Articles by "Hosting"

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Showing posts with label Hosting. Show all posts

HostGator Web Hosting
Every business needs a website, and for that you need a web hosting service. It doesn't matter if it's a fully functioning e-commerce setup or a simple page with little more than your contact information. The feature-packed HostGator boasts wallet-friendly prices, and it offers plenty of tools to webmasters. HostGator has quality dedicated and virtual private server (VPS) server packages, but its shared plans are one of the reasons why the company stands out from the very crowded web hosting pack. In fact, HostGator's shared packages are so robust that PCMag named the web host our top pick in that subcategory. The service is also very easy to use, so we've crowned it our Editors' Choice for novice webmasters.

Shared Web Hosting
HostGator offers month-to-month shared web hosting plans, but pushes hard for you to sign up for longer terms, starting at six months. I don't like that during the signup process HostGator defaults to a three-year term. It's one thing to encourage users to skip month-to-month service, but pushing them into three years from the start is a bit much.
That said, HostGator offers Linux- or Windows-based shared hosting packages that give small- and medium-size businesses room to grow. The Hatchling plan (starting at $10.95 per month) offers unlimited disk space, bandwidth, databases, and email addresses, plus support for one domain and third-party applications such as content management systems and e-commerce platforms. The Baby plan (starting at $11.95 per month) builds on the Hatchling offering by adding unlimited domains. The top-tier Business plan (starting at $16.95 per month) includes highly specialized options, such as a toll-free number for your business and a private SSL (secure socket layer) certificate.
Arvixe matches HostGator closely in the shared hosting game, but HostGator offers slightly more bang for the buck with the inclusion of a private SSL certificate and toll-free VoIP number. As a result, HostGator is the Editors' Choice for shared web hosting services.

VPS Web Hosting
HostGator offers Linux-based VPS hosting starting at $19.95 per month. If you need more power, expect high traffic volumes, or have specific compliance requirements that prevent you from using shared servers (but you don't want to pay dedicated server prices), these are good options to consider.
The most basic VPS plan, Snappy 2000, offers 2GB of RAM, 120GB of disk space, and 1.5TB of monthly data transfers starting at $79.95 per month (or as low as $19.95 per month with a three-year commitment). The mid-tier Snappy 4000 package, starting at $119.95 per month (or as cheap as $29.95 per month with a three-year plan), boasts 4GB of RAM, 165GB of storage, and 2TB of monthly data transfers. The most advanced plan, Snappy 8000, offers 8GB of RAM, 240GB of disk space, and 3TB of monthly data starting at $149.95 per month or $39.95 per month if you sign up for 36 months. The plans are much more flexible than what's offered by Network Solutions, but not quite as well rounded as Hostwinds, our Editors' Choice for VPS hosting.
Hostwinds has wallet-friendly, well-rounded VPS offerings that start at $7.50 per month for 1GB of RAM, 25GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email. Plans scale up to $129 per month for 18.5GB of RAM, 130GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email. Hostwinds' VPS plans also have a Windows operating system option, which is something that HostGator doesn't offer.

Dedicated Web Hosting
HostGator's dedicated server packages start at $119 per month, and they offer a fine set of features. HostGator users can customize their servers with up to 1TB of SSD storage, 32GB of RAM, and unlimited monthly data transfers, which bests the bandwidth offerings from many other dedicated server packages.
HostGator's dedicated servers come in both Linux and Windows flavors, which isn't as commonplace as you might think; Linux tends to dominate the field. In fact, HostGator is one of the few web hosts we've tested that scored well and offers both operating systems. Even Dreamhost, one of our favorite hosting services, lacks Windows-based dedicated servers. That said, Hostgator isn't the Editors' Choice for dedicated hosting. That title goes to Hostwinds.
Hostwinds has an impressive feature set. Its dedicated hosting packages (starting at $99) can be outfitted with up to 3TB of storage, 128GB of RAM, and boast unlimited monthly data transfers. The servers come in either Linux or Windows flavors, too.

Still, HostGator's dedicated hosting offerings are nothing to sneeze at. Check them out if you're in need of dedicated hosting with high-capacity SSD storage.

Setting Up a HostGator Hosted Site
It's a good thing HostGator sends a getting-started email with links to all the resources you'll need to create a website, because the interface takes a little getting used to. HostGator has a Billing Login link at the top of its site that leads to the customer portal, where all the payment information, details about your plan, and options to purchase add-ons are listed. This page has tabs across the top for account and domain management. The Hosting tab is where you see the actual control panel with site-building tools, applications, website statistics, and more. The introductory email also has a direct link for the control panel, but it looks different from what you'd get through the Hosting tab, making the experience a bit confusing at first.

HostGator has several options for building a website, including HostGator's own website builder. The drag-and-drop functionality let me quickly build an attractive page complete with slideshows, contact forms, social media links, and more in no time. You can also install WordPress or other CMS platforms such as Drupal, b2evolutions, Joomla, Mambo, and Tiki, to name a few. A File Manager tool lets you manually upload files to the server to create the website that way. The tool is better than a basic FTP client, because you can edit the files directly or use a built-in HTML editor.

WordPress Web Hosting
HostGator lets you install the WordPress content management system (CMS) onto any of its aforementioned servers, but the web host also offers three tiers of managed WordPress web hosting: Starter, Standard, and Business.
Starter (starting at $14.95 per month) offers 25,000 visits per month, the ability to host just one WordPress site, 50GB of storage, and unlimited email. Standard (starting at $20.95) ups things to two WordPress sites, 200,000 monthly visits, and 150GB of disk space. Business (starting at $27.95 per month) grants three WordPress sites, 300,000 monthly visits, and unlimited storage. All plans come with page caching and an optimized WordPress hosting environment.
That said, 1&1, our Editors' Choice for WordPress hosting, tops HostGator and the competition by offering unlimited storage, domains, visitors, and email with its high-end Unlimited plan ($14.99 per month). You also get automatic malware detection and removal.

WordPress is easy to set up on HostGator even if you don't go the managed-WordPress route. The customer portal has an option called Quick Links that opens a dedicated interface for installing third-party applications. There's also a handy shortcut called Get Started With WordPress Today that leads to the Quick Links interface. I set the path to my blog's installation, entered the username for the WordPress administrator account, and clicked on the install button. As easy as that, my site was up and running. HostGator also automatically installed the WP-Super-Cache WordPress plug-in to help improve blog performance.

In testing, the process of setting up my WordPress site was easy, because the database was already there. There was also a link to the Mojo Marketplace under WordPress services, with premium add-ons and services for my blog. HostGator lacks a blog import button, but WordPress makes the import process easy enough.

Reseller Web Hosting
If you're looking to get into the web hosting business, but you don't want to deal with infrastructure matters, check out HostGator's reseller hosting packages. The plans, starting at $19.95 per month, boast unlimited email across the board. The shared, dedicated, and VPS packages are of both the Linux and Windows variety, but HostGator doesn't supply them with unlimited storge and monthly data transfers at each tier, as the Editors' Chocie Hostwind does with its offerings. On the upside, HostGator lets you apply your own branding to the servers you rent, and it also supplies 24/7 tech support.

E-Commerce Tools on Hand
As mentioned, HostGator offers Mojo Marketplace, which has email marketing tools such as DaDa Mail (starting at $34.95 per year), software that lets you send email newsletters to a subscriber list. Quick Links also has e-commerce packages, including Magento, phpCOIN, SugarCRM, and ZenCart. I installed Magento, which provides a drag-and-drop interface to create an attractive online store. There are tons of design options, which can get a little overwhelming.

Excellent Uptime Results
Website uptime is one of the most important aspects of a hosting service. If your site is down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services.

I used a website-monitoring tool to track our HostGator-hosted test site's uptime over a 14-day period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings my website and sends me an email if it is unable to contact the site for at least 1 minute. The testing data reveals that HostGator is remarkably stable, so you don't have to worry about your site going down for extended periods of time.

Quality Customer Service
Like HostMonster, HostGator offers both 24/7 telephone support and online web chat—I tested both help methods.

I dialed up phone tech support on a weekday afternoon to ask how I could import my WordPress.com blog into my HostGator site. I received detailed instructions via email and was quite satisfied.
With HostGator's online web chat, after typing my question into a form and starting the chat, I was shown my estimated wait time: two minutes. Less than a minute later, a customer service rep appeared and provided easy-to-understand instructions on how to import the blog.
HostGator also has a very deep knowledgebase that contains answers to practically every possible question you could have, ranging from basic to very advanced. Overall, HostGator provides excellent customer support.

Money-Back Guarantee
HostGator does better than most of its competitors here, offering a 45-day guarantee, but Dreamhost, our top pick for advanced users, is even more generous, with an impressive 97-day guarantee.

Dedicated to Hosting
HostGator is an excellent web host that makes setting up a site or WordPress blog a breeze. You don't get one-click installs or imports, but its Quick Link interface is mostly straightforward and much more robust than most of the options out there. HostGator's generous hosting offerings are enough to win the PCMag Editors' Choice designation in the shared web hosting subcategory, and it's the overall top pick for web hosting, too, along with DreamHost and Hostwinds.

If you need tips on creating your website, please read our primer. You might also want to check out our story on how to register a domain name for your website.

If you own a business, you need a Web hosting service. Use this helpful guide to determine the hosting services that best meet the needs of your small business.
The Best Small Business Web Hosting Services of 2017
Does your small business have a website? If not, it's time to build one. Companies without an online presence face an incredibly difficult uphill climb, because we live in a connected world where people discover products and services by searching on the internet—you don't want to miss that potentially lucrative boat. Sure, creating a business website may take months of painstaking planning, debating, and compromise, but setting up a decent website doesn't have to be painful, provided you have the proper tools. And the most important tool is the right web hosting service.

The Small Business Hosting Basics
If you aren't familiar with web hosting, here's a simple explanation. A web host is a company that has servers that you'll use to store and deliver the audio, video, documents, and other files that make up your website and its content. These servers can be of the shared, dedicated, or virtual varieties. If you want to learn more about those hosting types, please visit the highlighted links that are sprinkled throughout this article for primers on each of them. And if you want to launch your own web hosting company without many of the associated hardware headaches, you should look into reseller hosting.
There are dozens upon dozens of web hosting services clamoring for your dollar, including super-popular services (such as GoDaddy) and the lesser-known offerings (such as SiteGround). Large businesses can spend hundreds and (sometimes thousands!) of dollars each year on dedicated hosting or virtual private server (VPS) hosting, the two categories we're focusing on for small businesses with website needs.
One thing we learned while reviewing web hosting services is that reading the fine print is a must, especially if you are concerned about keeping prices low. Many web hosts have several increasingly expensive tiers, with introductory features in starter packages and more robust offerings in higher-priced plans. We recommend a healthy course of comparison-shopping before pulling out a credit card; you'll want to sign up with a service that has the features that best align with your website-building goals.

Small Business Hosting Prices
If you're a small business owner, you're going to want to run with either dedicated or VPS hosting. A dedicated server will likely cost you more than $100 per month; it's definitely not cheap web hosting. The benefit? Your website lives on a server all by its lonesome, so it takes advantage of the server's full resources. You'll probably need to handle firewalls and maintenance yourself, however, unless you opt for a managed server, which costs even more money.

If you want to save some cash, VPS hosting is generally a sufficient—and more wallet-friendly—option. VPS hosting falls midway between shared and dedicated hosting. By building your website in a VPS environment, you won't share resources with the other sites that live on the same server, the way you would with shared hosting. In fact, your site lives in a partitioned server area that has its own operating system, storage, RAM, and monthly data transfers, so you can expect smoother, more-stable site performance. You can get solid VPS hosting for approximately $20 to $30 per month.
Don't be swayed by the big fonts touting the monthly fee: Make sure that a particular pricing tier actually offers what you need. Some hosts charge extra for access to website builders that can help you design your site. Other hosts require you to commit to a three-year hosting agreement in order to get that low per-month price. Or the price is an introductory one, and after a month, you will revert to a higher price. Until you know what features you need and how quickly you plan to grow, you might not want to commit to annual plans.
The Features You Need
When you begin shopping for a site, it's good to have a list of the features you need. For example, you'll want a web host that offers unlimited monthly data transfers and email, a choice of solid-state or traditional hard drive storage, and 24/7 customer support. Even the server's operating system selection is important; Windows-based servers offer an environment to run scripts written in a Microsoft-centric framework, though Linux-based servers are also available (and more commonplace).

Please note that if you're planning on selling a product, look for a web host that offers a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, because it encrypts the data between the customer's browser and web host to safeguard purchasing information. You're probably familiar with SSL; it's the green padlock that appears in your web browser's address bar as you visit an online financial institution or retail outlet. A few companies toss in a SSL certificate free of charge; others may charge you $100 for that extra layer of security.

The Importance of Uptime
All the aforementioned features are valuable parts of the web hosting experience, but none matches the importance of site uptime. If your site is down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services.

To test this important aspect of hosting, we include uptime monitoring as part of our review process, and the results show that most web hosts do an excellent job of keeping sites up and running. Sites with uptime problems aren't eligible for high scores. All services suffer ups and downs, sometimes for reasons beyond their control. Those sites that fail to quickly address the problem are penalized accordingly.

Are You Ready to Get Started?
PCMag understands that no two businesses have the same web hosting requirements, so we've rounded up our best-reviewed web hosting companies for small businesses and detailed their offerings in the table above so that you can get a jump-start on picking a service. If an offering catches your eye, make sure to click the appropriate link from the capsules below to read the in-depth review of the service in question.

If you're just getting started with web hosting, make sure to check out our primer, How to Build a Website, and How to Register a Domain Name for Your Website.

Featured Small Business Web Hosting Service Reviews:

DreamHost Web Hosting
DreamHost Web Hosting Review Editors' Choice
$10.95 MSRP

Bottom Line: DreamHost boasts a robust feature set and wallet-friendly prices, but this outstanding Web hosting service is best for those who are experienced in website administration, not newbies.

HostGator Web Hosting
HostGator Web Hosting Review Editors' Choice
$10.95 MSRP

Bottom Line: HostGator is a reliable Web hosting service that's simple to use and offers an array of useful plans for consumers and small businesses. It's our top pick for novice webmasters.

Hostwinds Web Hosting
Hostwinds Web Hosting Review Editors' Choice
$4.50 MSRP

Bottom Line: Hostwinds is a robust web hosting service that has the tools you need for building highly functional and user-friendly websites. It's a top choice overall, and it's particularly strong for d...

1&1 Web Hosting
1&1 Web Hosting Review Editors' Choice
$7.99 MSRP

Bottom Line: 1&1 is an affordable web host that offers rich website-creation tools, solid support, and impressive uptime. It's our top choice if you need WordPress hosting.

A2 Web Hosting
A2 Web Hosting Review
$7.99 MSRP

Bottom Line: Packed with features, A2 is a web hosting service that's more than worthy of being the foundation for your website.

Arvixe Web Hosting
Arvixe Web Hosting Review
$7.00 MSRP

Bottom Line: Arvixe is a web host with several well-rounded hosting packages, but the company falls just shy of being considered one of the elite in its space.

GoDaddy Web Hosting
GoDaddy Web Hosting Review
$7.99 MSRP

Bottom Line: GoDaddy is a feature-packed web hosting service that boasts rock-solid uptime, excellent customer service, and flexible website-building tools, but meager email offerings and shared hosting ...

InMotion Web Hosting
InMotion Web Hosting Review
$7.99 MSRP

Bottom Line: InMotion is a feature-stacked web hosting service that offers many attractive features, but a few issues keep it from being the top dog.

Media Temple Web Hosting
Media Temple Web Hosting Review
$20.00 MSRP

Bottom Line: Media Temple is a Web hosting service that lets you easily construct Linux-powered pages, but it lacks a few features found in top-notch competitors.

SiteGround Web Hosting
SiteGround Web Hosting Review
$9.95 MSRP

Bottom Line: SiteGround offers excellent customer service and strong security, but it lacks features offered by top-tier rivals.

The Best Shared Web Hosting Services of 2017If you believe that your business doesn't need a website, you are dead wrong. Every business needs a web presence, regardless of size. It doesn't matter if you're the head of a multinational corporation or the owner of a coffee shop, you need a website so that customers can buy your products or learn more about your business. Ignoring this fact is a foolhardy act.
Give your WordPress-powered site the white-glove treatment with one of top managed WordPress hosts.
After all, an attractive, easy-to-use, and informative site can pull new clients and customers. A business that lacks a website may come off as out of touch and maybe even untrustworthy. You don't want your business to fall into either camp. Even the smallest business ought to have a site, and that means choosing a web hosting service. If your site has modest needs, and you've got a correspondingly small budget, you should look into shared Web hosting service.
What Is Shared Web Hosting?
Unlike a dedicated hosting server that powers a single site, a shared web hosting server houses multiple sites. The upside to shared hosting? It's cheap. Shared web hosting is extremely wallet-friendly; you can host a website on a shared server for under $10 per month in most cases. Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, can cost hundreds of dollars per month.
The downside to shared hosting? Potential website instability, as your site shares server CPU resources with other sites. For example, if you're sharing a server and one of the sites on that server has a traffic spike, your pages might load slowly—or not at all. Still, shared web hosting is a super-affordable way to get a site up and running.
That said, not all shared hosting plans are created equal. Sure, all web hosting companies let you store files on their servers, but they offer varying amounts of monthly data transfers, storage, and other features. Even how you pay (month-to-month vs. annual payments) can be radically different, too. Most shared web hosts offer multiple plans that represent their low-, medium-, and top-tier products.
Naturally, you'll pay more for an upper-level service, but you'll get more features. Web hosts typically give you a discount if you sign up for a multi-month plan.
What to Consider
The chart above focuses on the web hosts that boast the best shared hosting plans of all the services we've reviewed. Many shared web hosts offer unlimited monthly data transfers and storage, so other factors may help you decide which service is best for your business. Note, however, that it you're going to relying on unlimited anything, be sure to read the small print to make sure that there aren't any gotchas. Make sure your definition of unlimited matches the hosting service's.
Then there's the OS question. Do you need Windows servers? Linux servers? It's best to shop around. When it comes to server operating systems, Linux is typically the default option. Still, some services offer a choice of Linux or Windows hosting. If you have specific server-side applications that require Windows, such as SQL Server or a custom application written in .NET, then you need to make sure your web host has Windows hosting. But don't let the idea of a Linux host intimidate you.
Most web hosts nowadays offer a graphical interface or a control panel to simplify server administration and website management. Instead of typing at the command line, you'll click easily identifiable icons.
There are some specs that you may not find while browsing a web host's site. For instance, many web hosts don't list the amount of RAM offered by their shared hosting plans. In such instances, you can safely assume that the RAM total is less than 1GB. A few web hosting services offer premium shared plans that offer 1GB of RAM or slightly more. If want dependable-under-pressure performance without spending hundreds of dollars per month, look into virtual private server (VPS) hosting. Signing up for a VPS plan will give your future site a significant amount of computer resources.
You'll also want a web host with responsive 24/7 customer support. Forums, knowledge bases, and tutorials are useful tools, but there's nothing like getting another human being on the horn (or at least in a web chat).
On the other hand, if you're looking to create your own web hosting company, but without the associated frustrations, check out reseller hosting.
For the Bloggers
An alternate form of shared web hosting is WordPress hosting. This option is for people who want to build their sites on the back of the popular WordPress content management system (CMS), but don't want to bother with a lot of the backend stuff (such as updating the apps and CMS, and enabling automatic backups). Managed WordPress plans typically have security features designed to protect the CMS from ne'er-do-wells.
Some web hosts offer managed WordPress as just one of their many hosting packages. Others specialize in WordPress hosting and don't offer additional hosting plans.
Don't Forget Uptime
All the aforementioned features are valuable to the web hosting experience, but none matches the importance of site uptime. If your site is down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services.
Recently, we've added more-formal uptime monitoring to our review process, and the results show that most web hosts do an excellent job of keeping your sites up and running. If they don't, they suffer for it in our rankings. Even if they get everything else right, sites with uptime problems aren't eligible for top scores. All services suffer ups and downs, sometimes for reasons beyond their control. Those sites that fail to address the problem are penalized accordingly.
Get Started
Starting a website isn't easy, but the chart above gives you a solid foundation on which you can begin your journey. If you're ready to select a great web hosting service, click the links below to read our in-depth reviews of the biggest and best names in the space. If you're just getting started with web hosting, make sure to check out our primer, How to Create a Website, and How to Register a Domain Name for Your Website.
Featured Shared Web Hosting Service Reviews:
DreamHost Web Hosting Review
Editors' Choice $10.95 MSRP
Bottom Line: DreamHost boasts a robust feature set and wallet-friendly prices, but this outstanding Web hosting service is best for those who are experienced in website administration, not newbies.
HostGator Web Hosting Review
Editors' Choice $10.95 MSRP
Bottom Line: HostGator is a reliable Web hosting service that's simple to use and offers an array of useful plans for consumers and small businesses. It's our top pick for novice webmasters.
Hostwinds Web Hosting Review
Editors' Choice $4.50 MSRP
Bottom Line: Hostwinds is a robust web hosting service that has the tools you need for building highly functional and user-friendly websites. It's a top choice overall, and it's particularly strong for d...
1&1 Web Hosting Review
Editors' Choice $7.99 MSRP
Bottom Line: 1&1 is an affordable web host that offers rich website-creation tools, solid support, and impressive uptime. It's our top choice if you need WordPress hosting.
Arvixe Web Hosting Review
$7.00 MSRP
Bottom Line: Arvixe is a web host with several well-rounded hosting packages, but the company falls just shy of being considered one of the elite in its space.
A2 Web Hosting Review
$7.99 MSRP
Bottom Line: Packed with features, A2 is a web hosting service that's more than worthy of being the foundation for your website.
GoDaddy Web Hosting Review
$7.99 MSRP
Bottom Line: GoDaddy is a feature-packed web hosting service that boasts rock-solid uptime, excellent customer service, and flexible website-building tools, but meager email offerings and shared hosting 
InMotion Web Hosting Review
$7.99 MSRP
Bottom Line: InMotion is a feature-stacked web hosting service that offers many attractive features, but a few issues keep it from being the top dog.
Bluehost Web Hosting Review
$7.99 MSRP
Bottom Line: Boasting excellent uptime and intuitive website-building software, Bluehost makes it easy to create attractive, functional, and stable pages for your business. However, it lacks a few featur...
SiteGround Web Hosting Review
$9.95 MSRP
Bottom Line: SiteGround offers excellent customer service and strong security, but it lacks features offered by top-tier rivals.

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