I strive to make Hosting Review Box a home to the best, most trusted, and most in-depth web host reviews you’ll ever find online. If you’ve landed on this site, chances are you’re looking for a web hosting provider for your website or blog. Well, stick with me for a bit because you’ve come to the perfect place!
I am a web developer and designer, and an online entrepreneur, as well. With years of experience and expertise in the field, I have had the privilege of testing out the services of various web hosting companies. I make it a point to share my personal experience with these web hosts through comprehensive web host reviews. Why? So you don’t have to waste your time (and money!) on the wrong hosting choice! After reading my reviews, all you need to do is visit the web hosting provider that speaks to you the most, and then sign up and make the purchase! Simple, right?
But first things first – why do I need a web host, anyway? Why is it important to choose the best web hosting for my business? What factors do I need to look for in a web host? How do I even begin to decide if a web host is good?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions, then Hosting Review Box is your ultimate answer. Start right, and start NOW, by reading the following important web hosting guidelines:
Why Choosing the Right Web Hosting Provider is Crucial for Your Business
Nowadays, smart business owners are taking their business to the Web by using websites or blogs to engage with their clients and reach potential customers. But while most of them see the importance of creating high-quality content, some tend to neglect the value of choosing a good web hosting provider. In my experience, a lot of businesses (particularly the small ones) end up making the wrong choice in web hosting because they don’t properly evaluate their needs.
As a business owner, generating income is a top priority. You can’t just put web hosting aside because it does have a negative impact on your income. Choosing the right web hosting provider is crucial and if you fail to evaluate your needs, a lot of bad things can happen to your business!
Loss of income
What’s the whole point of running a website if it’s always offline? Potential customers won’t be able to visit your site and view your posts, or learn more about your products and/or services. Worse still, if you’re running an eCommerce site, you’ll lose potential sales and income. You could even lose your existing clients to the competition. Yikes!
Low SEO ranking
Content marketing is essential for business growth. It helps your website rank high in search results, which in turn makes it easy for customers to find you. However, a website that’s down repeatedly and for lengthy periods of time will have a negative effect on your search engine ranking. Apart from downtime, a slow website can also have an adverse effect on your ranking.
Vulnerable to security and malware attacks
There may not be a perfect solution for keeping your website 100% secure, but a reliable web host provider can back up your data to an external location and make it easy to restore in case your website gets hacked. A good web host also has a team of IT experts who are ready to assist you 24/7 with technical support, as well as security issues and maintenance.
Your business will depend on your choice of web hosting provider so if you want to maximize profits, make sure to do your homework!
Know the Difference: Types of Web Hosting Plans
If you want to check out all the web hosting companies out there, you probably need more than just a day. There are literally thousands out there, and their services aim to connect your website to the Internet. It’s good to have a lot of options but if you’re serious about generating revenue through a website, then you know how precious time is and you don’t want to waste it by looking up each and every web host!
Like most things, choosing the right web host for your business can be tricky. But you can narrow down your choices if you carefully evaluate your needs. Why not start by understanding the major types of web hosting? This way, you can determine your budget, the kind of service your site needs, and the features offered by the web host. What’s more, you can avoid creating unnecessary hurdles to your site’s success!
As you begin searching for the right web hosting plan, you will encounter several different types, including the following:
Free hosting is ideal for those who want to build a simple website or blog for fun. Typically, a website that’s built on free hosting has slow connection speed, frequent downtime, and plenty of annoying banners that automatically get added to the site. Some web hosting companies require you to buy a domain name in order to get free web hosting services from them, while other companies offer a free sub-domain under them, like yourdomain.nameofwebhost.com. The problem with these companies is that a lot of them don’t allow you to transfer these free sub-domains to a different web host.
With shared web hosting, you and other website owners get to share a single server, including the physical server and the software applications that come with it. The greatest advantage of shared hosting is that it’s the most economical way of hosting a site because the overall cost is shared between you and other website owners. It’s ideal for small business owners who are not expecting high traffic to their website. The biggest disadvantage, however, is that the resources are limited like disk space, monthly traffic, email accounts, databases, etc. You are also restricted from installing modules and programs. So if you’re expecting a lot of traffic, disk space, email capabilities, etc., you better look elsewhere because shared hosting is not for you.
With dedicated web hosting, you have an entire web server to yourself. This means you get better and faster website performance, and you won’t be sharing the server’s resources with other website owners. This is the ideal solution for large-scale businesses that are expecting high traffic to their website, require a lot of system resources, and need a higher level of security. But because you are not sharing the server with anyone else, this means that you will be responsible for the entire operation cost.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
VPS hosting is a virtualized server that’s just like a dedicated server, except that you’re within a shared hosting environment. Technically, it’s both shared and dedicated web hosting. With VPS hosting, you get to have your own operating system (OS), which means you have all the server applications to yourself. This also means that you can customize them to suit your needs. You can also install server applications at any time, even though you’re technically sharing a server with other VPS servers. But unlike shared hosting, you have dedicated amounts of disk space since no one else is on your server.
VPS hosting is optimal for those who have high traffic to their website or need to set up a server in a specific way. But if you’re just getting started with your site and you don’t want to invest on a full dedicated server, then VPS hosting is best suited for you.
Reseller hosting is a special type of web hosting that lies between individual plans and dedicated server arrangements. This allows the user to set up multiple individual hosting plans within a single web hosting account. The price for reseller hosting ranges from $10 to $20 per month. It’s suitable for business owners who are expecting to run several smaller websites.
iPage is an example of a web hosting company that offers affordable reseller hosting to their clients.
All of these web hosting account types are similar in terms of providing you with a server to run your website on. The difference lies in how they are set up, as well as the features and the level of customization that you can have with each one.
Helpful Tips and Pointers: Selecting the Best Web Hosting Provider for Your Needs
Whether you’re preparing to move your website or blog to a new host or launching a brand-new site, choosing a web host can be tough. While it’s tempting to sign up for a free web host, there are many other factors you need to keep in mind. Soon, you’ll come to realize that a paid web host is much more beneficial in the long run.
But with all these web hosting providers promising to have 99.9% uptime, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, and 24/7 customer support, how can you even cut your way through the jargon and be able to make an informed decision?
Here are important factors you need to remember:
Know your web hosting needs
If you don’t know what you need, you will never get the right web host. It’s a lot like going into battle without knowing what you’re fighting for. So set aside the top 5 list of web hosts for a while and think thoroughly on your own hosting needs.
If you’re planning to build a site to test your web development skills or purely for fun, you can probably get away with free hosting. But if you want to create a full-blown website for your online business, you should definitely go for a paid hosting plan. Ask yourself the following basic questions:
- What kind of website or blog are you planning to build?
- Do you require special software and applications (i.e. PHP, MySQL)?
- How big or small is the expected amount of web traffic volume?
Answering these questions can help you determine what you need to look for in a web hosting provider. Make sure you have a plan with your website and try to assess what will happen for the next 12 months or so.
For those who are new to building a website, the general rule of thumb is to always start small with a reliable shared hosting package. It’s affordable, easy to maintain, and just enough for most new websites. And when it’s time to expand, you can easily upgrade to dedicated or VPS hosting.
The price should not be your only consideration
I was a little hesitant to add this to the list, but it’s an important factor for most people. While pricing is always a factor, know that it should be the last thing you need to consider when it comes to selecting a web host. As with anything, you will get what you pay for, but it’s not necessarily true that the most costly hosts are the best. Some web hosts that offer free or extremely cheap services will often have far more drawbacks than they’re worth.
Check for the renewal prices
Web hosting deals, especially with shared hosting, are usually offering very cheap introductory prices but later charge higher renewal prices. You might be surprised but it’s actually an industry norm. If you have a habit of switching hosts every two years or so, you won’t be able to avoid these costly renewal prices.
Generally, a price tag of $10/month or less is okay, but some of us might have a lower tolerance. Make sure to read a company’s Terms of Service before making any purchase to avoid any unpleasant surprise.
Go for a web host that offers a money-back guarantee
Not satisfied with a web host’s services? You might want to cancel your subscription and switch to a different host. But the question is, does the company have a refund policy where you can get your money back in full? Do they have any cancellation charges?
Most web hosting companies these days offer money-back guarantee, which is good so customers don’t have to lose a lot of cash when things go wrong. However, there are some companies that charge extremely high cancellation fees when their clients cancel their subscription during the trial period. If this is the case, you should avoid them like the plague!
On the other hand, some companies provide anytime money-back guarantee, where you can ask for a prorated refund even after the trial period. Sounds good, right?
Pick a host that has an excellent uptime record
If you’re running an eCommerce site (or any kind of website for that matter), you need to ensure maximum uptime. After all, a fully-performing website that’s up and running most of the time can help maximize profits. While no web hosting provider can guarantee 100% uptime, a reliable one can offer at least 99% uptime on average.
iPage is an example of a web host with an excellent uptime track record.
Top-notch customer support that’s available 24/7 is a must
The World Wide Web never sleeps, so you need to look for a web hosting provider that offers around-the-clock technical support. Hosting companies may claim they offer 24/7 support, but this doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive prompt, knowledgeable service.
Before you commit to a long-term contract, make sure to test the response of a hosting company’s customer support staff. Send them an email at midnight or during the weekends and find out how long they take to respond. Do not accept a host that doesn’t have staff working on weekends or on holidays. Who knows, you might encounter a technical issue at the most inconvenient of times. Also, check to see if their staff are technically competent. You can’t possibly go for a host that’s run by a bunch of phonies who only know how to sell and not fix problems.
Check the operating system (OS) the server is using
For those who are setting up a website for the first time, the OS may be irrelevant. The industry standard is Linux, but if you’re planning to run your business using custom tools that are written with Microsoft.NET, you will want to use a Windows-based server for greater compatibility. Windows servers, however, can be less secure than Linux servers.
Go for a host with useful eCommerce features and security tools
If you have an online shop, then you probably need to process business transactions on your website. You might need a number of things like a shopping cart software, PayPal integration, etc. If so, then it’s important that you choose a web host with just the right eCommerce features for your online shop to succeed. One-click shopping cart software installation, SSL certification, and a dedicated IP are some of the things you need to look for in a web host.
You also need to confirm that your host offers sufficient security tools to protect your website. This is especially important if you’re running an eCommerce site because you’ll be storing private customer and user information.
Confirm that a host does regular website backups
There are times when a website crashes. It could be that a hacker attacked your site, your data got corrupted or was deleted, or your web server encountered a hard disk failure. It’s a complete nightmare, and it could happen to you without warning!
With that said, you need a web hosting provider that performs regular site backups to ensure that all your data are stored at an external location and can be recovered to bring your site back after a data loss event. A host that allows you to perform automatic backups is a huge plus. Performing regular backups is a must because it reduces the amount of lost data and speeds up the overall recovery process.
Pick a host that has a user-friendly control panel
An easy-to-use and functional control panel is a VERY important factor in choosing a web host. Essentially, a control panel allows you to manage various aspects of your hosting account yourself. At the very least, it should let you do things like add, delete, edit, and manage email addresses and passwords.
It doesn’t matter if it’s vDeck, cPanel or any other third-party control panel, as long as they’re user-friendly and come with all the necessary features and functions to create and manage a website. Without a proper control panel, you’ll be left at the mercy of the customer support staff. You don’t want to go through technical support each time you want to perform server changes like changing passwords, do you? These basic tasks can be done by any website owner and is performed time and time again, and it would be a great hassle if you had to wait for someone else to do it for you.
Don’t pay too much attention on the disk space and bandwidth capacity
If you check out all the web hosting packages offered by companies, you’ll notice that almost all of them promise “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth when in reality, the word “unlimited” is nothing more than just a marketing gimmick!
These days, disk space and bandwidth don’t really matter. Why? Because you can now easily store your files on several web applications and services. You can store images on Flickr; your videos on YouTube or Vimeo, and large data files on DropBox. In other words, you don’t have to worry too much about your hosting storage or bandwidth.
Top Five Web Hosting Providers: Recommendations for Budget Web Hosting
Now that you know what factors you need to consider when looking for a web host, it’s time to choose the right web hosting service. Here’s my top five budget hosting recommendations. Make sure to click the links below to read my in-depth reviews of some of the biggest and most trusted names in the industry.
Note: For the latest rankings, be sure to check the table at the top of this page.
iPage has been in business for more than 10 years and they’re dedicated to offering the best value hosting packages in the market. They host more than a million websites, and their clients go to great lengths to leave testimonials on how great their services are.
Besides premium web hosting features and services, iPage also offer a wide range of useful freebies to help you get your site up and running quickly. Combined with great customer support via email, phone and live chat, iPage are tough to beat!
Free Domain Registration, Unlimited Email Addresses, $500 Free Advertising Credits, Anytime Moneyback Guarantee
eHost $2.75/month – Shared Hosting
With over a million websites under their wings, eHost closes in at second place. eHost is best known for using everybody’s favorite control panel, cPanel, which is extremely user-friendly. What’s more, their website builder is simply amazing, so you can easily create a professional-looking website in just minutes. Their website builder is second to none and if you already have an existing website, they’ll even let you create micro-websites for FREE!
Just like iPage, eHost offers excellent value for money with their affordable yet feature-rich shared hosting plan. For everything you get at a very low price, eHost is a fantastic choice.
BlueHost $3.95/month – Shared Hosting Plan
Gracing the third spot is BlueHost, a web hosting company that’s known for providing better hosting experience. BlueHost have become one of the largest companies to provide cloud-based web solutions. Besides shared hosting, they also offer dedicated and VPS hosting. They are doing so well that more and more website owners are turning to them. They are also one of the very few companies that are recommended by WordPress.
With more than 2 million websites worldwide, BlueHost is a top contender and one you couldn’t afford to miss when choosing the right web host.
InMotion Hosting $4.89/month – Business Hosting
With over a decade of experience in the web hosting industry, InMotion Hosting are confident that you’ll be satisfied with their services – so much so that they offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
They also offer an unmatched 90-day money-back guarantee, and a solid reputation for providing some of the best services for shared, VPS, dedicated, and reseller hosting. Backed with stellar customer support, you can be sure that you’re in safe and reliable hands with InMotion Hosting.
Arvixe $4/month – Personal Class
Last but definitely not the least is Arvixe, which is one of the fastest growing web hosting companies in the world. They mainly focus on providing businesses and web developers with the best hosting features and maximum flexibility, at very affordable costs. No matter what project you’re working on, rest assured that Arvixe will help you succeed with their technical expertise.
Arvixe has all the major requirements you’re looking for in a web host, including a choice of Linux- and Windows-based servers and a whole plethora of eCommerce tools. The ease of use also make it a tough competition in the market, and makes it an ideal choice for those who are new to the web hosting scene.
Side by Side Comparison
Here at Hosting Review Box, I’m going to make it even easier for you to compare web hosting services based on several different criteria. This guide will help you make that final decision by showing you how to compare apples to apples.
Understand what these top 5 web hosting providers mean by what they say, and decide which of them suits your needs the most.