2 Best Shared Hosting Companies & Buying Guide

Published by Vijay Kumar || Listed Under:

Today I am revealing the best-shared hosting platforms for your online business. This article is extremely useful if you are looking to start a brand new website or blog or want to move the existing website to better hosting.

I've seen many hosting companies reviewing hosting providers not based on performance or reliability instead they are reviewing them based on the affiliate commission they get.

It is very disappointing when I see those reviews by websites. Because as a beginner, you are having big dreams of starting an online business or bringing your existing business online. Just because you are listing those websites and buying a hosting plan which will indirectly impact your business.

So here is a good list for you to choose the hosting plan that suit your business and budget.

Of course I am definitely not going to recommend you to go and buy hosting plans on companies like Hostgator, BlueHost or GoDaddy to get few more bucks.

So the hosting companies I am recommending here are more reliable, cost-effective, high performance, and with great support.

Hosting Companies I Don't Recommend

Yes, it sounds a little awkward but you must know what is good and what's not (Disclaimer: It's just a personal preference and years of experience). So here are the hosting companies that are not recommended.

  • EIG (Endurance International Group) Owned Companies:
    Why?
    Because all the companies are relatively giving the same performance and bad support.
    Example companies: The most popular Hostgator, Blue Host, etc. The full list of EIG owned hosting companies list is here.
  • GoDaddy:
    I know it's a big surprise to keep it on the list.
    Why?
    Because they always try to sell you something. Where you can get some services for free.
    Let's if you want to install an SSL certificate you need to buy an SSL certificate. To enable the automatic website backups you need to buy them as well. There is no caching facility at the hosting level.
    Worst of all is that when you try to call them and ask for help they will ask you to pay for help. There are so many reasons like this. So I simply don't fall into their trap.
  • Don't go with small and unreliable hosting companies. If someone offering to host for a cheap price don't try to buy from them because most of the time they are using old tech and slow websites.

What You Should Know Before Buying Shared Hosting?

History:

It is very important to take a look at the the web hosting history.

Why?

Because it will give you a good picture how they are improving their company and growth. If you find some company that is not changed or added any new features or upgrades, means that they are more likely not up to the current hosting standards.

Few examples are like implementing SSD hard drives in place of traditional HDDs, Improving network traffic type to HTTP 2.0 or 3.0, Improving the server speeds, and caching functionalities.

There are many reasons to look for a company history before buying a hosting plan with them.

Hard Drive Type:

This is a big game changer in hosting companies these days compared to old days. In olden days companies are using HDD type hard drives to store and serve data/website. We all know that standard hard drives are not fast as today's SSD's. If you want to know the comparison between the HDD's and SSD's you can read this article on avast.

Web Server Type:

It is one of the most important point to check. Because your entire website performance is depends on this one factor.

There are two types of web servers widely used in shared hosting environments.

  • Apache web server
  • NGINX web server

There is also a web server OpenLiteSpeed which way more faster than those two web servers. But they are not as old as Apache and NGINX and not a lot of hosting providers are using it.

So we will stick with Apache or NGINX web servers.

If your website is a static HTML website and there is no PHP or server side languages are using then you can use any of these servers. Both performs really well. Whereas if you are using any PHP application but for a small website then you can still consider using any of those two web servers.

But if you are using a heavy website built on server side language such as PHP, then you must consider a web hosting provider with NGINX web server.

Because NGINX performs really well with processing server side languages.

Control Panel:

If you are a beginner or have very little knowledge on managing websites then you must consider choosing a right control panel.

There are majorly 3 types of control panels available for shared hosting users.

  • cPanel
  • Plesk
  • Own control panel

Majority of the shared hosting companies use cPanel and only few uses Plesk. Very few hosting companies build their own control panels.

Choosing a hosting provider with cPanel is the best because cPanel is very easy to use. If you find that control panel built by their own hosting provider is good then you can choose them.

Most cases it won't matter much because most of the time they are very easy to use so no need to worry too much about it. But knowing is good.

Website Loading Speed:

Loading speed of website is what we need at the end of the day. So when considering website loading speed make sure to check all the details below.

  • TTFB - Time to first byte
    It is the most important factor when choosing a host. TTFB means that whenever a user opens your website and how quickly our web server able to process the request and gives the output and sends to the user.
    Now you know how important is to have low TTFB in order not to wait your customer.
  • RAM - Random Access Memory
    We all know having high ram means high speed. So make sure you at least have 1 GB virtual ram allocated.
  • CPU Load: This is important because if you are running a big eCommerce site with hundreds of visitors everyday then you'll quickly run out of server resources and there is a great chance your account may limit by hosting provider. So always know your CPU limitations and ask them what hosting plan is suitable for you.

SSL:

After Google officially claimed that https is a ranking factor every website owner is started purchasing SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates for their websites.

SSL encrypts the data between user and web server so that the will not be stolen by hackers.

Now almost all the web browsers show a green lock symbol at the beginning of the URL in browser address bar if you have SSL installed on your website.

Most of the website owners don't know that there are few open source services like Let's Encrypt that can give free SSL for their websites.

So make sure to check if the hosting provider is giving this feature, so that you don't need to worry about SSL certificate purchases.

CDN:

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. It is very useful for website security, improving loading speed. CDN companies like Cloudflare will have web servers all over the world in many locations.

When you signup with them they will distribute your website throughout their network so that whenever a user requests your website they will serve it from the closest location of their server.

Always check if they are offering a free CDN solution with their hosting plan. Most of the time companies offer ClouFlare CDN as they have a free plan. Sometimes companies will have their own CDN solutions.

One or the other way you must make sure that they have a CDN with their plan.

Security:

Web site security is one of the most important factor when choosing a web hosting provider. Many new hosting companies or the companies that are not actively working to improve their services are not recommended to buy hosting from.

So when you look at the technical specs of the hosting provider consider taking a look at the type of security solutions they are having on their platform as well as for customers.

You might think you can install a security plugin for WordPress. But the website is not the only thing that can get affected due to a lack of security on the server.

There are various types like website security, web server security, mail account security, account isolation etc.

Website Backups:

It is not uncommon that you might want to restore your website to the old version when you or your team have made a mistake on the website. In such cases, website backups will save a ton of time and effort to get your website to the old working state within minutes.

So having an option of website backups is a must for every website owner. Sometimes you may or may not have a backup of your website in case you lost it.

Usually it's better to have a daily backups option if you are regularly updating content. Otherwise you can have a weekly once or twice backup option.

Migration:

If you already have a website and want to move to new hosting and you can't migrate your website yourself then try to get a hosting provider that will migrate an existing website from an old hosting account to their hosting.

These days almost all web hosting companies are providing website migration services for free. So you don't need to worry about it too much.

Scalability:

Once you are running a successful online business and getting a decent amount of traffic then it is much more difficult to scale it to the next level if your hosting provider doesn't support upgrade option in their hosting.

Because most of the times when you start getting 1000's of visitors every day then you will quickly run out of hosting resources. So eventually you need to upgrade to the next plan otherwise your websites will be limited.

But even for this option, you don't need to worry much because almost all the hosting platforms allow you to upgrade you to the next level without any hassle.

Support:

It is very important to have good hosting support. If you find any hosting that is not responding in time or not knowledgeable about the issues then simply don't even look at those hosting providers again.

Having a good support staff will save you ton of money and ton of time. Majority of the providrs will give you three options.

  • Chat Support
  • Call Support
  • Ticketing System

Pricing:

It is obvious that you don't want to pay huge money for shared hosting companies that will not give you good speeds and support.

So when you choose your hosting also consider the website type you have. If you have a simple static website then you may choose a smaller package with normal hosting otherwise you need to take little higher plans to run your website smoothly.

Comparison Table Between SiteGround and FastComet

There are two hosting companies I would strongly consider when choosing a shared hosting.

  • SiteGround
  • FastComet.

Here I am giving a complete picture of their offerings, services, prices, etc.

The reason I choose only two hosting companies while other compare 10's of hosting companies is that I worked with them for years and I have good experience with those hosting providers.

When I first started my online journey I took with GoDaddy hosting then quickly I realized the drawbacks then I tested over 5 hosting companies till I finally settling with SiteGround.

But later I also decided to test other new hosting companies then found that FastComet is much closer to the SiteGround and FastComet is the best alternative for SiteGround.

Have a look at this chat then decide which hosting is perfect for you.

FeaturesSiteGroundFastComet
Hosting Age20042013
Disk TypeSSDSSD
Web Server TypeNGINXApache
Control PanelOwn Control PanelcPanel
Loading Speed⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
SSLLet's Encrypt (Free SSL)Let's Encrypt (Free SSL)
CDNCloudFlare (Free)CloudFlare (Free)
SecurityYesYes
Website BackupsYesYes
Website MigrationFreeFree
No. of Data Centers611
ScalabilityYesYes
WordPress HostingAvailableAvailable
SupportGoodGood
Pricing per monthAvg. $10Avg. $4.5
SignupSignup with SiteGroundSignup with FastComet

What is Suitable For You?

If you are a small business and have a simple blog or business website then it is advisable to go with FastComet.

If you are running a huge eCommerce store with 100's of products or huge blog with 1000's of blog posts then you should choose SiteGround.

Personally I love them both but my advice for you is that you are reading this article means that you may just look to start your online business or a blog. So I suggest going with FastComet because their entry-level plans are 50% cheaper compared to SiteGround.

Conclusion

Now you might be thinking choosing a web hosting company is not easy task as you might thought. Most of the time it is one time per year research that you must do before buying a hosting plan. Because it indirectly impact your online business.

If you need any help or having questions regarding choosing a hosting account, you can ask me in the comments.

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