Web Hosting is full of scam and spammers.
Are you about to start a blog, a social media or dating website, an online store, or simply launch your company’s website? That is great! The problem though is: you absolutely need web hosting.
Stop the headache here is the rescue.
There are thousands of web hosting companies around there and they are all promising the best experience to customers. But, the truth is that most are shady ones and will just play with your bank account. They’ll make you lost a lot of time, money and at the end, you feel bad.
Unfortunately, there is no single factor that makes a web hosting company the best and…
Fortunately, it is possible to spy on web hosting companies to find what works and what doesn’t and make a list of all the required criteria to deliver a great web hosting service. So, don’t worry, you are not alone because I have got you covered.
In this guide, I’m going to share with you 9 secrets cards to play to find the best web hosting service for your needs.
#9 Sneaky Secrets to Know Before Getting Any Web Hosting Service
Web hosting is a very complex matter. So much so that if you don’t pay attention or don’t know exactly what to consider, you’ll get lost and choose a crappy company.
To avoid scams and get one of the best web hosting deals, you must consider…
No one wants slow websites….
I already said in my A2Hosting review and Speed Test that Speed is the first and most important factor to consider when dealing with web hosting because…
A slow loading website leads to:
- Lower Google ranking
- Lower page views
- Higher bounce rate
- Lower conversion rate
Bottom line: A slow website leads to lower profit.
The question now is…
What Makes A Web Hosting Fast?
There are two parameters when it comes to Server speed: Technology and Hardware.
To deliver good speed, a web hosting provider must invest not only into the latest Hardware but also into cutting-edge Server’s Technologies. Let’s analyze each factor.
By hardware, I mean SSD (Solid State Drive) storage and DDR4 RAM.
Ok; DDR4 RAM may not be a big deal but, SSD is a must. In effect, SSD storage is 300% faster than the old HDD (Hard Disc Drive).
So, for hardware, SSD is a must to speed.
Now, let’s talk about technology which I think is the most important to get great speed.
Server’s Technology (Software)
As in everything related to online business, Technology is crucial especially when you are using WordPress or any other CMS or E-commerce Application.
Has your web hosting provider invested into the latest Technologies? Because it is the key to server optimization which leads to higher performance.
So, you must make sure that the web hosting company you choose is using technologies like…
- LiteSpeed Web Server or
- NGINX Web Server
If you are planning to use WordPress, then you are not done yet. As WordPress is based on PHP and MySQL database, there are other key features specific to WordPress that you should be considered.
- Database caching through Memcached or Varnish
- PHP caching through OPCache or APC
- The latest PHP7.x support by the host and
- Support of the latest HTTP/2 protocol to ensure faster Application deployment.
Keep in mind that PHP7.x support is a must to ensure your website runs smoothly.
For a web hosting company to deliver one of the best speeds, it not only needs the best hardware, but also the latest software. Alidou K. The Obaro.
Be careful. Security is something many web hosting companies don’t talk about openly. Reason being they sometimes fail to provide what would be provided.
Here is a fact…
There is no secret about malicious attacks when it comes to online business. Everything connected to a network is hackable and the internet is the largest network ever made. Hence, being exposed to hackers is one of the most common things to every website.
In 2018, WebARX, a top influencer in internet security, launched a study. They monitored the entire internet to see what was going on in term of security.
Do you know what they discovered?
The study has shown that in a single month, 18,729 websites were hacked in the USA, 4,679 websites in Indonesia, 4,441 in South Africa, and 1,268 for Germany; and that was for February only.
As you can see, that is 1000s hacked websites each day.
What does it mean?
It means that security is a fundamental factor to take into account before jumping on any web hosting service. Now, I want you to understand the…
Different Levels of Security
There are three levels of security a web hosting provider must assume including server-side security, website owner’s security, and then end user’s security. Let’s dig into each of them.
This is what the company makes in the back end to ensure your website safety on their servers.
The must-have features a web hosting company should provide you on the server side are:
- Free Application Firewall
- Free Network Firewall
These two capabilities make your server trustworthy and secure.
The Web Application Firewall keeps your website far from DDoS, Virus, Malware and any other malicious attacks on their server. It means that even if the server is infected, your website won’t be. The Network Firewall makes sure the server (datacenter) itself is protected.
Website Owner Security (You) / Cleaning Security
Even if you have the best server-side security, your website still has a vulnerability, and it is you the website owner.
You could expose your website by uploading infected files to your web hosting account. Or, your website might simply get hacked.
In these two scenarios, there is a high chance you lost all your data. Now, the questions are…
- Will your web hosting provider assist you in case your website got hacked? Or will you be alone?
- Will they clean your infected website and put it back? Or will you have to pay for that (if you can’t do it yourself)?
- Does the web hosting company provide free backups to save your back?
- How long does the web hosting company keep the backups?
These are important questions because you could spend up to $300 to get your hacked website back depending on the level.
So, make sure a web hosting company provides you cleaning security before buying any service from it.
As far as backups are concerned, I always recommend doing your own backups and saving them to your computer. But, it is also a good plus to have auto-backups from your web hosting provider.
Here are the exact security features to look for:
- Free Virus Scan
- Free Virus & Malware Removal
- Daily/Weekly backups and restore
End User Security
Can your business or website grow without visitors/users/clients? No; of course.
So, a good web hosting provider should make sure your website user’s data are protected.
The features you should expect from a web hosting company are:
- Free SSL Certificates
- Auto Updates & Upgrades
SSL Certificates are mandatory these days to keep your users’ data secure. It is also a Google ranking factor.
Concerning updates, having an up-to-date website (CMS version, themes, plugins…) improves the user’s experience and also allows them to browse your website safely.
Let’s sum up all the security capabilities a web hosting provider should give you:
- Application Firewall
- Network Firewall
- Virus Scan
- Virus & Malware Removal
- Free Backups
- Free SSL Certificates
- Application Updates & Upgrades
Note: All the security features are free. You must never pay to have them.
Let’s now jump on another key factor before buying a web hosting service which is…
A fast and secure website is nothing if it is not available to the users.
Reliability means a web hosting company must keep your website up and running nearly all the time. It means that before buying from any web hosting company, make sure you understand how they keep your website up.
Uptime has to do with the amount of time your website remains available on the internet (to your visitors). For a web hosting provider to be reliable, it must deliver an uptime of at least 99.94%. Higher is great; but, lower might be hurting.
The exact advertising jargon to look for on a web hosting company’s website is:
- Redundant Network
- 24h/7 datacenter Monitoring by human
- Redundant Power Supply (to ensure your server rarely goes down)
Just an example, A2Hosting has a Quadruple Redundant Network made of:
- Dual Fiber Entrance
- Multi-homed network connectivity via:
- Level (3)
- Global Crossing
- Cogent Communications
Redundant Power Supply made of:
- 300kVA UPS uninterrupted power
- 480V 3-Phase building power
- 1200 AMP -48 DC Power Plant
- 750kVA Cummins Diesel Generator
- Single active path for power source from DTE Energy
- 20A 120VAC UPS circuit
Find all about that in my complete A2Hosting review and speed test.
To be short, just make sure your web hosting provider has a Redundant Network and guarantee you at least 99.94% uptime.
When you have an issue, you most of the time need help; and that is where tech support plays its role.
Does your web hosting provider assist you in case something goes wrong? Yes, of course. All the web hosting companies around there will claim to provide 24h/7 support. But, be careful…
Having support is not the actual problem. The real matter is…
How You Get Support And What You Get It For
What do I mean by that?
The means you get support through and the nature of the issue you get help for are the most important to focus on.
Support through a Ticket system is no more a selling point these days because you could wait for ages to get answered.
To summarize this section, make sure your web hosting company has:
- 24h/7 support through Live Chat and/or Phone.
- Support for the most popular CMSs (in case you need a specific help).
- A Dedicated Support Team (to avoid waiting for ages).
5. THE TARGET
What most people don’t know is each web hosting company has its specific targeted audience.
Who is the web hosting company made for?
No single web hosting provider can satisfy all types of need.
Some companies are targeting beginners; some are made for Developers, experienced users, web designers or small business owners. Some web hosting providers are even made for high demanding websites only.
You get the point… make sure you understand the prime target of a web host to avoid future frustrations.
6. THE AREA OF FOCUS
Sure, most web hosting companies offer all types of hosting (shared, VPS, Dedicated server) but, again, what most people don’t know is…
Each hosting provider has its area of focus.
Think of it like this…Nobody is good at everything. Everyone has his /her strengths and weaknesses, and that includes web hosting companies.
You’ll see hosting companies that are the best for shared hosting because they focus on that first. Some are good at VPS Hosting and others at Cloud Hosting. You’ll even see web hosting companies that focus on dedicated servers only. Crazy.
Is it important?
Ok; let’s say you are a beginner and you only need shared hosting to start a blog. Unfortunately, you buy hosting from a company that focuses first on VPS or Dedicated server. The unavoidable result will be dissatisfaction.
Why? Because they won’t care about you as much as a hosting company that focuses first on shared hosting.
The best example I could give you from my experience is TMDHosting. You’ll find some people complaining about their services. And, when you take a closer look at the issues, you quickly notice that it is more often related to shared hosting.
That is ok because TMDHosting is not made for shared hosting in my opinion. They focus first on their cloud platform and VPS Hosting. That is why they have the best Cloud Hosting managed by cPanel and no doubt, one of the best Managed VPS Hosting (if not the best).
Bottom line: Always make sure your web hosting company’s area of focus meets your needs before buying.
7. ROOM FOR GROWTH/SCALABILITY
Will your web hosting provider handle your growth or will you need to switch to another one?
Most web hosting providers have shared hosting. But, you must make sure that your web host also provides Cloud Hosting, VPS, Managed Hosting, and Dedicated server to support your website growth.
If not, you’ll be bound to switch to a new web host which could make you lose your data, money, and hurt your SEO (if not done properly).
8. HOSTING LOCATION & CDN
Here is where worldwide web hosting providers win the game.
Did you know that the closer your server is to your audience, the faster it loads? And yes it is unbelievable.
Here is the thing: When you try to access a website that is hosted on a server far away from you, you more often experience some delay that drops loading time.
To solve the problem, you need to host your site on the nearest server to your audience.
Therefore, make sure your web host has data centers that are close to your targeted audience/clients. If it doesn’t, then make sure they at least provide a free CDN to cache your static pages across a network of hundreds of servers; so that when a reader request your blog/website, he gets served by the closest server to him.
To make it even easier, you just need to choose a world-wide company.
Here is what I mean: A world-wide hosting service has data centers in at least 3 strategic locations: USA, Europe, and Asia. One in Australia is a plus (but not compulsory unless your audience is from Australia).
When your website is hosted on a server that is close to your targeted audience, it loads faster and you don’t even need a CDN. Though, the CDN becomes necessary when you start getting high traffic.
Here are some best web hosting services with world-wide hosting location plus CDN:
FastComet: 10 datacenters (Dallas, Chicago, Newark, Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Toronto, Mumbai, and Singapore)
TMDHosting: 7 datacenters Chicago and Phoenix (USA), London and Amsterdam (Europe), Singapore and Tokyo (Asia) and finally in Sydney (Australia).
Kinsta: 18 datacenters worldwide thanks to Google cloud platform
A2Hosting: Michigan (USA), Arizona (USA), Amsterdam (Europe) and Singapore (Asia)
No matter the location of your targeted audience, any host in that list has got you covered.
9. HIDDEN FEES
One of the most common practices from the hosting industry is “hidden fee”. As its name suggests, those fees are not revealed by the company. They don’t tell you the actual cost behind some of the features they provide. Then, after you purchase, you end up paying for things you were not aware of.
A clear example is the “cancelation fee”.
Most hosting companies give at least a “30-day money back guarantee” with no question. It allows you to cancel your order and get your money back in case you are not happy with the service.
But, what some companies don’t tell you openly is that they will charge a fee if you cancel within those 30 days. You most of the time need to read the TOS (Term of Service) before getting the actual costs.
Ok; it might not be a big deal because you first need to cancel before being charged but, I think you deserve the truth.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PICKING A WEB HOSTING COMPANY
# Bad Web Hosting Reviews
Does everyone love you? No obviously and it is the same thing for web hosting companies.
No matter how excellent a web hosting company is, there will always have some bad reviews on it. There are always some people who didn’t get what they were expecting.
When 85%+ of customers are satisfied it might be a good signal. But, if the bad reviews outweigh the good ones, then, I recommend you to think twice before jumping.
# Good Web Hosting Reviews
Here is another gap.
Most companies pay referral fees to reviewers/bloggers. As a result, many bloggers only give good reviews to web hosting companies that pay the highest commissions.
Thus, they rank web hosts according to how much they get in commission. The ones that pay higher in referral fees get higher marks. The sad thing is some will disclose it and most will not.
Yah I also receive a small commission if you buy through my links. But, here is…
How Do I Differ From Many Other Bloggers?
I’m honest and I don’t rank any web hosting company because of commission. I work hard to test each web hosting service I recommend and I only give good marks to the one that deserves it.
Example of web hosting endorsement
Many people are recommending WPEngine (despite its high prices) because they pay up to $1000+ per referral. Wahoo! The best deal for an affiliate.
But, from my experience, I honestly think there are options that cost much less and deliver better performance and support. Sure, they are good but, not the best. I do prefer Hosts like Kinsta or WPX over WP Engine.
So, to make it a win-win (for you and me), I only recommend web hosting services that will save you money and add value to your business at the same time.
You get the best web hosting services based on real tests with great discounts through my special links and I earn a commission for saving you time and money. So make sure you support my work if you like it.
# Web Hosting Companies Owned By EIG
Ever heard about HostGator, BlueHost, iPage, JustHost, Arvix…? They have all been bought by the same terrible company called EIG (Endurance International Group).
What they do is, after they buy a web hosting company, they stop investing in new hardware and technology, and then dispatch the money to shareholders. As a result, no matter how good the company was, its service level goes down.
Save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration. You can find here the complete EIG Web Hosting and why they are so terrible.
# Too Low Prices
Cheap web hosting is not a problem; it is even a really good deal. But, be careful with too low-cost web hosting plans as they most of the time hide big catches.
Keep this in mind: Building up an entire web hosting infrastructure and support team costs money. Therefore, $1 or $1.99/month web hosting deals are most of the time a trap to get you in and then sell you tons of upsells.
They also more often lack important features like uptime, speed, security, and support.
What do you want! It costs money to have all these in place. So, pay attention to what you are buying.
The cheapest plan is not always the best deal especially when you are running a CMS.
If you want cheap web hosting, then I recommend you to first understand what cheap web hosting is and how to get one that doesn’t suck.
Some Web Hosting Recommendation
Discloser: We get commissions for purchases made through some links in this post. It doesn’t affect your purchase apart from providing you great discounts. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. GiantBlogger is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
Considering all the points listed above plus server resource limits, customer satisfaction, and the price I feel comfortable to recommend:
FastComet : Best Cheap Managed hosting with premium support for bloggers and designers
A2 Hosting : Fastest Affordable hosting with high-security level for WordPress and any CMS
TMDHosting : Best cloud hosting and best support ever
LiquidWeb : Most Powerful fully managed web hosting for big projects
Get full details in the most complete and unbiased best web hosting guide.
Choose intelligently, my friends!
Now it is your turn
What do you think about web hosting? Any pain, experience to share? What is your preferred web hosting company and why? Comment down below. Sharing is caring. Share, tweet, and pin this guide to help others too.