Why All Web Hosting Sites Are Not Created Equal

by | Aug 14, 2018

For the longest time, I didn’t think much about where I hosted my website. Maybe you’re like I used to be and haven’t given it much thought either. After all, don’t all web hosting sites pretty much do the same thing. Well, yes and no.

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All web hosting companies serve a single purpose and that is to provide a place for your website to live on the great world wide web. But they are not all created equal. For example, have you ever wondered why some hosting companies are dirt cheap and others cost upwards of $30 a month? This is just one example of the differences in web hosting.

So how do you know how to choose the right hosting company for your website? Should you just go with the cheapest option or what other factors are there to consider? I’ve got some tips for you:

User-friendliness

I think the importance of the user-friendliness of your web hosting admin dashboard is overwhelmingly underrated. Unless you’re a web developer or tech guru, you probably aren’t super familiar with the terms like DNS or FTP. To your average Jane, all this web jargon paired with a poorly designed admin dashboard can make navigating your web host really intimidating. That’s why being able to use my host backend without needing a special dictionary or support rep on speed dial is on the top of my list of must-haves for my web hosting.

Related Post: The Bullet-proof Website Strategy: Convert Your Visitors Into Customers

Reliability

The reliability of your web hosting company should play a major role in where you decide to host your website. Just because you host your website somewhere, doesn’t mean you are guaranteed 100% uptime or super speed. Uptime is a measure of the uninterrupted time that your web host experiences. Ideally all hosts could provide a 100% level of service, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Sometimes companies advertise their uptime guarantee rates right on their site, but this can also differ from your actual experience. You may need to do a little extra research to see what kind of experiences others have had with a web hosting site before choosing it.

Extra Features

Web hosting sites don’t only sell hosting. Usually, they will sell a web hosting package which can include extra features such as email hosting, extra storage, and staging/demo sites just to name a few. When choosing your host, you will want to determine what features are most important to you. Will you need a web host who also sells domains? Will you need your host to be able to help you make security backups of your site? These are the kinds of questions you should ask yourself before making your decision.

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Cost

Pricing is, of course, something you should consider, but it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Most web hosting companies fall within a range of $5-30 bucks a month. It’s what you get for that price that really matters. If you are just looking for a bare-bones host a cheaper option might work for you, but often times the perks of the more expensive options are well worth the investment. With your web hosting, you should find a balance between the two. Many web hosting sites also like to lure you in with an enticingly-low introductory rate, but once your account is up for renewal, they hike up the price. Make sure to do a little math and read the fine print!

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Web Hosting Sites Comparison

Since there is so much to consider when choosing a web hosting site, you may have to try out a few different ones before you find the one that is right for you. Don’t be discouraged! I know all this techy stuff can definitely be frustrating, but once you find your perfect match, you can stick with them for the long haul! To help make things a little easier, I even created a quick informal comparison between some of the hosting companies I’ve used before (and there’s quite a few since I’m in the business of making websites). Please note: This chart only reflects my personal experience and may not be representative of someone else’s experience.

UsabilityFeaturesReliabilityTotal Cost
Flywheel108107
Media Temple7986
GoDaddy5858
BlueHost6858
Fat Cow5658
iPage6679

You can probably tell from looking at my comparison chart, that so far my favorite web hosting company is Flywheel. It’s not as popular as some of the more well-known web hosting sites like GoDaddy, but they definitely over-deliver in every way. Out of all the hosting companies I’ve used in the 15 years I’ve been designing websites, this is hands-down my favorite! Not only is their platform easy to use, they provide free SSL, free site migrations, cloud hosting plans, top-notch support and a beautiful backend interface. Flywheel is definitely worth checking out if you are in the market for a new web host!

Don’t think Flywheel is a great fit for you? If you are simply looking for the lowest cost option, iPage may be worth checking out as well! I’ve also heard great things about Siteground and WPEngine for their ease of use and value (but have never tried them).

Related Post: 6 Reasons Divi is the Best WordPress Theme for Your Startup Biz

Do you have serious tech woes from looking at all the web hosting sites? What questions do you have? Shoot me a note in the comments or reach out to K Design Co. for help!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristin Pruis

Brand Strategist & Design Consultant

I specialize in helping entrepreneurs and business owners bring their passions and dreams to life through branding strategy and design. While I have vast experience working with companies, agencies and organizations of all sizes, I especially enjoy working with female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses. It’s my privilege to work alongside business owners as they launch, grow and maintain their business’ brands. I’d love to have the opportunity to help you with your needs as well whether that be branding, logo design, web design or something else. Let’s chat!

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6 Comments

  1. Rachael

    Excellent post!! Very informative!

    • Kristin Pruis

      Thanks Rachael – Hope it was helpful to you!

  2. An Historian

    I just went self-hosted and I found the most amazing host- I went with Lyrical Host! I am really bothered by the number of providers that offer an unfeasibly cheap first year, and then the price sky-rockets the next year- I always look at long term situations, and those are specifically meant to “trick” customers into the higher price later. Lyrical has been absolutely amazing, have helped me solve every single technical question I’ve had in less than 6 hours, and are the friendliest people. My biggest recommendation is that you talk to all of the providers you are considering, and find out handle the things that are high priority to you!

    • Kristin Pruis

      Hey there! I have not heard of Lyrical host, but I am glad that you’ve found they are the perfect host fit for you! It can be frustrating to deal with those tricky hosts so it’s awesome you’ve found a place that helps support you and makes you a priority 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. thenailchronicle

    Great post!! Its certainly an important decision when choosing where to host your blog

    • Kristin Pruis

      Thanks Lara! Hope you find this helpful! 🙂

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