What your web host says about you

Feb 8, 2019 by
What your web host says about you

Choosing a web host is an important decision, since not all web hosts are created equal. There are a variety to choose from, and each is known for handling a different type of user. Your web hosting services requirements will have a significant impact on the choice you make.

In this convenient guide, we’ll begin with a few top tips before putting a spotlight on a few of the major hosts and what sets them apart from the competition and what they might be able to offer your business.

Top Tips

  • With web hosts (as with most things in life) you generally get what you pay for. If you opt for the cheapest deal then it’s likely you will end up with a site riddled with watermarks and poor functionality. If you’re setting up your site as a hobby this might not bother you too much, but if this is a business site you ought to shop around and take note of the fine print before pulling the trigger.
  • On that note, if you’re only in the market for the bare bones site and want to keep costs low, don’t be fooled by hosts that lure you in with cheap or free deals and then dramatically ramp up the price after a month or a year. Make a note of the introductory period offered by your host and set a reminder so you don’t forget when it ends.
  • Stick with hosts that are tried and tested and have a decent web presence. It’s easy to fall for sites that are essentially selling you somebody else’s product. If the company has a physical contact address and has been around for a number of years, you’re usually in safe hands.
  • When choosing a domain name, don’t dive in headfirst without considering the ramifications. You want a memorable name, but it should be one that takes into account SEO best practices. Use broad keywords when appropriate, avoid hyphens and go for the more obvious domains (.com or co.uk) where possible.

Four Top Web Hosts

Some of the best all-round web hosts at the moment provide fast web hosting, free installation and a range of hosting options for e-commerce and/or WordPress hosting.

InMotion is rated as the editor’s choice pick by Tech Radar and boasts exceptional performance and tech support. It also offers a number of rates that start quite low and has been in business for over 15 years, so it’s a name you know you can trust.

Squarespace is a well-established name in the web building business (see below), but it also offer a wealth of hosting options. It also goes the extra mile when it comes to SEO and tracks your site’s performance via its own analytics dashboard.

Media Temple is a US-based host that is incredibly flexible and powerful. Utilised by some of the world’s biggest brands, it offers a number of different hosting plans as well as 24/7 support.

1&1 INOS is the largest web host in Europe and offers services that start at less than £1 a month! It’s a very user and wallet-friendly service with a free SSL certificate included, which is a major benefit for those running business sites.

Web Builders

Finally, for novices, website builders offer a simple and convenient alternative that requires no design or software experience. These online tools use a number of preset templates and bespoke browser-based platforms to help you build a website from the ground up without having to master any complicated web languages or figure out the intricacies of design.

Sites such as Shopify and Squarespace offer a number of surprisingly deep customisation options, but if you want all the features of a full-blown website, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee. These site builders either have pre-existing links with web hosts, or (as is the case with both Shopify and Squarespace) are web hosts themselves, so getting your sites online is a breeze. Note, however, that in some cases migrating content can be tricky due to the proprietary nature of the builder platforms.