Who are the Best Online Web Hosts?
The best online web hosts have at least four things in common. They are, in order, features, price, bandwidth and support. With the field of web hosts so crowded, does it mean that all web hosts are equal? No, it doesn’t. The number of hosting companies that stay competitive hasn’t changed recently, and that’s a good sign for occasional bloggers to large corporations because they can access all the latest features and be comfortable in knowing they’re paying a fair price thanks to competition (more on that later). The features vary per company with fees added for additional bandwidth, for example. However, it’s wise to dig into the feature list because some tools come at a price, so, before committing to a host, ask questions and make sure they provide all the necessary services without raising the price. One particular feature is bandwidth. Be careful about this because many hosts claim unlimited bandwidth, but what they don’t mention is that unlimited isn’t exactly as it sounds. Another critical function of a web host is their uptime. Following is a list of the top five online web hosts that offer the most robust list of essential features for meeting the demands of today’s webmasters.
1 - HostGator Tops the List of the Best
A business is hardly a business if it doesn’t have an online presence. HostGator offers an impressive list of features that for the price, is hard to beat. They offer cloud hosting, reseller packages, and dedicated and virtual private server packages (VPS). Also, hosting plans from HostGator top the list for the most feature-rich packages that include unlimited (there’s that word again) disk space, bandwidth, databases, and email addresses. Support is a big issue for most businesses, and it’s needed quickly. Fortunately, HostGator delivers on this, too. Unlimited anything these days usually means, well, unlimited. However, sometimes speed, and bandwidth gets clamped downward if, at any time, demand increases for reasons other than that intended in the package. It’s hard to know just what is meant by that, so, it’s highly recommended to ask questions about the entire package and don’t let up until all the questions get detailed answers.
2 - BlueHost Loves WordPress
BlueHost offers most of the same packages as other top-tier hosting companies, with a few nice add-ons that deserve a second look. BlueHost is well-known in hosting circles for its reliability and longevity. They’ve been around since 1996, and except for a few growing pains, they’re still a mainstay in the business of hosting. Bluehost offers some nice features not commonly found at other hosts. If WordPress comes to mind, they’ve got that covered. Security is a big deal for every serious webmaster, and BlueHost delivers a big money saver by offering SSL encryption free with any WordPress site using their shared hosting plans. While BlueHost provides excellent hosting and some nice features, there is a price for everything. They advertise their plans for what anyone would assume is a monthly charge. That’s not the case. The charges represent the actual monthly cost for an annual purchase, paid up-front.
3 - GoDaddy Web Hosting
Most webmasters know GoDaddy very well and they should. GoDaddy offers robust hosting plans with the features that businesses need. However, GoDaddy does lack in a few areas compared to HostGator for example, but their solid customer support, unbeatable uptime, and fast Linux and Windows-based servers make up for any shortcomings where it counts, according to many savvy webmasters. Shared hosting plans remain the most sought-after feature, and GoDaddy does a great job, but unfortunately, they can’t beat HostGator’s plans. To keep in step with HostGator, GoDaddy does offer unlimited domains and data transfer, with the addition of unlimited data storage across the board. Remember that they charge more on monthly plans unless committing to longer terms such as an annual plan. Lastly, their Ultimate Package includes free SSL encryption for one year.
4 - Liquid Web Hosting
Large businesses need very reliable hosting with loads of heavy-duty features. Liquid Web fits the bill nicely. They offer various plans for cloud hosting, VPS, and WordPress server packages. With their high-end features and plans, it’s no wonder why some of the largest companies depend on them for uptime and customer support. Liquid Web offers only dedicated hosting because larger businesses expect a stronger foundation for their hosting needs, so shared hosting isn’t considered as a viable option. The dedicated servers provide fast-loading sites which are a must while modern websites snowball with content added by teams on a nearly continual basis. If robust, secure, and dependable top-tier hosting is the only option, the cost climbs dramatically as the server configurations change. Be prepared for an expensive hosting option, but the professional level features and reliability make Liquid Web Hosting an excellent choice for large businesses.
5 - Hostwinds Web Hosting
Hostwinds is an all-around host offering appealing features that would serve businesses well. Just like the others mentioned here, they provide shared, dedicated, cloud hosting, and WordPress hosting. Reseller packages also help round-out a great selection of useful packages that small to medium-size businesses should consider. One of the considerations with hosting is affordability compared to features. Hostwinds helps out by providing feature-packed plans that include unlimited data transfer, storage, and a free dedicated IP address. Their best plan allows hosting of unlimited domains which stands out as a must-have feature for the price. Speaking of price, Hostwinds does offer a discount for longer plan commitments. Customer support remains an integral part of any hosting plan because questions do arise and Hostwinds performs well in this area with 24/7 chat and ticket-based support. Fortunately, Hostwinds offers a 60-day money back guarantee that should seal the deal if any doubts remain about signing up with them.