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Are you making the most out of the data you can get about your website from Google Analytics (GA)?
The free tool gives you valuable insights into metrics like conversion rates, traffic sources, engagement, audience demographics, and more.
Let’s learn what GA is and how to use it to improve your website’s metrics.
Google Analytics is a free tool to track user behavior on your website. With a range of metrics to explore, you can start to get a picture of how people use your website and how you can make changes to increase sales.
On a basic level, you can track how many visitors you have, how they found you, the number of views a page receives, and more.
In many ways, Google Analytics is the portal giving you insider, back end, and real-time access to what your users want.
Google Analytics is the most powerful tool to track website metrics, and it comes from the king of search engines. On top of that, it’s free.
Although it takes some work to get set up, there are plenty of online tutorials and resources to walk you through the process. Once you get Google Analytics connected to your site, you can head to the Google Analytics dashboard and start checking things out. It can’t go back in time, though, so you will have to wait for data to gather.
Google Analytics can free you from relying on gut checks and intuition and instead tell you what pages and which content hit the mark or fall short. In this way, you can make informed choices.
Once you set up your Google Analytics account, you can connect different URLs and choose which one to explore from the drop-down.
The first thing Analytics shows is basic traffic data, including dates. You can alter the dates based on your needs.
On the left side of the screen, Google Analytics provides a list of report options. This is where you can start to get into the details.
On the far right, there’s a blue box with real-time metrics showing how many people are on the site, how many pages are viewed per minute, and the most popular pages to view. You can then click on the blue box to learn more about the data.
If you’re looking for something specific, just type it into the handy search bar.
As you scroll down, you can check out different analytics, including where your users come from and what devices they use.
There are many metrics you can track using Google Analytics.
No matter which type you focus on, you need to choose a time frame for your data. This way, you can check a specific timespan against prior spans to see what’s changing and if what you’re doing is working.
As you analyze the data, try to remember what your marketing goals are. Otherwise, you may get overwhelmed by the whirlwind of numbers.
Let’s look at some of the most popular metrics just to get you started.
Tracking visitors shows who’s visiting, how many visitors you have, and what they’re doing on your website. This includes factors like bounce rates and session durations.
These metrics are anonymous and vague. You can’t gather personal details for specific visitors to your website.
To dig deeper, you can go to the “Audience” section of Google Analytics.
Another powerful metric Google Analytics can provide is traffic sources. It answers the question, “how are people finding my website?” You can find this information under the “Acquisition” tab.
For instance, you can find out how much traffic comes from social media, Google Ads, and the Google Search Console. Knowing where your visitors are coming from and what they do once they get to your site can help you know where to focus your marketing efforts.
Google Analytics can help you understand how well different pieces of content perform by tracking user behavior. For example, are they visiting certain pages more often than others? Is on-page time higher on some types of content? This can help you determine what works and what doesn’t, which you can use to inform future content creation and marketing choices.
You can find this information under the “Behavior” section.
Let’s get down to brass tacks here. Are people buying (or doing whatever else you want them to do) once they land on your website? That’s what conversion metrics on Google Analytics can tell you.
These metrics are not automatically generated like the previous ones. Instead, conversion analytics requires you to set goals, typically using the pages visitors are directed to once they convert. Telling Google Analytics to follow users to these final pages can provide more specific information about how people are getting there, how many are converting, and more.
As mobile use becomes the norm, you may want to see how well your website performs on mobile devices.
These metrics can be found in the “Audience” section under “Mobile.” Here, you can see website metrics broken down by device categories. For example, if you find certain device users are spending less time or money on the site, look into how your site looks and behaves on that type of device.
As you get a handle on following your website’s metrics, you may find you need custom Google Analytics reports. Custom reports can help you check specific metrics more efficiently, using apples-to-apples comparisons between periods, campaigns, and more.
These custom reports may help when presenting information to your department, organization, leadership, or investors thanks to the hard numbers you can compare and the visual reports you can run. Of course, not everyone may fully understand what you do, but many are likely to understand the basics of what these numbers and graphs mean.
Google Analytics is constantly rolling out new features that may help you meet your marketing goals. Let’s dive into a few.
If you have a lot of content on your website, you may have a search function available to users. Knowing what people type into that search function can help you understand why visitors are on your site, allowing you to plan for and create more relevant content.
Under the “Behavior” area, click “Site Search” to view this information.
Is there content on your website that’s just not performing? Then, you may benefit from optimizing those pages for SEO, deleting useless content, or creating entirely new work.
To learn which pages are not performing, go to “Behavior,” then “Site Content.” From there, click on the arrow to reorder the pages by popularity. This shows which pages get the fewest views. Do with that information what you will—though perhaps consider finding a cause before throwing the page into the abyss.
People abandoning shopping carts while shopping is a typical e-commerce problem. If you can find where visitors are dropping off your website, you can make improvements to help convert them.
First, set up your goals using a sales funnel. Include each step of your check-out process, including cart, check-out, shipping, and confirmation, in the pages you plan to monitor. Then, click to “visualize your funnels” to see how people behave as they move through the funnel.
You may see a pattern regarding when people abandon carts begin to emerge and make updates accordingly.
As we talked about above, Google Analytics places many of the most common analytics on the dashboard. However, you can set up a custom dashboard to see exactly what you need. Under the “Customization” tab, find the link for “Dashboards.” You can use a dashboard template or create your own.
Google Analytics makes it easy to create custom reports for your own use or presentations.
You can name your custom report, as well as each tab you want to create if you want different variables in the same report.
If you scroll over the question mark in the dropdown, you can learn more about each choice.
Start with all, if you’re not sure. Now click “Save.” You’ll be taken to a page with the data automatically. From here, you can save, export, share, or edit the report.
If you save it, you can find this report under “Saved Reports.”
To rerun this custom report, go to “Custom Reports.”
Google Analytics can give you information about who visits your website, how many views your website receives, which content is the most popular, and more.
You can learn more about the basics of Google Analytics from Google themselves.
Google Analytics uses a tracking ID, which you place in the code of your website or a plugin to allow Google to receive information about your website.
Most of the benefits of Google Analytics are free, though you can choose to purchase upgrades.
Google Analytics provides in-depth information on how well your website is performing.
Google Analytics provides nearly endless amounts of information about your website’s data. Once you set up Google Analytics on your website, you can access metrics covering nearly every part of your customers’ journeys.
You can create custom reports to analyze how well your strategies work. This may help you make informed changes to your website, which may, in turn, draw even more people to your brand and via your analytics-driven marketing strategy.
What’s your favorite Google Analytics feature?
Experience is kind of the holy grail when it comes to customer interaction, from marketing and sales to customer service and brand loyalty.
It’s something we all talk about, work toward, and set as a goal, but to some degree, it remains a concept we’re always trying to work for.
When do we actually achieve a great customer experience in our brands? Is it something we just have to continually improve and build on as new opportunities roll out?
When a customer has a great experience with you, they are more likely to come back and buy again.
Social media, mobile apps, in-app ads, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and more have promised to help us put experience at the forefront.
As new options roll out, keeping customer experiences seamless and continuous across all digital platforms grows is highly important. This is where a digital experience platform (or DXP) comes in.
Although the specifics vary by the product or vendor, a digital experience platform is a single digital hub that allows a brand to use data and AI to create and deploy custom content experiences for consumers and integrate them for consumption across an array of digital and other ecosystems.
In simpler terms, it’s a platform that lets you create custom experiences informed by your data and lets users experience them everywhere they look.
Just as important as a definition of what a digital experience platform is what it’s not. A digital experience platform is not just a single experience provider, no matter how revolutionary or innovative. It’s also not just a series of omnichannel brand messages linked together by a series of integrations or pointing to or from a webpage.
A digital experience platform is integrated and inclusive. It’s often an open-source platform that allows API integrations from various departments, such as sales, to deliver super personal experiences to users. Those features define this type of platform and differentiate it from others, which we will discuss later.
When it comes to content creation and management, the acronyms can start to feel like alphabet soup. DXM, CMS, and WEM have similar purposes but approach it from slightly different angles.
Let’s look at the other two types of platforms first.
CMS stands for a content management system. By definition, it’s software that allows you to create, manage, and share your brand’s content. In more everyday terms, it’s a platform that allows you to build your website (and its content, such as pages and blog posts) with a backend interface that doesn’t require writing the code from scratch.
The interface is user-friendly and welcomes you to plug in your content and go. It also makes it easy for you to search through your content for reuse and resharing, create SEO-friendly content, and more.
How is it different from WEM, or web engagement management? We can think of WEM as the next generation of content management. It’s about how we interact on the internet and how customers expect brands to interact with them. Differentiating features of web engagement management include customer engagement through conversations, community building, multichannel reach, and automation.
Where does that leave us with a digital experience platform? It’s essentially a further evolution.
With the rise of AI and big data, we have more and more information for brands to use to deliver content that is more likely to convert. A DXP pulls information in but also delivers across multiple platforms.
If your brand has been around for a while, or if you’re used the internet for e-commerce for any amount of time, you have a website, which means you have experience with a content management system. Whether you’ve dipped your toes into WEM environments or are wondering if a DXP is right for you, let’s talk more about who needs one.
A digital experience platform is about helping you reach people at many touchpoints and controlling the message they receive at those touchpoints.
It’s also about receiving data from your company and letting it drive the message.
How do you know if a digital experience platform is right for you? Here are a few questions to consider:
A digital experience platform may not be a necessary next step for every brand, but if you’re struggling to keep up with a wide range of integrations and just need a place to take everything to the next level, this may be the right way to go.
There are many to consider, but here are a few of the best tools for digital experience.
Bloomreach is a popular digital experience platform for online commerce, which serves 25 percent of the e-commerce experiences in the United States and the United Kingdom. Its Bloomreach Experience Platform or BrX, as it’s called, features a number of modules, including SEO and merchandising.
Liferay provides a digital experience platform that promises to be custom to your business needs, integrating with where you are today and growing with new features as your business grows. In other words, they boast you can get going with this platform quickly.
Core dna emphasizes that, with their platform, all your digital marketing components are finally under one roof. You can keep track of the data in one place and make global adjustments from one location as well, rather than keeping up with various integrations and platforms.
FirstSpirit DXP, from e-Spirit, highlights its ability to integrate with other platforms or tools you may already be using, along with its many features. It also makes sure to note the platform itself does not require deep development or coding knowledge on the user’s end but is approachable and easy to learn.
A digital experience platform is a new concept in a lot of ways, so you may want to do a deeper dive and learn more before you decide whether it’s right for you. There are many resources available to help you get a handle on everything involved and learn how it can help your e-commerce shop. Here are a few to get you started.
If you prefer an audio and visual overview of a digital experience platform, check out the Intro to Digital Experience webinar on YouTube from Progress. This 30-minute video covers all the basics, including what those custom touchpoints for customers look like and why they’re so important.
The webinar also speaks to the customer journey and how to remain consistent throughout. You’ll learn about how a digital experience platform relates to your CMS and how to take it to the next level.
Written by Shailesh Kumar Shivakumar and Sourabhh Sethii and bearing the subtitle of “A Guide to Developing Next-Generation Enterprise Applications,” Building Digital Experience Platforms is for the person who is ready to get serious about a digital experience platform and geek out over the features and options available.
While the book goes into various open-source platforms available for creating a DXP, it also dives into the specifics about best practices and what you will want to consider as you design a digital experience platform. It also explores security issues and case studies.
If you’re ready to really get into the weeds with what a digital experience platform is all about, this Operationalizing a Digital Experience (DXP) Platform webinar from Lytics has all the research and data you’re looking for. This webinar aims to discuss how companies are using customer data to drive custom experiences to convert.
It’s presented by Connie Moore, Senior Vice President of Research for Digital Clarity Group, and it covers topics such as why customer data technology is so important, how to put data at the center of your digital experience strategy, and the reasons why all of these topics are exploding in popularity.
Are you wondering how a digital experience platform would fit in your business, or how it would impact your department and help you interact with other departments across the company? The Rise of the Digital Experience Platform e-book from Elastic Path seeks to help you answer those questions.
Of course, this is one of those email opt-in methods Elastic Path is using to get you on their email list. Nonetheless, it could be a helpful resource as you seek to wrap your head around what a DXP is all about. It promises tips and strategies for Chief Information Officers and Chief Digital Officers looking to incorporate a digital experience platform.
If you’re still skeptical about how exactly digital experience platforms can help you connect meaningfully with your customers, Bloomreach created a webinar entitled “How Digital Experience Platforms Nurture and Facilitate Lasting Customer Relationships” with Mehmet Olmez, managing director for Accenture Interactive, and Arjé Cahn, CTO of Bloomreach Experience.
They talk about how a DXP offers more than just multitouch or omnichannel and is the way of the future by seamlessly integrating those touchpoints and making them hyper-personalized. They also talk about how this supports e-commerce marketing and the benefits of having everything together under one digital hub.
Again, this is an email opt-in, so you can expect to get emails following up, but if you’re curious to learn about DXPs from the makers and marketers of digital experience platforms, this one may be worth your time.
A digital experience platform ties in data and AI learning technology to deliver seamless and multilayered touchpoints that are highly customized and relevant to each individual customer.
A digital experience platform or DXP serves as a single hub for e-commerce marketing, pulling in and learning from data from across the company’s ecosystem, including sales, inventory, and more, and then delivering highly customized experiences to shoppers.
DXP stands for digital experience platform. It’s the next evolution of content management, e-commerce experience solutions, and marketing technology and helps companies stand out as relevant in an increasingly noisy digital world.
As companies utilize digital experience platforms, good digital experiences for customers are pertinent and timely, meeting their needs and delivering content that ultimately leads to conversions.
Customers want experiences with your brand. More importantly, they want really great experiences to keep them coming back for more. This includes everything from searching and coming across your website, to the sales, customer service, and follow-up process.
As you scale, ensuring a great customer experience can become harder and harder, but building a solid e-commerce website can help. A digital experience platform, or DXP, can provide space to create and automate experiences that will keep them returning.
Have you interacted with an engaging digital experience platform recently?
Video content creation can be a massive headache. I get it.
Even for seasoned marketers, creating compelling content is a challenge. The real uphill battle is trying to create that level of content regularly.
That’s why we’re taking a closer look at automated video creation and some of the best tools your brand can use to expand its content strategy.
Here’s the thing—automated content doesn’t have to be terrible. When you produce an hour-long, high-quality interview, you’ve also produced several pieces of smaller, high-quality content.
All you have to do is repackage those valuable tidbits and present them to your audience.
Automated video creation is the act of using video editing software to automatically create short, interesting videos you can use for marketing and promoting your content.
Let’s say you recorded a podcast this week and released it to your audience. You received decent engagement, but you quickly noticed a problem. Many of your viewers aren’t watching the entire podcast.
Some viewers love to sit and consume two hours of content at once. Others want minute-long highlight clips, and simply aren’t interested in long-form content. By identifying key moments and topics discussed in your podcast, you can create bite-sized clips and videos that are more digestible. Plus, having long-form content that’s well produced arms you with plenty of future clips to use.
That’s where automated video creation comes in. Make no mistake, there’s a big difference between linking your podcast in your Instagram Bio and posting a 45-second highlight video with top-notch editing.
If you’re making several pieces of long-form content every week (interviews, podcasts, etc.), sifting through hours of content to find highlights and memorable moments can quickly become time-consuming.
By automating that process, you can regularly create custom, high-quality videos. As a result, you’ll add variety to your content, while being able to test unique marketing strategies quickly. For example, you can rapidly A/B test different format styles, or try two highlights against each other to see what resonates with your audience.
Before we dive into specific automated video creation tools, it’s important to understand how your automated video creation journey should unfold. Savvy marketers always develop a clear plan of attack for marketing initiatives, so we’re walking you through the general checkpoints of the automation process.
Before you choose a platform, establish your video creation objectives. If you want to test a specific format, find platforms that support that testing. Beyond that, determine what features will serve your team best.
If your marketing team has little to no experience with automated video creation, a tool that prioritizes ease of use can make the video creation process easier. Marketing teams with plenty of video creation experience might need automation tools that offer more customization.
As you narrow down your search, take a closer look at how each platform functions. Some platforms offer limited features aimed at supporting brands with little to no video marketing budget. Other platforms want to support your marketing efforts from start to finish.
While many of these platforms sound similar, they focus on different elements that can elevate your content creation.
So, you’ve established your video creation priorities, and you’ve chosen your platform. Now you can actually create your content. Upload your video and let the tool start to work its magic.
If you’re focused on automating as much of the experience as possible, you won’t need to do much other than confirming certain edits. On the other hand, choosing a platform with plenty of depth means you’ll be able to customize your content fairly easily.
When customizing your video content, visual elements like text animation effects can elevate the quality. Other effects like overlays and moving graphics can be implemented without much trouble, as long as you’re using the right automated video creation tool. Make sure your visual elements are consistent with your brand presentation.
Once you’ve customized your content and created a high-quality video, it’s time to send your content live. With some tools, you’ll even be able to publish your content directly after editing. Instead of signing into each of your brand’s social media platforms, automation means you can post on all of them at the same time.
Now that you understand the process, it’s time to look at the automated video creation tools available. While many of these tools function similarly, they each have distinct features that make them unique.
Moovly prides itself on being a user-friendly, in-browser automated video creation tool. In addition, they offer a tool that doesn’t demand constant software updates or even any design skills.
Looking for support with your footage-based videos? They can help. Want to experiment with cartoon or doodle styles? Moovly can create those videos, too. If you’re looking for a lightweight solution with plenty of customization options, Moovly might be the right tool for your brand.
Adobe’s priority when it comes to video creation is efficiency. Using AI technology, they save users time and effort when editing. Some of the more interesting features include auto reframing, where Adobe automatically reframes the subject of a video shot in widescreen when exporting to social platforms.
Their AI also uses color match, changing your content’s color and light values, based on your customized reference point. To be clear, they aren’t just copying a specific color reference point onto your clips. Instead, the AI analyzes every selected clip and tweaks them until they properly match your reference point.
Wibbitz is an automated video creation tool that speeds up production by offering a variety of useful templates and one-click solutions. One feature marketers will appreciate is the easy customization options. Wibbitz provides users with access to logo watermarks, video intros and outros, text overlays, and a full-spectrum color palette.
This automated video creation platform lets you maximize your reach by converting your best videos into impactful social media videos.
Another browser-based tool, Kamua claims their product will have you working nearly 90 percent faster, without any previous video editing experience. They also feature automatic captioning in over 60 languages, saving you from having to transcribe hours and hours of content.
Kamua’s AutoCut feature actually automates video edits, by finding cut points in your content and letting you decide what to keep. Plus, their AutoCrop feature instantly turns your YouTube videos into TikTok videos.
If you’re limited by a modest marketing budget, Typito could be a great automated video creation tool. Not only is it free to start with, but each of their pricing plans are designed with reasonable budgets in mind.
Of course, it’s worth figuring out exactly what Typito is offering. They provide an easy drag and drop editor and a brand kit, along with 600,000 free images and over 500 free templates.
Rocketium understands the digital media landscape is constantly shifting. That frequent change demands an approach to marketing that’s as flexible as it is accurate. That’s why Rocketium aims to accomplish two goals. Eliminating repetitive creative work is their first goal, saving brands the hassle of creating completely new content for new campaigns.
From there, Rocketium aims to make targeted marketing even easier. They use an AI copywriter to help you craft the right visual for different products and unique target audiences. Teams with demanding content calendars should take a look at this tool.
Developing unique creative content within an automation tool might not sound optimal, but tools like Animaker prove it’s certainly within their power. Armed with their templates, you can make a video in five minutes, according to their official website.
OFFEO’s appeal can be broken down into four subsections. Their near limitless supply of assets means that users will have access to hundreds of templates. Being easy to use and browser based, OFFEO lets you animate your content, leveraging the skill of their professional designers to provide you with high-quality animation.
As an end-to-end video marketing tool, Magisto aims to support users at every stage of the marketing process. When it comes to creation, you can expect the support of a computerized video editor.
Magisto lets you host and distribute video content on your website using their native player. Take those optimized videos and then use engagement analytics to gain clarity about your marketing initiatives.
For the truly budget-conscious, InVideo offers some fantastic automated video creation support, absolutely free. While there are certain features locked behind paid subscriptions, there are plenty of tools available to users on the free plan.
You can export 60 videos per month, with a maximum duration of 15 minutes. Transcription is automatic, as well as over 4,500 handcrafted templates. You’ll even have access to branding presets, intros, outros, and team sharing.
If you’re on the fence about automated video creation tools, feel free to try InVideo out and see how it improves your marketing efforts.
Absolutely, you can! With the help of AI, you can begin automating your video editing, as much or as little as you’d like.
There are plenty of tools that can do this for you, some offering support in over 60 languages.
While it’s certainly a positive, there are several user-friendly platforms that don’t require any previous editing or design experience.
Not always! Some tools are completely free; the only drawback is they lack some key features.
No matter what industry you’re in, there’s no getting around the fact that audiences want quality content. If your brand doesn’t produce something new and exciting on a regular basis, you run the risk of losing your audience’s attention.
Instead of trying to constantly reinvent the wheel, consider using an automated video creation platform to break in-depth content down into digestible clips and share them on social media.
It might seem like a simple solution, but it’s a powerful way to offer more consistent content, expand your reach, and potentially create a genuine moment of engagement with your audience.
Why do you want to automate your video creation? How do you think it will help your brand?
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top pick? The best shared hosting provider for most people is Hostinger.
If you are starting a new website from scratch, shared hosting will be the best option 99% of the time.
There are other types of hosting for bigger sites with tons of traffic. But if you are just getting off the ground, shared hosting is going to be the best price with the least amount of maintenance on your end.
I’ve reviewed my top six recommendations for shared hosting. These are dependable options from well-known providers. You’re not going to get scammed or wind up with a super slow site.
After the reviews, I’ve included a short buyers guide to help you select the best option for your specific needs.
Hostinger strikes the balance between price and performance–it’s the lowest amount you can spend and still get good hosting.
For $1.39 per month, Hostinger will set you up with one site good for up to 10,000 visitors each month. You also get 30 GB of storage, which is a hefty amount for the price.
If you’re starting out on a tight budget, this is more than enough to get your site online.
Of course you have to put the full amount down for a four-year hosting plan to get the best deal. Let’s do the math: 48 months at $1.39 per month is $66.72.
That means you are paying less than $70 for four years of hosting.
There’s simply no way to drive the price lower. You might be able to scratch out a better deal, but it’s probably not going to be with such a reputable host.
Hostinger includes 24/7/365 live chat customer service with every plan. They don’t hang you out to dry. In fact the company offers a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
There’s also a surprising amount of services and features bundled into the most affordable hosting package:
A free email account is one less thing to buy, courtesy weekly backups are a comforting, zero-effort insurance plan.
I’m still talking about Hostinger’s entry-level plan. Literally everything I’ve mentioned up to this point is included for $1.39 per month.
If you need to create additional websites, Hostinger jumps to a whopping $2.59 per month for up to 100 sites.
Need more than 100k visitors a month? You can stick with Hostinger, but be ready to pay a tad more, at $3.99 per month, for Business Shared Hosting.
Yes, the price is going to jump upon renewal like any other host. The thing is, Hostinger’s renewal rate stays lower if you sign up for longer. With the 4-year Single Shared Deal, for example, your renewal rate is $2.99. If you only sign up for a year, the rate is $5.99.
So, you either get a really great or an incredible deal.
I recommend Hostinger for folks who know they need hosting and want the cheapest price out there.
You get better than expected performance from a web host that’s charging you less than the price of an oil change to host your site for four years.
Current high school freshmen will have their diploma in hand before you have to pay for hosting again.
Looking for a one-stop-shop to get your WordPress up and running in no time flat?
Go with Bluehost for a turnkey solution absolutely anyone can use.
Normally you have to get hosting, a domain, and download WordPress. It’s not rocket science, but for a first-timer there are a lot of places to get tripped up.
With Bluehost, you can get everything in a single place for one low price.
The entire step-by-step process, from signing up to publishing your first page, is as easy as possible. There’s guidance at every turn, and should you encounter difficulties of any kind, you can reach out to customer service.
Don’t take my word for it. Bluehost has been officially recommended by WordPress since 2005. When you make contact with a service agent, you’re getting assistance from someone that resolves WordPress issues all the time.
Building a website incredibly straight-forward. There’s no code to write or hours spent Googling answers. This is true if you have never designed a website before in your life.
Choose a template to start your site and then you are off and running.
Find something that aligns with your brand or goals, and customize from there. Bluehost actually gives you custom WordPress themes that you can make your own. Use fonts, colors, and a layout that speaks to your purpose.
In addition to WordPress tools, Bluehost includes a number of features that make your site faster and more secure, with little to no work on your part:
Most people aren’t thinking about getting an SSL certificate when they launch a site. But it’s the only way to make sure that visitors know your site is safe. With Bluehost, you can enable a free SSL certificate across your whole site simply by turning it on.
Same with the CDN, which you can enable with one-click to get a faster site. Both of these features are important, but not things you want to have to mess around with. Bluehost makes it effortless to get the benefits with zero work on your end.
If you need more than just WordPress on your sites, go with standard shared hosting through Bluehost.
It’s a great deal, but if you know you are going to use only WordPress, I recommend going with one of Bluehost’s WordPress hosting plans. They are basically the same as shared hosting price-wise, but there’s better speed and security.
The difference with shared WordPress hosting is that the servers are optimized for just that. No other type of sites run on those servers, so the performance is better and it’s easier to secure.
Bluehost shared WordPress hosting is available in 3 different plans:
The Basic plan is going to work fine if you are just getting your site off the ground. 50 GB storage is more than enough for most small sites. Upgrading to Plus gives you unlimited storage, and Choice Plus comes with free automated backups.
You’ll notice that Bluehost doesn’t offer monthly pricing. You can sign up for one, two, or three-year plans. The longer your plan, the deeper the discount.
That means you are getting three years of hosting at $2.95 per month. There are enough services and resources bundled with your hosting plan to avoid having to pay for much more.
Compared to hosts that only offer discounts during your first year, Bluehost is a great way to save more money over time.
Everything you need to get started is right there. Hosting plus free domain plus WordPress. Step-by-step instructions and 24/7 guidance. If you aren’t happy with the experience, Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
I have migrated sites from one host to another, and there’s nothing fun about it. Not going to name names, but I have experienced customer service airballs and been price-gouged to the point where I needed a new host that day.
If you find yourself needing to transfer your site away from a nightmare situation, A2 Hosting is your safe haven from further issues.
First things first, A2 will transfer your site for free. This is a big deal because there are a lot of little things that have to be done right in order for the process to go smooth.
A2 has a dedicated team of site migration experts that will help you make sure everything gets moved over safely. A lot of companies will give you some tools to make the process go faster, but it still amounts to a DIY migration. A2 actually does it for you.
And once you are set up, you’ll find that A2’s customer support is definitely a step up from whatever you had before. Even the cheapest plan you can get comes with 24/7 support by phone, email, and live chat.
The customer service team has an excellent reputation for resolving technical questions quickly. No more uncertainty and confusion when something goes wrong.
Your site speed will also likely improve, as A2 is constantly upgrading to the newest technologies. LiteSpeed web servers (available with Turbo plans) deliver 6-11 times faster performance than others.
A2 Hosting has been around for a long time and the platform already works with the popular tools everyone uses. There are one-click installs for WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla, Drupal, and more.
It’s also got bundled benefits your old host never dreamed of providing for free, like:
Unlimited email for free with an entry-level plan is very uncommon. Usually you have to pay extra. Site staging, too, is very rare to get with shared hosting. This allows you to test out new features on your site in a development area before pushing them live.
And 100 GB storage space? That’s two or three times as much as you are going to get for such a low price.
I like A2 for shared hosting because of the great service, generous resources, and useful bundled features.
You’ll notice that the renewal rates are good, not great. Here’s the thing. A2 has 5-star reviews from people who stick with it for years, and they all mention the high quality of the customer service. Some have even reported switching hosts upon renewal, only to run back to A2 because they didn’t know how good they had it.
This is a really good option for people who’s sites are starting to hit resource limits with their current provider. Maybe you’re running out of storage space or maybe your site is just too slow with your other host.
Solve this by moving over to A2 hosting. You’ll get a great price and A2 will move your site over for free.
A2 is the final host you’ll ever need. No more migrations. No more run-arounds from customer service. Just top speed and assistance the moment you need it.
If you want a website without the commitment of a long contract, DreamHost is going to give you the best price.
The company does offer very competitive rates if you are willing to sign up long-term, but unlike most competitors, DreamHost will give you a great deal month-to-month.
It works for people who just need dependable hosting, not a long-term relationship with yet another provider.
Shared hosting starts at $4.95 per month. That’s all you have to put down to get started.
There are no hard and fast limits on bandwidth or storage, so you don’t have to worry about overage fees.
Obviously your site can’t take more than its fair share of resources from the shared server, so if you are planning on running a lot of high-caliber website elements or an online store, you might want to spring for a Shared Unlimited plan. That’s only $8.95 per month to start, still no long-term commitment necessary.
You might think that performance or customer service would suffer if you’re not kicking a ton of money in on day one. With DreamHost, though, you get a 100% uptime guarantee. The company will actually refund you if your site goes down.
It’s a win/win scenario. DreamHost rarely if ever has to pay people because the sites never go down.
Another nice perk of DreamHost is that customer service is never outsourced. You can reach out any time of day by email. You can also get in touch with live chat during business hours (5:30AM–9:30PM PT), which more than covers the entire continental U.S.
DreamHost is also an officially recommended WP provider. I’d go with DreamHost for WordPress sites if you don’t want to put a lot of money down today. Bluehost is phenomenal, but you have to sign up for a year or more.
There’s also a lot of bundled services that will save you time and money, including:
I want to call out the free domain privacy and protection, which is free forever with DreamHost. This keeps your personal or business information out of the public record (which I recommend doing), and can cost $10-15 per year with other providers.
DreamHost will include a domain for free, but only if you sign up for a year or more. Alternatively, you can purchase a domain directly through DreamHost at a very reasonable price.
Either way it’s a good deal, but I want to focus on DreamHost’s monthly pricing plans for shared hosting. These are just much better than if you try to go month-to-month with other hosts.
The Shared Starter plan is less than $5 to get started today. No long-term commitment or large upfront cost. After three months, the price jumps up a few bucks to the new current rate, which happens to be $7.99.
This is still not a lot for hosting, considering the unlimited resources and highly available customer service.
One could forgive DreamHost for being less flexible on their refund policy, given that you don’t have to sign anything, but the reverse is in fact true.
DreamHost offers a 97-day refund, which is months longer than most. Cancel whenever you like. There’s no fight to get your money back.
No contract? No problem with DreamHost.
GreenGeeks is a solid all-around hosting company with a lot of actually useful bundled benefits. I mean it. You get fast sites and customer service that’s a cut above what you get most other places.
But if you want an eco-friendly hosting solution, this is definitely your number one pick.
Every web host has giant server farms sucking up energy to deliver their service. There’s no way around it–the internet causes pollution. GreenGeeks matches every bit of energy it takes for hosting with three times the amount in renewable energy.
This is what GreenGeeks means by a “300% green hosting platform.” By choosing them as your host, you’re more than offsetting your carbon footprint. You’ll actually be reducing it, putting more power back into the system than you took out.
As noble as all of this is, I wouldn’t be recommending GreenGeeks if the company didn’t deliver the hosting goods.
It does. Big time. Any plan you choose comes with some of the best performance in the shared web hosting space.
The price is extremely competitive and you get a long list of useful services that improve your website speed, save you money, and allow you to spend less time thinking about hosting. For less than $2.50 per month, you get:
With a lot of other hosts, you have to pay extra for a site builder and email. GreenGeeks includes both for free. There’s less stuff to set up, and moving forward, less maintenance on your end with courtesy nightly backups.
You also get a free domain name for the first year, which saves another $10-15 bucks right there.
Customer service is always available. You can reach out by phone, email tickets, or chat. The company has an excellent service reputation. GreenGeeks is also one of the few hosts with dedicated specialists that will help you transfer your old site for free.
I give Bluehost the edge for starting a WordPress site, though GreenGeeks makes the process very easy as well. If you’re not planning on WordPress, GreenGeeks is a good choice for Drupal and Joomla, two other popular content management systems. GreenGeeks gives you one-click installs and automatic updates for those apps and more.
GreenGeeks offers three shared hosting plans.
The Lite plan includes everything that I have mentioned so far. If you are just starting out, this is going to be all you need and more for a single site.
The Pro and Premium plans let you build an unlimited number of sites and offer more resources to help your site handle more traffic as it grows.
Regardless of the plan you choose, virtually everything you need to start running your site is bundled in. You can manage everything from a single dashboard.
The renewal rates are priced about average for the shared hosting space. Nothing great to call out there.
But don’t forget. Every year you host with GreenGeeks is another year where you are putting in more energy than you are taking out.
The person behind the scenes of an amazing WordPress website knows just how much attention and maintenance went into it.
That person doesn’t have to be you.
With WP Engine, you create great content, and your hosting provider takes over the technical side. This is really important if you have a high-traffic WordPress site, especially if you need to support interactive features and lots of media.
You can rest assured that everything will work and your site will be fast. That’s because WP Engine offers managed WordPress hosting plans. You still save money by sharing the server space with other WP Engine tenants, but you get much better performance and customer service because it’s a managed plan.
If you have a basic WordPress site or blog, Bluehost is going to be just fine. But once you reach a certain size, WordPress maintenance starts to become a lot more involved. With WP Engine, you don’t have to worry about the backend legwork–your sites are always blazing fast.
Think about the impression this makes on visitors. You have the latest plugins, video features, and intuitive shopping carts. Everything works in perfect harmony as potential customers make their way around your site.
This creates a positive, professional online identity for your business. And you don’t have to hire a developer to babysit your site or worry about the configuration and tedious maintenance yourself.
Even though WP Engine manages a lot of the technical stuff, there is no loss of control. In fact, you will have more tools to build out your site than any other platform. Some of the highlights of WP Engine hosting include:
The premium themes alone are worth more than $2,000 if you were to purchase them individually.
But the real value comes from being able to create a site that stands out from the rest. With millions of WordPress sites already using the same free themes, WP Engine gives you more freedom to create something different with the more powerful premium themes.
Stand out from the crowd. Test new ideas with complete freedom as WP Engine provides an easy staging area for you to try new plugins and themes before going live.
Whether you are building sites for yourself or your customers, the staging area streamlines safe development.
And when you run into issues, you get the best WordPress customer service in the business. WP Engine customers rave about how fast and comprehensive the support is. They are more than happy to pay extra for the peace of mind.
The cost of signing up with WP Engine is higher than most other shared hosting plans, but that’s because you get a lot more. Everything from themes to support is truly premium.
And, if you sign up using my promo code, you’ll save an extra 20% off your first payment.
If you are focused on getting the most value from every dollar you spend, WP Engine is worth it. Your site just works, and you don’t have to invest additional time and resources into it.
Bear in mind that WP Engine does not increase upon renewal. You can get two months for free if you sign an annual plan, but the price never changes.
So while WP Engine is significantly more than the introductory rates from other web hosts, over time it’s a lot closer.
WP Engine offers additional managed hosting plans beyond the ones I’ve pictured here. You can get managed hosting plus, which helps with keeping plugins updated, as well as plans for ecommerce hosting.
One thing to be aware of is that WP Engine only does WordPress hosting. If you are trying to host multiple types of sites on the same host, this is not for you. Bluehost can help with whatever type of site you want, and offers managed WordPress plans if you need more than basic shared hosting.
But if you want a top-of-the-line WordPress experience, WP Engine is your best option. You’ll be able to take your sites to the next level with minimal work on your end.Grow your site and your business, not your maintenance schedule.
If you are looking at shared hosting, it’s because you’re looking for a good price with low maintenance.
Consider it entry-level hosting, a fine option for new and small sites that aren’t expecting a ton of visitors.
Other types of hosting–like VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting–let you handle hundreds of thousands of visitors each month. The trade off is more upkeep and responsibility on your end. Plus these are going to cost five, ten, twenty times as much each month.
Still you want a fast site that’s always up and secure. You’re sharing space on a server, but you don’t want to compromise on the fundamentals.
All of my picks are dependable web hosts with a long track record of excellence with regards to site performance and security. This is as good as shared hosting gets.
That said, the way that each web host parcels out their services is different.
Let’s get into the fine print and nitty-gritty to make sure that you are finding the best deal on what you really need.
Shared hosting is definitely the best way to get a low price on hosting, but you want to get something that works within your budget today, tomorrow, and next year.
Typically, to get the cheapest price on most hosting plans, you have to sign on to a multi-year contract. If you have to pay everything up front, it may wind up being several hundred dollars, even if it’s only a few bucks a month.
Is that going to work? You don’t want to get to the end of the registration process only to discover that the “cheap” plan is way more than you want to put down today.
DreamHost is a great option for people that want a low monthly rate, as some hosts won’t let you sign up for less than a year.
The other major price factor to watch out for is the renewal rate. All web hosts offer introductory deals to get you to sign up, but that honeymoon pricing only lasts for so long.
Be smart about this. Signing up for a four-year Hostinger deal locks in the lowest rate for that entire period. Yes, it’s a chunk of change upfront, but over time it’s definitely the cheapest option out there.
As I mentioned, I only picked shared web hosts who offered best-in-class performance for their clients’ websites.
That said, each provider allocates server resources differently–if you start to max out these limits, performance is going to suffer even if you’re with a solid host.
You don’t want to get stuck choosing your content or site design based on resource limits.
Start with how much storage you need. A wedding photographer with thousands of high-res pictures and video is going to blow through storage quicker than a blogger who includes an image with each post.
A2 Hosting offers exceptionally generous storage with their entry-level plan: 100 GB for less than $3 per month. All of A2’s other plans come with unlimited storage.
You’ll see unlimited storage for a lot of upgraded shared hosting plans, and just know that it only counts toward what you use for your site. In other words, you can’t store seasons of your favorite show.
The other major resource to think about is bandwidth, which is basically the amount of data that can pass between your site and visitors. The amount you have is going to impact how fast your site is and how much lag there is between visitors arriving and page elements loading.
Everyone likes fast sites and they rank higher, but how much bandwidth do you need?
Some providers, like WP Engine, make it easy to figure out what to expect, because they list bandwidth along with an approximate number of monthly visitors on the pricing page:
New website owners especially will find this helpful. 25,000 visits a month is an easy number to wrap your head around. Some web hosts only give the bandwidth, which leaves you trying to pencil out how many visitors you can support.
When you see web hosts advertising “unlimited bandwidth,” what they mean is that there are no hard limits on what you can use. Bear in mind that it’s a shared server with finite resources, so if your site (or other people’s on that server) are using more than their fair share, it’s going to impact site performance.
For people with a basic site or blog, site resources aren’t a huge concern. You probably won’t have thousands of visitors each day, and each one will be consuming relatively little bandwidth.
But if you start adding interactive features, WordPress plugins, and other resource-intensive features on your site, I’d pay very close attention to what you get, and how much it’s going to cost if you need more.
A lot of providers throw in more than just hosting when you sign up. These package deals that include a lot of other services that may save you time and money.
Or you wind up paying for a bunch of stuff that you don’t need.
Here’s a short list of bundled services that are actual plusses for most users:
If this is your first site, all of this is going to be helpful.
A free domain name saves $10-15 and the time it takes you to signup with a domain registrar and point to your new host. Bluehost includes a domain name free for the first year, and you can get set up in a few steps without having to hunt down a domain registrar.
And even experienced folks will appreciate stuff like automated site backups. WP Engine takes care of that completely, which saves you from having to pay for and set up a system on your own.
Something like a website builder may be important if you want to customize the look of your site. Hostinger has an affordable site builder, but it’s an extra cost. GreenGeeks, which is a little more expensive per month, includes a site builder for free.
If you are going to run a WordPress site on Bluehost, you don’t need a separate website builder. You get templates and custom themes as part of the hosting package, so you are all set to build a sharp WordPress site immediately.
Alternatively, it may be the case that you already have a business email and use Cloudflare for free CDN. In that case, some of these services are just going to be distractions.
Customer service is very important when it comes to hosting. What happens when your site goes down? What happens when you can’t figure out what’s wrong?
Every minute your site is down or broken sends potential visitors to your competitor’s sites.
Customer service is a big factor in my decision to recommend this specific lineup of shared hosting providers. You can get in touch with any of them at any time day or night. I consider 24/7 support essential.
Some offer a greater range of support channels than others. A2 and GreenGeeks include phone, live chat, and email ticket support with every single plan they offer. Others only include phone service with premium tier plans.
But the number of support channels doesn’t tell the whole story. WP Engine only offers live chat with their lowest tier plan, but the company has incredible customer service reviews. People are very happy with the live chat support, because they are always talking with someone with expertise in WordPress.
Reading reviews only gets you so far, though. To get real evidence, take advantage of the free trial period. Every host I chose offers some risk-free period to try them out.
During that time, submit a bunch of customer service requests: calls, tickets, chats. Try out every avenue. It should be easy to get answers in a timely fashion. If it’s not, I’d consider that a red flag.
For people who already have a website, try to find a web host that will help you transfer your old site. That can get messy real quick. A2 and GreenGeeks will migrate your site for free, so I’d recommend looking at those two if you have a site already.
If you’re starting a new site from scratch or currently running a small website, shared hosting will be the best option for you. As your site grows, you can upgrade your hosting if need be, but it’s going to be more than good enough for now.
Let’s review my recommendations for the best shared hosting:
Hostinger is my top pick because it has the lowest price and comes with everything a new site needs to flourish.
For getting a new WordPress site off the ground, go with Bluehost. There’s no easier way to get started.
The other options are good, too, and may work even better than Hostinger or Bluehost, depending on what you are trying to do.
Say you need to leave your old host now. A2 is my top pick for you because they offer a free site transfer. This guarantees that the transition will be smooth and you won’t have to migrate everything over yourself.
Those of you looking to spend the smallest amount on day one will like DreamHost. Without signing a contract, you can get top-tier shared hosting at an affordable price.
Choose GreenGeeks if you want your hosting plan to improve the environment. Rest assured that every dollar you spend on hosting goes toward renewable energy.
If you are planning on a high-traffic WordPress site, for example, it might behoove you to go with WP Engine. While it’s overkill for small sites, it’s going to work much better for complex sites with a lot of visitors.
What’s your go-to provider for shared hosting?
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There’s no need to pay a fortune for web hosting if you’re launching a new website. A cheap web hosting solutions will work just fine.
But how cheap is too cheap? There are a lot of attractive options out there. Separating the good deals from the scams is important.
Fortunately, you won’t actually have to search through all of them. There are really only one or two dozen reputable web hosts to consider.
That list gets even smaller if you’re looking for a cheap web hosting plan that actually delivers good service.
If you want to get your site online for as little as possible, these are my top picks:
Hostinger has the absolute cheapest price for hosting at $1.39 per month for the Single Shared Hosting plan. So what’s the catch?
You have to sign up for a 48-month contract, which sounds a little heavy. But, bear with me.
Four years of Single Shared is going to cost less than a single year of hosting through other providers.
Seriously, other low-budget hosting plans are still twice to four times as expensive. Plus, the introductory rates you get with competitors might skyrocket when you have to renew. Once the honeymoon period is over, you might be looking at $10 or more each month.
With Hostinger on the other hand, your rate for shared hosting goes from $1.39 cents to $2.99/month upon renewal. That’s still a great price.
In other words, the Hostinger full rate is still less than introductory rates from other good cheap hosting options.
Okay, great. But I know you’re thinking the low rate must mean that there are annoying domain limits and few free tools to build your business.
Untrue. Hostinger is loaded to the brim with features and function.
Hostinger’s Single Shared Hosting plan supports one site, and includes:
There’s no free domain name included, which isn’t a big deal if you already have one. Bluehost and DreamHost come with a free domain name for the first year, but higher per-month rates.
If you need a free domain name, more storage, or unlimited bandwidth, Hostinger lets you upgrade your plan while keeping costs low:
Say you need to move to Premium Shared Hosting to support another site. That will cost $2.59/month to start and $5.99/month when you renew. That’s not going to break the bank, and you can host up to 100 websites.
Hostinger does a lot to ensure that the service is easy to use. Set up takes minutes and absolutely zero technical skill.
If you ever have issues, Hostinger’s customer service is always available and has a phenomenal reputation. The company gets you in the door with budget-friendly prices, and keeps you around with quality support.
Choose Hostinger for the lowest per-month plan on the market. Try it today risk-free, as Hostinger will refund your purchase if you aren’t happy within the first 30 days.
Not everyone wants to sign a long contract for hosting, but you usually have to in order to get the lowest price. Typically, you have to pay the whole amount upfront, which can get expensive even when you are looking at cheap plans.
DreamHost offers similar discounts if you want to sign a contract, but if you don’t, DreamHost’s month-to-month pricing is the lowest out there.
DreamHost Shared Starter is $4.95/month for one site. No contract necessary.
There’s really no way to get a lower price without a commitment. This can be really important for cash-strapped startups betting on growth. Instead of a big upfront spend, they can budget a predictable monthly hosting cost into the equation.
Freedom isn’t free, they say, and it’s especially true with hosting. Many young companies have found themselves locked into a long contract with no way out. Now they’re spending money on a service they don’t like at a time when every dollar counts.
With DreamHost, you can still get cheap hosting, but you don’t have any of the long-term risk that comes with a multi-year contract.
When you look at the month-to-month pricing for other plans on this list, there is no competition. A2 Hosting is $10.99/month, Hostgator is $10.95/month, and Hostinger is $9.99 with a $4.99 set up fee.
Bluehost and iPage don’t even offer plans without at least a year-long commitment.
All of these other plans are great, don’t get me wrong, but if you are looking for a no-contract option, DreamHost is the clear leader. Especially because you get such a solid range of features and free tools to build your site:
Like Bluehost, DreamHost is officially recommended by WordPress. The integration is deep and all of the updates are handled automatically. This is good for security purposes and saves you the trouble of doing it yourself.
So you can get all the benefits of tight WordPress integration without the commitment and large down payment required by Bluehost.
Now you might think that no contract would mean no money-back guarantee. The truth is DreamHost has a zero-risk 97-day money-back guarantee. That’s the longest time to try a web host that I know of.
If you need more than one site, and you want to pay month-to-month, iPage can’t help you. DreamHost offers a Shared Unlimited plan for $8.95/month that works for an unlimited number of sites:
If you just have one site, Shared Starter is all you need.
Stop worrying about when the honeymoon period of your introductory pricing is going to end.
Get DreamHost and pay a low, predictable rate each month. No more contracts, no more inflexible commitments. Just reliable hosting at a consistent price.
Try DreamHost today and use it risk-free for more than 3 months!
There’s probably no easier way to get your new website off the ground than with Bluehost. And it won’t cost you much at all, as the company offers incredibly feature-rich shared hosting starting at $2.95/month.
For most people with a new site—especially if it is their first site—Bluehost is what they want.
If you are building a WordPress site, I really recommend checking out your options at Bluehost. The company is one of only three hosting providers that is officially recommended by WordPress. The integration is amazing and installation is automatic.
We’ll talk more about why it’s so good for WordPress in a second, but I want to talk about why it’s good for just about anyone with a new site.
First off, Bluehost has some of the cheapest hosting rates around. And even the most basic plans are loaded with features and value.
You get a free domain name for the first year. Not only do you get to skip that expense, but the convenience of registering your domain through Bluehost cuts down on the time it takes to go live.
If this is your first site ever, you will be grateful at how simple the process is. If you’ve built sites before, you will really appreciate everything that’s done for you.
For example, you get a free SSL certificate for your site,and enabling it takes one click on the dashboard. This is critical for keeping all of the information on your site secure and lets visitors know that the site is safe to visit.
You can get free SSL certificates from other places, but they will not be this easy to install, trust me. And you will have to renew them every couple months.
With Bluehost, it’s completely hands-off and you are always protected.
You also get a free content delivery network (CDN) through Bluehost’s partnership with Cloudflare. This is going to improve site speed and performance with near-zero work on your part.
Okay, so on top of the free domain name, SSL certificate, and CDN, Bluehost gives you:
All of these features are included with the Bluehost Basic shared hosting, which starts at $2.95/month. If you have to upgrade, prices stay affordable at the higher tiers:
One thing to be aware of is that Bluehost renewal rates are about two to three times higher than the introductory rate. This is why I recommend signing up for a long plan to max out the discount period.
Even at full price, though, Bluehost is really competitively priced compared to the field. This is especially true when you consider the long list of features you get and the ease of getting set up.
It’s as hands-free of a hosting experience as you could ask for and when you want to develop your site, all the tools are right there.
WordPress is automatically installed on Bluehost, for example. This means full integration and automatic WordPress updates.
With Bluehost shared hosting, you can use another content management system (CMS) besides WordPress if you want.
But if you know that you are only going to use WordPress, I highly recommend going with one of Bluehost’s WordPress Shared Hosting plans.
These start at $2.95/month, which is the same price as regular shared hosting. The difference is that the servers that have been optimized exclusively for WordPress. There’s no other type of software on them, so servers can be better configured and more easily protected.
If you have a new site in mind, make Bluehost your one-stop-shop for getting online. Get everything set up in a single place instead of having to go through a domain registrar. Best of all, you’ll get a great deal in the process.
So if you have a new site: Get Bluehost Basic shared hosting.
And if that new site is a WordPress site: Get Bluehost Basic WordPress hosting.
There’s a reason that more than 2 million sites are hosted through Bluehost. Find out why today.
If you grow your ecommerce site past a certain point, the cheapest web hosting options won’t work. But, if you are just getting your online store up and running, there is no better budget-friendly option than A2 Hosting.
In fact, you can get everything you need to launch for $2.99/month with the A2 Startup plan. You’ll have to sign a contract to get the lowest rate, but you’ll be ready to go within minutes.
Along with PayPal integration, the cheapest A2 hosting plan comes with one-click installs for five of the top ecommerce platforms, including WooCommerce, OpenCart, and Magneto. There’s hardly any backend IT work to start selling.
A2 Hosting offers some of the best site speed and security for the price, which are really important for online stores.
Shoppers won’t stay if your content is slow to load. A2 takes care of all the technical legwork that goes into maintaining high performance servers. It’s compatible with Cloudflare’s free content delivery network, which can boost your speed as well.
Most shoppers won’t even come if Google says your site’s not safe. That’s going to happen if you don’t have an SSL certificate. A2 includes one for free, and it’s always enabled.
This is a huge perk, because you can get free SSL certificates elsewhere, but it’s on you to configure and renew them, which can be frustrating.
Most of the other security benefits are similarly hands off. The virus scanner, firewall, and brute force defense are on autopilot—you’ll receive notification if there’s something you need to do, but A2 handles a lot on its own.
And if you have an issue you can’t solve, A2 will help. Go read reviews. The company has some of the happiest web hosting customers on the planet. If you need to move your old site to A2’s servers, they have a team that will do it for free.
Some of the other excellent benefits of A2 Startup include:
Website staging is really useful for online stores. You can test new features and buttons on a page in a development area before pushing it live. This way you can see if anything breaks before it impacts your customers.
The A2 Startup plan is aptly named—it won’t be enough once your site matures. But by the time you’ve hit that milestone, your site will be bringing in more than enough money to justify the cost of upgrading.
A2 is one of the pricier options on my list of cheap web hosting providers. I like it for online stores because of the speed, security, and generous limits on storage. 100 GB is twice as much as you get with Bluehost.
And if you aren’t happy with your service, A2 Hosting will refund your account within 30 days of purchase. It’s a true hassle-free money-back guarantee.
Your online reputation matters, so it’s a huge peace of mind to know that customer service is always there. A2 Hosting representatives are extremely knowledgeable. They will help you resolve issues quickly, before your online store takes a hit.
Sign up with A2 Hosting today for the cheapest possible way to host your online store.
When your current host jacks up the rates or takes a customer service nose-dive, you need to switch. Whatever the cause, there is no reason to pay for substandard hosting.
Hostgator will help you migrate your old site for free. This includes the cPanel, email accounts, files, databases, scripts, etc. They also include one free domain registration transfer, which saves a few bucks, too.
All you have to do is fill out a transfer form within 30 days of signing up. Hostgator will do the rest.
You get the free migration with any of Hostgator’s shared hosting plans, including Hatchling, which starts at $2.75/month with a contract.
With Hostgator, you can lock in a really low rate and get great uptime for less than you paid before. After the zero-stress migration, you get high quality customer support available any time of day by phone and live chat.
It’s cheaper web hosting, better service, and very few limits on what you can do. Some of the highlights include:
The good news is that Hostgator provides tons of tools to help you optimize the content on your site and keep things running at top speed. The interface is very easy to use, which gives you complete control over your site and databases.
It’s comparable to Bluehost in a lot of ways, which I like better if you have a brand new site. But if you already have a website, Bluehost won’t move it over for free. Hostgator will. If you have more than one site to migrate, Hostgator will give you a quote for the cost, but the first one is free.
This makes your transition to cheaper hosting a lot easier. Plus, Hostgator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like what you see, you have more than a month to jump ship without paying a cent.
Quit spending too much on hosting and find out why so many people love Hostgator.
iPage Go lets you create unlimited websites for under $2/month. Every other plan on my list requires you to purchase an upgraded plan to support more than one site.
I really like iPage Go because there is one plan. Without tiered pricing, you don’t have to worry about upgrading your plan until you need something more substantial than shared hosting.
In other words, you can build as many websites as you want without having to stress about paying more to do more.
With iPage Go it’s unlimited sites, domains, and storage. Like similar “unlimited” offerings, your service has no hard and fast limits, but there are restrictions on how much your site can demand from the shared server.
So, when iPage says they offer scalable bandwidth, it means they aren’t metering the traffic to your site. You could still hit restrictions, but there is no set cap for the number site visitors.
Most people looking for cheap hosting for their websites won’t have to worry too much about these limits. iPage is able to support 99.5% of customers without any issues at all. In fact, the company will work with you to make sure you’ve optimized your site if you start to approach restricted usage limits.
In addition to providing the cheapest multi-site hosting option, iPage gives customers access to a ton of free tools to build and nurture their site.
You get a free domain name for the first year, along with a free SSL certificate. On top of that, you get free email with autoresponders. You can use the email provided, or manage your website accounts with Microsoft Outlook and other third-party apps.
iPage hosting includes a free website builder, which can help you customize the look and feel of all your sites. WordPress is a one click installation as are other popular content management systems like Joomla and Drupal.
For less than $2 per month, all of this is yours. Other benefits include:
There is no month-to-month pricing for iPage Go. You can sign up for one, two, or three years. The longer the contract you sign, the lower the introductory pricing and renewal rate you get:
I’m not aware of another hosting provider who gives you a discount on your renewal rate for signing a long contract, so that is a unique perk.
As I mentioned, you’ll never have to upgrade to a different shared hosting plan. You get everything they offer with iPage Go. There are hardly any limits on your resources, and if your site gets too popular to be supported by shared hosting, iPage has some more powerful hosting solutions at competitive prices.
Until then, host all of your websites for one low price with iPage.
If you’re starting with a WordPress site (as many people do) and you’re looking to transform it into a potent online store, you ought to deploy WooCommerce. Sure, the plugin is free, but you’ll still need hosting and to manage your newly WooCommerce-enhanced site.
But, if you go with GreenGeeks, you can take care of all that in one fell swoop.
Much like A2 Hosting, you can get an affordable hosting plan that allows for an easy, one-click install of WooCommerce on your site. But, unlike A2, you get managed features like daily backups and automatic updates even at the lowest pricing tier.
Speaking of pricing, GreenGeeks offers three levels of managed WooCommerce Hosting:
The only drawback of that pricing structure is that the starting price is for a three-year commitment.
That could be a bit too much of a commitment for someone just trying GreenGeeks on for size or worried about massive, rapid scaling over that time. But GreenGeeks’ prices don’t jump up wildly for shorter terms, unlike some other providers.
For example, with the Lite package, a two-year commitment only raises the monthly cost $1.50 to $3.95/month. For a one-year term, it’s $4.95/month. Of course, month-to-month is the most expensive, but that rate of $10.95/month is right on par with A2’s base plan rate.
I mentioned above that even the Lite plan has daily backups and automatic plugin updates, but it also includes a free Wildcard SSL, unmetered data, a free domain name for the first year, and 50 GB of space for one website.
And, if you’re worried about scalability over the long haul, GreenGeeks’ Premium plan can put those fears to bed. With it, you get everything mentioned above, plus LSCache, LiteMage shop accelerator, a free dedicated IP, capacity for unlimited websites, and more.
All of this comes backed by some of the best customer support in the category. You can browse the GreenGeeks knowledge base or reach out to a rep via live chat, phone call, or email. Their phone center is available Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to midnight Eastern and GreenGeeks has a great track record of responding to any email request within 20 minutes.
Get a great deal on WooCommerce hosting by starting with GreenGeeks today.
You’re looking for the cheapest plan out there, but you still need a dependable host.
There’s no shortage of budget-friendly web hosting options available. Each one promises great uptime, site performance, and customer support.
It seems like anyone can get their site up for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.
What’s the catch?
If you understand your options and pick the right one, there is no catch.
I’m going to guide you through saving every dollar possible without getting scammed or locked into a plan that you’ll regret later.
Use these four criteria to cut through the advertising gimmicks, rule out plans that are “too good to be true,” and hone in on the best deal for lowest price.
When looking for web hosting in general, price is pretty important. But in looking at cheap web hosting, I’ve made pricing the most important criteria by far.
In other words, I asked myself: How can I get dependable hosting at the absolute lowest price?
Since you have to pay for hosting each month, even a few dollars’ difference between plans will add up over time.
I focused on web hosts with a rock solid reputation because their cheap hosting options don’t cut corners. These plans are no-frills hosting, for sure, but I made sure they cover all the essentials.
With some of the less reputable hosts out there, you can get a rock-bottom price and a rock-bottom experience.
The providers I chose have super-affordable plans that won’t cause trouble now, trap you into upgrading, or wind up costing a fortune down the road.
Lots of web hosts might seem cheap at first glance, but you need to review the contract terms to truly get a sense of the actual cost.
To lock in the lowest possible rate, you’ll likely have to commit to a two, three, or even a four-year plan.
Importantly, these contracts are typically paid up-front and in-full.
That means that web hosting advertised at $3 per month could actually cost you upwards of $100 today.
Along with the length of the contract, you need to check the renewal rates. It’s common practice in the web hosting industry for hosting plans to skyrocket upon renewal.
Promotional pricing might cost $3 per month, but then automatically renew at something like $10 per month.
That would more than triple your rate upon renewal. Suddenly it’s not so cheap anymore.
How many sites do you want?
If you add a site or two, you could accidentally get forced to upgrade and pay a lot more.
iPage, for example, lets people create as many websites as they want with their cheapest hosting plan.
With Hostinger, on the other hand, you’ll have to upgrade to host more than one site. That said, Hostinger’s next plan up is still less than $3 per month and you can build up to 100 websites.
Another important limit to consider is bandwidth. This is the maximum amount of data your site can transfer to users during a set amount of time.
Now there’s no such thing as unlimited bandwidth, but you are definitely going to see that advertised with a lot of the cheapest web hosting plans out there.
Why can they say this?
Because these are shared hosting plans where your site is on a server with a bunch of other sites. On a typical day, these sites are not going to use all of the server’s resources, so they say it’s unlimited.
The truth is that you will definitely still have limits on how much of the server’s central processing unit (CPU) your site can use.
Getting too many visitors to your site may exceed your CPU limits, and the provider may ask you to upgrade.
Shared hosting plans with unlimited bandwidth are perfect for cheap web hosting, just don’t equate it with unlimited visitors.
You’d be surprised, but even some of the least expensive web hosting plans are packed with free tools and capabilities. Getting these freebies as part of a bundle can help you save in other areas.
Some of the features to look out for include:
Everything that’s included with your hosting plan is something you don’t have to spend more money on.
It’s not hard to register your domain name, but if your hosting plan includes it, that’s going to save you $10-15 in the first year.
Getting a free professional email is another $30 in your pocket. The freebies add up.
Even Hostinger, which can be purchased for less than $1/month, comes with an email account, SSL certificate, and a website builder that requires zero coding knowledge to use.
You don’t have to spend very much to get your site online, but if you aren’t careful, web hosting can wind up costing a lot more than you think.
Choosing a reputable provider is the first step, but you don’t have to worry about that if you stick to my list of best cheap web hosts. These are all really well-known companies with a long history of dependable service.
To get the lowest per-month price, go with Hostinger. At less than a buck fifty per month, there is nothing else even close.
Of course, if you don’t want to lock into a long contract to get low rates with Hostinger, I recommend DreamHost. You can get high-quality hosting for less than $5/month without any commitment.
If you have a new site in mind and you want to get it off the ground quickly, Bluehost is the choice for you. It’s a little pricier than Hostinger, but still under $3/month. Plus Bluehost includes a free domain name for the first year (you’re going to need that for a new site), which saves another $10-15 right there.
If you have multiple sites to host, iPage should be your first and last stop. Unlimited websites for less than $2/month. Say no more.
Shortlist A2 Hosting for online stores. It’s well set up to handle the extra security and performance demands of ecommerce. If you’re running a web store on WooCommerce, think about GreenGeeks for a little extra savings for comparable performance.
And if you are tired of your current hosting situation, let Hostgator help. They will migrate your site to their servers for free. Then you can start saving money and enjoying quality customer service again.
Clickbait has gotten a bad rap in recent years.
In the age of misinformation, people are hesitant to make sensationalist claims—and rightfully so.
When done right, though, clickbait is one of the most effective ways to get people’s attention and drive traffic towards your content.
What’s important is once you get them to your site, you offer more than just a catchy headline.
In this post, we’ll explain why clickbait works, how to do it ethically, and why you should be using more of it.
Clickbait is any content written to attract clicks. It can include any web content, from news articles to blog posts, infographics, videos, interviews, and more.
Clickbait content usually contains:
Although widely attributed to online media, this type of content has been around since the dawn of print journalism. In the 19th century, when newspapers were fighting for circulation numbers, they found the best way to attract new visitors was using catchy headlines to entice readers.
Here’s an example from a 1913 version of New York World, a newspaper run by the infamous Joseph Pulitzer. As you can see, every headline is attention-grabbing, emotional, and aimed at hooking a read at first glance.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and catchy newspaper headlines have transformed into catchy blog titles.
With the introduction of SEO, and more brands wanting to increase traffic to their websites, clickbait titles had a mainstream resurgence.
Brands such as Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and Gawker began publishing popular listicle content like: “27 Famous Actors Who Tricked You Into Thinking They’re American” and “6 songs that seem romantic but aren’t, and one that seems like it isn’t but is.” This content was widely successful, primarily due to the popularity of social media and the virality of relatable content.
These days, it is used in almost every type of digital content, from “15 Marketing Tools You Need to Dominate Your Social Strategy” to “The Secret Behind My 1,866,913 Monthly Search Visitors.”
Clickbait content can be anything, from blogs to videos, news articles, ads, and beyond.
The most common types include listicles, how-tos, and blog posts that capitalize on trending topics.
Here are a few examples of common headings:
Clickbait headlines can also be used on video platforms like YouTube. You’ll see an example of this below.
Clickbait often gets a bad rap online, mostly due to allegations about misleading content.
That being said, there are so many ways to leverage it ethically without misleading your readers.
It works because of its ability to tap into genuine human emotion and curiosity.
This is called the curiosity gap and it is the psychological feeling of wanting to know more.
Most clickbait titles are structured to make the reader think they will learn something new by clicking on the link.
The important ethical note is to offer real value within your article, not simply using a misleading headline to get page traffic.
Clickbait is also an important part of measuring online success.
If no one clicks on your blog, then you lose the opportunity to talk to thousands of potential customers.
If you want to expand your reach, then you want more clicks. If you want more clicks, you need to build a strategy to get them.
That being said, you don’t need to resort to sensationalism to do this.
Instead, think about the goals of your audience. Our blog, for example, teaches readers about digital marketing techniques. While we may use catchy headlines, such as “The 10 Ingredients of Great Content Writing” or “19 Strategies That’ll Help You Become an Influencer,” we offer actionable information within those blogs that help our readers achieve their goals.
When using clickbait strategies, focus on your customer pain points and create content that will educate and excite them.
If your headline matches your content, you can avoid audience backlash.
While clickbait can be a successful digital marketing strategy, it can also hurt your brand if done wrong.
Many social media sites and search engines have added rules to their policies to discourage the use of sensationalist or misleading content.
Google’s policy prohibits “Ads that use clickbait tactics or sensationalist text or imagery to drive traffic.” This can include:
On Facebook, clickbait articles will show up lower in News Feeds and repeated sharing can result in page restrictions.
It’s also important to avoid misleading clickbait on your website, as it can damage trust in your brand.
Ultimately, success comes down to two things:
Now that you know how to use clickbait ethically, it’s time to implement these strategies into your content marketing.
Here’s how to get started:
Now that you know what not to do, let’s take a look at some clickbait strategies done right.
When Shopify and Google teamed up to promote Shopify Premium plans, they knew the best way to get people interested was to offer them something in return.
Everyone loves the word FREE!
Smartwatch brand Blocks also leveraged clickbait headlines in its Kickstarter campaign.
By using numbers, Blocks displays the high worth of its product, public trust in the campaign, and scarcity.
Not only will users who read this headline trust a large community supports Blocks, but they will also feel motivated to act immediately before the campaign ends.
Another great example of clickbait in ads comes from One Smart Penny, a financial advice blog.
In their ad, they use the curiosity gap, by alluding to a secret you’ll only find out if you read the blog. They also leverage the power of celebrity with a feature by Barbara Corcoran, which brings an element of social proof to the ad.
Ready to start writing your own? Follow these steps to write a great headline that drives clicks.
Leveraging popular trends and news is a great way to engage your users.
By setting up Google Alerts for trending or viral topics, you can stay ahead of your competition and be the first to break the news to your audience.
Pair your trending headlines with relevant keywords to boost your SEO.
Numbers are a time-honored blogging trend that increases reader engagement.
Numbers in blog titles are effective because they show your readers there will be actionable steps to follow and the content will be easy to scan.
Because online users are looking for quick, efficient information, they prefer content they can easily access and ingest.
Numbers also imply the presence of a listicle, which are often the most shared blog types on the internet.
Offering immediate value is a great way to encourage clicks on your post.
You can offer physical value through discounts, free products, consultation services, and more. Or, you can offer something less tangible, such as a secret or an industry trick.
When using this clickbait strategy, be sure to follow through with your promise in your post.
No one wants a misleading headline, and if you don’t seem trustworthy, you’ll lose your audience’s attention.
One of the best clickbait strategies is to use a teaser in your headline.
By suggesting the reader will find something they don’t already know in your post, you’re leveraging the curiosity gap and creating immediate engagement.
A teaser can be a number of things, from “The X things you wish you knew…” or, “You’ll never guess what ____ did in Paris”.
As we said before, be sure to follow through with your teaser in the body of your post to avoid annoying your audience.
Neither. It is a powerful marketing strategy if used correctly. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging clicks on your post, as long as you’re offering value to your audience that goes beyond the headline.
The goal is to grab a user’s attention and encourage clicks on your content.
Yes, though it is different now. Because of the prevalence of misinformation online, many entities now have regulations in place to discourage misuse of clickbait headlines. Yet there are still ethical and productive ways to use this tactic.
It works in our curiosity gap and piques our interest in topics or news.
Although it often gets bad press, clickbait is an important marketing strategy that can help improve traffic to your content or website.
When using this strategy, it’s important to be ethical and not mislead your users or capitalize on negative content just to boost your views.
If you believe in your content and think it will benefit your users, then there’s no reason to feel bad about crafting enticing titles.
What is your favorite kind of clickbait headline?
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
Upgrading to one of the best VPS hosting plans will drastically improve your site performance if you’re currently using shared hosting.
VPS stands for virtual private server. It means you get a private slice of server resources–no more sharing them with other websites–and the ability to customize the server, which you can’t do with shared hosting.
You get the exact resources your sites need, but you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars a month for an entire dedicated server of your own.
Or, maybe you need VPS for a different reason, such as corralling all the data from a fleet of smart devices or vehicles, running gaming servers, or computing ungodly amounts of data.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Using VPS servers for edge computing can give you a huge edge right now in a lot of different industries and cases.
Let’s run through everything you need to know to make an informed decision. I’ll start off with in-depth reviews of my top recommendations for VPS hosting and conclude with a brief buyer’s guide to help you select the best fit for you.
For many people, HostGator is going to be the cheapest way possible to get a managed VPS plan–that means high-power servers with low-stress maintenance for a great price.
In fact, the only reason I can’t say this is the cheapest managed VPS plan for everyone is that you have to use cPanel for server management. If you use something else, HostGator can’t provide the full-service management that makes this option so attractive.
It’s a little unusual, the fact that the hosting control panel impacts the level of service you get. But given that cPanel is one of the most widely used options on the planet, many users are going to be able to benefit from HostGator’s excellent managed VPS plans.
Why am I such a big fan?
First off, the generous amount of resources you get. The entry-level HostGator VPS plan comes with 2 GB RAM, 120 GB storage, and unmetered bandwidth. That means you won’t get charged based on a set level of traffic coming to your site.
Obviously there’s an acceptable use policy, but you don’t have hard fast limits.
You’ll have root access and total control over what you install on your VPS. The Softaculous script installer (included free) lets you load hundreds of the most popular web apps onto your server in a single step.
Whenever you run into trouble, day or night, you can reach out to HostGator by phone, chat, or Twitter, if you really want to catch HostGator’s attention. Premium support comes with every managed plan, as well as server monitoring and remediation.
You can definitely find unmanaged plans for cheaper, but having a service team there around the clock to troubleshoot issues is a tremendous value.
HostGator’s support really goes to the next level with free content transfers. Sign up and HostGator will transfer everything from your old site to its new home–files, databases, scripts–you don’t have to stress or worry.
With HostGator, everything is set up right the first time and you have all the help you need moving forward. HostGator provides courtesy weekly backups, which is helpful, but you can also schedule your own backups and create them on-demand.
Such flexible backup capabilities can easily run $10-20 per month if you purchase them separately (to say nothing of the time it takes). Affordable hosting plans usually cut corners, but HostGator is loaded with cost-saving features:
You have the option of going with a semi-managed plan or a fully-managed plan. The prices you see below are the semi-managed plan:
For people who know their way around the command line, or already have a hosting control panel they like, these semi-managed plans will be great. But if you want the fully-managed services, you will have to purchase cPanel, which is $10 per month more.
It’s still a great price, especially when you think about the 24/7 premium service and all the backups and security responsibilities that are taken off your plate.
CentOS is the default operating system, so there is a little less flexibility than some of the other web hosts on my list. That said, for most people, this is going to be fine.
So there are a few limits and asterisks to this deal (you have to use cPanel, for instance), but they are not going to get in the way of most people seeking a managed VPS plan.
Give HostGator a call today and have your site migrated for free.
Liquid Web doesn’t offer shared hosting, and if you want to leave that world behind, the company has a great deal to get set up.
Go with one of the managed VPS plans, and Liquid Web throws in a free migration. This involves a team of specialists moving all of your content and data over to the new hosting. I think that’s a pretty big deal because it saves you money, time, and the cost of screwing something up.
And once you get set up, you kind of get to keep the good parts of the shared hosting experience without the downsides.
VPS with Liquid Web is still really affordable, especially when you consider what a dedicated server costs. So you are not breaking the bank to get the increased VPS performance and stability you need.
Plus you get to keep a relatively low-key maintenance schedule, which is something people really love about shared hosting. There’s more to do with VPS, for sure, but much of the backend legwork is handled by Liquid Web if you want.
If you are happy managing your server, get an unmanaged plan. If you want to avoid all responsibility, get a fully managed plan. And if you fall somewhere in between, you can check out the Core VPS plan, which Liquid Web describes as semi-managed.
Just pick the level of support that matches your technical confidence and time constraints.
Bear in mind that the support level you choose for your plan is an additional level of premium support on top of Liquid Web’s customer service team. No matter what plan you pick you can connect with an on-site service agent by phone, chat, and email 24/7.
So you have more freedom to build, better resources to do it, and support whenever you run into issues. It’s an all-around improvement from shared hosting, complete with:
You won’t have to worry about managing any of this. It just happens in the background while you focus on your business.
Liquid Web offers a range of plans and bundles with extremely low introductory pricing. Upon renewal, it goes up to the monthly rate.
To get the lowest price, you have to sign up for a 2-year deal. I think it’s definitely worth it, although it’s a higher upfront cost. You just save so much money by doing this. Looking at the 2GB packages, it’s normally $59 per month and worth every penny.
I mean look at the bandwidth. 10 TB is far and away the most you will see with an entry-level plan. Getting that for $15 a month is an outrageous monster-step up from shared hosting at basically the same price.
You can also go with a Value Bundle, which is available for any plan. This gives you business email service, and additional 100 GB of remote backup, and additional security benefits.
You have your choice of six different operating systems, including Windows Server.
I recommend going with CentOS, if you can, because then you can use Interworx as your control panel for free. If you want to use something else, you’ll need to get cPanel or Plesk, which is included as an extra charge.
So if you are looking at VPS as a way to boost the performance you’re getting with shared hosting, Liquid Web is a really good option. You’ll get the blazing speed you need without a ton of additional maintenance headaches associated with private servers.
And remember, Liquid Web will bring everything over from your old host for free. This is the easiest and most affordable way to get your online assets the dedicated server resources they deserve.
If you pay monthly and use coupon code NEIL40, you can get 40% off your first four months. Get started with Liquid Web today.
If you have a new app, project, or website that needs it’s own dedicated set of server resources, Bluehost has you covered.
You can get a VPS set up for a great price, without adding a ton of complexity to your IT maintenance.
Everything is easier to configure with Bluehost’s enhanced cPanel, which comes free with all VPS plans. You’ll be able to manage emails, domains, websites, and more within the user-friendly interface.
Usually you have to pay extra for even a basic control panel. Not with Bluehost, though, which starts at $18.99 per month.
And Bluehost includes a lot of services in every VPS hosting package. This means less to spend and try and figure out on your own. You’ll get:
You’ll be able to manage all of your sites from a single location with multi-server management. This is helpful if you have sites that are fine on shared hosting and only need the VPS for a particular site or application.
Bluehost offers three different plans for VPS hosting.
The Standard plan is on the low-end of pricing, especially when you consider that cPanel is included for free. This is normally going to cost you $10-15 per month extra.
Bluehost has also improved the control panel with specific tools for managing your VPS.
You can definitely get a cheaper VPS if you are a DIY type who doesn’t want cPanel taking away from their VPS resources. But for your typical user that just wants a simple interface to manage their VPS, Bluehost is a bargain.
Getting the domain name free for the first year is another $10-15 saved.If you are thinking about VPS hosting for a new site or app, you should definitely consider Bluehost.
Hostinger has some really inexpensive VPS plans and an approachable interface that makes it perfect for new users.
You won’t get as much assistance setting things up as you do with a fully-managed plan, but it’s a fraction of the cost.
It’s not like you don’t get support. Far from it. Hostinger has customer service agents available. 24/7/365. The company promises short wait times for answers whenever you reach out, even though it’s an unmanaged plan.
And compared to some of the unmanaged plans aimed solely at developers, Hostinger is a lot more welcoming. You’re not expected to know everything, and helpful context is always linked or a click away.
Consider how easy it is to backup and restore your VPS server. Weekly or daily backups are generated automatically, depending on your plan, and available in your control panel.
You can also create a snapshot of the VPS at that exact moment whenever you want. This is great if you are about to try a major change on your site. Something goes wrong, just restore your site to the way it was before in a couple clicks. No harm, no foul.
You get a solid range of OS choices: CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, or Suse. These are one-click to install.
Hostinger describes its plan structure as “semi-managed” VPS hosting. It’s good for starting out because you get a mix of support and freedom at a really low cost.
Hostinger doesn’t include licenses cPanel with the budget VPS hosting plans. There’s just no way they can give it away when you are only paying a few bucks a month for VPS hosting. The good news is that it’s cheaper to get cPanel with Hostinger than it is with any other host, starting at $1.95 per month.
Hostinger has six levels with increasing amounts of server firepower. VPS levels 1-4 are shown below:
Start off small and scale as big as you want. VPS 1 is an excellent price for getting your feet wet, and comes with more than enough resources for your first project. If you have to upgrade, you have options that remain extremely affordable.
To get the lowest price, you’ll have to sign up for a 4-year deal. This might be a turn off if you are just looking to experiment, but it’s pretty great to be able to lock in 48 months of VPS hosting at $3.95.
And if you just want to pay month to month, the price of VPS 1 is only $9.99. That is really reasonable. Honestly, that is a normal price for shared hosting, and this is way more powerful.
The last thing you need to know about Hostinger is the 30-day money back guarantee. It’s zero risk to try and easy to start using. If you’ve ever thought of seeing how VPS hosting could give you a leg up on the competition, give Hostinger a shot today.
VPS hosting is the most powerful game in town outside of having your own dedicated servers. Chances are, you’re looking for VPS because you know (or at least hope) that your site is going to need a lot of CPU cores, RAM, and/or storage to give visitors a good experience.
But you may not know exactly what you need from server resources until you’re live. Fortunately, Scala Hosting gives you tremendous flexibility in every way.
It begins from setup—Scala lets you choose between fully-managed and self-managed VPS, each of which allow you to finely customize the CPUs, memory, and SSD disk space you’re getting.
And by finely, I mean finely. Just look at the range of resources available to you on both:
Fully managed VPS:
But, better still, your resource allocation choices are not carved into stone. You can scale up or down your number of CPU cores and how much RAM you need (you’re only able to upgrade SSD storage, though, not downscale). And you won’t be charged for doing so at any point in your plan.
So, if you find you miscalculated on your initial plan setup—or, better still, your site is more popular than you bargained for—no sweat. You’re able to tweak your VPS plan anytime, so you’re only paying for what you need while also not missing out when you need more.
As far as pricing goes, the self-managed VPS from Scala starts at $26/month for the bare minimum (two cores, 8 GB RAM, 80 GB SSD). The prices above in the bullet list for adding CPUs, RAM, and disk space apply throughout.
So, a plan comparable to Bluehost’s top-of-the-line VPS (four cores, 8 GB RAM, 120 GB storage) runs you just $38/month, better than Bluehost’s $59.99/month.
Scala’s fully managed VPS is, understandably, pricier, but allows for lower monthly cost by committing to longer terms, up to a three-year commitment.
The steps up are more expensive—$6 per additional core, $2 for each additional GB of RAM, $2 for each additional 10 GB of storage—but, again, you aren’t charged just for the act of adjusting resources and you’re still coming out ahead compared to some other higher-end managed VPS plans.
Compared to GreenGeeks’ 8 GB plan (6 CPUs and 160 GB SSD), Scala comes in cheaper on month-to-month pricing ($87.95/month), as well as any longer commitments.
So, with Scala Hosting VPS, you get exactly what you need from their servers, both when initially setting up your web hosting and throughout the life of your commitment with them. That’s true freedom, flexibility, and customization.
GreenGeeks offers a complete package of managed VPS hosting services. You aren’t spending extra to fill in the cracks or get the setup you want.
It’s ready to go out of the box, and perfect for the buyer who wants the performance of VPS without the IT headaches that come with.
Top-notch customer support is included with the package deal. GreenGeeks admins will help with everything from sluggish sites to network problems. Basically, they will help you with anything except the apps and websites you build yourself.
The price for GreenGeeks is definitely a little higher than some of the others you’ll see, but you’re not spending extra to purchase stuff like “premium support” or licenses for cPanel. That’s all lumped into the monthly price.
You are able to get all of your sites and apps deployed without opening your wallet up again and again.
There are no upsells on the platform. Those don’t bother me a lot, but some people really don’t like paying for a service only to be shown more products to buy at every turn. GreenGeeks will even transfer your website for free as long as you are using cPanel.
Another reason I like this option is the high bandwidth limits. You get an astonishing 10 TB with GreenGeeks entry-level VPS hosting plans. 10 terabytes? For real? Yes.
So if you are expecting boatloads of traffic, GreenGeeks gives you the bandwidth not to worry. Most other hosts aren’t giving you 10 TB unless you are paying significantly more. Some of the other standout features of GreenGeeks include:
If you were wondering about the name GreenGeeks, yes, the company is very much concerned with the environment. For every bit of energy you pull from the power grid to run the hosting of your site, GreenGeeks puts three times that amount back into renewables.
This is the only eco-friendly host I know of. If that’s important to you, know that you are making a positive impact by choosing GreenGeeks as your host.
And even if environmental concerns aren’t something at the forefront of your mind, GreenGeeks is just a great VPS hosting provider. Yes, it’s a little pricier than some, but it is hardly expensive when you look at what you get.
I really like GreenGeeks for users who want an all-in-one VPS hosting solution. All of the key aspects are covered.
There’s no catches, asterisks, or fine print to figure out. Just pick your plan and start building.
On top of that, you get comprehensive, truly managed support. GreenGeeks is there to help with any hosting issue. There’s no red tape separating you from the service you need, whenever you need it.
For the socially-conscious company, GreenGeeks should be your first choice. But like I said, even if you don’t worry so much about the environment, choose GreenGeeks for the solid price on resources for your VPS. Getting 10 TB bandwidth and 4 CPU cores is remarkable for an entry-level plan.
If you are looking for a VPS hosting solution that works out of the box, GreenGeeks should be on your shortlist. Get in touch with them today.
InMotion is a phenomenal hosting company that’s beloved by power users and first timers.
You’ll find that they offer the full range of VPS services. Get a small slice of a server that’s completely yours for a cheap price, opt for a managed hosting plan with hands-off maintenance, or get a reseller plan built for your bottom line.
What I want to focus on in this review is InMotion’s WordPress VPS hosting. This is a great solution for companies that have a lot of high-powered WordPress sites.
Once you reach a certain point, shared hosting is not going to be enough to keep your sites fast. Some companies choose managed WordPress hosting, but that can get expensive. Plus you lose a lot of the control over how the server is configured with those plans.
With InMotion’s WordPress VPS, you get to set up your server any way you want, but you still get a lot of the benefits of a managed WordPress hosting plan: an exclusive WordPress hosting environment, top-of-the-line performance, built-in security, on-demand and automatic backups, and more.
And it’s likely going to be a lot less expensive than a traditional managed WordPress hosting plan for a lot more resources.
Another way to think about it is that you get the performance you need for your sites without the loss of customizability.
To make the transition to InMotion easier, the company offers Launch Assist. This is two hours with an IT specialist to help you set everything up right the first time. Avoid costly downtime, frustration, and mistakes down the road.
As I noted, you’re going to get a lot more resources than you could get with a managed WordPress plan, but it’s not like you are on the hook for a ton of maintenance. It’s a nice balance. 4 GB of RAM and 4 TB of bandwidth would cost an arm and a leg with a traditional plan, but it starts at $29.99 per month with InMotion VPS for WordPress.
All of the tools you need are included at that price. You get:
A lot of VPS plans you’ll see come with a single dedicated IP. With InMotion, you get at least three, which is helpful if you have a lot of WordPress sites, or want to keep them separate from mail servers and other projects.
And if you need more resources, scaling up remains very cost-effective.
With some plans, you have to pay $10+ per month just to get a cPanel account. InMotion gives you five with the entry-level plan. You’ll also have a Resource Monitoring Dashboard that gives you performance metrics at a glance.
To get the lowest price, you’ll have to sign up for two years, but InMotion offers 1-year, 6-month, and monthly plans as well.
One of the reasons I like InMotion so much for WordPress VPS is the security. WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, and a favorite target of hackers. InMotion gives you a free SSL certificate, as well as protection from malware, hacks, and DDoS attacks.
It’s just a great option for people whose needs to fit neatly into a managed WordPress hosting plan. If you want top-tier performance without sacrificing control, InMotion WordPress VPS is a really great choice.
GoDaddy is one of, if not the most, recognizable player in the hosting space. It can be a great option for people looking for an unmanaged VPS plan with no-frills.
Now GoDaddy does offer managed VPS plans that take a ton of the server maintenance and monitoring off your plate. But it’s really expensive, especially looking at some of the other managed VPS plans I’ve reviewed. It wouldn’t be my recommendation.
But if you are in the market for a DIY hosting plan that gives you total control along with the exact resources you need, GoDaddy VPS plans are a great place to start.
You can get three years of GoDaddy VPS for under $180. It’s a barebones plan targeted at users who know what they are doing. So you won’t get a ton of tools to help you stay organized or white-glove support, and there are going to be upsells at every turn.
But if you are comfortable managing your own server, why pay for things you don’t need?
You also get more flexibility to choose your resources. GoDaddy offers both Standard and High-RAM plans, which give you double the memory. Most other providers don’t give you that option.
Usually you are stuck jumping from one plan to the next, but GoDaddy will let you increase RAM, which may be all you need to get your sites loading faster.
Another helpful bit of flexibility is GoDaddy’s month to month pricing. VPS hosting starts at $7.99 per month with no contracts or commitments. This is an insanely low price for your own private resources.
And there’s quite a bit included with the low price of VPS hosting. It’s not as complete a package as GreenGeeks by any means, but GoDaddy doesn’t cut corners on the fundamentals. Some of the features included are:
If you are the DIY type, this is more than enough support and assistance to keep your site running smoothly. And when you think about paying $4.99 per month to get started, you can see why GoDaddy is so popular.
There’s really no way to spend less and get VPS hosting from a reputable provider. The pricing above is for Standard RAM plans.
If you opt for High RAM, the lowest plan becomes $9.99, but you get two GB of RAM instead of one. Basically, you double your RAM for any plan and pay a slightly higher price.
The storage limits on the entry-level plan are on the low end compared to some of the others I’ve reviewed. If that’s a concern, you might want to look at another plan, though it’s still fairly affordable to upgrade with GoDaddy and get a ton more resources.
For someone who knows their way around a server, GoDaddy VPS is the cheapest option. If you just want to be left to your own devices, this is a great option. Reach out to GoDaddy today and see what kind of a deal you can get.
Media Temple is a great choice for companies that need VPS to support their clients sites and projects. This is true whether you want to worry about the technical backend yourself, or if you’d rather let MT handle the day-to-day maintenance.
If your team is totally comfortable with all the IT responsibilities, the DV Developer plan is packed with power at the low starting price of $30 per month.
You can pick from multiple versions of Debian, Ubuntu, or CentOS. Manage everything through SSH and build as you see fit. It’s complete flexibility, scalability and freedom for people that are at home in the command line.
For companies that want it, the DV Managed plan provides your choice of control panel for easy server management, as well as world-class support from IT experts. Chat, tweet, call, or request support any time of day. You get 99.99% uptime guaranteed, with money-back if Media Temple doesn’t live up to it.
In fact, you get 20% of your monthly hosting cost back in your pocket for every 20 minutes of downtime that month.
The managed plan is not quite as flexible as the developer plan. You get multiple options for which control panel you want to use, but CentOS is the only operating system supported.
But there’s a lot less work to be done. You won’t have to worry about updates or security patches to keep your VPS safe. You can use cPanel/WHM or Plesk, and know that the control panel is always going to be working.
This is a big deal for resellers and agencies that have to manage their client’s sites. The control panels are always working properly, and whenever there is an issue you can’t figure out, Media Temple is there to help.
For companies that want to outsource more of their IT and security responsibilities, Media Temple offers an Agency Bundle. This includes advanced support, a technical account manager, and a suite of security services you can deploy to multiple sites.
The all-in-one bundle makes it easier than ever to outfit your clients with secure, high-speed sites in very little time.
You choose what level of support makes sense, and Media Temple ensures your hosting foundation is secure for business.
For developers who just need access to world-class resources, plans start at $30 per month.
The 2 TB bandwidth is quite good for the Level-1 Developer plan. One thing to keep in mind is that Media Temple includes 24/7 support with the developer plans. Some unmanaged plans from other hosts really skimp on support, but Media Temple does not.
The DV Managed plans have a similar price breakdown to the developer plans. A Level-1 Managed plan starts at $55 per month. You get more storage and everything you need to use your VPS comes pre-installed.
The Agency Bundle starts at $250 per month. The suite of hosting and security services costs far less than if you were to purchase the parts individually. It also works a lot better, because it’s been configured by Media Temple ahead of time, rather than cobbled together from a slew of third-party services.
Media Temple provides a turnkey solution that gives you the resources you need. For resellers, the peace of mind of having top-quality performance and support is a non-starter. Troubles will compound quickly when there are issues. But with Media Temple, there won’t be.
Go with Media Temple. Your clients will thank you.
InterServer has some of the best prices in the VPS hosting space.
Part of the reason is that they slice up servers into 16 different packages. You can really hone in on the exact set of resources you need. It’s simple: choose between one and 16 CPU cores that come with an increasing amount of memory, storage, and bandwidth.
What’s really nice is that fully-managed support comes free as long as you purchase four or more slices. That’s what InterServer calls each tier, and you can add slices at any time.
You get a lot of hosting resources for every dollar you spend. It’s not hard to find comparably-priced VPS plans with a fraction of the memory or storage you get with InterServer.
For the buyer that doesn’t need managed support, the value is unbeatable. Yes, the $6 per month cost is slightly higher than GoDaddy, but InterServer’s VPS is a lot less barebones.
First off, you get the DirectAdmin control panel for free. It makes it easier to configure your server and set mail accounts. You can add cPanel or Plesk for an additional price, but only if you need them.
With GoDaddy any sort of control panel will be an extra cost.
InterServer is extremely reliable. They offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee. The company actually uses an artificial intelligence system to scan their network for potential performance issues. Instead of your site taking a hit, the AI detects and solves the problem far faster than any human response.
The value is really there. As I’ve said, you get very high resource limits at a low price.
The starting price for a single CPU core is $6 per month. You also get more than 1 GB memory, 30 GB storage, and 1 TB bandwidth. That’s 10GB more storage than GoDaddy for a dollar more each month.
You can add slices for $6 at any time. This boosts all of your resources across the board. I like this arrangement a lot, because it’s so flexible. Instead of being catapulted into a much higher pricing package, you can grow incrementally.
And remember, at 4 slices and higher, InterServer throws in fully-managed service for free. This should put InterServer on the map for the non-DIY crowd as well.
InterServer offers Windows VPS hosting starting at the low cost of $10 per month. The pricing arrangement works the same–you can purchase anywhere from one to 16 slices in $10 increments.
You can also get WordPress VPS hosting through InterServer. InMotion is my top choice for WordPress VPS hosting for most users because it includes cPanel/WHM. If you don’t need that, or have a fairly small WordPress site, InterServer may be more cost-effective.
For advanced users, InterServer is going to give you a great deal on whatever selection of resources you are after. The free control panel is a huge standout, which is going to make simple tasks easier.
Get in touch with InterServer today to secure a great price on a VPS hosting plan that meets your exact needs.
The future is likely to be dominated by smart devices. Believe me, between personal devices like health monitors and smart watches all the way up to fully autonomous vehicles, factories, and production lines, handling all of that data is going to crush many current tech infrastructures.
I love iDrive Compute for that reason. They make it easy and accessible for any organization to wield the power of edge computing so that you can manage, monitor, and collect from devices anywhere in the world.
They rightfully boast of their 4,000 servers spread across every continent. Their 20 U.S. data centers alone make it easy for an American company to, for example, troubleshoot a faulty pallet loader in Spokane, adjust smart thermostats in several storage centers across the Midwest, and collect data from wireless inventory trackers in facilities all along the east coast.
With iDrive Compute’s VPS for edge computing, you can stay on top of all of that without fretting about low latency, poor syncing, unreliable connections, or security vulnerabilities.
That’s just one practical example of what edge computing is useful for.
You can leverage iDrive Compute for online gaming, streaming video delivery, running cloud-based applications, big data processing, or even patient monitoring.
Whether you’re a startup looking to get into a cutting-edge field or a mature, enterprise grade operation that has massive demands for data transferring and processing worldwide, you get a great service at a great price from iDrive Compute.
Plus, they’re offering 90% off your first year, whether you choose a shared package or one that is CPU or RAM-optimized.
Resources scale up to 32 CPU cores, 64 GB RAM, 1280 GB of NVMe storage, and 12 TB of data transfer on the shared track. For the optimized, dedicated plans, you’ll max out at eight CPU cores with varying ceilings for the other resources.
With that 90% off, you can get a year of the most basic shared VPS from iDrive Compute for just $6! Even the most elaborate packages won’t run you more than $390 for your first year. That’s a great way to get started and see what edge computing can do for your business.
Get with iDrive Compute today and start using edge computing for your needs.
VPS web hosting occupies something of a middle ground between shared hosting and getting a dedicated server for yourself.
Some people have outgrown shared hosting. They need server resources that aren’t impacted by other sites on the server. VPS hosting offers a much more stable, scalable solution.
Others need an email server or a space to develop apps. VPS hosting lets them buy exactly what they need to build and access their assets whenever they want, wherever they are.
For people hosting ecommerce sites and other resource-intensive applications, a VPS gives them all the server firepower they need. Adding more resources is easy, weathering traffic spikes is no issue, and they can configure the server as they see fit.
And VPS is way cheaper than dedicated hosting. $1,000 per month is completely acceptable in that space, usually it’s more.
A lot of companies will get there eventually, but a dedicated server is complete overkill where they are today.
VPS gives you your own slice of dedicated resources. Scale as need be.
The providers I reviewed have excellent speed and uptime. If you go with one of these VPS hosting plans, your sites will be up and they will be fast.
But you can’t just pick a vendor with a good reputation. I’ve gotten you to the right dealership. You need to pick the right ride.
When it comes to VPS hosting, there are sports cars and work trucks. Both are fantastic machines, but only for the right company. The moving crew may have fun in the Mustang, but it’s terrible for getting sofas from A to B.
By understanding your way around VPS hosting, you can select a setup that takes care of what you need at the right price. Here’s how to find your way.
Each host clearly lays out the exact resources you get. These are the guts of the computer that you are paying to use, and they will impact every aspect of performance on your site. Here’s what you are looking at:
I would want to have a clear idea of what I plan on using in each of these resource categories before starting my search. If you are unsure, ask your current host where to find stats on your usage.
For people thinking about VPS for a new project, reach out and talk with the sales team at a host which checks your other boxes. They will be more than happy to help you determine a resource amount that makes sense. And even if you don’t go with them, now you know.
You’re trying to find something that gives you more than you need. Even though these are your dedicated resources, maxxing them out all the time can lead to issues with your host.
Looking at the different vendors, you’ll see a lot of jargon about different resource types. They do matter, but I will say that most top quality VPS hosts use the best technology available.
That said, some web hosts have specific plans geared toward people who need more of a certain resource. GoDaddy has High RAM plans for people who need more memory, for example, and InterServer offers Storage Optimized VPS plans that come with an insane amount of disk space at a low price.
If you’re trying to make a decision between two different vendors offering the same package of resources, I’d sign up for a free trial of both and see which gives you the better performance.
Since it’s not always feasible to really test hosting limits during a trial period, I’d focus on going with a vendor that will still make sense economically if you have to upgrade to a more expensive plan than you thought.
This train of thought also applies well to VPS for edge computing use cases. The spread of resources from the cheapest plans to the most expensive are awfully similar. Make sure you get at least enough for what you currently need, whether that’s to accommodate a lot of users, devices/virtual machines, or data.
One thing you might have to additionally decide on, in this case, is whether you want to optimize for processing power or memory. The former is better for handling CPU-intensive applications, like dynamic or streaming content delivery, gaming, or machine learning. The latter is a boon for intense computation and and big data analysis.
Make sure you can scale in this situation, too. The growth potential that VPS edge computing unlocks means you might find yourself needing more sooner than you think.
There’s more to this decision than simply looking at the nuts and bolts, so let’s move on to other factors that can help you decide between similar offerings.
Some people choose VPS hosting because they are excited to control every aspect of the server.
Others are looking for predictable, high-power performance, but they’re less jazzed about the IT responsibilities of managing their own virtual machine.
Where do you fall in this spectrum?
There’s basic server maintenance, patching, and updates that need to happen. Otherwise your VPS may get hacked and wind up powering some crypto-mining scheme on the other side of the world. And that’s a benign example of what could happen if your site is compromised due to a server management oversight.
If you’re a first-timer who wants a helping hand setting things up, or you don’t want the hassle of dealing with the IT backend, I recommend finding a managed VPS plan.
With this arrangement, your hosting provider takes over much of the basic, day-to-day, IT maintenance that goes into keeping a server healthy and secure. This leaves you to enjoy the faster hosting and focus more on your business.
The experience of managed hosting is geared towards people that are less familiar with making changes on a server using the command line. With a managed VPS plan, you’ll get a visual control panel that allows you to configure everything with clicks instead of a computer language.
People with a lot of development know-how don’t need the extra hand-holding or tools that simplify server management. In fact, those things might just get in the way.
If you fall in this crowd, I recommend an unmanaged VPS hosting plan. You basically just get the server resources and manage everything yourself. You’ll still have some helpful tools and in some cases a control panel, but for the most part you are entirely responsible for the security and configuration.
The biggest plus for developers is total control–do whatever you want, however you want. It’s also way less expensive. GoDaddy, for example, offers unmanaged plans starting at around $5 per month. The same server resources on a managed plan from GoDaddy start at about 20-times that price.
Not every web host has such a stark pricing difference, but it’s usually significant. And it makes sense. With self-managed plans, you are on the hook for a lot more IT legwork. If that’s not a drama, then don’t pay for it.
If you are on the fence about what you need, I suggest going with a managed VPS plan. Better to pay a little more than have your new hosting account compromised because of some basic technical slipup.
This isn’t a concern for those of you looking to get into VPS for edge computing or IoT device wrangling. Most options out there right now are fully-managed, thankfully. The providers are the ones offering their data centers to you, so it’s only right that they should be responsible for maintenance and upkeep.
Are you planning on running anything on your VPS that has unusual requirements?
If you don’t know the answer to that question, you’re probably fine, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check that the operating system (OS) you plan on using is supported by the host you choose.
This is especially true for managed VPS plans, because the OS often comes pre-installed. With unmanaged plans, you just have to make sure the one you want is available for install. There’s usually a pretty wide range of choices, but not always.
Even more so, this is crucial for edge computing. If you’re running virtual machines on your VPS servers or incorporating a wide array of smart devices, compatibility with the infrastructure you sign up for is of paramount importance.
Most VPS hosting is Linux-based, and works seamlessly with basically everything on the internet. There are different Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, but in general they will all work for most users.
The major exception is Windows hosting. There are certain Microsoft apps and services that can’t run on Linux, like SharePoint, Exchange and MSSQL databases.
Many hosts don’t offer Windows hosting. I’ve called out the ones that do in the reviews.
One important thing: You can have a Windows PC and use Linux hosting. That doesn’t matter at all. Windows hosting is only necessary if you need to run specific Microsoft products on your VPS.
If this is your first time using VPS hosting, I’d be very conscious of how much assistance you’re going to get. Even if you opt for a managed VPS plan, there’s still a few steps you have to take to ensure that your new hosting set up is secure and running as intended.
I would strongly recommend customer service that provides free migrations or data transfers, like Liquid Web or HostGator. Having them help you set everything up right will be quicker and easier, there’s just nothing else to be said.
If you’re moving over from shared hosting, know that the range of technical issues is much greater. You are going to need a tech that really understands what’s going on.
This is only more true for self-managed plans where you may have configured your server in a very unique way. Troubleshooting your issues will likely require a high-level of knowledge and understanding.
Every vendor that made my list for best VPS hosting has some form of round-the-clock support. Where you will find differences is in the number of channels you can reach out on. Some will offer live chat only whereas others will have phone, email, or ticketing systems as well.
As you are gathering a sense of the customer service quality you are likely to get, I encourage you to read online reviews. Take them with a grain of salt, however, because any long-standing, popular host is going to have one-star reviews from their millions of users.
The best thing you can do is reach out to the company as much possible before, during, and after you sign up. Submit lots of tickets and clock the response. Use the online knowledge base to solve problems on your own. Is the content actually helping you?
Most of the plans I’ve reviewed offer free trial periods. Sign up and test the support staff. This is your relatively risk-free way of getting an actual read on the service quality.
In general, premium customer support costs extra. This is how you get immediate call backs and additional service channels beyond the basic coverage they provide for all customers.
If you think that you need frequent guidance, I suggest looking into the premium support plans. It’s an extra cost, but saving a few hours of frustration each month is plenty of value.
If you need top performance and aren’t interested in a dedicated server, then VPS hosting is good option.
Use the buyer’s guide and reviews to work your way to a sensible decision. You’re looking for something that gives you a comfortable level of control and more server resources than you think you’ll need.
Here’s a complete list of my recommendations with links for you to explore further:
There’s a range of options on here. The managed plans will work well for people who don’t have time to handle the technical stuff. Some of the really affordable plans just give you the server resources and let you build from there.
To find the right one for you, follow the methodology described above. It will help you make sense of all the options available, and find one that has the features and support you need.
Are you searching for new audiences to tap into to grow your base?
If you answered yes—and, let’s face it, all marketers are looking for new audiences—then you’ve come to the right place.
The platform offers marketers a unique opportunity to further brand recognition and grow their follower base in a somewhat unconventional form.
Part blog-host, part social platform, Medium provides writers with a unique mode of connection with their audiences.
The platform has over 400,000 paying subscribers ($4.99 per month or $50 per year), which should make Medium attractive to marketers from size alone.
Read on to learn how marketers can take advantage of the unique capabilities of this platform and why you should consider giving this content platform a whirl.
Self-identifying as the “YouTube of writing,” Medium offers writers of all kinds (poets, journalists, comic artists, etc.) space to share their work with a vast audience and get paid in the process.
The platform averages over 200 million views a month, making it a hot destination for the web’s readers. With over 100,000 writers actively using the platform, it could be an excellent destination no matter what kind of content you create.
Wondering how these writers get paid? While there is the option to write just for the sake of sharing ideas with no payment, they can also join the Medium Partner Program (MPP) and just get going!
Unlike other writing opportunities, which typically pay by the word or the hour, MPP members are paid based on the amount of time paying subscribers readers spend reading their articles. They also get a small commission if a non-paying member subscribes within 30 days of reading their articles.
And while this is all well and good for writers, your marketer brain may have snagged on that 200 million monthly views.
How can marketers take advantage of this unique audience willing to pay to gain access to the platform?
The answer is simple: advertise on Medium.
“Advertising” on the site is, in a word, unusual.
While the term “advertise” may conjure images of paid search and skyscraper banners, Medium doesn’t allow conventional advertising. While companies can’t promote products, they can harness the unique platform to grow brand following and exposure.
Understandably, and especially since making money isn’t guaranteed, this may sound like the soundly disliked idea of “creating for exposure, not payment.” I suggest switching your way of thinking on this one: Rather than this being an opportunity to sell your stuff, you’re selling your brand and building trust.
People are, frankly, tired of constantly having ads thrown in their faces. Reading an article that may hint at your brand’s goals (perhaps by using subtle embedded links) but focuses on helping or even entertaining them in other ways may draw attention to your brand in a less pushy way.
The platform rewards content visibility purely on the strength of writing, using a unique algorithm that considers post reach, likes, and comments. Plus, everything posted gets indexed by Google, which is a boon to your search engine optimization (SEO).
While we’ve briefly discussed the rationale of sharing content on Medium to share your reach and grow your audience base, there are several other benefits for harnessing the platform’s power:
In short, starting a content stream on the site could improve your audience size, strengthen your SEO strategy, and drive more clicks to your website.
Medium intends to make people engage their minds, not their wallets, so there are rules about what you can and can’t publish on the site.
In addition to pretty standard rules against harassment, hate speech, and doxing, the platform includes some additional rules that posters must adhere to.
The site has recently taken a firm stance against duplicate content, prohibiting:
Much like any other content platform, there are best practices content creators should keep in mind.
As you begin building your Medium content strategy, be sure to follow these best practices and be mindful of the rules to help ensure content success.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of creating content on the platform, let’s discuss how to start a publication on the site.
Select your picture in the top right-hand corner of the screen, then navigate to and select “Publications.”
Look near the top right of your screen and click the “New Publication” button.
Fill out all information the site and readers need to know about your publication.
When adding your publication’s name, think beyond your business’ name and consider options that may resonate in your industry. A publication avatar is required, and it shows up in all previews of your content. So, choose wisely.
In addition to adding your email address and social profiles, you can (and should) select up to five relevant tags, allowing your work to be discovered by interested parties.
In this infinitely editable space, include people with posting power on your publication.
Your homepage is infinitely customizable, allowing you to change colors, header layout, background images, and much more.
While there are other strategies for tracking your analytics on Medium, the platform offers metrics to help you track your content’s performance.
You can view your metrics by clicking your profile picture and then “Stats.”
From there, you can access a ton of metrics that could provide insight into your content. These include:
By assessing these metrics, you can track individual pieces’ performance and gain a better understanding of your audience. You can then tailor your content to appeal to that audience or adjust your content strategy to appeal to a different group of individuals.
Sharing your first piece of content is just a few steps away. Here’s how to post and optimize Medium content:
To begin, select your profile picture from the top right-hand corner and choose “Write Story.”
Select the + button from the left side of the post and then click the “Camera” button to upload a pre-saved image.
Navigate to a new line of your story and paste the URL of the content you want to embed, then press “Enter.”
Select the “Publish” button in the top right-hand corner. From this menu, schedule your post, add tags, or adjust your title and subtitle.
After you’ve made the necessary changes, choose “Publish now” to make your story available.
Not a dime! Starting your publication on Medium is free.
Yes, though remember: This is to subscribe, not write. Although you needn’t subscribe to write, subscribing allows you to read work from a diverse population of writers and may provide a unique perspective into popular industry topics and competitors’ work.
Medium’s Partner Program was created to pay writers and ensure wider post-distribution across the platform. Writers are compensated by how engrossed members are by their work: The more members read, the more writers learn. In addition, the site distributes a portion of every subscription fee to the writers their individual subscribers read most frequently each month.
Medium offers publishers a robust metrics view, including:
-views by traffic source
-internal vs. external views
As with all content platforms, be sure to follow Medium-specific best practices, with a particular eye towards ensuring your content doesn’t sound too promotional.
As you begin to familiarize yourself with the tools offered, you’ll likely become more adept at targeting audiences that may be interested in your content through the tagging tools and other strategies.
What’s the best piece of content you’ve seen on Medium?
Are you ready to skyrocket your success?
If so, you need to focus your efforts on inbound marketing strategies for your startup.
It’s one of the best ways to take market share from bigger companies, and you don’t need a hefty Facebook Ads budget to compete.
Instead of broadcasting to the customer, as traditional outbound marketing does, inbound marketing focuses on creating reasons for the customer to come to you.
According to HubSpot, which coined the term “inbound marketing” back in 2006, the strategy consists of four stages.
It’s a proven system that works for the best companies in the world, and it has launched dozens of startups to stellar success.
Now that you know what is inbound marketing and how it works, let’s dive into the best strategies for inbound marketing for startups.
The first and most critical part of creating compelling content is understanding what your target customers want to learn.
You need to have an in-depth knowledge of your market so you can react quickly.
Here’s how you learn more about who your audience is by reviewing your Facebook Page Insights.
First, go to your Facebook page. At the top, you’ll see a button labeled Insights. Click on it.
In the sidebar that opens, click on People.
From there, you’re going to want to look at the Your Fans column. Check to see where the percentages lie to understand what demographics apply to your business.
This can give you a general feel for who is interested in your startup and start forming the basis of your target persona. But that’s not all we need.
Next, we will find out what interests these people and how you can write content that appeals to what they care about.
The easiest way to get to know your target market is through a survey.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. If you already have an email list, you can send them a simple form through SurveyMonkey.
To make this work, you only need to ask one question: “What is your biggest struggle?”
Your goal is to understand the problems they’re facing so you can create compelling content that targets their deepest interests.
Once you have the general feelings of your target market, it’s a good idea to start seeking out individuals you can contact for more in-depth information.
I recommend looking for a few clients or customers you’ve already acquired.
Ask them if they’d be OK with a 10-minute phone call or a video chat about their current struggles. Mention you’ll offer them advice if you can.
(Usually, customers are excited about this. It’s like a free consultation for them.)
Once you’re on the call, try to find out exactly what their biggest struggles are. Ask them to describe those struggles in the clearest language possible.
Get to exactly what frustrates them and what solutions they tried before but didn’t work.
You’ll use this data to create content.
The quality of the content you create is the most important feature of your inbound marketing strategy.
If you create generic, self-serving articles and videos, you’ll never see success.
No matter how hard you promote this content or how you designed it to rank well in search engines, you’re going to struggle to find new clients and customers.
The best-in-class content marketers work tirelessly to adapt their content to the target audiences they want to attract — and where they are in the customer journey.
Understanding the customer journey and their needs is critical to making great content, but it’s not the only strategy you’ll need to draw in new customers and leads.
The most important piece of the work you create is the headline. This is what will drive the most clicks and draw in new traffic.
You should spend lots of time crafting a headline that appeals to your most targeted customers.
One of the best ways to do this is to include a bit of negativity, according to data by WordStream.
Of course, you shouldn’t always have negative headlines.
But if you have a list of mistakes or talk about the worst strategies that could hurt your customer, this can be an effective way to drive traffic.
According to Demand Metric, companies with blogs generate 67 percent more leads per month than those who don’t.
If you’re going to produce this content, you need to make sure it works to its best ability.
Humans love visual content. For your content to appeal to your ideal readers, make sure there’s more to it than just large blocks of text.
Including lots of images, charts, and graphs is a technique I use to make my content more appealing, and I’m not alone.
90 percent of bloggers include images in their posts, and those who add multiple images report stronger results.
The more visual your content, the more likely it’s likely to improve your inbound marketing efforts.
Instead of writing short posts, you should be doing extensive research and producing in-depth content.
According to research by Curata, long-form content generates eight times more page views, nine times more leads, and three times more social media shares than short-form content.
You should be writing articles that are a few thousand words long and supported by lots of data and analysis.
This is not only better for your SEO rankings, but it’s also more helpful for your customers.
The better your content, the more likely your readers are to share it with friends, recommend your site to others, and implement what you say.
Just because you base your content around data and analysis doesn’t mean it needs to be dry and academic.
You should work to produce the opposite type of content. You want to create articles that tell a story.
Using storytelling in your content (from sales pages to social media posts) is a way to create an emotional connection with your audience.
Storytelling has another powerful function. It creates brand recall. Research by Stanford University shows people are 63 percent more likely to remember a story than a statistic.
Chris Haddad (a relationship coach) went from a 2 percent conversion rate to 8 percent by changing his sales page to include a relatable personal story.
How can you use this tactic in your startup? Look for opportunities to weave in stories when talking about your product or business.
Sure, your benefits and features are great, but the emotional connection you create with storytelling will close the sale and help grow your startup through inbound marketing.
When you look at the data, you’ll find that guest blogging is the best inbound marketing strategy.
This is because it provides you with backlinks, authority in the space, and relationships with key influencers.
But most people go about it the wrong way. If you aren’t using smart strategies to spread your startup’s message through guest posting, you might as well not do it.
If you want to reap the benefits of guest posting, you need to write consistently.
This is how the most successful startup owners have made guest blogging work well for them. Instead of a few posts, they wrote prolifically and gained ground quickly.
If you do a Google search for guest posts by Danny Iny, you’ll find dozens of pieces of content across the web.
This massive, consistent guest-posting strategy allowed him to grow his business Mirasee into the powerhouse it is today.
On his homepage, he displays an in-depth list of all the sites where he has been featured.
Dedicate some of your time to creating compelling content for other blogs to reach as many customers as possible.
Another problem I see with entrepreneurs who want to use guest posting as an inbound marketing strategy is that they don’t look for sites that will give them much ROI.
The truth is that every guest post requires work, and that’s work that needs to give you a distinct benefit in visitors or leads.
If you post on a blog that has a dead audience, you won’t get any benefit, and you’ll have wasted your time.
I like to look at the comments on different sites. For example, if I wanted to write a guest blog for WordStream, I can see their posts get lots of relevant comments.
This tells me the readers are engaged, and a blog post here might result in readers clicking through to my startup’s website and purchasing from me.
You need to understand SEO to achieve any success with your startup in today’s search-driven marketplace.
The most important things to focus on are basic on-page SEO and backlinks for your site and your content.
How do you do that? Keyword optimization.
You want to find specific long-tail keywords which you’d like to use for targeting your content.
Long-tail keywords have a three to five percent higher click-through rate than generic searches.
The more specific someone is in their search, the more likely they know what they want and are close to converting into a customer.
Backlinks are perhaps the most important factor in your search engine results.
By promoting your content to other relevant influencers, you can increase the number of people that link back to you.
The exact number of backlinks you need to be successful on the search engines varies depending on the keyword, topic, and the competing sites that are ranking well now.
With careful prompting, though, you can easily outrank pages on massive sites with more authority.
Not sure where to start with backlinks? I’ve created a free backlink checker tool you can use to find out who is linking to your startup’s competition.
When it’s time to convert your visitors into leads, you need bulletproof strategies to get people to give you their email addresses.
The best method I’ve seen is to offer free content in exchange for this contact information.
If your startup is in the B2B sector, or if you appeal to customers who want or need in-depth analysis before purchasing, you can make an effective lead magnet from a report.
This is a great way to get leads because the comprehensiveness of your work seems like a great deal for an email address.
HubSpot’s list of marketing statistics includes a pitch for their “State of Inbound Marketing” report. This is a detailed guide with massive amounts of high-quality data.
But they aren’t giving this away for free. To receive the report, you need to provide a detailed amount of information that HubSpot will use to follow up with you on their products.
This is an effective way to drive your visitors into your sales funnel and reach them even more effectively.
One of my favorite inbound marketing techniques for startups is free webinars that encourage customers to learn in real-time.
This is great because it lets them see your face and understand your personality. Besides, lots of people will download a guide and never read it.
But if someone signs up for a webinar, you can see if they watch the whole thing.
I have used this kind of training on my homepage in the past. I didn’t call it a webinar, though. I just used the term “training.”
This is a great way to increase your leads as visitors must enter their first name and email address to access the training.
Since this is such a valuable teaching piece, people who come to my website are happy to provide their email address to learn SEO better.
There’s another form of content you can create that will drive new customers.
Even better, it won’t require the extensive research that a report demands or the complicated backend software necessary for a webinar.
That strategy is to create an email course. This is a simple way to provide extra value without spending tons of time creating something with design elements or video.
A great example is a free masterclass Mariah Coz offers. Because it’s a course, it makes the content feel more valuable.
If you’re currently giving away an e-book for your startup and you’ve found that it isn’t converting well, consider breaking down the content into sections.
Then use each section as a separate email. You may find that an email course or a masterclass converts even better than an ebook.
According to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, 75 percent of brands have a dedicated budget for influencer marketing, and 90 percent of respondents believe it’s an effective form of advertising.
If you do this the right way, it can be a free or paid method to get people excited about your brand.
If you’re going to launch an influencer marketing campaign, you need to understand what will make it work best.
First and most importantly, you need to make sure you’re appealing to the right influencers.
This is easy to get wrong, as the people you think you’re appealing to may not be persuasive to your target audience.
The earlier research you did on your audience should be a great starting place to understand who they pay attention to, but you might need to do even more work than that.
How do you find the right influencers for your startup? You can:
Once you know which influencers are best for your brand, you need to start targeting them specifically.
While you can just run into promotion and start spamming them with requests to share the content you created, this won’t be very effective.
You’ll irritate them and ruin the relationship.
Instead, you need to start slow and gradually build a relationship with the influencers you’d like to promote your content.
One of the best ways to reach influencers is through targeted communication on social media. You can let them know when they inspired you to write.
You should also do everything you can to help those influencers by providing communication that’s always focused on their needs.
While it may seem frustrating to always focus on them, you’ll eventually start to build a relationship that allows you to make a small request.
If you’ve built great relationships from the start, they’ll be happy to oblige.
You already know that email marketing is critical to a successful inbound marketing campaign for your startup.
But are you using it effectively?
Email marketing has a massive ROI.
According to Litmus, the average ROI was $42 for every $1 spent on emails.
But to make it work, you need to be strategic with how you promote your brand through email.
First and foremost, you need to be useful to your subscribers. When someone signs up, you need to provide them with a reason to stay on your email list.
If you’re constantly spamming them or sending worthless content, they’ll unsubscribe and probably never return.
Instead, send emails with valuable information they can’t get anywhere else.
Buzzsumo does a great job with this in their articles and emails. Their weekly update includes a report on engagement on Facebook, based on 880-million posts.
That’s a hugely valuable piece of content I want to read.
More importantly, I want to stay subscribed to the newsletter, and I’ll keep looking forward to their emails.
This is the kind of reaction you need to build with your subscribers. If they’re looking forward to your marketing, you’re doing it correctly.
You need to be in the email game for the long term.
If you’re not consistently providing great content with your inbound marketing, you’re going to be frustrated.
Instead of pitching your product immediately after someone signs up on your email list, send them a welcome sequence that gradually introduces them to what you have to offer.
If you want to save massive dollars on your marketing strategies, you need to get ready to work for a while on each prospect.
Be patient, and you’ll be thankful for the results.
Ultimately, the goal of much of your inbound marketing strategy is to drive people to your startup’s website.
If you’re not converting people once they arrive, however, what’s the point?
Conversion is the key to successful inbound marketing since it’s the transition from visitor to prospect.
You need to make sure your website is ready to convert your traffic into leads and customers.
It’s the only way to make your startup grow with the traffic you’ve worked so hard to acquire.
The first and most important way to ensure you’re getting the conversions you deserve is by making your website mobile accessible.
If your startup’s site isn’t responsive, you’re going to struggle to convert the traffic you’ve worked so hard to drive there.
According to WVO, out of 100 leading websites, only 11 were responsive. Perhaps even more telling, only seven of 148 companies felt the need for mobile optimization.
In short, the vast majority of websites aren’t appealing to mobile users, and they aren’t putting in the work they need to make these changes.
Instead of actually converting their mobile customers, they’re losing out on valuable traffic.
Don’t let that happen to you. Make sure your site is responsive and that it works well on mobile.
If you want to get more conversions from the traffic you’re sending to your site, you should consider installing Hello Bar.
This is a simple tool that allows you to add a signup form at the top of your website. Since it’s unobtrusive, it won’t distract from the user experience.
But since it’s always at the top of your pages, it will drive massive conversions.
It’s a great way to get a few new leads each day.
If you want to skyrocket the conversions you’re getting from the content you publish on your website, look no further than a content upgrade.
Unlike a traditional lead magnet, a content upgrade will optimize your highest-converting pieces of content.
A great example is the “700+ Power Word Cheat Sheet” used in the article on the topic over at OptinMonster.
Because the people reading this article are interested in finding out more about the words that can make their writing more effective, this is a great way to encourage them to sign up.
You can do the same thing. To make this work, find a popular article and create a custom bonus that adds to the piece of content you’ve already written.
Link this in the article, and watch the new leads for your startup skyrocket.
It’s no secret that I think testing is the only way to improve all kinds of marketing.
This applies to the inbound marketing strategies you’re using for your startup as well.
You need to monitor your results and make gradual improvements to different components of your campaign.
If they don’t work as expected, you should refine those strategies and try something new. But even if they do work for you, I recommend going back and making improvements.
Keeping an A/B split-test running at all times is a great way to make small but consistent changes to your marketing strategy and to make sure everything is working at its best.
An inbound marketing strategy attracts prospects to your brand by creating valuable content that is relevant and helpful.
The five principles of inbound marketing are standardize, contextualize, optimize, personalize, and empathize.
Videos, blogs, pillar pages, eBooks, social media, press releases, infographics, newsletters, research papers, podcasts, webinars, and expert interviews.
You need to know the purpose of your content, your target audience, and how your content fits in with the buyer’s journey.
If you’re launching a startup, you want to make sure you’re implementing the best practices for extremely fast growth.
By now, you know that inbound marketing is the most effective way to increase your visitors, leads, and buyers.
You’ll need to attract customers by understanding their deepest needs, aspirations, and struggles. Using that data, create epic content that draws them in like a magnet.
Extend your reach to other sites, present your content around the web, acquire new customers, and build your influence and authority.
You’ll need to include SEO best practices so that customers can find you through search engines as well.
Once you have the traffic, convert those visitors with free content and influencer marketing that drives leads.
With a compelling email campaign and a high-converting website, you can grow your business like never before.
Which inbound marketing strategies will you use to grow your startup?
Not only are privacy policies mandated in most countries, but they’re also a great way to build trust by keeping your marketing tactics transparent. Even if you’re not required to have one, it’s a good idea to do so anyway.
Regardless of whether you operate on a desktop, mobile app, or website, you need to have accurate and honest privacy policies in place to guide your users.
Many countries mandate privacy policies be available to help citizens understand their information rights.
Here is an example of Disney complying with this law.
Here is an example of this from the Wells Fargo website.
In the U.S., the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act mandates any businesses in the financial sector to provide honest statements about their collection and use of personal information.
Additionally, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires healthcare service providers to give written notice of their privacy practices.
Across the globe, many similar laws exist to protect the privacy of specific areas’ citizens. For example:
People care about their privacy and want to be in charge of their information. This is especially true online, where information is often collected and stored without a user’s knowledge.
It also shows you have procedures to handle their information properly, which can help them trust your business.
This ensures they are also compliant with any international laws while you use their services.
With this tool, you can also generate terms and conditions, cookie tracking policies, refund and return policies, disclaimers, and more.
You can also update your policy later if your terms change.
You can also create a refund policy or terms of service policy with this same tool.
It also creates policies meeting leading advertising networks’ and third-party applications’ requirements.
With this tool, you can also generate terms and conditions as well as disclaimer notices.
It’s effective for GDPR, CCPA, CalOPPA, Google Analytics, AdSense, e-commerce laws, and more.
You can create multiple policies for different platforms, helping to ensure you’re protected no matter where your services exist.
Hiring a lawyer, using legalese, and adhering to global marketing laws is no easy feat.