How to Choose the Best Web Hosting of 2014
No web hosting company is perfect, but you should always get the best value for your money. You should be able to live with the company for the long term at the price you’re willing to pay. If your current web hosting service is not meeting your needs, 2014 is a great time to switch to a different provider. Before you sign up for anything, make sure to do your homework. How to identify the best hosting company of 2013? Always look at price, uptime, reliability, features and customer support—these should be great if not excellent.
Businesses that invest in a great hosting service usually see a boost in customer spending and retention. But this doesn’t always mean that the most expensive service is the best option. Consider the type of website you’re running. Is it a personal blog or a large e-commerce website? For about $1-2 a month, you can effectively host a blog or small business website. If you need all the bells and whistles, however, it’s worth paying $5 or more for a solid hosting company.
Reliability and Bandwidth
99 percent uptime may seem high to you, but it actually means 7 hours of downtime per month. Sign up for a service that guarantees at least 99.5 percent uptime and comes with a refund guarantee if the uptime drops below what is stated in the contract. Also read the fine print on data transfer and bandwidth use—your hosting company’s definition of “unlimited” may be different from yours.
Features and 2013 Trends
At the very least, your hosting service should support all common scripts that let you customize your website. If you have an e-commerce site, SSL (secure socket layers) and shopping cart features are crucial. While traditional shared hosting services provide these features, you’ll see virtual private servers offering them in 2013 as cloud services become mainstream. The beauty of cloud hosting is having a central location for all of your data and getting rid of the need to sign up for multiple hosting accounts. Hosting services are also jumping on the green bandwagon, as customers look for companies with tiny carbon footprints or those who derive power from green sources.
Web hosting review website Webhostingreviewplanet.com lists the following companies in their top five:
Yahoo! Web Hosting
The website ranks Yahoo!’s web hosting service as number 1. The name is the big draw for customers, but Yahoo!’s hosting service is surprisingly decent. It’s one of the cheapest hosting services in the market—for $2.62, you get free setup, free domain, 100GB disk space and 24/7 technical support. It also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
InMotion Hosting must be doing something right for all the awards it’s been getting (3-Star CNET Certification and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau among them). The price is a jump from Yahoo! at $5.95, but you get unlimited disk space, free domain and setup, Google and Yahoo! credits, 90-day money back guarantee and U.S.-based 24/7 tech support.
BlueHost has been around since 1996, and it’s one of the best-rated hosting companies available. BlueHost has only one plan, which can be a pro or con depending on your needs. For $6.95, you get free domain and setup, unlimited disk space and bandwidth and search engine credits. But the best part is their “anytime” money-back guarantee.
HostMonster is another established hosting provider. For the same price ($6.95) as BlueHost, you get unlimited disk space and bandwidth, free setup and domains, Google credits and award-winning tech support. Great for nonprofits and small businesses.
JaguarPC gets the highest ratings for pricing, which is a competitive $4.95 per month. The company offers free setup and domain, unlimited disk space and a 45-day money back guarantee.