“Website hosting” — I’m sure you’ve heard the term already — is an increasingly common question for bloggers, entrepreneurs, and anyone looking to build a presence online. But what the heck is website hosting, why should you care, and what should you look for in a web hosting server or provider? Follow along, and I’ll show you everything you need to know about the best web hosting sites and how to choose one.
What Is Web Hosting?
Let’s start with the basics. To sum it up, web hosting is a service on the internet that will allow your website to be visible to other people. When you start a retail business, you need a physical location (like a store) to keep and stock your products. Well, it turns out you also need a physical space for your online business.
Hosting is essentially the computer and network infrastructure that keeps your website available up and running. To make your website visible to others on the internet, the files and data must be physically stored on a computer connected to the internet.
This large-scale computer is also known as a web server for web hosting. Website hosts are companies that house and manage several large web servers specifically for web hosting. In addition, some of the best web hosting sites also provide software, security, support, and bandwidth to connect your website to the internet.
I like to think of web hosting as renting out extra space on a server for my website to be stored on.
So, what is web hosting? A web hosting service is how your website or blog — and the accompanying files and data — will be visible for other people to view on the internet.
Why Is Web Hosting Needed?
Simply put, web hosting allows you to share your website or blog with the world. Although it is possible to host your website on your own, it requires significant technical expertise, a large web server that requires climate control, and unrealistic costs for most website owners. All in all, it’s much easier to use a web hosting site to do all this work for you.
The cost of web hosting sites is relatively inexpensive when considering the expense and operation on your own. When you sign up with a hosting provider, in addition to paying for the server space, you’ll also get special software and their technical expertise — both of which are unrealistic for website or business owners to do on their own.
It’s much easier to pay a small yearly subscription fee and let your host provider deal with all the particulars for you. Whether you’re an individual, blogger, or business owner, the benefits of the best web hosting sites clearly outweigh the cost.
What To Look For In The Best Web Hosting Sites:
There are hundreds of web hosting companies to choose from. Even if you can narrow it down to some of the popular best web hosting sites, how do you know which one is right for you?
Here are some important factors to keep in mind when selecting your web hosting provider:
• User Interface: The importance of user-friendliness is often overlooked. Unless you’re a tech guru or web developer, chances are you’re like me and know very little about what happens on the other side of the screen. Choosing a web hosting service that’s easy to use is always a plus.
• Reliability: Undoubtedly, you’ll want your blog site to be available around the clock. Uptime, or the measure of uninterrupted time, is something you’ll want to consider when choosing a hosting site. Be sure to see what experiences other people have had with web hosting sites to be sure it’s a reliable host.
• Features: In addition to making your website available on the internet, most web hosting sites have extra features. These can include email hosting, additional storage, and even demo sites.
• Support: Choose a hosting service with a good reputation for resolving customer issues and concerns promptly.
• Cost: Pricing is obviously an important concern when selecting a web hosting site. Most companies fall within $5 to $30 a month. Although the cost is important, be sure to consider all of the features that are included in that cost.
Best Web Hosting Sites
Choosing the right hosting service for your blog or small business is extremely important. The health of your website will depend solely on the provider you use. If you’re trying to start a blog, then you’ll want to select a hosting site that meets your budget, technical requirements and suits your needs.
Let’s walk through the seven most popular web hosting sites today:
BigScoots is the web host provider of choice for Chasing Niches so I had to include it at the top of this list. They are an incredibly powerful and reliable web host provider. Starting at $5.95 for their shared web hosting plan, BigScoots offers 24/7 personal management and support, 100GB of premium bandwidth per month, a 99.99% uptime, free daily backups, and DDoS protection. Additionally, all plans are backed with a 45 day guarantee.
BigScoots also offers real Managed WordPress Hosting which is phenomenal and built for speed and optimization. It is the plan that is used here at Chasing Niches. With this dedicated web host provider, you can expect improvements in the performance of your site, high-end security, and superior services. They are completely hands on and will take care of your site’s entire migration process for you without any downtime.
2. WP Engine
WP Engine focuses exclusively on WordPress website hosting. Although their cost is slightly more than the other ones we share below, it provides much greater website performance and support. Starting at $25 per month, WP Engine offers 24/7 customer support, 25,000 site visits per month, 10GB of storage, and 50GB bandwidth per month.
WP Engine is a premium hosting site that is great at hosting WordPress sites. They don’t offer email or any other type of hosting but they do offer StudioPress Themes and the Genesis Framework, both extremely valuable and highly recommended by top business owners. WP Engine is great for anyone looking for a top-notch hosting service that specializes in WordPress sites.
SiteGround is one of the most popular hosting providers in the WordPress community. Starting at $6.99 per month (renews at $14.99), SiteGround offers a 24/7, round-the-clock help center, unmetered bandwidth, 10GB storage, free email and SSL, a website builder tool, and free site migration.
SiteGround also offers several hosting plans, including Shared, WordPress, Cloud, Reseller, Enterprise, and Dedicated Servers. Additionally, SiteGround supports a 99.99% uptime. Similar to BlueHost, SiteGround is an excellent option for beginners because of its support. That said, SiteGround does not offer any free domain when signing up.
It is still a super powerful web hosting provider with great features and we believe it is the perfect provider for beginner bloggers.
BlueHost is one of the largest web hosting sites today. Starting at just $3.95 per month (renews at $8.99), BlueHost is incredibly reliable with a guaranteed uptime of 99.99%. That roughly translates to only one hour and 45 minutes of downtime every year.
BlueHost offers several hosting options, including Shared, Cloud, VPS, and Dedicated Servers. In addition, Bluehost provides 24/7 live chat support, unmetered bandwidth and storage, free site migration and SSL, and a free domain for the first year.
Bluehost is great if you’re just getting started because it includes a variety of tutorials and guides. However, as soon as you hit 25,000 page views, you’ll have to upgrade to a larger plan.
Starting at $2.75 per month, HostGator provides unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth. In addition, they offer a free domain, one-click WordPress installation, and free access SSL certificates.
Like most hosting services, HostGator offers 24/7 live chat support. With HostGator, you can choose from various hosting plans, including Shared, Cloud, WordPress, VPS, and Dedicated Servers. HostGator also offers a reliable 99.98% uptime.
HostGator is an affordable option for developing businesses as they offer different plans that can easily grow with your business. Keep in mind though, HostGator renewal fees are somewhat higher than other sites.
Also an official WordPress recommendation, DreamHost is known for its reliable web hosting. Although DreamHost’s support isn’t 24/7 (ticket & callback system), its web hosting service starts at just $2.59 per month.
DreamHost also offers various hosting plans, including Cloud, Shared, WordPress, VPS, and Dedicated Servers. With an uptime of 99.96%,
DreamHost is great for anyone who values privacy. They offer free domain privacy with each domain purchase, a free SSL, unlimited bandwidth and storage, and a free domain for the first year.
7. InMotion Hosting
Starting at $5.99 per month, InMotion offers an industry-leading 90-day money-back guarantee, 24/7 US-based technical support, and a free domain and SSL. Additionally, InMotion offers unlimited bandwidth, the ability to host two websites on their intro plan, and a great, free drag-and-drop website builder.
InMotion is a great option for anyone looking for a reliable web hosting service that’s worth the money. Although not as well-known as SiteGround or BlueHost, InMotion offers a 99.9% uptime, excellent website speed, and automatic backup and hack protection.
And that is our top 7 picks! I know we covered a lot. To sum it up, the best web hosting sites do more than just keep your website live on the internet. In addition to storage and security, the server for web hosting can provide guidance, software, resources, and customer support.
There are a lot of options out there. Although many of the best web hosting sites are similar, each one is different and offers various perks and benefits included in the subscription. Do your research and choose wisely.