Many people often face the question of choosing a top web hosting provider. The equation becomes more complicated as there is today on the internet a multitude of people who claim to be specialists in the field and ready to offer you these kinds of services.
During my twelve years of experience in online marketing; I have seen so many people who are wondering what is the best web hosting provider. I have noticed that this is a relevant question that I had to contribute.
It is to help you get a proper answer that I have taken enough time to evaluate different website hosting companies, and the benefits they can bring to their users. You will find the conclusions I reached in this article.
This post contains a list of the most secure web hosting companies. However, it not exhaustive, as in all research, I chose among my sample these top five, but you may eventually discover others.
I advise you to take the time to read this article; you will find useful information about companies from which you can choose those that suit you to host your sites.
I wish you a pleasant reading and a lot of success, whatever the activities you do online.
1. What Is Web Hosting Service?
According to Wikipedia.org, web hosting is an Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their websites accessible on the internet.
Hosting companies provide their customers with space on an owned or rented server to be used as well as Internet connectivity typically in a data center.
It is also possible that these web hosting services companies provide data center space and Internet connectivity to other servers located in their data center as colocation, also known as Housing in Latin America or France.
Available data show that until 1991, the Internet was limited only to science and engineering education. People used it for email messages, USENET, FTP, and telnet.
At that time, the World Wide Web protocols had just been written, and the graphical browser was created towards the end of 1993.
Since hosting a website on the Internet requires a computer or server; and not all individuals or organizations had the budget, or the expertise to do that at their own, web hosting services were born.
Some companies started offering such services on their servers to owners of websites, also known as webmasters. From that moment, webmasters could create websites and host them on the server belonging to those providers.
As the number of Internet users kept growing, large, medium, and small businesses became more aware of the necessity to have an online presence. In 1 995, companies like GeoCities, Angelfire, and Tripod were already offering free hosting services.
2. The Top Five Web Hosting Companies
As indicated in the introductory part, there are several hosting companies among which you can choose the ones that suit you to host your website. You will find below the most popular.
Bluehost is a web hosting company whose origins date back to 1996. It currently belongs to the Endurance International Group, and it is one of the five largest internet web hosting services providers.
This company collectively hosts more than two million domains worldwide with its sister companies HostMonster, iPage, and FastDomain, and employs over 750 people currently.
It operates its servers in a 4,600 square meter facility in Provo, Utah; and shares the same facilities with its sister company HostMonster.
Bluehost offers shared hosting plans, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, WooCommerce hosting, and many other types of hosting. It also sells offers domain services and its servers are powered by caching PHP7, HTTP / 2 and NGINX +.
Once you become a customer, you will find that this company has an easy-to-use interface that will allow you to connect, choose a domain, install WordPress in one click, choose your favorite themes; as well as creating as many sites you want.
Another factor that makes Bluehost a reliable hosting company is its uptime of 99.99% and average load times of less than one second. These critical aspects will allow your sites to work optimally.
Also, Bluehost has built CloudFlare controls directly into Cpanel that you can enable on any domains or sub-domains.
It is an easy process; you do not have to worry about hardware, software, or code changes. The Bluehost Cpanel will take care of the DNS changes and set up your CloudFlare.com account automatically.
Using a CDN is a crucial aspect that will increase the speed of your network. You will also find that Bluehost integrates with different software in its MOJO market.
If for example, a customer needs a shopping cart software or eCommerce software, they can easily install them.
Also, Bluehost is a web hosting platform recommended officially by WordPress.org. You can click here to read a detailed review of this company; if you want more information about it.
To open a Bluehost account, you can follow the process described hereafter.
- Go to Bluehost.com and click on Get Started, you can then choose a subscription plan that suits you, the cheapest sells at $ 2.95 per month.
- Enter a new domain name, account information, account plan, and billing information.
- Add (you are advised) the add-ons Sitelock Security and Codeguard Basic.
- Click Submit to finalize the process.
In second place comes Hostinger International Limited, which is a hosting company whose origins date from 1996. It was called Hosting Media at that time, but its owners changed the name in 2011 to adapt to its rapid growth.
Following its international expansion, the owners of this company have established subsidiaries in other countries such as Niagahoster.co.id launched in Indonesia and in 2,014 they created weblink.com.b in Brazil. They also opened a new data center and a company in Singapore in October of the same year.
Hostinger currently has 29 million customers in 178 countries utilizing paid company uses cloud-based web hosting technology; it provides hosting services with MySQL, FTP, and PHP.
this company is also known as a hosting company that offers the lowest hosting plans on the market; as well as an excellent uptime and page loading speed. The basic package will cost you $ 0.99 per month for a four-year contract.
This company is a perfect platform for beginners; it will teach you how to create free WordPress websites and will allow you to perfect your skills.
The platform is also multilingual; it includes twenty languages and has a support service available permanently. If you need any assistance, you just have to log in to your member area to start the live chat.
Hostinger is among the fastest web hosting providers, it has an average loading speed of less than 200 ms and will provide your site with an uptime of 99.9%.
This company also has a personalized dashboard (hPanel) that is user-friendly; its owners organize massive sales that include SSL certificates as well as free domains.
Once you become a customer, you will be able to create a free WordPress site to start your online business at no additional cost.
You will also have access to Zyro’s website builder, which offers thousands of templates from which you will choose. You can read this post if you want to get detailed information about Hostinger.
To open an account at this company, you will need to follow the process described below :
- Go to Hostinger.com and click on start.
- Choose the hosting plan that suits you, the best being the one that costs $ 0.99 per month for a four years contract; it will save you 50%.
- Enter your email and create your password.
- Follow the indicated process to build your site.
- Edit and publish your website.
As you can see, Hostinger offers a lot of advantages in terms of uptime, page loading speed, free domain, website building, technical support, cheapest hosting plans of the market, and many more.
SiteGround is a web hosting company founded in 2004 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Recent statistics indicate that it hosts more than 1,800,000 domains worldwide.
Its staff is currently estimated at more than 500 people, and this company has five data centers in the United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Singapore in Asia.
SiteGround runs CentOS, Apache, MySQL, PHP, and WHM / cPanel on its servers. Its owners have developed software solutions for account isolation, monitoring, reaction as well as speed optimization. It uses Solid State Drive (SSD) to store data.
As for its products and services, they mainly consist of web hosting for WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce websites. Also, SiteGround has a Weebly connector, and it is known for its excellent uptime.
Its current average uptime is 99.99%, and it is a platform that has been designed on very stable Linux containers. Also, it has a loading time of less than 750 ms.
The basic hosting plan will cost you $ 3.95 per month for a one-year minimum contract. It includes free encryption of Let Encrypt SSL, daily automatic backups, and your site could receive up to 10,000 monthly visitors.
SiiteGround also has a competent support team available all the time to assist you, whatever the need. You can read this article if you want to learn more about this company.
GreenGeeks is a hosting company founded in 2008 by Trey Gardner, it currently hosts more than 300,000 websites and has data centers in the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands.
Its owners say they buy three times more wind energy credits to power their platform. They have partnered with Green Power of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Once you become one of their clients, they promise to give you file storage, bandwidth, unlimited email accounts as well as a free domain.
GreenGeeks also has an exciting feature called hosting account isolation setup. It uses a container-based VPS approach to provision accounts with dedicated computing resources and a secure virtual file system (Secure vFS).
Secure vFS’s role is to ensure that customer accounts are not accessible by other users. It will protect your website against malware and other dangerous activities.
As a GreenGeeks customer, you will choose between three shared hosting plans that are the Ecosite Starter sold at $ 2.95 per month, the Ecosite Pro plan that will cost you $ 5.95 per month and the Ecosite Premium plan priced at $ 11.95 per month.
These are promotional offers and to benefit them, you will need to take a subscription of at least one year. Unlike most of its competitors, GreenGeeks does not charge additional fees, and you can cancel your subscription at any time.
The owners of this company offer their clients a 30-day period to request a refund of their money. If you cancel your account after this period, no refund will be granted to you.
DreamHost is a web hosting provider founded in 1996, its business headquarters are located in Los Angeles, USA, and it belongs to New Dream Network, LLC.
As of February 2016, this company had nearly 200 employees and more than 400,000 customers worldwide. It offers a shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting network consisting of Apache, Nginx and Lighttpd web servers that run on the Ubuntu operating system.
In 2012, DreamHost also launched cloud and computer storage services for entrepreneurs and developers. It has a control panel that will allow you to manage all your services, a custom application designed in-house, integrated billing, and a support ticket system.
Also, this company will offer you an excellent support service; there is a live chat service available permanently for customers who have at least monthly subscriptions.
It is also worth mentioning that the company offers almost 100% uptime guarantee, a 97-day money-back period, a free SSL certificate, and a WordPress firewall for more security.
Everyone will get built-in server caching and a static IP address. The company’s owners claim that their servers are very fast to respond to web requests, a proxy with Apache stacks and PHP WordPress.
The basic subscription will cost you $ 2.59 per month for a 36 months contract, thus a total cost of $ 93.24 for three years.
3. How To Choose A Web Hosting Provider?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best web host service provider, you will find below the most useful, but they are not exhaustive.
3.1. Host Management
The host company must provide users an easy to manage interface or control panel. Such an interface must include scripts, modules, and other critical applications for the proper management of your websites.
Industry experts call web servers that do not use configuration panels to manage their customers’ accounts, the “headless servers.”
Also, you need to be aware that some web hosting companies specialize in specific software such as eCommerce or blogs.
3.2. Reliability and Uptime
To measure the uptime of a website, you need to consider the percentage of a year during which this website is accessible to the public via the Internet. It differs from measuring the uptime of an online system.
The uptime does not take into account the fact of being able to reach the website as in the event of a network outage. For example, the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for a hosting provider can include planned outage cases per year to maintain the systems.
In principle, the planned downtime is not part of the service level contract period, and it is not taken into account when calculating the uptime.
If the uptime of a system is lower than that of the signed SLA contract, the hosting provider will reimburse the lost time.
Be aware that the way to determine downtime may differ from one provider to another; you must take the time to read the SLA before accepting them.
Finally, even if all providers do not publish statistics on the uptime they guarantee to their customers, most hosting providers will guarantee at least 99.9% uptime. It means that the downtime of your website will be 43 m per month or 1.43 m per day.
Security is another crucial aspect to take into account when choosing the hosting provider. Once you accept to use a web hosting service, you give the complete control of your website’s security to the hosting company. It is a kind of total confidence.
The level of security you will get from the web hosting service provider will be critical to your success online; it is an essential factor to consider while determining which provider to work with.
Be aware that for various reasons, malicious users can attack Web hosting servers in different ways such as downloading malware as well as malicious code to a hosted website.
In general, such attacks aim to steal people’s confidential information about their credit card, the launch of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack as well as sending spams.
The last important factor to consider is the price because all hosting companies do not provide the same subscription plans. Take the time to compare the most popular and their different subscription plans.
Also, do not forget that some companies propose low prices initially to attract a lot of customers but charge higher renewal amount later. You must be careful and avoid to fall into such a trap.
4. Types of Web Hosting Services
You can find hereafter a list of the leading web hosting services:
4.1. Shared Web Hosting Service
This is a hosting service where all websites are placed on the same server. Typically, all domains share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU.
Shared Web Hosting has pretty basic features that are not very flexible in terms of software and updates. In general, Resellers sell shared web hosting, and web companies have reseller accounts that allow them to provide hosting services to their clients.
4.2. Reseller Web Hosting
This hosting will enable customers to become web hosts themselves. Resellers may operate for individual domains in any combination of these types of hosting based on their affiliation as a reseller.
Many resellers provide service almost similar to their shared hosting plan. However, they remain responsible for the technical support service provided to their customers.
These resellers have accounts size that can vary greatly; they can also have their dedicated virtual server on a collocated server.
4.3. Virtual Dedicated Server
This is a hosting generally known as Virtual Private Server (VPS), it consists of dividing the server resources into virtual servers. Resources are allocated in a way that does not directly reflect the underlying hardware.
VPS allocates resources based on one server to many VPSs relationships, but virtualization may be performed for several reasons, such as the ability to move a VPS container between servers.
The users can have root access to their own virtual space, but they are often responsible for patching and maintaining the server (unmanaged server). It could also be that the VPS provider takes care of server administration on behalf of their clients (managed server).
4.4. Dedicated Hosting Service
It is a host where the user gets his web server with full control access. He has root access for Linux and administrator access for Windows but does not own the server.
The fact that a user has full administrative access to the server means that he is responsible for the security and maintenance of his dedicated server.
4.5. Managed Hosting Service
It is a web hosting service where the user is given his web server. However, he will not have full control over it because root access is denied for Linux / administrator access for Windows. As a customer, you will be able to use FTP or other remote management tools to manage your data.
Web hosting service providers do not give full control to the user because they want to ensure the quality of service; and that clients do not modify the server or create configuration problems. The customer does not own the server; he is a tenant.
4.6. Colocation Web Hosting Service
This hosting service is almost similar to dedicated web hosting, the difference being that the client owns the colo server. The provider will give him a physical space for his server and take care of its maintenance.
Colocation Web Hosting is powerful and expensive. It could also be that the collocation provider gives little or no technical support to maintain his client’s machines. His assistance will be limited to electrical installations, Internet access, and server storage.
In many cases, the customer will ask their own administrator to visit the on-premises data center for upgrades and hardware changes.
4.7. Cloud Hosting
It is a new hosting platform that will enable you to benefit from a powerful, scalable, and reliable hosting service based on cluster balanced load servers and utility billing.
Subject matter experts claim that websites hosted in a cloud may be more reliable than other alternatives. It may be possible that other cloud computers compensate for the failures of a single piece of hardware.
In general, sites hosted in the cloud are not subject to local power outages or natural disasters because cloud hosting is decentralized.
Another advantage is that the suppliers only charge their customers the resources consumed, instead of charging them for a lump sum.
However, the lack of centralization means that users do not have enough control over the location of their data, and such a situation may pose data security or privacy issues.
4.8. Cluster Hosting
Clustered servers are an ideal solution for high availability dedicated hosting. They allow users to create a scalable web hosting solution.
In general, web hosting companies use clustered hosting for their shared hosting plans to avoid the associated inconveniences; mass customer management offers many advantages.
4.9 Home Server
It is possible to place a specially designed machine or a simple PC at your home and use it to host one or more websites from a standard broadband connection.
However, some ISPs will try to block home servers by banning incoming requests on TCP port 80 from the user’s connection. They may also refuse to provide static IP addresses.
Therefore, the best way to get a reliable DNS hostname will be to create an account with a dynamic DNS service. Such a service will automatically change the IP address to which a URL points when the IP address changes.
5. Why Avoid Free Hosting Services?
Indeed, every human being always wants to make bargain purchases, whatever the products or services concerned. We are chasing good deals that are worth more than the money we spend.
However, most people end up making bad choices for themselves and their businesses. They make the mistake of choosing free hosting offers for their websites instead of utilizing paid services.
Such people end up realizing that they have made bad choices because the free web hosting providers limit the services offered, and do not provide the necessary technical support.
Below you will find several reasons why you must avoid using free services to host your websites.
5.1. Free Web Hosting Services Are Unreliable
A person or company that provides free services does not have a special relationship with his clients; he can restrict such services at any time or even stop them permanently.
In such circumstances, your online business will suffer tremendously. Take the case that you have a blog hosted for free and that you make the continuous effort to write quality content to feed your website; while establishing good relations with your prospects and customers.
However, you are surprised one day to notice your free Web hosting provider has closed the taps and that your website is no longer accessible. Can you imagine the losses that will result from such a situation?
Not only you risk losing a lot of money you would have gained in terms of sales, but also the relationships with your prospects and customers will be negatively impacted.
Also, you will spend a lot of resources to transfer your data and turn back your blog in order. In other words, you will regret having chosen free hosting services, especially that your free hosting provider will decline every responsibility towards you.
4.2. Free Hosting Does Not Exist
Be aware that if you can freely host your website on free servers without paying anything to the owner, you will have no control over the ads that will appear on your pages.
Such a host wants you to believe that his services are free while it is not the case. He will later place free ads wherever he wants on your site without your consent.
This may compromise your website because your visitors do not want to see the annoying ads. Also, you will not be able to monetize your blog by renting advertising space for people who wish to promote their businesses online.
4.3. Lack of Control Over Your Site
Free hosts often have the terms and conditions of use which clearly state that you do not own your site.
They will not let you take full possession of your blog, and if you want to give it to a third party (sell it), it will not be possible. You can even be called a fraudster and be denied access to many other essential services on the web.
4.4. Lack of Customization and Support
In general, free web hosting services limit their users to the options for web page design. Many of them use templates that do not allow for useful modifications to customize your site correctly.
Also, the free web hosting services will offer you a limited capacity of plug-ins, you will not be able to add to your site useful tools that will allow you to operate it optimally.
Even worse, free hosting services do not offer technical support to their users. In case of any technical issue, you will be abandoned to yourself and will have a hard time getting out of it.
4.5. Limited Storage and Bandwidth
The last thing to mention here is that free hosting providers also sell paid hosting plans. In other words, they will limit your storage and bandwidth.
They want you to believe that their services are free, but they will do everything to limit the associated features. Their goal is to build a big list that they will use later to promote their different hosting paid plans and other products and services.
It is the end of this article that tried to answer the question of what is the best web hosting provider; that most of you ask themselves.
It also described the criteria to consider when choosing a suitable hosting company, the types of web hosting services as well as the reasons you should avoid free hosting services providers.
I hope you will find this article useful and I thank you for taking the time to read it. If you have some questions and comments, you can leave them at the bottom of this page.
It will be a pleasure for me to get back to you a soon as possible.