Any business can benefit from having an online presence. There are a lot of opportunities to be missed if you don't have a website. That's because more and more people these days are relying on the Internet for information – whether it's for a product or service that they are interested in, or for directions or reviews of a particular business. Without a website, you are missing out on a huge revenue potential.
Contrary to what some people may think, creating and running a website does not have to be expensive. The first thing you will need is a good web hosting service where you can store your site's files and data so they can be delivered to your intended readers or customers. The cost of web hosting can vary depending on the kind of plan you pick and which web hosting provider you go with. So it's important to really take the time to do your research and compare your options to find the best hosting for your needs.
Types of Hosting
You can pick between various types of hosting, including:
Shared hosting is a good choice for individuals and businesses with very limited budget. These plans can go for around $10 or less per month. However, you will be sharing the server with multiple other sites so loading times and performance of the sites may not always be excellent.
VPS hosting costs a bit more than shared hosting but you get more resources and more power for your website. It's a good compromise if you don't like the instability of shared hosting but also don't want to pay a lot of money for your hosting plan.
Dedicated hosting gives you access to a server that is solely just for your website. You are assured of a very fast and powerful server and it's best for sites that expect a lot of website traffic daily. It's very costly, however.
Finally, managed Wordpress hosting is ideal for those who will be using WordPress as their CMS and don't want to be bothered with the technical side of managing a website (updating apps, enabling auto backups, and so on).
If you're unsure of which one to pick, we suggest you start with shared web hosting first. Once you've gotten the hang of it and you've figured out how much traffic will get on average, then you can upgrade to a plan that can better suit your
needs. Keep in mind though that not all web hosting providers offer all the types of hosting we've mentioned here. Some only provide shared, VPS and dedicated hosting, while others have these 3 plus the managed WP hosting.
Moreover, some hosting services offer 30-90 days money back guarantees so these things are also worth considering.
We would recommend that you first figure out what you need and how much you're willing to spend on hosting before you begin your search.
Important Features of the Best Hosting Service
A lot of web hosting providers offer starter packages with rather limited features and you can simply choose to expand your options by going with their high tier plans. It's important to really read the fine print carefully before you choose a service so you will know exactly what you are getting.
We also recommend that you choose a web host that also offers a site builder so you don't have to go through the trouble of learning how to create a website yourself. With a site builder, everything's just a click away. Besides, with a built in website builder, you can expect a smoother experience in creating and managing your website.
Another key requirement is 24/7 customer support. You should be able to reach them by phone or chat so you can get help ASAP. Forums and emails are fine but they don't provide immediate support. When it comes to customer support, Liquid Web
and GoDaddy have some of the best and most helpful staff.
For server Operating Systems (OS), the most common is Linux. However, some websites will require Windows hosting due to their server side applications like SQL or .NET. If this is the case, make sure your web host uses Windows for their OS. If it's not a requirement then go with Linux as they are cheaper. Besides, it's not really hard to use Linux, contrary to what a lot of people think. No coding knowledge required at all.
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