GlowHost had the best customer service of any web hosting company we tested, endearing itself by responding to our emailed list of questions with detailed and thoughtful answers less than an hour after we sent it. As we sent more questions their way, by email and phone call, GlowHost continued to impress with friendly and courteous conversation (although we’re pretty sure their live chat relies on a bot).
Spec-wise, GlowHost and FastComet are pretty neck-and-neck. But in exchange for almost twice as much downtime as FastComet (about 105 minutes over a year as opposed to 52 minutes), GlowHost does provide a few additional server locations in Australia and the US. Theoretically, this means GlowHost is more flexible in how quickly it can serve websites up to customers across the globe, but this benefit is primarily for its higher service tiers: If you’re signing up for shared hosting, our rep told us that you’ll most likely be assigned a server based in Salt Lake City or Phoenix.
Hopefully this overview of hosting, domain names, and DNS will at least provide some additional insights into how these important pieces of the Internet work. If you have any questions about something that isn’t clear or ideas to help other readers better understand this stuff, feel free to contact us. If you need help with hosting or want to move your application to the cloud, our team includes cloud hosting experts.
Our actual website is just a bunch of files. HTML files, CSS files (stylesheets), images and photos, etc. All of these files need to be in a folder on a computer that is connected to the Internet. That computer is usually called a “server” because it serves up our website files when people come to visit. When you pay a company to put your files on their web server, you’re buying hosting. They are hosting your website on their servers.
Create as many email accounts for your websites as you need, at no additional cost. You can manage your email with our webmail interface, your favorite email client, or even third party email services like Gmail.
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As with backups, SSL certificates are not a necessary feature your web host must offer, this is especially so since companies like Let’s Encrypt offer them for free. However, if you’re looking to streamline the process of getting your site fully equipped and online in no time, the extra convenience of getting this certificate from your web hosting provider is a nice add-on.
Needless to say, this test provided us with some surprising results. For one, SiteGround absolutely blew away the competition by responding in less than half a minute, and promptly answering our question. Secondly, HostGator offered a quality of support that was unexpected considering their reputation.
Managed web hosting services are often commonly associated with dedicated server hosting, which makes sense. Not every agency, enterprise, or developer that needs dedicated servers for their websites will want that hassle of managing the backend technology (or simply don’t have the time or know-how to do so). Managed hosting then places the onus of that backend management on the expert instead of the site owner or developer.
A virtual private server hosting divides a server into virtual servers, where each websites is like hosted on their own dedicated server, but they’re actually sharing a server with a few different other users.
Choosing the best web hosting plan for your specific project has always been a bit confusing. Plan features never line up. Terminology never matches. And pricing varies according to current discounts and plan length.
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Having some of the most affordable shared hosting out there, plus plenty of extras, warrants FatCow be on our list of top web hosts overall. Their customer service, performance, and focus on environmental responsibility leave you feeling good about yourself… Go to full review »
How is Pantheon not on this list. Not only is their workflow a lifesaver for development, but the platform itself is lightning fast and their support is good. I can use wp-cli, they include New Relic, and I get a nice report of any errors on the dashboard. Do it.
GreenGeeks’ plan is among the more expensive web hosting plans we reviewed, but it offers some of the best features and performance. With a feature-filled control panel and high usability, it outranks most of the other web hosting services. In fact, its unlimited shared hosting package compares to the advanced business plans offered by competing web host providers. Additionally, it comes with every security tool you need to protect your site and customers.
Where as GoDaddy was one of the most stable and consistent platforms tested here. It consistently stayed under 800ms and scaled impressively as the load increased and got down to a very respectable time of almost 600ms at 40 users and it didn’t have to deal with that load just once (as every other test you did), but stayed stable for 3 consecutive 40 user attempts. Now that’s impressive and it looked to be getting quicker the more attempts at that load. I wonder what would have happened if that continued?
Website backups ensure that, if your site does go down, you’ll still be able recover the data on it. Backups are a duty that professional web developers often take on, but if you’re running your website solo, the easiest way to ensure you’re backed up is to go through your web host. We preferred web hosts that didn’t charge exorbitant fees for this service. Our top picks all offer it for free. Media Temple and HostGator, by contrast, both charge about $20 per month.
And finally, we required 99.95 percent (or higher) uptime. Uptime measures a company’s track record for keeping websites online all of the time. In a perfect world, your website would be available to readers 100 percent of the time. But companies typically only guarantee 99.9 percent uptime, since occasional technical difficulty is inevitable. We used a 3rd party monitoring service to verify this claim, and to spot top performers: companies that kept their websites up at least 99.95 percent of the time.
Home server: usually a single machine placed in a private residence can be used to host one or more web sites from a usually consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built machines or more commonly old PCs. Some ISPs actively attempt to block home servers by disallowing incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the user’s connection and by refusing to provide static IP addresses. A common way to attain a reliable DNS host name is by creating an account with a dynamic DNS service. A dynamic DNS service will automatically change the IP address that a URL points to when the IP address changes.
But that’s not all, the support chat is available 24/7. We’ve tested it by asking some domain-related questions regarding the temporary URL of the site. The person on the other end was able to solve those at first try. Really cool.
Many people mistakenly think that owning their own websites only has to do with owning the names themselves; however, a large part of having a site is hosting the data and information contained on your site.
Regardless, there may come a time when a traffic spike brings your website down, and that’s because your host has deemed your usage “excessive.” This is unlikely, but definitely something to keep in mind.
Forget for a second all the technological hurdles and learning curves you think are associated with blogging, and imagine for a moment: If you had the chance to share a message with the world, what would you say? And what would happen if people actually listened?
An average of 30,000 sites are hacked each day globally. Our Perpetual Security measures help prevent you from becoming the next victim! That’s why your account include free HackScan Protection to help block hacks before they can do damage to your site. KernelCare rebootless kernel updates, brute force defense, a dual firewall and a number of other security features are already in place to help keep your site secure when you choose A2 Hosting.
World-class technology. The Bluehost infrastructure utilizes dual quad processor performance servers, Linux OS, customized Apache web server, multiple 10 GB Ethernet connections, and 24/7 network monitoring, among others.
Two methods to create your website easily: 1- using a content management system, and 2- using a website builder. You get more flexibility in designs and site functions with option 1; the creation and management process is much easier with option 2.
PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): InMotion, long known for their shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon their reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, they do include some nice features… Go to full review »