Best Web hosting reviews, advice and other essential information
One of the most important decisions you need to make when setting up a new website, is: which is the best web hosting company I should opt for?
The choice of host for your website can make a significant difference to the success or not of your website. While most hosting companies will provide the bare minimum functions required for hosting a website, you should consider more than that, especially if your business is going to use your website as a prime lead generation mechanism, or it will give the business a good chunk of revenue.
Let's discuss a few things you need to consider when looking for a good website hosting service.
Hosting software stack
This is essentially the software which the servers will have installed on them such that your website can function properly. Most companies will have the standard stack, called a LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). This is typically enough if you will be using standard software such as WordPress or Joomla.
However, if you are going to use other CMSes, possibly something which requires ASP and SQL Server, you'll need to confirm whether the hosting company actually provides that particular stack.
Moreover, you need to determine whether the website you will put up requires specific versions of the software stack. For example, you might find that the CMS or some plugins, require a specific version of PHP or MySQL to work correctly.
These are subtle nuances you'll need to consider before making a purchase.
Hosting Configurations available
Another thing you'll need to consider is the configuration of the hosting you'll be purchasing. While most people typically opt for a shared hosting, there are many other configurations you can opt for. There are various options for shared hosting plans, with the cheapest plans, typically being very busy and crowded servers. You could then opt for other configurations, such as Virtual Private Server, Managed hosting, Cloud hosting, or others. The top tier of hosting is typically a fully-dedicated server, but these are typically for very specialized cases and scenarios.
These are the typical options:
- Shared hosting plans
- Virtual Private Servers
- Cloud hosting
- Dedicated server
- Reseller hosting
- WordPress hosting
- Managed hosting
Another element you should consider before purchasing webhosting should be security. This is quite an important topic, despite it not getting enough attention from many website owners.
If your web host does not take security seriously, your site is bound to experience hacking attacks, creating significant problems for your site.
If your site is not well-secured, it could be subject to spamming, hacking and malware, and possibly getting black-listed by such companies as Google- which is exactly the opposite of the reason why a website exists.
While we don't believe price should not be a determining factor when choosing hosting, the reality is that people will always take the price of the hosting into consideration.
The problem with basing your choice based on price is this. Simply put, the cheapest hosts are the worst. The cheaper your hosting service is, the worse it will be. To keep prices cheap, the only option is to overwhelm the server with accounts, just to be able to stay profitable.
It's much better advice to ignore the pricing completely, and chose based on other features. Really and truly, would a difference of a few dollars per month break the bank?
I didn't think so.
Choose wisely, don't choose based on price. Hint: most times, you'll find we've gotten our readers a special offer (available from CollectiveRay only). So do grab a bargain while it lasts.
We do strongly believe that speed is one of the most important considerations when choosing your hosting services. The take it times for your website to load has been proven to improve conversions: fast websites convert better.
Whenever we are choosing where to deploy a website, we run several different tests to check how fast a website will load on this particular services.
We do this not just with a brand new website, we do it with larger sites, with lots of content. We try different mechanisms such as caching. We check whether CDNs are part of the service or not, and whether they can be integrated seamlessly.
We check whether the service supports gzip and other types of compression and speed optimizations. We also check whether HTTP/2 is available and whether there are specific features and functions which are built-in specifically to optimize the website loading speed.
Only when we are happy with all of the above, do we actually make a recommendation and choice.
The following section of the CollectiveRay website is meant specifically to review the various web hosting services available. We don't just review any company, before we write a review, we check a company's reputation. Only if we feel that this company is a reliable host, do we attempt to review the services.
When we do, we typically have a look at the following:
- Availability of such features as CPanel or WHCMS
- Which services can be automatically deployed using such services as Softaculous
- Whether the hosting supports automatic updates
- What security features are built-in
- What speed optimizations can be enabled
- Whether the services supports HTTP/2 and Let's Encrypt, or how much it costs to procure and install Secure Certificates
- Hosting resources available, bandwidth, storage, email addresses and other options
- What freebies are available with the services, such as domain, maybe AdWords of Facebook
- Pricing and whether it changes following the first year
- We also typically have special offers from the vendors for your readers
Web hosting reviews you can trust
When you're making a choice about the hosting for your website, you want to be sure that you're not going to be taken for a ride.
We only recommend services we truly trust and are paying customers of.
We've been in this business for more than 15 years and can tell immediately when a service is great or not. Have a look at some of the reviews we've done below and do let us know whether you feel we should include something else in our reviews.