14 Checklists to Gauge Your Best Web Hosting. It’s hard to navigate the world of web hosting, especially if you are just getting started. That’s why I’ve created the ‘Best Web Hosting for Beginners’
Sometimes in life, you have to make tough choices and what you decide can make or break your future.
The same could be said about setting up your new website: the decisions you make regarding your web hosting provider will either set you up for success or cause you a whole world of pain.OK. Alright, maybe we exaggerated a tad bit and the choosing of a web host is not quite so dire or dramatic.
However, make no mistake, selecting a host for your website is a big deal and can be extremely challenging.
Everything from the security and stability of your website to its speed and up-time hangs on you selecting the right host.
With so many excellent — and some not-so-excellent — plans and hosts out there, it is hard to navigate the world of web hosting, especially if you are just getting started.
For beginners, do check out some of the web hosting jargon or terms for easier understanding of the article later on if needed.
Best Web Hosting from these 14 factors
This is why we will be sharing with you the 14 vital factors you should consider to choose the best right web hosting provider for your website or at your interest and not others.
What to look for in a web host.
Let’s get started!
1. Types of Hosting
Generally, there are three main types of hosting: shared hosting, VPS (virtual private server), and dedicated hosting.
a. Shared Hosting
When you sign up for a shared hosting account, you are sharing one server with the provider’s other customers.
If you are just starting or all you need is a light website, go for shared hosting as it is usually more affordable and beginner-friendly.
Shared hosting is perfect if you are looking for a place to host blogs, limited-product shops, portfolio websites, and other smaller projects.
FOR: Beginner, hobbyist, Budget-constraint, 0 Technical knowledge
Set-Up Difficulties: Easy
b. VPS (Virtual Private Server)
A type of shared hosting, VPS is the somewhat-middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated hosting.
With VPS, you are sharing a physical server with other users but it is divided up so that there are multiple virtual dedicated servers present.
If you are creating your website for things like medium-sized online stores, websites with lots of content, or news portals, this is the one for you.
FOR: Intermediate, Upgrading, Flexibility to install software
Set-Up Difficulties: Moderate
c. Dedicated hosting
Usually, for huge projects like social networks and big online stores with many products, you are getting an entire server to yourself with dedicated hosting.
There will be no sharing of resources with other users and you can control and customize the server setup.
As dedicated hosting is self-managed, it is more suited for those with advanced technical knowledge.
FOR: Advance users, Exceptional Performance, Know-How
Set-Up Difficulties: High
2. Control Panel
You will be spending a lot of quality time with your control panel as almost everything is done through the panel — from installing sites and setting up security to managing email accounts and adding domains.
You want the control panel to be user-friendly, easy to navigate, easy to understand, and with plenty of resources for support.
cPanel is the industry favorite and also the most commonly used.
Clean and beginner-friendly, opt for hosting services that come with cPanel — like Siteground and Bluehost — if you are new to hosting or just want a safe choice.
3. One-Click Installer
If you plan to use WordPress as your Content Management System (CMS), look for hosting services that offer additional support or features.
One extremely handy feature that some hosts offer is a one-click WordPress installer.
Some hosts will even pre-install or install WordPress for you. This can save you a whole lot of time, effort, and headaches.
4. Easy Site Backup
There is no heartache like heartache from losing data. This is why it is important to go with a host that performs regular backups so that they can restore your site if and when the need arises.
Some of our free cloud storage is able to backup your hosting files as well.
Or even host your website with cloud storage.
Make sure to not only check whether the host performs backups but also the frequency of the backups.
Quite frankly, you will encounter some issues regardless of which host you end up with. This is where quality support comes in.
First, pay close attention to the prospective hosts’ available support channels.
Are they only available via live chat?
Or can you communicate with them via the phone?
Is help limited to contribution from community members in the forum?
Ensure that they offer at least one support channel that you are comfortable with.
Another significant aspect that you should look at when it comes to supporting is the hours they are available.
Will someone be around to help 24/7 or is assistance only available during business hours?
A good host will have support available to assist you 24/7.
Bear in mind that problems happen to every host but an excellent host will strive to resolve issues effectively and promptly.
There will also be communication every step of the way.
Do not settle for anything less.
With hackers, viruses, and malware abound, you want your host to commit to the highest standards in terms of security like what we are having in our most secure cloud storage here.
When you are screening prospective hosts, make sure that they have appropriate measures in place to protect your website.
Some keywords to look out for include firewalls, malware detection, network monitoring, and SSL (Secure Socket Layer).
There will always be flaws and it is imperative that the hosting companies are always aware and will take swift action in countering the issue.
7. SSL Certificates
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol for sending sensitive information (including personal details and information like credit card numbers) securely over the Internet.
As Google Chrome has started to actively warn users if the site they are trying to access is without an SSL certificate, most users would be wary to visit these sites.
This makes SSL certificates vital for website owners like you.
Google Chrome will gradually be blocking out all mixed content that is not secured.
When you are selecting your host, be sure to check if it is possible to get an SSL certificate with your package.
Some hosts, like Siteground, even offer free SSL certificates as one of the perks of signing up with them. Most of them are partnering with Let’s Encrypt for your free SSL/TLS certificates.
8. Addon Domains
Consider carefully how many sites you intend to set up. If you have plans to create multiple sites, make sure that the hosts you are looking at allowing for an easy upgrade to a plan that allows more domains.
It is also worth keeping in mind that some providers offer unlimited domains.
While most hosts do include email and usually with unlimited accounts in their packages, it does not hurt to confirm this with them.
This is important as having an email address that is associated with your site’s domain presents a more professional front in addition to being easier to remember.
Maybe you currently only have 15 visitors to your site or, perhaps, you are the only one traipsing around your site.
However, it is never too early for you to ask the prospective hosts what plans are available for you to upgrade to when the time comes and if they can handle the upgrade process on your behalf with no downtime.
Think big and make sure that you have a seamless path for growth.
11. Server Location
If speed is a concern for your website (and it should be), have a look at the hosts’ server locations.
The closer your visitors are to the server location, the faster your website will load. This is why some web hosting providers allow you to choose your data center location.
So, choose a provider that has a data center close to your target visitors.
While there is no denying that price is a huge factor when it comes to choosing the right web hosting service, it really should not be the deciding factor.
The price of the service does not necessarily reflect the quality of the web host.
So, instead of settling for the cheapest plan without much thought to anything else, opt for a plan or package in a reasonable price range that offers you the most value.
13. Differences in the Sign-Up and Renewal Costs
Do not fall into the trap of only looking at the price for the first year but pay close attention to the price after the first year, too.
Some providers attract new customers with low sign-up prices but raise the price when it is time to renew.
While that is perfectly fair and an industry standard, check that the differences in prices are not too far apart.
14. Trial Period and Refund Policy
You cannot always bat a thousand and, sometimes, things do not go as planned.
Thus, it would be wise to look for a host that allows for cancellation and has a generous refund policy.
It would be even better to go with a host that offers a trial period just to test the water.
Most service providers in the markets offer around 14-15 days of trial.
Top 3 Quick Recommendations for Web Hosting Picks
Indeed, the world of web hosting is not the most straightforward and it can be so easy to be buried under the jargon.
Choosing the right web host was never an easy task in the first place.
However, once you know what your needs are and the right questions to ask, it will be a breeze to navigate your way around it and it will be smooth (well, smoother) sailing from here on out.
With the 14 checklists in mind, we short-listed the top 3 favorite best web hosting in our opinion.
DISCLOSURE. We are affiliated with some of the products recommended and will earn commissions if you decided to purchase through the link here. Be sure that this will not cost you an additional penny. In fact, you might be getting a special deal from us through our partnership with the supplier. Numbering has nothing to do with ranking!
- A2 Hosting – Fastest Shared Hosting
Over 19 years in the industry
Hosted on SwiftServer Platform
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
Arizona (West US)
Michigan (East US)
Being crowned as the fastest shared hosting by several independent web hosting test sites and A2 also claimed that they can provide 20x faster web hosting experience than any competitors, we dig deep in finding out what’s behind the fast loading time.
The server’s hard drive plays an important role. As opposed to spinning hard disk, A2 uses Solid State Drives (SSD) to host all your files and codes that can load up to 300% faster.
They also did numerous customization towards tweaking their platform so it can work swiftly and efficiently with other services such as Cloudflare, APC, Memcache, etc.
As research has shown, performance matters. Especially page loading speed where people expect your site to load in under 3 seconds as the new norm nowadays.
- Siteground Hosting – Best WordPress Integration & Support
NGINX Direct Delivery
SG Optimizer WordPress Plugin
Best Support 24/7
Site Backup Everyday
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
Student Web Hosting Program
Iowa (Center US)
Chicago (East US)
First of all, Goodcloudstorage.net is hosted with Siteground. We can say that their support is top-notch.
Customer support was round the clock, and our favorite method to keep in touch is by using their live-chat function. They can solve most of your problems on the spot, thanks to all the knowledgeable support staff.
Otherwise, they will escalate the issue to their advance technical superior and get their hands on it for you (we mean nasty issue).
From our own experience, Siteground has awesome support that is second to none.
Their service is specially crafted for WordPress even with the lowest tier, but you can only enjoy their in-house built speed optimization plugin for WordPress, SG Optimizer with GrowBig, and GoGeek plan.
Again, this is an awesome plugin for the non-technical webmaster that needs to fine-tune or improve their WordPress performance.
All the heavy lifting part has been done for you. You just need to turn on or off the specific setting based on your requirements.
- BlueHost – Unbeatable Uptime Performance
Server Status Notification
In-house WordPress Experts
Big brand under Endurance International Group (EIG)
Site Backup only available with higher tier plan
99.99% Uptime Average
It is one of the biggest web hosting companies at the moment.
With aggressive marketing tactics, it’s not hard to see that Bluehost offers some of the most attractive pricing packages for their web hosting plans.
It’s a great choice for most beginners given the low entry price although they had their down moments.
There had been a security breach in 2015, affecting 1.6 million websites hosted under them. But, they are quick to address the problems and provide fixes.
Up-to-date, Bluehost hosts over 2 million websites with them, and we do not see why you cannot be one of them.