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The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, amassed more than a hundred billion dollars since launching the world’s most widely recognized online business: Amazon.
The guy was relentless, building a website which pioneered the sale of books online and continuously expanded its product line up and services making it one of the biggest and most dominant company in the world today.
In the Philippines, businesses are starting to catch up.
From local e-commerce websites to various online platforms providing all sorts of services, the internet served as the great equalizer for anyone wanting to launch a business and reach its target audience.
Instead of servicing only the customers who visit their stores physically, having a website to act as a platform for selling their products and services allows people from all parts of the country (and the world) to reach them and buy their goods.
And it’s definitely not only the small players taking notice. Big brand names have spent a huge chunk of advertising money online which in the past went to traditional mediums like television, print, and radio.
It only makes sense, really. Having your country dubbed as the “World’s Social Media Capital of the World” for three straight years means its people’s eyeballs are no longer captured by the boob tube. It’s now endlessly scanning Facebook and Instagram feeds at an average of 4 hours a day.
So advertisers naturally want to capitalize on this and put emphasis on their digital marketing strategy.
Anyone looking to build their brand and reach more people should definitely consider setting up their own website. And to help you in deciding which services to choose to create your own site, we’re listing down our top picks for the best web hosting providers.
What is Web Hosting?
In a nutshell, it’s a service that houses your website’s resources on the internet: text, videos, graphics–every element in your website.
The Web Hosts are the ones who provide the storage and facilitates this. They are the ones responsible for keeping your website up and running and connected to the web.
What is a Domain Name?
Here’s my uber-simple explanation: Think of them as nicknames.
Websites are identified via their IP address, a string of numbers that serve as the site’s address on the internet.
But who can really memorize those?
Imagine typing 123.456.789.103 (just for example), to visit Grit.PH’s site.
To simplify things and make website names easy to remember, domain names were implemented.
Types of Web Hosting Services
Before we jump right straight into our top web host picks, let’s do a quick overview of the different types of web hosting services and what each of them specializes in.
1. Shared Web Hosting
Your website is being hosted on a server that hosts other websites too.
The main advantage, of course, is the price. Since you’re essentially sharing storage and infrastructure with other websites, it means their performance can affect yours.
It’s a good option though for anyone starting out and would like to have a cost-effective solution and gradually upgrade later as their site gets more traffic.
2. Reseller Web Hosting
An “upgraded” shared web hosting account. Only sign up for this though if you actually plan on reselling web host services to other website owners.
3. Cloud-Based Web Hosting
It’s a hosting technology that applies the principle of “upgrade as needed” because it can adjust its capacity to manage web traffic surges (avoiding website crashes) by adding the necessary hardware to accommodate it.
Cloud-based hosting links hundreds of servers to build one huge server and pricing is based on a pay-for-what-you-use model.
4. Virtual Private Server
While the servers are actually hosted by a single physical server, VPS acts as if they are stand-alone servers.
Each VPS is given its own dedicated share of computing resources. It acts like a dedicated server without the need to pay its hefty price.
5. Dedicated Web Server
With a Dedicated Web Server, you’re actually renting hardware for the web host provider.
This is used by websites which generate a ton of traffic and needs the stability and control to make sure their site is always up and running.
6. Colocation Web Hosting
If a dedicated web server is a “computer shop” where you pay to use their PC and connect to the internet, a colocation web host only provides you with space (workstation) and internet connection.
You have to bring your own hardware (laptop). You’ll be responsible for setting up your server hardware and fixing problems as they happen.
7. Self-service Web Hosting
The name speaks for itself—here you manage everything including buying the hardware and software, setting everything up, making backup solutions, installing software, maintaining and monitoring the servers–everything.
8. Managed WordPress Hosting
WordPress powers 31% of ALL the websites on the internet.
It’s arguably the most popular way of building a website. A managed WordPress host keeps your installation up-to-date and maintains security all throughout.
A great solution for website owners who chose WordPress as their platform.
Popular Types of Websites
Websites can be categorized depending on what they’re being used for.
Want a website for sharing your travel experiences? Make a blog.
Need a platform for selling your products or services? Set up an e-commerce site.
This section will cover the main types of websites.
The platform used to the trade goods or services online. Amazon, Alibaba, Lazada, Shopee, and other online shopping sites are great examples of this.
2. Blogs and personal websites
For sharing experiences or expertise on a subject.
3. Online Community
Perhaps the most popular right now in terms of usage. Facebook is the ultimate example.
This covers all sorts of social media hubs (Instagram, Twitter, etc), along with user-driven sites like Reddit and other popular crowd-sourced hubs
Need to know about the history of something? There’s probably a Wikipedia entry for that.
Information sites (or better known as authority online publications) serve as gateways for accessing data we previously had to search for on physical books (encyclopedia, dictionaries, almanacs, etc).
5. News websites
CNN, Rappler, CNBC, The New York Times—all of these exist for the purpose of covering and reporting current news events.
6. Corporate / Business websites
Refers to the official websites of companies. Your current employer’s website, for example.
7. Resume, Consulting & Portfolio Websites
These are websites that were made with the purpose of promoting yourself or your brand, mainly used for connecting with clients.
They allow potential clients to see your portfolio and list of skills, either for consulting purposes or for job application.
8. Business Directory
Think yellow pages. These are sites that make it easy for users to view information about a specific business, for example.
10 Best Web Hosting Services in the Philippines
Cost: starts at $3.95/month
Launched in 2004, the company features in-house WordPress solutions that focus on security and speed. They have 3 data centers spread across the US, Europe, and Asia and has established itself as one of the best web hosting providers in the last few years.
- StartUp: $3.95 per month
- GrowBig: $5.95 per month
- GoGeek: $11.95 per month
Pros: Very fast, great customer support, 1-click installs for eCommerce tools like WooCommerce, Daily backups, CDN, and provides free SSL (via Let’s Encrypt). They also accept VISA/MasterCard debit cards.
Cons: A bit pricey compared to others, limited storage, there’s a set-up fee if you choose monthly billing
Editor’s Note: We’re avid users of SiteGround (Grit.ph is also hosted on SiteGround since day 1). They provide the best support and customer experience in the market (hands down) and have great uptime as well.
Their support team will literally be at your service in just a few seconds (unlike many other hosting companies that take hours to get your queries processed). Their technical team also provides free website transfer/migration.
Affiliate Disclaimer: We’re an affiliate of SiteGround. We earn through commissions when people sign up for any of SiteGround’s hosting services using our link (below). The earnings we get from the commissions is solely used to maintain this website, but if you’d prefer for us to stay poor, here’s the non-affiliate link 🙂
Either way, we know that SiteGround deserves to be on our list’s top spot – based on our years of experience in building/marketing websites and testing out numerous hosting providers in the market. And we’ve had ZERO issues using SiteGround.
Cost: starts at $3.95/month (if you pay for the whole year)
The company started in 1996 and is currently known for offering web hosting services with a great price-to-performance ratio. Like SiteGround, it has developed a strong relationship with WordPress.
Owned by Endurance Corp, it positioned itself as one of the leading web hosting solutions for people looking to start their own websites.
- Basic: $7.99/mo ($3.95 first month promo price)
- Plus: $10.99/mo ($5.95 first month promo price)
- Prime: $14.99/mo ($5.95 first month promo price)
- Pro: $23.99 ($13.95 first month promo price)
Pros: Affordable pricing, great for beginners
Cons: Domain renewal is somewhat expensive compared to others
Editor’s Note: Bluehost’s service quality has declined over the past couple of years, which is one of the reasons why we’ve moved some of our sites (originally hosted at Bluehost) to SiteGround. Nevertheless, they are still a great option for beginners.
Affiliate Disclosure: We’re also an affiliate of BlueHost. We earn through commissions when people sign up for any of Bluehost’s hosting services using our link (below). The earnings we get from the commissions is solely used to maintain this website, but if you’d prefer for us to stay poor, here’s the non-affiliate link 🙂
Cost: starts at $35/month
Founded by Jason Cohen in 2010 when he saw the growing usage of WordPress. They’re basically a web hosting provider that caters exclusively to WordPress-built sites.
- StartUp: $35/month
- Growth: $115/month
- Scale: $290/month
Pros: Premium security features, Fast, Superb customer service (97% satisfaction rating), Reliability, Money back guarantee (60 days), CDN & SSL, and comes with 35 premium WordPress themes from StudioPress (Genesis Framework).
Cons: Some plugins are not allowed, provides only hosting solutions (no domain registration), more expensive than others on this list.
Editor’s Note: WP Engine is a bit more expensive, but the service comes with a lot of great features (including access to premium WordPress themes that’s originally priced at $2,000+). So if you’re in it for the long-haul, WP Engine might be a sound investment for you.
4. Hostinger PH
Cost: starts at P45.80/month
This Lithuania-based company was originally launched as “Hosting Media” in 2004. In 2011, they rebranded to Hostinger. They had 1 million-plus users around that time.
Fast forward to 2017, they reached a milestone of 29 million users. The local arm (Hostinger PH) features super-affordable hosting solutions. You can have single web hosting from them for less than 50 pesos!
- Single Web Hosting: Php 45.80/mo
- Premium Web Hosting: Php 83.90/mo
- Business Web Hosting: Php172.59/mo
Pros: Fast, great user interface, includes Bitninja (security feature) and SpamAssassin (email spam filter) on all plans, excellent knowledge base resources
Cons: Default cPanel absent and replaced with Hostinger’s own panel (might be an issue for experienced users)
Cost: starts at $2.75/month
Founded in 2002, this company is one of the pioneers when it comes to web hosting.
- Hatchling Plan: $2.75/mo
- Baby Plan: $3.95/mo
- Business Plan: $5.95/mo
Pros: Great total value pricing overall (regularly offers discounts too), unmetered features (domains, bandwidth, email accounts, subdomains, FTP accounts)
Cons: Interface can be somewhat confusing (not user-friendly) versus other web hosts, tend to be slower compared to others.
Cost: starts at P99.00/month
“The Best Web Hosting Provider in Asia Pacific”, says their site’s homepage.
Featuring more than 800,000 subscribers and counting, Z.com is another great option for website builders looking for an affordable solution. The company is based in Japan and launched its local arm here in 2017.
- Personal: Php99.00/mo
- Premium Web Hosting: Php 210.00/mo
- Business Web Hosting: Php463.00/mo
Pros: Easy, affordable web hosting solution that starts for as low as Php100. Features the essentials you need to build and maintain a website.
Cons: Free domain (.com) is only available on personal plans
7. A2 Hosting
Cost: starts at $3.92/month
This US-based company launched in 2003 and positioned themselves as a high-performance web hosting company that has speed as its priority.
- Shared: $3.92/month
- Reseller: $13.19/month
- VPS Hosting: $5.00/month
- Dedicated Hosting: $99.59
Pros: Superb customer support, Fast (but not faster than SiteGround), Global Data centers allow for efficient service per location, CDN
Cons: Renewal pricing is only available for 2-yr plans. You’ll pay higher if you want a per annum payment set up. Lite plan is heavily capped.
Cost: starts at $6.50/month
Dubbing themselves as, “The Official Domain Registry in the Philippines”, DoTPH, they offer both domain registration as well as hosting services.
If you plan on building a site with a .ph domain, this is one of the best places to look at.
- Starter: $6.50/mo
- Professional: $15/mo
Pros: Local web hosting provider, focused on providing hosting solutions for Filipinos
Cons: A bit pricey compared to others
Cost: starts at $2.99/month
This web hosting company specializes in Linux shared hosting but they also offer VPS and dedicated server services. It’s Bluehost’s sister company.
- 12-month term: $2.99/mo (9.99/mo when renewed)
- 24-month term: $2.49/mo (8.99/mo when renewed)
- 36-month term: $1.99/mo (7.99/mo when renewed)
Pros: One size fits all solution makes all features available at all price points
Cons: Pricing can be tricky. Be mindful of their renewal rates.
10. GoDaddy PH
Cost: starts at P129.00/month
Recognized as one of the world’s largest web companies today. They started as a domain registrar service and expanded their offerings to web hosting and web builder services.
- Starter: Php 129/mo (Php69/mo introductory price)
- Economy: Php 419/mo (Php209/mo introductory price)
- Deluxe: Php 579/mo (Php289/mo introductory price)
- Ultimate: Php 889/mo (Php449/mo introductory price)
Pros: Rock-solid stability (brand name), Easy to understand and manage, relatively affordable price, provides a full array of services (domain, email, hosting, bookkeeping, accounting, etc) for convenient management
Cons: Customer service not at par with others on this list, tight limit on feature-set if you choose a lower-tiered plan
Editor’s Note: Godaddy is a widely popular brand in the domain registration space. But we’ve had some really bad experiences with their hosting services (security and customer support issues). Highly recommended for purchasing domain names, but we won’t recommend their hosting services.
Tips for Choosing a Web Hosting Company
Before you drop everything to go build your own website, here are some pointers to keep in mind to help keep the whole process smooth and hassle-free.
Know what you need
Just like shopping for your next smartphone, it all boils down to deciding which features you want to have and knowing how much you’re willing to spend for them.
As you’ve seen on our list earlier, some web hosts pride themselves for being super-cheap, while some boast about their extensive feature set.
By identifying exactly what you need to build and manage your website, you’ll be able to skip past features you won’t use and save some money in the process.
You may want to check a web host’s capability based on the following: Speed, reliability, and security. Maybe you want to pick a service or plan based on the amount of traffic you estimate you’ll have.
Maybe you need 24/7 support. Or have a preference for simple interfaces. No matter what it is, just be sure to identify the actual stuff that you’ll need.
It’s easy to get swayed with the promise of cheap hosting prices. That’s fine and all, especially if it’s your first time.
However, you’ll realize that as you get the hang of things that there are some features you wish you had but your current plan doesn’t support.
The important thing is to get a nice ratio between affordable and essential. For example, if you’re keen on having the fastest loading speeds for your site, know that you’ll probably have to shell a bit extra simply because cheap web plans don’t support that level of capability.
On the other hand, if budget is of your utmost priority, you’ll likely end up with just good enough speeds and decent reliability.
Also, check for hidden and add-on fees that might come with some of their upgrade offerings. This way you’ll know exactly if you’re getting your money’s worth.
Reliability and speed
Some reports say that a 1-second delay in page speed brings down customer satisfaction by 16 percent.
In addition, 40 percent of website visitors leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load.
The moral of the story?
Take both speed and reliability as very serious factors to consider in choosing a web host.
Security is crucial
Ideally, a solid web host plan should provide SSL (for encryption and security), frequent site backups, ability to check for unusual activity, implements firewalls and provides malware protection.
Think about it, it’s like having a lock in the doors of your house. Without proper protection, you’re leaving yourself open to bad guys looking to hack through your site and obtain sensitive information.
Or maybe simply wreak havoc on your site just because they can.
Having all sorts of advanced features will mean nothing if you don’t know where to access them and how to use it.
For beginners, it will be best to check out screenshots of the control panel (Cpanel) of each web host to get a feel of its operability.
Some might prefer uber-simple interfaces while some want a deeper set of options. Just remember to check the interface and match it based on your level of expertise and preference.
Most of the time, customer support for the products we buy is more of just an afterthought.
However, when it comes to running and maintaining a website, round-the-clock assistance and help are important.
After all, having your site go haywire for hours could mean losing thousands of page views and revenue lost.
Be safe, get a web host provider which feature extensive support especially if you plan on building an e-commerce site.
Most web hosts allow you to upgrade easily to higher-tiered plans should the need (or want) arise.
As you build an audience and accumulate page-views, you’ll naturally need more features and support for your website.
That’s why it’s important to get a web host service that provides your site with room to grow and implement an easy migration to VPS or dedicated hosting, for example (if you started from shared hosting).
Now’s the best time to build your own website
I made my first website earlier this year from scratch (check my bio for the link).
My knowledge about building websites?
Zero. Nada. Nil.
I was clueless.
Using just the guides and resources (we actually have one here) online and a steadfast determination, I was actually able to build one myself.
And no, you don’t need coding skills.
You don’t need to be a computer science or I.T graduate either. The actual process takes less than an hour (basic setup for a blog). Even I was surprised.
In my opinion, the “hard” part was learning about all sorts of website stuff through trial and error as you go along.
I once had my entire site’s articles disappear simply because I was tinkering with new themes in a live environment (galing diba?).
Thank God I only had to revert to the old theme to fix it. I’ve spent countless hours experimenting with how the site looks, what the background image should be, how to make things look like Grit’s site (haha), and all sorts of things.
But those were time well spent because the stuff I learned was invaluable. Today I can confidently say I can build a website and get it up and running in a day or two.
Trust me, the process is really simple. You just have to dedicate a bit of time to it and learn from each experience. It’s all worth it in the end.