Not sure which type of server and host is right for you? This little hosting guide will give you a few options so that you can find the host that best fits your goals.
Shared Server – What is shared hosting? This is when you purchase hosting that shares one main server with other hosting accounts. It’s affordable because you can all help to pay the price for one big server. This is what the majority of new bloggers and business use for hosting. It’s affordable (starting as low as $5 a month) and it works great if you do not have a lot of traffic.
Virtual Private Server – As your website traffic grows, the space and memory on your host is used more quickly and your website will start to SLOW down. Once this happens, it’s a sign that you’re outgrowing your shared hosting account. A VPS account is a great “next step” for growing blogs and businesses because it’s not shared with other hosting accounts, it’s reliable when your website receives large amounts of traffic and it will help to increase the speed of your website. It is more expensive than shared hosting, but is definitely worth the upgrade if your shared account doesn’t work well for your website anymore. A VPS hosting account is usually $20 to $100 a month.
Dedicated Server – This is a good solution for really big blogs and website communities that have a large amount of traffic every month. If you’re starting to venture into the 500,000 hits a month or higher range, or if you are streaming videos or have a large membership community, you’ll want to consider a dedicated server so that your website is fast and reliable. These servers are more expensive and range from $175 to $400 a month.
Blog and Website Hosting
- Bluehost – A Shared Server starts at $5 a month and their Pro Account (a beginner virtual private server) starts at $20 a month. Bluehost is our personal favorite for shared hosting! We have used Bluehost since 2006 and have been really happy with their affordable prices, quality of service, speed, as well as the excellent 24/7 support for our websites. They offer a backup system so that your online content is safe. This is a great host for WordPress and Magento.
- Go Daddy – A Shared Server starts at $5 a month. Many of our clients use Go Daddy. They have 24/7 support, a variety of options and a nice backup system for shared hosting. While Go Daddy is a popular host, we think it’s more ideal for purchasing domains. In our experience, their shared hosting solution is over-crowded, has had a few security problems and if your site is hosted on one of their shared servers, it’s possible that your site will be slower than it would be on another shared host.
- Host Gator – A Shared Server starts at $4 a month, a Virtual Private Server starts at $40 a month and Dedicated Servers start at $175 a month. Interested in being powered 100% by wind power? Then Host Gator may be the perfect fit. This ‘green’ host is a top choice for individuals who want to support the environment. This is also our #1 choice for dedicated servers! Many of our clients have used Host Gator and their whm server support has been exceptional.
- Liquid Web – A Shared Server is pricey on Liquid Web, but their Virtual Private Server is excellent and starts at $50 a month and Dedicated Servers start at $189 a month. We have also used Liquid Web and give them a two thumbs up for their VPS! This is a great choice for a growing company who is looking for heroic support, excellent backup and smart servers.
Note: For WordPress Users, please make sure your hosting is set up with a Linux operating system, some hosts give you the option between Windows and Linux…choose Linux, it works best with WordPress.
- Shopify – Shopify is our #1 Shop Recommendation for our Ecommerce clients and is a host and shop all in one. You can test it out for free for 30 days and see for yourself! Their hosting plans start at $29 a month and come with an easy-to-use dashboard system so that learning how to run your shop is a very simple process. The pricing on Shopify is affordable and competitive with other highly-tested Ecommerce programs. It’s a secure platform and comes with excellent support – so if you run into a problem with your shop, you can get technical help when you need it.
Flash Template Sites
We do not build flash-based websites. While we can include jquery and flash elements in sections of a website, all of our projects are based in PHP and HTML. If you would like to have a quick and easy flash only website, these are the perfect hosts for you:
- BluDomain – Affordable and Simple. This is an excellent host with beautiful flash and gallery themes that are easy to use, install and maintain. $100 Templates and $100 hosting per year.
- Big Folio – Pretty flash templates, excellent customer service, dual html web coding so that your flash is viewable on a mobile phone, customizable templates and easy to use. $400 to $600 Templates, $20 per month.
Note: If you want a pretty flash website solution in a hurry, this is it! All you need to do is set up your host with either of these companies, pick a template and then upload your content and images, easily customize your template colors, logo and you’re set. Keep in mind, a flash-based template is not ideal for your search engine optimization and can keep your site from being indexed and from receiving a lot of traffic.
Domains cost about $10 to $15 per year and can be purchased individually or with a host. Most hosts give you the opportunity to purchase a domain name along with your hosting, or if you already have a domain and just need a new host, you can easily point the domain name servers to the host of your choice! Once you have your domain and hosting, we can help you from there.