Best Web Hosts

 

For most people, the difference between a domain name, a website, and web hosting is not as straightforward.

But if you’re looking to start a new site or a blog, it’s important to understand what hosting is and how to pick one.

Five most important features of a hosting plan

Here are the most important things to look at when choosing your hosting provider:

1. Speed

Your site not loading fast enough will cause visitors to be looking somewhere else. Tests have shown that 2 seconds is enough for people to close a stale tab and move on.

Investing a money in promoting a site that’s not loading, is not the best strategy. Make sure to pick a host with proven performance.

Multiple server locations are crucial for improved load times. Have a Spanish business? Check if your hosting company has a data center in that area.

2. Security

Online security is crucial when you rely on your website for making money. Amazon is losing $2 Milion for every minute they are down.

Here are some important features to look for:

Firewall (DDoS) – A firewall helps protect your website and your site’s visitors from virus attacks and malware

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) – For added protection, SSL certificates encrypt visitors’ data  Using Let’s Encrypt is always a good sign.

Dedicated IP address – having a dedicated IP address means that you’ll be able to access your site even in situations when your domain is down. This option is usually a bit more expensive and is not available with shared hosting solutions.

Website backup – Offering regular back-ups and simple restore options will keep your mind at rest. This is the one thing not to miss.

3. Scalability

When you are launching a site you have to think of a long-term solution. In the beginning, traffic may not be severe, but what if one day you hit a sweet spot and traffic comes rushing in. The servers will need to handle traffic spikes and keep an optimal load speed especially when demand is high.

4. Support 24/7

The internet doesn’t sleep. If something goes wrong to your site you’ll want a fast answer anytime. For beginners, documentation and tutorials could make a big difference when setting up your first site.

5. Space

Bigger space allows for high-quality images or video files. Also, if you have several projects planned, be sure to check if more than one website can be added to your single hosting setup.

Recommended Web Hosts

1. SiteGround

Best for: Freelancers and developers, small businesses and WordPress blogs

Backups and security

  • SiteGround offers free daily backups on all hosting plans. Starting from GrowBig, they also keep up to 30 backup copies of the website.
  • There are free Let’s Encrypt certificates available. Also wildcard SSLs available on higher-tier plans.
  • 24/7 award-winning support, over phone, chat and ticketing system.
  • Additional security features offered via their “SG Site Scanner” option – monitoring service that checks your website daily and immediately notifies you if it has been hacked or injected with malicious code.

Data centers in: Chicago, Amsterdam, Singapore, London, Milano

2. InMotion

Best for: Both startups and small to mid-size businesses, a low-priced and dependable option for WordPress users of all sizes (and non-WordPress sites as well).

Backups and security

  • InMotion runs automatic remote backups on all shared hosting and VPS hosting plans for free.
  • Each account comes with the first 10GB block of remote backups free. (Important note: New backups overwrite previous backups, so it’s recommended that the user maintains backups on their end as well.)
  • You get access to a 24/7/365 US-based support, and there’s 24/7 server monitoring on all hosting plans.

Data centers in: Washington, Los Angeles

3. A2 Hosting

Best for: A good all-around choice, coming with great support.

Backups and security

  • Backups are taken automatically on the Swift and Turbo plans. Plus, they come with a file recovery feature in case anything goes bad.
  • Offsite backups available.
  • Free SSL certificates via Let’s Encrypt available on all hosting plans. Wildcard SSLs and advanced SSL available as well.
  • 24/7/365 “guru crew” support available via email, phone, live chat.
  • A2’s Perpetual Security package included on all plans – proactive protection against malicious hackers and security threats. Includes: KernelCare, Dual Web Hosting Firewall, Brute Force Defense, Virus Scanning, Server Hardening, 24/7/365 Security Monitoring.

Data centers in: Michigan, Amsterdam, Singapore

4. GoDaddy

Best for: First-time website owners who just want to have a site launched at minimal cost, but still want to be able to use a quality host.

Backups and security

  • Malware scan and removal.
  • Free daily backups & 1-click restore.
  • SSL certificates available only for plan “Ultimate” and higher.

Data centers in: Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, Ashburn, Virginia, Amsterdam, Singapore.

5. WP Engine

Best for: High-traffic WordPress sites that need reliability; agencies creating sites for clients; WordPress-centric users.

Backups and security:

  • High security measures, including multiple firewalls and regular malware scans.
  • Daily backups for your WordPress sites (40 backups available)
  • Daily malware/virus scans and monitors an updated firewall to block the latest threats.

Data centers in: Iowa, Virginia, South Carolina, Oregon, Ohio, Montreal, Belgium, Ireland,Frankfurt, London, Taiwan Sydney, Tokyo

 

Shared vs Managed Hosting

Here’s a comprehensive video of how shared and managed hosting applies to WordPress websites.

 

SHARED Hosting

  • Automated updates are not available.
  • No backups available.
  • No speed optimization.
  • General security mechanisms on the server itself.
  • No additional database optimization.
  • There is a limit to the number of visits above which the site will become inaccessible.

MANAGED Hosting

  • Automatic site updates.
  • Automatic daily/weekly backups.
  • Built-in speed optimization through caching, CDN networks and better hardware specs.
  • Built-in security mechanisms.
  • Built-in database optimization.
  • Scalability optimizations (servers capable of handling more traffic if need be).
  • Optimized server settings.
  • Staging sites available.
For more in-depth articles, host comparisons, and studies check out these hosting resources:

Best WordPress Hosting Providers Compared
What is WordPress Hosting 
Best Hosting for Small Business
Free Hosting Providers
E-commerce Hosting Solutions