As I mentioned in the introductory post, we need a Hosting Provider to provide the hosting for our website/blog. Hosting provider stores our website and related files in a server which people can access through the World Wide Web by typing in your website address.
There are various types of hosting.
- Shared Hosting
Your website/blog will be stored in a server where few many other websites are also stored, meaning that other websites that are all hosted along with yours, will share the resources of the server where your site is stored.
- VPS Hosting
Virtual Private Server based hosting. It is actually better than shared hosting. This is the type of hosting where your website and its files are stored in a virtual machine. As in, it’s not really a physical private server. It shares the same underlying physical hardware with few many other VPSs. Through certain protocols and techniques, the storage location of your website is made to appear like it’s a private server location.
- Dedicated Hosting
Your website will be hosted in a physically private, dedicated server. This kind of hosting is needed for businesses, e-commerce sites, and blogs that receive millions of page-views per month.
So, which hosting is the best for your website/blog?
If you are new to the blogging world, shared hosting will be the best option. The hosting fee starts from as little as $2.25/month and goes until $20/month. You can find some really good hosting service for around $5/month.
However, if you want to create a viral link strategy based blog, targeting around a million page-views within a month or two, you should start with a VPS hosting and then move to a dedicated hosting when the page-views hit million page-views per week or so.
So, starting with a shared hosting, which is the best service provider for shared hosting?
There are few hosting providers that provide the best of service.
- Hostgatorand so on.
However, when I did my research, Bluehost, which is often said to be the best hosting provider for wordpress based websites/blogs has plans starting from $5/month. Based on the reviews though, their customer support has deteriorated over the days and so in recent times, many bloggers seem to advise against Bluehost.
Based on my research, Ipage and Webhostinghub have the cheapest plans available. Ipage provides shared hosting for as little as $2.25/mo. But, when I read the reviews of Ipage, a lot of reviews were negative. It seems that Ipage has a lot of shady practices, charging you without your consent, auto renewal of your account without sending you a prior notification, etc. Also, their customer support is rated very bad, mostly unresponsive when you really need them.
I chose to go with Webhostinghub as my final option. They provided me a plan of $3.90/month for three years, and I paid around $150 for the hosting. I did not choose the automatic backup option that was available for $1/mo. I am backing up my website manually. But if you would rather have the hosting provider backup your website for you every day, you could go with that option by paying an extra $36 for 3 years. However, don’t depend solely on the hosting provider to back up your site for you. Do manual backups at least every weekend.
If you choose to go with Webhostinghub, a word of caution – they provide only shared hosting. If you want to upgrade your website to VPS or Dedicated hosting, you’d however have to migrate your website to another hosting provider that provides VPS/Dedicated hosting. Webhostinghub’s sister website Inmotionhosting provides VPS as well as Dedicated hosting service.
If you are looking at a million page views per week kind of website within a year’s period, you’d be better off choosing a service provider like Hostgator or Bluehost wherein you can upgrade totally free of cost without the hassle of the migration process. However, if you chose Webhostinghub and you have to upgrade your hosting to VPS or Dedicated hosting, you’ll have to transfer your entire website to another service provider, and there will be no refunds from Webhostinghub if you chose to cancel the account.
For ex: Say you pay for 3 years, like, $200 with manual backup, security and other options, and you choose to migrate your website to VPS hosting probably with Bluehost or inmotionhosting in your 1 year mark – your account will still exist, you can register and host other websites in that account with Webhostinghub. But they won’t provide you refund if you want to delete your account. Their refund policy is complete refund within 45 days of registration.
Do your own research if you are targeting to create a website that will reach a million page-views per month mark sooner than a year. But if you are expecting it to happen in 2 to 3 years, then Webhostinghub will be your best bet. Their customer service is awesome. You have a 24×7 support system, and the wait time is not more than a minute. They also provide $175 worth of ads credit (facebook, google adwords). You can host unlimited websites in one account registered with a ‘NITRO’ plan. However, when your websites start receiving more page-views than the server limit allocated to your account can take, Webhostinghub people send you a mail asking you to upgrade your website to VPS or dedicated hosting accordingly. At that juncture, you can either choose to move your website to their sister hosting provider – inmotionhosting or totally a different hosting provider. To my knowledge, Hostgator and Bluehost are the best right now in providing VPS and dedicated server hosting.
Check out Webhostinghub’s plans here – Webhostinghub
Now, time for a reminder – once you buy your domain a hosting, with the name you registered in the domain name service provider,
you have to register the name server of your hosting provider in the domain service provider account of yours.
If you haven’t, already, go to your domain name provider account (in Namecheap or any other equivalent account) and in the settings, set the
name server they provide for your domain to direct towards your hosting service provider’s name servers. This is to ensure that when people
type yourwebsite.com and click on go, the domain name provider’s name server will point to the hosting provider’s name server, which in turn
will take the browser to your website. You can contact the customer support of your domain name service provider in order to set the name server.
First, get the name servers details from your hosting provider (ask customer technical support) and then take those details to the customer support
of the domain name service provider. They will walk you through the entire process.
For NAMECHEAP though, the following steps will do.
1. Log into your Namecheap account, click ‘Manage Domains’ and select your domain name.
2. Click ‘Transfer DNS to Webhost’.
3. Copy and paste your new nameserver info given by your hosting provider, and click ‘Save Changes’.
Refer to this article in their knowledge-base for further details (contains a video walkthrough).
1. The differences between different kinds of hosting
3. Reviews of different hosting providers