So you have now made that very important decision that you would like to generate money online, you chose your niche and now it is time for the next very important step in deciding on a top website hosting company. Choosing a hosting company is not a decision that needs to be taken lightly as your business will be built on this platform. There are many factors that needs to be kept in mind e.g technology utilised by your hosting company which will affect e.g your website load speed which is a very important factor when it comes to ranking in the search engines. Your website load speed will also help to retain visitors visiting your website, which further contributes to your rankings in the search engines, as visitor retention also plays a role in the ranking of your website within the search engines. Website load speed is just one factor that needs to be kept in mind when considering a top website hosting company.
In this website hosting review I will aim to point out the most important factors when choosing a website hosting company and I will then compare some of the top website hosting companies with one another with the aim to make the process easier for you to identify a top website hosting company.
Before we start comparing hosting companies I would just like to mention that of course there are free blogging patforms out there like e.g. Blogger, Tumblr etc. and then of course also other paid hosting platform options other than WordPress like e.g SquareSpace, Wix etc. I have covered these aspects quite extensively in my post, Online Marketing – An Introduction, which you are more than welcome to read.
Although I agree that it is each to its own and that some would prefer Wix and others SquareSpace etc. because some may perhaps find it more user friendly, I will conclude that WordPress is by far the most popular and versatile platform used by business owners and online marketers alike and will now be the focus when considering a top website hosting company.
Option 1: Hosting WordPress For “Free” Via WA (Wealthy Affiliate)
WA is the first WordPress hosting company that I will review here. Let us have a quick snapshot in regards to how Wealthy Affiliate compares with its competitors.
Free Website Hosting With WA?
Wait, the price of WA hosting in the image above clearly states that the cost is $49 per month. How can you claim that it is “free”? Allow me to explain.
First of all WA is so much more than just a hosting company. In the first instance WA is an online marketing training membership site with more than 2 million members that forms part of the WA community. Wealthy Affiliate only hosts websites for members of WA, so that means that your hosting is included with your online marketing training membership and therefore the hosting is “free” for those that belong to the WA community.
However, if you pay for a full year of membership in advance you will be able to secure WA hosting for as little as $30 per month. You can refer to the image below to see the different price points for a WA membership, which of course includes your WA hosting.
Webhost Power VS Price Point
Before we start delving deeper into the pros and cons of WA as a web host company, I just wanted to address an immediate question that might have come to mind when you looked at the table comparing WA to other web host companies. At a first glance you might have thought that the monthly price for website hosting in general looks quite extortionate with WA being by far the most reasonable.
Yes, there are of course more affordable hosting available from various hosting companies e.g. WP engine listed here in the comparison table at $290 per month also have cheaper hosting plans available. However the comparison done here at these particular price points is to compare the power, speed and features that WA hosting delivers.
As you can see, WA believes in providing their members with the most powerful hosting available and that for the fraction of the cost of what other hosting companies is charging.
WA Hosting Speed
WA’s hosting platform is called SiteRubix, proven to remain powerful and robust every step of the way. Site speed is one of the core focal points with the SiteRubix hosting platform at Wealthy Affiliate with an average page load speed of 1.3 seconds. You can rest assured that your website will always be hosted on the latest and most powerful servers in the world via Amazon hosting. WA implements a unique “load limiting’ process that monitors your websites to make sure they are always running optimally.
Your Website Is Always Live
Unlike any other hosting platform in the world, WA offers their clients double hosting. Your websites have full redundancy, which means that if one of your websites for some reason go down, then a mirror of your website will immediately swap in to ensure that your website is always live. This layer of redundancy is unparalleled in the industry.
WordPress Hosting Security Done Right
The Wealthy Affiliate IT website technicians are very familiar with the intricacies of the WordPress platform and its possible security vulnerabilities. As a result they are able to prevent hacking or spam before it happens. There are several layers of security that shield your websites and keep them secure. The added benefit is that you do not have to add any security plugins like “Wordfence” to your WordPress site, because the security is already taken care of within the SiteRubix platform.
Website Backups Every 24 Hours
At WA they understand how easy it is for you to mess up your website when you are playing around with technology. As a result they are offering an advanced service that very few hosts are offering. They take a screenshot of your site every 24 hours so they can help you get your website back to the way it was before things started to go wrong.
SSL Certificates And Email Accounts
Many hosting companies expect you to pay an additional fee for your SSL certificates, but with WA your SSL certificate is included with each site hosted on WA.
The absolute amazing thing about WA that none of its competitors listed above provides is an unlimited amount of personalised email accounts for your websites. Often you need to pay for a personalised email account and for the hosting of it on a monthly basis. Wix for example charges $6 per month for having a personalised email address hosted with them. You can imagine how costly this becomes if you have several personalised email addresses due to having several websites.
The Simplicity Of WA
WA is incredibly user friendly. It is just so simple to use. There is no Cpanel and no need for manual FTP upload of your site. WA is as easy as pressing a button and your website is created. There is therefore no complicated process for newbies in regards to hosting setup and therefore you can simply concentrate on the creation of content and the marketing of your business.
Everything you need is built in to the SiteRubix dashboard and integrates seemlessly to make website creation an absolute breeze. Even your page load speed in Google is integrated in the SiteRubix platform.
WA Support Second To None
With a ticket response time of 1 minute on average, it will be incredibly difficult to beat. The only down side here is that you are not able to get in touch with support on the phone. However, although perhaps nice to talk to someone on the phone, it is not essential as everything can be taken care of quite easily via the SiteRubix dashboard which also allows you to attach screenshots and submit links in order for support to straighten out all of the website issues you may experience.
3000+ Beautiful Website Designs
Website design is something personal and it is nice to have a choice. As a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate you will have access to 3000+ beautiful website templates to choose from. There is a theme available for every niche.
WA Hosting Pros And Cons
I do believe the pros have already been communicated and I will therefore now point out the cons below.
No Telephone Support
Some Membership Plugins Not Allowed
Jetpack Plugin Not Allowed
No Hosting Of Adult Sites
No Hosting Of Gambling Sites
Site Builder Included
5 Min Response Time On Average
Page Loads In 1.3s On Average
Unlimited And Free Of Charge
No Adult Or Gambling Sites
Unbeatable Price For Value
Free Of Charge
50 In Total
Verdict On WA Hosting
WA hosting is an absolute no brainer as there is nothing in the marketplace that can compare with the value for money that it has to offer. Just to prove this point, have a look at the Startup package price for WP engine hosting and what it has to offer. Please note that this is the same price you will pay for WA hosting. There is simply no comparison. You would have to invest in a WP engine package that costs $290 per month to start to compare with WA hosting and even then WP engine still falls short of the mark. Then we should not forget that on top of this with WA you have access to top notch online marketing training and can exchange ideas and ask for support from an online marketing community of more than 2 million online marketers. On top of this WA also provides a website feedback and website comments exchange feature that can be incredibly valuable in pushing your websites up in the ranks of the search engines like Google , Bing and Yahoo.
Just like anything out there WA of course do have some cons as well. Although the support response time of 1 minute on average is incredible, there is unfortunately no telephone support. WA does not support the Jetpack plugin and there are also some membership plugins that WA would not support due to the possible security vulnerabilities they may hold. Further to this WA also does not support the hosting of adult sites or gambling sites. If your intention is to setup a gambling site or adult site then WP engine may be a good option.
Lastly you do need to be a member of WA to be able to make use of WA hosting.
As already mentioned, besides the exceptions mentioned of sites and plugins that WA does not support, it is an absolute no brainer if the restricted categories mentioned is not applicable to your business model.
You can read more about Wealthy Affiliate, what it has to offer and how to join by reading my article: “Wealthy Affiliate 2020 Review – Is WA The Real Deal?”
Major Update To WA Hosting Announced On The 16th Of March 2020
Those that became WA premium members before the 16th of March 2020 are grandfathered into the old WA hosting plan which means that you will be able to host up to 50 websites with WA. However, the big change lies in the fact that those signing up for WA premium after the 16th of March 2020 will only be allowed to host 10 websites with WA. All the other benefits of the hosting WA has to offer will remain exactly the same. This is still an amazing deal, regardless, as the new hosting comparison table below clearly indicates.
The YouTube video below points out the benefits of WA hosting and provides a comparison between the grandfathered and current WA hosting plan.
Option 2 – Hosting With WP Engine
If I am very honest, WP engine is pretty pricey, and as already mentioned, no match in regards to the value that WA hosting offers in terms of value for money. However WP engine is the perfect solution for those that are building websites for their clients and requires their clients’ websites to perform at optimal speed with hardly zero down time and excellent customer support.
WP engine is also perfect for those that require to run adult sites or gambling sites for their clients as it is not possible to host these particular sites with WA hosting, as it is against WA hosting’s policy.
In general WP engine promise an all round excellent WordPress experience with 24/7 customer support in terms of telephone, live chat and email support. WP engine is not scared to roll up their sleeves to support you with whatever aspect they can in regards to WordPress and even aspects unrelated to WordPress, e.g they are happy to talk to you about marketing strategies etc. over the phone.
Included with any WP Engine membership hosting package you will receive the Genesis framework for WordPress as well as 35 premium StudioPress WordPress themes. The StudioPress premium themes can simplify the website building process for you and the Genesis framework it is built on within WordPress is specifically designed to be optimised for search engine optimisation. This said however, it all comes down to your personal preference in what works for you. If you only sign up for the starter hosting package from WP engine, then you might be getting quite a good deal in terms of all the premium StudioPress themes you receive for free, that is included in your hosting package.
The most disappointing aspect of WP engine is probably the fact that no personal emails for your website is included in that hefty price tag.
Excellent Support All Round
Fast And Reliable
Adult Sites + Gambling Sites Allowed
Good Quality But Expensive
Free Of Charge
15 In Total
Summary And Conclusion
There are certainly other hosting companies that are quite good that I could have reviewed, but there would be no point as none of them would be able to beat WA hosting in regards to the value offered. In regards to the hosting of adult sites and gambling sites, there are not many premium hosting providers that will allow this type of content on their servers and therefore WP engine was an obvious choice as an example of a premium host provider that does.
Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions in regards to hosting or if you would like to create dialogue in regards to various hosting companies and their performance.