are in the building above. Each tenant occupies an apartment in the building.
If the tenant opposite you gets too loud on his music or her children make a hell of a noise, you get disturbed in your apartment.
Shared hosting costs around $2/month and might increase to $10/month. This depends on some other factors like hosting features, add-ons, etc.
Most web hosts Shared Hosting plan comes with a cPanel user interface. So you have complete control over your website files.
There’s very little to configure in most Shared Hosting plans. This lets you concentrate primarily on your website’s management, such as content and promotion.
Domain.com is one of the leading domain name registrar and web hosting companies.
For as low as $3.75/month, you can host your website with a stable and secure platform. Enjoy unlimited storage and scalable bandwidth that grows with you.
You also get a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt when hosting your website with Domain.com.
Plus a 99.9% uptime guarantee and a free domain name registration for a year. Unlimited subdomains, up to 25 MySQL Databases, unlimited disk spaces, etc.
2. VPS – Virtual Private Server
A VPS Hosting is the middle ground between a Shared and Dedicated server.
VPS is more reliable and less server crowded. Though it’s still a Shared Hosting environment, its setup differs from a typical Shared server.
Websites on a VPS plan share one physical server, but it houses multiple separate virtual machines.
And unlike Shared Hosting, the number of websites on a VPS server is limited to provide better performance and reliability.
The buildings in the image below can be compared to how VPS (virtual private server) works in online marketing.
A building with many tenants but not as many as what is in the first image above. But still a shared apartment by several tenants.
One of the significant advantages of a VPS over Shared servers is that server resources are shared evenly among all websites on the same server.
So, if one website experiences a sudden traffic surge, it doesn’t affect another website’s performance.
This is possible via a virtual machine that creates separations for each website within the VPS server.
Another advantage is that VPS hosting is easy to scale as your site grows. Since you’re allocated a portion of the server resources, increasing what is allocated to you is no BIG deal.
You can easily make changes without affecting other websites on the same VPS server.
Since you’re only running virtual machines that create separations, making changes without affecting others is possible.
As expected, VPS is more expensive; if you have the money, go for it.
However, while VPS hosting is more advanced than shared Hosting, it requires some tech knowledge. You need to know what you’re doing when configuring your VPS.
NameCheap offers one of the industry’s best VPS hosting plans and features. And it is reasonably priced too.
At $9.88/month, you can purchase the Pulsar plan at 34% off the regular price today.
You choose your operating system (CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian) and decide whether you want to install cPanel.
3. Dedicated Server
With Dedicated Server Hosting, you have all the server resources for yourself. You share nothing with other websites.
You’re provided with dedicated server equipment, the security system, software, etc.
This gives you total control over the server resources.
It is a more flexible option that allows you to negotiate with the web host the terms and conditions and service level agreements as needed.
Here is what Dedicated Hosting types could be compared to in the real world.
As you can see from the image above, you shared no room with any other tenants.
One family occupies all the rooms in the building. No noisy neighbours. No interference from outsiders.
If anyone intrudes on your privacy here, you can shut them down.
This is similar to how dedicated hosting types work in online marketing.
One of the advantages of a dedicated server is getting a custom firewall that helps increase your website security.
You also get a unique dedicated IP address since you’re not on a shared server.
As expected, the server performance is higher than the two hosting types mentioned above.
Though the cost can be a significant concern for dedicated Hosting, if your business needs a dedicated hosting environment, you must do well enough to pay for its services.
The price starts anywhere from $40 to a $200 monthly fee. It’s a bit more expensive than Shared or VPS Hosting.
HostGator and NameCheap offer some of the industry’s best affordable and high-quality dedicated hosting plans today.
Save up to 22% off NameCheap dedicated hosting plans today and enjoy same-day set-up, a 99.99% uptime guarantee, free migration services, etc.
HostGator Dedicated Hosting plans start at $89.98/month for the Value server plan.
This plan gives you 1 TB HDD, 8 Gig RAM, four core/8 thread, unmetered bandwidth, Linux or Windows OS, and an Intel Xeon-D CPU.
4. Cloud Hosting
Cloud Hosting is essentially on a virtual machine, but this time, your website is part of an extensive network of computers powering your website dynamically.
It is a cloud technology that uses multiple servers to balance the load, increase server performance, and provide top-notch hosting services.
So, if your website’s server fails, another server automatically comes in to keep it running.
Cloud Hosting is the most scalable hosting type.
You can move quickly to a more resourceful hosting package as your business grows and requires more space and features.
For mission-critical and high-traffic sites, eCommerce stores, lead generation sites, etc…Cloud hosting is the perfect solution.
Web hosts commonly do not offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee in Cloud hosting.
And speed is one of the significant features of any Cloud Hosting plan. In the event of a DDoS attack on a shared hosting server, the server becomes overwhelmed by a myriad of parallel requests.
But in cloud hosting, it’s possible to spread the request across many computers, which helps mitigate the request better than on a single server.
When writing this line, this blog you’re reading is hosted on the NameCheap EasyWP Cloud hosting server.
EasyWP comes with an in-built three layers caching system. This makes the installation of another WordPress caching plugin unnecessary.
And for as low as $1, you can test-drive EasyWP for 30 days.
Another big player in the Cloud hosting service is Cloudways. Cloudways is one of the best web hosts that specializes in cloud services.
And you can install your favorite application of choice.
Whether you’re building with WordPress, Joomla, Magneto, Laravel, and PHP, you can do it with Cloudways.
They offer top-of-the-range cloud hosting services;
- AWS – Amazon web services.
- Digital Ocean
- Google Cloud Compute
Cloudways is one of the best in the industry when choosing cloud hosting.
If you want to test Cloudways for three days, use the coupon code “CYBERNAI20” to save 20% on your first invoice.
Which Hosting Type is Right For You?
Your level of entry, blog size, needs, budget, tech skills, business type, etc…all play essential roles in your option.
Choosing a web host that is right for you takes a lot of consideration and checklists. However, the most crucial part of the puzzle is understanding the different types of Hosting.
Once you understand this, you can better decide to pick the right option for your blog business. Hopefully, this article has provided helpful tips for making the right decision.
Going for a Shared Hosting plan makes sense if you’re a beginner starting your first blog online.
Look for CDN usage, SSL certificate usage (most web hosts offer free SSL certificates), RAM, SSD size, optimization features, backup policy, etc.
If you’re in doubt of anything, the best is to contact the support team of your potential web host. At least you’ll have a sneak view of how the support team works.
Editor’s Best Web Hosting Pick
This article is incomplete without giving you our best recommendations.
Though I will advise you to take this as a recommendation, I have practical experience with the companies listed here. Individual experience might defer.
Based on popular votes and my own experience, here is a list of the web host to try today:
- NameCheap – Affordable Packages
- Hostinger – speed, good support system
- Cloudways – Best for Cloud Hosting
- Domain.com – Beginner friendly + Free Domain
- HostGator – 99.9% uptime guarantee
- MochaHost – Life Time Free Domain, Lifetime Discount
- Rocket.Net – Built-in- CDN and WAF. Fast and Secure – Hacker-Proof
- inMotionHosting – 99%.99 uptime guarantee, best for an annual plan
- Liquid Web – Automatic daily backup, free SSL, and lots more.
There you have it; that’s our pick for the web hosting type for bloggers. Try one of these web hosts today, whether you’re starting a new blog on WordPress or another content management system.