There are hundreds - well, thousands - of website hosting companies, and they all do the same thing: provide a place for your website to be located, ready to be accessed by anyone who knows your URL (website address). Hosting a website is to give it a place to reside and be served, on demand, to the internet world. For example, if someone types your website address into their computer, they are taken to your web host, who delivers your website back to them. It is up to you or your Pacific Websites webmaster to create the website, upload it to your web host, and keep it updated.
Generally speaking, over the years as the internet connections speed up and technical devices become cheaper, the hosting offered by different companies have more bandwidth, more space and more features.
You can host websites right at home with your own computer, but you should be aware of all the things that can go wrong. Since viewers will be accessing your website from around the world, they will be accessing it anytime. Which means, your site has to be working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year around. Who will be up at 3:06AM when a "small glitch" makes your site deliver a "File 440: File Not Found"? Do lots of research about this before you make a decision to host on your computer.
What to look for in a good website host:
Even the smallest size allowed on most web hosting companies is adequate for most websites. (20MB of space allows for about 400 pages.) And 99% uptime is a must. Uninterrupted power supply (UPS) is also a must, of course, in case the electricity goes off. Your website will still be accessible to others. Other considerations depend on what the purpose of your website is. A simple "brochure" website only needs minimal web hosting. Pacific Websites offers "brochure site" web hosting for $96/year.
For more about website hosting, read this detailed report by SitePro News. Here is our own hosting comparison with several local hosting suppliers.
Who do we recommend?
We have four recommendations, depending on your needs...
FOR OUR CLIENTS ONLY - $12/month
This website hosting is what we use ourselves, as well as most of our clients. It provides FrontPage extensions, plenty of room for expansion and traffic, daily backups, backup power supply... read about our website hosting. We are very familiar as to how it operates so we are quick to handle your changes or modifications. We can offer this feature-packed hosting to our clients at a very reasonable price because we bought a big "block" of it.
CHEAPEST WEB HOSTING: $6.95 (NOW NOT RECOMMENDED)
We used to use DollarHost for all of our smaller websites that we have built or worked with. DollarHost is in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and has in the past delivered good value for us over several years. It is pretty hard to beat the low price of $6.95 per month for all the complexities of hosting. We usually put a free tracker on the website to get an idea of the effectiveness of marketing efforts. NOTE: We do NOT recommend this hosting service any more, as we noticed that there was repeated times when our sites were not available.
DollarHost - is not recommended, try clicking this to see our most-recommended hosting Dollarhost was our choice for hosting small website hosting, but not any more.
WEB HOSTING WITH MORE FEATURES
For more robust hosting of your website we recommend (highly! - we use it for most of our clients) the website hosting. They offer probably everything you need in hosting along with an easy-to-use control panel. The price is kept low because they have huge volumes. It's easy to use because it's simple. Includes a tracker, huge 300GB transfer (increasing often), and massive 5,000MB storage (also increasing often). We are gradually switching our sites over to this hosting. Sometimes they have cheaper ($4.99/month) web hosting to try to entice more signups, but even at the regular price it's a great value. Click here for more info.
You can see recommended hosting services:
With plenty of disk space, plenty of data transfer and the ability to host 20+ sites on 1 account. Their claim is "You simply can't go wrong". The Hosting accounts come with standard website traffic reporting and statistics.
Host-Gator has invested a considerable amount of time and money into developing an ideal hosting platform for both small businesses and individuals. From launching their clean, simple and easy to use Webmail and Control Panel version, to offering high allowances for disk space and monthly data transfer, Hostgator is confident that their service can meet the needs of a very wide range of customers. Currently, Hostgator services client websites ranging from web-based shopping portals, to websites dedicated to wedding photography, and everything that falls in-between - in over hundreds of countries around the world.
If you've ever had downtime with a hosting company, it's likely been caused by either hardware issues, network issues, or software problems. While all of these problems are mostly inevitable, experience, and investments in the right areas can greatly reduce downtime caused by these common factors. By selecting Hostgator as your web hosting reseller partner, your business is leveraging a multi-million dollar datacenter investment with no single point of failure, high-end Dual Core servers with SCSI drives and RAID-5, both of which are maintained 24 hours a day by their talented, experienced team of web hosting and networking professionals. As such, they guarantee both your immediate and ongoing satisfaction, by giving all clients a risk-free, 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee, and a 99.9% Uptime Guarantee ( if your website doesn't maintain uptime for 99.9% of any given month, your invoice will be adjusted (you have to ask for that).
ROBUST, HEAVY-DUTY HOSTING - with Marketing $24.95*
Larger, more complex websites that need cgi bins (for interactivity), large graphic files, secure ordering, great visitor statistics (worth $5/month alone), possibly FrontPage extensions, SQL Database, PERL, would be smart to use xxxx (gone out of business). It is, however, more than "just hosting."
*They charge $24.95/month, which can be reduced to $14.95/month if you refer a customer. The big advantage with xxxx (gone out of business) is, besides getting the super website package, they throw in tons of marketing information, as well as other "Secrets" you can easily sell to others and keep 100% of the profits. The biggest benefit to us at Pacific Websites has been access to the supportive "Warriors" forum.
xxxx (gone out of business) offers
Many of our recommended companies have gone out of business over the years we have been in the website development business. One that has come out in the lead, and now hosts millions of websites is Hostgator. We have been with them for a long time, and we recommend their services - we use them ourselves at Pacific Websites.
Please check that the above services are still in effect, as hosting plans change now and then. For instance, the pricing has come down as the data space has become cheaper. Or, contact Pacific Websites and we will give you our current, up-to-date recommendations.
Having trouble deciding? Give us a call (below) or contact us. Our business is to help you succeed online, and are here to help you.