One-size-fits-all is a lie. The Earth is technically big enough to hold everyone, and yet you can’t get enough armrest space. This is equally true of web hosting. When you’re trying to fire up a personal domain, or a new business, you can put it basically anywhere. The trouble is, up-time, hosting features, accessibility, and support all factor in to change how good a host is. Then, there’s the traffic concerns. If your website gets popular, a lot of traffic can be tough for a basic hosting package, and some hosting sites will either throttle you, overcharge you, or allow your site to crash. All of which costs you visitors.
To circumvent disaster, you need to have a hosting company with the infrastructure and survival rate to (almost) never fail. There’s no such thing as bombproof, but there is a wide gap between decent and secure. Once that’s been wrapped up, you must consider what kind of site you’re going to be hosting, so as to get the right bandwidth to fit. A streaming site with video content needs more than a text and photo job. If monetization is on your mind – and it should be – you also should be looking at security features and interfacing with outside vendors.
That means flexibility, technical guru-hood, customer care that borders on mothering, and hardware that can’t stop, won’t stop. Plus, hacking security, to say nothing of prices that meet your needs without skewing your bottom line. Get down to it and only the 7 best web hosting companies are worth your time.
Starting off with unlimited space for an unlimited number of sites, 1&1 wants you to have all the storage your Lonely Island fan blog or start-up business(es) could want. 500 MySQL databases are allowed, should you need to store and parse your information, or distribute it to your faithful visitors. You won’t need to know any HTML or CSS heading in, since there are click-to-build interfaces. Costs are laughably low, particularly for the fairly robust feature set. Service is good, if not anything to tell your mama about.
There’s quite a few hosting plans to whet your whistle with the Gator, and each one comes bursting with features and accessories. The primary goal here is clearly business hosting, as monetization and professionalism abound. At every turn you’ll be given tools to improve and enhance your web presence. The site building tools are good, though you’re always going to do better by doing it with a CMS like WordPress. Among stress tests, HostGator was found to have among the best uptime in the business, which is absolute music if you’re hoping for reliability. Overall, novices will have the easiest time here.
The website iPage has been around since 1998, proving it’s a survivor, if nothing else. Though it’s an early adopter, iPage hasn’t made waves until recent years, as it lived largely as a quaint, boutique domain register and hosting gig. In 2009, it proved that it was ready to emerge from the chrysalis, giving you a lot of low-cost, high-value additions. Unlimited in almost every way that counts, the technical support and customer care could be quicker and more comprehensive. That’s going to reduce the utility to the technically backward. Those who know how to handle their own site will be fine here. Those who are fresh into the pool should flounder a bit with a more user-friendly choice.
Bluehost was once the thinking person’s web hosting service. Then it got split up a little too heavily, with email support being spotty, and other upstarts hopping in, giving easier access with a less clunky interface. Bluehost tends to be very good for those starting out, but will quickly expect you to pay increasing fees to keep your site up – whether it’s getting traffic and using resources or not. For hosting and mail, to say nothing of shopping, Blue is still among the best. It’s when you get into the back and start to see how poorly some of the accessories work – to say nothing of sudden à la carte pricing for basic items – that the bloom fades. The more basic items you need, the more you’ll pay.
There’s little fault to be found with the web hosting giant. It has everything you could possibly need, interfaces with every system, can work with any design layout, and has more ways to plug in, hook up, and get on than any other service. It’s also more costly than all but the best, and GoDaddy is not shy about upping the ante once sure you’re unable to escape. The ability to go as big as you want and know the service can grow with you is helpful, though unnecessary for 99.99% of those that use it. Deeper than the deepest ocean and wider than the sky, GoDaddy has everything and then some, for anyone who doesn’t mind the weighty gate fee.
Quick and dirty is the way that InMotion works best. It has a lot of parts you can add into your website, but each one operates oddly and has a separate login, which can quickly make changing or navigating your site frustrating. There’s no hosting for WordPress, the most popular CMS in the world, which is going to hamper you if you were going to use that on the back end. Though clunky, it has as many great additions as big dogs like GoDaddy. The uptime numbers are great, and it is incredibly easy to use for both hosting and building a page. You’ll even find their money back guarantee is better than average. If it weren’t for the clunky, insurmountable execution, InMotion would be the best option around.
The name is appropriate, as the goal here is to offer a skeleton hosting structure. It’s up to you to hang your meaty website all over it. That means you’d better understand FTP, and know some coding. It doesn’t have managed WordPress hosting, which is a major issue for anyone reliant on the world’s most popular content manager. The uptime is toward the low end of the spectrum, which is not ideal for anyone hoping to make money, or create a social experience. It also tends to get obnoxious trying to upsell you other products. It’s a balance of price and usability that barely makes the cut.