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*Affiliate Warning. There are affiliate links contained within this blog post which means if you click any links contained in this article there is a chance the company will pay me a small fee for introducing you. This does not affect your purchase in any way.

Hosting is the space where your website pages are stored so that they can be served up to anyone who visits your site. Without hosting your website can not exist live on the internet. Think about a video game. You can buy a game but without an Xbox you won’t be able to see it or play it.

There are different forms of hosting available but the best one (in my opinion) is one that gives you complete access to everything you need including email. Recently some hosting companies try to charge for having an email address but if you buy the right kind of hosting you will be able to set up your own emails, and as many as you feel you need for your business.

In the past it didn’t matter where your business was located. A company in the UK could host their website with a business based in America. Nowadays, if your business is in the UK and focuses mainly on UK customers it pays to host with a company that has UK servers and/or is based in the UK.

Once you have bought your domain name (I recommend GoDaddy) you can then go ahead and focus on hosting. A company who’s job it is to provide hosting and nothing but hosting is best.

You want to focus on:

Speed: People don’t like to wait around for a website to load up – do you? So you want hosting that will load up your website quickly. The two I recommend below provide that within their hosting package.

Uptime: Sometimes hosting companies need to update or reboot their system and your website will disappear from the internet. This usually happens in the early hours of the morning (another good reason to host with the company you live in whenever possible) but occasionally during the day your website might suddenly disappear. Usually it is back within minutes. Still, you want to buy a hosting package that guarantees a high uptime like 99% or more.

Cpanel: Choose a hosting company that provides you with a control panel (cpanel) so you can do things like create databases, set up emails, create an SSL certificate (a certificate that says your business is trustworthy), send out newsletters, check on the stats for your website and other things.

Look out for contracts. Avoid getting sucked into having to pay for hosting for a full year. You should have the right to cancel whenever you want to or change over to a different company. Cheap hosting usually comes with that kind of year long contract. A mistake I have made even recently! I was testing out an idea and wasn’t sure if I wanted to work on it long term so bought some cheap hosting. When I went to cancel I discovered I had to pay for the year. Check the small print.

Different Types Of Hosting

If you are a new, small business (which is my customer base) I recommend you opt for shared hosting. Think of it like living in a room in a large house. Everyone lives in the one house but you all have your own room.

Larger companies need dedicated servers and things like VPS (look it up or don’t worry about it!) – which is expensive but, using the house analogy again, it is like owning your own detached house. No one uses it but you.

My Favourite Hosting Company

*Affiliate Warning. I am an affiliate for the company mentioned below, which means if you click any links from this point forward and buy their product there is a chance the company will pay me a small fee for introducing you. This does not affect your purchase in any way.

There are plenty of fantastic hosting companies available and I am recommend one that I have used many times over my 10+ years of hosting websites. My favourite is HostGator

For me HostGator is to hosting what GoDaddy is to domain names. Their customer service is excellent, introductory prices are great (if you can afford to buy two or three years worth of hosting you can lock in cheap prices) and they are well known for their Shared hosting packages.

Hosting Packages

Which hosting package you choose will come down to the size of your business/website. Starting small and adding more hosting when you need extra space can be a cheaper way to manage your website. Things like Dedicated and VPS hosting are for larger corporations.

If you are starting out Shared Hosting is usually the route that is taken. It provides everything a small business needs to get started.

When you search for web hosting online you will find that some people offer dedicated WordPress hosting. Whether you opt for that is up to you but one of the biggest advantages is the extra services you receive. HostGator WordPress hosting includes extras that you have to pay for in Shared hosting like daily backups of your website and site security.

Some professionals say for long-term optimisation WordPress hosting is better and others say Shared hosting is enough. The main difference is the price, with WordPress hosting costing more per month.

HostGator offer:

A free service where they will move your existing website over to your new hosting account. If you already have a website up this saves you the trouble of figuring out how to move it.

Different hosting packages including Shared, Optimized WordPress, Cloud Hosting and others. Visit their website here to have a look.

24/7/365 support via phone, email, and live chat.

A CPanel (control panel) with everything you need to optimise and run your website (including adding emails)

They have a 99.9% guaranteed uptime, so you know your website won’t disappear.

Plus they have a money-back guarantee so if you change your mind, or want to cancel, its an easy process and you aren’t forced into staying.

I highly recommend them and if you are looking for hosting for your WordPress website I encourage you to consider HostGator.

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