Do you think we have the best website hosting? We certainly think so – but we don’t expect you to take our word for it.
In this guide, we’re going to go over everything you should look for in a web host so you can make your own decision. By the end, we think you’ll agree with us.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is a hosting service?
We assume that you already know what a hosting service is. Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. But just in case . . .
A web host is a company that provides a space on which you can store all of the elements necessary to make your website run: data and files, apps, software, and more. Without a web host, visitors cannot access your website via the internet.
These days, there are dozens of options available on the market and it can be difficult to know which one to choose. When it comes to choosing the best website hosting, it all comes down to the specific needs of your business.
What are the different types of web hosting?
There are four main types of web hosting. Some companies specialize in just one type, while other companies might offer all four. They are:
- Shared hosting: By far the most economical option, shared hosting is when one physical server is split up between several different users. All of the resources, including bandwidth and data, are shared . . . although not necessarily equally.
- Dedicated server: On the opposite end of the spectrum is dedicated hosting. This is when an entire physical machine is dedicated exclusively to your business and its website (or websites). All of the resources are yours and no one else can access them. The server is highly customizable, very secure, and quite reliable. This option is great for high-traffic websites or those that are constantly adding new content.
- VPS hosting: VPS is usually considered a happy middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. It offers a guaranteed allotment of resources within a shared environment. VPS offers the affordability of a shared plan with the customization options and greater stability of a dedicated plan.
- Cloud hosting: Very similar to shared hosting, but with greater resources and more speed. Rather than sharing one physical server, users share a huge bank of servers located in many different physical locations. This is a great option for those who want to stay within a budget but require more bandwidth.
What features should you look for?
Once you’ve determined the type of web hosting you need, you can choose a provider. Whether you want a shared plan or a dedicated one, there are certain minimum standards you should look for. These are the most important features:
- Uptime: It’s important that when visitors try to access your website, they’re actually able to do so. Many hosting providers today guarantee 99.9% or even 100% uptime and anything less than 99.5% is considered unacceptable. Why? Because downtime means money lost. Make sure your hosting provider can guarantee an acceptable amount of time online – but don’t just take their word for it. Look up independent 3rd party reviews.
- Bandwidth: Bandwidth refers to the level of traffic and data allowed to travel between your site, users, and the internet. The more visitors you have coming to your website, the more data you will require. If you run a popular website, or you expect to have a large amount of traffic in the future, make sure your hosting provider can support a site like yours.
- Support: Does the hosting provider have 24/7 live customer support? Or will you need to wait a week for an email response when you have a problem or concern?
- Scalability: As your business grows, your website likely will as well. It’s important to know that as your needs change, your hosting service will be able to grow with you and expand as needed. In addition, you want your website to be able to handle temporary spikes in traffic – something that may not require a whole new plan, but just a temporary upgrade.
- Website builder: If you want to create a website builder, especially if it’s your first, a website builder will make the process 1000x easier. Today, many hosting providers include a complimentary builder as part of your plan. InMotion hosting includes BoldGrid, a true WYSIWYG website builder that operates on the WordPress platform, with all hosting plans.
Our Goal Has Always Been To Provide The Best Website Hosting
Did you know that InMotion started out as a small business? Over ten years later, we’re known as much for our reliable hosting and green data centers as we are for our 90-day money back guarantee and fantastic customer support.
Oh, yeah . . . and we host over 500k websites.
All of those people are with us for a reason. Is it because we offer the best website hosting? We’d like to think so.