What to look for in a great web hosting

nesito29

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There are so many hosting providers around the web, however, how do you choose one from all the crowd?


Well, let me tell you what to look for if you want to find a great hosting for your niche site.


What is it good for?
Every hosting provider is created for a reason, you need to find out what that reason was and determine if that hosting if the right fit for your website.

Some are created with WordPress in mind, others for any type of website. I recommend using WordPress specialized hosting (that's the one I use and it's great, but it depends on the company).


Overall rating.
This is basically social proof and it's the most important one, after all, it's what current users are saying about the service.

However, it's really important to point out the fact that maybe some reviews could say that a company had problems delivering on what they promised. Noticed I said "had", that may not bet the current case! make sure to find up to date reviews that will help you make the best-informed decision.


Unlimited monthly data transfer
Whenever I find a hosting provider that promises unlimited monthly data transfer I simply don't believe it. The reason for that is the fact that no reputable hosting provider will give you that for about $5 USD/month...

What they usually do is not deliver when you grow enough and ask you to change hosting plans of ultimately hosting provider.

This has happened to me before and I've known of many cases where that has happened.


Is it shared hosting? (You might want to reconsider)
I'm not saying shared hosting is bad, however, if you are truly determined to make your site reputable, you'll need more power than the one shared hostings can provide you.

Here's how shared hosting providers work:
They have servers where they host many websites at a time and as one site grows, it will consume more bandwidth than usual, taking most of the bandwidth that is supposed to be for many, slowing them down.


What about VPS hosting?
A virtual private server (VPS) runs its own copy of an operating system, and customers have superuser-level access to that operating system instance, so they can install almost any software that runs on that OS.

I've never needed VPS so I don't know much about it, which is why I won't get into details. If you know more about when you should use them please let me know in the comments below :)


Dedicated hosting
Dedicated hosting works by only storing one website on each server, giving it all its attention and resources. IMO, this is the best type of hosting, however, these tend to be expensive.


Managed Wordpress Hosting
Managed hosting is as the name implies, letting a company manage your website. Updates, backups, security, among other things.

If you ask me, this is great because it allows you to focus on what truly matters, which is focusing on your blog and making it grow.


There are many choices for you and it's very easy to get overwhelmed on the sea of hosting provider, but remember this:


You Get What You Pay For!


Cheap hosting providers will be just that, cheap. There is a saying that applies well in this situation.


You can get cheap and good but not reliable.
Cheap and reliable but not good.
Good and reliable but not cheap.


You see where I'm going with this?


Fortunately, there are some hosting providers that are good, reliable and cheap. But, they have limitations, of course, like the number of visits and bandwidth, however, these are the ones you want to find and utilize.


I hope this article helped you understand hosting providers a little bit better and that you are able to choose one in an educated manner.


Cheers,

Jonathan Nuñez
 

RDO Servers

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Great write up Jonathan

The only thing I would like to add is, be careful with "Wordpress Hosting". There are some providers that do provide added benefits to users who use Wordpress.

Sadly, most of these services are simply a marketing gimmick to increase their sales. Just like the old days of "SEO Hosting", which had no benefit over regular shared hosting.
 

CyberAlchemist

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Some are created with WordPress in mind, others for any type of website. I recommend using WordPress specialized hosting (that's the one I use and it's great, but it depends on the company).
Almost web hosting companies supported to run wordpress cms perfectly, if not, It's a problem with your webs hosting you chose.

Overall rating.
This is basically social proof and it's the most important one, after all, it's what current users are saying about the service.

However, it's really important to point out the fact that maybe some reviews could say that a company had problems delivering on what they promised. Noticed I said "had", that may not bet the current case! make sure to find up to date reviews that will help you make the best-informed decision.
I am not sure I can believe in reviews from user unless I can try on their real hosting service.

What is your experience on choosing a web hosting from reading reviews? how will you consider the are real reviews?

Unlimited monthly data transfer
Whenever I find a hosting provider that promises unlimited monthly data transfer I simply don't believe it. The reason for that is the fact that no reputable hosting provider will give you that for about $5 USD/month...
I think this is not true, nowadays we can use hosting without worrying about bandwidth, I admit that I faced this problem 5 years ago.

Is it shared hosting? (You might want to reconsider)
I'm not saying shared hosting is bad, however, if you are truly determined to make your site reputable, you'll need more power than the one shared hostings can provide you.

Here's how shared hosting providers work:
They have servers where they host many websites at a time and as one site grows, it will consume more bandwidth than usual, taking most of the bandwidth that is supposed to be for many, slowing them down.
It's correct!

What about VPS hosting?
A virtual private server (VPS) runs its own copy of an operating system, and customers have superuser-level access to that operating system instance, so they can install almost any software that runs on that OS.

I've never needed VPS so I don't know much about it, which is why I won't get into details. If you know more about when you should use them please let me know in the comments below :)
Always VPS is my best choice because it helps your website better performance ( Speed (CPUs), RAM, self managed, Anti DDOS...etc)

You Get What You Pay For!

Cheap hosting providers will be just that, cheap. There is a saying that applies well in this situation.

You can get cheap and good but not reliable.
Cheap and reliable but not good.
Good and reliable but not cheap.
I am doubting how they can happens :D

End of the day you have a great article, although some points are pretty common but we could get some from it.
 

SenseiSteve

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I'm going to second RDO Servers about WordPress hosting concerns as quite a few web hosting providers offer these types of packages, but essentially offer nothing out of the ordinary as compared to straight up shared web hosting. If this is what you're looking for, it's always best to ask very specific questions about how these providers differentiate their services.

Great article.
 

postcd

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What to look for?
- There is a quick responding and helpfull support
- There is not big number of negative reviews when you google them
- Good price
 

hmb-robert

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Following are the key features you should consider while choosing a web host :

1. Server Reliability / Uptime Scores
2. Data center selection (Different location selection)
3. 24/7 Quality support
4. Server/ Plan upgrade options
5. Control panel
6. Backup facility
7. Free features like site builders
8. Data transfer facility
9. Os selection in case of VPS and dedicated servers.
10. Os reload options.
 

Hawker

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Jonathan I digress! :)

Of all the things you mentioned you didn't once mention the "support".

To me, support is the number 1 main thing in a great web host.

The kind of support that goes the extra mile, even going out of their way to help you so you are happy.

That kind of service is the kind that cares about their current customers just as much as their new ones.

Okay so when deciding on a host, first we look at what their offer is and the price of course.

Then we look for reviews/feedback about them, check out their Facebook page, see how active and supportive they are.

Send them a few questions see what kind of response you get back, how quick and how professional it is.

Its all very well getting a great deal on a hosting plan, but if you have really bad or even subparallel support then it's not worth having IMHO.

I'm not talking about things you can do yourself, but for things that are out of your control that only your host can look into and fix.

If you have a fully self managed hosting account, when you have problems and your host doesn't want to help and even insults you in the process it's not worth anything.

That said, sometimes you can find really great hosting deals that do offer a lot but the support is rubbish but the price isn't too bad. So some people "put up with that".

Taking the rough with the smooth if you will.

But I tell you now! It doesn't have to be like that!

I use stablehost.com because their support is second to none.

Never had a problem that was too small or too hard for them to fix.

Don't think I've ever had any downtime since have been with them for about 4 years now.

Absolute gem of a host. Totally fair and reasonable prices with support like that.

Now that's a great webhost! :)
 

velvet

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Hi nesito29,

Very simple answer to a very simple question. Ok, it's not really a question, but you are asking for comments I guess. :>)

Great support.

I cannot compete with the technical knowledge being displayed here, but I am fortunate to have found a service provider that is just super in my opinion.

Insty.me is set up particularly to support Internet Marketers, and they have not put a step wrong for me.

More generally, I don't consider anything cheap. That is just asking for a second rate service.

That can be said for anything you purchase really.

Look for premium products, that work as printed on the tin.

Would you purchase a cheap pocket knife, only to have it bend the first time you use it? Pay for quality and have it for a lifetime.

cheers, Mal.
 
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Nick_Levinson

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Unlimited bandwidth is a scam unless your consumption is very low and yours will never go up. If anyone could provide unlimited bandwidth for, say, $20/month, Google would throw out all its servers and go to that provider. So would Amazon. No, it's a scam. Unlimited for $5/month? Enjoy laughing.

I wish asking specific questions would help more often. You'd be talking with sales reps. The people with real answers are usually not available to noncustomers. You may have to rely on closing accounts quickly and moving on, so make sure you're not going to be out a lot of money if you leave a hoster early.

Cheap is not necessarily bad. Lots of people like searching in Google or Bing but aren't sending a check. Consider what criteria are important to you and don't buy by more criteria than you need and you'll often find that cheap is just fine and leaves you money for other purposes. The knife example is extensible to goods with qualities you cannot measure and with life-and-death consequences, but for other goods that can cause wasteful overspending. Unlike for a commodity, for service don't force a rock-bottom price or you'll get the worst service, but sometimes that's worth it. My hoster does not offer any phone support and limits email support to certain kinds of questions, but the FAQs and the forum are good and their staff and others who answer at the forum can take a little longer to research an answer before telling it to us, and I save money there, but their service is for self-service customers.

I'm dubious about any reviewer who speaks only from their own experience and tells about good hosting. Unless that user is new and therefore relatively inexperienced, they'll have been with one provider for a long time, so that customer won't know how other providers work these days. When you find a good hoster, you are not likely to go anywhere else, so you soon do not have current comparative experience.

With most reviews, ignore very brief reviews that also have the highest ratings or the worst ratings, because people who are paid to promote a brand or to attack a competitor will tend to select the most extreme rating (it makes bosses happy) and to save time by rushing through writing a review (thus it'll be short). Thus, you should prefer detailed reviews and those with middle ratings, or any nonextreme ratings. In other words, if possible ratings are 1 to 5 stars, look at reviews with 2, 3, or 4 stars with any content and also look at reviews with 1 or 5 stars (the extremes) that have detailed reviews.
 

okayservers1

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There are many factors that you can check for proper web hosting company like Server location, 24*7 technical server availability, features available with hosting, etc.
 

Nick_Levinson

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You can ask. Whether the answers are much use is another matter.

Server location information is not always reliable. One common situation may be that the customer doesn't want foreign servers (perhaps for legal reasons) (or vice versa) but the hoster tells you what you want to hear, but it's easier to balance the load by including foreign servers and so it's done. You can test for latency and maybe hops but by then you've already agreed to be served by them.

By "24*7 technical server availability", do you mean server availability or technical support availability? I don't know anyone running servers for less than 24x7. But technical support availability, yes, 24x7 can be worth a premium. Although everyone seems to offer technical support for free, and for some of it they should, tech support is actually expensive. If you're paying $3/month to be hosted and you spend 30 minutes on free live tech support in that month, the U.S. Federal minimum wage is more than what you pay for hosting for the entire month. And you won't find many qualified tech support staff who'll work for the minimum wage. The hoster is not interested in losing money, so they may force your site into a $20/month plan, and you may have already agreed to let them force you up the scale. If you want a $3/month bargain, look for good support that's not live, such as an extensive forum and many FAQs, and plan to work harder at managing your hosting.

Yes, ask about features. Better yet, check a hoster's website for the features, because that's in writing and is more reliable.

Ultimately, it's usually all about quality and price, and both are best judged after you start, so don't agree to an expensive long-term commitment and do have a spare copy of your website ready to take to another hoster.
 

BountySite

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There is no such thing as best web hosting, there is only what hosting best fits your requirements.

- I believe location of hosting server matters, which is commonly ignored by many. If you are visitors are based in Asia Pacific, do you really want to host in US West Coast.
- hosting service uptime (how quick downtimes/issues are resolved)
- if you are beginner, hosting support matters
- most of the providers have the same backend tech
- money back guarantee can help you bail out, on bad experience
- always make sure you have a remote site backup
 

Nick_Levinson

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Agreed: select your criteria. Then you'll find the best hoster for you.

You won't get uptime/downtime data. How quickly they're repaired depends on what went wrong and you won't get that data, either. You'll be told that uptime is 99.999% but that's not a commitment unless you buy a (pricey) service-level agreement (SLA). You can test uptime after you have a site at a hoster, by visiting your own site often or by finding a service that will do it more often for you, and either option costs you money at both ends (the hoster has to pay for the additional traffic from the tests and you'll have to pay the hoster). That means you can't compare hosters but you can decide how much downtime is acceptable and test to make sure the hoster does not exceed what you'll accept.

I doubt hosters have the same backend tech. There's a choice between Windows and Linux (where "Linux" usually includes FreeBSD and other non-Windows FOSS operating systems). That choice affects what kind of website pages you can have there. If you need PHP, MariaDB, or other non-OS software, ask about your needs. Some backends are more secure; if you're more likely to get DDoS attacks, the quality of the hoster's security may make the difference between the hoster protecting your site or the hoster taking your site offline even though the attacks are not your fault.

Money-back guarantees may come with higher prices. If you're only paying a few dollars for a testing period, and you don't agree to a long-term commitment but can leave (and stop paying) anytime, that may be good enough, and then you can choose from a wider selection of hosting services.

Backups are good, yes. If your site accepts editing by users, you may need the hoster to make frequent backups for you and to let you take the backups away (at least to let you copy them to your own storage).
 

denverdonate

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Customer service %100. Every web host I have been with over the years will eventually have to deal with you on something. Maybe it's technical, maybe it's billing, no matter what it is you day or month or year will be so much better if you're working with someone genuinely trying to help you. There's a price for almost everything...but in my experience, peace of mind is priceless.
 

JoyFreak

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Thank you very much for this informative thread! I have learned a few things from this! Defiantly have an insight on what to buy before buying.
 

Scopehosts

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There are so many hosting providers around the web, however, how do you choose one from all the crowd?


Well, let me tell you what to look for if you want to find a great hosting for your niche site.


What is it good for?
Every hosting provider is created for a reason, you need to find out what that reason was and determine if that hosting if the right fit for your website.

Some are created with WordPress in mind, others for any type of website. I recommend using WordPress specialized hosting (that's the one I use and it's great, but it depends on the company).


Overall rating.
This is basically social proof and it's the most important one, after all, it's what current users are saying about the service.

However, it's really important to point out the fact that maybe some reviews could say that a company had problems delivering on what they promised. Noticed I said "had", that may not bet the current case! make sure to find up to date reviews that will help you make the best-informed decision.


Unlimited monthly data transfer
Whenever I find a hosting provider that promises unlimited monthly data transfer I simply don't believe it. The reason for that is the fact that no reputable hosting provider will give you that for about $5 USD/month...

What they usually do is not deliver when you grow enough and ask you to change hosting plans of ultimately hosting provider.

This has happened to me before and I've known of many cases where that has happened.


Is it shared hosting? (You might want to reconsider)
I'm not saying shared hosting is bad, however, if you are truly determined to make your site reputable, you'll need more power than the one shared hostings can provide you.

Here's how shared hosting providers work:
They have servers where they host many websites at a time and as one site grows, it will consume more bandwidth than usual, taking most of the bandwidth that is supposed to be for many, slowing them down.


What about VPS hosting?
A virtual private server (VPS) runs its own copy of an operating system, and customers have superuser-level access to that operating system instance, so they can install almost any software that runs on that OS.

I've never needed VPS so I don't know much about it, which is why I won't get into details. If you know more about when you should use them please let me know in the comments below :)


Dedicated hosting
Dedicated hosting works by only storing one website on each server, giving it all its attention and resources. IMO, this is the best type of hosting, however, these tend to be expensive.


Managed Wordpress Hosting
Managed hosting is as the name implies, letting a company manage your website. Updates, backups, security, among other things.

If you ask me, this is great because it allows you to focus on what truly matters, which is focusing on your blog and making it grow.


There are many choices for you and it's very easy to get overwhelmed on the sea of hosting provider, but remember this:


You Get What You Pay For!


Cheap hosting providers will be just that, cheap. There is a saying that applies well in this situation.


You can get cheap and good but not reliable.
Cheap and reliable but not good.
Good and reliable but not cheap.


You see where I'm going with this?


Fortunately, there are some hosting providers that are good, reliable and cheap. But, they have limitations, of course, like the number of visits and bandwidth, however, these are the ones you want to find and utilize.


I hope this article helped you understand hosting providers a little bit better and that you are able to choose one in an educated manner.


Cheers,

Jonathan Nuñez
Great Article. I would like to add some points though. With the web hosting industry growing, competition is growing too.
These points can be considered alongwith the mentioned ones:
-Uptime Guarantee
-Support
-Different services they offer
 
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