How to Choose a Web Hosting Service For Your Website? – IHB

How to choose a web hosting

Selecting the right host is a big deal. Whether you’re building a basic website for your small business or you have a brilliant idea for the next Facebook, an important first step is deciding which web hosting service works for you. There are dozens of web hosting companies on the market, and our official checklist will help you decide based on your particular business goals.

Are you a first time web blogger or hosting your website for the first time?

Are you hosting a website for the first time? I have done the research, you can simply choose any of the hosting companies from the list given below. These are the top 5 best web hosting companies for beginners, because of their easy to use Interface and quality of hosting.

Web HostingFeaturesPriceRatings
SiteGround Web Hosting✔Free Website Transfer
✔Free Domain
✔30 Day Money Back Guarantee
3.95$web hosting ratinghosting company ratingweb hosting reviewshosting reviewsWeb Hosting ratings
Read Review
WP Engine Web hosting✔25000 Visits
✔FREE SSL Certificates
✔10 GB Storage
$29web hosting ratinghosting company ratingweb hosting reviewshosting reviewsWeb Hosting ratings
Read Review
HostGator Web Hosting✔1 Domain
✔ Unlimited Bandwidth
✔$200 Advertising credits
$3.95Web hosting company ratinghosting reviews and ratingweb hosting reviewhosting ratinghosting company rating
Read Review
DreamHost Web Hosting✔Unlimited Domains
✔Free SSL/TLS certificates with Let's Encrypt
✔Free Domains
$7.95Web hosting company ratinghosting reviews and ratingweb hosting reviewhosting ratinghosting company rating
Read Review
Bluehost Web Hosting✔FREE Domain
✔50 GB Disk Space
✔1 Website
$2.95Web hosting company ratinghosting reviews and ratingweb hosting reviewhosting ratinghosting company rating
Read Review

What are your needs?

The dream of every business owner is to see thousands of people visiting their site every month. If the day finally comes where thousands of visitors view your website, don’t be caught off guard and have your website shut down. Choose the right host from the very beginning.

To begin with, finalise your needs for a hosting by answering following questions.

  • What is the required bandwidth for your website? and choosing the right service plan for your website.
  • What are the technology used in building your website?
  • Do you need a SSL certificate for your website?
  • What type of sites are you creating? ( HTML or WordPress)

What to consider when Choosing a web Hosting company?

Now that you know your needs, its time to look at what should be the criteria to choose the best hosting company.

  • Dependability ( Uptime, Customer support)
  • Speed of the hosting company.
  • Price of the hosting plans.
  • Future Scalability of your Website

Following steps will help you choose the most dependable hosting for your website.

1) Determine bandwidth requirement and choose the right plan.

What is Bandwidth?

In short, bandwidth is the measurement of maximum data that is transferred at any given time on a web server. This data includes page loads, file loads and transfers, and amount of website traffic.

Bandwidth is almost always limited by web hosting companies. Simply put, the more money spent monthly on hosting, the more bandwidth your website will receive. It’s vital for every website to have enough available bandwidth to operate on a daily basis; those who don’t have enough bandwidth will experience website shut down.

Excessive bandwidth usage website shutdown
Website shut down due to excessive bandwidth usage by one of website hosted under Siteground.

Lets look at an example to understand bandwidth clearer. Consider a restaurant, where bandwidth is the number of available places in a restaurant, and the web traffic is the diners. The more available places, the more number of diners can be accommodated there.

If the restaurant is very busy, you need a very good management to satisfy every diners. Similarly, you need a very good hosting company to satisfy very high traffic to your website.

How much Bandwidth is Actually Needed?

If you own a relatively small website with little traffic and small data files, you’ll likely only need about 10 GB worth of bandwidth every month. The average website that receives 1,000 visitors per day will need roughly 9 GB worth of bandwidth or less.

If you already have a website and want to calculate how much bandwidth is required, you can use the following equation.

(Daily visitors x Daily page views x Average page size) + (Daily file downloads x Average file size(Only  if your website have downloadable content)) x 31(Number of days in a month) x Future tolerance number ( Depends on how much will you expect your website to grow, it can be 1.22 or 1.35 or 1 if you expect to receive stable visitors for next 1 year.)

Having room to grow is important. As you add more and more pages to your website, you’ll likely receive more page views, which means more bandwidth. If you regularly promote your website, you should also expect large traffic spikes, which could result in double or triple bandwidth amounts in a single month.

Preparing for spikes in traffic and eventual regular traffic increases by tripling your bandwidth amount in the beginning will help you avoid bandwidth overage charges and possible website shutdowns in the future.

Shared Hosting Plans

First time hosting a website? Shared hosting is the right place for your brand new website. Its safe, easy to use and cheap.

In shared hosting, physical server is shared with many other users. Not to worry, the users on the shared server cant access your data, instead they use shared resources such as disk space and RAM from same server as yours. Shared hosting start as low as $1/mo. Moreover, shared hosting plan from high quality hosting like SiteGround will cost you only $4.5/mo.

Here are the most popular shared hosting plans available.

 SiteGround     ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐   Image result for signup button

Related image WP Engine      ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐   Image result for signup button

Image result for 3 icon Bluehost         ⭐⭐⭐⭐       Image result for signup button

Going with Virtual Private Servers (VPS) Plans

VPS hosting is the best solution for high traffic websites. On this type of hosting, your website is given server and bandwidth resources that are not shared by other websites, which allows you to accommodate more traffic.

Virtual Private Servers are offered by every web hosting company, and if you’re expecting large traffic increases in the near future, it’s best to sign up for one of these plans. You’ll gain access to better customer support and more reliable hosting overall. Look for hosting plans that offer at least 10 GB worth of dedicated bandwidth on a monthly basis; anything less will likely cause website limitations down the line.

Here are the most popular VPS hosting plan available.

 SiteGround     ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐   Image result for signup button

Related image WP Engine      ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐   Image result for signup button

Image result for 3 icon Bluehost         ⭐⭐⭐⭐       Image result for signup button

Dedicated Hosting Service Plans

Dedicated hosting service is a single computer located within a network that serves the needs of that network. A user will rent the server, computer, software and dedicated bandwidth from the web hosting company.

This is the most expensive web hosting options, but is often necessary for companies who plan on expanding their websites and dedicating a significant financial amount to marketing and technology development in the near future. You’ll likely pay hundreds of dollars per month to rent a dedicated server for your website.

Here are the most popular Dedicated hosting plan available.

 SiteGround     ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐   Image result for signup button

Related image WP Engine      ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐   Image result for signup button

Image result for 3 icon Bluehost         ⭐⭐⭐⭐       Image result for signup button

Read this comprehensive guide on choosing between Shared, VPS and Dedicated Hosting.

2) The technology used in building your website.

What type of code will you be using? Just the standard HTML and CSS or do you eventually need to add a back end database and advanced functionality? Some additional languages that your website might need in the future include:

  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Node.js

Your host must support various languages, frameworks and be able to support advanced versions of them. For example, if your web host only supports PHP v.4 and you need v.5, it might be best to look elsewhere.

Most-popular-web-developement-languages
Most popular languages used for web developments. Credits: stackoverflow.com

If you happen to be a beginner, you are probably wondering what these languages and terms mean. Don’t worry, you can also build your website using one click CMS like WordPress.

Simply put, WordPress is a highly flexible website management system that enables you to build a fully fledged website without having any knowledge of coding or web designing skills. That means you can create your dream website with just few clicks using WordPress.

Additionally, WordPress is included free with 99% of hosting companies out there.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on How to build a website using WordPress for beginner.

3) Pick an operating system

Which operating should you choose for your web hosting servers? Should it be Windows OS or Linux OS? It depends on what you need and what you will use on the server. Here is a table which will help you to choose the best OS based on development tool used for building your website.

Development ToolWindowsLinux
Wordpress and other CMS
Dreamweaver or other WYSIWYG apps
PHP,Python,Perl, MySQL or CGI
ASP.NET and PHP, MySQL, ASP,
ASP.NET, ASP, MS SQL
Beginners and no idea what to choose

4) SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

What is an SSL ?

SSL is a standard technology used to establish encrypted connection between a server and its client. This security can ensure safe transfer of data such as credit card information, phone number , address and other data that is entered through browsers.

SSL certificate

The green colour in URL indicate that this site is secured with SSL certificate and any information sent to this site is secure and private. Moreover, sites with SSL certificate will have its url changed from http:// to https://.

Security certificates, also known as SSL certificates, are essential for those who want to sell online and for SEO purposes. On top of that, Google recently announced that having SSL certificate  is a ranking factor for your website.

Every web hosting service offers security certificates however, some certificates are better than others. If you only need SSL for SEO purposes and you don’t plan on selling online, consider a web host that offers free certificates. If you plan on selling online or need a member’s only section where customers must create usernames and passwords, find a host that offers SSL certificates with maximum protection.

Read this indepth article on SSL and its benefits for more information on SSL.

5) Decide between static HTML websites and CMS like WordPress

Static HTML websites come with very little technical requirements so most any web hosting company will do. If you plan on building a website using WordPress or another similar CMS platform, some web hosts will be better than others.

WP Engine is widely popular among those who develop WordPress websites because the company focuses solely on that platform. They offer daily website backups, malware protection, fast page load times and website speed reports.

Although Wp Engine is an expensive choice starting at 29$/mo, there are companies like SiteGround and Hostgator which are both excellent choices for HTML and WordPress sites with plans starting as low as $3.9/mo. They both offer website builders for the inexperienced web designer and one click WordPress install options starting with their cheapest plans.

6) Complicated Web Applications

Web applications that require a more sophisticated hosting solution should use a different type of web hosting service known as a Cloud Application Platform. Heroku is a widely popular web hosting company for complicated web applications because they offer application upgrades and patching that would normally have to be performed by third party web developers.

If your website or application is extremely data intensive or traffic heavy and you’ve got some extra money to invest, consider using a cloud application platform.

It seems you have figured out your requirement for your web hosting and its time to choose the best hosting for your needs. Here the the things to look out for.

7)Choose a dependable hosting

Dependability is determined by a number of things, including uptime percentages and customer support response. You’ll want your website to be live with little to no interruptions and, if something does go wrong, you’ll need customer support to assist you right away.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term “Uptime“, it is the amount of time your website is up and running. Uptime primarily depends on your web hosting company. Downtime can be caused by many factors such as hardware failure of your hosting server, malware attacks, scheduled maintenance and many similar factors.

How dependable is your chosen web host? Do they have a high uptime percentage? You’ll find that most web hosting companies will boast about a 99 percent uptime guarantee, so it’s best to check some reviews first.

Additionally, uptime of less than 99% means your website will be down as follows.

  • Daily: 14m 32.6s
  • Weekly: 1h 41m 48.5s
  • Monthly: 7h 22m 40.4s
  • Yearly: 3d 16h 32m 5.2s

Hosting companies with uptime of below 99% must be avoided as each second your website is down, you loose valuable revenue and trust from your visitors.

Here’s an uptime report of top web hosting companies tracked by Inlinehostblogger.com

When it comes to support, choose a hosting company with very fast live chat support. Live chat tend to be the most efficient way of reaching and solving the problems with a hosting company. Unlike any other sectors, problems related to a web hosting companies require sharing datas and links, which is why it is preferable to use live chat than phone support. Its better to check out the live chat waiting time of each hosting companies by reaching out to their Live chat team via their official websites before making a choice.

To make it easier for you, here’s a list of hosting companies and their live chat waiting time. Additionally I have also included a link to their live chat team so that you can check the response time yourself.

Web HostLive chat wait timeTest now
SiteGround0-1 minuteTest now
Bluehost10-15 minuteTest now
HostGator10-15 minuteTest now
Wp Engine 0-1 minuteTest now

Also Read:  Absolutely Essential WordPress Plugins Your Site Can’t Live Without in 2017… And a Few Extras

8) Speed of the hosting company.

Speed is important, especially for websites that require large files and extra addons. Use a speed test tool to check the speed of your web host before signing up with them. 

Why Speed is so important?

According to a study, 50% will leave your site if it takes more than 3s to load. Another study states that, 1 second increase in page load time can cause 7% drop in conversions. Moreover, site speed is a major ranking factor in Google. All things considered, Site speed can be termed as the most important factor to consider when choosing a hosting company.

WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are all backend heavy CMS platforms that might require specialised hosting in order to maximize the speed of your site.

To determine the speed of the hosting server, response time of a website should be calculated rather than the actual speed of the website. It is because, speed of the website is depended heavily on the content size and optimisation of the website than the server it is hosted.

Here’s a list of top hosting companies and average response time of similar test websites associated with their hosting companies.

Note: All the tests were conducted from USA.

  1. SiteGround. Average Response time: 70ms

SiteGround server response time2. HostGator. Average Response time: 90ms

HostGator server response time3. Inmotion Hosting. Average Response time: 129ms

Inmotion hosting server response time4. WP Engine. Average Response time: 130ms

WP Engine server response time5. Bluehost. Average Response time: 156ms

Bluehost server response time

The Price Matters

Web designers and business owners see cheap monthly web hosting deals on a daily basis. This doesn’t mean that you should choose the cheapest option available.

Prices for basic shared web hosting range from a few dollars a month to nearly $29 per month. The cheapest option won’t allow you to scale your website easily, while the more expensive option offers the ability to host unlimited domains up to the maximum allowable traffic bandwidth. Paying more money per month for higher bandwidth limits will allow you to scale the incoming traffic to your website without worrying about limitations or website shutdowns.

9) Initial Price vs Renewal Price

Please take note that what you pay initially is not what you pay after a year. There is significance difference in renewal price of a hosting company. Its something hosting company tends to hide initially.

For example, a hosting package with GoDaddy will initially cost you $12 for that year. Later, you will be surprised to see your credit card billed 112$ for the next year. Check out with Hosting company for their renewal price before choosing a hosting company.

Here’s a list of hosting company with their Initial and renewal price compared.

Web HostingInitial PriceRenewal Price 
HostGator$3.95/mo$8.95/mo Sign Up Now!
SiteGround$3.95/mo$9.95/moSign Up Now!
Bluehost$2.95/mo$7.95/moSign Up Now!
WP Engine$24/mo$29/moSign Up Now!
GoDaddy$1/mo$9.95/moSign Up Now!

10) Future Scalability of your Website

Most websites will need a web hosting solution that allows for easy scalability for both the amount of traffic you expect and the sizes of files you’ll be storing on the server. The bigger the amount and size of the files you’ll have, the more bandwidth you’ll need.

It’s also important to remember that, even if you start out with little to no traffic, your web host should offer easy ways to upgrade your bandwidth amount to accommodate future needs.

Web Hosting Companies Worth a Second Look

While there are dozens of web hosting companies that offer their services, the following are the most recommended hosting companies by IHB.

Web HostingFeaturesPriceRatings
SiteGround Web Hosting✔Free Website Transfer
✔Free Domain
✔30 Day Money Back Guarantee
3.95$web hosting ratinghosting company ratingweb hosting reviewshosting reviewsWeb Hosting ratings
Read Review
WP Engine Web hosting✔25000 Visits
✔FREE SSL Certificates
✔10 GB Storage
$29web hosting ratinghosting company ratingweb hosting reviewshosting reviewsWeb Hosting ratings
Read Review
HostGator Web Hosting✔1 Domain
✔ Unlimited Bandwidth
✔$200 Advertising credits
$3.95Web hosting company ratinghosting reviews and ratingweb hosting reviewhosting ratinghosting company rating
Read Review
DreamHost Web Hosting✔Unlimited Domains
✔Free SSL/TLS certificates with Let's Encrypt
✔Free Domains
$7.95Web hosting company ratinghosting reviews and ratingweb hosting reviewhosting ratinghosting company rating
Read Review
Bluehost Web Hosting✔FREE Domain
✔50 GB Disk Space
✔1 Website
$2.95Web hosting company ratinghosting reviews and ratingweb hosting reviewhosting ratinghosting company rating
Read Review

Bluehost – Bluehost offers plans as low as $2.95 per month, but they require customers to prepay for an entire year. They offer unlimited space and unlimited bandwidth, along with around-the-clock technical support.

Dreamhost – Dreamhost is well known because they allow customers to host an unlimited amount of domains for around $7.0 per month. VPS and dedicated servers cost more but the service is well worth the price. Dreamhost is especially useful for those who wish to host high traffic WordPress websites.

SiteGround – For $3.95 per month, SiteGround offers up to 10GB of space and unlimited bandwidth. This means that your website can only contain files for a total of 10GB while allowing you to accept an unlimited amount of traffic. They offer 24/7 customer support, free domains, and an easy way to upgrade to dedicated server hosting in the future, if necessary.

Moreover, check out this post HostGator Vs Bluehost web hosting comparison to understand above depicted points on choosing a web hosting.

The Bottom Line

Choosing a web host is one of the most important business decisions you’ll make. Your web host acts as a foundation for your website, something which you must be able to build upon in the future as needs arise. Look for a hosting company that you can afford on a monthly basis while starting out with a shared hosting plan. This type of plan will allow you to plan ahead for major traffic spikes when you begin marketing your website.

Like any other aspect of your business, spend time researching multiple web hosting options and reading reviews. Your web host is the foundation of your online presence.

30 thoughts on “How to Choose a Web Hosting Service For Your Website? – IHB”

  1. To choose a good WordPress host among the various options, the customer support parameter is a differentiating parameter for a list of good WordPress hosts. So, I would recommend the host seekers to opt for the WP Engine.

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