How To Compare Web Hosting Services – A Newbie Guide

So, you have made the decision to get start your own website and are excited about how it will look!

Thinking about what colors, deciding on a theme and domain name is the fun part. A less exciting but crucial part, however, is choosing web hosting. However, do not miss the important step of getting one that is a fit for your business. (I recently read that choosing the wrong option is like a messy divorce!) When you have read How to Compare Web Hosting Services, you will have a better idea of which is right for you.

This site includes affiliate links – if you buy through my link I may get paid a commission but the price remains the same for you. Thank you for your support. Also, do take the time to do your own research – I am cannot be responsible for any errors.

What is web hosting?

A web host is basically secure storage for your website files which can then be accessed by a server, 24/7. You could think of it as renting space. There are a variety of types of hosting.

You will find that the cheaper options are on a shared server which will generally be fine for a smaller site unless you have colossal amounts of traffic and lots of graphics and videos in which case the next level up – a VPS (also known as dedicated hosting) would be better for you. In any case, you can upgrade as you go if you out-grow what you start out with.

How to compare web hosting services

What sort of things should you be looking for?

This very much depends on your own needs. If you are just starting out with a new site, you won’t know how much storage you will need but look for the best within your price range. Some only host WordPress blogs so if you are planning on using something else, make sure to check that it will work with your host. If you already have a website and want to move it to another host, do check that site migration is possible.

What are the costs?

Prices vary depending on your needs and the particular offers of the web hosting companies at any given time. Find one that suits you best and check several reviews for each one before making a decision. At the time of writing, the cheapest plans range from around $2.59 – $3.99 for your first term then from around $4.99 – $8.99.

Look out for some extra features – some offer a free domain and web builder with the package which is a really great addition. Also, look for details of the security offered.

Can you have more than one website in the plan?

Usually, the cheapest plans only include one but I found one (Host Papa) that offers two but there may be others if you search around.

I am new at this – will I be able to get support?

You may see some really well-priced options but if they don’t have 24/7 support, I would keep looking. I noticed that Host Papa even offers one-on-one training which is impressive.

Please bear in mind that prices are correct at the time of writing but are likely to change. I have based my scores on what options give you the most for your money but do your own research and make a considered decision.

My top picks

Blue Host – even before conducting the research for this post, I had noticed lots of positive comments about Blue Host.

Key Features:

  • 50GB storage
  • Includes Free domain for the first year
  • Support and Chat 24/7
  • 1-click WordPress Install
  • 30-day money-back guaranteed
  • Free SSL Certificate included
  • 5 email accounts

Cost – New customer offer $2.95 per month for the first term (thereafter it $7.99)

Negatives -. There are some similarly priced options that offer double the storage but 50GB may be more than enough for you.

Your Job Escape Plan Score – 4.8 / 5

Visit their website here for full details of this and other plans.

Host Gator – a popular, reasonably priced, cloud-based hosting option

Key Features –

  • Unlimited storage
  • Free domain name for first-year (conditions apply)
  • Free SSL Certificate included
  • Free website transfer
  • Free WordPress Installation
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Support and chat 24/7
  • Unlimited email accounts

Cost – New customer offer $2.75 per month for the first term (thereafter £6.95)

Negatives – Struggling to find any at the moment!

Your Job Escape Plan Score – 4.9 / 5

Visit their website here for full details of this and other plans.


HostPapa – a great value option

Key Features

  • 100GB storage
  • Two websites
  • Free domain
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Support and chat 24/7
  • Starter website builder and one on one training
  • 100 email accounts

Cost – New customer offer $3.95 per month for the first term (thereafter $7.99)

Negatives – Still looking for negatives, will update if I find any

Your Job Escape Plan Score – 4.9 / 5

Visit their website here for full details of this and other plans.


Go Daddy – ever popular hosting – they call themselves the No.1 web host

Key Features

  • 100GB of storage
  • WordPress preinstalled
  • Free Office 365 for one year
  • 1-click install for most applications
  • Support and chat 24/7
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cost – New customer offer $2.99 for the first term (thereafter $6.99). N.B. I found 3 different costs when researching GoDaddy so do your due diligence to get the best deal.

Negatives – SLL security certificate and email come at an extra cost.

Visit their website here for full details of all plans.

Your Job Escape Plan Score – 4.6 / 5

Dreamhost – great value entry level web host

Key Features

  • 50GB of storage
  • Free domain
  • Comes with WordPress pre-installed
  • 97-day money-back guarantee
  • SSL Certificate included
  • Support and Chat 24/7
  • Free migration of existing website if required

Cost – $2.59 per month for the first term (thereafter $4.95) for 1 website

Negatives – Email comes at an extra cost of $1.67 per month and 50GB of storage is at the lower end of the scale (but maybe all you need). Otherwise, you get a lot for your money.

Visit their website here for full details of this and other plans.

Your Job Escape Plan Score – 4.9 / 5

My number one recommendation

This may surprise you, but there is an option where you get a free WordPress site, free website builder, free training on how to build it, AND free hosting for 6 months with Wealthy Affiliate. Do not be put off if you are not into affiliate marketing – this is the answer to building your website if you are new and likely to get stuck from time to time. Check out my review here.

What has your experience of web hosting been like? Have you come across any exceptionally good or bad hosting businesses? I would love to hear about them in the comments.

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