Nowadays, with everything and anything related to the Internet appears to lead the way for modern commerce, more and more service providers have stepped up to present themselves as your next credible Web hosts.
With the economy still in disarray, I dare say that the companies that survive this tough time indeed have their unique strength.
But in an ever-expanding and increasingly complicated web environment, how do you balance your needs for control over your data, blog sites, apps and photos?…
In other words, you’ll need to discern a number of these hosting companies in order to find the best combination of storage, bandwidth and tools that your business needs.
And last but not least, the selected provider should be capable of prompt and adequate support whenever you need one.
Thankfully, there are still a number of choices (even though a small number) that can qualify themselves as your next competent host.
I have made a list of top five in the business. These are companies that I have personally used and some I still use. So, this list is based on my own personal experience.
Criteria Used for Top 5
These are the criteria that I’ve used to choose these 5 companies as the best web hosts:
- Money back guarantees of at least 30 days.
- Professional and friendly support via email and/or by phone.
- 99.9% Network uptime guarantee (Most companies promise that but I found few that actually fulfill that promise).
- Multiple subdomains and parked/add-on domains.
- PHP/MySQL support, offering PHP 5 and MySQL 5 database.
- Microsoft FrontPage extensions support.
- Multiple POP3 and IMAP email accounts with webmail support.
- Website stats, virus & spam protection, CGI, Perl, SSL support.
- Unrestricted FTP access with multiple FTP accounts.
- User-friendly Website building tools with free templates.
- The ability to install WordPress or other CMSs in less than 5 minutes.
- Fair price for what you get.
In another word, I looked at my experience with each of the dozen or so web hosts I have been using, and choose 5 that let me host my websites easily and without too much hassle and problem, while at the same time giving me a good price for what they offer.
Of course, the following list is by no means comprehensive, but I think any self-respected web host should include all of these in their respective packages.
If you only have 1 or 2 sites, or are just starting out and basically just want to get a blog or website up and running as fast and as easy as possible, at the same time want a good cheap web host, I would go for these 3:
- 1. SiteGround – My detailed review here
I love this company. They are not too big that the quality of services goes down, and they are not too small that you doubt their ability to pull it off.
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SiteGround is one of the lesser known companies, but boy, are they great. I have hosted WordPress sites with them and to be honest, the speed which my sites load is amazing even though I am using their regular shared hosting plan.
I have never experienced a single incident of website down throughout these years. The reason is (I later found out) that the system automatically moves you to another server, or cluster, in the case of anticipated or unplanned event, like a power outage.
If you are just getting started, I would definitely go with SG. You can host a domain for a few dollars a month, and your site can be up and running in minutes.
- 2. Bluehost – My detailed review here
The cheapest hosting plan is priced at $4.95 a month. In return, you get unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited e-mail, unlimited file transfer, a free domain registration and a host of other goodies.
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I must say this is a pretty good deal.
A more respectable basic plan would accord you with unlimited hosted domains, domain parking, e-commerce features, one-click WordPress installs, database, etc…
- 3. Hostmonster.com – My detailed review here
Hostmonster is arguably the biggest name in the game. Their mission is to provide outstanding and excellent Web hosting service to the market and going by the popularity they enjoy, they have to do it right.
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They are among the first service providers that I engaged and today they continue to be the Web hosts for many of my sites. Problems are rare (let alone major ones) here, and I rate them top in terms of reliability.
Best Web Host For WordPress
If you are looking for a WP specific hosting, this is the best company you can find anywhere.
They are the true professionals when it comes to WordPress hosting. You can trow any problem at them and they will always help you solve the problem.
- 4. WPEngine – My detailed review here
WPEngine is the new kid on the block. As the name suggests, its dedication is on WordPress hosting. The provider offers 3 managed WP plans, and all of them boast of unlimited bandwidth.
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The customer support is pretty handy here, and if you are still not satisfied, there is always this promise of 60 days money back guarantee.
It is by no means cheap, with plans starting from $29 a month. But if WordPress is the bread and butter of your Internet strategy, you will never find another host that provides a similar level of specialization and the speed WPEngine loads up your entire site is simply beyond comparison.
If you own more than a few sites or have sites that get lots of traffic (i.e. more than 2000 UV a day), I would highly suggest ASO. Sure, their prices are a little high compared to others, but you get what you pay for. You get all the benefit of working with a smaller company without sacrificing quality.
Listen, if you have more than a few sites, its safe to say you are making money and your websites are business assets. You want to protect your assets in any way you can, and having a reliable host is the best thing you can do to ensure your site is always up and running, continuing to make you money
- 5. A Small Orange – My detailed review here
A Small Orange never fails to evoke old-time. It is a living proof that all the big boys mentioned earlier used to operate in a similar way, that is they often operate from their home turf and they pay big attention on customer support, of course before they scale up their operations.
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A Small Orange offers a number of plans according to bandwidth and disk space requirements. Regardless, all plans come with an unlimited e-mail address, unlimited databases, and unlimited subdomains.
The starting price here is a lowly $35 a year. At the higher end, there are also a handful of plans associated with unlimited bandwidth and unlimited space, so they are right up there as well in the same league as the big boys, even though the number of plans are comparatively small.
But the fewer options are compensated by its willingness to accommodate all sorts of reasonable requests, be it on budget or some specific technical configuration.
But undoubtedly the biggest draw of A Small Orange is its highly available and reliable customer support, which operates seven days a week and 24 hours a day.
Again, this list is based on my personal experience. But let me be honest, no business is perfect.
And when it comes to web hosting companies, the same holds true. With every company, there is going to be issues here and there. Anybody tells you otherwise is lying.
So, the best you can do is to go with a company that compared to other is less prone to issues and problems. Which is why I think these providers are the best web hosting companies out there.