Top 4 Best – Web Hosting
Planning to set up a personal or company website? Looking for a good website host? We at Top4Best, have compiled four of the best web hosting companies available. Don’t settle for free or cheap dollar hosting services. These companies provide great service for reasonable amounts, especially for websites that demand great performance and reliability. If you have questions, read the FAQ section after reading through the internet’s Top 4 Web Hosting Companies.
Hostinger has the lowest starting price we’ve seen so far among web hosting services. But is it good or will you get what you pay for? Despite the pricing, Hostinger is not desperate pansy. Formerly known as Hosting Media, this company founded in Lithuania has been in business since 2004 so it has enough hosting experience to bank on, plus a worldwide presence with data centers located in the U.S., Indonesia, UK, Singapore and Brazil. Hostinger has over 29 million customers, thanks to its pricing and quality services. It enjoys enough popularity to gain one new client every five seconds.
But is Hostinger as fast with their service as they are with getting clients? At an average of one second per page, Hostinger is relatively zippy with loading webpages. As for reliability, like we have not suffered any downtimes or slowdowns, making them worthy of their claim to be 99.9% reliable.
It turns out that their starting price of $0.80 is just icing on the cake because the service is also easy to use thanks to their site builder, cpanel and easy add-on app installations. For advanced users, more complex tools can be added at very low prices and as expansion is a website’s very nature, the packages are scalable and easy thanks to the site’s 24/7 customer support plus the help of a large community of other users and supporters of the service.
The starting package of .80 a month is a shared hosing option with 10GB of storage space, which is more than enough for a single simple website or landing page, an email account and a bandwidth of 100GB but no domain registration, daily backups and SSL. The Premium plan is still very cheap at $2.15 which can host unlimited websites as many as 20GB storage can carry and twice the allocated processing and memory over the single starting package, but still devoid of SSL and daily backups. And lastly the business plan worth a very affordable 3.45 with four times processing power and memory than the Single plan.
It’s important for anyone starting a blog or company webpage to have their website be fast and responsive from the start. People would like to have their webpages load up immediately otherwise, they’ll move on to the next Google result. InMotion Hosting is a great place to start when setting up a hosted website. What makes InMotion different from the surprising hordes of hosting services is that they offer Solid State Drive (SSD) storage from the start. Why is that significant? Because SSDs are much faster versions of hard disks. While other hosting services make use of cheaper, higher-capacity spinning drives and offer SSDs as an option, InMotion offers SSDs from the start. SSDs are rather pricey but InMotion offers their hosting packages at reasonable prices. But SSDs alone do not, a good hosting service make.
InMotion has been in the web-hosting industry since 2001, making it one of the older, more experienced web hosting services with over 300,000 hosted domains. Experience is a plus when choosing hosting services. Being around for so long also makes the impression of being stagnant; on the contrary, shifting their drives to SSDs means they’re committed to offer better services, or at the least continue to be competitive.
To any business, location is important and InMotion has two datacenters in LA and Virginia to which subscribers are allowed to choose from. Web traffic the goes much faster to the subscriber’s preferred coastal demographic. So InMotion has the potential to be fast, but is it reliable?
InMotion Hosting has had several accolades from various IT publications such as CNET and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. That A+ rating comes from quick and efficient 24/7 customer support. InMotion claims a 99.9% uptime with a reliability level of 99.6%.
Offering SSD storage on the get-go entails significant overhead and InMotion is inclined to get that back so their packages will tend to be pricier than other providers in this list beginning at $6.39 per month on a 24-month contract which is not too bad. However, other cons for choosing InMotion include their US phone verification system which makes it difficult for non-US subscribers, plus their requirement of scanned IDs. There’s also their limited free site backup. Subscribers have to pay extra for websites that exceed 10GB of storage. Still, InMotion is a good choice if you’re US-based and don’t mind paying extra for speed.
Siteground is another experienced player in the field of web hosting. This company based in Bulgaria has been in business since 2004 and hosts over a million domains worldwide with data centers in Chicago, London, Milan and Singapore. What makes SiteGround stand out is their award-winning customer support to which they dedicate over half of their 400 employees and their focus on WordPress. The WordPress Foundation officially recommends Siteground as the best WordPress host. So if you’re running a website internationally, and plan to use WordPress as your platform, SiteGround may be the hosting service for you.
How fast is Siteground? Hosting services need to remain one-step ahead of the continuously dwindling patience of internet users. SiteGround makes use of several caching technologies to speed up website load times such as Memcached, Varnish Cache and Supercacher. SiteGround also makes use of SSDs to store content. Their focus on WordPress also means keeping up with PHP, so they use the updated PHP7 by default.
How reliable is Siteground? Like most web hosting providers, Siteground claims a 99.9% uptime and is confident enough to be transparent by showing users the performance of their respective websites. They offer 24/7 customer support which should be industry standard and like InMotion has half of 400 or so employees on customer support duty with an almost instantaneous response time.
How expensive is Siteground? While there are free options out there like Blogger and WordPress itself, nothing beats having your own domain name and server and Siteground is somewhat affordable for those who are just beginning their web career. The Startup package worth $3.95 a month won’t work for sites that have plenty of local images and videos though but is perfect for simple blogs and business landing pages. So, if there’s one big caveat to Siteground, it’s the pricing. For 20GB worth of storage, the price is 5.95 a month and a minimum one-year contract which also, has to be paid in full. That’s 3.95 or 5.95 times twelve, plus the fact that the renewal price becomes three times the amount.
Siteground is not exactly for anyone, but for people who require the versatility and dynamism of WordPress and are confident enough for their ventures to expand in a short period of time.
A2 Hosting is a web hosting service that banks on experience and quality service. The company based on Ann Arbor, Michigan (thus the name) has been around since 2001. The company is not much known but has a worldwide presence with data centers located at Arizona and Michigan for the US, Amsterdam for Europe and Singapore for Asian customers. That doesn’t mean that customers are limited by their geographic location as A2 still allows their customers to choose their preferred locations. A2 Hosting has so far remained a founder-owned company so they still tend to deliver better service than their stockholder-beholden counterparts. A2 also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau which is a good sign for potential customers as well as their worldwide presence.
How reliable is A2 Hosting? A2 hosting, like other web hosting companies boasts a 99.9% uptime. We’ve tested this by subscribing several months ago and has so far experienced no problems. A2 supports several popular web hosting platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and Opencart making them a very flexible web host so customers will not be lacking on support where it matters. A2 support is available 24/7 and 365 days a year through phone chat and email.
A2 also supports SSDs from the start of subscription for all their main hosting packages, which means faster web page load times. Plans start at a good $3.92 a month for their LITE plan for one website but with unlimited storage unlike other services. This is followed by the SWIFT Package at $4.90 with unlimited websites and lastly the TURBO package at $9.31 which they say is 20 times faster.
The package prices aren’t bad. It’s only a nitpick but their website can get pretty confusing and really designed to sell as much as possible. Plus, elements one might expect to be normally included are instead part of up-sells such as regular backups, spam filters and dedicated IPs. The site is pretty informative and anyone who wants to get into web hosting could use some research. After successfully navigating their website and getting what you actually need, you might find that A2 Hosting actually works for you.
FAQs About Web Hosting
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the process of using a server to house (host) a website. One can host a site himself which can be terribly expensive or find a web hosting provider.
Can Web Hosting Providers give me my own domain name?
The answer is yes. The hosting sites listed above offer free domains depending on the plan you choose. You can also use a domain you already own or create one elsewhere.
Can I transfer my website to another provider?
Yes. The hosting sites listed above support website transfers but may depend on the platform you’re using, be it WordPress, simple HTML5, PHP, Windows-based or Linux-based.
What is this cPanel thing?
For the uninitiated, cPanel is basically the online graphical user interface you will use to control or manage your website. It’s not an app to be installed on your computer but operates within a web browser.
What hosting type should I choose?
The hosting companies above offer all types of hosting.
For beginners, business landing pages, personal blogs, shared hosting is the best. This cheap hosting type involves several customers sharing one physical machine in the hosting provider’s data center.
The second most common for the same demographic is the VPS or Virtual Private Server where customers have their own virtual machine.
The third type of hosting is the Dedicated Server wherein customers are given their own physical machines, sometimes tailored to their specifications and are often reserved for large businesses. The advantage here is that the business has no less overhead for server administration including maintenance and backups.
And then there’s Cloud Hosting where virtual machines run in large clusters of computing power.
Another hosting type is Colocation hosting similar to a dedicated server except the customer provides the hardware which is then set up in the provider’s data center. This is for businesses who need faster internet, better security as well as power savings.
So first think about what type of website you want, and consider your projections for the first two years.
Shared and VPS seem similar. Any advantages to either?
The only advantage of Shared vs VPS is that it’s cheaper. With VPS, it’s like having your own machine, even though you’re still sharing resources on a single machine. Though VPS can also run on clusters. The VPS is similar to a local virtual machine wherein both are given a specific amount of resources such as storage and RAM and is customizable by the user.
What is Managed Hosting?
Managed Hosting is basically a web service wherein the provider itself manages the website. Ensures that it is constantly monitored, running and regularly backed up. This is best for businesses that do not have an in-house system administrator.
What is bandwidth? Is it similar to my ISP’s bandwidth?
Bandwidth for web hosting is similar to ISP bandwidth wherein a specific amount of data can pass through the web hosting provider. Bandwidth determines how many users can log in at a time and how much data they can access.
What is an SSL Certificate? Do I need it?
An SSL Certificate is necessary these days to secure a website. A website with SSL, you’ll notice begins with an https:// URL instead of http://. An SSL Certificate is a small file, basically a key that verifies a company or web publisher’s identity. This provides visitors an assurance that they are visiting a secure website. If your website deals in ecommerce or sensitive data, you need an SSL Certificate.
Can I upgrade my plan in case my traffic increases?
Yes. Most web hosting services allow for scaling. It’s either changing from one plan to another to scale up resources, or from one hosting type to another.