If you are building an online business then eventually you will find that you need web hosting, either to host your own website and/or blog or create squeeze pages to house your opt-in forms so you can build your mailing list and ultimately grow your client base.
As a business, you will want to be using an email address that matches your company name and website. e.g. email@example.com. To do that, you will also need web hosting.
Over the years I have worked on many websites for myself and clients using various web hosting companies and I am often asked to recommend a provider.
This topic is a bit tricky as it all depends on where you live and where you want your business site and files housed. I would recommend you find a hosting provider in the same country where your business is registered. This will eliminate any future legal issues as to where your business is really conducted and under which jurisdiction your web files and emails are filed.
For example, I live in Canada and I personally use two Canadian companies to register my domains and host my websites.
Also keep in mind, that no matter how high a rating a company has, they will at some point experience a downtime. Even if they promise 99% up time, things could happen, like a power outage or server reboot and your site and email could be down during the maintenance time.
Below is a list of recommended providers I have worked with along with some comments and observations.
Netfirms: I have been a faithful client with Netfirms since 2005 and currently register and maintain all my domains with them and manage two of my client’s websites there as well. I love the ease of domain registration and the ultimate control I have over my domain information, renewal dates and adding extra security and privacy features. The support team there is fabulous! When I signed up in 2005, I choose them because they were in Vancouver where I operate my business. Since then the company has been bought out and now operates in the U.S.
HostPapa: I moved my web hosting to Hostpapa as a friend who is in the web hosting business told me they are fast when it comes to WordPress and I have to agree with him. I also choose them as they operate out of Toronto, Canada and one of my criteria was to find another Canadian hosting company. Of course, they do operate in the U.S. as well and the files could be hosted on any server, however I still feel that I am being billed by and operating though a Canadian company. WordPress installation is a breeze and all my sites are above average when it comes to speed. I also love the unlimited hosting plan which allows me to host multiple domain names for all my websites and squeeze pages under one account. On the downside, I did notice more than once that the websites were down for over 15 minutes at a time and will be keeping an eye on them to see how often this occurs.
GoDaddy: Everyone knows GoDaddy and I am sure you don’t need an introduction. I have worked on two client websites using GoDaddy and the CPanel and WordPress installation where very intuitive. The only observation so far that seemed odd was the WordPress installation speed. I used the automated installer and it took over 1 hours before my login information was processed and emailed to me. With HostPapa the installation is instantaneous. That is a minor detail, as you will only need to install WordPress once for each domain.
HostGator: I am currently working on a new website for a client and they have their hosting with HostGator. WordPress Installation was quick and the site speed seems fast enough. The only comment here relates to the file size upload limit. The theme I purchased from themeforest.net would not upload as it was over 20MG in size so I had to install it manually through ftp. On the positive side, the backup takes less than a minute to processes whereas sometimes it takes several minutes on HostPapa using exactly the same theme and plugins.
BlueHost: I am still new to BlueHost working on one of my client’s websites but so far nothing seems out of the ordinary.
If you have used other hosting plans that you would like to comment on or recommend, please share your insights in the comments below.
UPDATE: Due to my growing business needs and the need for speed and security, I have moved my business hosting to WP engine. The speed is really noticeable and the interface and support has been amazing! I highly recommend them!
If you need help choosing a web host and getting your business up and running, message me and I can help you get started.