1. JustHost.com: Top Host
2. BlueHost: Most Reliable
3. HostMonster: Best Value
4. FatCow: Low Price
5. IX Hosting: Good Features
6. InMotion: Business Host
7. Omnis: Many Awards
8. SuperGreen: Green Host
9. FastDomain: Fast Setup
10. Yahoo: Popular Brand
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How to Choose Good Web Hosting

 

By: GoodWebHosts.com Staff

 

Finding a good web host can seem like a daunting task, especially to a small business owner or non-profit manager who knows their business inside and out, but is less familiar with the web hosting landscape.

 

By focusing on the key items below, just about anyone can make a good decision when it comes to picking a web host.

  • History
  • Price
  • Features
  • Service
  • Reliability
  • Guarantee

 

History

Choosing a web host with a proven track record is a smart move. Companies such as HostMonster and BlueHost have been providing web hosting services for over 10 years. In order to stay in business this long, a web hosting company has to build a stable of happy, loyal customers. For this reason, HostMonster and BlueHost are two of our top recommendations.

 

There are some newer companies like JustHost.com that are good web hosting companies as well. Over the past couple of years, we have watched them gain a strong following of customers by providing strong features and good customer service at a very good price point. In fact, JustHost is one of our top new hosts.

 

Price

The good thing about new web hosting companies entering the industry is that it becomes more competitive, and this benefits consumers in the form of better pricing and more features. For as little as $2.95/month, you can get a free domain name and everything you need to launch an effective website. Check out our JustHost.com review to learn how to get the special $2.95/month pricing.

 

Features

If you are building a basic website, then most good web hosting companies will provide all the features that you need: a simple and easy-to-use control panel like cPanel, custom scripts or packages like Fantastico so that you can add a blog or forum, lots of space and bandwidth, and much more. To get an idea of all the features you can expect as part of a good web hosting plan, visit our expanded comparison chart.
Service

If you have plenty of experience managing a website and web hosting plan, then choosing a web host with limited customer service may be fine. For instance, we have used web hosting companies that only offer support via an online ticket system with no problem.

However, the majority of website owners prefer 24/7 customer service by phone or Internet. Even better is a company like HostMonste, which offers all of the above through customer support representatives that are based in North America. In addition, hold times are usually just a couple of minutes.

 

Reliability

A web hosting plan with a great price, good features and strong customer support doesn’t mean much if your website experiences substantial downtime or falls prey to a hacker’s attack. Luckily, all the web hosting companies in our good web hosting list take a variety of physical and virtual measures to protect your website and data, as well as maintaining a high level of performance. For example:

  • State of the art servers that can deliver multiple copies of your site
  • On-site security to prevent theft
  • Industrial strength firewalls to mitigate online intrusion
  • Backup generators to avoid power loss
  • 24/7 network monitoring to ensure steady performance

 

Guarantee

Every good web host stands behind its product and offers at least a 30 day money-back guarantee period. This should give you plenty of time to test the features and customer service. However, if you would like an even longer guarantee period, InMotion Hosting offers a 90 day guarantee, which is 3 times longer than most web hosting companies. Regardless of the guarantee length, make sure you read the fine print. For instance, some hosting companies may subtract the cost of the “free” domain name if you cancel.