Best Web Hosting 2014: How to Pick the Right Web Hosting

If you are looking for  best web hosting company to host your website in 2014, look no further as you’re at the right place.

If you are running a business online, or have a blog or website, chances are that you would’ve had multiple failed attempts at finding the right web hosting company that would take care of your website and someone you can rely on.

I’ve had my share of bad experiences with hosting companies that ditched me at times which I could recall at my high times during my career. I’ve had my websites down at times when traffic was peaking and also at times when they were under hacking attacks and SQL malware injections that ruined the databases.

Now every time I went online, I came across these nonsense review websites that looked something like the picture below and yes this was my reaction, I was clueless.

What happens when you pick the bad hosting company?

As a business or website owner your priority is to have your website up and running all the time but if you end up making the wrong choice here is what can happen.

  1. Security and Malware Attacks: This is the biggest problem with web hosting companies that are cheap and don’t have a solid infrastructure as they are more prone to hacking and malware attacks. Even the biggest websites in the world can get hacked but a good web hosting company will secure your data and backups in case something like this happens.
  2. Negative SEO Impact: If you’re investing heavily on your marketing but your web hosting company has does not have a good uptime, it means you are wasting your marketing dollars as whenever your website is down you are losing customers because Google also takes it as a negative signal as they want to index websites that not only provide value to its searchers but also websites that stay online.

Both of these eventually impact your bottom line that is your revenue and business.

Lucky for you, I’ve been through the hard times and learned my lesson so I’ll make it easy for you as this is how I like to categorize web hosting companies.

Best Web Hosting for Small Business and Bloggers

If you are just starting out or have a small business you should be spending more time attracting customers and less on overheads. If you lie in this category than I’d recommend Bluehost which is by far the best hosting company for beginners.

1. Bluehost

BlueHost is one of the oldest and most reliable web host in the industry. Started in 1996, Bluehost has become the largest brand name when it comes to web hosting. They are an official WordPress recommended hosting provider and is also recommended by many other open source softwares.

But why I use it myself and recommend to others is because it is extremely EXTREEEMELY beginner friendly. The Dashboard is Slick (I’ll add a screenshot below). It offers 1-Click WordPress Installation, Very Fast and reliable servers, excellent support at an extremely fair and low price of $3.95/month if you pay for 2 years in advance. They have 30 days money back guarantee just in case you are not satisfied.

Once you start building an audience and traffic to your website you can either move to a different hosting or scale up by getting their VPS or dedicated servers to run your website.

2. InMotion

InMotion is the second hosting I recommend to people who are just starting out as they have a great product, their servers are fast and support is good.Not to mention being a CNET certified Hosting company shows that they’ve earned their reputation.

Here is a screenshot of their features mentioned on their website:

If you don’t want to go for Bluehost then InMotion is an excellent alternate with a little higher price point but worth spending.

If you can’t afford both of them then I’d suggest iPage as an “all-in-one” hosting solution that includes everything you need to create your website. It boasts of unlimited hosting space, data transfer, and domains with prices as low as $1.89/month. It is by far the cheapest web hosting provider I’ve come across that I’ll take my chance on.

Note: Stay away from Free Hosting and Offshore hosting companies.

Best Web Hosting for Medium Sized Businesses, Agencies and High Traffic Websites

We are personally using WP Engine which also lies in the Managed Web Hosting Companies category.

As a business owner, you have two options. You could either hire a system admin to manage your website which will cost you an arm and leg, or you can use managed WordPress hosting.

With managed WordPress hosting, you get the hassle-free experience, so you can focus on running your business and doing what you are good at. If you are a small to medium business or a high traffic website, then it is the best solution for you.

3. WP Engine

WPEngine is the most recommended web hosting company in the wordpress community and it utilized by larger brands such as FourSquare, HTC, Soundcloud, etc.

Let’s take a look at the advantages of WP Engine:

  • Blazing Fast — Managed WordPress hosting servers are configured specially for WordPress. They are blazing fast even when your website gets a lot of traffic.
  • Security — You are practically hacker-proof when you go with a managed WordPress hosting provider. They have a very tight security layer that actively scans for malware and block all hacking attempts.
  • Expert Support — Unlike other web hosts, the staff is highly knowledgeable with WordPress. They advise you against using plugins that impact performance, and much more. It is like having an army of WordPress experts on your side for assistance.
  • Daily Backups — They create daily backups and offer 1-click restore points if you ever want to revert.
  • Automatic Updates — You don’t have to worry about updates because they are done automatically.
  • No downtime — No matter how much traffic your site gets, it will probably never go down.

The only issue is that it’s not for every body especially for those who are used to paying for shared hosting at $3.95 as WP Engine’s personal plan starts at $29/month and if you want to get a CDN service you have to pay extra $20/month as you can’t use an external CDN service like MaxCDN which you should be using if you are using a shared hosting like Bluehost.

Now what if your website isn’t on WordPress but you still want to get premium web hosting by paying more than a shared hosting but less than owning a dedicated server. I recommend Media Temple and Siteground to clients.

4. Media Temple

I haven’t tried them with my personal website but have used it for clients website and it is indeed a great web hosting company. Some of the world’s biggest brands trust their sites to Media Temple — along with famous designers, artists, bloggers, and entrepreneurs.

Below are the features of Media Temple hosting that you can pick for your business it is ideal for all type of businesses from small to large one’s, ecommerce web hosting, agency hosting and for resellers as well.

You can visit their website and talk to live chat support to talk about your requirements so they can guide you which plan is best for you.

5. Site Ground

SiteGround offers Linux-based shared, VPS and dedicated web hosting packages, as well as reseller hosting. They also offer e-commerce hosting. Their Super Hosting Package which is their shared hosting plan comes with a generous 750GB disk space, 7,500GB traffic allowance, free website design software, free domain and unlimited email accounts. Three types of VPS hosting are also offered, as well as four managed dedicated server options.

Visit Siteground website for more information on their packages.

Best Web Hosting for Large Businesses, Corporations and Multinational Websites

Rackspace, Rackspace and Rackspace. I’m a big fanboy of Rackspace to be honest. Softlayer and Amazon Web services are good but I love Rackspace especially because Hubspot uses them haha.

Every account gets the Infrastructure Service Level with 24x7x365 access to Fanatical Support from our teams. Far from “basic” support, it includes services like troubleshooting your code that interacts with our SDKs and high-traffic event consultation.

This is the real deal guys, check out Rackspace website to see how you can take your website to cloud.

Now that you’ve gone through various Web Hostings I mentioned above I want you to understand these concepts before you make the purchase.

Understand the different hosting options available — There are various web hosting options available such as Shared, VPS (Virtual Private Server), Dedicated and Managed Web hosting. It’s always good to make an educated discussion, so you choose the best option for your needs.

Excellent customer support is a must — The internet never sleeps. Look for a provider that offers excellent customer support. Hosting providers may claim they offer 24-7 support, but this will not guarantee you will receive fast, knowledgeable service. Test the response of the customer support staff before committing to any long term hosting contract.

Choose a host with an excellent uptime track record — The hosting provider you choose should take every precaution to ensure maximum uptime. While no web host can guarantee 100 percent uptime, it should offer at least 99 percent uptime on average.

Cost should not be your only consideration — As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” As a business, you cannot afford to experience extended downtime. Basic shared web hosting is great if your site is generating only a small amount of traffic. On the other hand, if you’re in the business of selling products or generating a large amount of traffic, then a dedicated or managed hosting provider is a far better choice. It will cost more upfront, but will be more reliable in the long run. The level and quality of technical support will be better too.

Ability to scale — As your business grows, your website will tend to generate more traffic. The ability to scale will be increasingly important. Your web hosting provider should be able upgrade and scale to accommodate your traffic growth. Just remember that there is no such thing as “unlimited resources”