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Domain Hosting Images – Editors select and review products independently. When you make a purchase through affiliate links, we may receive commissions, which help support our testing.

If you​​​​​​are thinking of investing online to open a store, offer a service, or even just create a blog, you will need a web hosting service to reach your target audience. Although all web hosting services work in the same way—they store data on servers that are accessible to others over the Internet—they are not all the same. There are many variables to consider when it comes time for you to sign up for a web host, and we consider—and test—all of them when we evaluate hosting services.

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Uptime is undoubtedly the most important aspect of web hosting. If your website is not accessible, you will lose traffic, customer trust and the purpose of your site, money. You don’t want users to be looking for alternatives while your site is down – and may never return. No matter how good a service’s price, specs and features are, it generally can’t score well if it doesn’t have a rock-solid app.

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We monitor website uptime as any customer would by opening a hosting account, purchasing a URL, building a website and using Dropmysite to track uptime. Every 15 minutes, Dropmysite pings our test sites and sends us an email alert if one of them doesn’t connect to the sites for at least a minute. By digging into our Dropmysite data, we can see how long the site has been down. Of course, we like sites that show strong uptime. We’ve seen quite a few poorly rated websites go offline for days, which is unacceptable. But even a few minutes at a time several times during the test can affect the score of the host.

In the past, we’ve collected data over a 14-day period, but we’ve extended it to 30 days to get a better overall picture of a host’s uptime track record.

The operating system, as in a desktop or laptop, determines how the server works. And, in the case of web hosting, it also determines which tools you can use to build your site.

One thing you’ll notice when exploring server operating system options is that Linux is versatile. You might see different flavors of Linux, like CentOS or Ubuntu, but every web host we’ve tested offers the OS. This is the main expectation, your sandwich bread. The operating system is compatible with many free, open source tools in your web host’s app library.

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However, we give extra points to web hosting services that also offer Windows Server operating system. Some companies require OS support for the ASP.NET Framework, SQL Server databases, SharePoint, or Exchange.

A strong web hosting service needs as many potential customers as possible, which is why top-rated web hosting services offer many, if not all, of the six major hosting categories: Shared, VPS, Dedicated, WordPress, Cloud, and Reseller Please follow these links for in-depth category details, such as the best web hosts in each class.

The prices related to these categories are. In fact, the two go hand in hand. Shared hosting, for example, is typically an inexpensive hosting service available from a particular web hosting service; Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, is often more expensive. Therefore, when we compare web hosting services in terms of features and prices, we compare hosting categories apples to apples. We include an Editor’s Choice for each category in our reviews, so you can see which hosts are our current favorites.

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Feature comparisons are a big part of our reviews because they give readers an idea of ​​what to expect from competing web hosts in terms of storage, RAM, email accounts and monthly data transfers. What services do you offer for just money? And which one offers the best value?

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We offer web hosting that offers unlimited email and monthly data transfer, as well as large amounts of RAM and storage. That said, the expected numbers depend on the type of hosting we are looking at. For example, it is not uncommon to see web hosts offering unlimited monthly data transfer with their shared hosting plans, but 1TB or 2TB of data with their dedicated hosting plans.

Customer service experience is also an important part of our testing process. During our testing period, we contacted the web host’s customer service teams at different times of the day, with different questions that required specific answers. (We do not identify ourselves as reviewers.) For example, we may ask “How do I set up WordPress hosting?” or “What is your money back guarantee?”

We evaluate the customer service experience based on whether or not there is phone support (most hosts simply rely on ticketing or web chats), whether there is a 24/7 team on duty to answer questions around the clock, wait times and general joy and fun mark the responses we receive.

The Internet has many dangers, so you need to make sure that your website is protected from potential threats. If you plan to sell a product or service, you need Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or new Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificates to encrypt data as it travels between the customer’s computer and your server side. As a result, we highly value web hosting services that offer SSL/TLS certificates. Most web hosts include them for free for a limited time when you sign up for hosting or you can purchase one. This is a good thing. ​​​​​​​However, if you need another website to purchase an SSL/TLS certificate, you may forget it or believe it is not that important. Note: This is it!

How We Test Web Hosting Services

Email is another way people are exposed to online-based threats. Fortunately, there are authentication technologies to protect domains from phishing schemes, such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Recognized Mail (DKIM). Additionally, DMARC (Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Compliance) instructs receiving mail servers on how to handle unauthenticated incoming mail. For example, DMARC can block them or send them to your email client’s junk folder. Like SSL/TLS, the availability of these technologies factors into a web host’s score. Like general antispam and antimalware tools.

Please note that we do not currently test the effectiveness of each of these security features. We note what is proposed and score accordingly. In other words, a web host that provides these tools will receive a better score than one that does not.

Not everyone who signs up for web hosting needs e-commerce and email marketing tools, but it’s good to see that the service offers them in case they do need them.

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E-commerce software consists of shopping carts, such as Shopify and Wix Stores, that allow you to sell goods or services online. Email marketing software, such as Campaigner and MailChimp, allows you to regularly and automatically contact a large group of customers.

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As with web host security features, we do not test e-commerce and email marketing tools. Instead, we reward hosts by including tools to grow their business.

A lot goes into evaluating web hosting services, so we hope this breakdown helps you understand the process. For more on web hosting, please read How to Create a Website, How to Register a Domain Name, and Best Website Builders.

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Since 2004, I’ve written gadget- and video game-related nerd copy for various publications, including the late, great

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. I now use this knowledge and skills as the Managing Director of the Apps and Games team. Here I thought I covered everything on how to start a blog and make money from a blog. But one thing I missed was how to get web hosting and domain name.

Many new bloggers make the mistake of buying hosting from unreliable companies, and they regret this mistake later. In this step-by-step guide, I’ll share everything you need to know to buy a reliable web hosting and domain name.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I will be hosting from BlueHost, which is the officially recommended hosting service for WordPress. As a bonus, with Bluehost, you get a free domain name.

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This will not only save you money, it will allow you to manage everything in one place.

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Bluehost offers a free SSL certificate which is a must and you also have the option to upgrade to PHP 7.0x

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. When you purchase an item through a link, SML receives a small commission for coffee ☕️, at no additional cost.

I recommend that you follow this guide and purchase your hosting plan and domain name as shown here.

You get a free domain name with Bluehost, or you can use one of your existing domain names if you’ve already purchased one.

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If you have not yet decided on your domain name, this guide will be useful for you. You can also use a free service like BustAName,

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