Best Web Hosts / Best Web Hosting Sites & Providers
Host Checka is an in-depth review site that looks at various web hosting companies to determine which is the best.
We use a tried and tested checklist to help us give unbiased reviews which eventually leads to a list of the best web hosts.
Hosting can be overwhelming, especially with all the jargon used. This is why we aim to help you choose the right host by simplifying the technical nonsense and giving you guidance based on what you want. Our bluehost hosting review is a great example of that.
The below hosting providers are ranked based on our own review checklist.
Different types of hosting to consider
When choosing a host, it’s important to understand the difference between one type to another. Otherwise, you’ll get confused and just signup for anything out of frustration.
Here’s a simple breakdown of each type of hosting available on the market right now:
Shared – Shared web hosting is the cheapest of all hosting. It uses one or several servers to host hundreds (if not thousands) of domains all on the same server, thus reducing the cost.
VPS – Known as Virtual Private Hosting or VPS hosting for short, it allows you to convert one physical server into multiple virtual machines, so it’s great for folks wanting to run various hosting environments.
Cloud – A very common type of hosting these days, cloud hosting is where you have an unlimited number of machines on one system, meaning it’s super scalable, fast and reliable.
Dedicated server – Dedicated hosting is for the big boys. It’s used for high traffic domains and real businesses. Nothing a start-up needs to worry about.
Reseller – Want to make some money on the side selling your own hosting services? Reseller hosting is perfect for being your own host but without the hassle of buying and maintaining physical servers.
WordPress/Drupal – Content management systems (CMS’s) are very popular these days. So much so, companies are offering dedicated hosting for WordPress and Drupal, with specialist features to help you reduce costs and load times.
Quick Note: If you’re just starting out with a personal site, blog or even a startup business on a budget, WordPress is the best option as it’s free and fully supported by most web hosts.
Forum – If you have a forum that you need hosting, you can get dedicated forum hosting that is designed to work with forum software that is heavy on server resources and load times.
eCommerce – If you’re an online business that sells physical or even digital products and services, then eCommerce hosting will help you to host a very fast and reliable website.
Windows/Linux – This means the operating system that the server is running on. So whether it’s Windows or Linux based. Linux is by far the most widely used OS for hosting.
Most common web hosting jargon
Deciding on a host without knowing the jargon is like buying a car without taking a look under the hood. Here are the most common hosting phrases that you need to become familiar with.
Uptime/Downtime – Making sure your website or blog is up as much as possible is very important these days. Uptime simply means your site is up and downtime means your site is offline. Most hosts offer an uptime percentage. You should be aiming for 99.99%.
SSL – Security is the top priority for a lot of websites and a must for everyone. SSL refers to Secure Socket Layer which is a certificate that shows the security of a domain/website. It’s the padlock you see in browsers. All the top web hosts provide high grade SSL options.
Bandwidth – When someone visits your site, they will be using up something called bandwidth on your server, this allows the host to display the site. The more visitors you have, the more bandwidth is used.
Load time – A crucial part of all sites, load time simply means how fast your site loads for the user when they first load it in their browser.
Web space – Each website, blog or eCommerce store comes with hosting space known as “web space” this is how much storage you’re allowed to house your website and all its files.
cPanel – A shortened version of the words control panel, cPanel is the most popular backend interface for web hosts, allowing you to manage all aspects of your site in one easy to use UI.
Backups – As the name suggests, backups take snapshots of your site, files, and setup, which helps you to rollback easily after changes and quickly get up and running again if something gets corrupted.
MySQL – Mostly unknown to the average user. MySQL is database management software that CMS’s like WordPress run on. It helps you to build fast, dynamic websites. The best MySql hosting companies offer faster performance and enhanced database tools.
Free vs Paid hosting: The pros and cons
If you have a business or personal blog that you want to build up and have some credibility with, avoid free web hosting at all costs. It’s slow, unreliable and most importantly you’ll be running other people’s ads on your domain.
Lastly, it’s very rigid, so you won’t be able to use features that are widely available on paid hosting platforms.
One type of host not mentioned above is “free hosting”, which we deliberately left out, did you notice that?. The reason why is simple… it sucks. Don’t bother using free hosting, it’s slow and full of ads that you don’t earn any money from. Plus hosting is so cheap these days anyway!
As you can tell, we don’t like free, but here’s a pros and cons list to clarify a few things:
Pros: You don’t pay anything (obviously), it’s very simple to setup and get started and you can use your own domain (big win!).
Cons: You need to run ads on your site to pay for the hosting, It’s very rigid, with minimal features and flexibility, limited domains hosted on one account and minimal to no support.
How to choose the right host in 3 steps
At this point, you may have looked at several of the best web hosts above and felt a little overwhelmed. So let’s break down how you should be choosing your host, without driving yourself mad.
Answer these simple questions:
1. What do you need?
Take a minute to think about what you need. For example, you might need a WordPress host because you’re starting a blog or maybe you have an online business selling custom jewelry and want eCommerce hosting.
2. What’s your budget?
Money is an important factor. But with hosting you don’t need to spend much to get a good host, as options like shared hosting are available. Also paying 12 months in advance can get you a significant discount, so think about doing that.
3. What’s most important to you?
Lastly, you want to consider what’s the most important thing for you. Is it speed, uptime, security or support? Maybe you want all of those in one package. Some hosts are better at one thing than another which is why you must decide on what you want and what’s vitally important for you.
Best web hosts conclusion: Still can’t decide?
As of right now, for us we recommend SiteGround. Simply because it offers everything we need/want in a host. Don’t take our word for it though, take it for a test before committing to anything.
Make sure you read all of our reviews before finally deciding on a host.