In today’s world, having a website is like having a virtual business card. Gone were the days where websites were for businesses only and that personal websites would opt for free hosting. In fact, there is an increasing number of personal website owners who insist on professional and reliable web hosting with paid hosting plans.
Why Pay Premium Hosting for Personal Websites
True, some of us would argue that since it’s personal websites that we are talking about, there’s a chance that there’s little or no intention of generating money from these personal websites. So why should we add additional costs to them?
Well, you have a point. But do take a look at the following few major reasons why personal website owners subscribe to premium hosting services (at affordable and discounted hosting prices) and determine for yourself whether you should go for premium hosting or not:
Paid hosting plans come with better support, usually 24/7. So regardless of where you are or what time you are contacting them, you can be sure that you can get through to someone.
You pay for better technology and hence, speedier loading. Visitors are an impatient lot and will click on the “back” button if your website takes more than 5 seconds to load! Paid web hosting will have better bandwidth and larger disk space.
Most premium hosting providers offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee and live up to their claims! You can even cancel your account and get a refund if you are not happy.
You get tons of features for free e.g. unlimited bandwidth and disk space, e-commerce tools (if you decide to convert your website into an online store in the future) and popular scripts installers.
Interested but worried about the hosting cost? Well, don’t be… for premium hosting plans are pretty affordable these days. You can easily get a good shared hosting plan from a leading hosting provider for below $5 per month. How much did you say your lunch cost today?
Five Best Personal Web Hosting Service
Below is 100Webhosting.com’s list of 5 best web hosting providers for personal sites. In fact, these are also great for small and medium size businesses.
They are a professional hosting provider that has been around for more than 16 years. And they have over time, proven their commitment to their customers by providing reliable service at an affordable price. With over 20,000 new customers monthly and millions of domain hosted, their all-in-one shared hosting plan is still one of the most attractive plans around.
Bluehost does not offer other types of hosting plans e.g. VPS and Dedicated Server, but if you are running a personal website (or for that matter, small online stores), their features are more than enough to provide you with all the resources that you need.
Their professionally trained support team is one of the best in the industry. You can definitely get through to them 24/7 via online chat, phone or email (ticket system).
HostGator has 3 shared hosting plans and I would recommend either the Hatchling or the Baby plans for personal websites, depending on how many domains you want in your account and whether you wish to set up an online store. The Baby plan is slightly more expensive (from $6.36 per month) than the Hatchling plan (from $3.96 per month) but offers unlimited domains hosting and allows you to purchase and install private SSL and dedicated IP for the purpose of setting up an online store.
You would also have access to free site builder and website building tools. This means that creating your website from scratch is as simple as point and click. The ready-made templates and instantly installed scripts can let you have your website up and running in less than an hour.
WebhostingHub has an outstanding reputation for providing reliable and powerful hosting service and thus, enjoy high customer satisfaction too.
Their cPanel control panel is packed with over 280 free applications and tools. This is more than enough for the average personal (and small businesses) websites. Their all-in-one plan also comes with $200 advertisement credit for free. This includes $125 for Google AdWords and $75 for Bing and Yahoo. You can use these free advertising credits to start promoting your new website!
In order to show that they have their customers’ best interest in mind, WebhostingHub has gotten some great companies e.g. iContact, PayPal and eFax, to provide their free trials of their services to WebhostingHub’s customers.
WebhostingHub is also eco-friendly, from committed to reducing carbon footprints in their data centers to reducing waste in the office to partnerships with environmental organizations. So if you purchase a plan from them, you can proudly say that you are part of their go green effort.
If you don’t mind paying slightly more, you can opt for DreamHost’s Shared plan. On top of the usual unlimited disk storage, monthly bandwidth, domains and email accounts, you will also get a 50GB space for backups. Not many web hosts offer this.
DreamHost is also committed to keeping your website up despite it having a sudden surge of traffic e.g. your website was highlighted on national TV and thousands of users decided to check you out at the same time! I know some hosts will not hesitate to shut your website down under similar circumstances!
They are so confident of their service that they are offering a 100% uptime guarantee too! In fact, DreamHost is one of the recommended hosts for WordPress.
If you plan to set up an online store but don’t want to pay too much, then IX Webhosting is highly recommended. Their Expert plan currently costs only $3.95 per month after discount and includes, among other great features, FREE 1 dedicated IP and 1 domain registration as well as free shopping carts and e-commerce tutorials.
Dedicated IPs are essential especially if you want to start an e-commerce website because it provides a higher security level and thus, gain your customers’ trust. Because IX Webhosting provides comprehensive hosting plans, you would have no trouble upgrading to a plan with more resources or even Cloud hosting.
If you are interested but unsure of their service, then opt for their 7 days trial for free. You also have a choice of Linux or Windows hosting.
Do note that all the above recommendations offer unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space. While it does not mean that you can abuse the term by hosting yours, your family’s and all your friends’ websites under one single account, it does mean that you get what is considered as fair amount of resources for a normal website.
So unless you run a high traffic video downloading website, you should be alright. Meanwhile, do check out the above hosting providers and let me know what you think. My top recommendation goes to Bluehost.