Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as a Lead Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web hosting, music, utilities, and video game copy, Jeffrey makes comic books, mentors, practices bass and Jeet Kune Do, and appears on the odd podcasts or convention panel. He also collects vinyl and greatly enjoys a craft brew.
SiteGround developed several in-house innovations that put them ahead in this market, including a unique technology to actively monitor their servers, preventing downtime in real time, and custom software for live chat and support ticketing. These examples of going the extra mile for the user have resulted in 99.996% uptime annually and exceptional customer support around the clock. Read our review for more on why SiteGround is a stellar choice for small business hosting.
The company offers strong security features (LetsEncrypt SSL), a variety of domain management tools and unlimited data transfer per month. WordPress comes pre-installed and the company also has its own easy-to-use and beginner-friendly website builder. They don’t have cPanel which is well known in the web developers industry, but DreamHost offers their own admin panel which pretty much does the same as cPanel or Plesk.
After Joomla, another name that pops up as a great WordPress alternative is Drupal! It is also an open-source CMS that you can use to deliver a more ambitious digital experience. Although it is suitable for almost everyone, it is not as beginner-friendly as users would prefer. Mostly recommended for experts, Drupal lets you create blogs, personal websites, forums and even social networking sites.
Hi Tarang, Interesting infographic - thanks for sharing. WordPress is very popular and will probably get even more popular. I'm not saying that it is a bad website building platform at all, as it is very powerful and flexible. But learning how to use WordPress proficiently is much more challenging than using a drag & drop website builder, such as the ones I listed above. So it all comes down to what you want to do. If you have the luxury of time and money and can afford to invest it into learning how to tackle all the technical aspects of running a website, or hire someone to do that for you, then by all means consider WordPress. We have are more in-depth discussion about that topic here. Wix, Squarespace, Weebly or Shopify are what we call DIY website builders, as you can do it all by yourself and not have to worry about most technical aspects of operating a website. So they are very user friendly and can get you off the ground in days, which can't be done if you are new to WordPress. So what's appropriate to a user is very dependent on the user him/herself! Jeremy
You also want a web host with 24/7 customer support—if not by phone, then at least by chat. Forums, knowledge bases, and help tickets are all well and good, but sometimes you just need to communicate with another human to get things ironed out as quickly as possible. That said, not all 24/7 customer support teams are equal. Companies like GoDaddy and Liquid Web boast incredibly knowledgeable and helpful customer support squads—a fact that we confirmed in our in-depth reviews of those web hosting services.
I found CMS Made Simple to be very easy to template, for instance. And I used ModX for years before using WP, and it is also very easy to template, and offers a lot of nice features. They will appeal to someone who wants to develop, but is generally uncomfortable in PHP. You can mostly get by with HTML and template tags. This tends to prevent the “white screen of death”.
Hostinger’s cheapest plan starts from just $0.99/mo (when you choose a 48-month payment plan), renewals start at $2.15/mo. Bandwidth and databases are unlimited unless you choose the “Single Web Hosting” plan. With the latter you’ll be limited to 10GB of disk space, 100GB of bandwidth, one MySQL database, and one email account. Most notably, the cheapest plan doesn’t include a free domain and has limited processing power and memory.
Migration or transfer services are often free or offered at a reasonable fee at web hosting companies. These services help move your existing site to the new hosting provider. They can save a huge amount of hassle. Just remember that the migration process is often automated, and may fit in with the host's processes and needs rather than yours. Not everything may migrate, and you may find the organization of the newly migrated site makes for harder maintenance in the long run.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, giving you access to all of its world class sales tools and features before you spend a cent. To keep using the platform, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the three plans available, which cost between $29 and $299 per month. The highest plan is only recommended for companies with monthly revenues of more than $10,000.
WordPress is also teaming up with other platforms like BigCommerce to bring deeper e-commerce functionality to its offerings. 39% of e-commerce merchants reported they recently lost money due to performance or stability problems. Combining the front end functionality of WordPress with the backend power of an e-commerce platform is an excellent option for scaling growth.
The five data centers GreenGeeks uses is more than some of the heavier-hitting hosting companies; so, the fact that you can choose which one you’re connected to is a nice bonus. This definitely contributes to the fast 493ms response times. Despite this, the recorded uptime could be a little better at 99.95%, but this isn’t a deal-breaker for some, even though the best providers among the competition have 99.9% or better.
Wix advertises itself as the perfect tool to create your stunning website for free. To make this possible, Wix delivers a step-by-step wizard-like environment where you’re taken by the hand through the whole process of building your site. In addition, Wix is a hosted solution that also takes care of housing your site. This allows you to focus on creating the content and leaving the technical stuff to them.
Why? Because word of mouth only gets you so far in the internet era. People discover new businesses—even local business—via Bing, Google, and Yahoo. The days when they'd just look you up in the yellow pages are long gone. If you don't have a sharable website address, your chances of building online word of mouth via social networking plummet, too. In other words, no website, no discoverability, no money. Of course, web hosting isn't just for businesses. You may want to host a personal website or blog, too. Either way, the services here have you covered.
5 Best Web Hosting Services in 2020
You gain the most web-building functionality if you create a self-hosted site. This typically involves transfering the free WordPress CMS to server or signing up for a web host's optimized WordPress plan. With an optimized plan, the host automatically handles backend stuff, so you don't have to worry about updating the plug-ins and CMS, and enabling automatic backups. In these instances, the WordPress environment typically comes pre-installed on the server.
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): There are plenty of excellent cPanel shared hosting providers out there, so what sets A2 Hosting apart from the rest. Not only does the company offer a ton of features, but it has custom-built its packages for enhanced performance, speed, and security — putting your priorities above pricing. Go to full review »
How To Choose The Best Web Hosting For Your Needs - 8 Types Of Hosting Explained