Choosing the best web hosting company for you
The first step in starting an online business is to get a domain name and web hosting. Whether you are starting a blog, creating an e-commerce store or building a niche site you will first need to decide which hosting company is most suitable for your needs.
A big company with thousands of visitors a day would need a dedicated server hosting package which can cost a lot. Fortunately if you are starting out then a shared hosting package is your best solution as it’s incredibly affordable and will be more than enough for your current website needs. There are free hosting packages but if you are intending to take your new website seriously then I would advise spending a few dollars a month for a proper package. You get much better support and security by paying the price of just one coffee per month for premium hosting.
I would advise buying into a good deal for as long as possible as most of the hosting companies will up the price once the annual membership is up. So the price now could be $4.99 for the first year then $10 per year after that. In this case it would be wise to lock into the $4.99 price for three years instead as you will be able to save a lot more in the long run.
The table below is a comparison of the most popular hosting packages available as at November 2017. Each company has three packages so the prices listed below are for the cheapest option available. Below the table I will go into more detail for each hosting company and the various options it has. Currently most of the web hosting companies are running huge sales so the prices might be a bit more than what is listed below when you read this.
At the end of the day most of the main hosting companies are the same. They all offer hosting that is of a similar quality where the differences are hard to distinguish unless you are a very technical user with millions of visitors.
What does differ is the price, number of websites allowed to be hosted and if the domain is included for FREE.
We dive into more detail below to see which is the best hosting for your personal needs.
Bluehost – $5.95
The prices for Bluehost vary from $3.95 to $5.965 depending on the package chosen. The “prime” one at $5.95 is most likely the best hosting package for you. The problem with most of the entry-level packages, called Basic above, is that they only allow for 1 website. This means that if you decide to create another website then you will need to buy additional hosting. So for just over a dollar more it is worthwhile going with the package that allows you unlimited websites. I have a number of different domains so it definitely makes sense not being limited to one website.
The big bonus is that it comes with $200 of marketing which is great. You can use this to drive thousands of visitors to your site.
Another benefit with Bluehost is that you get a free domain name for a year which usually costs around $12 if you purchase it elsewhere.
1 & 1 – $0.99
1 & 1 clearly has the best price for the beginner’s package which is perfect to try it out without a second though. For $1 a month you can have your own domain name and hosting which is pretty crazy! The downside is that this package only allows 1 website which is not ideal if you are wanting to create a few different websites. The “unlimited plus” package is similarly priced to Bluehost but gives you a $12 annual saving.
GoDaddy – $4.99
The best option with GoDaddy would be the Deluxe package at $4.99 as it allows us unlimited websites. Once again the entry level package is too restrictive and not worth the money as it only gives us the ability to host 1 website.
at $4.99 it is the same as 1&1 but once again the price shoots up to $11 once you renew it in the following year which is expensive for basic hosting.
Hostgator – $4.95
At $4.95 the price once again is nearly identical to the other options. The downside of Hostgator is that it does not come with a free domain which will cost you about $12 for the next year. So essential the year’s saving of $12 is offset by the domain name registration fee. I personally prefer to do the domain hosting and registration with the same company as it is less complicated and makes my life easier.
Conclusion – My top picks for web hosting 2016
- Bluehost – The price is good, it comes with a free domain name, longest and most respected web host in the industry and you can host as many websites as you like. It also includes $200 worth of marketing bonuses and I personally use them.
- 1 & 1 – The entry-level package is priced very competitively and worth signing up just to try creating a new site today with full hosting. The unlimited package is also great and arguably better than Bluehost due to the cost saving.
- GoDaddy – They are well respected and known in the web hosting world and you cannot go wrong with them.