Are you looking to launch a website and need the best web hosting provider in Australia? As a full-time Australian web designer, I have tried close to a dozen web hosting providers and below are my top picks for Australians.
How I Ranked Each of These Web Hosts
I have used close to a dozen hosting providers in the past nine years and have come to realise what is essential for users while disregarding the shiny gimmicks. During this time, I also collected data on speed, server usage, uptime and more using tools such as Pingdom and GTmetrix.
Here are the key factors I considered while compiling this guide:
In a world where people have instant access to endless information, it’s necessary to have an extremely fast website. Google themselves have emphasised this. A faster website greatly enhances user experience, resulting in more visits, leads, conversions, and sales! All the hosts on this list have a load time of less than one second.
Great Customer Support
Great customer support is crucial, especially when a page goes viral and the server crashes. You need to talk to a representative immediately. I have picked providers that offer outstanding support and preferably have a local number to call. I have also chosen companies with expertise in WordPress as it is the go-to CMS.
Value for Money
I believe in “buy it right, buy it once” when it comes to clothes, cars, watches, and even web hosting. If you do enough research, you can find great value hosts that have the best interests of the customer at heart and provide excellent value. I have used this principle to find my top picks for the best web host providers in Australia.
When starting out, looking at the cPanel or the dashboard of a website can be extremely confusing. Luckily, many hosting companies now provide an easy-to-use backend where you can manage your website settings easily. While many web hosts’ cPanels are still stuck in the early 2000s, this is not something you will interact with much, mainly when you set up your website initially.
Security and Backups
While many hosting providers deliver the above points, many fall flat when it comes to iron-clad security and backups. It’s critical to choose a host that has frequent or daily backups, so you can rewind to a certain point in time and back up your site. All the hosts on this list have backups in place, so you can sleep easily at night.
Ideally, I picked web hosts that have servers based in Australia or close proximity such as South East Asia. However, server location is only one of the many things that can improve a website’s speed. Once you have a good theme, caching and maybe even a CDN, server location becomes less and less important.
How to Interpret the Below Data
Below are my top hosting providers for Australians, in order of most recommended, and my recommendations for each provider. I have also added in other data points which I will briefly break down.
For each web host, I measured the load time of a website by each city, including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide & Hobart. While some cities were faster than others, this number is an average of what you can expect for a web page to load.
Uptime is measured by how consistently your website is live. Anything below 99.50% is not worth your time. When this 0.5% is compounded over a year’s time, it can add up to hours or even days with a website not running.
This is the amount of space allocated to your website on a server. It is crucial to choose a hosting provider that offers ample disk space, as limited space can restrict your website’s functionality.
The monthly cost of hosting is an important consideration, and it’s often best to purchase hosting in bulk for a discounted rate.
Support: Good customer support is critical in case of any issues that may arise. Each provider’s support options, including live chat, phone support, and ticket support, are outlined in the reviews below.
With all the preliminary information out of the way, let’s dive into the reviews! Additionally, Australian website owners can benefit from the extensive guide on website optimization located below the reviews.
- High Uptime and Fast Loading Speed
- Reliable Security
- Seamless WordPress Integration
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- Reliable Performance
- Easy Website Management
- Advanced Caching Options
- Excellent Customer Support
1. BlueHost Review: Best Web Host Overall
BlueHost, a hosting giant that has been around since the early 2000s, has cemented its position as one of the top web hosting providers with over 2 million websites hosted on their platform. They are also the top recommendation for WordPress hosting, which is no small feat.
Having personally used BlueHost for 4 years, I can confidently say that it is the easiest and simplest web hosting provider to use. Users can have a website up and running within 5 minutes of signing up.
If you’re curious about how BlueHost performs for Australian websites, you can take a look at fasterweb.com.au, which is hosted on BlueHost. On average, Australian sites on BlueHost have a load time of 500ms and an uptime of 99.99%, which is almost perfect. This combination of speed and reliability makes BlueHost an ideal choice for blogs and small business websites.
BlueHost’s shared web hosting plan comes with unmetered storage, free WordPress installation, 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and live chat, and unlimited bandwidth, making it an excellent option for websites that plan on scaling in the future. They also provide a free SSL certificate for all domains, which typically costs up to $60/year.
As someone who personally uses BlueHost for my business, I can vouch for their great customer support, super-fast load times, and impeccable uptime of 99.99%. Backups are also included, making it a reliable option. At only $5.77 AUD per month, it’s great value for money.
2. SiteGround Review: Fastest Australian Web Host
SiteGround is highly regarded as one of the best shared web hosting providers for bloggers with high-traffic sites. I have two websites with large traffic numbers (over 20,000/mo) hosted on SiteGround, and they are both blazing fast.
SiteGround is fast thanks to their integration with a CDN, SSD hard drives, and servers located in Singapore, among other locations. However, keep in mind that their entry-level plan is priced a bit higher and can only handle up to 10,000 visits per month.
SiteGround’s expertise in WordPress is well-known, and I have personally called them for WordPress-related issues. Their customer support team is knowledgeable about the backend of their hosting system.
SiteGround partners with CloudFlare CDN to provide great speeds across all plans. They also include a free SSL certificate for all domains connected to their hosting, which is usually reserved for more premium web hosts. SiteGround also offers free transfers for those thinking of migrating from another host, which can be a costly process.
SiteGround is a fantastic web host that I would recommend to anyone in Australia. Their great customer support, SSD drives, and CDN integration make for an ideal hosting experience. Additionally, the free transfers and included SSL certificate are great peace-of-mind features for website owners. At only $4.95 AUD per month, it’s an affordable option.
3. HostGator Review: Best Cloud Hosting Provider
When it comes to cloud hosting, HostGator is a top contender in the market. Although HostGator is well-known for their beginner-friendly plans, they also offer powerful cloud hosting options that are worth considering.
With a load time of 619ms, HostGator’s cloud hosting plan is one of the fastest hosting options available in the market. However, it is important to note that this plan has a limited server space of 2GB, as opposed to other hosting providers that offer unlimited plans.
HostGator’s cloud hosting plan is designed with a cloud hosting architecture, allowing for vertical scaling in the future, which is a great feature for enterprise-style software and websites. This makes it an ideal option for those looking to make a B2B website.
Cloud hosting has the advantage of multiple copies of your website on several servers, and HostGator’s cloud hosting plan is no exception. With failover systems in place, switching over to another server in case of issues is quick and easy. Additionally, HostGator offers control over server resources, which means no unexpected charges if you exceed their allocated limit.
Overall, HostGator’s cloud hosting plan is a fantastic option for those with big aspirations for their website and want to avoid the hassle of migrating in the future. However, the limited server space and price may not make it the best option for beginner website makers.
4. WP Engine Review: Best Managed WordPress Hosting Provider
Founded in 2010, WP Engine is a relatively new hosting company compared to its competitors. Nevertheless, WP Engine is an excellent choice for those looking for a VIP WordPress hosting experience.
WP Engine offers some of the most customised hosting options, particularly for WordPress blogs. Their tailor-made service is perfect for those who want the best of the best. However, this comes with a price that is 10 times higher than other hosting providers.
WP Engine boasts some impressive premium security features, including automatic WP updates cross-checked by their developers before updating and intrusion detection against brute force/DDoS attacks.
WP Engine hosted websites are lightning fast right out of the box, scoring an A on Pingdom without any caching or CDN settings tweaked. For those who want to further increase their speed, WP Engine offers an integrated CDN by NetDNA, included in the premium and enterprise plan, but at a monthly cost of $19.95 for the personal plan.
Included in their plans is the Genesis framework, which offers 35 premium WordPress themes. This, combined with their stellar speed and security features, makes WP Engine an excellent choice for those who want a premium hosting experience.
Although WP Engine’s pricing may not be suitable for everyone, it is still a great option for those seeking top-notch hosting services.
5. DreamHost Review: Ideal for Small Websites and Blogs
DreamHost is one of the oldest web hosting companies around, founded in 1996 by two college students. Today, they host over 500,000 websites and are a great option for those looking for affordable hosting.
DreamHost is the most affordable option on our list of the best web hosts in Australia. Although they used to be on the pricier side, they have now introduced more beginner-friendly pricing since 2016.
DreamHost has a good understanding of WordPress, which is impressive. However, their response times on the phone can be slow and lead to a long wait time.
Like BlueHost, DreamHost offers unlimited disk space for their plans, which is a significant advantage. However, their uptime is not as reliable as BlueHost’s, although it is not bad either.
DreamHost is a carbon-neutral hosting provider, making them a leader in the industry for environmental change. Hosting companies spend $1.6 billion annually on electricity bills, so this is a considerable achievement.
Overall, DreamHost is an excellent option for smaller websites and blogs. While their beginner plans are not suitable for larger sites, they are a budget-friendly choice for those just starting out.
6. Panthur Review: Australian-based Website Host
Panthur is the first Australian website host on our list, and they have been around since 2009. They offer a range of packages aimed at small to medium-sized businesses.
Panthur’s Mini Plans are an excellent option, offering 2GB SSD storage, 10GB bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, a free .com.au/ .com domain, daily restore backups, and a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, all for a reasonable $5/mo.
Panthur provides a local toll-free number for customers to call if they experience any issues, a luxury that international providers don’t offer. They have been praised for their extremely fast speeds for local-based websites, which can benefit SEO and conversions.
Overall, Panthur is an all-around excellent Australian-based web host that is ideal for those starting out.
7. MediaFortress Review: Fast Local Speeds
The last Australian-based host on my list is MediaFortress, another well-established name in the industry. Based out of Melbourne, MediaFortress offers three main hosting packages, in addition to SEO and web design services.
Their beginner plan starts at $8.70AUD/month (including GST) based on a 12-month plan, and comes with 1GB storage, 5GB disk space, unlimited databases, 3 email accounts, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
For users looking to host more than one website, MediaFortress offers their business or professional plan, which includes unlimited website hosting.
MediaFortress has been in business for a decade, and has earned a great reputation for their customer service.
In conclusion, MediaFortress is a reliable Australian-based company that is known for its fast local speeds and great customer service.
Australian Web Hosts: Why I Didn’t Choose Them
After providing my top picks for the best web hosting platforms in Australia, you may be curious why I did not include any Australian hosts.
To be completely honest, and I apologise in advance to any loyal Australians reading this, I have found Australian-based hosts to be subpar.
While it’s true that Australian servers can be faster than those in the US, the price of such speed can be steep. Furthermore, in many other areas, Australian hosts fall short. As such, I cannot recommend any of them.
Here are just a few examples of where they lack attention:
- Poor customer support
- Limited server resources
- Unreasonable prices
- Unreliable uptime
- Outdated cPanel interface
Ultimately, I find that Australian web hosts are not suitable for first-time website creators, as they can quickly become confusing and costly.
That being said, don’t give up hope just yet…
Let Me Introduce The Southern Cross Submarine Internet Cable
Allow me to introduce you to the Southern Cross Submarine Internet Cable, which is responsible for fulfilling the internet needs of Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, American Samoa, and Hawaii. This mighty cable is connected to California, where numerous servers and big companies like Google and Facebook are located.
The Southern Cross Cable has been servicing Australia for over two decades, with its connection located in Sydney. From its inception in 1998, the cable has undergone several upgrades, with the most recent being in 2018. Initially, it had a speed of 120 Gb/s, but it now boasts an impressive speed of 10 Tbit/s, meaning that it can transfer data at a rate of 10 terabits per second.
Despite the fact that the cable connects to California, it is capable of delivering blazing-fast speeds to Australia, making it possible for websites hosted on international hosts like BlueHost and SiteGround to have speeds that are on par with those of Australian hosts. When paired with a good caching plugin and a Content Delivery Network (CDN), websites hosted on international hosts can provide an excellent user experience to visitors from Australia.
When selecting a web host, it is essential to avoid budget providers at all costs. Though the price difference between reputable hosts and bargain hosts might seem minimal, the latter often provide subpar services. Bargain hosts frequently have frequent outages, slow loading times, little or no customer support, and a general lack of guidance.
Bargain hosts’ business models typically involve offering dirt-cheap hosting with the hope that customers will upgrade to more expensive plans. Customers who decide to migrate to a reputable provider often face hefty migration fees, which are intended to dissuade them from leaving. Bargain hosts also charge exorbitant upgrade fees for their upper-tier plans, as well as yearly charges for SSL certificates, which are typically free. Additionally, bargain hosts frequently impose extra fees for standard features, pu
Is WordPress the Right CMS for Your Website?
Congratulations on settling on a web host for your website! Now, the next step is choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) for your needs. Essentially, a CMS is the backbone of your website, similar to an engine that runs your car. It is a critical aspect that ensures your website functions optimally.
A good CMS should provide the core features required for a successful website, such as publishing posts and pages, uploading media, and optimizing settings for SEO and performance. It should also have access to a variety of themes and plugins, and offer contact forms, comments, author profiles, and social sharing capabilities. Frequent updates and easy one-click installation are also important features to look for.
So, which CMS ticks all these boxes? The answer is simple: WordPress. This is the most popular and beloved CMS in the world, with 58% of all websites built with WordPress. This is a remarkable number, given that there are over 1 billion websites worldwide.
Despite its popularity, WordPress is completely free, which has contributed to its widespread adoption since its inception in the early 2000s. WordPress is an open-source platform, similar to Wikipedia or Linux, which means thousands of developers contribute to each WordPress update, making it a community-driven project.
WordPress also offers a vast selection of free themes and plugins, which makes it very attractive for DIY and novice website builders. Additionally, frequent updates keep WordPress in line with modern design trends and security features that ensure a secure environment.
Another great feature of WordPress is its seamless integration with almost every web host. You can install WordPress with just one click, making it easy and quick to set up your website. In fact, many web hosts, such as BlueHost, offer one-click WordPress installs, and you can have your website up and running in just five minutes.
If you’re still not convinced, consider the many big-name companies that use WordPress to power their websites. These include some of the largest and most successful brands in the world.
In summary, WordPress is an excellent CMS that provides all the necessary features for a successful website. Its popularity, ease of use, and vast array of free themes and plugins make it a top choice for many website builders.
Tips and Best Practices for Australians Embarking on Their First Website
Starting a website in 2019 has become easier than ever before. However, there are still crucial aspects that one should consider to ensure that their website is optimized and performing effectively. Here are some tips that I recommend for beginner website users, particularly those in Australia, to implement. These tips will help make your website secure, easily discoverable on Google, and trustworthy to users.
Install Google Webmaster and Google Analytics
For those who are new to website building and digital marketing, it is common to be unaware of Google Webmaster and Google Analytics. However, these tools are vital for your website and, most importantly, your business.
Google Webmaster is a tool created by Google that allows you to submit an XML sitemap to their database. The XML sitemap is a list of your website’s posts, pages, images, categories, and authors. With a free plugin like Yoast, the sitemap is automatically generated, so there is no need to worry. Once submitted, Google will quickly show your website in search results. The webmaster dashboard will display the number of impressions each post and page receives, as well as clicks, average position, and more.
Google Analytics is another incredible free tool from Google that enables website owners to analyze how visitors interact with their website. With this tool, you can monitor daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly visits, the amount of time spent on your website, individual pages, and bounce rates (how often people leave your site without clicking to another page or link). This is especially helpful for local Australian businesses as it allows you to see where your customers are coming from. Additionally, Google Analytics provides insights on demographics such as gender, location by country/city, age, and interests. This provides you with a clear picture of your readers/customers.
To get started with Google Analytics, I recommend using the free WordPress Monster Insights plugin. It allows for an easy connection between your site and Google. Check out this simple tutorial to guide you through the setup process.
.com.au Vs .com: Which Is the Best Option for Your Website or Business?
One of the most frequently asked questions when designing websites for Australians is whether to use a .com or a .com.au domain name. My answer is generally, “it usually depends.” Let’s explore this in more detail.
To determine which domain name is suitable for your website, you need to consider the type of website you want to create and the target audience. A local Sydney cafe or plumber, for instance, would opt for a .com.au domain as their main customers would be locally based. An Australian domain would make their business appear more trustworthy and relevant.
On the other hand, if you want to create an online store for your handmade clothing business and reach a global audience, a .com domain would be ideal as it is the standard domain extension worldwide. If your clothing line only targets an Australian audience, however, then a .com.au domain name would be more appropriate. Keep in mind that Australia accounts for only 5% of global internet traffic, so it is essential to determine your target audience.
Consider a travel blog documenting a trip across Australia. It would make sense to use a .com.au domain name. However, you may be losing out on potential readers from other countries interested in visiting Australia. In this scenario, a .com domain extension would be a better option.
Enhance Your Website Security by Installing a Security Plugin
As with everyday life, the internet also has its share of unsavory characters. To secure your website from spam comments and traffic, you must take some measures, much like how you protect your car, Eftpos card, or home. One of the first things I do when creating a website is download and activate a security plugin.
By default, WordPress installs a security plugin. You only need to sign up and activate it. Akismet is one of the most commonly used security plugins on WordPress, known for its ability to reduce spam comments. It’s also the one I use on all my websites.
While Akismet offers premium tiered options, the free version is equally effective. To get started, sign up for a free WordPress account, and you’re good to go. Check out this guide on how to access the free version, which may take only five minutes to set up.
Enable an SSL Certificate to Boost Your Website’s Security
In a recent update, Google stated that websites without SSL certificates may receive penalties in the search results. SSL certificates change the URL from http:// to https://, which is particularly important for transactional websites or e-commerce businesses.
Whether you choose a .com.au or a .com domain name, website security should be a top priority. Installing a security plugin and enabling an SSL certificate will not only secure your website from online threats but also reassure your customers that your website is safe to use.
Tips for Optimising and Speeding Up Your New Website
Choosing a reputable host with excellent server speeds is undoubtedly an excellent starting point. However, selecting the quickest web host on the market is only half the battle when it comes to achieving an extremely fast website.
Fortunately, there are additional tips to follow that guarantee your website will be blazing fast, resulting in a better user experience, adding more professionalism to your brand, and potentially increasing customer visits!
Here are the practices I employ on all the websites I develop for myself and my clients, allowing me to achieve a 100-speed score on Google Page Speed Test.
Always Use a Caching Plugin
One common mistake I see beginner website builders make is not using a caching plugin. A caching plugin, pronounced “cashing”, allows your server to send pre-prepared versions of your website to the viewer. This means that instead of sending a request every time someone visits your website, a cached website already knows the request being made, resulting in much faster load times.
Think of it like a cooking show that already has a pre-made cake ready, so we don’t have to sit there for 45 minutes to watch it bake. If that explanation wasn’t clear enough, here is a more in-depth explanation.
Unfortunately, there is no one best caching plugin, but several caching plugins match perfectly with certain web host providers. For instance, BlueHost recommends the free WordPress WP Super Cache plugin that I also use, which currently has over 2 million downloads, speaking volumes for its quality!
If you choose WP Super Cache, turning on caching is super simple. All you have to do is go to the plugin settings and turn caching to ON. Additionally, you can adjust the settings for even more optimised caching, following this helpful guide recommended by HostGator.
Compress Images to JPEGs Before Uploading
One of my biggest pet peeves is when I load a webpage with a massive image size, which is evident when the image loads in segments, similar to the old dial-up days! Often, the image may have a resolution of 3200×1800, which is way too big for a webpage, unless you’re showcasing high-quality images for a portfolio.
Even if the image appears at 1080×720 on the screen, it still loads the full-size image, resulting in a sluggish webpage. This can be detrimental to your website/business as visitors will leave instantly if a webpage doesn’t load quickly.
Amazon.com is a good example of this. They have said that when their website slows down by one second, they lose $1.6 billion in sales per year! 😱
To start using optimised images for your website, first reduce the aspect ratio of the image, and anything wider than 1080 pixels will do just fine. From there, you will want to compress the image. I use online tools like CompressJpeg and PNG2Jpeg that can reduce file sizes by 90% while still maintaining quality.
Batch uploads are also an option! After compressing your images, your website should load much faster, which is excellent for your server and, more importantly, the user!
Select a Premium Theme Whenever Possible
When I started my web design journey, I committed the mistake of not choosing a premium theme. At the time, I thought that shelling out $100 just for a theme was ludicrous! It was more expensive than my hosting!
Fast forward two years, and I had used nearly 20 free themes on WordPress. While some of them were fantastic, they all had paywalls that prevented me from accessing many features I needed. This resulted in me jumping from theme to theme with no clear direction.
Finally, I decided to opt for a premium theme, and it was a godsend! I went with StudioPress, a well-loved provider of themes among web designers worldwide. StudioPress themes are known for their genesis framework, fast themes, SEO-optimized structure, stunning layouts, and lightweight code.
Apart from the built-in features, premium themes offer continuous updates (almost monthly), support, guides, and design communities that are often included in the price. I’m currently using the Magazine Pro theme, which cost me $100, including the Genesis framework. This has been my favorite theme to date and worth every penny!
Some other excellent premium theme providers I have used are Divi, ThemeForest, and ThemeFuse. So, if you want to avoid making the same mistake I did, I highly recommend investing in a premium theme. Trust me; you won’t regret it!
Opt for a CDN for Blazing Fast Speeds
Another way to achieve lightning-fast website speeds is by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This technology is relatively new but has been gaining popularity due to its unbelievably fast load times.
So what is a CDN? In a nutshell, it copies your website data from its original server location and duplicates it to dozens of other servers worldwide. Traditionally, your website is hosted on one server in one location, say, the USA. As a result, someone from Australia would have to connect to that server to receive the webpage.
With a CDN implemented, there will be a duplicate of your website in Australia, which means the response time is almost instant. The same applies to visitors in Asia, Europe, South Africa, and so on.
Using this technology also serves as a security feature. If one server goes down or gets hacked, there are ten more that can step in and take its place.
To apply a CDN to your website, I recommend starting with this guide, which uses a combination of CloudFlare CDN and caching plugins to make your website lightning fast.
WordPress Plugins I Recommend for New Website Creators
If you have settled on your hosting provider and have decided to use WordPress, here are some helpful WordPress plugins that I use, which make my life a whole lot easier!
P.S. All the plugins below are entirely free!
- Yoast SEO: This plugin helps optimize your website’s content for search engines and provides suggestions for improvements.
- Jetpack: This plugin offers a suite of tools to help enhance your website’s performance and security.
- WPForms Lite: This plugin allows you to create contact forms, surveys, and other forms easily.
- WP Super Cache: This plugin improves your website’s load times by caching pages and reducing server load.
- Smush: This plugin optimizes your website’s images by compressing and resizing them, which helps reduce load times.
Shared Web Hosting: Everything You Need to Know
Out of all the web hosting providers reviewed, almost all of them offer shared web hosting plans, except for WP Engine. While shared hosting is a cost-effective option, there are important considerations to keep in mind.
What is shared web hosting?
In essence, shared hosting involves hosting hundreds of websites on a single server. This enables hosting companies to provide cost savings to their customers.
Shared web hosting can be likened to travelling on a train, where you share the journey with other passengers (in this case, other websites). Conversely, having a dedicated server is akin to driving your own car, with allocated CPU, storage, and bandwidth resources. However, this option can be prohibitively expensive.
Pros of shared web hosting
The most significant advantage of shared web hosting is the affordable pricing structure, which is achieved through scalability. As more customers opt for the same service, hosting providers can expand their server capacity to improve the user experience and reduce costs.
Shared hosting plans also often include premium features, such as SSD drives, redundant hardware, fast speeds, iron-clad security, and unlimited bandwidth in certain circumstances. For these reasons, shared hosting can be a great starting point for beginners creating a website in the UK.
Cons of shared web hosting
Although shared hosting has several advantages, there are some drawbacks to be aware of. One significant disadvantage is that if another website on the server experiences a surge in traffic, it can impact the performance of your site.
Using our train analogy, it is like rush hour when everyone is trying to get to their destination, causing significant delays. However, some hosting providers will stop sending resources to your site if it is using too much CPU and storage.
Another potential issue with shared hosting is security concerns. While major hosting companies have implemented measures to prevent malware from spreading, it is still possible for one site on the server to infect others.
In conclusion, shared web hosting can be a cost-effective and convenient option for website owners in the UK, but it is essential to consider the potential drawbacks before making a decision.
Can I Use Free Web Hosting, Or Do I Need a Paid Option?
When it comes to hosting a website, many people wonder if they can make do with free web hosting. While it is technically possible to host a site for free on a server, there are some major limitations that come with it. Free hosts usually have restricted server resources, CPU, storage, security, speed, and support. All of these are features that you would expect from a premium provider like BlueHost, but they simply don’t exist with free hosts.
Furthermore, having a slow-loading website can be detrimental to your brand. Studies have shown that for every one second a webpage takes to load, you lose 11% of your customers. After 5-10 seconds, most visitors won’t stick around. Additionally, many “free” hosting options try to upsell you on their more expensive plans once you realize how limited the free option is.
The moral of the story is to stay away from bargain or free hosts if you want a reliable and fast website.
Web Hosting Options Available For Websites
When it comes to web hosting, there are many options available for website makers to choose from. Depending on your needs, there is most certainly a hosting option available that suits you.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting is the most popular option for new users due to its affordability and access to premium tiered hardware and support. With shared hosting, you can take advantage of powerful servers, big CPU cores, and unlimited bandwidth at a fraction of the price. This is a great option for new bloggers, small business owners, online stores, drop shippers, and affiliate marketers.
Cloud-Based Web Hosting
Cloud hosting is a web of servers spread around the world that work in conjunction with one another to provide fast speeds to your website. Unlike traditional single hard storage servers, if something goes wrong with one server, other servers can pick up the slack and serve the same website from multiple locations. This redundancy ensures fast speeds and reliable uptime. Cloud hosting has quickly become one of the most highly competitive and sought-after industries in recent years. If you want to learn more about cloud web hosting, check out this resource.
Reseller Web Hosting
Next up is a hosting option that is growing in popularity but may not be as well-known: reseller web hosting.
This type of hosting involves an individual or company purchasing wholesale shared hosting space and then selling it to other clients. It is also becoming common for smaller companies to rent servers and acquire their own customers.
Another way to understand reseller hosting is to think of a smaller telecom company using the backbone line of a major service provider. This allows them to utilize the same infrastructure but implement their own systems, processes, customer support, and features.
While reseller hosting can be a viable option, I would not recommend it to new website owners because it requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work. If you have questions, I suggest checking out this FAQ article from HostGator.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated web hosting is considered the gold standard among high-profile blog owners.
With dedicated web hosting, you are allocated your own individual server (computer) where your website/websites are hosted. This means you are not at the mercy of other clients that may drag down the performance of your website.
Dedicated hosting also allows you to add more power to your server, such as upgrading the RAM or CPU. In addition, if another website becomes hacked or infected, it will not affect the security or integrity of your site because it is secluded.
This option is great if you plan on making a high-traffic website for Australian internet surfers. Providers like WP Engine are an excellent place to start. Just keep in mind that this service typically starts at $3,000 per year as a minimum. Wikipedia also has a great article on this topic.
If you want to be in total control of your server/host, then dedicated hosting is a great option.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
A step up from shared web hosting is Virtual Private Servers (VPS). While this service is a bit more expensive, it is well worth the money in my experience.
VPS is a nice middle ground between shared and dedicated servers. You are allocated a certain chunk or percentage of a particular server, rather than sharing resources with other customers.
From my own experience, my websites have never used more than 3-4% of server resources and CPU, even though I am allocated 10% of the server. But having the extra wiggle room is a great safety net in case my site goes viral, and it also allows for future expansion.
With a VPS, even if another website on the server is using a lot of resources, it will not affect your site because you have your own allocated resources.
The Importance of Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
In recent years, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) have gained immense popularity as a way to improve website performance. CDNs are essentially similar to cloud hosting, as both involve having multiple copies of a website on numerous servers located worldwide. The main benefit of using a CDN is that it reduces the distance between the user and the server, resulting in faster load speeds and an enhanced user experience.
For example, if a website is hosted in the US, a user in Sydney would have to connect to a server in the US, resulting in slower load speeds. But with a CDN, the website is duplicated across multiple servers, including one located in Melbourne, which is closer to the user. Therefore, the user can access the website from a local server, leading to faster load speeds and a better experience.
If you want to incorporate CDNs into your website, a good place to start is with CloudFlare, which offers some free options that can be easily integrated with existing hosting plans from popular providers like SiteGround or BlueHost.
To dive deeper into the topic of CDNs, I recommend visiting this resource.
Conclusion on the Best Web Hosts in Australia
Congratulations on making it through this comprehensive guide on the hosting landscape in Australia! I hope this article has provided you with valuable insights into the options available and what to expect.
However, if there’s one takeaway from this guide, it’s that taking action and getting started is crucial for the success of your online business or blog. While finding the perfect web host is important, it shouldn’t hinder you from starting your online project.
Many clients spend days or even weeks searching for the perfect web host, losing their motivation to start their website altogether. Don’t let that happen to you. The best thing you can do is to take the first step and begin your online journey.
Remember, the rest will fall into place.
If you found this guide helpful or have any additional insights to share, please leave a comment below. I plan on updating this guide frequently to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information possible.