Freelancing is the best way to offer your services, skills, or expertise to clients at different levels, and for that reason, you need tools and platforms to do that.
Thanks to the advancements in technology, you do not have to manually look for clients or share your skills. You have great options for website hosting platforms.
If you are wondering which web hosting platform is the best for your freelancing, I have a few insights and options you can choose from.
In this article, I will explore the top 8 web hosting platforms for freelancers including Bluehost, Dreamhost, Cloudways, and Nexcess, among others.
First, though, let’s see if you should have your own website as a freelancer; and which features you need to consider while choosing the best hosting platform.
Should you have your own website as a freelancer?
So, is it necessary to have your own website to freelance, or is this something you can do outside website ownership?
A personal website is an online portfolio that allows would-be clients to evaluate professionalism and expertise, in addition to fostering visibility. This is very beneficial for freelancers in different fields.
So, yes, freelancers need to have their own websites to enable them to showcase expertise, skills, services and previous work.
Your website can be a hub for interaction between your work and your fans, customers and followers. It is therefore a valuable asset for many reasons, but I will emphasize the following;
- Professionalism; a website is a digital presentation of your work, you can see it as an online business card. Potential clients see your professionalism from a well-designed website and therefore will cultivate trust.
- Control; having your own website gives you total control over the design, style and content shared. You can tailor everything to mirror your interests, personal brand and style.
- Visibility; your own websites will greatly improve your visibility, it is your permanent online presence. When clients search for services related to your brand, there is a possibility that your website will come up.
- Analytics and insights; with your own website, you will have the benefits of analytics tools that can help you track visitor data.
With this, you will be able to understand your audience and make decisions to improve your freelance services.
That out of the way, you now need a platform to host your website, how do you know which one is right? Next is an insight into the key features to look out for when choosing a web hosting service.
How to choose the right freelancer web hosting service (Features to consider)
One of the most important reasons for having a website as a freelancer is online visibility. The success of your online visibility is dependent on the web hosting service you use, hence it is important to carefully and critically make the right choice.
There are numerous considerations for choosing a web host, but I think these six (6) features are quite key and should influence your decision for a web hosting service.
As you embark on the website hosting plan, you should have a budget, this will inform your choice of a hosting platform.
Prices for different web hosting plans vary depending on the platform and the features offered.
It is important to choose a service that will not strain your pocket or whose sustainability you may not handle.
2. Hosting type
Web hosting platforms have various hosting types offered, make sure you choose one that suits your needs and budget plans. Here are the hosting types you will find;
- Shared hosting; this means it is shared with other websites. This type is economical, but it may affect your web performance
- Virtual Private Server (VPS); resources provided in this hosting type are dedicated, hence better performance.
- Dedicated hosting; this offers complete control and resources, but the resources come at a cost, so it may be expensive.
- Managed WordPress hosting; this is specialized for WordPress websites and comes with automatic updates and enhanced security among other features.
This feature allows for expansion. You should choose a web hosting service that will accommodate your growth.
At some point, you might need to upgrade to a higher plan, your web hosting platform should be able to offer this feature.
4. Security features (including backup and recovery)
You need a secure hosting environment to be sure of your data’s and clients’ information safety.
Check if the hosting provider has backups, firewalls, and SSL certificates among other security measures.
5. Bandwidth and storage
Check the bandwidth and storage limits provided by the platform; these will vary according to the pricing plan you choose.
Ensure that the storage space and bandwidth provided by the plan are sufficient for your needs now and in the future.
6. Customer support
A web hosting service with all-time customer support is the best option. With 24/7 support via different mediums, you can be sure of help anytime you need it.
Okay, now we know what to consider in a web hosting service, so which is the best platform to host your website? No worries, here are some options you can choose from.
The 8 best web hosting platforms for freelancers
Note that the list of web hosting platforms is endless, there are almost as many as freelancers! But I think these eight (8) are on top of the endless list because of the features they offer. Let’s check them out.
This is a WordPress web hosting service that, with its multiple options i.e. DreamHost, DreamPress, and cloud hosting among others, offers hosting services to all sizes of businesses.
Features you will enjoy with DreamHost include the following;
- WP Website builder solution that will help you create a WordPress website in no time.
- Automated WordPress migrations which will help you transfer content faster than using plugins.
- One-click installer to aid in quick installation of needed apps.
- No restrictions on bandwidth and monthly traffic on your website.
DreamHost’s pricing plans start at USD 2.59 per month and guarantee money back in 97 days in case you are not impressed.
In addition, you will get a free domain on your website, and a free email on some plans.
- DreamHost’s data centers are available mostly only in the US;
- The service is optimized to host only WordPress websites; and,
- You need additional costs for extra features.
Otherwise, DreamHost is affordable with great features, and suits the needs of freelancing. If you weigh the good and not-so-good about DreamHost and decide it is your choice, you can try it out here
This option is best for freelance video hosting whether you work in a small group or as an individual.
Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting service that offers managed solutions when hosting your site. It does this on 5 top cloud platforms which are; Google Cloud, DigitalOcean, AWS, Vultr, and Linode.
With this service, you can smoothly work collaboratively with your clients and teams; you get to make use of features like ‘Add team members’, and you get to manage several sites of different apps which you can group and classify, then assign projects to your teams.
If you choose to use Cloudways, you will enjoy the following features;
- Multiple sites management; you will be able to manage multiple sites using different platforms as Cloudways allows you to install unlimited applications.
- The WordPress migrator plugin will allow you to migrate your site by yourself if you wish to, or you can have the technical team do it for you for free.
- Breeze – the free caching plugin will help optimize your website speed. So you won’t have to spend a lot of time getting things going.
- Numerous data centers; Cloudways has more than 60 data centers from which you can choose, so you can choose one that is closest to your clients.
Cloudways has up to 4 payment plans from which you can choose to suit your budget and needs. It also has a ‘pay as you go’ policy which allows you to pay only for the services you consume.
However, Cloudways does not offer domain registration services and it offers only 3 days of free trial for you to test the hosting service.
If you build websites for a living or have a plan to start doing so, Flywheel will work perfectly for you. It is a managed WordPress hosting platform with great collaboration tools, easy site templates, and hassle-free billing transfers.
This platform is uniquely designed to meet the needs of web designers dedicated to working on client projects. You can try it out with the 14-day free trial before upgrading to the freelance plan.
You will enjoy a variety of features with flywheel, including;
- A fully managed WordPress hosting will allow you to focus on finding clients and delivering projects while Flywheel handles the technical aspects of hosting.
- Collaboration feature which will allow you to add whoever you want as a collaborator to help manage the site, update databases, and assign logins for users at no extra cost.
- Time-saving site templates that will enable you to create reusable blueprints of your favorite themes and plugins. These you can use to set up future client sites in the shortest time.
- The Staging environment feature allows you to make site updates for clients with no risks, and then you can, with a single click publish changes when the new version is set.
- The billing transfer feature will make it simple to transfer billing and ownership to your clients, and also switch between bills, like when you start with the free trial, you will easily transfer or upgrade.
However, Flywheel is limited to WordPress, hence you will not be able to use other software for your clients.
Kinsta is a premium managed hosting provider with developer features for building apps, databases, and WordPress websites.
With this option, you will have worldwide data centers to deploy your projects from anywhere, in addition to the collaboration feature.
Other features that you will enjoy with Kinsta include;
- The staging environment will allow you to test new features, plugins, and themes.
- The expert developer support gives you access to all-time guidance from experts, developers, and engineers to help you sort out any issues you may be having.
- Frequent automatic backups will guarantee that your apps are backed up; you can choose to back up after every hour or 6 hours.
- Global data centers give you access to more than 35 centers worldwide from which you can pick a spot to store your clients’ databases, apps, and websites.
However, the focus on premium managed hosting makes Kinsta more costly; it is priced above the average web host.
For example, Kinsta’s start-up plan on WordPress sites is USD 35 per month, compared to Nexcess’ USD 17.5 per month and DreamHost’s WordPress-managed hosting with a startup of USD 16.05 per month, among other pricing differences.
Nexcess is also a managed web hosting service that offers security, speed, and scalability features.
It serves enterprises of all sizes; serves web developers, web designers, and agencies, and supports any kind of site hosting. This makes it an ideal site for any freelancing business.
With this option, you can tap into multiple solutions and use various applications to set up your website. The service uses Managed WordPress, WooCommerce, and Drupal, among others.
You also get other features like Premium features such as built-in content delivery network, image compression, and advanced caching to help websites load faster.
- Automated application updates; you won’t have to worry about manually running updates.
- 24-hour auto-scaling which will help you handle altering traffic and upgrade your plans.
- Domain registration, email hosting, and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) services are contained with this option as well.
- Test sites where you can easily test changes and customizations.
Nexcess has multiple pricing plans that will meet different user needs. Its price options vary according to the choice of solutions, and your option will come with a 30-day money-back guarantee policy.
Even better, you have a 14-day free trial and you won’t have to give your credit card details to enjoy this! Also, you will have some free plugins and a StoreBuilder solution to help you with online store creation.
- Nexcess does not have a free domain registration service
- It needs improvements in the setup process and usability of the dashboard and,
- The learning curve for beginners is slight.
6. WP Engine
This fully managed WordPress hosting platform is best for web developers, and it is among the best 10 because it allows for building, testing, and deploying sites faster.
It also has a WordPress-developed tool – Local, which lets you develop sites locally, swiftly and with less effort.
WP Engine offers 24/7 customer support and other following features like:
- WP Engine eCommerce can be used to make online shops for customers.
- Automated migration plugin; a free WP Engine feature that will make your migration activity seamless.
- Multiple security features like SSL certificates, daily backups, and data encryption are included in this platform.
- Site monitoring function which will help you to quickly identify issues on your site and resolve them.
WP Engine’s managed WordPress hosting platform has four pricing plans with varied limitations on the number of sites, storage space, and bandwidth. The plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
- The starting plan allows only one website setup
- The platform does not include a free domain registration service
- It can be relatively expensive, especially for beginners
Whether you are a beginner, or you already run a small or big business, this is definitely a good option for your web hosting.
Namecheap is one of the best domain registrars, with reliable and secure features for a stable freelancing business.
The platform comes with hosting services such as Namecheap WordPress, Namecheap Shared, and Namecheap VPS among others.
In addition to the Namecheap domain service, you will enjoy the following features with this platform:
- Namecheap domain generator tool.
- Professional email address – the platform offers a professional business email address with anti-spam protection features.
- Free site migration – you can migrate your site on the Namecheap platform for free.
- Backup – Namecheap gives you the ability to take backups twice a day and includes an automatic backup function.
- Modern dashboard – with this Namecheap modern dashboard you can manage all your sites in one place.
- Security features like SSL – Secure Socket Layer, and Namecheap domain privacy, etc.
Namecheap’s price plans differ in amount per month and the number of websites limited to each plan, storage space, among other features.
It comes with great services including free themes, plugins like PageBuilder and unlimited bandwidth.
- The platform’s starting plans allow a limited number of websites you can host and with limited resources.
- It focuses mostly on offering web domain registration rather than web hosting.
- Compared to other hosts, it lacks some customer support services.
How can you host a website as a freelancer?
Hosting a website as a freelancer is an important step in improving your visibility, and displaying your skills and expertise. Here are simple steps you can follow to host a freelancing website.
Domain name selection; you should start by selecting a domain name that reflects your brand, then you can register your domain using a domain name registrar like Namecheap.
Choose a web hosting service that suits your budget and is reliable. You can consider the features explained in this article to choose your hosting platform. And you have a list of the 8 best services to choose from.
Hosting plan selection; after you have decided on the hosting platform you want to use, you can go ahead and select and buy a hosting plan.
Hosting plans will differ for each hosting service, buy one that will meet your needs and is budget-friendly.
Configurations; you can now connect your domain to your hosting account using the DNS (domain name system) provided by your hosting service.
Set up a website; you can use your hosting provider’s features to set up y
our website, secure it, and go through all the steps to have your website up and running. You can also test it before launching your website.
How much should you pay someone to host your website?
Website hosting prices differ per hosting service and depending on the available hosting plans.
As seen above, there are different hosting types and these greatly affect the amount of money you should pay for hosting your website.
However, here is a typical range of payments depending on the hosting type:
Shared hosting is the most affordable and its prices range from USD 2 to 10 per month.
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting comes with more resources and better performance compared to the previous hosting type.
Its prices range between USD 10 and 20 but can go higher depending on storage space and other features.
Dedicated hosting gives you an entire server dedicated to just your website. So the prices go higher, they typically range from USD 50 to hundreds depending on the specifications of the server.
Managed WordPress hosting is customized for WordPress websites and comes with automatic updates among other features. Prices on this hosting type typically range from USD 10 to 30 per month.
Other hosting plans include cloud hosting, enterprise hosting, and eCommerce hosting.
Hosting plans may also have some hidden fees like cancellation fees, domain registration, or contract length, which can also affect the hosting prices. It is important to look into these and make comparisons before you settle on a price plan.
Freelancing does work better with a website and you need a web hosting platform to put your skills, services or expertise out there for prospective clients.
There is a long list of web hosting services that you can choose from, but I think the ones in this article will be a very good start.
Try those out and enjoy your freelancing!