Starting a website can be very confusing and stressful. We totally get it, because we’ve stumbled a few times when we first started too. Having tried different hosting services in the past, and learned our lessons, we can safely say that we have finally found the perfect managed hosting service for our business needs. We will share our experience in a little bit. First, let’s talk about how to choose the right managed hosting service for your website.
What is Managed Web Hosting Service?
Entrepreneurs and businesses that do not want to spend time and effort maintaining a server can opt for managed hosting services. Basically, it takes the I.T. work off of your plate so you can focus on running the business.
Different hosting services offer different levels of services. Some provide full-service management from around the clock customer service to software upgrade. Some let you pick and choose the types of services you need based on a customized plan. What levels of managed hosting you need depends on how much work you want to do on your end in terms of up-keeping the technical parts of a website.
Of course, more hands-on work often means higher costs. However, if you compare the money spent to hire a full time I.T. with what you would pay for managed hosting, you may see substantial long-term savings.
How to Choose a Good Managed Web Hosting Service?
When choosing a managed web hosting service, there are many factors you should consider before making a decision. What happens to your website after you have signed up with a hosting provider is a priority concern that should be on the top of your list.
Here we have summed up 5 factors that can impact your website performance once you have latched onto a hosting service.
- Does the hosting service offer 24/7 around the clock customer support?
- What levels of support does the hosting service provide?
- How long is the average response time for support tickets?
- Does the hosting service offer SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)?
- How often does the hosting service backup your website? Is there restore options available in case your website is deleted?
- Is server level protection available? What kind of security measurements does the hosting provider offer in terms of data-loss and spams?
- Are you protected from hackers?
- What is the uptime rate of the hosting provider? Is there technology to minimize server downtime?
- Is the hosting service compatible with major CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal? What about e-commerce support?
- Are transfer and setup free if you are switching from another hosting service?
- Will support be offered if you have questions about the installation or transfer process?
- How many data centers do the hosting service own and where are they located?
- Are there caching services or tools available to improve website speed, and how much do they cost?
- Does CDN (Content Delivery Network) service come with the hosting plan?
- What additional technology is available to support and improve website speed?
- What exactly does the hosting service offer, and are those features helpful for your current and future website needs?
- Are there custom solutions available for your website at different stages of growth?
- Will the hosting service still be sufficient for your website when your website traffic increases?
5 Reasons Why SiteGround is The Best Hosting Service of Our Choice
#1. Customer Support
24/7 Technical Support
The quality of customer support is extremely important for a managed hosting service. A good service provider should be able to efficiently answer questions and assist with any issue regarding your website from setup to application troubleshooting.
Our personal experience with SiteGround support has been a very satisfactory one. Our average wait time for an initial response to a ticket is about 15 minutes out of the two dozen tickets we have opened to date. Getting in touch with the customer service is also an easy process. You can contact SiteGround support via phone, live chat, or its ticketing system 24/7.
30-day Money Back Guarantee
It’s a good idea to compare hosting plans and service providers before committing to one. Before you pull out your credit card, find out what happens if the hosting service is not right for you and what is the service provider’s refund policy.
All shared hosting plans from SiteGround come with a 30-day money back guarantee. So in case you are not happy with the hosting service you can always get a refund, which serves you peace of mind.
#2. Security Measurements
SSL or Security Sockets Layer is a standard encryption technology that makes communication between a server (a website you are visiting) and a visitor secure. SSL encrypts information transmitted such as contact information, billing address, credit card numbers safe from malicious tampering.
Since the end of 2015, SiteGround has partnered up with an open certificate authority (CA) Let’s Encrypt to offer free SSL to all users. SiteGround sponsored this project in an effort to bring better online security to more people on the web by making encryption universal and affordable.
Here is a complete FAQ to SiteGround’s free SSL Let’s Encrypt.
Two additional options for advanced encryption are available through SiteGround for e-commerce and high traffic websites:
Wildcard SSL comes free with SiteGround’s GrowBig and GoGeek hosting plans. This type of SSL encrypts a domain and all of its current and future subdomains on unlimited numbers of servers. It is a cost-conscious option for websites with multiple subdomains because only one certificate is needed.
EV stands for Extended Validation. This is the highest standard of SSL which follows strict EV standards where verification of the applicant is required before approval. Applicants must be a government, corporation, or at least a sole proprietorship to apply.
Server Level Protections
Security is a top concern for every website because issues like hacker or malware have a huge negative impact for businesses online. SiteGround offers multiple layers of server level protections to ensure that hacks, spam, and data loss are thoroughly prevented to the best of its abilities.
SiteGround offers the best email spam protection by Spam Expert for free to all users. Its Anti- hack system Web Application Firewall (WAF) is regularly updated to ensure the security of applications such as WordPress and Joomla. In addition, server software is kept up-to-date for the highest standard of security and data-loss preventions.
Free Daily Backup
SiteGround automatically backs up your website so you can always access a backup copy of it. The StartUp plan offers one backup per month, while the higher tiered plans GrowBig and GoGeek both offer 30 daily backups.
Take a look at this Funny Infographic from SiteGround explaining what can cause you to lose your website. Uh-ohhh…
#3. CMS Compatibility and Support
Free Setup and Transfer
Building a website from scratch with the SiteGround custom Setup Wizard is fast and easy. Just follow the direction on the screen and you are on your way to a new website. If you have an existing website hosted with another provider, SiteGround will professionally transfer one website for free. Any aftermath troubleshooting can also be done with fast response time.
CMS stands for Content Management Systems, it lets users create, edit and manage content on a website without knowing how to code.
SiteGround works with the following popular and widely used CMS:
- The recommended hosting service for WordPress
- The official partner hosting for Joomla
- Fully compatible with the advanced CMS Drupal
- Great with e-commerce platforms such as Magento
Convenient Staging Tool
One very useful tool that comes with SiteGround’s GoGeek Plan is its staging tool. For those who code custom websites can benefit greatly from it. The staging tool allows web developers to code on an unofficial “stage” or a copy of your website so you can test things out before making changes live. It helps you avoid broken codes or mistakes that can mess up your entire website in front of visitors.
You can read more about the SiteGround Staging Tool here.
#4. Speed and Uptime
SiteGround created multiple backups to ensure its power supplies and hardware operations are fail proof. Owning its dedicated power generators and keeping complete sets of spare servers ready to go, SiteGround goes above and beyond to ensure that there is always a working backup plan in case anything stops working. That’s why their yearly uptime is the closest you can get to a perfect 100.
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. It has an important role in making your website seen anywhere in the world. CDN works by keeping copies of your website on different servers in different locations. So when someone accesses your website, the geographically nearest server will pull up a copy of your website in order to improve loading speed.
SiteGround has four server locations across three continents in North America, Asia, and Europe. CloudFlare comes free with each SiteGround account to boost your website’s speed. In addition, it filters your traffic and blocks harmful bots from scraping (copying) your website.
SiteGround offers caching on all of its hosting plans. It has gone one step further by developing its own dynamic caching for shared servers that noticeably speeds up the loading time of webpages.
SuperCacher is an exclusive SiteGround caching tool which immediately stores a copy of a website the first time it was opened. So on the following visits, webpages can load much faster. SuperCacher is available with GrowBig and GoGeek shared hosting plans, and it works with all popular CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento.
You can find out more about Site Ground’s SuperCacher here.
#5. Technology and Features
Free Domain Name
Every SiteGround Hosting account comes with one free domain name. A domain name looks like this: yourname.com. You own it as long as you are hosted under SiteGround. That’s over $14 dollars of savings per year.
Find out if your dream website name is still available. Select a plan first, and then click on “Get Started” to check domain availability instantly.
If you need help with the domain name, refer to our complete guide on how to get a domain name.
CPanel is the most popular hosting control panel that allows users to upload, control, and manage files on their website from an internet-based platform. Users can easily control certain parts of the server and make changes to the website without a technical background.
Softaculous is the convenient auto app installer that comes with SiteGround hosting. It allows you to install more than 300 applications in cPanel hassle-free, so you don’t need to waste time trying to figure it out. Applications can include the essential CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress and Joomla, as well as plugins and extensions.
You can add as many emails with your own domain name as you like. These email addresses would appear as firstname.lastname@example.org. To make it even more convenient, you can forward the domain emails to any of your existing email accounts and access them at any time.
Free Drag & Drop Builder
SiteGround’s Drag&Drop Builder is especially intuitive. Users are able to design and piece together responsive web designs with no coding skills requires. You can even build e-commerce stores and receive free shopping cart installation.
Plus, SiteGround offers free PCI compliance with GoGeek plan. The complimentary PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) allows your customers to make secure credit transactions through your website.
As an alternative to Drag & Drop, you can also easily install premade website templates with only a few clicks or have a developer to code a custom web design to meet your website needs.
Unlimited MySQL Database
MySQL is a free open-source RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) utilizing SQL (Structured Query Language). MySQL is important for PHP (a web development scripting language) application. SiteGround is a MySQL specialized host that can provide users with experience technical support for this system. SiteGround provides unlimited MySQL database which can handle the most sophisticated customization of database servers.
Set the Foundations for a Successful Website
Always weigh your options before making a decision on purchasing any website services. There are so many choices out there and it is important to find one that serves your website needs.
Once you have your website hosted and ready to go, it’s time to optimize it so more people can find it online. Learn how to search optimize your website with SEO.
Bloggers, if you need help starting a website, see our complete guide on how to become a blogger and make money online.