Have you ever had a light bulb moment, where an excellent idea for a website pops into your head – and all you needed was a place to host it, cheap?
You probably went to Google as a next step and typed in “free web hosting” or something along those lines. I know I have.
The path from getting your idea on paper to launching your own web site is riddled with potential pitfalls. To save you time and frustration, here’s what I learned in most recent my quest to find the best possible web hosting service for this blog.
The first few results in any online search for a web host are usually some sort of a free web hosting service. Free web hosting services operate on the principle of giving you something until you commit. In exchange, they impose a lot of restrictions. Usually, those restrictions come in the form of limiting your bandwidth, adding advertisements all over your pages and in general, treating you like a low priority customer.
I prefer not to use free hosting, but instead go with cheap hosting, where you get treated as a customer (at least). Here are the 5 best web hosting services I found recently, with recommendations on why you should or shouldn’t choose each.
FatCow offers a supremely easy WordPress setup, which means you can have your blog up and running in a matter of minutes. The feature package includes phpBB, Joomla, unlimited MySQL databases, domains hosted, bandwidth, disk space, PayPal integration and much, much more. To top it all off, there is a $100 Google AdWords bonus, so you can reach your customers even faster. If you don’t like it, there is a 30-day money back guarantee, for just $3.15 per month. The entire FatCow service is 100% powered by wind turbines, in other words, green energy. All of the above earns FatCow a deserved 5-star rating.
This hosting service also comes with a swath of amazing options for fresh bloggers. BlueHost has everything you can possibly imagine: unlimited email addresses, hosting space, unlimited bandwidth plans, while also including site builder templates for effortless creation of your own blog. BlueHost is also the official recommended WordPress web hosting service and they’ve been around since 1996, which says enough about their reliability and stability. If you’re looking for a specialized WordPress web hosting service, then look no further. All of this is available for a mere $3.49 per month. If you join the WPBeginner website, you will receive an additional 50% off of any BlueHost price, which is why it also gets a 5-star rating in this review.
The InMotion web hosting service boasts having Solid State Drive as their primary content holder, which means that you will get unparalleled access and loading times, compared to servers on traditional hard drives. This also reflects in the prices, which are slightly above average. Their tech support is top notch and available 24/7 for any questions you might have. Though, it’s only available for US based clients, so if you’re outside of US, you might simply get directed towards online knowledge database, out of which some are quite outdated. They offer a variety of price plans, the best being Power, starting from $6.29 per month. InMotion gets a 4-star rating.
HostGator offers free website transfers, if you’re coming from another web service provider. While the cheaper price packages are excellent for starting blogs and businesses, premium accounts do not provide as many benefits as one would expect. Also note that if you stay logged in into WordPress as admin, you will cause excessive CPU usage and a temporary suspension. The price is $3.96 per month. HostGator receives a 4-star rating.
SiteGround has a unique location-specific service which gives you the option of choosing servers nearest to you in Europe, Singapore and USA. They are primarily oriented towards WordPress bloggers and offer optimized plans, support and software for the purpose of starting your own blog. The price is 3.95 € per month, a bit too much compared to the competitors, while reserving some high-end functions for premium plans. SiteGround receives a 4-star rating.
And the winner is…
FatCow hosting! Although the race was neck-to-neck between FatCow and BlueHost, in the end FatCow prevailed, simply due to the fact that they offer the absolute lowest prices while giving top notch service for a beginner blogger.