Web Hosting – Beginners’ Guide & My Hosting Reviews

Looking for a web host? Being a web hosting enthusiast, as well as a passionate webmaster, I try new web hosts from time to time. Now, if you're short on time and can't read several user reviews of a particular host on a forum like WebHostingTalk, you can take a look at these web hosts below that I've personally used and reviewed crucial factors like uptime, speed and support.

Web Host

Type

Monthly Plans From​

Data Center Location(s)

My Rating

My Review

A2 Hosting

Shared

$3.92

Michigan, Amsterdam & Singapore

BlueHost

Shared

$2.95

Utah & Others

InMotion Hosting

Shared

$4.92

Washington DC & Los Angeles

MDDHosting

Shared

$3.50

Denver

StableHost

Shared

$4.95

Phoenix, Chicago & Amsterdam

What is Web Hosting?

In simple terms, web hosting is the process of literally hosting your website on a web server so that it can be served to your visitors. Storing your website's important files isn't the only job of your web host. Their job is to also serve those files at a decent speed, whenever someone (a visitor) wants to retrieve those. That's how your website loads in the browser of a visitor. Now, there are several important aspects of a web host's overall service:

  • Performance
  • Uptime
  • Features
  • Customer Support

Though there are several other smaller aspects to look at while choosing a web host, these are the main things you should be looking at while assessing any web host. Fortunately for TechTage readers, all my web hosting reviews already come with detailed performance metrics and my own experience with a host's support department.

Types of Web Hosting​

There are 3 main types of web hosting:

  • Shared Hosting
  • VPS Hosting
  • Dedicated Hosting

In a dedicated hosting setup, the entire server will belong to you and your website(s). You'll have complete administrative control over it.

A VPS is similar, except that you'll get a slice of a dedicated server which you can control according to your wishes, but the main server will still have a few other similar slices (other VPS customers), with each having their own dedicated resources (CPU cores, RAM, etc.).

Shared hosting is the strictest web hosting environment ​of the three, with you pretty much not having any admin-level access to the root server. You also have to share the server with significantly more users than in case of a VPS. Shared hosting is also the most popular type of web hosting due to its affordable and beginner-friendly nature.

The Need for Unbiased Hosting Reviews

So, you either need a new web host, or you're just curious about web hosting in general. Now, if you're searching online (which makes sense because you're looking for a 'web' host, after all), chances are that you'll come across two kinds of websites:

  • Typical "web hosting review" sites that rank web hosts based on how much they get paid by them.
  • Apparently larger, seemingly more legit websites which deceive users by appearing as a trustable brand, but have the same goal, albeit hidden, as thin affiliate sites. These often further deceive users by using a fake persona. 

Though I've been enthusiastic about web hosting for quite a few years now, when I was looking for my first web host, I was a victim of a foul recommendation made by one such site. That host, which I'd bought following the recommendation of a "web hosting review" website, gave me a terrible few weeks with absolutely pathetic performance, terrible uptime, and an almost non-existent or robot-run customer support. This made me realize what a shady space "web hosting reviews" is.

Since I found the first host I liked through an actually useful web hosting forum, I quickly figured what kind of shitty host I was dealing with prior to that one. I went on to review that web host, and it was my first review as an actual customer. Since then, I've tried dozens of web hosts for several sites of my own, sites of my friends, or client sites back when I used to still do SEO consulting.

The fact that I don't review anything that I've not personally tried, even if it's for a brief period, makes my reviews different than most other reviews found on the internet, apart from the ones you tend to find on moderator-vetted user forums like WebHostingTalk. Though I've tried dozens of web hosts so far, I haven't had the time to review many as well, for obvious reasons. I still managed to review quite a few popular names in the web hosting space. You can check out my reviews by browsing the table at the top of this page.