Best Web Hosting: How to Choose Your Services
When it comes to finding the best web hosting for your website, your most suitable option isn’t always so clear. While there is a range of top hosting providers, the one that’s best for your website will depend on what you plan to do with your site, the type of business you run, among a variety of other factors. Of course, you also have to consider the type of hosting you need, the price, and the ability to customize offered.
To help our valued members through this endeavor, StatCounter provides valuable insight for seeking web hosting, determining what type is best for specific websites, and more. Having said that, take a look at our guide to the best web hosting services. First, let’s review the types of hosting you can choose from.
If you’d like additional information on web hosting and the aspects therein, you can find more on the pages provided below:
Types of Web Hosting
In essence, there are four main types of web hosting: shared, dedicated, VPS, and cloud. While each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, each is geared to suit specific needs. For instance, shared hosting tends to be quite limited for designing larger websites, yet those looking to simply create a blog or small website often find shared hosting to meet their demands. Check out more detail on each type of web hosting below.
As the name suggests, shared hosting uses a shared server, and each server can have up to 1,000 users. This means all 1,000 users must share resources, including storage (hard drive) space and RAM. As a result, slow load speeds and downtime can be a common experience for sites hosted on shared servers. That aside, shared servers still serve a purpose.
As mentioned, shared web hosting is best suited for smaller websites or blogs. If you’re interested in running such a website, shared hosting could be a viable option. However, you’ll want to ensure there’s room to upgrade if you ever do decide you’d like to scale your site.
While shared hosting is typically the cheapest option, it’s also the most limiting. It’ll work great for the aforementioned blogs and smaller websites, but those looking to build larger and more functional sites will need to look elsewhere. Both VPS hosting and dedicated servers are suited for such, and we’ve explained each of them below.
VPS, or virtual private server, is a type of hosting that also utilizes a shared server, yet it offers a few more advantages than shared hosting. Not only is each server limited to just 10-20 users (compared to 1,000), but the resources are split evenly between such users. More importantly, though, users aren’t affected by others. In other words, if another user’s site is down from maxing out their RAM, your website won’t be affected (as it would on a shared server).
Further comparing VPS and shared hosting, VPS allows for far more customization. Not only that, but you can always upgrade your allotted storage space and RAM as you wish to scale your website. Considering all this and its versatility, VPS is a popular choice when seeking the best web hosting for a particular site.
Simply put, dedicated hosting provides users with their own server. Typically, you can customize nearly any feature of the server, and far more control than you could with VPS and shared servers.
While dedicated hosting offers more in terms of customization, capability, and scalability, it’s really only suited for large websites who receive significant amounts of traffic, and those who absolutely need the freedom of choosing hardware and other aspects. Not to say others can’t benefit from dedicated hosting, it just requires more in-depth knowledge and obviously costs more for the versatility. For many of the features that come with dedicated hosting, but the ease of something more like VPS, cloud hosting may be your best bet.
Cloud hosting is quite similar to that of VPS in that more than one user shares the server, allotted hard drive space, and RAM. However, cloud hosting offers more scalability and control over the infrastructure. Not only that, but cloud systems can even lower your risk of web attacks.
The main advantages of the cloud are having resources and features available to you in an instant. Users can easily select a feature to add and use it within seconds, and the same goes for scalability.
In essence, a server is a device that provides data to other computers and functionality for programs and devices. Common servers include: web servers, database servers, and mail servers. These servers grant access to websites, databases, and emails. Server data can be accessed directly through the server using Local Area Network (LAN) or over the Internet using Wide Area Network (WAN).
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a type of computer memory, and the most common at that. With RAM, any byte of memory is accessible. In short, RAM allows information to be stored and accessed on a computer.
Best Web Hosting Sites
Now that you’re familiar with the type of web hosting available to you, you’ll have a better idea of what your specific needs are and which type will work best for you. Of course, the next step will be seeking a web hosting site that meets your requirements, of which there are countless. To help you get an idea of some of the best web hosting platforms out there, we’ve laid out some of the most credible providers.
Often deemed most suitable for shared and dedicated hosting, HostGator still offers VPS hosting as well. As with most companies, HostGator also allows you to manage WordPress websites through them. The provider offers a free website builder, tons of templates within, and boasts an easy-to-use control panel (cPanel).
InMotion offers similar features to HostGator, such as using WordPress CMS, but also offers unlimited bandwidth and disk space, a free domain, and a 90-day money back guarantee. You’ll also have access to 24/7 customer support. That aside, you have two package options with InMotion: Launch and Power. Take a look at each on their website for a comparison of features.
In short, BlueHost offers a free domain, free site builders, a one-click install feature for Wordpress, and 24/7 customer support. However, BlueHost does not utilize Windows servers, nor do they offer unlimited monthly data transfers in every one of their plans. That aside, they do offer Cloud hosting via their Cloud Sites, allowing users far more freedom.
GoDaddy has been a popular choice for many, and is well known for its customer service. It too offers shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting with a cPanel and a guaranteed 99.9% uptime. GoDaddy offers three pricing plans: Economy, Deluxe, and Ultimate. While the Economy plan is limited to one website with unlimited bandwidth, the latter two plans offer unlimited websites, storage, and more.
According to PCMag’s list of best web hosting, 1&1 remains toward the top of the list, as it offers shared, VPS, dedicated, and managed cloud hosting. 1&1 also has three plans, and each is packed with a variety of features, from unlimited webspace in each package to a free SSL certificate, unlimited websites, and 24/7 customer support. Of course, you can also manage your site via WordPress with 1&1, and the site is actually known for its ease of use in this regard.
While we’ve laid out some quick, helpful info on each provider, be sure to check each web hosting companies’ website to learn more about their plans and features.
All in all, the best web hosting for one website may not be the best option for another. It’s all going to come down to your preferences, requirements, and desire to grow your website later down the road. However, if you plan on maintaining a site for more than simply blog purposes, shared hosting may not be in your best interest. VPS and cloud solutions are often the best choice.
Monitoring Your Website with StatCounter
Once you’ve determined the type of web hosting that will suit your business best, you’ll be ready to get your website up and running. However, as you make site changes to attract traffic and keep users on site, it’s good practice to monitor your website to ensure it’s catering to the user and retaining said traffic. With StatCounter and the detailed metrics in our web tracker, you can closely track how users navigate through your site to find areas needing improvement and more.
If you have any questions or need assistance, you can contact StatCounter support by completing the form below.
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