Web Hosting is one of the first things you need to start an online business. It should be at the start of your to-do list when making a website. Therefore, it is very important to choose hosting that fulfils your needs. There are so many options for web hosting these days that it can be hard to figure out which provider to use. Some offer great value, while others offer superior features. This guide will highlight the best hosting you can get for your website right now at different price points.
Best Value For Money – SiteGround
SiteGround offers a range of features at a price that can’t be matched by its competitors. For a start, SiteGround hosting takes place entirely on SSDs – Solid State Drives that are many times faster than traditional hard drives. When you have a lot of data on your site, this advantage will make your site a lot faster for your users. SiteGround also has built-in data protection for domains which is normally charged at a premium on other providers. This hides your data from public record, without it, your name, address and other personal details can be viewed online by anyone. SiteGround also offers guided installation for several types of site including WordPress – in fact, SiteGround is an official WordPress partner, so you can trust it to deliver an outstanding experience here. SiteGround also has excellent 24/7 support. All of its advisors are given a star-rating so they try their best to help you out – they never let me down.
Cheapest – HostGator
Hostgator offers very cheap hosting and limited features. It is a good choice if you are experienced in hosting as it offers little in the way of beginner support – you are chucked into a cpanel interface which will be familiar to those who have hosted multiple websites, but confusing for beginners. You can often find coupons online to get the best Hostgator deal, and sometimes it can be very cheap indeed – certainly worth considering if you’re setting up on minimal cost.
Popular Alternatives – GoDaddy + 1&1
GoDaddy is one of the largest web hosting providers. They offer many add-ons and features which can make it easier to launch your website. GoDaddy also offers good support and competitive prices, however you will usually find it’s best deals come about when you purchase multiple years in advance which will have a high up-front cost. GoDaddy also reserves its best deals for first-time customers, and when you go to renew your hosting you might be surprised to see the price jacked-up significantly, although this is true of most providers.
1&1 offers competitive pricing and some features that aren’t standard. Like SiteGround, 1&1 offer guided installation for several types of site including WordPress. It also offers 24/7 live support – but be aware it is only over the phone. I have used 1&1 and noticed they have a live chat for sales but not for support! I find it easier to communicate a complex problem through text rather than on the phone to somebody who speaks English as a second language. I will point out my problem was eventually solved but I always prefer text chat to a phone call. 1&1 also sports a slightly more user-friendly interface than standard, but this can sometimes backfire as things are not always found where you expect them to be.
Free Hosting – Too Good to Be True?
You can find services which will host your website for free, but are they worth it? Simply – no. Free hosting should only be used for a short-term project such as a university portfolio or a temporary site – not a business! You can’t run a business on free hosting as it will be significantly slower than a paid provider and also suffer much more down-time – you might go to check on your site and find that it has been down for a few days in a row! Consider it like this – what motivation does a free hosting provider have to help your site run smoothly? If your site goes down, you can’t really complain – it’s free after all.
Overall Recommendation: SiteGround
SiteGround is the provider this blog started on, and offers amazing support and features that are perfect for beginners. Their WordPress installation takes all the hard work out of setting up a blog. If you want a cheaper provider, you will have to shell out for the features you get as standard at SiteGround.
P.S If you are looking for a domain as well, use domain.com. They are the cheapest at $9.99 a year.