Web Hosting Comparisons
Comparing any small business service can be tricky. Each provider has its own way of presenting features and pricing.
The more you read, the more confusing it gets.
As a small business owner, you just need the facts, and you need them quickly. We understand. That’s why we’ve created simple Web Host vs Web Host comparisons to make buying hosting easy.
Why Comparisons Matter
Web hosting is a major purchase. Although the monthly price can be cheap, you could be locked in to using one provider for many years, depending on your contract. And once you create a site and grow your business, moving a site to another provider is a hassle that most businesses try to avoid.
It’s much better to get the right hosting on day one, rather than experimenting with different hosts and migrating data over and over again.
- Each time you move your site, you run the risk of corrupting a database, losing the contents of your email mailbox, or forgetting a crucial file that could prevent your site from working properly.
- Inevitably, there will be downtime during the move, even if it’s just a few minutes; that will disrupt your customers’ experience, and it could eat into profit.
- Moving hosts can be technically complex. Your new host may migrate your data for free, but some hosts require you to do it yourself.
- If you have to pay a system administrator to assist you each time you move, the costs can quickly mount up.
So for all those reasons and more, you need to get the right hosting from the start. Our comparisons make it easy to do that.
Features we Compare
Digital.com compares key host features head-to-head to give you the fastest and clearest comparison of hosting available on the web.
All hosting companies are reviewed by our experienced writers who have many years’ experience writing about hosting and e-commerce platforms. They understand the features of each package, and they know how to spot an appealing host vs one that doesn’t offer good value.
The exact method of comparison will vary depending on the type of hosting that you want to compare, and the companies you’re looking at. But we aim to compare all of the basics for all hosts, including the following basic features.
The uptime guarantee shows you how much downtime you’ll be expected to tolerate each month.
For example, an uptime guarantee of 99% sounds great, but it actually allows approximately seven hours and 18 minutes of downtime in a month, with no compensation for you, the customer.
Compare this with an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. It’s actually much better, because it only allows for approximately 43 minutes of downtime per month before the host will compensate you. That’s a huge difference.
Most small business owners want to avoid downtime of any length, so a risk of 43 minutes’ downtime will be far more acceptable than 7 hours.
We also look at the uptime guarantee fine print. If your site is down, you should ideally be compensated as soon as the problem occurs. But not all hosts will do this.
It’s rare to find a host that provides comprehensive backups for free. Many advertise backups, but they are only for the host’s internal usage.
When we compare hosting to find out what kind of backups are offered, we dig into the fine print to find out exactly what you’ll get.
Even if your web host offers free backups for customers, they may charge an exorbitant hourly rate to actually restore them. Our reviewers break down the backup fees from each host, so you can see the deal they offer.
Over time, your small business website will grow. You might need to move to a better hosting plan.
Our comparisons tell you how each host handles the upgrade process, and how much technical know-how you need to have.
Picking a small business host is a big decision. It’s sensible to test-drive a service before your set up your full site. Many hosts offer free trials, money-back guarantees, or some combination of both.
Some hosts offer zero guarantees or trials, but this is fairly rare. We look at the terms of service for each host to find out what their guarantee or trial period is. If you have 90 days to test a service, that’s ideal. But if you only have 48 hours, you could find yourself locked in.
Our hosting comparison pages will flag up unfavorable trial or guarantee terms.
Picture the scene. It’s 8.45am on a Saturday morning, and you receive an email from your biggest customer. Your site is offline. They can’t complete their order.
You call your host, but their office is closed. There’s an automated message saying they’ll re-open on Monday.
If your small business website is critical to profitability, you need to resolve faults quickly. We look at each host’s support contact methods, as well as their opening times, so you can directly compare what they offer.
User Reviews vs Experts
Hosting companies have many different ways of marketing comparable services. Sometimes, two plans that look exactly the same in the specifications can be quite different when you examine the Terms of Service.
Digital.com publishes real user ratings that are built using sentiment analysis. Alongside those ratings, it’s important to get a second opinion from an experienced hosting reviewer.
Our head-to-head web hosting comparisons help you to cut out the admin time and headache of making the right choice. That will save you time and money, and avoid the hassle of switching hosts down the line.
Our hosting reviews compare one host directly with another. Just choose the icon that corresponds with the hosts you’re interested in, and find out what we think of them.