www internetHaving a reliable web hosting company is of utmost importance. For companies, businessmen, web-masters, and forum-owners, the last thing we want is to suffer from hosting downtime. This can translate to hundreds or thousands of dollars lost in a day or two, depending on how big your business is. It is also embarrassing to have your online prescience crippled, losing sales, and customers calling in to find out what’s wrong, or to get information on your company product.

There many many web-hosting companies around, but when it comes to reliability, value and customer service, I put my money with these companies. Your preference could be different from me. But over the years, they have not disappointed. If you have a huge online presence or many blogs, ‘ll like to highlight that it makes perfect sense to spread the hosting of your websites, which is what I did, over different companies to reduce the risk even further. I strongly recommend that you check out all the 5 below to get a better understanding of their product offerings, and to determine what’s best for your requirements.

Top 5 Web Hosting Companies

For the web-hosting review you are going to read down below, I’m using the price at 12months period. There are reviews or advertisements that may have a lower price then what you see here, but in all high likelihood, the price is based on 36 months (which I don’t recommend buyers to commit to – 3 years is a long time in the Internet world). All the 5 companies’ hosting packages come with Fantastico for quick setup of popular platforms such as WordPress, phpBB forums, Drupal, Joomla, etc.

There are two types of web hosting platforms: Linux and Windows. For now, we’ll cover the Windows platform as most individuals go for this for convenience and it so much easier to learn and manage.

In no order of preference or ranking, I present to you this 5 web host providers:

NameCheap

namecheap reviewThe web-hosting company started in 2001, provides registration and renewal of .com domains at $10.69/year. For .info and .co TLDs, NameCheap offers a good bargain at $2.99/year and $12.88/year respectively for the first year. Renewals are at $9.69/year and $23.49/year.

Do note that NameCheap offers free WhoisGuard Privacy Protection (worth $2.88) for the first year. What the WhoisGuard does is that it protects your identity when people try to find out who owns the website. It acts like a secretary who will screen away spammers or scammers. However if there are interested individuals who wants to buy your domain, they can still contact you using the email provided by Namecheap.

For light and personal web-hosting, Namecheap starts at only $3.95/mo for 12 months commitment, and drop furthers to only $2.95 (for 3 years plan). This is the entry plan best for starters. I’ll recommend that you go for 12 instead of 36 months as your website requirements will definitely grow with a year. The only limitation that I see is the 20 GB of disk space. Most users and companies will usually use in excess of this amount. For companies, go for NameCheap Elite plan from $40/month.

24/7 Chat Available: Yes

Coupon code for domains renewal: No. Unless you have 50 domains with them, then NameCheap will activate the deal for renewal discount.

Coupon code for domains: from time to time. Usually on holidays. For discount coupons or codes, please subscribe to my list at the right hand side of the blog.

Coupon code for NameCheap WhoisGuard: WGSPECIAL – you’ll get the renewal at $0.99 only. First year is free with your domain registration

HostGator

The company is not competitive for their domain services. The .com registration is at $15/year, which is much more expensive then NameCheap. For that reason, I rule out Hostgator for domain registration, and until now I never used HG for this.

Hostgator is famous for web-hosting and I’m sure you have heard about their name multiple times on forums and on the Internet. When I first started online, I choose the Hostgator’s Baby Plan at $7.96/month (after 20% discount). There’s a cheaper Hatchling plan available at $5.56/month (after 20%), however I don’t recommend it because it only allows a single domain, while Baby Plan allows you to setup multiple domains.

Hostgator Awards

When it comes to customer and technical service, Hostgator really tops my list. Their service is almost perfect. I cannot imagine going through those early days without them. Contacting them on their live-chat is like messaging a friend and he/she will just guide you though and solve the problem – Friendly and professional

24/7 Live Chat Available: Yes

Coupon code for hosting – The standard discount is 20% for web hosting. The 20% applies to your first payment only, which means if you are paying monthly, only the first month is eligible for 20% discount. Go for 1 year which will save you more money.

Use this Hostgator coupon to get 25% discount off the hosting: IMSTASH25OFF

Coupon code for domains registration & WhoisGuard Privacy: N/A. Price not competitive. Advisable to go for the other providers.

1and1

1and1 domain prices

Prices for .info is only at $0.99 for the first year! The popular .com is only at $8.99 (including ICANN Fee, and free Private Domain Registration which is the equivalent of NameCheap WhoisGuard) for the first year. Subsequent renewal at $9.99 only (no hidden fees).

www.1and1.comCurrently the company is offering a sweet deal with 6 months free for their 1&1 Unlimited Windows plan, then subsequently you are charged the price at $6.99/month. Note that there is a setup fee of $4.99, and the minimum contract of 12 months applies, so you can’t try it without paying, or running away after 6 months.

There’s one product feature that I need to bring it to your attention – 1and1 Dual Hosting. This is a new benefit that allows your data to be stored simultaneously in two of their high-tech data centers in separate locations. With this function, assuming one of the server crashes, your website will continued to be loaded from the other server. With your data being backed up, you have one lesser thing to worry about.

There’s a limitation on their plans though. The email accounts are max at 2GB each. Microsoft databases are only limited to 5 on their 1&1 Unlimited Windows, and each database maximum size is only 200 MB each. Those running bigger and/or multiple blogs will have an issue with this. However if your requirements are not big, this is an excellent web-host to stick with.

Coupons for 1and1: N/A. Prices are low all year round, but if I hear of any coupon codes, you’ll be the first to know. Follow me, subscribe to my list, or add me in your Google circles.

24/7 Live Chat Available: No, however you can call them toll-free within United States.

BlueHost

When you sign up a hosting package with Bluehost, you get the domain registration free. However, the Domain Whois Privacy’s price is on the higher-end at $9.95/year, as such I don’t registered my domains from Bluehost, neither do I advise you to do that. NameCheap, 1and1, and GoDaddy are better choices when it comes to buying domains for your websites.

Bluehost free domain registration with hosting plans

At $7.95/month, Bluehost’s offering is pretty much similar to the other providers, with unlimited domain hosting, add-on domains and parked domains. The web host company also includes SimpleScripts 1-Click Installs, SSH Secure Shell Access, and the unique True Resource Management for their customers.

Live Chat Available: Yes

GoDaddy

Accordingly to Source Tier1 Research, Mass-Market Hosting Report-Winter 2011 – GoDaddy is the largest worldwide mass-market hosting provider by annual revenue. The .com domains are selling for $9.99 and renewal at $12.99 – not exactly the cheapest. But GoDaddy offers discounts when you buy in bulk – at least 4 domains. You’ll get to save up to 65% of the price. Say if I’ll to get the Deluxe with 5 more domains, the total cost will only be $28 for 6 domains, and that works out to be only $4.66 per domain.

Godaddy Bulk Discount for Domains

Godaddy host your website starting from only $5.69/month. Although bandwidth is unlimited, there’s a cap on the disk space at 10 GB, 100 emails, 10 SQL Database at 1 GB each (higher than 1and1 though).

Users with higher requirements can go for GoDaddy 4GH plan at $9.49/month. Caps on sub-domains, emails size, SQL databases, etc are all raised.

24/7 Live Chat Available: No

Coupon and discount codes for Godaddy: Not available.

Questions & comments welcomed!

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lincoln

Lincoln is a fan of Apple products, loves red wine and traveling. He blogs on internet marketing, social media, wordpress tips & guides, and using technology to maximize efficiency. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook for regular updates.
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