So you’re think of launching a website, but what do you need to buy? Before you start thinking about software or web design, what your site will say to customers, and what it will look like, you need a domain name and web hosting. Who offers the best web hosting in Ireland? That’s not an easy question to answer, because every business is different, and every business has different requirements. Most of my clients are small businesses, start-ups and local service providers, so in this post we’ll focus on what’s best for them.
I know I’ve already given you the answer, right at the top of the page, but there are a couple of reasons why you might not want to choose SiteGround; for example, they are not an Irish based company, which I know is important to some people (it’s important to me too, but I can’t look past SiteGround, they’re just too good). So, as well as SiteGround, I’ve included four other web hosting providers for you to take a look at. They vary in price and the type of services they offer, so first we’ll take a look at what you need from your web hosting as a small business, as well as some terms that it’s useful to know…
An SSL certificate is a small data files that establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. When data is passed from the browser to the server (website) it is secure and private. It adds the “s” to the end http, and the “green padlock” icon. User trust this, and most people won’t use a website without it. Some hosting companies offer this for free, some charge a yearly fee.
CDN (Content Delivery Network)
A CDN is a network of servers around the world that store your website. Why do I need this? Because loading time is so important the success of your website, Google rankings and user experience. A CDN shows the version of your website closest to the users physical location, reducing load time.
There are two types of caching; browser cache and server cache. Browser cache stores copies of of your web pages on your users browser, so that they can accessed faster when they return. Server caching can be understood as being the same as a CDN described above.
If you’re a FutureProof Digital client you don’t need to worry about web hosting, for at least 12 months. Every website we design and develop is hosted with us, on our SiteGround web hosting servers for the first year. When that year is complete we transfer your website to your own dedicated hosting plan, or if you have a maintenance package with us, we include the hosting in your fee. The same goes for domain name, we include the first year of registration in all web design packages.
SiteGround offer three shared web hosting plans (you share the server, located at a SiteGround data centre, with other websites). Most businesses will only ever need the entry level, “Start-Up” plan, some businesses, if they are very successful will need to upgrade to the “Grow Big” plan. This plan is much more expensive, but if you are getting the traffic that means you need it, money won’t be an issue for you. In the first year the Start-Up plan costs €3.99 p/m and the Grow Big plan costs €6.99 p/m. These costs increase in year 2, but this is the case with almost all web hosting.
About SiteGround Web Hosting
So, why should you choose SiteGround? How can they be the best web hosting in Ireland if they are not even in Ireland? The wisdom has always been that you host your website as close to where your customers are as possible, because that’s how you get the fastest loading speed. This is correct, in principle, but… what if the hosting provider that closest to where you are isn’t very good? Faster speeds can be achieved by excellent hosting 200km away than they can by poor quality hosting next door. The features outlined below outweigh location.
SiteGround offer free caching and CDN with all of their plans, plus a free optimization plugin (a very good one too). These combined make your website as fast as it can be hosted on an entry level plan. Yes there are cheaper options can SiteGround, but if you are serious about your website, and your business, it’s a small price.
So what else makes them the best web hosting in Ireland. The main reason I use SiteGround is the customer service. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for email, phone call or live chat. No other web hosting company I know of offers that level of service. The SSL cert. I described above is also free, as are the email accounts. You can even add other users to the account, your web developer for example. Finally, they offer the best “up-time” stats. on the market. They virtually guarantee that your website will be live 100% of the time.
BlackNight Web Hosting is one of the most popular providers in Ireland. They are based in Dublin, which is a plus. They offer three shared hosting plans starting at €4.95 per month ex. VAT, so more expensive than SiteGround. Also, SSL caching and CDN are extra, and will have to be installed and set up manually. A big plus is the fact that BlackNight are an Irish domain name registrar, so you can buy your domain name and your web hosting all in one place.
One day, if your business is really successful, you might need to look at the type of web hosting services offered by WP Engine. Not only the best web hosting in Ireland, but probably the best west hosting anywhere. It’s expensive, but you get what you pay for, you should check them out. This is what they say…
We’re a new breed of technology company at the intersection of software innovation and service. Our platform provides brands the solutions they need to create remarkable sites and apps on WordPress that drive their business forward faster. All this is driven by a set of core values that guides us every day.
This post, The Best Web Hosting in Ireland, is primarily aimed at FutureProof Digital customers. I am asked all the time about web hosting; who I use and why. This post answers those questions. If you’re not a FutureProof Digital customer I would still highly recommend SiteGround, but if you are looking at other options, an Irish based company for example, then there are several options for you above. If WP Engine looks like the right option for you, congratulations, you are ding well !!