If you have a business or a company or you would like to start your own business adventure, indeed you have been recommended to make a website. When contacting the agency or marketing consultant for your design, they will have explained that the first thing you have to do is hire a web hosting and domain service.
In this guide, you will learn the importance of having a web hosting provider that meets the needs of your business.
Also, you will understand why this technology is necessary if you want to increase your online presence and we will offer you a wide variety of highly recommended options to choose from.
What Is Hosting & Domain?
Web hosting and domain are different things. The domain, to explain it in a simple way and that everyone understands, is the name of your web page, that is, it is the name that the user types in his browser to access your website.
For example, to enter the website of Web To Sky, the navigator has to type in the browser webtosky.com. This URL would be your domain.
Hosting is a digital service whose function is to store the information and content of a website in secure and fast data processing centers.
These servers have the necessary infrastructure and technology to host your page and allow it to be visited anytime and anywhere in the world.
Characteristics Of a Hosting
Servers function as spaces where the data that make up a website can be safeguarded and that must be available for visitors to access easily, quickly, and efficiently. Some of its most important features are:
- To access the information it is necessary to have an internet connection.
- The information of the websites is stored on large bases that centralize information from a large number of domains.
- Hosting servers require a wide availability of space and specialized infrastructure and are an option to keep a page secure and ready to be executed.
- These services usually include hiring a domain name and an email platform.
- By safeguarding the information of your page on these servers you are sure that you will not lose it if something happens to your computer.
What Is Hosting For?
Let’s say you’ve arrived in a new city and are looking for a free room in a hotel. Among the many options available, you will surely choose the one that best suits your budget, that has the services you need and, of course, with enough space to fit your suitcases.
In the same way, as in hotels, hosting services offer accommodation or accommodation to their customers, but in this case, they are designed to store data.
In case you expect the visit of some friends, the hotel host must dial the phone number of your room to inform you that they have arrived. Your web domain works similarly: websites are hosted on servers.
When visitors (leads and regular customers) search for your URL or domain, they connect to the server that hosts your site. Then, your website (or the specific web page of your site they searched for) appears in their browser.
As in our example: if you expect many visits, you must have a room with a lot of space. And your host should also have room for many people.
These services allow centralizing the information of hundreds of web pages in specialized computers, which have a wide storage capacity and a fast connection speed.
In addition, just as the rooms of a good hotel are always spotless, the hosts are properly maintained to make your website available and running smoothly. Some web hosting services offer varying levels of support, security, uptimes of up to 99.9% (i.e. your website is operational 99.9% of the time), and more.
Types Of Hosting
- Shared Hosting
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- Managed Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
1. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is the simplest hosting solution out there. These services are usually very affordable because your website is on the same server as many other websites.
While it’s a cost-effective option, it’s only ideal if your site has low volume and traffic, as you’ll be sharing that service space with other businesses or individuals.
Sometimes this can cause your content to take time to load when the servers are saturated.
2. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
VPS is more expensive than shared hosting, but it has some considerable advantages. With this type of hosting, companies offer a dedicated server just for your website, although it is technically still shared.
VPS offers more customization and better performance than shared hosting, as you can use your own operating system and are guaranteed to have exclusive storage space for your site and consistent performance.
3. Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting is one of the most expensive options, as it is intended for websites with large amounts of traffic for extended periods.
This solution is the best option for large companies that require to ensure the privacy of their information or that have large online business activity.
In simple terms, with dedicated hosting, your website has its own server. This means that your company has full control over its systems, its security, and everything related to a server.
This option requires a high level of expertise, so you need specialized staff to manage your server properly and dedicatedly.
4. Managed Hosting
Managed hosting is a common option where the provider will manage your server (operation, security, maintenance, and more) so you don’t have to.
This is ideal for companies that do not have adequate technical staff (or do not want to hire them), although the correct operational functioning depends on the company you hire.
5. Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting is one of the newest options in the world of hosting. These services allow many separate servers to work together to behave like a large server in a virtual space, so information is not compromised in case any system fails.
This type of web hosting works well for growing businesses, as websites increase traffic and volume, cloud space can also increase.
Because of this setup, cloud hosting is usually pay-as-you-go for the amount of space you use at any given time.
How to Choose a Web Hosting Provider
- Identify what kind of website you’re creating.
- Determine what features you want in a hosting service.
- Think about the hosting support you need.
- Consider the growth of your website.
- Set a budget for your hosting service.
- Choose a provider.
1. Identify What Type Of Website You’re Creating
Analyze the type of website you want to create. By doing so, you will be able to limit your hosting service options (because there are so many).
For example, the type of website will be very different if you want to share a blog, or if you want to sell a product or service.
To determine the type of website you want to set up, ask yourself:
- Why am I creating this website?
- What kind of business do I have?
- Who is this website for?
- How many people will visit me?
The most common types of websites that people generate are:
- Blog websites.
- Online stores.
- Online portfolios.
- Individual websites (startups or small businesses).
- Commercial websites (small, medium, or large companies).
2. Determine what features you want in a hosting service
Once you identify your type of website, choose which features you need from your hosting service.
For example, if you’re the owner of a store that only sells online, you’ll need to make sure your hosting service includes eCommerce tools.
On the other hand, if you have a medium-sized business that’s growing rapidly, you’ll need to make sure your hosting service can scale with you.
3. Think about the hosting support you need
The different hosting services offer varying levels of technical support for aspects such as security, maintenance, installation, and administration.
To make the right hosting or hosting decision, determine if you have staff to manage your server (or plan to hire someone). Otherwise, you must choose a service that is responsible for managing the server.
Think about the size of your business and the regular amount of traffic to your site. Then ask yourself: what would happen if there is a problem with your website that can’t be solved right away, are you at risk of losing customers and ruining the trust you’ve generated?
The answers to these questions will help you decide how much you require from a service provider.
4. Consider growing your website
Do you foresee a drastic change in your website traffic as your business grows? Do you expect the fan base and visitor numbers to remain stable over time? These questions, as well as your type of business and industry, will help you choose an appropriate hosting service for your estimated growth.
If you know you’ll have a significant and consistent amount of traffic on your site, it’s worth investing in a dedicated server. If your medium-term growth and traffic are still difficult to establish but have the potential to change drastically over time, cloud-based hosting is a good option.
And if you’re a blogger who wants to share travel stories with friends and family, a shared server is probably all you need.
5. Set a Budget For Your Hosting Service
How much does hosting cost? That depends on the provider you choose, the type of hosting, and the plan you invest in. That is why it is convenient that you compare the prices and benefits of each of the services.
There are free hosting services (which we’ll look at later) and options that could cost you hundreds of dollars per month.
Usually, shared hosting is the cheapest option and dedicated hosting is the most expensive. The budget does not completely determine the quality of the service, so it is convenient for you to investigate in depth to make the best decision.
6. Choose a Hosting Provider
When choosing a provider, consider the conclusions you reached throughout the previous points. You can also review reviews and testimonials that real customers share on social media or specialized blogs.
In the next section, we will review 11 of the best hosting services: the most popular and best rated for you to choose the best one for you.
In this list, we will also identify the advantages and disadvantages of these options.
Best Hosting Sites
- A2 Hosting
- Google Cloud
- Square space
- WP Engine
Bluehost is an option on the market specially designed for those who want to start their business life online or want to generate a really powerful WordPress site.
Their products focus on delivering speed, performance, and impactful design.
- Choose between shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting.
- Use a free domain name for the first year you’re a customer.
- Take advantage of the support available to all customers, live chat support 24/7.
Cons of Bluehost:
- It does not offer free website migration.
- One-year plans, no monthly billing.
Hostinger is an alternative for those who want to hire a shared hosting service. Their servers work for both small and large businesses. It allows you to develop your own site without extensive experience and with fewer resources than the competition.
Pros of Hostinger:
- It provides a cPanel (Web Hosting Control Panel) that has been custom developed, regardless of the plan you have contracted.
- BitNinja security is included in all plans, so you can keep your website and information safe.
- It has a website builder in all its plans so you can create your pages without technical or coding knowledge.
Cons of Hostinger:
- Daily backups are only available to users who pay for the most sophisticated plan.
- Only business annual plans get free SSL.
- There are several one-time refund policies you should consider when hiring your plan.
Namecheap is a leading provider of affordable domains and hosting services, and the preferred choice of many website owners and startups around the world.
It is ideal for individuals launching their first website as it allows them to choose a domain name, create their pages without having coding skills, and fully manage the functionality of their WordPress site.
With Namecheap, you can buy a domain name for $.99 and VPS hosting for only $6.88/mo.
Pros of Namecheap
- The design and interface are very easy to use.
- Free and fast migration from other hosting providers.
- Daily backup.
Cons of Namecheap
- Some aspects of the dashboard are hard to find.
- There is no phone support.
4. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting is a hosting platform that stands out for the speed of its servers. This high-performance option serves both those starting their online business life and professional developers.
Pros of A2 Hosting:
- It offers five types of hosting: shared, VPS, dedicated, reseller, or WordPress.
- You have a money-back guarantee at any time and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- You can choose from the various customer support options available, including help desk, ticket system, and live chat.
Cons of A2 Hosting:
- It provides faster hosting than other options only on its Turbo plan.
- The service does not support payment card industry (PCI) compliance.
- If you want to move your data center without updating your account you must pay a migration fee.
HostGator is an option designed to cover both the most basic needs of companies and the most specialized demands of developers. His 20 years in the market have helped him make his service one of the best.
- It has a free SSL certificate included.
- It offers $100 in free Bing Ads for all its new customers.
- WordPress migrations are free.
Cons of HostGator:
- Private SSL is not provided with all plans.
- It only offers a free domain name if you subscribe to a one-, two-, or three-year plan.
- There is an additional fee that you must pay if you want to restore a version of your website or if you want to have access to one of the backups.
Without a doubt, GoDaddy is one of the most popular options on the market thanks to its worldwide presence and the accessibility of some of its plans. This hosting service is safe and efficient for most of a website’s tasks.
- It features unmetered bandwidth and a free domain with the annual plan.
- Choose from various types of hosting such as web/shared, enterprise/VPS, dedicated, or WordPress.
- Choose between migrating your website or developing one with your own site builder.
Cons of GoDaddy:
- Blog tools are basic compared to other hosting sites.
- It offers fewer customizable design options than other vendors.
7. Google Cloud
Google Cloud is a cloud hosting alternative designed by one of the largest tech companies in the industry. With this service you can host static or dynamic websites in the cloud, so access is always assured, as well as its optimal operation.
Google Cloud pros:
- You pay exactly what you use at any time.
- Your hosting plan can easily scale, as you need it.
- He recommends third-party tools for templates and creative support when designing your website.
- It implements the same hosting infrastructure used by sites like Google, YouTube, or Gmail, so its use is really simple and familiar.
Cons of Google Cloud:
- Creating a website requires the use of Google Compute Engine, so you’ll need to know the system.
- Specialized support fees are not very accessible.
- The number of hosting options and features offered by Google makes it difficult to estimate monthly and annual costs.
Squarespace is not only a hosting service but a comprehensive content management system that is committed to designing as the best means to capture the attention of customers and take advantage of the digital world.
With this platform, you can create your content, manage your data and, basically, control your entire online business life.
- Choose from dozens of professional, creative, and artistic template options.
- It offers unlimited storage and bandwidth.
- SSL is included, no matter which hosting option you choose.
Cons of Squarespace:
- It does not have automatic backup features available.
- Third-party customizations are outside of Squarespace’s customer support.
- It does not offer refunds for annual plans after 14 days and after the first payment, there is no option to switch to monthly plans.
9. WP Engine
WP Engine is a hosting platform optimized for WordPress site design and hosting. With its tools, you can manage and integrate everything necessary for your website to offer unique experiences and maintain full control of your information.
WP Engine Pros:
- It offers monthly or annual payment plans for any hosting service.
- It has custom options for sites that receive more than 1 million visits per month.
- It offers managed WordPress hosting and one of the best care services.
Cons of WP Engine:
- All plans have limited bandwidth and local storage.
- 24/7 phone support is not available for more affordable plans.
- There are a variety of add-ons that users can’t install, including backup and caching ones.
With nearly 3 million customers, SiteGround is one of the best options on the market for building your website and securely hosting your information. This service is also optimized for WordPress and works through Google Cloud.
- It helps maintain fast loading times and reliable service thanks to data centers located around the world.
- It offers automatic and daily backups.
- You can choose to migrate your website or work on it from their site builder, which is really easy to use.
Cons of SiteGround:
- Transferring your site is free if you pay for one of its two most sophisticated plans.
- The lower-priced StartUp plan only allows you to host one website.
- Although there are daily website backups, you can’t use them on demand, unless you pay for one of the two higher plans.
Free Hosting Services
Some of the options we reviewed above offer free hosting plans to start using their service for a limited amount of time (though they don’t offer much room to grow unless you sign up for a paid plan at some point).
If you’re looking for something that won’t cost you a dime, you can consider one of the following free web hosting services. And of course, if you later want to change hosting to a paid one, you can do it.
1. Infinity Free
The first option we recommend is InfinityFree. This platform is free hosting with better performance and with a really competitive speed. Plus, as the name implies, it offers space to host all the websites you need.
- It offers ample bandwidth and storage space of up to 5 GB.
- You can bring a domain name or use a free subdomain name through the platform.
- There will never be ads on your website.
Cons of InfinityFree:
- The number of email accounts, and MySQL databases are limited.
- Does not include personalized customer service and cPanel.
- Server power is limited.
000webhost is another free site that offers high-performance and capacity hosting. Although this platform does have some paid plans, we have included it in this list because its free service offers the necessary tools to fulfill simple, but important tasks.
Pros of 000webhost:
- The website builder is easy to use and requires no coding experience.
- You can pay to upgrade your plan and access more features.
- The service doesn’t show ads on your website.
Cons of 000webhost:
- It only includes one website and one email account.
- It offers a MySQL database and limited bandwidth.
- The power of the server is not very robust.
Byethost is a web hosting service that has more than 1 million registered sites. Their free servers are shared and have considerable power. In addition, the storage and its control panel make it a really interesting option.
- Enjoy a website without ads.
- Get access to community forums for support.
- Use a free subdomain name if you want.
- You have 1000 MB of storage.
Cons of Byethost:
- You have limited disk space, which can be a limitation for pages with too much content or if your site includes shopping tools.
- It is not available for the Windows operating system.
- It offers only five email accounts.
Now that you have a guide with which to evaluate a large number of service options available, you can make an informed decision regarding your hosting.
Simply put, your website needs a hosting provider to be accessible on the internet. Choosing a hosting service that suits your needs and expected growth is essential for the success and performance of your company and its online page.