What is website hosting?
Hosting is a place where all of the files that make up your website live. Every website will have lots of files (containing code or an image for example) and these take up space and need to be stored somewhere. Your Hosting account is your online storage for these files.
The drawbacks of cheap hosting
You might think you can just google hosting and sign up for the cheapest option. But there are a number of factors to consider and as with most things, cheapest probably won’t equal best. Some of the drawbacks of cheap hosting include:
- Poor Performance/Page Load Speed (and a negative impact on SEO because of this)
- Poor Customer Service
- Poor Security
- Limited Features
Recommended hosting providers
I recommend the following hosting providers and will explain some of the key features and differences in the paragraphs below. You can skip straight to the comparison table here.
Trusted by 2 million website owners, Siteground is one of the biggest known names in hosting. Their support is available 24/7, 365 days a year and is top-rated (boasting 97.7% Customer Satisfaction in 2020).
Their service includes all the features you would expect to get from a quality host – daily backups, free SSL certificates, malware scanning, caching tools and a staging tool (to allow you to copy your website to test changes). Siteground also allow you to create email accounts with your domain name.
For many small businesses with a single website, the Siteground StartUp package priced at €12.99 a month (€5.99 per month for new customers for up to 3 years) will be sufficient. This package allows for 10GB of space for website files and is suitable for ~10,000 visits monthly. Unlike some hosts, you won’t be charged extra for exceeding this, it is merely a guide.
WP Engine host 1.2 million websites in 150 countries. Their entry level package is priced at €21 per month, which is significantly more expensive than Siteground. While many of the features are similar to those offered by Siteground, WP Engine have excelled in performance tests. If you want to dig into the detail of that, there is a good article with lots of detail over at WinningWP. If page load speed is really important to you (and you have optimised image sizes and taken other improvement measures already), it is worth considering the additional cost.
In addition, WP Engine will help you if your website is hacked on their hosting (Siteground don’t offer post-hack cleanup services).
(€5.99 intro offer)
(€21 intro offer)
|Customer Service||24/7 Chat. Very Good.|
|24/7 Chat. Very Good.|
|Speed||Good. Caching tools & CDN.||Very Good. Optimised for WordPress.|
|Migration||Free Transfer||Free Transfer|
|Staging Site||Only included in higher level packages||Included|
|Strong all-rounder. While there are cheaper options available, we recommend Siteground for their security, features and customer service.|
Visit Siteground Website
|WP Engine offer better performance and their interface may be more suitable for non-technical users.|
Visit WP Engine Website