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.
Thanks for this informative article, but I am still a bit confused. I am a novice blogger but I would much rather do it right the first time…but what is right? I had my mind set on wordpres.com until I read various articles that compare wordpress.org and .com. I don’t want ads popping up on my blog unless i put them there and I don’t want the company to own my content. Ideally, I was going to purchase a theme that supports music, video, photos but now I don’t know what to do. Can someone please point me in the right direction?
WordPress VIP offers everything that a web developer would want, but all these advanced functionalities and amazing features are overkill for an average website owner. The price is also a huge obstacle, and no small business would be willing to pay that. It is merely a VIP option for WordPress users that takes them to the next level of web services.
Best WordPress Web Hosting | An Honest Comparison
How it works is that you rent hosting space from someone like HostGator, and then you host third-party sites on your rented space. You’re kind of like a middleman. HostGator does all the hard work and takes all the risk from a server point of view. This can work really well if you’re looking to diversify and are already in the web-tech sphere, say as an app developer or website builder.
I’ve made some use of Kirby CMS. It’s a really well put together flat file CMS. It takes some coding out of the box to get it set up as desired, but then it’s a pleasure to use. Advantages of not having a database include simpler setup, and the ease of version control of the whole site. Statamic is a similar option, though I’ve not spent any significant time using it.
Bluehost also free email accounts, 24/7 live customer support and SSL (security layer) on all plans. It’s very easy to use and probably the best entry-level web hosting provider that is both reliable and secure. In addition to traditional shared hosting, the company also offers dedicated, VPS and managed WordPress hosting plans for higher traffic websites.
Alexandra Leslie’s interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings to the table firsthand experience in reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): If speed and performance, partnered with support and security, are at all priorities in your web host shopping, A2 Hosting should be a leading contender. When A2 Hosting first launched in 2003, the company was focused on serving developers; A2 Hosting was among the first providers to offer PHP 5 and to support Ruby on Rails on shared servers. Go to full review »
Many web hosting services offer so-called unlimited or unmetered service for whatever amount of bandwidth, disk storage and sites you use. It's important to understand that most terms of service actually do limit the definition of "unlimited" to what's considered reasonable use. The bottom line is simple: if you're building a pretty basic website, unlimited bandwidth means you don't need to worry. But if you're trying to do something excessive (or illegal, immoral or fattening), the fine print in the hosting platform's terms of service will trigger, and you'll either be asked to spend more or go elsewhere.
Hi Gina, Thanks for your comment and sharing your thoughts. Hiring an expert developer is always good, but it does have its challenges. Financial investment is just one of them. It's not a big problem if a company is well established already and is cash flowing to re-invest its profits into technology. But not all companies have that level of budget to commit, and not all companies are well established (yet). A lot of users are just starting out and just don't have that level of resource to get their websites off the ground. In such circumstance, I think our list above makes a lot of sense. No doubt, your comment is also valid, but I think that's more applicable for well established businesses. We have a full discussion of the cost of building a website that compares the cost of hiring a developer versus using a DIY website builder such as the ones I suggested above. I also wrote an article about the idea of hiring a designer / developer - when it's appropriate, and when it isn't appropriate. It's just my own view and what I would advise my friends and family if they were to ask me. Of course, every single person that's looking to build a website has different needs, motivations and resources. Thanks for adding to this discussion! Jeremy
It also includes hosting, themes as well as apps to help you get your site up and running. Although not as advanced as WordPress blogging platform, the blogging capabilities of BigCommerce is pretty great. It is easy to use and is secure as it is protected by multiple layers of security. Managing and running an efficient and successful online shop is easier and we can say that it is a pretty great alternative to WordPress in this niche!
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.
Hi Donny, I think there are some drag and drop user interfaces for WordPress, but I haven't used them myself so I have no idea if they're good. But as far as I know, most WordPress users I know don't use these interfaces - maybe that's an indication that people rather bite the bullet to learn how to code or hire someone who does, rather than using these interfaces? I can't be completely sure, though. Using a hosted service really isn't terrible at all. If you are running an ecommerce store (sounds like you are since you are selling products?), platforms like Shopify is excellent. They're very scalable, and tons of tools for you to use. They have dedicated support teams so you can always reach out for dedicated help and they manage all the technical back end matters for you. Of course, if you prefer to have 100% control over everything including hosting and security, then something like WordPress will allow you to do that. Jeremy
Jimdo delivers a way for you to build a beautiful website and have it optimized for the search engines. Your Jimdo experience starts by picking the design for your site; then you’re led through the process of having your site launched to the world. Jimdo is also a hosted solution, which means that they take care of the technical details and giving your site a home.
You can also host your website on WordPress.com, but that's different from the kind of hosting mentioned above. WordPress.com uses the same code from WordPress.org, but it hides the server code and handles the hosting for you. In that sense, it resembles entries in our online site builder roundup. It's a simpler but less flexible and customizable way to approach WordPress hosting. It's definitely easier, but if you want to tinker and adjust and optimize every aspect of your site, it might not be for you.
This is unfortunate because, these days, owning a website is becoming a crucial part of running a successful business, and more and more folks are establishing a web presence for their personal brand as well. You can use hosting to sell online, store and share your portfolio, or even publish your freelance writing samples and resumé. Yet, even the basics — What is web hosting? — can be lost on the average web user.
The web hosting provider offers solid plans with a good selection of features. The one area we're concerned about is how it presents its offers. Like many hosting providers, its published pricing is a bit misleading. You're not getting hosting for $2.96/mo unless you pay $71 for two years of service. Renewals are generally at a higher rate, although a salesperson we spoke to advised you ask for a "loyalty discount."
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.
But even if you’re not that into technology, you don’t have to go without a website of your own. Website builders such as Wix, Squarespace or Weebly offer a wide range of advantages, but it’s important to choose the right provider! Switching providers is difficult once your website is up and running because every platform uses its own system, and these systems are usually not compatible with other website builders.
If you’re planning to run a blog, a straightforward content website, or a website with a combination of functionalities — like a blog with a store — your best bet is probably a content management system like WordPress. This would provide a stable and flexible platform for doing a number of different common business activities online. Two other popular options in this category are Drupal and Joomla.
You can import your WordPress blog to Squarespace, which we like a lot. Nevertheless, we don’t recommend using Squarespace for blogging unless you don’t particularly care about SEO because page titles and meta descriptions can’t be adjusted for individual blog posts – which is very important for ranking with search engines. However, be aware that Squarespace is more difficult to use than Wix or Weebly due to its convoluted interface.
The web hosting provider got bonus points for its policy of performing regular daily backups, even on the lowest-priced shared hosting accounts. Be aware, though, that the promotional price on the low-cost shared hosting does go up after the promotional period. That said, Bluehost offers 24/7 phone support, a 30-day money-back guarantee and SSH access for certain plan options.
I’ll go into each of the above different hosting options shortly, just to give you an overview. But if you want to pitch the different ways of hosting or hosting providers against each other, I’ve got you covered with the comparison section and explanations of the types of web hosting so you can get an idea of what the best service type is for your situation.