Do you own a business? Want to start a blog? Have a great idea for a website that’ll make you rich? You’ll need a home on the web where your website can live, and those homes are ‘rented’ from web hosting services. The choice of companies offering web hosting is quite literally endless, so if you’re new to the game it can be overwhelming. Every company offers various packages at various prices and levels of functionality, but broadly speaking there are three types to choose from:
- Shared Hosting: Your provider hosts multiple websites on a single server. The advantage? It’s cheap as chips. The disadvantage? All those websites share the server’s resources, so if one site sees a huge spike in traffic, the other sites suffer.
- VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Server): The same as shared hosting, except that each website on the host server has their own dedicated resources. The advantages are self-explanatory. The disadvantage? The price tag is usually twice as high.
- Dedicated Hosting: Your website is the only one in the village – the village being the server. You have all of its power and resources at your disposal. Best for big websites and big budgets. You may also have to handle backend, technical issues yourself.
Which one you chose will depend on your budget and your needs, but you should keep in mind the future growth of your website/business. The more you pay, the more features you’ll get (like built-in e-commerce, email, unlimited data transfers, etc.). It’s easy to switch from one type of hosting to another, but not so much from one provider to another. With that in mind, here’s our top web hosting services of 2017…
With thousands of servers located across the USA, Europe and Asia and a wide ranging list of features and plans that can be personally tailored, SiteGround comes out top on more than a few web hosting lists. It’s well known for it’s exemplary security customer support, especially for WordPress sites. Although it doesn’t offer great storage or Windows server options, it’s an excellent choice for small businesses or those just starting out in the world wide web.
There aren’t many web hosting providers that will offer a very generous 90-day money back guarantee. And the good points don’t stop there with InMotion; it offers plans on all three web hosting levels, and is packed with features including a free domain, unlimited email, auto updates, 24/7 support and free back-ups. It’s probably the best choice for WordPress hosting – over 20,000 positive customer reviews can’t be wrong.
WP Engine is tailor made for WordPress hosting. It boasts dedicated WordPress support, unlimited monthly data transfers, daily back-ups, and malware scanning among other perks. If you’re focused on a WordPress site, it’s a solid choice. If not, you should probably look elsewhere. Plans are very much no-frills so don’t expect email, domain names or large storage.
Hands down the fastest web host around, A2 always gets winning reviews. Among the pros are top notch customer service, a 30-day money back guarantee, 24/7 support and did we mention lightning fast load times? The price plans are slightly above average, but from what we’ve heard it’s more than worth it if you’re serious about your site. One drawback: not all plans have Windows servers.
HostPapa has plenty to offer customers; 24/7 support, unlimited plans, free domain names and generous advertising credits, to name a few. However, we’ve heard that they can be prone to hidden fees and tend to have lower than average load times. For short term solutions or those looking to build beautiful, mobile-friendly sites with minimum effort however, it’s worth considering.
It’s PC Mag’s number one choice and plenty of others’ too, thanks mostly to great value for money. 1&1 offers unlimited web space, an unlimited number of websites, full SSL certificate support and up to 500 MySQL databases. ‘Click and Build’ means you can design and launch new features in rapid time, too. While competitors may offer longer money back guarantees, there’s no set up fees with this one.
A long standing crowd favourite, HostGator offers a variety of plans at each rung of the hosting ladder. It’s simple to use and reliable, so a great choice for those at the beginner or novice end of the scale. The domain is free, the support efficient, and there really is something for everyone. You could do a lot worse, especially if you’re a small business owner.
Aimed at individuals and small businesses, iPage has a simplified interface that’s perfect for non-tech savvy webmasters. All three hosting levels are catered for, plans are very affordable, and customer support is more than adequate. The budget-friendly aspect is countered by reportedly slow load speeds, however. It has helped over one million people get started on line though, so it can’t be all bad.
Intuitive, secure and versatile, BlueHost is a great choice for any kind of webmaster but a particularly good option for beginners. The simple interface makes it easy to build beautiful sites in minutes, and there’s plenty of support around if you need it. For advanced features you might want to head elsewhere, as the really good stuff comes with steep upgrade fees.
If you want VPS or dedicated hosting and have a hefty budget, LiquidWeb is ideal. It offers high end specs, Linux or Windows servers, tons of features that would take too long to list here, and outstanding customer service. You’ll need to splash some cash to get it though, so this probably isn’t the smartest choice for those still finding their feet.