Hey Caroline, WordPress.com is a bit of a different animal because you don’t run a self-hosted WordPress site on there. That means, you can’t install all the plugins you might want to (especially on lower plans, where you can’t install plugins at all) and overall have less control over your site than with a self-hosted site. That’s why we didn’t include it in this list. For more information, I recommend this article: https://websitesetup.org/wordpress-com-vs-wordpress-org/
If you're planning on selling a product, look for a web host that offers a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, because it encrypts the data between the customer's browser and web host to safeguard purchasing information. You're probably familiar with SSL; it's the green padlock that appears in your web browser's address bar as you visit an online financial institution or retail outlet. A few companies toss in a SSL certificate free of charge; others may charge you roughly $100 per year for that extra security layer.
Users are guaranteed the resources on their VPS web hosting account. This means that your account will always be allocated the set amount of RAM, CPU, and Disk Space you've chosen regardless of what other users on the server are doing. This allows for greater stability and performance of your website. You also do not share the Operating System with any other users, providing better security for your website files.
If you're not sure of the type of hosting your business needs, you might want to start small, with shared Web hosting. You can always graduate to a more robust, feature-rich package of, say, VPS hosting or even dedicated hosting in the future. Unfortunately, some hosts don't offer all hosting types. Consider how much you expect to grow your website, and how soon, before you commit to anything longer than a one-year plan. It's worth spending the time up front to make sure that the host you select with is able to provide the growth you envision for your site, as switching web hosting providers midstream is not a trivial undertaking.
Shared hosting is by far the most popular type of WordPress hosting used by beginners. It is the most affordable and quite frankly a good starting point for new users. Shared hosting is where you share a large server with a lot of sites. By having multiple sites on the same server, hosting providers can offer the service at a more affordable rate. The biggest catch that we see with shared hosting across all providers (including the ones we recommend below) is the unlimited resources. There is no such thing as unlimited. While it says unlimited, you still have usage restrictions. If your site starts to take up substantial server load, they will politely force you to upgrade your account. If they don’t take this action, then it can have a negative effect on the overall performance of other sites hosted on the same server. It gets back to conventional wisdom. As your business grows, so will your overhead cost.
Why? Because word of mouth only gets you so far in the internet era. People discover new businesses—even local business—via Bing, Google, and Yahoo. The days when they'd just look you up in the yellow pages are long gone. If you don't have a sharable website address, your chances of building online word of mouth via social networking plummet, too. In other words, no website, no discoverability, no money. Of course, web hosting isn't just for businesses. You may want to host a personal website or blog, too. Either way, the services here have you covered.
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Support is provided in various ways such as through a Support Portal, Video Tutorials, Telephone, Live Chat, and Ticket Submission. All of these support options are available 24/7. Reviews regarding HostGator’s support system were mixed. A lot of people were pleased with their support staff. Although, some people were also pissed as representatives were stated to be incompetent with the company’s products and services.
Not only is WordPress a good option for beginners, but it also boasts scalability and advanced offerings for seasoned website owners looking to upgrade, grow, and expand. WordPress offers anyone-can-do-it usability with versatility and functionality perfect for building your own unique, high-performance website. You also have the added benefits of customizability, open-source flexibility, and a knowledgeable, diverse web community to collaborate with and reference if you get stuck.
BigCommerce is a bit different from our other hosting plans in that it's a SaaS (software-as-a-service) provider instead of an IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) provider. In other words, rather than renting space on a virtual machine where you setup and configure your own site, BigCommerce provides you with an app you login to that creates and online store.
We use this analogy on our web hosting page. Shared hosting is like an apartment building – lots of residents in the same building, sharing the same resources, but also very affordable. Dedicated servers are like having your state-of-the-art house, where you’ll pay a lot more, but you also don’t have to share the space or utilities with anyone. VPS is in the middle, like a townhouse, where you have a few residents in the same building, but you each have dedicated resources and are in full control of your home. It costs less than a dedicated server, but still gives you much of the same benefits.