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*Full disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. By clicking them and signing up with services they offer, I get a small commission and you get a discount if you’re a first time customer. I have used or am using said services and can wholeheartedly recommend them.
So you’ve seen the light and decided to get your own website but then realize you need a hosting service as well! Before we find the right one, what’s web-hosting anyway? Simply put, just as a house needs a plot of land that supports it, a website needs a web-host for it to run smoothly and be online 24/7. Sure, you can be your own web-host with a computer and an internet connection - but once your computer turns off or your internet fails your site will be down. This is where web hosting services come in. They provide servers ( computers that serve your website to visitors ) and have redundancies to keep your site online every day of the year. ( among other useful services )
Most companies are in business for profit, and as such, many try to monopolize the market by creating supposedly competing brands. For example, General Motors owns Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet. Do you think the world of web-hosting would be any different? And what happens if the larger parent company has anti-consumer policies? You got it - their policies will filter down to all the subsidiary companies.
The fact is, that most web-hosting services you’ve seen Ads for are owned by 1 company - EIG ( feel free to Google that ). They tend to acquire competing hosting companies, which works toward a market monopoly. Worse still, when they acquire a host they usually reduce the support staff so customer relations may suffer. They currently own over 80 web-hosting companies so chances are, with their pervasive advertising campaigns and large market share, you may unwittingly use their services.
How do we get around that? Simply look for a capable non-EIG web-hosts with the features you require. This is a non-technical article so we won’t get into Shared, Dedicated or VPS hosting but the following recommendation does have all the above tiers should you need them in the future.
In my search I found that NameHero came out on top… and I’m not talking about a simple web search. Formally I used SiteGround, which many consider a top contender but their customer support could be better, especially for the price you pay, which is considerably higher than my current recommendation. After a couple of years with SiteGround, I started looking for a quality web-host at a decent price point, with as-good-as or better customer support. This is when I came across a hidden gem.
I do my due diligence, so before I signed with anyone I was talking to the remaining 3 potential web-hosts from a whittled list. I asked a ton of questions like, ‘what plans support multiple websites?’ ‘how easy is the upgrade process?’, ‘do I have access to the cPanel?’, ‘what is CloudFlare integration?’. I was looking, not just for knowledgeable answers, but also looking at the speed at which they got back to me and their willingness to answer some seemingly dumb questions. Trust me, it tells you a lot about the culture of the company. In the end, NameHero again answered my numerous questions in the chat. A representative responded in less than 5 minutes - but usually in under a minute! It didn’t matter if it was a Sunday or 2am on a Wednesday. They were there and helped me when I needed it. This support continued even after I signed up with them, unlike some web-hosts that are very helpful with the sign-up but forget you exist after they have your money.
Keep in mind that most web-hosts offer introductory pricing. They tend to show what you would pay per-month but you usually have to sign up for at least a year’s worth upfront, after which the price hikes up to the standard monthly/yearly price.
For instance (as of this writing) SiteGround’s intro price on their lowest plan is $6.99 /month ($83.88USD annually). After the year is up you pay $14.99 /monthly ($179.88USD annually)… steep!
By comparison, NameHero’s intro pricing on their lowest plan is $3.58 /monthly ($42.96USD annually) After the intro period you pay $8.95 /monthly ($107.4USD annually)
Pro Tip: You can pay for more than a year upfront - this will lock in the intro price for a longer period. In the long run you end up paying much less!
It’s really interesting that NameHero flies under the radar for the most part, especially as their pricing is so competitive and services are top-notch. But the ones who advertise the most don’t necessarily have the best services! All it means is that they spend a large portion of their budget on Advertising. Unlike NameHero, which concentrates on customer service and quality hosting, even at the lowest tier plans.
Are there any cons? None I can think of.... their user interface used to be a bit outdated, but they've since updated their website with a new modern design, so even that minor gripe has been dealt with.
In short, if you’re looking for a great quality web-host with a reasonable pricing structure, just click on any NameHero link in this post and you will find more info on their plans. Use the live chat feature like I did...you'll be pleasantly surprised.