Choosing good web hosting

min read

When it comes to security, choosing a good web host is 90% of the battle. The old saying, you get what you pay for, has never been more true.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the various types of hosting and what to look for when choosing a good web host and then we’ll wrap things up with our recommendations of reputable and reliable hosts.

The first step in choosing a good host is determining your needs.

Shared Hosting

The first, most ubiquitous type of hosting is referred to as shared hosting. With shared hosting, you get lower-cost but greater risk because typically multiple sites are hosted on the same server.

Sure, you get the most commonly required features, such as PHP, MySQL, and so forth, but you have limited flexibility and control. Basically shared hosting is best for blogs and smaller websites.

Blogs and lower traffic sites are probably fine with shared hosting.

VPS Hosting

And then there’s VPS hosting which generally costs more than shared hosting, but there’s less risk because each site or account is hosted in its own virtual container.

Virtual hosting typically provides root access and greater control and there are more flexibility and better performance than shared hosting.

In general, VPS is good for larger sites where more control is desired. Larger sites, needing more control and better performance should look at VPS hosting.

Dedicated Hosting

Next up the ladder is dedicated hosting which provides complete control over the web server and the entire server is dedicated to your websites.

Of course, this means it’s more expensive than other options, plus it requires a solid understanding of server software.

Dedicated hosting is best for larger sites with custom builds. Sites that want full control over everything should check out Dedicated.

Cloud Hosting

Last but not least, there’s cloud hosting. Cloud hosting is nice because it is infinitely scalable and typically costs must less than other hosting options.

It does, however, require a good understanding of cloud software and is ideal for sites with lots of traffic or traffic spikes.

Sites handling massive traffic spikes and surges for less cost should look at Cloud hosting.

How to choose?

Next, there are several important things to look for when choosing a good host. First and foremost, consider the host’s reputation, then make sure it supports all your requirements.

Look for hosts that run current versions of key software, and especially for beginners, solid 24/7 support as a must.

Other things to look for include good documentation, and of course, the terms like cost, limits, fees, and so forth.

There are myriad technical details that should be considered. Consider managed versus unmanaged hosting.

Check out the available resources such as RAM, CPU, storage, and so on.

Check for free SSL support, check for HTTP 1.1 support or even better, HTTP 2.0, make sure SFTP is supported for secure file transfers.

You may also want to check for full root access to the server if it’s needed and don’t forget to check the control panel. Is it cPanel or Plesk or something else?

To compare the hosting types a handy table…

VPS Hosting
Shared Hosting
Dedicated Hosting
Cloud Hosting

Installing your own OS (Operating System)

Unlimited bandwidth

Dedicated storage

Scalable RAM

Powerful CPU




Often Cheap or easy to get started with simpler interface


Unique IP

Enhanced performance

Installing your own OS (Operating System)

Huge Traffic volume on a daily basis

Managing lots of financial transactions

Your site needs custom software

Do your research

A good way to get the scoop on a potential web host is to hit the search engines.

Google around for stuff like ‘webhostname‘ review, ‘webhostname‘ downtime, ‘webhostname‘ WordPress, and so forth until you get an idea based on actual user feedback.

As you search, look for hosting forums where real people are sharing their experiences. You can learn much about a host by reading the good and bad experiences of others.

Be aware though, a lot of so-called hosting reviews are nothing more than paid endorsements and advertisements.

Also, check out review forums such as With a little time and research, you should be able to dial in some trustworthy, authentic sources of information to help you find the best host for your needs.

Our recommendations

As we work online, we maintain a web host shortlist, a go-to collection of hosting services that we found to be pretty great and worth checking out.

First up are the WordPress specific hosts such as Kinsta, Pagely, Presslabs, WP Engine, and WordPress VIP.

Of course, managed WordPress hosting tends to be more expensive with varying degrees of support so do your research and ask for deals.

Most of these guys will pretty much fight for your business. Then there is general web hosting which is great for standard website builds (HTML, CSS, etc.) without being limited to WordPress.

At Blueocto, we’ve worked with many hosts, we do prefer shared hosting from and cloud hosting from Digital Ocean. If in the United States, we like Dreamhost.

These hosts vary in terms of cost, types of hosting, support, and other details. They’re all solid, reputable hosts that you may want to check out.

And of course, there are some great cloud hosting services out there including Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.

Cloud hosting tends to be more cost-effective with unit-based pricing by the gigabyte. In most cases with Cloud, you get unmanaged hosting with a forum or ticket-based support at best so be advised.

One more thing: keep in mind that prices and other details shown in this article are subject to change.

This is just a snapshot summary to get you going in the right direction. We’ve explored the different types of web hosting and what to look for when choosing a quality, an affordable web host.

Once you know what you’re looking for, this information will help you find the best possible host for your site.

Caroline Hagan

Caroline brings over 15 years as a Designer and Developer; featured in .NET magazine, the only woman in the UK accredited for Google Mobile Sites. A business mentor with Enterprise Nation, STEM Ambassador and Google Women Techmaker Ambassador Previous client projects include Blackberry, FIAT, Clark Shoes and Sky.

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