Best Web Hosting Sites

The best web hosting sites are the ones which offer you what you want and need. With everything else on the internet, there are products for beginners all the way up.

Below you will find a few of my recommendations with some additional information if you are just starting out.

What is Web Hosting?

And more to the point, why do you need it?

A website is just a collection of files or documents linked to each other. They are similar to your Word or Excel documents. Instead of being in the ".doc" or "xls" format, a web page is in ".html".

Simple experiment for beginners

Open your text editor - if you have Windows, this is Notepad. You will find it if you press START, then "All Programs" then "Accessories" then "Notepad".

Type in "Hello. How are you?".

Then save this notepad file to your desktop and call it "hello.html".

Now go to your desktop and double click this file to open it. Windows knows to open it in your default internet browser such as Internet Explorer because it is in html format.

You will see "Hello. How are you?".

Congratulations, you have just created your first web page.

Back to why you need hosting.


When you create a Word or Excel document it can only be viewed by you on your computer or those who you decide to share with. If you carried out the above experiment, the web page or html document you created can only be seen by you on your computer.

If you have a website, you want it to be viewed by everyone!

A Web hoster is a special kind of computer which allows everyone to see your web files. This is normally referred to as a server.

How it Works

When you open an account with a hoster, you are given some space on their server. You send the server your website files. They are not only stored in the server but can be viewed by anyone who is online.

When you sign up, you will be given access to your space on the server usually via a website address, username and password. For example, www.yourdomain.com/stats. When you go to this web address, you will be asked for your username and password. What you see next will depend on the package you bought.

Normally, you will have access to your account details, traffic statistics, help, templates ..... etc. The most important part will be the section where your webfiles are stored. From now on, you will build your website in one of 2 main ways as follows:

1. Build your website Online

These are generally the easiest to build and great for beginners.

This is where the hoster provides online software and templates for you to use. You can have a few pages up and running very quickly and with little technical knowledge. You will guided through the process. Although easy to get started, the scope is sometimes limited and you may find them to be restrictive.

My Number 1 best web hosting site is the SBI Package.

2. Build your website offline

You can create your website on your computer and then copy the files to the hosting company. This gives you far more creative scope but does require more technical knowledge.

How to choose the best web hosting site for you

Choose a company that offers all that you need in an easy to use format. Here are some considerations:

Size
How much space will they give you? Some hosting sites give you 5 - 10 pages - this is not enough! Go for something where it is unlimited or cheap and easy to add more space. For example, SBI or www.bluehost.com

How easy is it?
Research the templates and assess how easy it will be depending on your level of expertise. SBI is very easy to use. Bluehost requires a bit more knowledge. I have also used www.easily.co.uk but choose the right package - their basic one is quite limited.

What else do you get?
Some considerations -

Own domain email addresses - preferably more than one. For example, name@yourdomain.com. This is much more professional looking that a generic one such as name1689@hotmail.com

File Protocol Transfer - or ftp - this allows you to upload your files to the server. Usually only needed if you develop your website on your computer. If you are using the online software option and want your website to have other documents such as a powerpoint presentation or pdf file, make sure you have this facility.

Submission of site map - automatic submission of the website to the search engines.

Add ons - for example, shopping cart, forum, blogs. If you need these, make sure they can be bolted on to the website.

Help - how easy is it to get help and what are the beginner instructions like?

Traffic and Tracing Statistics - It is important to keep track of your visitors and you do this through good traffic statistics. Sometimes there is an extra charge to see them. The best web hosting sites also offer other kinds of statistics such as response to advertising or where a visitor followed a link to another website.

Cost
Beware. The lowest price does not always mean the best service. Especially for beginners. Take the above into consideration.

The above list is not exhaustive. You can do a more comprehensive comparison here.

But check Google and you will find thousands more. Just enter "website hosting" into the search bar and see what comes up.

I have also used the following

www.easily.co.uk
www.bluehost.com
www.pickaweb.co.uk

Do your research. Look at what they are offering and use your judgement to find the best web hosting site for you.