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Very few people nowadays will talk to you about anything internet without mentioning a website. In fact, for those who are specialists in that sector, you may even have the opportunity of listening to detailed nuances of the industry if you’ve got an ear to spare. A website has become the identity for web presence for anyone with a business either online or physically.
Websites and web hosting go hand in hand. Website hosting is what intensifies the entire experience of owning a website. Website hosting makes it possible for you to sell things online, to publish your resume and freelance writing samples, and to share your portfolio amongst other things. Ironically a majority of internet users have no idea what web hosting is and there are business owners who don’t understand why there is a need for them to find the right low-cost web hosting company.
What is website hosting?
In order for you to get your website online, you need to rent servicer space where you will store your built website and a domain name (the .com, .net, .org etc.) that will be used to identify you on the internet. Servers are simply big, powerful computers that are station together in data centers. An affordable web hosting service provider or a web host is a business that offers appropriate services and technologies that will enable your website or web page to be viewed on the internet.
When a company rents you server space they are basically offering to store files of your website on their big computers so that anyone on the vast network of computers can access them. Did you know that you can actually host your website on your own PC in your home theoretically speaking? But the whole process can be expensive and complicate. Plus why waste that time, energy and money while you can easily get the service at an affordable price from someone else?
There are probably more than 30,000 web hosting companies on the internet. Every single one of these hosting companies will promise you the basic services of web hosting; selling you server space and a domain name. But for you to get the full value for money for your web hosting you also need a company that’ s reliable, easy-to-use, with an intuitive back end, and quality customer support.
What makes a good web hosting company?
There are mainly three types of hosting depending on your individual business needs.
Virtual Private Server hosting
These are virtual machines that are sold on a server by an internet hosting service provider. A VPS gives the customer super-user level access since it runs its own copy of an operating system and therefore customers can install whatever type of software that is on the OS.
Dedicated Server hosting
This is a hosting arrangement in which one server is configured to be dedicated to a single organization and to perform only one function, for example, managing the website.
This is the cheapest and the most popular type of web hosting. Here the service provider serves pages for multiple separate websites each with its own separate domain name.
For a novice, shared hosting is the ideal hosting to start with. Once you get clear on what you really want and get to understand the hosting industry better you can upgrade to Dedicated, custom or VPS package. But you may need help with getting the right hosting service provider because Google results will give you lots of options, some extremely expensive for no special reason, others cheap but with outdated technology or that are highly unreliable.
We have gone through the trouble of hand picking for you the cheapest top ranked US-based hosting companies that are the real deal.
Top 10 low-cost hosting list:
Bluehost is a brand name and a fierce competitor amongst hosting companies online. It is one of the most popular intensive shared hosting options by proof of the 2 million plus websites that they currently host. Perhaps the huge numbers of their customers are also because of their high payout for their affiliate program.
The technology that’s used by Bluehost, CPU Segregation technology is unique from its competitors. This is capable of cleverly securing your site from the threat of hackers and also cleverly controlling your CPU. Its uptime is also great, although the response time and speed of sites seem to be lower than for some of the other hosts we reviewed.
The one thing that one will notice first on transfer to their hosting is their speeds. This company, which was also started in 2001 as Iniquine, offers pre-configured server caching into its shared hosting plan, Railgun Optimizer and Solid State Drive (SSD) all which give it an edge over its competitors. In addition to shared hosting plan, A2 also offers VPS, reseller and dedicated server hosting. Although the prices for its packages are a bit on the higher side compared to those for its competitors, the company gives value for its money considering the many tweaks and performance optimizing features that it provides.
iPage is a popular veteran web hosting company that has mainly gained its fame from its attractive price-performance deal. This web host offers hosting packages for as cheap as $2 a month for shared hosting. They also offer excellent customer support and will also sell you dedicated server and a compact virtual private server if you need one.
The merits of iPage web host service provider include a large disk space, unlimited bandwidth, email account and excellent third-party application support. They also give an irresistible money back guarantee.
When it comes to disadvantages iPage doesn’t have month-to-month plans, lack windows-based hosting options, and also have uptime issues.
Hostgator is a cheap but reliable web hosting service provider. It’s our top choice for beginners and small businesses because it offers a range of handy plans and is relatively simple to use. In addition to it’ shared plans, Hostgator also offers quality virtual private server (VPS) and dedicated servers also at competitive prices.
The main advantage of Hostgator is the robustness of the shared package that they offer. They also boast of good uptime and feature valuable site-building software. Their customer services cannot be revered enough.
Even great web hosts that seem to have everything you need might have one limitation. For Hostgator, it is the luck of a Window-based VPS hosting.
This is a premier parent company of InMotion Hosting that was started to carter for the needs of professional bloggers and start-up websites. What this translates to is that Hub Hosting offers shared Linux Hosting, which is the number one reliable hosting package in term of ability to run popular types of apps and websites such as WordPress without being strained on traffic.
This host is credited for their fast speeds resulting from their state of the art technology, their attractive offers like free premium web builder, Free Softacuous in all accounts, quality customer support and reliability.
The downside of Web Hosting is that it lacks options like Let’s Encrypt. Nonetheless since it gives free site transfers and 90-day money back guarantee there’s really little risk in trying them out.
InMotion is a developed hosting company that was started in 2001 and has two data centers; one in Virginia Beach and the other in Los Angeles. It offers shared, dedicated, WordPress and virtual private server (VPS) hosting in addition to lots of free ecommerce tools. All plans come with unlimited email and customers have been impressed by the uptimes. The only thing that may make one opt for the other competitor hosts is the lack of Windows servers by InMotion and the need for a customer to create separate logins form all add-ons. Other than that and some plan limitations, this is the best host in terms of reliability and package prices.
Just Host offers “unlimited” shared hosting with a standard Linux based cPanel setup. Although some customers have complained that their “unlimited” offer actually has a limit, it is still an ideal option for novice and experienced users alike. The package includes a domain name, email accounts, transfers, unlimited bandwidth and sufficient storage. It offers better rates when you sign up for a 2-3 years commitment plan. However, Just Host lacks Windows-based hosting, No Managed WordPress hosting and customers have also complained about Uptime issues. If you don’t mind the lack or a few features and the small unreliability problems then this will be a good option for saving money.
Dream Host, located in Brea, California and started in 1996, is a hosting provider that markets itself as ideal for developers and entrepreneurs. It’s a parent company of New Dream Network, LLC with three data serves. This host provider is famous the ease of set up. If offers free SSDs, unlimited bandwidth, automatic WordPress updates, 1-click WordPress install and a custom dashboard.
Pricing has been made easy to understand by Dream Host by virtue of the fact that there are no upgrades or tiers and you will only get one plan at a single price which is very competitive. On the downside, Dream Host does not have a cPanel back end set up and users are offered a propriety backend for both server administration and your account administration. It also lacks Apps and Auto-installs which are provided by its competitors.
Fat cow is one of the cheapest host providers in the industry having been established in 1998. This host rose to fame through its pocket friendly packages that were tailored for small to medium size businesses. The company is owned and managed by Endurance International Group who is also the owner of Hostgator, iPage, Bluehost and other big names in the industry. Fat cow offers four main hosting plans; original fat cow, WordPress Blog, Dedicated Servers and VPS service.
Their strength is in their unmatchable uptime record and daily backup service. They also offer special discount and they have very professional customer service personnel. But even with all the goodies that they offer, fat cow has received a lot of complaints from users over the last few years mostly about downtime, lack of SSL certificates (which means websites, especially WordPress, are vulnerable to attacks) and also constant site crushes.
Like the name suggests, idea host offers to help you get your site up and running at very attractive rates. The site has been made very easy to use through the drag-and-drop website builder and unlimited pre –made websites. This provider will also register your domain for free and you can construct up to six web-pages at absolutely no price using their pre-made templates. They offer a shared hosting plan but in three different categories each with its standard features including email and website management, free domain name, cPanel for installing WordPress and other software among others.
The downside of Idea host is that they don’t provide the option for upgrading your host plan to VPS and this will therefore limit you if you’re looking into growing your website in the near future. They also charge for their automatic backup, which some of their competitors will give you for free.
All the above are affordable hosting providers. Your ultimate choice will therefore depend on your individual requirements and needs.