The most common answer to “Who’s your host?” or “Where’s your domain registered?” is “GoDaddy.”
You might not care what a web developer wants. It’s your site, and it’s the developer’s job to launch your site on whatever web host you want. But you should know how the host you choose may end up hurting both you and your website.
Your host is what makes your website visible to the world. It’s where your website lives and what makes it work. A poor web host means poor performance and slow load times.
A good web host should give you everything you need and nothing you don’t. When a host advertises FREE things at a GREAT introductory price, make sure to read the details. Those prices usually increase after a year. You end up paying for all those FREE things you don’t need.
It can be easy to feel lost or overwhelmed. What, then, makes a good host, and how do I know it when I see it? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t just a simple referral. The quality of hosts is always changing. Hosts start out great, but once they are sold to one of the few giants, they start to care less about quality. They change their services or increase their prices. Sometimes they make improvements to previous negatives and end up as a better choice. New hosts are appearing all the time.
A good web developer will know what hosts are currently among the best. They know which ‘best of’ lists are actual reviews and which are affiliates. Most of the ‘best of’ hosting lists are advertisements.
But don’t give up just yet. There are a few things you can look out for when looking into web hosts. You can also read up on some of the language related to websites.
As always, it’s important to do your research before signing up for a web host. There are many people who do the heavy lifting for you. They sign up for accounts, host websites, and test for the best and most reliable. Just like the web hosts themselves, resources about hosts can be good or bad. As long as the resource making the recommendations is transparent about their methods and any affiliate links, it is usually considered reliable.
You can header over to a review for web hosts by folks at Reviews.com. The material is detailed and often updated. The review doesn’t just look at the best known or most popular hosts. They look into the hosts known for reliability and go into detail about how they came to their decision. There are even details about services offered by web hosts and whether to consider upgrading or purchasing tools.
How to choose the right host:
It usually starts slowly. They’ll make updates to the account area that don’t make sense. Server updates cause your site to go down or cause other website issues. Loading times can become an issue.
Then comes the customer service speed, which seems to be pretty good at first. But now their chat seems to be just for show, and your tickets never seem to get answered. Then they make some crucial mistakes like failing to auto-update your domain despite the account settings.
There are some good independent hosts out there now. I’ve worked with quite a few hosts over the years. My list of recommended hosts is now a small but strong list of 3 to 5 hosting companies. The following links are affiliate links, and if you decide to purchase a hosting plan with them after clicking one of these links, I may be compensated.
I offer hosting, which includes backups, updates, security, and cPanel access. SiteGround has pretty reasonably priced packages. Their support is top notch, and they’ve great services. I was able to easily install my SSL certificate, and the admin area of my account is super easy to navigate.
I’m also a pretty big fan of InMotion hosting. Their pricing is on par with other hosting providers, and their customer service is great. Everything is easily accessible, and I haven’t run into any issues so far.
I’ve had clients use Media Temple. GoDaddy actually owns them now, so don’t entirely fit the ‘independent’ qualification anymore. But they’re great for more serious hosting needs.
I’ve also heard good things about Web Hosting Hub, though I haven’t had the opportunity to work with them yet. Even GoDaddy has made the effort to improve their services to be able to compete for the developer’s good word.