One does not simply choose a hosting provider

How to choose a web hosting service?

Lately I’ve been working with hosting providers a lot. Some people ask for my recommendations and opinion when they have to choose a hosting service for the first time. If you are a developer, you just set up a VPS and configure it the way you want. But how do you choose a web hosting if you are building a basic website, using WordPress, for example, same as this blog. How to choose a web hosting service in this case? Are there any out-of-the-box solutions? The answer is yes, obviously.

Difference between Shared, VPS and Dedicated Hosting

In a shared hosting environment the server resources are shared among all accounts on the server. In a shared environment you have limitations that are determined by the host. Many websites reside on one web server connected to the Internet. Each site “sits” on its own partition, or section/place on the server, to keep it separate from other sites.

A virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual machine provided by an Internet hosting service. Although a VPS runs in software on the same physical computer as other customers’ virtual machines, it is in many respects functionally equivalent to a separate physical computer. VPS Hosting you have more control – you decide how and what your server is to run.

A dedicated hosting is a type of hosting in which the client leases an entire server not shared with anyone else. This is more flexible than shared hosting, as organizations have full control over the server, including choice of operating system, hardware, etc.

Personal websites tend to be simple enough and don’t require anything more complicated then a shared hosting. But which hosting company is best for a particular project? Which hosting do I use for this website, for example? There are hundreds of thousands of web hosts out there. How to find the best one? Hopefully, this article will help you to understand where to start and what options to consider for a WordPress website.

WordPress requirements for a web hosting

This blog is running under WordPress which just needs a couple of things:

⚛ PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
⚛ MySQL version 5.0 or greater

They also recommend that you have access to Apache or Nginx in order to take full advantage of everything that WordPress has to offer. Most hosts can meet these requirements and most Linux web hosts come pre-installed with WordPress.

You can use a dedicated server but sometimes it is unnecessary and non cost-effective. Most of the time shared hosting can handle everything when you are just running a small website and provide a service proving a steady up-time.

Simple WordPress website can normally run under 200MB of space. You only need large space if you are going to offer downloads or self-hosted videos. For one domain you need one MySQL database for a WordPress website.

Hosting recommendations for WordPress website

I’ve been hosted with WebHostingHub for a couple+ years now, have no complains about their quality, and would generally recommend them for similar projects. Easy control panel combined with their amazing support, it is hard to beat their price and value.

There is a hosting provider called JustHost, so-called “sister company” of BlueHost (and vice versa), which means that it is basically the same company with a slightly lower pricetag. It’s one of the oldest web hosts started in 1996, Bluehost has become the largest brand name when it comes to WordPress hosting. It is a reliable web hosting company that never makes to worry about your website being slow even when there is alot of traffic. What I like most about JustHost is that it provides SSH access as a standard feature, even for the most basic account. They also have Git installed on the server which makes it the most convenient hosting for many projects.

I’ve been also using services of InMotion Hosting for couple of commercial projets. This one also showed great support and nice service, and I would recommend them as well. With award winning technical support and 99.9% uptime, it has been a well-known industry brand with reliable performance for business class hosting.

The following are recommended hosting providers. I’ve used all of them in the past and they proved to be worthwhile and reliable.

JustHost / BlueHost
InMotion Hosting

One of the most important issues to keep in mind is technology requirements and restrictions for your web project. This may include (dashboard and support language, how many databases do you need, bandwidth, ssl certificates, etc.) as well as how much space you do need on the web and how much you can pay for the service.

When you are choosing hosting for several projects or want to consolidate different websites under one hosting provider, there’re more requirements involved in decision making process. Some plugins may need special PHP function. Make sure your hosts can meet these requirements if you need special plugins. When there are any specific requirement involved, I prefer to visit this helpful website and go through couple of ratings. Make a list and filter hosting providers by preferred features and lookup hosting providers rated accordingly by most significant parameters. Read couple of customer reviews, this might be helpful.

Most of hosting providers allow upgrade of the technical package, like space or bandwidth. You can start low when you don’t need much and upgrade when necessary. Service related features, though, are non-adjustable. I prefer to have a hosting that provides 24-hours support, hotline and online chat altogether.

Premium VPS Hosting

Some projects require more resources, like root SSH access, administrative control, flexibility to install custom software and applications. A VPS is just like a
dedicated server in terms of functions it offers to its users but at an affordable price compared to a dedicated server.

Among many VPS hosting providers I would recommend MediaTemple for amazing technology, and great uptime records and 24/7 live support.


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