I recommend bluehost. They're reliable, have a partnership with WordPress, and hosted my site with minimal hassle until I moved to DigitalOcean and AWS.
Briefly: Unless you're expecting enough traffic to make it a side gig through ad sales you can essentially pick whatever host that has a name you like from a google search. Look for things like "cPanel" and, obviously, a wordpress install script. Bigger players have great devops teams and can afford adsense. It's tough to screw up low-traffic sites.
As in all things there are trades: support, ease to configure, speed and cost are all variables that are traded around. Hostgator takes a lot of crap because they're not the fastest on the block, but you can get someone on the phone or via chat to get your site back online. All that to say don't immediately discount the cheesier/lower ranked providers based on speed alone.
Hosting comes in 3 basic flavors:
Cloud/Hyper scale: You work in DevOps and also run the tww book club website
WHO: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google, other scrubs fighting for crumbs
PAIN: Maximum. Lots of moving parts, probably requires a professional to configure
SCALE: Serve essentially one to infinite customers
COST: Your wallet fears it (scale is essentially infinite, so is cost ~ $10 to $? monthly)
SUPPORT: "Call for quote" and/or "Enterprise". Experienced professionals who you can talk to on a phone.
HOW TO IDENTIFY: If you think anything about it is "simple" you're likely not on a cloud-scale provider. "Regions", "Instances", "Pay by the hour"
Professional/Small Business scale: Dedicated resources on the cheap.
WHO: Probably ~20 US-based providers who can be trusted. Digital Ocean, Linode, AWS Lightsail, Rackspace, MediaTemple, Hostgator, Bluehost, No Support Linux Hosting, Site5, etc
PAIN: Depends on provider and your needs. When configured as a step-up from shared hosting it may come with a cPanel or some kind of click-and-do web interface. Or... it could come as pseudo cloud instances: essentially a virgin, virtual box that you'll need to hand configure your web server and everything else you want (called a virtual private server - VPS)
SCALE: Incredibly wide range, from boxes slower than shared hosting (but with more freedom about what you can install) to boxes that could likely serve anything outside a top-1000 site. However, it's a single box. Make it to the front of Reddit and you're likely going down.
COST: $5 to $1000, well equipped for less than $20/month most places
SUPPORT: Usually included & surprisingly capable. Likely ticket-based pray and wait system for anything non-trivial.
HOW TO IDENTIFY: "VPS", "Dedicated", "Pay per month/year"
TIP: If you dabble in linux enough to maintain an existing box lots of providers can be paid one-time setup fees. Avoiding the overhead (and license cost) of a convenient control panel can get you more resources for your buck.
Blog scale: Thousands of tiny websites residing on massive boxes (or an internal cloud architecture) sharing resources. Handles traffic spikes well, but will quickly run out of your $3/month allotment.
WHO: A thousand brands owned by the 20 companies selling reliable VPS's... Bluehost, MediaTemple, Hostgator, Dreamhost, etc.
PAIN: Trivial. cPanel+Wordpress and you're up in 10 minutes or less.
SCALE: Good ones can handle spikes much, much better than a cheap VPS. But lets be real: hundreds of visitors/month max.
COST: Free for a few months to $4/month @ Bluehost to $20/month mediatemple grid, usually includes domain registration
SUPPORT: Ticket & Offshore chat based, if any
HOW TO IDENTIFY: A slash through their price and a promo price available 365 days/year, likely with some stupid code. Look for someone who also offers VPS (for future upgrade), takes regular backups of your site, and has some sort of automated system (like cPanel) to handle platform upgrades and security patches automatically.
[Edited on December 9, 2016 at 12:28 AM. Reason : also, never trust godaddy for anything but domains]
12/9/2016 12:22:05 AM
I have used godaddy (no! NO!) and dreamhost (not really cheap unless you get one of the codes at initial signup tbh) - they're fine, but you're gonna overpay if "cheap" is what you're going for.
I know dude^^ said AWS is for experienced pros, but if I were hosting a site now, I'd go straight to AWS and stand up a micro instance of one of their appliances (assuming wordpress or some other common package). It takes about 30 seconds. You have full freedom on the box to do whatever the hell you want to do, and unless your site blows up somewhere, your hosting costs are going to be rock-bottom.
Also, depending on what you're trying to host, you can also use something like https://surge.sh/ - I use this all the time for static html/css/js hosting when I need to stand up a quick prototype, but it would work just as well for any simple static site.
12/16/2016 8:42:18 AM