The Ultimate Website Hosting Guide

Posted by Chris on Apr 2, 2020 8:28:56 AM

If you and your team are planning on tackling a website or web application development project, chances are you have a lot of questions. However, the most basic, fundamental question that needs to be asked before beginning any web development project is: who will provide your hosting?

Quality Hosting: Why It’s Important

Web hosting is incredibly important. While the concept of hosting is relatively simple – you need a hosting company to hold the data and functionality of your website on a server somewhere – finding the right web hosting provider is about so much more.

Different hosting companies will provide different benefits – security, web features, site speed, scalability, and marketing tools are a few among many elements or factors that will vary between different hosting companies.

If you are looking for a website hosting provider, here is a look at some of the best hosting providers for different CMS’s!

WordPress: Best Hosting Providers for Website Owners

WordPress is perhaps the largest CMS out there. In fact, recent studies show that over 30% of the entire internet’s websites have been built on WordPress.

Not only is it ubiquitous – it’s powerful. Fortunately (and unfortunately), this means many hosting providers have flooded the market. This makes it difficult to tell which hosting solution is right for your company and website’s goals.

If you plan on building your website on WordPress, but don’t know which hosting provider is right for your company, take a look at a few of our top hosting provider recommendations:

WP Engine Hosting

WP Engine is a fantastic hosting option for WordPress websites (the name kind of gives it away). WP Engine has a few key features catered specifically for WordPress websites that make it incredible. Here are some of the primary advantages of WP Engine:

Smart Plugin Manager

WP Engine’s Smart Plugin Manager ensures that all of your plugins are always updated. This may not seem like a big deal, but most security breaches and successful hack attempts happen through out-of-date plugins with security vulnerabilities.

Global Edge Security

The security features of WP Engine are fantastic, as Global Edge Security provides protection against DDoS attacks, a web application firewall (WAS), SSL/TLS for user data encryption, and Cloudflare CDN.

GeoTargeting

This is a huge feature. GeoTargeting is a marketing and communication practice aimed at delivering unique content to visitors based on the location they are viewing the site from. For example, those in the U.S. may see a different currency displayed than international visitors. Visiting from different locations may warrant a redirect to a local page.

WP Engine has GeoTargeting services for all WordPress websites, which is a great option if you plan on expanding your business internationally, or leveraging marketing tactics to display local content for all users.

 

Nexcess Hosting

Nexcess is another incredible hosting provider. Their hosting platform has all the needed features for running a website efficiently and securely while streamlining the FTP upload and hosting management side of things. Better yet – the website downtime ratings are next to none with Nexcess, making it a reliable bet for anyone searching for quality web hosting.

Here are a couple of the primary advantages of using Nexcess hosting:

CMS Variety

Nexcess hasn’t specifically tied themselves to any one CMS platform. Unlike WP Engine which operates almost entirely in the WordPress user market, Nexcess hosting prides themselves in their variety of user CMS’s.

Nexcess hosting is a great option for WordPress, Drupal, and Magneto. They have strategically structured their hosting platform to cater to as many CMS’s as possible with unique solutions for each. A quick browse on their website will show the detailed attention they have put forth in designing unique and optimal hosting solutions for each of several different CMS platforms.

If you have a website on WordPress, Drupal, Magneto, and even a variety of other CMS platforms, give Nexcess a worthwhile consideration.

Scalability

There are tons of hosting providers out there who focus on the new-website-owner market. Here’s how that goes:

You start a new website. You need hosting for your website. You search for a solution and end up selecting a sub-par hosting solution for the sole reason of price. Inevitably, you encounter security and scalability issues as your site grows, warranting yet another hosting provider search.

The best solution? Start with a hosting provider like Nexcess that can scale with your business over time. A quick look at the pricing section of their website will show why Nexcess is a prime solution for companies who are trying to start a website on a scalable platform. Their base level price is an excellent cost for those just starting out, but they have hosting options pretty much all the way through the need for enterprise-level hosting solutions.

Compliance

Nexcess hosting prides themselves in their compliance with both PCI and SSAE-18.

This is especially important if you plan on running a website that will handle online payments. PCI DDS (The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance lets all potential customers know that you are following industry standard protocol for data and security of card payment transactions.

The Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements assures website users that the way in which your business operates, handles, and controls user data is in compliance with SSAE-18 rules. This offers a promise of security and data integrity on the part of your company, making it easier for visitors to trust you when signing up.

 

Liquid Web

Liquid Web is another incredible hosting platform for a wide variety of CMS’s. Their platform is built with a growth-centric focus in mind, offering a platform that is easy to use for new users as well as robust with all needed solutions for large websites. Here are some of the most common benefits associated with Liquid Web:

Scalability

Liquid Web is also an excellent hosting choice for companies that want a scalable hosting provider – a platform you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for up front but that also one that has the option of adding on features and capabilities as you tack on a higher monthly dollar amount.

Customer Support

Nothing is more frustrating that battling FTP upload, site downtime, and a variety of other hosting-related issues with a hosting company that is never available. And unfortunately, with many of the cheaper hosting options out there, that’s what you’re left to do.

Liquid Web is incredibly well-staffed with knowledgeable support assistants that are ready to take a call or answer an email at any time. For companies that need a bit more help during hosting integration or updating their preferences and pricing later on for additional features, Liquid Web makes it incredibly easy.

 

Creative Agencies: Best Hosting Providers for Managing Multiple Websites

Creative agencies have a slightly different situation than website owners. You’re in charge of designing and developing new websites for your clients, and as the list of your web design clients grow, so does the difficulty of managing them all.

You need an all-in-one solution that allows you to consolidate your hosting provider so you can manage all of your clients’ websites from one hosting service. If you’re a creative agency or marketing company in this boat, here is a solid recommendation for hosting providers:

SiteGround

Chances are this is a familiar name. SiteGround is certainly no “hole-in-the-wall” hosting provider. They are well-known across the globe as they have positioned themselves strategically in the WordPress-entry-website market. However, what most people don’t recognize is the powerhouse of a hosting solution that SiteGround truly is.

SiteGround has built their platform for the new website owner and large-scale web developer alike. More than anything, their solutions for creative agencies makes them a premium choice when it comes time to select a hosting provider. Here are some of the big benefits of hosting with SiteGround:

Managed Hosting

This is what we were talking about before. As a creative agency, you deal with a ton of web design clients. That means lots of websites and lots of hosting.

Luckily, SiteGround has built their platform for agencies like yours. Their automated site setup wizard makes it dumbfoundingly easy to set up hosting for a new site in a matter of minutes, cutting down on the time you spend in the “preparation” stage of web development for new clients.

White Label Hosting

SiteGround also offers a unique service in their GoGeek and Cloud platforms – white label hosting. This allows you to give access to Site Tools to your clients, but when they log in, they won’t see the SiteGround name or logo on anything. It can be customized after your business entirely, making your company appear more robust and structured (we all know the “fake it till you make it” precept, right?)

Cloudflare CDN

CDN’s are incredibly important for speedy content delivery on your website. While your website may be fast where you built it, having national or international users attempting to access those servers can greatly bog down site speed and make it incredibly difficult to use abroad.

SiteGround has great CDN services through their Cloudflare CDN, which provides customers with fast, inexpensive (and even free in some cases) CDN solutions. All it takes is a couple clicks to improve your websites security, stability, and loading speed. We highly recommend you get the Pro version if you plan on using SiteGround’s Cloudflare CDN.

 

Custom Projects & Apps: Best Hosting Providers

When it comes to custom projects & app development, the project calls for custom hosting solutions as well. Not only that, but the very act of embarking on a custom app development project requires that all solutions are customized. That means it’s often worthwhile to talk with developers who frequently work on custom projects and app development regarding their recommendations and approach to hosting.

When KudosCode works with agencies who are developing an app, we perform baseline platform analysis during the initial blueprint stages to figure out which hosting solution and architecture will be ideal for the custom project. During a platform analysis, we are looking primarily at four things:

  • Deployment Strategy
  • Scalability
  • Security
  • Traffic Analysis

If you are building a custom web application, here are our top picks:

Liquid Web Dedicated Server

The Liquid Web dedicated server is an excellent option for web application development projects. Liquid Web is a powerhouse of a hosting provider, and when it comes to custom projects, their infrastructure is incredibly robust and capable of handling most application needs.

On average, the Liquid Web dedicated server is a solid hosting service if your web traffic will be under 20,000 visits per day. This puts it in the camp of small-to-medium size applications.

AWS Custom Applications

Amazon Web Servers are really becoming the industry standard for dedicated server hosting for web applications. The scalability on the AWS platform is astronomical – there is a solution for everything from small-to-enterprise size applications, making it one of the most versatile and powerful servers out there.

Furthermore, if security is a top priority for your company’s application, AWS hosting is the way to go.

As far application users is concerned, site traffic is limitless on this platform. The infrastructure of the AWS platform is massive, making its bandwidth for daily visitors higher than your application will ever need.

MS Azure

MS Azure is one more application that is in the same competing realm as AWS. MS Azure’s platform is robust and powerful, making it an excellent choice for nearly any custom web application development project.

MS Azure also prides itself in its scalability and security. Business from small-to-enterprise will all find a helpful web application or mobile application hosting solution in MS Azure. The platform was built with top-notch security in mind, allowing users to not worry about site security, user data leaks, or any other potential hiccups in application security. MS Azure hosting is also incredibly scalable, as the platform is currently in use by some of the largest web and mobile applications ever built. This means web traffic and storage are never an issue for a custom development project of virtually any size.

Wrapping It Up

There you have it! If you made it to the end – well done. You’re either really interested in hosting, or you wear a variety of hats on a day-to-day basis (if it’s the latter, our biggest suggestion to you is to take a nap.)

Web hosting is a big world. If you are just looking for a simple hosting solution for your own WordPress website, the recommended solution will be entirely different than if you are a creative agency managing tons of clients’ websites. Furthermore, custom web and mobile app development projects call for an entirely different type and scale of hosting.

If you are struggling with knowing which web hosting provider to select based on your unique situation – seriously, just reach out to ask questions. We’re happy to offer suggestions and start a conversation to help you land on the best possible hosting solution for your upcoming development project.

Topics: Web Development, Digital Marketing, Hosting, Website Hosting

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