What are the best hosting services for your website?
If you own a website with any amount of content, then you must have hosting for it. There is just no way around it. Hosting is defined as store (a website or other data) on a server or other computer so that it can be accessed over the Internet. So when someone asks you who you are hosting your website with, they are also asking what kind of “server” do you use.
Coffeecup.com does a great job of describing hosting for the layperson: Web Hosting or ‘Hosting’ is a service provided by a vendor which offers a physical location for the storage of web pages and files. Think of a Web Hosting Company as a type of landlord, they rent physical space on their servers allowing webpages to be viewed on the Internet.
Things to know about hosting (that I learned the hard way)
To begin, I am hardly an expert on hosting. However, I have learned more about hosting (and which ones I like and dislike) over the past few years with all of the content that I have produced that I can give you some honest feedback on what to look for in the best hosting services for your website, and what to watch out for.
Here are some of the main lessons that I have learned about hosting that many of you might be confused on:
- Hosting is the same thing as a server.
- Whoever is hosting the content on a site, owns the content. Meaning, if you aren’t hosting your content (someone or some other company is hosting your website for you), then they legally own the content, EVEN if you own the domain.
- The best hosting services for your website must be up and running all of the time. If your hosting company has outages or issues with their servers, that means your site is down whenever they have a problem. And if your website is an important part of your business, you can’t afford to have it down when prospects are trying to find you. Always find out their “uptime” which is how often they are up. 100% uptime is perfect.
- Your hosting service has a big impact on the speed of your site. Of course part of the speed is determined by how well your site is coded, but the rest of your site’s speed is determined by your hosting service.
- Hosting is not something that you just buy and then ignore. It needs to be monitored regularly to check for any outages, any spikes in traffic (that could potentially shut your site down depending on what kind of hosting you pay for), etc.
- There are different kinds of servers/hosting platforms such as:
- Shared hosting
- Dedicated server
- Virtual private server hosting
- WordPress hosting
- Managed hosting
- A great article describing the difference in all of these hosting options can be found here.
- Don’t skimp on your hosting if your website is important to your business. We found that simply upgrading our hosting not only sped up our site drastically (which Google and other search engines like and give you favor for), but we also never had to worry about our site shutting down every time our “cheap server” has a hiccup.
Here are the best hosting services for your website (in my humble opinion)
I have used quite a few hosting platforms over the past 4 years, and here are the top ones from my personal experience. I have ranked them in order of which ones we like the best and have had the best experience with.
- Media Temple: This is who we currently use for hosting. In our opinion, Media Temple is the best hosting service for your website as we have yet to have any downtime (in almost a year), it is super fast, and their customer service is awesome. We heard the rumor that Godaddy was buying them, which means even more capital backing this already awesome company. Check out their prices and different hosting platforms here.
- BlueHost: This was our old hosting platform that we left for Media Temple. They were a bit cheaper, but we did experience quite a few outages over the course of our affiliation with them. Bluehost is great for the average website if you don’t mind your site going down briefly every once in while, and you want to save money. The only good news is that when your site goes down, you won’t be alone as Bluehost is one of the larger hosting platforms out there. Check out their pricing here.
- Host Gator: This is another very popular hosting service that has a good reputation and is priced well. They usually have discounts year round. Check out their pricing here.
- Godaddy: This was our original hosting platform as it was where we bought our domains. Although we were not pleased with Godaddy hosting a few years ago (tons of outages and issues), that was some time ago and we have heard that they have become much better and reliable. And they do give nice discounts and make it easy to host if you buy your domain from them. Check out their pricing here.
- We have heard a few of our friends use Google hosting and Amazon hosting but we have not personally used them. This seems to be tailored a bit towards high usage sites that need larger amounts of space. Check out Amazon hosting here and Google hosting here.
Hosting is critical to your website as it is where all of your content is stored, and it is a big determiner of how fast your site loads. And when your hosting service has an issue with their servers, that means you too have a problem as your site will likely be down as well (which could cost you lots of money depending on your traffic and how long your site is down).
Finally, don’t be cheap when it comes to hosting if your website being up and fast is important to your business. And make sure to check out our reviews above on the best hosting services for your website.
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