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How to add more value to Whois lookup statistics

How to add more value to Whois lookup statistics 1
GoDaddy should change how it calculates Whois lookups.

Now that GoDaddy has retired its old domain manager, some Website Hosting Review readers have asked how to download Whois counts for their domains.

It turns out that this feature is temporarily unavailable in the new domain manager but should return shortly.

This got me thinking: it would be great if GoDaddy improved its Whois counts during this upgrade process.

If you aren’t familiar with Whois counts, GoDaddy lets you see how many times someone (or something) did a Whois search for domains you own. This is one more metric that might help you value your domains.

Because .com operates on a thin Whois system, your registrar is pinged every time someone does a Whois search for the domain, regardless of where that search is performed. The registrar holds the contact information that Whois returns.

Previously, registrars returned Whois contact information whether a search took place on a web-based form or through Port 43. But GoDaddy no longer provides contact details on Port 43 lookups. This means that anyone doing a Port 43 lookup probably isn’t interested in getting your contract info to contact you. The only place to get your contact info is on the Whois search tool at GoDaddy.com.

With this in mind, going forward I think GoDaddy should only include Whois lookups that took place on the GoDaddy website. This will provide more accurate numbers and reduce the noise.

Additionally, it would be nice to get more data about who is conducting the search. Epik has the model to follow here.

© WebsiteHostingReview.org 2019. This is copyrighted content. Website Hosting Review full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) WebsiteHostingReview.org. Latest domain news at WHR.NEWS: Website Hosting Review.

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GoDaddy reports earnings, domain revenue up nearly 10% from last year

How to add more value to Whois lookup statistics 2
Domain revenue continues upward charge at GoDaddy.

The big news out of GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY) on its Q2 earnings release wasn’t the numbers. It was Scott Wagner stepping down as CEO. He is leaving for health reasons and will be replaced by Aman Bhutani, previously President of Brand Expedia Group.

On the numbers side of things, revenue in Q2 2019 was $737.2 million, up 13.1% year-over-year. Total bookings hit $846.1 million, up 12.2%. The customer base increased by 1.0 million customers.

Domains revenue was $334.4 million, up 9.7% year over year. GoDaddy pulled in $319.6 million from domains in Q1 of this year, so it had a good quarter-over-quarter lift.

Revenue in the company’s hosting/web presence business grew 14% year-over-year and business applications revenue was up 20%.

© WebsiteHostingReview.org 2019. This is copyrighted content. Website Hosting Review full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) WebsiteHostingReview.org. Latest domain news at WHR.NEWS: Website Hosting Review.

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Best Cloud Hosting Providers for Every Pocket

How to add more value to Whois lookup statistics 3
Hey, stranger!

Yes, I’m talking to you.

Look up here, in the clouds.

Didn’t see me there, did ya?

What am I doing here?

Ah, nothing much, just finishing off a review for you.

What’s it all about?

Well, the best cloud hosting providers, of course…with a little twist added.

We often discuss the process of choosing a new host and the many hidden bits to watch out for — handy features, security measures, well-versed support. As important as they all are, oftentimes it boils down to the simplest decision-making factor — cost.

You can find the best provider for your needs, with the most powerful servers and impeccable assistance, but what good does it get you if you cannot afford it?

So the question is:

Should you sacrifice the financial stability of your business overpaying for something you don’t necessarily need at the moment?

Come, join me in the cloud and I will tell you all about it.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is one of the hottest emerging technologies, and for a good reason too.

Imagine your online project was not bound to the confines of a single server machine, solely dependent on its security and performance. Instead, you can scatter your data across a network of secure web servers around the world, making it impervious to single-point breaches.

That’s what the cloud does for you.

I won’t dive into too much detail about how great cloud computing is (which is a lot). We have Website Hosting Review/blog/what-is-cloud-computing/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>this in-depth article to tell you all about it.

Instead, I’d rather jump straight to what you are here for — finding the best cloud hosting your money can buy.

Best Entry-level Cloud Providers

The majority of websites on the Web are low-demanding projects — they only take a couple gigs of space, a steady amount of traffic, and rarely outgrow even the shared environment. Still, the understandable need for room for growth and better security can easily leave you wanting for more.

Cloud computing is a relatively new technology, but that doesn’t mean it always costs a pretty penny. On the contrary, there are some cloud hosting companies which have found a way to cater to smaller projects, allowing them to get a feel of the service at the lowest possible rates.

Here are the best of them:

1. Hostwinds

Strengths  Weaknesses
Wide array of plans Lowest plans a little skimpy
Instant scalability
Knowledgeable support

With nearly a decade in the hosting industry, Hostwinds has proven it is a company set to stay. There isn’t much info to gain from its website, except that the headquarters are in Washington DC, and the provider likes to make guarantees.

Like, a lot of them.

With Hostwinds, you have a 14-day money back, 99.9999% uptime, and 100% satisfaction guarantees. I see how they can back the first two claims, but the last one touches a bit of a gray area.

Oh well, can’t blame a host for utilizing some marketing buzzwords, as long as they are not blatantly lying.

Features

Unlike many other providers which focus on a few fixed plans, Hostwinds makes an effort to support across-the-board cloud hosting services. New and low-scale projects can start on the smallest account (1 CPU, 1GB RAM, 30GB storage) and upgrade as they grow.

The top-level server is a monster of a machine with its 16 CPU cores and 96 GB RAM. That baby can handle even complex enterprise projects without breaking a sweat.

The wide range of supported plans plays a huge part in your scalability opportunities. You can now grow your website steadily and feel safer there is always a more robust option should you need it. As for adding more space, you can hook up an extra container even without upgrading your account.

Support

With Hostwinds you are never on your own — the knowledge base is full of useful guides. What’s more phone and ticketing is 24/7, and the Live Chat frequently pops up to check if you need something.

So I gave it a go.

The operator was quick to answer my questions in an informed way. The rep was not just pushing for a sale – he was actually trying to help me.

There were some unnecessary links here and there when he could’ve just answered with a couple of words, but overall — a pleasant experience.

Price
  • 1 CPU core (from $4.99/mo)
  • 2 CPU cores (from $18.99/mo)
  • 4 CPU cores (from $38.99/mo)
  • 6 CPU cores (from $76.99/mo)
  • 8 CPU cores (from $124.99/mo)
  • 12 CPU cores (from $214.99/mo)
  • 16 CPU cores (from $328.99/mo)

2. DreamHost

Strengths  Weaknesses
Great price Limited in resources
Windows servers No chat or phone support

Best cloud hosting providers - DreamHostWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Dreamhost-300×85.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Dreamhost-768×218.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Dreamhost-1024×291.jpg 1024w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Dreamhost-810×230.jpg 810w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Dreamhost-1140×324.jpg 1140w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Dreamhost-168×48.jpg 168w” sizes=”(max-width: 1183px) 100vw, 1183px”>

Imagine the internet 20 years ago. You’d see a barren wasteland with only a few businesses trying to attract the attention of the handful of people lurking online.

DreamHost was one of those businesses.

The company has been around since 1997 and to this day remains independently-owned, housing over 1.5 million websites for more than 400,000 customers.

Impressive stats, considering the rapid technology evolution, market volatility, and fierce competition.

The company took a strong stance on customer data protection in 2017. The US Department of Justice served the host with a warrant, requiring them to hand over visitor and owner data, related to an anti-Trump campaign website. DreamHost refused to execute the order, went to court, and successfully defended the Fourth Amendment rights of its clients.

Features

DreamHost specializes mostly in shared services, so their cloud web hosting looks more like a complimentary service than a primary revenue source. You’ve got a choice between three packages, and they are fairly limited resource-wise.

The most powerful cloud hosting server comes with 4 CPU cores and 8GB RAM, which will be a mid-range offering at best compared to other providers.

On the bright side, storage is SSD, which makes up for some impressive speed, plus there is no bandwidth cap. You can add more storage blocks without upgrading your account, and they cost relatively cheap, around $10/mo per container.

The provision of my account was one of the fastest I’ve seen for cloud services — mere seconds after payment I was already wandering around my new space in the Web.

Support

This is where things get a bit tricky. If you are well-versed in site building and troubleshooting, you will most probably never need support for something urgent.

Problem is if you are not.

DreamHost is one of the few hosts that don’t make an effort to support many communication channels. You have a tutorial base, forums, ticketing system, and a chatbot. Hardly anything that will provide adequate help in case of emergency.

I tried the chatbot just in case, but I was already sure of the outcome — useful for basic queries, but never when you need an out-of-the-box solution.

I guess you can’t be an affordable cloud hosting provider AND maintain round-the-clock support services. Sad but true.

Price
  • 512MB RAM Server (max $4.50/mo);
  • 2GB RAM Server (max $12/mo);
  • 8GB RAM Server (max $48/mo).

3. HostGator

Strengths  Weaknesses
Unmetered space/bandwidth Appalling support
Nice extra features Dubious reputation

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Here is another hosting behemoth, standing strong so many years later. HostGator was the baby company of Brent Oxley, which sold it in 2012 to tech conglomerate EIG for a reported sum of nearly $300 million.

The early bird gets the worm, and HostGator took full advantage of the quick adoption of web hosting services.

HG remains one of the largest providers, despite a plethora of client horror stories circling the Web for years. Hosting over 8 million domains, the company accounts for an impressive 1% of all online traffic.

HostGator’s loyal fanbase, combined with EIG’s endless cash flow proved a profitable combination. The Web was suddenly flooded with ads, giving you a nudge toward this company with the friendly gator mascot. They were everywhere.

Even today. Go ahead, try it out.

Type “best cloud hosting” in Google. One of the top three results is a sponsored ad by HostGator.

Same goes for pretty much every popular web hosting related search.

Features

The good ole alligator has three distinct cloud plans in store for us.

The smallest one, the Hatchling Cloud, is quite limited — you can only host one domain and up to 2GB of memory. Things are getting better as we move up, but not that much.

Some extra perks come with the higher plans, like a free Dedicated IP and SSL certificate. But looking at things in perspective, the accounts are pretty bare-boned, basically a shared account with a cloud setup.

Storage and bandwidth caps state “Unmetered” which is something you wouldn’t want to put to the test.

My suggestion would be to check with the HostGator support with your exact project needs, but…

Support

I have had many encounters with HG operators over the years, and they have been unsatisfying, to say the least.

The live representatives are rarely of any help, don’t listen to your question, and often reply by pushing links to their knowledge base.

You can also try their ticketing system or toll-free number, but I doubt the assistance will be much better.

Price
  • Hatchling Cloud (from $4.95)*
  • Baby Cloud (from $6.57)*
  • Business Cloud (from $9.95)*

*Prices are available for the initial billing period. Renewal rates are $12.95/mo.

Best Business Cloud Providers

We are now in the middle ground of cloud services. Our project has outgrown its initial confines and amassed a fair amount of popularity in the form of traffic.

Where to from here?

The next three on the list can rightfully claim to be among the best cloud hosting providers on the market right now. Their services don’t come cheap, but when it comes to getting a bang for your buck — you can safely trust one of those choices.

1. Liquid Web

Strengths  Weaknesses
Fully managed service Prices way steeper when paid monthly
Outstanding support
Stable uptime

Best cloud hosting providers - Liquid WebWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Liquid-Web-300×105.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Liquid-Web-768×268.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Liquid-Web-1024×357.jpg 1024w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Liquid-Web-810×282.jpg 810w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Liquid-Web-1140×397.jpg 1140w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Liquid-Web-168×59.jpg 168w” sizes=”(max-width: 1260px) 100vw, 1260px”>

Liquid Web was founded in 1998 and for a long time focused on the shared hosting market. The provider took а sharp turn in 2009 when it was one of the first to adopt and launch their line of cloud servers.

And the team hasn’t looked back ever since.


Liquid Web secured a solid position in the business cloud hosting niche and now proudly hosts over 30,000 customers in over 130 countries.
Website Hosting Review/blog/best-cloud-hosting-providers/&text=Liquid%20Web%20secured%20a%20solid%20position%20in%20the%20business%20cloud%20hosting%20niche%20and%20now%20proudly%20hosts%20over%2030%2C000%20customers%20in%20over%20130%20countries.&related” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Click To Tweet


Here are some more numbers for you.

1+ million websites in 5 global data centers under the care of 500+ hosting professionals.

It sure sounds like this host is doing something right.

Features

If your project is big enough for a business cloud hosting plan, you can no longer go with the bare minimum. Your website is on the right track, but this makes it all the more “fragile” — you have to ensure its constant uptime, stellar performance, and proper security.

Liquid Web seems to think so as well.

On top of the access to their five-star web servers, each account grants you a ton of useful extra features like CDN, DDoS protection, integrated firewall, and advanced security tools.

Speaking of the servers, they are an absolute beauty.

You can find anything between 2 to 8GB RAM and 40 to 200GB SSD storage space. Monthly bandwidth cap maxes at 10TB, which should be more than enough, even for more resource-hogging projects.

Support

2007 was monumental in the Liquid Web history. Their support team got the honorable title “Heroic Support,” and the company wasn’t shy to praise them as the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting™.

So what’s the big deal?

Many providers like to call themselves “the best” in this and that, just the usual marketing shenanigans.

That’s the thing — Liquid Web doesn’t seem to be kidding.

Hands down, one of the best support assistance I’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with. The chat operator was super polite and careful, and he made sure he understood my queries correctly before pointing me out in the right direction.

Certainly no complaints here.

Price
  • 2GB (from $29/mo)*
  • 4GB (from $49/mo)*
  • 8GB (from $69/mo)*
  • 16GB (from $129/mo)*

*Prices apply when prepaid yearly. Monthly prices are double the rate.

2. SiteGround

Strengths  Weaknesses
Full scalability Costly
Top-notch support
Daily backups

Best cloud hosting providers - SiteGroundWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/SiteGround-300×102.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/SiteGround-768×260.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/SiteGround-1024×347.jpg 1024w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/SiteGround-810×274.jpg 810w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/SiteGround-1140×386.jpg 1140w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/SiteGround-168×57.jpg 168w” sizes=”(max-width: 1287px) 100vw, 1287px”>

Here is one inspirational story for the history books. SiteGround started as a few college buddies’ dorm project. They decided to pioneer in an unknown industry in their home country, tiny Bulgaria, expanding SG to one of the largest independently-owned hosting companies today.

This is huge:


400 employees in 4 offices across Europe service over 2 million domain under the SiteGround belt.
Website Hosting Review/blog/best-cloud-hosting-providers/&text=400%20employees%20in%204%20offices%20across%20Europe%20service%20over%202%20million%20domain%20under%20the%20SiteGround%20belt.&related” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Click To Tweet


The host won numerous local awards for Best Employer, and the attitude toward its staff seem to directly reflect on their customer satisfaction.

SiteGround has a whole department dedicated to innovations, so it was no surprise it was quick to adopt cloud computing technology right from the get-go.

Features

When it comes to setting up a fully optimized cloud environment, few can do better than SiteGround. Its stack includes CentOS, Apache/Nginx, PHP/MySQL support, and that’s only scratching the surface.

SG is perhaps the most scalable company in this cloud hosting comparison. You can add not only more storage space but also tweak your RAM and CPU. The unique auto-scale option lets the system add more resources in times of unexpected traffic spikes, avoiding downtimes in the process.

The freebies with each account make the deal even sweeter — CDN, SSL certificates, dedicated IP, even a private DNS. These perks alone can cost you a pretty penny with lots of other providers.

Speaking of pennies:

That is one of SiteGround’s few “flaws.” You can’t put so many options and efforts to support a grade-A service, only to offer it for peanuts.

Quality comes at a price, and that price is at least $72/mo with SG.

Support

When you are happy at your workplace and do your job with passion, the results will inevitably come.
Website Hosting Review/blog/best-cloud-hosting-providers/&text=When%20you%20are%20happy%20at%20your%20workplace%20and%20do%20your%20job%20with%20passion%2C%20the%20results%20will%20inevitably%20come.&related” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Click To Tweet


This mantra finds good proof with the SiteGround support team. You can tell you will be dealing with someone exceptional from the first few lines in the live chat. It’s more like having a conversation with a tech-savvy friend instead of trying to figure out things with someone who doesn’t seem to know much more than you do.

Tried the ticketing as well, and the results came back within minutes — same effectiveness and attention to detail.

The final result?

I was absolutely delighted with the support communication and firmly back SiteGround as one of the best cloud hosting providers.

Price
  • Entry (from $72/mo)
  • Business (from $107/mo)
  • Business Plus (from $143/mo)
  • Super Power (from $215/mo)

3. 1&1 IONOS

Strengths  Weaknesses
Affordable Host a single domain
Feature-rich accounts No live chat assistance

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The German provider to outlive them all.

If you think it’s hard to run a profitable hosting business for 20 years, imagine doing it for over three decades. Because that’s exactly what the 1&1 team has been doing since 1988.


2018 was monumental for the German host when a merge with ProfitBricks marked a new era in their chronicles — a complete rebrand and a fresh name — 1&1 IONOS.
Website Hosting Review/blog/best-cloud-hosting-providers/&text=2018%20was%20monumental%20for%20the%20German%20host%20when%20a%20merge%20with%20ProfitBricks%20marked%20a%20new%20era%20in%20their%20chronicles%20%E2%80%94%20a%20complete%20rebrand%20and%20a%20fresh%20name%20%E2%80%94%201%261%20IONOS.&related” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Click To Tweet


Datacenters on two continents (Europe and North America) and 7,000 people tirelessly working to push the company forward — no wonder 1&1 is still one of the biggest providers on the market.

Features

Looking at the four cloud package deals, you will notice a couple of things.

For starters, they all look relatively cheap. That’s great, especially if you are on a tight budget. Getting a business-level account at the price of $25-$35/mo sure sounds like something you can’t easily pass on.

But when you consider what you’re getting for your money (i.e., not much) things quickly start falling into place.

The most expensive 1&1 IONOS cloud hosting package starts with only 4CPU cores and 6GB RAM — a configuration that would be considered mid-level with most niche competitors. Default SSD storage space is on the low-side as well — only 160GB with the highest plan.

I admire one thing, though — all four offers have nearly the same toolset included; they differ mostly in the amount of allocated system resources.

Support

1&1 IONOS cloud deals have a rare feat — a personal assistant for your needs. That bears a ton of benefits — establishing a relationship with someone who knows your case quite well and can react on the spot can be a game changer.

You can activate the personal assistant option at any time and even request callbacks in a time of your convenience.

The only real downside for me is the lack of live chat, which can work much better than a phone call for international clients.

Price
  • Managed Cloud Hosting M (from $15/mo)
  • Managed Cloud Hosting L (from $25/mo)
  • Managed Cloud Hosting XL (from $35/mo)
  • Managed Cloud Hosting XXL (from $65/mo)

Best Enterprise Hosting Providers

We have entered the zone where the big boys play. Money is rarely a concern for those in need of enterprise cloud services, as long as their project gets the optimized environment it needs.

That’s not exactly as simple as it sounds.

Many enterprise projects include a complex configuration that can only run smoothly in a specific environment. Ensuring a healthy climate is one of the prime targets of hosts in this niche.

The big trio here won’t surprise you — these providers Website Hosting Review/blog/cloud-computing-statistics/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>account for 57% of the whole cloud market and represent some of the biggest tech giants of our time.

1. Amazon AWS

Strengths  Weaknesses
Vast array of resources High learning curve
Wide selection of APIs
Free trial

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Amazon AWS is one of the most profitable subsidiaries of the tech mogul and a prime reason why Jeff Bezos is now the world’s richest man.

The company first entered the market in 2006 and took it by storm, registering an annual revenue of over $20 billion in the last few years. Though the gap between AWS and Microsoft Azure is tightening, Amazon’s service still reigns supreme over the public cloud market, with 68% adoption.

Features

Most AWS servers are Windows-based, but the provider offers Linux cloud hosting configurations.

There aren’t any distinct plans with set resources, as each client gets a fully customized experience right from the start. That can be a little confusing for the novice user, but at this level, you most probably have another professional handling this side of things.

That’s the kicker — if you know what you’re doing, we are talking about endless modification possibilities.

To make things even sweeter, Amazon AWS has a special cloud tier, where you can use the service for a whole year without paying a dime. After the trial period is over, you can either choose to continue on a paid plan or cancel the account.

That easily puts even shared hosting free trials to shame.

Support

The level of assistance with AWS is exactly as stellar as you would expect from a company like Amazon. The staff clearly know what they are doing and ready to address every issue with the needed care.

That is if you can get a hold of them…

Forget about live chats and phone support — you can either send AWS an email or work your way around the extensive knowledge base and video guides.

You want better assistance? Sure, but better bring that checkbook out.

Price

Providers at this level don’t put a fixed rate on their cloud hosting solutions, due to their advanced customizability. What I do know about Amazon AWS is they have three billing models – “pay-as-you-go,” “save-when-you-reserve,” and “pay-less-using-more.”

The AWS support team is the one with more details on how each of those works.

2. Microsoft Azure

Strengths  Weaknesses
Windows-friendly Steep learning curve
Great for startups
Easy scalability

Best cloud hosting providers - Microsoft AzureWebsite Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Microsoft-Azure-300×81.jpg 300w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Microsoft-Azure-768×208.jpg 768w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Microsoft-Azure-1024×277.jpg 1024w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Microsoft-Azure-810×219.jpg 810w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Microsoft-Azure-1140×309.jpg 1140w, https://Website Hosting Review/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Microsoft-Azure-168×46.jpg 168w” sizes=”(max-width: 1307px) 100vw, 1307px”>

A few years after Amazon AWS’s success, Microsoft was quick to join them in the cloud game.

Enter MS Azure.


The Microsoft platform covers over 600 services in 13 distinct areas of cloud computing. Azure might still be second to AWS, but recently touts higher adoption rates than the industry leader.
Website Hosting Review/blog/best-cloud-hosting-providers/&text=The%20Microsoft%20platform%20covers%20over%20600%20services%20in%2013%20distinct%20areas%20of%20cloud%20computing.%20Azure%20might%20still%20be%20second%20to%20AWS%2C%20but%20recently%20touts%20higher%20adoption%20rates%20than%20the%20industry%20leader.&related” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Click To Tweet


16.8% of the market in less than a decade? Sounds like the provider is doing something right.

Features

Azure supports Linux, but let’s be honest — this is Microsoft, so services will always have a strong focus on Windows. The web servers can run Java, Python, and NodeJS, as well as MySQL databases.

Azure accounts scale quick and easy, giving you enough customization options to refine things as per your liking.

The cloud provider gives you everything you need to build, test, deploy, and manage your web projects. You can also make yourself feel like a tech god by connecting your devices through the IoT hub (Website Hosting Review/blog/how-fast-is-technology-growing/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>more about “Internet of Things” here).

The best thing?

Just as with AWS, you can enjoy an Azure platform completely free of charge for the initial 12 months.

Support

You can’t be one of the best cloud hosting companies without providing exceptional support to back your clients.

Microsoft knows that for sure.

So does it apply this lesson to its public cloud services?

The live chat option is still missing, but at least MS offers round-the-clock phone operators and ticketing system. The community forums and support center are a useful solution to the most common queries.

Additionally, you can opt-in for paid assistance to maximize your public cloud experience.

Price

The cost of enterprise-level accounts greatly varies depending on the chosen setup, but from what I’ve gathered Azure offers very affordable entry-level plans. These basic configurations can go as low as $30/mo, but they’ll grant you just enough resources to start a relatively small project.

3. Google Cloud

Strengths  Weaknesses
Per-second billing Costly service
Global private networks
Multitude of user-friendly apps

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You don’t really need a history lesson about Google, do you?

The household name for internet searches has been dipping its toes in practically everything — from machine learning to multimedia and from AI to self-driving cars. Sure, not all of their projects were a booming success (R.I.P. Google Plus), but those are just the kind of failures that make you grow and improve.

When G+ came out, it was already late to the party, and the company certainly learned from its mistakes. The Google Cloud platform came to be in early 2008, back when the technology was just emerging.

The result?

Over 4 million paying customers and an 8% market share. Trusted by giants like Twitter, Paypal, 20th Century Fox, and Bloomberg.

A sure sign that big enterprises can find a suitable home here.

Features

It’s safe to say you’ve got your bases covered here. I mean, this is Google, after all — of course, they have an app for everything.

Developers love the multi-layered infrastructure, which allows them to stage, test, and deploy their web projects safely. The toolset is also impressive — Compute Engine, App Engine, Cloud Storage, and Big Query are just a few of the crowd favorites.

Google Cloud Platform is ready to help with a variety of industry-level solutions as well. Whether you are in Healthcare, Education, or Retail — Big G has got you covered.

Support

Unlike the other top cloud hosting providers in the enterprise niche, Google Cloud has a pretty comprehensive support structure in place.

You have the Basic level, which is free, but operators can help with Billing issues only. It is available via phone, chat, and ticket.

Adding some technical assistance and quicker response time will take you into the Role-Based support solutions, which comes at a couple of hundred bucks a month.

On the Enterprise level, things are kicking into high gear — 24/7 help with 15-minute response time plus additional perks, like reviews and strategy roadmaps. You can expect at least a few thousand bucks added to your monthly bill here.

Price

As with AWS and Azure, it’s hard to define an exact package price for the Google Cloud services. Entry-level packages start at around $45, but you can also take advantage of a 1-year free trial (up to $300 credit).

Conclusion

This is where our journey ends today. This review should give you a pretty good idea of how cloud computing can boost your online project and what would be the most suitable places to start.

At the very least, the next time someone mentions “cloud technology” in a conversation you can join in instead of looking at the sky in bewilderment.

Let’s recap our findings:

-=Best Entry-level Cloud Providers=-

  1. Hostwinds
  2. DreamHost
  3. HostGator

-=Best Business Cloud Providers=-

  1. Liquid Web
  2. SiteGround
  3. 1&1 IONOS

-=Best Enterprise Cloud Providers=-

  1. Amazon AWS
  2. Microsoft Azure
  3. Google Cloud

Ready for blast-off? See you up here!

FAQ

Q: Which website hosting service is the best?

A: There is no such thing as best in the hosting business. The market is buzzing with providers, each trying to find their niche and unique characteristics. The proper way to find a host would be to determine the scale of your project and then go hunting with specific requirements in mind.

Q: What services can be hosted in the cloud?

A: Whether it’s a cloud-native or hosted application, there isn’t any limitation to what you can accommodate in the cloud. The term refers to an infrastructural method, so as long as your project is compatible with the environment — you are free to host it in the cloud.

Q: What is the best cloud storage for small business owners?

A: Entry-level cloud hosting is the right niche to start with, provided you don’t have huge space requirements. HostGator supports Unmetered capacity on all plans, and Hostwinds offers deals for up to 750GB SSD storage. All of the best cloud hosting providers on our list can be scaled space-wise without the need to upgrade.  

 

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The 8 Best WordPress Hosting Platforms

WordPress is a stunning platform. There is no denying that.

But how do you make the most out of it? Good theme and quality plugins are nice to have, but it is the quality of the host that makes the real difference.

That’s why I paid for, tested and re-tested the best WordPress hosting providers, and created this list of the top managed WP services you can find in 2019.

Here, at a glance you can see:

  • Speed
  • Uptime
  • Support
  • Price
  • Features

As is customary on Website Hosting Review/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Website Hosting Review, I purchased (managed and unmanaged) WordPress packages from popular web hosting companies and hooked them up to extensive monitoring to deliver the most representable and objective results possible.

The hard data collected through four separate performance tests and an additional uptime monitor will help you navigate among the multitude of WP hosts and choose the fastest and most reliable option.

The Best WordPress Hosting for 2019

1. InMotion Hosting Managed WordPress

Best WordPress hosting solution overall

Frontend speed: 0.68s

Backend speed: 0.71s

Uptime: 99.96%

Support: 9/10

Price: From $7.95

InMotion Hosting is one of the most versatile independent web hosting providers. I’ve been monitoring its biggest shared hosting plan for nearly a year now and I must say that its performance has been nothing short of spectacular.

It clocks incredible speeds, both frontend and backend, and is up for 99.94% of the time.

InMotion is a hosting provider with excellent technical support and with, hands down, the best knowledge base around.

Something that sets InMotion apart of the competition is the wide variety of managed WordPress solutions, which makes it suitable for mostly any pocket. The company has six different packages, which scale up nicely.

The plans start at $7.95 (when prepaid) and all of them besides the smallest one come with Jetpack Premium. On top of that, four out of the six offerings include advanced caching pool, which speeds things up considerably.

Another unique feature is the BoldGrid website builder. I admit, my exposure to it is relatively limited, but from fiddling around it looks functional and super easy to use. It works within the WordPress framework and eases up the process of website creation manifold.

BoldGrid is not a perfect solution, but it can help you learn the basic or, if you are beyond that point, craft a website very quickly. InMotion Hosting continues to improve its WordPress site building tool.

Pros
  • Stellar performance
  • Superb support
  • A wide variety of plans
  • Advanced features
  • 90-day money back guarantee
  • Proprietary website builder that works on top of WP

Cons

  • The two smallest plans feel a bit limited

2. WP Engine

Best managed WordPress hosting

Frontend speed: 0.63s

Backend speed: 0.11s

Uptime: 99.99%

Support: 10/10

Price: From $35

If money were not an issue, WP Engine would easily top any list of the best and fastest WordPress hosting solutions. 

The company caters exclusively after WordPress sites. Its service is tailored with precision to make the CMS work to perfection.

The support team are very well-versed in all things WordPress as well.

All this spells two things: sublime performance and impeccable uptime. Seriously, this is a perfectly tuned premium WordPress platform.

However, such highly-calibrated service has a couple of drawbacks. One stems from the fact that money often matters a lot. For $35 per month, you can get a single site hosted over the WP Engine and that makes the service rather inadequate for people who are just starting.

Webmasters whose sites are growing also could find a reason to complain from the pricing policy of the company as WP Engine limits the number of monthly visitors per plan. To cut a long story short, this is an awesome service that costs some top dollar.

Another thing that may be a drawback for some is the company’s list of banned plugins. Quite a few WP extensions cannot be installed on WP Engine. The WP Engine team have plenty of reasons to deny some popular add-ons and there are alternatives, of course, but if you are used to a certain setup you might need to learn new tricks over at WP Engine.

All the same, WP Engine has probably the best WordPress hosting package money can buy. Only that it requires a lot of money, indeed.

Pros

  • Unmatched performance
  • Knowledgeable support
  • Staging environment

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Plans limit monthly visitors
  • No email service

3. SiteGround

Best for entry level

Frontend speed: 0.68s

Backend speed: 0.18s

Uptime: 99.99%

Support: 10/10

Price: From $3.95

SiteGround is an official WP host.

I could leave this brief evaluation of the company’s worth at that, but the truth is that there are two other official hosts (both are listed below) and they don’t fare equally well.

SiteGround combines superb performance with affordable price and arguably the best support team in the hosting industry.

The latter is particularly impressive because the customer support maintains consistently high levels of customer satisfaction throughout the years. They were some of the best when SiteGround had below 500,000 customers and continue to excel now when the company serves over 2 million users.

Now, SiteGround doesn’t have dedicated WordPress plans per se but every shared plan is optimized to work well with the popular CMS. WordPress users benefit greatly from the proprietary WP caching plugin, which does its job perfectly.

The extremely well-designed server architecture of the company delivers consistently high speeds and uptime. I tested extensively the backend of my WordPress site hosted over at SiteGround and the results are marginally slower than those boasted by WP Engine. The introductory price is about a tenth, though.

Granted, on the frontend SiteGround is marginally slower, but the displayed speeds are still well-within the loading speed limits recommended by Google.

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • The best support
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Relatively high renewal fees

4. Bluehost Managed WordPress

Best for multiple sites

Frontend speed: 0.68s

Backend speed: 0.60s

Uptime: 99.99%

Support: 8/10

Price: From $17.83

Bluehost is rallying up. The company is another official WordPress host, but it underwent a serious slump since EIG took over (no surprise there).

The surprise is that it improves steadily over the last couple of years. I had the chance to Website Hosting Review/reviews/bluehost/”>review Bluehost on several occasions and every time the services offered and provided are climbing up a notch.

Currently, the fully managed WordPress hosting Bluehost has tailored is quite impressive. All three plans come with unlimited sites, unlimited domains, no bandwidth restrictions, and more. (Granted, nothing is truly unlimited on a web server, but unlimited is certainly more than one, which is what many managed WP basic plans offer.)

It feels a bit like shared hosting on steroids and performs accordingly. It clocks in very quick loading times and stays online with impressive consistency.

Throw in the mix the vast array of features and you have an impressive WordPress hosting package. Is it the best one available? Not quite.

Albeit improving, the Bluehost support team still have plenty of room for growth.

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Very generous plans
  • Plenty of add-ons and perks

Cons

  • Not the most affordable if you wish to host a single site
  • Support could be better

5. A2 Managed WordPress

Best value for money

Frontend speed: 0.77s

Backend speed: 0.71s

Uptime: 99.98%

Support: 9/10

Price: From  €10.59

Friendly and geeky, A2 is a very sympathetic web hosting provider. A relatively small company with a very large portfolio of services, A2 offers a well-crafted managed package that deserves a rightful place among the leading WordPress web hosting providers.

As is the case with all A2 hosting plans, you can find a wide array of features, including perks like lazy loading images, built-in caching, and a money back guarantee that never ends. The latter, in particular, is rarely seen today, regardless of the size of the host.

One thing you should note is that many hosts that don’t have a dedicated WP package often slap the term “WordPress hosting” to their shared hosting plans to lure in new customers. A2 Hosting does the same, to an extent.

When you go to the WP hosting page of the company you see the three standard shared hosting plans and the managed solutions.

The managed plans are largely the same as the Turbo plan but have a Jetpack Personal as addition, and site staging. Nice touch.

Only that this “free” WordPress perk is not really free because the managed plans cost more than the Turbo plan.

Do you get better performance? I’d say it is roughly the same; after all, the shared plans A2 Hosting has to offer are optimized for WP too.

Overall, A2 has a well-designed package that is set up for optimal performance with minimum fuss.

The support is super good too.

Just don’t go for the more expensive options unless you really like Jetpack and can’t do without easy site staging.

Pros

  • Decent performance
  • Relatively low initial fees
  • Anytime money back guarantee
  • Great support

Cons

  • High renewal fees

6. DreamHost Managed WordPress

Good value for money for a single site

Frontend Speed: 0.61s

Backend Speed: 0.30s

Uptime: 100%

Support: 9/10

Price: From $16.95

DreamHost is the third official WordPress hosting provider. Its DreamPress solution resembles a lot WP Engine’s – suits a small number of sites, promises great performance, and comes with a premium, WP-specialized support.

Granted, the price over at DreamHost is about half, but the speed is not on par either, so you get what you pay for. DreamPress is fast but not as fast as WP Engine.

On the other hand, the uptime is impeccable and the support is quite good.

DreamHost likes to do things in its own ways, as evident by the custom control panel. It is quite functional and well-structured, but it is not cPanel so be prepared for a small learning curve.

DreamPress is a great value for money for those who have an established WordPress site and want to take it to the next level.

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Relatively affordable
  • Excellent support

Cons

  • All plans allow only a single website
  • Speed could be slightly better

7. FastComet

Very affordable

Frontend speed: 1.01s

Backend speed: 1.18s

Uptime: 99.99%

Support: 9/10

Price: From $2.95

FastComet is fast but not the fastest WordPress host out there. All the same, the performance of WordPress on its servers is not bad at all.

Its relatively good speed is backed up by excellent uptime and very strong support team that create a rather pleasant hosting experience.

I probed them on several occasions and they were always quick to answer and willing to help. More importantly, they were honest, admitting when they were uncertain of the answer. This happened on two occasions and both times the support agents verified the information in less than two minutes.

It must be said that FastComet doesn’t offer a truly managed WordPress solution. Instead, it adds WP optimizations to the shared plans so that WP users can benefit from advanced security, constant monitoring, and dedicated WordPress support team too.

Throw in the insanely low price – the lowest on the list – and you can get yourself a very decent service with minimal expenses.

FastComet is a cheap WordPress hosting provider that packs a serious punch.

Pros

  • Great uptime
  • Very affordable
  • Excellent support

Cons

  • All plans allow only a single website
  • Speed could be better

8. HostGator WordPress Cloud Hosting

Very affordable for 3 sites

Frontend speed: 0.89s

Backend speed: 7.93s

Uptime: 99.99%

Support: 7/10

Price: From $5.95

HostGatorWebsite Hosting Review/reviews/hostgator/”> hasn’t been so impressive overall but its WordPress platform has its merits. The greatest advantage is that if you want to host 3 WP sites you could do so for only $9.95/mo if you prepay.

Additional features like SiteLock and CodeGuard round up a rather good offer.

HostGator clocks in decent times and maintains a very high uptime too, which is always nice to see. Still, the backend remains questionable. I’ve tested the standard shared plans and the Website Hosting Review/reviews/hostgator/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>HostGator Cloud, in both instances the backend struggles with more than 30 concurrent users.

Speaking of the HostGator Cloud, it must be said that the company’s WordPress offering is the very same thing. It is just marketed differently.

Were it not for the mediocre support HostGator could have a real chance to qualify among the best WordPress hosts.

Pros

  • Decent performance
  • Relatively affordable
  • Interesting add-ons

Cons

  • Support could be better
  • Backend speed could be better

There you have ‘em – the best WordPress hosting providers of 2019.

Here’s what factors I considered when ranking them.

Ranking Process for the Best WordPress Hosts

I’ve been monitoring these WordPress hosting providers for a while now.

Let me tell you, sorting them out in a meaningful and just ranking is not an easy task. All entries on the list have their merits that stretch beyond the benchmark tests.

Still, reliable and swift performance, together with quality support, are things that are universally appreciated online, by webmasters, end users, and search engines alike.

I applied the ranking methodology I use for my shared hosting reviews:

  1. I study the web hosting provider – I examine the site of each hosting company I review to see how informative it is. Among other things, I study the way hosting solutions are described and offered, as misleading marketing is a common practice in the industry. Closer examination often uncovers hidden fees and other unsavory surprises. Transparent and fair terms of service factor in, as well as some meta-analysis of the overall reputation of the host under scrutiny. Being years in the loop I am fairly familiar with the hosting providers, but that doesn’t stop me from ready user reviews and discussions on Reddit.
  2. I sign up – I signed up anonymously for all hosting companies listed here. This is the only way to test properly their services, check out the customer area, billing practices, and the overall ease of doing business with each web host.
  3. I examine the control panelcPanel may be the most popular control panel, but it is not the only one. Companies like DreamHost and WP Engine have proprietary solutions. And even when it comes to cPanel, different hosts set it up in various ways, enabling certain features, disabling others, and creating custom themes that make it feel alien at first. Of course, the interface is not the only thing that matters. Speed and responsiveness play a major role too, as dealing with sluggish control panels makes site management a real pain.
  4. I set up a WP siteI set up a small WordPress site and begin monitoring its uptime and speed. Unlike in the shared web hosting reviews here on Website Hosting Review, I won’t be posting detailed monthly statistics. The format of this page doesn’t allow for that much information but I will still keep up the average speed and uptime on display.
  5. I torment the technical support teamI come up with questions throughout the previous steps of the review process and don’t hesitate to bother whomever I can. More often than not, the hapless lasses and lads who get the dubious pleasure of answering my queries belong to the technical support team, even though sales and billing agents also get a chance to shine. However, since we are talking about the best WordPress hosting solutions, I ask more technically challenging questions to see whether the support know the CMS.
  6. Final evaluation and report At the end, after checking pricing policies, special features, ease of use, support, and performance I craft my data-driven reviews. For the time being, they are relatively short, but if you are interested I can expand them into fully-fledged detailed WordPress hosting reviews. Just drop me a line below.

My list of the best WordPress hosting providers is updated on a regular basis.

However, if you want to choose a WordPress hosting service that is not on the list, here’s what you should look for.

What Is WordPress Hosting?

Different hosts tailor different WordPress solutions, but a managed WP hosting package must do one thing: update the WordPress installation.

Another thing most managed hosts do is install the CMS for you, once your account with them is activated and a domain name is associated with it.

Now, updating the core WordPress installation might not sound like much but over time it saves a lot of time and increases the security.

Also, keep in mind that these automatic updates are the most basic characteristic, the common denominator of a managed solution.

Some of the best WordPress hosts create the perfect conditions for WP sites to thrive by optimizing the server environment and handpicking the right plugins for their setup.

How to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting Platform

Now, benchmarks, uptime, support, and features are all nice and dandy, but they can be rather meaningless without adequate context.

Proper context is something only you can create. 

Bear with me for a second.

The decision to make a list of the 8 best WordPress hosts was arbitrary. It could have easily been top 20 or top 30. There are many hosting providers with managed WP products. In turn, there are many products because there are countless clients with vastly different needs.

Indeed, mostly everyone wants good speed and 100% uptime that are backed up by courteous and helpful support teams and cost pennies.

Alas, such combo is almost impossible to find. I mean, SiteGround largely fits that bill, but its hosting packages come with limited space and lack some advanced WordPress features. InMotion Hosting, on the other hand, has a wide variety of plans that cover all bases but they cost more.

Do you see where I am going?

As is always the case with hosting packages, you must come up with a list of criteria before actually selecting a host.

If you are looking for a WordPress hosting comparison without any scope in mind, you are very likely to make a suboptimal choice.

The good news is that you probably already have a website, which simplifies things to a degree. Because of its steeper-than-average price managed WP hosting is rarely the best option for brand new sites.

(Indeed, there are free WordPress hosting platforms, but I wouldn’t recommend them for anything other than staging and testing.)

In a nutshell, if you have a WP website that performs well enough to need an upgrade:

  • Check the analytic tools you have and use the data to determine what hosting package suits you best. Pay particular attention to the traffic, its growth trends, and whether it spikes up in certain periods.
  • Consult a web designer if you can – or read plugin documentation carefully – to see what advanced features might be needed to make your site purr.
  • Study the web hosts on the list above to see what dedicated resources they promise with each plan.
  • Read a Reddit discussion or two about WordPress hosting solutions. If Reddit is to libertarian for your tastes, check out sites like TrustPilot for user reviews.
  • Consider your budget.

Is Managed WordPress Hosting Suitable for Brand New Sites?

Typically, the cost of WordPress hosting exceeds that of the run of the mill shared hosting plans. That’s often cited as the main reason why such solutions are not the best choice for brand new webmasters.

There are two caveats to this argument. First off, some of the WordPress hosting offerings cost roughly the same as shared packages. A2 and SiteGround are prime examples of this.

Second, dedicated WP hosting packages are an investment. They may cost more but in turn provide greater convenience, security, performance, and technical expertise. These four factors are worth considering.

All managed WordPress solutions update the core WP installation automatically, which saves time and reduces security risks. The vast majority of core updates address security issues and having your site patched automatically is always nice. And while a single WordPress update rarely takes more than a few minutes, time accumulates quickly.

Early on in the lifecycle of a website performance doesn’t really matter. New sites are relatively small and don’t have any meaningful influx of visitors. But when things begin moving upward performance is all that matters. Users are notoriously impatient and sluggish web pages are the strongest deterrent of online success.

Here the increased technical expertise also figures as a knowledgeable support team can prevent issues proactively and resolve problems quickly.

The last two factors can be a real blessing and help a website flourish faster than average.

Still, I wouldn’t recommend managed WordPress hosting is not the best for absolute beginners. People who are running their very first site have plenty to learn and would be better off learning the basics with a regular shared packaged.

However, webmasters who know what it takes to run a site could benefit from the added value quality WordPress solutions provide.

Instead of Goodbye…

If you are yet to decide which WordPress package is the best for you, make sure to check my ranking again soon. I will keep on adding managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting providers.

Also, keep in mind that my test sites are without any optimizations. Once you create a site and install the necessary caching plugins and image optimizers, setup CDN, and enable GZIP you are very are likely to see a positive change in performance and sheer speed output.

In any case, I hope my ranking of the best WordPress hosting solutions has given you some direction where to search and what to look for.

FAQ

Q: Which hosting is best for WordPress – Linux or Windows?

A: Linux, definitely. Linux is the natural environment of WP. Just a few years ago WordPress on Windows was not even a remote possibility. Today, Windows servers have come a long way and can handle PHP and MySQL remarkably well, given the historical context. Still, as far as WordPress is concerned, they are not Linux.

Q: What is the best way to choose a WordPress host?

A: Consider your needs and choose accordingly. That’s the best answer I can give you as it depends largely on your personal and/or business needs. Of course, read reviews such as ours, sign up for a bit if you have the time (most host give generous money back guarantees), test for yourself, and see what you like and what not. But, first of all, consider what you are looking for and how much you are willing to pay in the long run. Website hosting, WordPress or not, is not a short-term game.

Q: Do you have to pay for hosting with WordPress?

A: You don’t if you don’t want to. See, WordPress comes in two flavors: the hosted WordPress.com and the self-hosted WordPress CMS that can be downloaded from WordPress.org. In both cases, you can go for free hosting but free hosting solutions, whatever they may be, are limiting. Usually, very much so. The WordPress.com hosting platform allows you to have a site without paying a dime, but the functionality is restricted and so are the monetization options. You can also install the WordPress CMS on a free web hosting provider but you are likely to get no real-time technical support and relatively poor uptime and loading speed.

Q: Can you set up WordPress without a host?

A: Yes, you can set up WordPress without a host or internet connection, for that matter. Setting up the CMS on your local machine is a thing, indeed. It can serve several purposes, one of which is learning the basics without paying for hosting (even though free hosting could do the same). Depending on the OS you are using, you might need these instructions for Mac or these guidelines if you are running Windows 10. Ubuntu users might find these commands helpful.

Q: Which hosting service is best for WordPress?

A: WP Engine is the fastest and most secure managed WordPress hosting provider. But that’s almost like saying the Lamborghini is the fastest and most comfortable car. It probably is but it is an unrealistic choice for the majority of people. WP Engine performs stunningly, but it costs accordingly. That’s why I put InMotion Hosting on the top of my list as it combines speed, reliability, and price in a more reasonable manner. Otherwise, if money is not an issue (and won’t be several years down the road), WP Engine is a prime choice that outperforms any other entry in my list of the best WordPress hosting providers.

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