Best Web Hosting 2021
COMPARISON & REVIEWS
We tested over 30 host providers and cross tested it with 10 years of data hosting hundreds of our clients websites to help you find the top host in Australia.
For the last sixteen months we’ve bought and tried all the best web hosting companies Australia has to offer.
This includes a lot of the big name brands like BlueHost, Hostgator and a plethora of other hosts.
This site is based on a lot of data including our live testing of the top 10 hosts (see below). We look at a variety of factors including pricing, technical specs, speed and security.
We hope this guide helps you on your online journey. If you have any specific questions don't be hesitant to contact us.
Good luck everyone!
Who We Are?
Before you start wondering who this abnoxious floating head is to the right. Let me introduce the team.
We’re a three man team running a full-service marketing agency.
Nathan has been running a full service web design agency for the last fifteen years. We often joke that he’s been around since the Internet started (don’t let the baby face fool you). Any quality web development service often ends up managing their clients’ websites as well.
When it comes to hosting Nathan knows his stuff. He’s hosted and managed over 700 websites through Australia and the US. He’s seen hosting providers come and go.
More about us on our mission page.
Our Research and Tracking Process
We strive to help our readers make informed data-based insights into what works and what doesn’t.
To do this we have tracked a few different factors for the last several years.
What We Track:
- ☑️ Loading Time – the speed is takes to load your site
- ☑️ Uptime – the amount of time it’s up and functioning
- ☑️ Downtime – the number of times your website isn’t accessible
Other Factors We Look At Include
- ☑️ Security – SSL, Vulnerability Tests
- ☑️ Support – 24/7? Helpful? Friendly?
- ☑️ Migration – do they help you migrate existing sites?
- ☑️ Website Builder – does it come with a free one?
- ☑️ Technical Specs – what are their datacenters like
Best Web Hosting Australia: 2021 Reviews
Each of these web hosts was tested from Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, and some other major Australian cities Nathan was able to visit.
How to Use This Guide
In order to simplify things and avoid overwhelming you with the hundreds of choices out there, we have arranged our recommended hosts in numerical order.
The first review is our most recommended. As you get past the top 3 we don’t necessarily recommend those hosts based on our tests.
Best Overall Web Host
- High Quality 24/7 Support
- Intuitive Setup and Management
- Fantastic speeds and uptime
- High renewal prices once your subscription ends
- Shorter subscriptions are pricier
Good for these things:
- Small bloggers wanting strong performance.
- Emerging businesses wanting the razor-sharp edge.
- Companies wanting to reduce carbon footprint of their e-business and online operations.
Since entering the hosting market in 2004, they’ve grown to host 2,6 million domains.
SG is known for generous performance provisions – suitable for new businesses up to bulking behemoths; and a beginner-friendly user interface, warm customer support (typically only seen with small to medium-sized providers.
Between us... SG is one of our favorite Aussie hosts overall. If you’re thinking of setting up an SEO website (something you intend to monetize), this provider’s hard to beat – particularly for WordPress (WP). It's also worth mentioning that they have a dedicated hosting server in Sydney, which guarantees top speeds for Australian visitors.
As we’ve mentioned in the past, look for either a domain registrar or web host who gives you a free SSL security certificate. SiteGround will save you $150-200/year compared to web hosts who skim on this in their pricing plans.
Without one, your website dips down in the SEO rankings and ‘visitors’ may be visited with the message about their connection not being secured (instead of the actual website). Not so lovely, on second thoughts.
Best Plan Options
They’ve since added a monthly plan option. Though it’s more costly than a year plan (best option), it’s a good way to test them out for longer than their 30-day gratuity period.[We’ll skip over their shared hosting options – as these aren’t suitable for those who want to monetize (make money) from their websites.]
Beginning with their Managed WordPress Hosting options – the StartUp level – for $5.99/mo, you’ll get hosting for 1 website, 10 GB storage, 10k monthly visits, no bottlenecks on bandwidth for incoming traffic, free WP installation, full Caching, automatic WP updates, Collaboration tools and automated daily backup and restore.
While the GrowBig level comes in at around $8.99/mo, giving you unlimited website coverages, with 20 GB storage, speed-boosting options, on-demand website backups, Ultrafast PHP, advanced/hyper-useful features such as staging areas, and up to 25k visits monthly.
There’s another plan after this and it is called GoGeek. Aside from features offered in GrowBig, with GoGeek you also get priority support, more server resources (more CPU seconds, higher process execution time, more simultaneous connections,...) and the option to register your clients as users in your account, giving them white-label access to Site Tools. You can get all of this for $14,99/mo.
SiteGround's Main Features
These guys give you collaboration tools, letting you give users specific access – or fully transfer for white labelling if you are a developer or seller of websites.
Along with a free SSL, you also get a full professional email service, letting you automatically create automatic forwarding and applying walls. Backups are free and daily. There’s also a complete restoration option.
The SiteGround Security plugin provides its users an easy way to protect a WordPress site from malicious attacks. It is available for free download for anyone and it comes preinstalled with all new WordPress installations hosted at SiteGround.
Another useful plugin they offer is Optimiser, which is used to improve the performance of WordPress instances hosted on SiteGround platform by multiple optimization techniques.
In SiteGround's GrowBig, GoGeek, and Cloud hosting plans (and Site Tools control panel) there is a performance-boosting server setup called Ultrafast PHP, which enhances website speed up to 30%.
They migrate any current website you have for free. We overall love that they have a very transparent pricing scheme without confusing upsells, hidden fees and add-ons.
Right off the bat, we’re looking at an uptime of 99.95%– which places SiteGround among the most reliable hosts in the world – with an awesome 375 ms average load time from our research.
(If you’re unsure about good load times, anything under 1 second is very impressive: 21 ways to boost your load times. Once you move towards 3 seconds, you should really think about changing hosts – in most cases we can think of at least… even a slow personal ‘business card’ site may put off new leads.)
Cloud Hosting & Support
A quick search for SiteGround customer reviews – such as on Trustpilot – will show you impeccable satisfaction levels that even bigger providers, the likes of Bluehost, can’t come close to competing with.
In a survey they traditionally conduct among their clients at the beginning of every December, SiteGround saw an average of 97.7% client satisfaction across the key service indicators in 2020 – speed, security, support, uptime, value for money, and range of tools.
They also received 2 Stevie awards for Customer Service, BigSEE award for their HQ building, and 12 Employer Awards.
Why the Cloud?
“You must spend money to make money.” - Titus Maccius Plautus, 245-184 BC.
Let’s say that you’re creating a launch, dealing with high quality streaming media similar to Netflix, or generally need 100% reliable performance, uptime and bandwidth – cloud hosting is something to seriously consider.
The worst thing for conversions is an unreliably loading website. Cloud hosting is a solution to this, letting you open server resources to spikes in demand at the snap of a finger.
SiteGround will fully manage your cloud serving configurations and account. You can therefore focus on more important business aspects. This is the closest that hosting comes to a dedicated hosting plan.
Overclocking a Website?
Efficiency and speed are guaranteed at the top performance level. Boost CPU and RAM with a click and choose the option for autoscaling, which automatically boosts resources when unexpected traffic spikes occur.
This is crucial for those who want to be maximally competitive and expect to slowly take over a niche, ranking at the top spots for search engine page results (SERPs).
In all cases, SiteGround gives you a 100% renewable energy match – ie. Their main data centre partner, who is Google Cloud, meets SiteGround’s global energy consumption with equal carbon neutrality, renewable energy commitments.
Best Speed & Uptimes
- 24/7 support
- 30-day money back guarantee
- cPanel control panel
- Free website transfer
- Free domain when you sign up for the basic shared hosting plan
- 24/7 assistance in addition to video tutorials and an extensive knowledge base
- 30-day free trial
- Costly renewal prices
Our reviews mainly focus on the three S's of what makes a good host: security, scalability, and support.
Although some of the criteria we've used demonstrate negligible differences among hosting platforms on many fronts, we feel that HostPapa stands out in several ways. To begin with, their starter package includes all of the features many other hosting services charge a premium to access.
HostPapa Pricing and Features
Their tagline is "get everything you need to succeed," and they do their best to deliver.
At the most basic service level, you'll get two free websites and domain registration, 100 gigabytes of solid state drive (SSD) storage, which is the current gold standard of reliable hosting tech, unmetered bandwidth, and guaranteed uptime of 99.9 percent.
You'll also get a free domain with signup of the basic shared hosting plan. HostPapa has also been kind enough to give our readers a massive 67% off discount for their basic plans and over 50% for their other plans. Check their offer here.
That's enough to ensure the speed and reliability that most websites need to remain competitive, but that isn't all you'll get.
The started plan also throws in "all essential features". These include LetsEncrypt SSL, a free website builder, and free transfers if you want to move your existing website to their platform.
That also means they have wide-ranging support capabilities that are designed to allow you the flexibility to use the software, PHP, and operating systems that are best for you without concerns about compatibility.
Moving up to the premium Business Pro plan doesn't raise the price too much for an SMB to benefit, and it gives you a level of functionality to power even the largest enterprise network.
That includes advanced features like unlimited emails and SQL databases, performance enhancements like a 300 percent performance boost and unlimited web pages, and advanced security solutions like SiteLock, WildCard SSL, and enhanced privacy.
Overall HostPapa Delivers
How about a great reputation and high scores on reviews from professional websites like ours and the experience of real users? HostPapa has an average satisfaction score of 9 out of 10 stars in categories like reliability, pricing, and features.
Their highest score, 9.2 out of 10, is in the category of support. This isn't a company that will sign you up and then disappear. They offer 24/7 assistance, video tutorials, and an extensive knowledge base, among other perks.
HostPapa also offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee and 30-day free trial.
Best Cheap Host in Australia
- Github integration
- DNS Management
- LiteSpeed Cache
- Cloudflare Protected Nameserver
- Hosting plans start from $0.99 per month with a single domain
- Free domain and website builder (Zyro) included in every plan
- Reliable customer support team
- Lacks over the phone support
Why is Hostinger the best choice for cheap hosting? For a start, it offers you some of the same functionality and security as you'll get from high-end hosting platforms with a user-friendly interface where you can make billing changes, monitor your emails, and manage all of your domains. All of this comes with budget-friendly pricing.
Let's take a deeper dive into what makes Hostinger the best cheap hosting service currently on the market. Read our full Hostinger Review
Reputation and Reliability
Hostinger has proven that they're a reliable network their customers can count to be there for the long haul. They offer flexible hosting packages that are designed to meet any need or budget. With an average uptime of 99.88 percent, you can pass that air of reliability on to your own visitors with confidence.
This is where we get down to the nitty-gritty. There are lots of free hosting plans out there that offer a cheaper alternative, but little more. Hostinger plans start at just $0.99 per month for a standard shared plan with a single domain, and their top VPS hosting solution starts at just $2.75 per month.
Unlike other cheap services, there are no hidden costs or sudden price hikes. In fact, your rates won't even increase until you've been with their service for at least four years.
Where else can you find an affordable option that gives you the features you want without giving up the speed today's users expect? The available features are ell worth the cost, but Hostinger also provides added-value that goes beyond basic.
Hostinger also supports most operating systems, MySQL, and FTP files, and it's optimized for WordPress.
Included in every plan is a free domain and website builder called Zyro for which no coding or design skills are needed. That comes with a free SSL certificate to authenticate your domain, unlimited SSD storage, and unlimited bandwidth, as well as free images you can use to design our website.
That allows you to scale up or down according to your traffic and rate of expansion without paying more. Even their basic shared plan includes 100MB of bandwidth and 10 Gb of storage, which is plenty for any beginner.
Finally, with Zyro, you can create a professional logo in seconds. Put your creativity to good use with Hostinger’s new feature which allows you to create logos for your brand in no time and with no need for designer’s help. And it’s conveniently called Logo maker. You can’t miss it.
Worried about security? Then you'll appreciate the fact the Hostinger puts your data integrity first. With their VPS plan, you'll enjoy state-of-the-industry encryption, and all plans include daily backups.
They don't mess around about being cheap, but that doesn't mean their service is substandard. Hostinger knows that a company's service is only as good as the support they offer their loyal customers.
Emails are answered within just a few hours. You also have the option of contacting them through live online chat or an integrated intercom 24/7/365. You can also access an extensive knowledge base and tutorials right from their website.
There's a reason this company is beloved by 29,000,000 clerks and counting. Hostinger doesn't mince words. They say what they mean, and they mean what they say. When you choose this hosting platform, you'll get reliable, cheap hosting you can trust.
4. HostGator Cloud Hosting
- Unlimited MySQL database
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- WordPress/Cpanel website transfer
- 45 day money-back guarantee
- Flexible plans available
- One-click Wordpress installation
- cPanel interface
- Mediocre site speeds
Includes: Free Email, Daily Backups, Free SSL (very valuable), Site Transfer, Free Website Builder
Hostgator has been a trusted hosting solution for a long time. Thousands of businesses and bloggers trust hostgator to provide web hosting for all levels of business.
Great Support 📞
Hostgator combines quality uptime with great service. It’s also priced at a very reasonable price point and offers flexible plans as your business/traffic grows.
Competitive Rates 💹
HostGator offers some really discounted rates for new websites and also some flexible plans for all different needs.
5. A2 Hosting
Fastest AU Web Host
- 24/7/365 support
- cPanel control panel
- Automated server rewind backups
- One-click website staging
- Fast load times
- Unlimited SSD space and transfer
- Anytime money back guarantee
- Limited bonus features
The Other Guys – Subjects Failed For Speed, Uptime Or Support
The remaining reviews are all the other guys we’ve been tracking for the last few months. While these are in no way bad, they don’t break into the top three. Remember our criteria we had for our tests, the below sites failed at least one of the top criteria in some way.
Here they are in order or most recommended to least.
- Free domain name for first year
- One-click Wordpress installation
- 30-day money back guarantee
- 24/7 support
- Affordable hosting plans
- cPanel control panel
- Fantastic knowledge base and education centre
- Not recommended for those looking for a personal site
If you have been lucky enough to ever make your way over to the Bluehost then you’ll know that thanks to their sophisticated Facebook retargeting you will now forever be haunted by Bluehost ads. Most of these ads brag how Bluehost is the best hosting solution online.
While it’s a good choice, it’s definitely not the best.
The truth is Bluehost used to be one of the premier web hosts but over the years they have continually lagged in their performance. Their page speed has continuously decreased and from our data we can see trends of increase page load times and slower performance across all of our Bluehost-based sites.
If you’re a blogger and looking for a personal site I wouldn’t recommend Bluehost, they attempt to squeeze every penny out of you. If you’re a business, definitely don’t choose Bluehost. I’d stick with our top pick and use Siteground.
- Uptime 98.58%
- Easy control panel
- Domain registration
Average Uptime: 99.71
Average Load Time: 2.654Ms
- Advanced features
- Delay issues
So Arvixe is a decent host other than the fact that their servers are extremely slow, especially for the Aussie market. Their uptime is actually fairly low when compared to some of the other guys as well.
Service is average. Some of their agents aren’t as technically qualified and answer questions based on scripts, so you feel like you’re not actually speaking with a real human.
The biggest thing with Arvixe is the slow page loads which can affect user experience and your SEO as well.
- Free domain registration
- Free SSL certificate
- Unlimited Storage
Average Uptime: 99.84
Average Load Time: 994Ms
- 24/7 support
- More than 1,000 free templates
- No 2FA
iPage is definitely a cost effective choice. I don’t really have any major complaints with them but there is also nothing that is extremely impressive about their page speeds, uptime and service.
iPage is like buying a 7-11 hotdog. Yes, it will fill you up and you won’t be hungry. Job done. However, there are a lot of better options when it comes to hosting for roughly the same price.
Service is also hit or miss. It really depends on the agent. I’ve had few instances where attendants were pretty helpful and a few agents who seemed like they just started the job the day before.
9. Inmotion Hosting
- One of the last independently owned companies
- Free SSL and hack protection
- Website migrations included
Average Uptime: 99.87
Average Load Time: 1020Ms
- One of the last independently owned companies
- Full 90-day money-back guarantee
- Cheap plans don't pay off
InMotion hosting is a very popular choice for a lot of US based businesses. They have decent service, pricing and support. The major issue is that they page load times lag compared to other hosting companies.
With the majority of their clients being based in the US, their datacenters aren’t setup well for Australian companies.
InMotion would definitely be higher on our list if it weren’t for their slightly laggy page load times.
10. Web Hosting Pad
- Money back guarantee
Average Uptime: We saw roughly 96.63
Average Load Time: 1,821Ms from Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.
- Good Customer Support
- Low uptime
Don’t use this host. Their uptime is too low to be recommended. I suspect they are using antiquated servers that can’t keep up.
There is no reason you should be paying regular prices for this kind of load speed.
Customer support is also atrocious. They don’t even answer half the time. Other vendors have also made mention of their restrictive Terms of Service.
Web Hosting Pad offers some really low rates, but it’s just NOT worth it.
11. Web Hosting Buzz
- SSL Certificates
- Fast Load Times
- 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Average Uptime: 96.73
Average Load Time: 1,734Ms
- Well thought plans
- Great value
- Customer support is lacking
Again, this isn’t our top choice. Support was actually fairly good and their rates were reasonable, but we can’t get over their load/downtime.
With increasingly laggy page speeds it’s just a little too much for us.
12. Host Monster
- Average Uptime
- Good Support
Average Uptime: 99.63
Average Load Time: 1,004Ms
- Great value
- Easy to use
- Misleading Pricing
Average page speeds, load times and support. There is nothing great or too terrible to say about Host Monster.
However, we think you can get way better quality with Siteground or one of our top 3 picks for the same price.
Host Monster also doesn’t have datacenters that are optimized for the Aussie market.
13. Host Metro
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- Highly Secure Data Center
Average Uptime: 99.63
Average Load Time: 1,424Ms
- Price Lock Guarantee
- Free Website Migration
- Slow Speed
Host Metro gets a lot of new customers with aggressive online advertising and their “price lock” offer which helps convert a lot of their potential buyers.
Despite that value that they try to put up front they should have spent that on getting a proper server as their load time are borderline ridiculous.
With loading times like what we experienced you’re not only going to have to make your site’s visitors wait around it will also affect your online marketing performance and even SEO.
14. Hosting 24
- Great uptime
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Has a reseller web hosting plan
Average Uptime: 99.78
Average Load Time: 1,655Ms
- One-click CMS installation
- Confusing pricing plans
I think you can see the pattern here.
The sites anywhere down from position 1-5 are these guys with much slower load times. Hosting 24 is way behind the bar when it comes to load times.
It’s almost like their servers are in Siberia with only one datacenter.
If you run an e-commerce site and are thinking about using this provider…. run.
15. Just Host
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- Free Domain Name
Average Uptime: 98.48
Average Load Time: 1,055Ms
- Simple App Install
- First year dicounts
- Long-Term Pricing
So Just Host wasn’t that bad when it came to uptime and page load but their support is insanely bad.
I’m not sure how a company could even function in 2019 while utilizing such poorly trained support staff.
Another note, they have a tiered pricing system meaning that when you scale up to the service you do want you’ll be paying the same price as a top tier service.
- 24/7 technical support
- WordPress integration
- 45-day money-back guarantee
Average Uptime: 98.11
Average Load Time: 1,155Ms
- No hidden fees
- Free migrations
- Issues with uptime
I don’t have much bad things to say about Site 5.
Some of our legal clients have been using it for a while and seem to enjoy the service.
I’d say everything about Site 5 is average at best. It’s like getting a plain ham and cheese sandwich.
It will fill you up but it doesn’t leave you very impressed.
17. Host Nine
- 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
Average Uptime: 99.11
Average Load Time: 851Ms
- Free Website Migration
- No Renewal Price
- Ineffective Support
Host Nine is the little brother of the giant billionaire dollar company called EIG. That being said we expected a lot better from this hosting provider than the fairly average results we got.
Support was decent. Page speed was ok and uptime fine, but given their service financial backing we thought we would be expecting a little more from them.
Another issue we noted is that their support staff didn’t notify us at all when our test sites went down.
18. Host Rocket
- 24/7 tech support
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Unlimited storage on web hosting plans
Average Uptime: 97.11
Average Load Time: 757Ms
- Wide range of plans
- Affordable prices
- Lack of live chat support
Again, average all across the board.
We would have put Host Rocket higher up the list if it weren’t for their fairly high cost of setup (they charge you a fee).
For the same value, go with one of our top three hosts.
19. Green Geeks
- Completely green
- Tons Of Features
Average Uptime: 98.11
Average Load Time: 1,240Ms
- Easy to use interface
- Quality support
- No phone support
Greek Geeks is a eco-friendly web provider and it has some pretty awesome support, load times and uptime – at least in the US.
However its datacenters just can’t handle Australian-based traffic that well and that’s why it shows up on spot number 18.
If you were a US based customer I would suggest Green Geeks for sure. Their rates are decent and they even throw in a free domain.
20. Mid Phase
Just don’t use Mid Phase. Terrible everything. Combine that with their no money back policy and it makes you think are they purposely trying to fail?
Hosting Buying Guide
Unless you’re a business that gets over 500,000 views a month any of the hosting companies explained below are a great choice.
Remember that all hosting companies allow you to scale up as your traffic or service demands increase.
Think of this as basically how often your website goes down. For a big business, this can be disastrous. You’ll lose customers and definitely lose trust in your brand.
Quality hosts almost never go down and when they do it’s planned.
Most of the time you’ll get a notice indicating that there will be a planned maintenance fix or some other technical issue.
Quality hosts plan around this contingency and only go down when you're asleep.
Some of the sites we tested had over 1800 instances of downtime.
Site Speed 💨
We all want a fast website that doesn’t lag. The modern customer is spoiled and anything longer than 5 seconds is way too long. With mobile accelerated pages that is even more important.
Our way back metrics over the last ten years allowed us to compare average load times across all major Australian cities including Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide.
We compared those results to average US speeds to monitor load times. Our top recorded load times were 226ms and the absolute worst was well over 2850ms (roughly 11.5X slower).
Customer Support 📞
Customer support is a big factor. Some have great service where your questions get answered in a couple of seconds while others will leave you waiting all day.
We’ve worked with some providers who don’t even provide live chat and instead use an outdated ticket system.
Let’s face it. You want a hosting provider that is there for you 24/ 7.
I can definitively say that our top three recommended hosting companies are the best when it comes to hosting support. Our top pick has actually won awards for their insanely good customer service.
We didn’t need to test customer service because we’ve been using them for a while.
The Most Important Sentence in Finding Quality Web Hosting 🍷
Ready for it? "Avoid cheap web host."
I can’t stress this enough because over the last few years we have dealt with hundreds of businesses that want to either migrate their existing hosting to another provider, add new features or troubleshoot technical issues.
It’s important to realize that the web hosting industry is full of scams and people trying to make huge sums from newbies (we’re talking millions of dollars). These hosts use extremely low quality servers that are both vulnerable to security breaches and absolutely don’t give a crap about their customers.
If you’re wondering who? Let’s name some names:
- Godaddy is standing by ready to charge you 5X regular prices.
- Network Solutions. I literally can’t find enough bad things to say about this company.
The point is if you pay for cheap hosting you’re going to have a heck of a time transitioning to another provider and in the process of using a cheaper provider you’ll end up paying 3-4X for upcharges and addons.
I realize for new business owners or bloggers saving a few dollars at the beginning is vital but don’t cheap out on your web host.
Issues with cheap providers in order of importance:
Yes, a bit of blasphemy for all you die-hard Aussies. Australian hosting sucks. It has always sucked. Don’t believe me, here’s some data.
Yes, number 46. Down three spots from Thailand.
The reason for this terrible score which really hasn’t improved over the last few years is twofold.
The Distance – I don’t need explain this one to you. Anyone who has taken an airplane anywhere knows that we are pretty far away from the rest of the world.
Australian Companies Lack of Innovation – I’ve been working in the industry for a while now and have personally met some of the biggest ISP or hosting company CEOs.
They refuse to innovate and feel quite comfortable controlling a large percentage of Australian hosting and demanding exorbitant rates However, there is a solution……
Behold The Indigo Submarine Internet Cable. 🚢
This wire was an initiative set forth by SubPartners, Telstra, Indosat Ooredoo and Singtel to connect Australia with Singapore. The wire is actually two sets of fiberoptics with an outstanding capacity for 20 terabits a second.
While you might think this has nothing to do with hosting, it does. Faster speeds allow visitors from both inside and outside of Australia access information much more efficiently.
That is why my top recommended host utilizes a huge brand new datacenter based in Singapore….
Types of Hosting Explained 📡
When you first start reading about the different options available for hosting it can be a little overwhelming. There seem to be endless choices with each hosting service promising that theirs is the “best” for your needs. Price points make it all the more unclear.
Some providers aim to give you the cheapest price humanely available at what seem like absurdly cheap prices of $1-2 dollars a month.
Other ones even offer hosting for free. Despite those newbies often pick overly powerful hosting packages that they don’t need. The simple rule of thumb that we stick to is – get a simple hosting solution and then grow into the higher end packages.
For example providers like SiteGround offer very flexible plans that allow sites to scale up in hosting as their traffic increases.
Which is Right For You? 🤔
The majority of hosting plans can be categorized into five main types: Shared, VPS, Cloud, Dedicated, and Reseller. Let’s look at each of them.
Shared Hosting 🤖
When it comes to the cheapest plans for new sites shared hosting is it. Think of it as renting an apartment in a large crowded complex. The better quality the shared host the more room you have in your apartment however you never have your own property per say.
Cheaper shared hosts are cramming lots of people not only into the same building but even the same room.
The apartment would be the IP address of your website. The idea behind shared hosting is that most websites don’t get much traffic so there is no reason that they should be assigned significant server resources. Instead they can share those resources with a large pool of other sites.
For more small businesses and bloggers shared hosting is the cheapest web hosting option available. When using shared hosting make sure you a pick a datacenter located closer to your potential web visitors.
Once you have surpassed the capabilities offered by shared hosting a lot of people will opt for a virtual private server or VPS. These networks offer you expanded power without having to pay for a dedicated server.
You can expect greater power from a VPS as fewer people are visiting your server.
Another plus of using a VPS is you have full control of the server. It’s basically like having your own house. No need to share it with anyone else.
Cloud hosting has become quite popular lately with services like Cloudflare being used throughout the US. It works like a VPS however there is no dedicated physical address, instead the server is distributed over many hundreds of computers. This results in faster loading time and is a very scalable solution.
One of the best parts of using Cloud based hosting is the second you want to up your speed all it takes is a quick request to the hosting company. You can also up your CPU usage and disk space easily.
If uptime and the ability to scale very rapidly is a concern for your business than you should seriously consider cloud based hosting. All of our reviews offer cloud based solutions as well.
With cloud hosting you are able to access multiple servers which allow you to use different data centers and also keep your information private and secure.
The top of the line option is dedicated hosting. This means basically you have an entire server running for yourself that is committed to your website’s performance.
These are great if you are completing multiple financial transactions on your website or are worried about upside at all. They also offer the highest level of security.
Reseller Based Hosting 💿
Think of reseller hosting like white label web hosting. Basically person A would maintain the server while person B would sell hosting as if they were the hosting provider themselves.
Reseller hosting allows you do use any of the above mentioned forms of hosting: dedicated, VPS, cloud and shared.
Resellers often buy access to mainframes or high capacity servers in bulk and then allocate different parts of that to different websites. Hosting of this nature also requires much greater technical knowledge of cPanel and other hosting aspects.
Different Hosting CMS 📀
A CMS or content management system allows a user to add new content or modify old content on their website. It’s basically the interface that he/she uses. Different CMSs work with different hosting plans and some are more suited for different purposes.
Wordpress Hosting 💬
76% of websites online use WordPress and it’s by far the most popular CMS online. Launched in 2003 it has grown into the best choice for most bloggers or small businesses. WordPress allows for a wide range of custom features and tools. Read our detailed article on the best wordpress hosts in Australia.
It installs quickly and has great security. Support is also much easier to find when using WordPress. If you haven’t setup a website before I would highly suggest using WordPress. It will take some time to get used to but it’s the bread and butter of the online world.
PHP Hosting 📇
PHP is an old school language that utilizes server-side scripting code/language. The term PHP originally referenced the term “Personal Home Page”.
Whenever you use WordPress, Joomla or Drupal it’s basically utilizing PHP script to make commands and additions. The WordPress CMS gives user a a friendly UX and a lot of versatility.
If you have very specific functions and applications you want installed on your site I’ suggest getting a PHP developer.
Java Based Websites 🗄️
Joomla is another CMS like WordPress. It’s probably the second most popular CMS platform. It’s definitely not as easy to use as WordPress. Personally I don’t like using Joomla and recommend all our clients to use WordPress as I find it more SEO-friendly.
Windows or Linux Based Hosts 💭
Remember before when we talked about dedicated servers?
Each server requires an OS (operating system). This means that your hosting is easier linux-based or windows based. Let’s look at the differences.
Windows is the Microsoft flagship. Choosing a windows-based host lets you run Window’s databases/applications and more complex programming scripts like ASP.Net.
Windows offers more flexibility than just standard scripts, you can also use PHP or even MySQL without any issue.
In most instances, a Windows-based host costs a tad more than a Linux host. Windows system crashes are also slightly more common.
Linux Hosts 🗃️
Most servers in the world run on Linux. It’s the industry standard and with good reason. Linux servers are reliable and can handle nearly all modern programming scripts and languages. Most applications can also run on Linux without issue.
Linux systems are sometimes referred to as LAMP meaning Linux, Apache, My SQL and PHP (all programming scripts for web hosting).
What’s The Deal With Unlimited Hosting? ✈️
You’ll hear a lot of hosting providers mention something about unlimited plans. Either in the form of bandwidth, storage or email. However, it’s important to read the fine print!
Basically all it means in a simplified explanation is that they haven’t set specific limits for your resources. If you dig into the TOS (Terms of Service) you can usually find out what they really mean. The unlimited offer is set within reasonable circumstances.
The average shared hosting service won’t be receiving 500k visits a month or sending out 10k emails a day.
The unlimited offer is usually more of a foot-in-the-door technique than anything. So don’t be overly enticed from the unlimited offer, what is more important is upload speed. A server may give you unlimited bandwidth but at what speed?
Site Migration: What Is It? 📦
We've mentioned the term "site migration" throughout this comparison guide, but what exactly does it mean? In short, site migration is a fairly broad term often used by SEO experts to describe any significant changes to a website that can influence search engine visibility — such as changes to the content, URLs, UX, or design.
Switching hosting providers and moving your site (or websites) from one domain to another is also considered a migration.
When searching for top-quality hosting services in Australia, it is important to check if your new provider can help you migrate your current site files to your brand-new hosting account. One of the best and most practical ways to transfer your current site to a new hosting account is via FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
This method allows you to transfer your important site files to and from both remote and local computers. Many of the providers on this very list utilize FTP to upload files quickly and conveniently, allowing you to transfer large files without any problems.
SSL Security: Is It Important? 🛡️
We can't emphasize enough how important it is to look for a web hosting provider that includes free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security with their plans.
In some rare instances, you may come across a provider that doesn't offer a free SSL certificate, forcing you to fork out anywhere between $20 to over $200 a year depending on its security level.
Having said that, given how essential they are nowadays, most high-quality web hosting providers in Australia tend to throw a free SSL certificate into all of their plans.
While there are many types of SSL certificates that you can use to encrypt your site with, the three main types you may come across when searching for a web hosting service are:
- Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificate — basic level of security
- Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificate — average level of security
- Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate — advanced level of security
Email Hosting: Is It Necessary? 📧
These days, almost every web hosting service on the market includes email hosting as standard.
While we often suggest settling for an email-friendly web host that allows you to monitor your emails, we know that not everyone will require both web hosting and email hosting. If email is an important part of your business, we would suggest hosting your site and email separately in the event of downtime on a host.
Storage Space vs. Bandwidth: What's the Difference? 💾
One of the main questions people ask when looking for a web hosting provider is: "What is the difference between storage space and bandwidth?" In a nutshell, storage space, also known as web or disk space, is the amount of space available on a server used to store important web files.
This can include anything from simple images and email to web scripts and HTML files.
On the contrary, bandwidth is essentially the amount of data that your site can transfer to your end-users via the internet. We'll explain how much you may require in the “bonus additions” section of this guide.
Bandwidth and How Much Do You Need 💽
If you've ever been confused by how much bandwidth is enough for your website when looking for a new web hosting provider, we're here to help. In order to figure out how much bandwidth you will require, you must first understand how many visitors you have — or are expected to have — on your site each month.
It is also important to note the number of pages on your site, the average page size and the number of daily/monthly page visits.
For a 100 page website with an average page size of 2 MB, 3,000 monthly page loads, and 20,000 monthly visitors, you're going to require around 6 GB of bandwidth per month.
Divided equally, that's around 667 visitors per day. It is important to note that almost all of the websites currently online use no more than 5 GB of bandwidth every month.
Storage Space and How Much Do You Need 🌌
When looking to upgrade to a reliable web hosting plan, people often struggle to understand how much storage space they require. If you plan on storing a large amount of information on a server, you're going to require a plan with enough storage space to store all of your web files.
Using the same example as above, if your website has 100 pages with an average page size of 2MB and 3,000 monthly page loads per month, 200 MB disk space is sufficient. If you plan on launching a new website, chances are you won't require a huge amount of storage space or bandwidth.
With that said, in the event that your website ends up gaining more traffic than you anticipated as the months go by, many web hosting providers allow you to upgrade or even downgrade their plans at any time as your requirements change.
Creating Email Accounts for Your Domain Name 🧍
Creating and linking an email to your domain through hosting is a very simple process that anyone can perform. One of the most convenient ways to do this is by handling everything within your web hosting user control panel (dashboard), such as the widely used cPanel.
Most web hosting providers allow you to easily create and manage email accounts from your dashboard, as well as email forwarders and autoresponders. Some even provide you with a free business email for the first year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need a .Com Domain For My Business?
While most businesses opt for a .com domain or an equivalent Country-Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLDs), common domain extensions don't matter as much as you may think.
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding top-level domains is whether or not they affect search engine optimization. The short answer to that question is: No.
Given the number of ways Google is able to analyze page quality — such as traffic, content and backlinks — you don't necessarily require a .com domain for your business. Instead, you should opt for a domain suitable for your business or organization, such as .org.
Can I Host My Own Website?
By using some of the shared hosting providers on our list, you have the option to host your own website. If you feel up for the challenge, you can even host your website on your very own server, but before you do, you must be aware of the limitations to self-hosting.
One of the main downsides to shared hosting is that maintaining your own server can be both challenging and costly. You also won't have access to 24/7/365 support when hosting your own site, so if anything ever goes wrong, you'll have to fix any problem yourself.
What Is the Fastest Web Host in Australia?
SiteGround is renowned for having some of, if not, the fastest speeds in Australia. With servers nearby in Singapore, SiteGround is a web host that delivers fast and almost unbeatable service to sites across australia.
With an average uptime of 99.95% and an above-average load time of 673 Ms, we cannot recommend hosting with Siteground enough.
How Can I Host My Website for Free?
While there are many ways you can host your website (or sites) without spending a penny, we highly discourage opting for a free hosting service.
We say this since there are many disadvantages to choosing free website hosting over paid website hosting, including display ads, lack of customer support, shared branding, and limited bandwidth.
On the contrary, paid web hosting offers several benefits including unique branding, security, reliability and 24/7 customer support.
If you’re looking for a reliable hosting provider that doesn’t charge an arm and a leg, we recommend switching to a budget-friendly hosting provider such as Hostinger.
Do You Need a Web Host for WordPress?
Yes and no. There are two different versions of WordPress currently available: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. To understand whether or not you need a web host for WordPress, you must first understand the key differences between the two.
The main difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is that with the .com version, your site exists on WordPress.com, so you won't have to worry about hosting.
If you plan on building a site with WP and using it on your own server, WordPress.org is the best option as it allows you to host your own WordPress site. Therefore, you will require a web host for WordPress.org.
That’s it for our review. If you guys have any questions, just leave a comment below and I’d be happy to answer anything that comes up.