When it comes to creating a website, web design and development are not the only considerations that you need to bear in mind. In fact, proper design and code is just one side of the story. The other side includes things that are equally important — web hosting and domain names, for instance.
Choosing the right web host is very important for the overall health of your online presence. After all, you wouldn’t want your website to be offline every other day, would you? Similarly, hosting your website on a slow server can cause you loss in terms of traffic, simply because not everyone nowadays has the patience to wait for slow websites to respond.
As a result, it becomes super crucial for you to pick the ideal web host for your website. However, such a thing is easier said than done. There are way too many web hosts out there; in fact, for every good web host, there are ten bad hosts! How does one pick the perfect host, then?
In this article, I have attempted to showcase some of the top web hosts for you to choose from. While this is true that there exists no “one size fits all” solution in terms of web hosting, the hosts mentioned below have not only a good reputation in the market but have also been around for many years and thus, can guarantee you that your website will be in safe hands.
Top Five Web Hosts in 2014
Bluehost is one of the most well known hosting providers out there. It is the flagship enterprise of the Endurance International Group, which hosts a good number of web hosting enterprises.
Bluehost currently hosts over two million websites. It offers all the standard features that you can think of — one-click installations of popular scripts, 24×7 support, money-back guarantee, and so on. While Bluehost does offer VPS and Dedicated server hosting, it is best known for shared hosting (in fact, all throughout its initial years, Bluehost was offering mostly shared hosting).
On the downside, Bluehost has been accused of overselling its server resources and some users have complained of issues such as slow and unresponsive servers (again, a symptom of overselling). However, those issues have happened mostly in pockets, so by and large, Bluehost has a large user base of satisfied clients.
- Pros: Competitive pricing, telephone support
- Cons: Overselling
- USP: Best known for its shared hosting packages
- In Business Since: 2002
DreamHost has been around for over 16 years, so if there is one company that can boast about experience, it has to be DreamHost!
Just like all other hosts, DreamHost offers VPS, Dedicated and shared hosting servers, albeit the pricing is slightly on the steeper side (for $6.95 per month of Bluehost’s shared hosting package, DreamHost offers the same configuration for $8.95 per month).
Furthermore, DreamHost also has its flagship solution for managed WordPress hosting, DreamPress wherein you get highly scalable and WordPress-optimized servers for $19.95 per month.
DreamHost does not use the industry-standard cPanel and instead offers its own user interface which, as a matter of fact, is loved by many users. Of course, if you are an ardent lover of cPanel, you will probably end up feeling lost.
- Pros: Multiple solutions, experienced staff
- Cons: No cPanel
- USP: You don’t stay in business for 1.5 decades unless you’re good at it!
- In Business Since: 1997
As the name suggests, WP Engine specializes in WordPress hosting and nothing else. Thus, unlike the other names on this list, WP Engine is purely a managed WordPress hosting provider.
Speaking of managed WP hosting, there are multiple providers out there. However, WP Engine leads the pack. Apart from hosting, WP Engine also publishes Torque, a magazine about all things related to WordPress.
WP Engine offers a plethora of features — you are provided with free security backups (and restores just in case your site gets hacked), as well as server-side caching and highly scalable servers. However, all of this comes at a price. The cheapest plan costs $29 per month, and allows you to host one website (maximum page views: 25,000 per month).
- Pros: Ideal for WordPress websites, security, speed
- Cons: Expensive
- USP: Definitely one of the best, if not the best, WordPress hosts out there!
- In Business Since: 2010
- Month to month contracts and no sign-up fees! Enjoy flexibility with WPEngine.
Site5 is yet another web host that has been around for quite some time — as many as 15 years. Pitching itself as “Hosting for Designers and Developers”, Site5 has established a reputation for its best in class support and absolutely par excellence service.
Site5 offers shared, VPS and Dedicated hosting. Beyond that, it also offers cloud hosting. Furthermore, Site5 has had a wonderful track record when it comes to WordPress — not only does it offer some stunning WordPress themes for free, it also runs two blogs that cover WordPress theme development and business management, namely, YinPress and YangPress respectively.
Beyond that, Site5 also specializes in geographically diverse server locations. You can choose to host your website in whichever country that is the closest to your location — USA, UK, Romania, The Netherlands, Brazil, Canada, India, Singapore and Australia! There are hardly any other firms that can offer such diversity in terms of server locations.
However, Site5’s offerings seem to be slightly costlier as compared to the others, especially when it comes to shared web hosting.
- Pros: Telephone support, cloud hosting at competitive rates
- Cons: Slightly costly (shared hosting), no pro-rated refunds
- USP: Multiple server locations
- In Business Since: 1999
The last provider on our list, WebHostingBuzz, offers shared, Dedicated and VPS hosting solutions from two locations: USA and UK.
Much like all the others in its league, WebHostingBuzz also offers the routine features such as one-click installations, regular backups, 24×7 support, money-back guarantee, and so on. If you are looking for a no-nonsense web hosting provider that you can trust, you should consider giving WebHostingBuzz a spin.
- Pros: Telephone support, competitive pricing
- Cons: UK plans costlier than US ones
- USP: They often have ongoing discount offers and promotions.
- In Business Since: 2002
With that, we come to the end of this roundup of the best web hosting providers that you should consider. Once again, picking the right web host is the same as any other market decision, and you need to think about your needs and requirements before selecting a host.
For instance, if you are going to host just WordPress websites, and need a rock-solid solution that ensures that you remain online no matter what (and you do not mind spending that extra dollar on the additional features), look no further than WP Engine. If, on the other hand, geographical location of the web server is a consideration for you, you should rely on Site5.
Just in case budget is a boundation, and/or you are not expecting your website to feature on the homepage of TIME magazine anytime soon (a.k.a. you are not expecting a crazy hike in traffic), you can opt for Bluehost, DreamHost or WebHostingBuzz.
Which hosting provider do you prefer? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below!