In the digital age, every business needs to have an online presence. Gone are the days when only multibillion-dollar companies flaunted their websites. From small businesses and bloggers to large corporations, there exists a wide range of web hosting providers for every possible enterprise. The best way to find an appropriate web host service is to evaluate your own needs and research types of providers before shopping.
Types of Web Hosting
Once a website is developed, its contents need to be stored in a server space and provided with Internet connectivity in order to become accessible on the web; this procedure is known as hosting. The four basic types of web hosting are:
- Shared: When two or more websites share a single web server, it is known as shared web hosting. This is a relatively cheap option, as the cost for the server is split between several clients. Drawbacks include potential security risks due to misconfigurations in file permissions and system performance issues if the server is heavily loaded. It is therefore best for sites with low traffic and/or smaller budgets.
- Dedicated: E-commerce or streaming sites with lots of traffic might opt for a single dedicated server. This option helps reduce overwhelming the server since it is dedicated to only one site. Though pricey, it allows greater flexibility for clients as they are able to choose features like their own operating systems or hardware.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS): VPS has a website share its hosting space with other sites while also maintaining a virtual server, which acts as a dedicated server; this makes it an affordable hybrid of a shared and dedicated server.
- Cloud: Cloud hosting takes several web servers and uses them as a single server for customer needs. Corporate giants like Facebook and Amazon, who have an incredible traffic every day and large budgets, often opt for this type of hosting.
Great Hosting Service Options*
Overall Great Option: BlueHost
According to multiple surveys and recent evaluations, Blue Host is a top web hosting service based on general criteria. It provides options for the four basic web hosting types. Starts at $2.95 per month.
For Beginners and Rapid Growth Seekers: HostGator For independent businesses or individuals creating their first site, HostGator is a dependable and reliable option. It comes with a 45-day satisfaction guarantee and reliable customer service. Starts at $2.78 per month.
For WordPress sites and Blogging: InMotion, WPEngine
InMotion hosting has WordPress pre-installed and comes with a free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. An unlimited number of WordPress sites can be hosted using this provider. Starts at $4.99 per month.
WPEngine is best suited for larger enterprises that primarily depend on WordPress websites. It comes with unlimited data transfer and daily backup. Starts at $19.33 per month.
Cheapest Option: iPage
iPage hosting is not only an extremely cheap option but also one of the most reliable hosting providers since 1998. Customers have unlimited disk space, emails, and bandwidth. Domain and site builder accesses are included. Starts at $1.99 per month.
Premium Hosting for Large Businesses: LiquidWeb
For large businesses, LiquidWeb is a reliable service provider. Customers only pay for the number of resources used per day. An outgoing bandwidth of 5TB is provided and unlimited incoming bandwidth. Starts at $29.50 per month.
Green Hosting: GreenGeeks
GreenGeeks is a clean hosting option that has all-inclusive services, including unlimited web space, data transfers, and domains. Free marketing tools and domain transfers are also available. Starts at $3.95 per month.
*The prices and features mentioned above are indicative of a basic package. After further customization, prices may vary.
Other Important Considerations Before Choosing a Web Host Provider
- Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully. Many hosts claim to offer unlimited storage for data. There are, however, hidden costs if data surpasses a certain limit set by the host.
- Choose bandwidth settings based on expected network traffic. For websites with lots of animations and extensive user interface, having a high bandwidth is a must.