If 2021 is the year you set up a business, you’ll likely need a web hosting service.
Web hosting services are exactly what they sound like: businesses that host websites for organizations or individuals. That’s not to say you can’t host a website yourself (whether it’s a business site or a personal blog).
But it’s often more straightforward, not to mention more secure, to find a trusted company to take care of the hosting on your behalf. Because web hosts act like managed IT services. They eliminate the unnecessary stress that web hosting entails, leaving you to focus on running your business.
But before we get to the top web hosting services for 2021, let’s answer a question.
How Do You Choose The Right Web Hosting Service?
The main point to consider when choosing a web host is whether a shared, dedicated, or cloud-based server makes the most sense for your business.
If you’re not sure, here are some pointers:
- Only the smallest businesses typically choose a shared server. The service is economical, but (as the name suggests) you’ll share your server with other enterprises, meaning you won’t have full control over your site performance
- A dedicated server gives you that control by only serving your business. Renting one is cheaper than it used to be, so you might choose this route if you want to avoid an issue on another website potentially impacting your site. That said, dedicated servers have associated costs (like maintenance and other ‘extras’ beyond just rent), so be mindful of these — while you need to check the server has space for your business to ‘grow into’ as you scale before you commit. Even if it does: if you’re thinking of using a dedicated server, we suggest you look to the cloud.
- Cloud-based servers offer maximum flexibility and scalability. You can pay for the bandwidth and hosting services you need today, then expand them tomorrow without suffering any disruption: a win-win for growing enterprises.
That’s how to choose the right service for your business; next up, let’s run down our top three providers, focusing on shared and cloud-based platforms.
1. Bluehost WordPress Web Hosting Services
- Free domain
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Free site migration
- 24×7 support
Bluehost is an exceptional WordPress web hosting service. It’s the two-decade-old subsidiary of the Endurance International Group (EIG) and currently powers 2m+ websites globally.
Bluehost offers an automated setup for WordPress websites, alongside popular apps via a custom marketplace. If you’re someone who likes to tinker, a cPanel lets you tweak the backend, while you can use a Weebly-based website builder to design your site’s look-and-feel.
You can use the builder to create a site with up to six pages. But you won’t find any templates. Still, the service is better than nothing (with more functionality in the pipeline), and you can even use it with the most basic shared hosting account at just $2.75/month. That said, if you want a WordPress plan, it’ll cost from $20/month, including a free migration tool to tempt you — and an able customer support team always on-hand.
2. Hostgator Shared Web Hosting Services
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Unmetered disk space
- 45-day money-back guarantee
For anyone set on using a shared server, Hostgator is for you. This extremely competent web host delivers various services, all at very competitive prices.
A ‘99.9% up-time’ guarantee should inspire confidence in performance, even though it’s a shared server. And this applies to all three hosting plans. Snappy 2000 includes 2GB RAM, 2 cores of CPU, and 120GB of disk space (allocations that should satisfy all but the most resource-hungry websites).
An upgrade called Snappy 4000 offers 4GB RAM and 165GB storage — or Snappy 8000 includes 8GB RAM, 4 cores CPU, and 240 GB storage, comfortable enough to sustain even the busiest of businesses on a shared server. But what you pay depends on how often you pay.
Snappy 2000 costs $29.95 monthly, whereas a three-year contract brings the cost down to just $19.95/month. But a 45-day money-back guarantee softens the financial blow. And free transfers on new accounts within the first month of sign-up minimize the risk even further.
3. Hostinger Cloud-based Web Hosting Services
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 100GB Disk Storage
- Free SSL certificate
- DDoS protection
Hostinger is perhaps best-known for its free web hosting services at 000webhosting. The brand runs well over 30m sites, in no small part thanks to its super-low running costs and minimal overheads.
Hostinger prefers to use in-house technology like a custom control panel in place of the less popular cPanel. And choices like these enable it to control performance and offer features at a much lower cost. Beyond its free service, Hostinger has many strings to its bow.
If you’re looking for an affordable cloud-based server, three plans include unlimited websites and unlimited bandwidth as standard — alongside generous capacity:
- Cloud Startup: Including 100GB of storage, 3GB of RAM, and 2 CPU cores.
- Cloud Professional: Including 140GB storage, 6GB RAM, and 4 CPU cores.
- Cloud Global: Including 200GB storage, 16GB RAM, and 8CPU cores.
To sweeten the deal, Hostinger throws in a free SSL certificate with all websites. And similar to Hostgator, what you pay depends on your willingness to commit. For example, Cloud Startup costs $29.99 per month on a pay-as-you-go basis. But a twelve-month commitment drops the cost to $12.95 — while a two-year contract reduces it further to $9.95/month.
And if you’re happy with a four-year tie-in, you’ll pay just $7.45/month.
Pair Web Hosting With Managed IT Services
Depending on the scale of your business, you may consider asking a managed IT services provider to set up your website — and so, your web host — on your behalf. If you’re interested in this level of IT support, feel free to get in touch.
You can reach the Mid-Coast Tech team at 207-223-7594.