When looking for a hosting solution you should be aware of what you are attempting to do. Most hosting solutions are about the same in terms of capabilities whereas there are some situations where you will need to move large quantities of data, do a lot of calculations, or have an un-ordinary amount of traffic.
Hosting solutions for…
Heavy traffic, computations, file hosting solution
If you have a situation where you need to move massive amounts of files or host a lot of files you are going to want to use Amazons web hosting solution. Working with Amazon is going to be a little more difficult and you will have to read more specs than usual considering they use some fairly complicated systems that involve hooks and what not. It is especially important to ask wordpress theme developers and plugin developers if their stuff works on Amazons system.
Technically inclined folks
Options are listed by their recommendation level. First ones are best and last ones are worst. The exception is the special hosting solutions listed at the bottom. Those options are not graded in the same manner.
Bluehost is the best solution available. They are under $10 and at some points even hit $3.95, but most of the time stays around $4.95. It is recommended by two of the largest organizations online.
For more specific prices and tech specs visit their price page.
HostMonster is a close second to Bluehost as they are almost identical. There are some differences but not much. You will need to look at their specs to really tell. From what I remember, they were owned by the same company or group or something like that but run seperate sites and systems. They both have a different look and feel but are still similar in setup both on the front end and the admin side. I would still go with Bluehost as Hostmonster seems to be the lower quality of the two. Could be wrong. Someone tell me if I am.
Go Daddy has proven to many folks to be disastrous. They may work for some folks but if you want to make sure to get the best deal and the least amount of hassles you will not use them. They are marketed heavily online and on TV which has given the public the wrong idea about them. You can sell almost anything if marketed well enough.
Complaints against Go Daddy that I have heard from others
- They hold onto your domain name if you try to transfer away from them
- They get attacked often by hackers and the websites get taken down easily
- The costs look good until you need more than the bare bare minimum
Now I will have to say that they may have changed as their feature and price list does not reflect the complaints given by many however it will take them a lot of time to recover from their old ways if they have actually recovered from their old ways.
The feature list does say unlimited bandwidth currently. There are many things to consider that I don’t see listed such as how much processing power you get each month. That is an important factor when running a website. It matters if you are running any scripts that actually do work such as scheduled backups, broken link checking, form submissions, etc. Be wary if you do choose this solution.
Host Gator has proven to many folks to be disastrous. They may work for some folks but if you want to make sure to get the best deal and the least amount of hassles you will not use them. They have been around a long time and are fairly well known on the internet as an option. Go Daddy is advertised online and offline but Host Gator is primarily advertised online from what I have seen.
Be wary if you do choose this solution.
Forumatic is a special web hosting solution that is designed for helping keep forums up. Phpbb specifically lists them as an option because they are good at this. Look at their prices and decide yourself if you feel this is a better idea than Bluehost or the other top solutions.
WP Engine (WordPress Engine)
WP Engine is designed specifically to run WordPress website fast and well with exceptional WordPress specific expertise. If you run a WordPress website you may want to check into them. The other top solutions work well but WP Engine is designed specifically for WordPress. It is up to you and what your needs are. If you have some extra stuff going on you may or may not want to use other solutions. You may also want to decide because of pricing. When starting off small you should choose a solution that is powerful yet consistently priced and very open to scaling. Bluehost is good for that. You can always transfer your site as well. WP Engine is a bit pricey to start with.
Very un-techically inclined folks
You will want to find a local hosting solution that can do most of the website maintenance until you become more technically capable to do it yourself. They may not be as cheap or as powerful but you probably also don’t need something that is going to host a Google or Facebook. You probably want something for your local shop.
Google search like this, “Web hosting City State”, but without the “s and supplement the City and State for your current location.
Make sure to call them and ask if them if they are a hands on kind of company and tell them that you are not very techy and just need someone to do a bit of hand holding for the website stuff. They may laugh but if you don’t know what you are doing then this may be your best option. Your best option is also to have them install WordPress for you. You can find your themes and plugins with the help of this wiki. Themes | Plugins.