A reliable web host is a must for all website owners and web developers, but it doesn’t need you to cost a leg or an arm. When you enter a domain name into the web browser, you may think when you can have a website belonged to yourself. Nowadays it’s common for everyone to have a website themselves, no matter where you are.
To run a website is not that difficult, all you need is to register a new domain name and purchase a new hosting account. I’ve been always telling people about this: Not all of the cheap web hosts suck! Some cheap web hosts that can be as good as VPS hosting solutions. To choose a right web host, you’ve to understand how much disk space and bandwidth you need for your website. For example, if your daily visitors are not over 100, why you spend so much money for purchasing a VPS or dedicated server, a shared web hosting service is further enough for your requirements.
Do you need a cheap web hosting?
At our review website, you can find there are many differences compared to others, why? Since all of our editors have been reviewing web hosting services for many years and we do understand what the needs of customers are.
We always tell people not all of the cheap web hosting services are rubbish, since our website is also running on a shared web server which is not over $5.00 a month.
1st, let’s define what the term “cheap” is. When you enter “cheap web hosting” on 3 big search engines, you can easily find thousands of results listed below. In order to select a cheap web hosting provider, we’ve to define how cheap a hosting plan needs to be?
As a webmaster for 10+ years, I’ve seen and experienced hosting prices drop drastically. I remember that $9.95/mo was cheap 10 years before, then $8.95mo, later $6.95/mo and $4.95/mo, and now we even can see $1.95/mo in certain occasions. Of course, the free web hosts are the cheapest, whatever, our editors have never advised web developers to choose free web hosting services, since the free web hosts are always too unstable and not offering customer service.
Then what’re the cheap web hosting standards nowadays? Generally speaking, a web hosting service which is under $5.00/mo with suitable features can be named as cheap web hosting today. The standard may change in different period, e.g., a coupon of years ago a $5/mo hosting plan you only get 1 add-on domain name, 5GB disk space, and 20GB monthly bandwidth; now everything is unlimited.
Of course, only “unlimited” features are further not enough for a company to become a good cheap web hosting. An excellent cheap web hosting should contain these features: sufficient power to host at least 20 domain names with absolute statistics support, web email service, script auto-installer, pre-sales support, efficient after-sale technical support, PhpMyAdmin interface, regular website backups and restores, as well as a guarantee of uptime and at least a 30-Day money back.
The skills of choosing a right web host:
How do you determine a web host is good or not? How much disk space and bandwidth do you need for your website? Which type of web hosting service should be your good choice? In this section, we’ll get to the answers and help you improve your skills in choosing a right web host.
1. You should understand your own needs
Honestly speaking, you’re hard to find a right web host if you don’t know what you need. Forget about the list of our top 10 web hosts or the lists with others, and think carefully what your real needs.
- What kind of your website – PHP or ASP.NET?
- Do you need a special PHP or .Net version?
- Do you need to install some .exe applications on the server?
- How much disk space do you need?
- How much monthly bandwidth do you expect?
Okay, these are the most common questions you’ve to keep in mind. With these questions, you can get started with selecting your hosting plan.
If you’re a new webmaster, the general idea is to start small with a reliable shared hosting account. A shared web hosting service should be already enough for most of the individuals and small businesses, and it’s cheap, affordable and easy to maintain. Furthermore, it’s easy to upgrade to VPS or dedicated server once your business grows in the future.
2. Server uptime in real
The server uptime is one of the most important criteria to determine a web host is reliable or not. We wish all of the web hosts can offer a good web server uptime to customers, but the fact is most of the web hosts cannot do as what they’ve promised. In our opinion, a web host that can offer over 99.5% server uptime is already very trustable, and we also only recommend the web hosts whose uptime is upper the standard. Any company whose uptime is below 99% will be definitely unacceptable.
3. Domain names or websites add-on
A domain name is always very cheap (normally not more than $10), so most of the webmasters own dozens of domain names these days. If a company only allows users to add 1 website in the hosting account, which is definitely not good for those who own many domain names. As for this reason, it’s important to have an account that allows to add multiple domain names.
4. Renewal prices
A shared hosting account is normally selling very cheap when you sign up, but the fee will be much higher when you renew. Most of the web hosts are adopting such rules in the industry. If you want to avoid the higher charge, you can choose to open a new hosting account or move to a new web host every 1 or 2 years.
5. Refund policy
The refund agreement is also an important factor that you’ve to consider before choosing a web host. Nowadays, most of the web hosts are offering at least 30 days money back guarantee, however, it does still have a small amount of web hosts don’t offer refund to customers.
It’s important to know how your hosting provider handle customer refunds so that you don’t have to lose too much money once you’re not satisfied with their web hosting services.
6. Website backups and restores
There are many cases for a website to be crashed. For example, you might delete some important website files by accident or someone hacked your WordPress website, all of these assumptions are real possible to happen. If your web host does have regular site backups, then there’s no need to worry about these
issues at all.
Here are a few common questions you’ve to clarify with your hosting provider:
- Does your hosting provider provide daily backup regularly?
- Can you backup website files and databases in the control panel?
- Can you create auto backup via cron job?
- Can you restore your website easily?
7. User friendly control panel
An easy-to-use and fully functional hosting control panel is also very important. No matter what kind of control panel offered by your web host, if it’s user-friendly and comes with necessary functions, then everything will be fine. Currently, cPanel is the most popular control panel that is widely used by Linux-based web hosting companies. As for our real experience, cPanel is fully functional and easy to handle, so we do recommend new beginners to choose those web hosts offering cPanel as their first hosting options.
8. Customer support
With the rapid development of the Internet and information technology, the distance between people and people have been increasingly connected. No matter where you are, you can easily contact with a people out of your country.
Now most of the hosting companies can offer 24×7 customer service via live chat, phone and Email. Personally I prefer live chat over phone call, since live chat is more convenient for international users like me.
Web Hosting Features:
At our review website, we always highly recommend Arvixe web solutions to our website visitors as the first hosting choice, since the company always much more hosting features at cheaper prices. Besides Arvixe, it does have several other famous web hosts that are worth for us to promote and recommend such as WebHostingHub, A2Hosting and InMotionhosting. Here is a detailed comparison about their web hosting features.
|Web Host||Arvixe Inc.||WebHostingHub||A2Hosting||InMotionhosting|
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Web Hosting Glossary:
There are various types of web hosting solutions for webmasters to choose nowadays. Before opening a new hosting account, it’s better to understand what kind of service you need for running your website, your maximum budget, the kind of server your business needs, and what types of services offered by the hosting companies.
Free Web Hosting
Free web hosting service should be an excellent choice if you just want to set up a test or non-critical website for fun. Normally, the connection speed is slow and website can be frequently down on a free web hosting server, and there’s no customer service offered by free web hosts. I did have opened a free hosting account many years before, but I determined to close the free account shortly since the server performance was too unacceptable, and the advertising banners were added to my website automatically. In most cases, the advertisement is impossible to remove, because it’s the default setting of system server.
Web hosting services always call as shared hosting services, because shared hosting solution is always the most popular type of services for webmasters. In a shared hosting environment, you share one web server with many other users. Shared hosting services are always affordable, you can easily find a shared hosting service which is under $5.00 a month, since the cost to operate the server is shared by you and many other users.
As a matter of fact, many web hosts always oversell their shared hosting services leading to their web servers slowly, insecure and complaints rush everywhere. A good shared hosting provider should understand how to control the amount of total users and distribute the resources equally to each user.
VPS refers to “Virtual Private Server”, a medium type of web hosting service between shared hosting service and dedicated server. A VPS runs its own copy operating system, which allows each account to be fully independent as if they were on their own separate machines. The simplest way to understand how VPS work is to use the apartment analogy. For example, each virtual private server on the machine is just like a president suite. You can install any software as you need or restart your VPS account without affecting other users on the same machine.
A dedicated server is an advanced type of web hosting service that is owned by only one person. In a dedicated server environment, you’ll receive the highest-level web performance, fastest page speed, as you own the whole server resources entirely. However, this also means that you’ll be charged for the cost of entire web server individually. The dedicated server is an ideal choice for the users that need a lot of server resources and a higher-level of system security.
Maybe you’re still not very familiar with cloud hosting services, since this type of web hosting service just began for a coupon of years. Cloud hosting service is the hottest trend in the hosting industry nowadays, because it does have many advantages which you cannot get from other web hosting types. There are many different platforms for cloud computing technologies, such as Amazon cloud hosting service utilized with its own data centers which are located in every corner of the world.