Who are the best hosting companies in South Africa?
This review takes an in-depth look at my top 10 choices regarding the best web hosting companies in South Africa
Hosting a website is a lot more important than one might think. Metaphorically, It is kind of like the building in which your website lives. So think about it this way. Imagine you’re renting a building for your business. Of course, You’d like it to be affordable. But, also an easy-to-access building that is also stable. The exact same thing applies to hosting.
Why Listen to me about web hosting?
I’ve been building websites since 2014 for clients as well as personal. I have also been doing SEO at that time. And that path, along with web design has seen me use many a host, especially when it comes to South African hosting companies.
My criteria for choosing the best South Africa web host:
- The hosting I opt for needs to be affordable
- Speed matters. For user retention and SEO. For that reason, the host I choose always has great speeds
- Customer service. I can’t stress how important customer service is in the hosting world.
- Storage. This is also critical when choosing a hosting company. You’re going to want
1) Frikkadel Hosting
This is my number 1 web hosting company in South Africa. I always recommend Frikkadel to my clients. Not only are Frikkadel one of the cheapest web hosting companies in SA. But, their customer service is absolutely incredible. And, their service is reliable and fast. I have no bad things to say about frikkadel and for that reason, they are my top web hosting company in South Africa.
2) Hostgator (international Host)
If you are based in South Africa but have a global audience, then HostGator is your best choice. Another reason to choose HostGator above all others is if you are going to be hosting multiple websites on one account. This very website you’re reading is hosted with HostGator because I host multiple personal websites. The price is slightly more than you’d pay for a local South African hosting company. But, the service is incredibly stable and they offer a lot of extras such as SSL certificates and a lot more. You can sign up and get started hosting multiple websites for as little as $2.75 dollars a month which is roughly R45 depending on what the exchange rate feels like that day. For R45, HostGator is an exceptionally great choice for hosting any website, big or small.
One of my favourite all-time South African hosting companies is HostKing. If you’re a developer or someone looking for the ultimate in hosting flexibility. I think you should strongly consider them as your host. With this hosting company, you can choose between cPanel, E-commerce, ASP.NEt hosting a much more!. I usually go for their cPanel hosting options as they’re the cheapest and just as reliable as all their other hosting. Also, the cheapest option is basically free. Their top-tier hosting package costs like R50 which is what most hosts start charging for their basic packages. You also get a free .co.za domain as well as a free SSL certificate. This is an incredible value and a great choice for personal websites as well as business or eCommerce hosting.
4) SmartWeb Hosting Company South Africa
I still have one or two blogs hosted using SmartWeb. They’re a fantastic choice if you’re looking to host a personal site. However, they have really good business plans too. Their cheapest package is slightly more than a few others on this list. But, the package comes with free extras which others don’t have so it all balances out. Their packages include unlimited bandwidth which is such a huge thing! Also, you can choose if you’d like your server to be located in South Africa or Europe. Which, is not something I’ve seen as a choice for any other host. Great value and great service!
So it is not every day you find a hosting company that offers a free package. But Ramkat sure does! If you’re a blogger or someone looking to set up a small one-page website or landing page. Then the free hosting package from Ramkat is a great way to get proper hosting for nothing! Ramkat offers 6 different hosting options ranging from R0 p/m all the way to R155 p/m. Their 30 p/m package is a great deal that contains a free .co.za domain as well as a free SSL certificate!
I mentioned above in the number one position that Frikkadel was one of the cheapest hosting companies in South Africa. However, AmpleHosting might beat them! With their cheapest package as low as R9.80 per month! I recommend their B3 package. However, whichever packages from AmpleHosting you decided, I think you’ll be sufficiently satisfied. Furthermore, you get a free .co.za domain with all their hosting packages. All storage is SSD based meaning incredible speeds. And, all packages have unlimited bandwidth meaning your site will have much less chance of crashing, even if traffic is busy!.
7) SA Domain Website Hosting
Whilst SA Domain is better known as a domain registrar. They also provide hosting packages which are pretty good if you ask me. With SA domain, you’re sure to find the right hosting solution to suit your needs. That is because they have 8 different packages to choose from that you can use to host your website. 8 hosting packages are more than most others on this list so finding just the right package might be easiest for you with SA domain.
8) Host Budget
I’ve chosen two international hosting companies on this list. And, HostBudget is another one. I host many blogs using them for SEO purposes. And the reason is that they offer $1 p/m hosting with great speeds and stability. That is around R15 p/m with 2GB space which is such a good deal for a small website or blog!
It has been quite some time since I used HostAfrica. However, I only remember good things. And after glancing over their current packages I’m still pretty impressed. I can’t say much for the speeds or the stability as I haven’t made use of their hosting in a while. However, most of their packages come with a free .co.za domain. And from what I can remember, their customer service was pretty top-notch! HostAfrica offers 6 different hosting packages to choose from. This means you can really find the best hosting package that is suited to your needs.
10) Afrihost (THE WORST!!)
I hate to give bad reviews. I like everyone to succeed and get along. However, this is not always a reality. But seriously, I wouldn’t host with Afrihost if my life depended on it. Not only are they grossly overpriced and their hosting as stable as bigfoot on stilts. But, Their staff are so exceptionally rude. And they have the attitude that they don’t need my business. So, I don’t. And life is better that way. There are so many hosting companies in South Africa that provide a better service, a stable host, great customer service, and basically everything better and cheaper. So there’s no need to give the greedy and rude your money when it can be spent wisely elsewhere.
Searching for the best web hosting provider can be a time-consuming and daunting task. There are dozens of hosting providers on the market and it seems that their number is increasing every year. If you want to simplify this task and be sure that you are dealing with the best web or domain hosting provider that matches your needs.
What makes a good a good web hosting provider?
There are a few things that you should take into consideration before opting for a hosting solution.
- First of all, think about your specific requirements and needs. Do you want to use a unique code for your website or will you use a popular content management system like WordPress or Joomla? Do you expect high website traffic?
- Next, think about the uptime guarantees and the overall reliability of the provider. Regardless of the type of website you are planning on building, opt for a provider that is available 24/7 and a provider that has powerful, modern servers and strong network connections. If possible, choose a provider that guarantees 99.5% (or more) uptime.
- Finally, check the prices. We are not talking only about the sign-up price – renewal prices are important too.
What should I look for in their plans?
Every web hosting company has at least two different plans in their offer. Obviously, you will need a plan that suits your needs. In addition, you will also need to take their price and flexibility into consideration. Is it possible to replace the existing plan with another one without any hassles? Can they make modifications of their existing plans so they can match your needs? These are some of the questions you have to ask.
- disk space
- Customer service
Are free hosting offers real?
Yes, they are. However, you should not forget that they are not completely free. For instance, in case you opt for a basic plan that is free, it is very likely that you’ll have to pay for the domain or for the site builder. This is purely a marketing tactic that is used by most web hosting providers and even though it can be useful to select these plans sometimes, you should be aware that this doesn’t mean that you will avoid payments.
Is security important?
Of course! Although authorities are doing their best to fight online illegal activities this doesn’t mean that your site will be safe. A good web hosting provider should offer security measures like user authentication, daily backups, and other things that will make your website more secure. Take some time to read more about their security features before making your final choice.
What happens if I am a complete beginner in this field?
If you are not familiar with web hosting, you should make sure that the provider has excellent customer support services. The best ones have 24/7 support and they’ll be glad to answer all your questions and dilemmas.
There are three types of web hosting services available for your website. It is key to understand the differences between them before you sign up for the right package for your website. We have split these into categories based on business needs, budget, and services.
What Are The Different Types of Web Hosting Services?
This is recommended for newer websites ready to just make an impact on the internet. It is the most economical way of starting your website. In a shared web hosting environment, you are placed on a server with other website owners just like you. You all as a whole share the server as well as the software applications within the server. The cost for this is more economical and is best if you are on a low budget. There are certain downsides to this such as website load speeds.
This is recommended for the established websites. You will be in control of managing your server the way you want to. You will be the administrator and choose what software and operating systems work best for you. This also means you will have to manage your own server. As for cost, this can get pricey depending on the specifications of the server you choose and is for those on a less tight budget. The downside to this would be having to troubleshoot yourself or pay extra for someone else to do it.
This is recommended for the webmasters out there. You will purchase your own server up to your own high specifications which you will house at a host facility or as known as a DataCenter. You will be responsible for the server yourself. It is a great option for those who manage multiple websites. You will be the one in full control. Though the initial cost for this is high, in the long run, it will end up being the most cost-effective. Once you pay for the server expense on its own the only thing you will have to pay would be the housing cost which will still be within your budget.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Called “The Cloud” or simple cloud computing, chances are you’ve heard of many other terms for cloud hosting before. But do you know what cloud hosting really is? You might not know this but you are probably already using cloud technology on a daily basis. Gmail, Flickr, Facebook are just a few big names that have the cloud on their side.
Why should you use cloud hosting?
These are the reasons why hosting through the cloud is a great idea:
- Only pay for what you use
- High-security level for your cloud infrastructure
- Easily scalable for your growing demands
- Stability and redundancy that accelerate above regular server hosting
- Multi-platform development environment support
Linux vs Windows Webhosting?
Ever wonder what to choose to host your website? There once was a time where an OS meant so much when it came to choosing a web host. Those times however are long gone…The choice between Linux and Windows web hosting nowadays is more along the lines of personal use.
Linux is recognized for its stability and security. It utilizes programming languages such as PHP, Perl, and MySQL (just to name a few).
Linux-based web hosting can be sold at a fraction of the price compared to windows due to the low cost or even free open source programs available for the OS. In addition, the system allows users to easily set permissions and password-protect directories.
Windows has the advantage of being the most well-known operating system in the world. This is the main reason why so many people are familiar with windows and support for it is much easier to find. In addition, it is also the main reason why the development of windows based programs happen much faster than any other OS. Another key thing for windows is its full support for the ASP.NET programming language. However, due to its licensing expenses and program expenses windows, web hosting services are usually a bit more pricey.
Both operating systems are constantly getting improved and what seems to be something that mattered will eventually only be a personal choice. If you are truly looking for the best host for your web site or space then simply think about what you are using the platform for
What is Cpanel?
With a wide feature set and an easy-to-learn interface cPanel is by far the most recognized control panel in the industry, and with good reason! Most commercial Linux web hosts tend to use this control panel. In addition, its massive popularity means that there plenty of how-to articles and videos available to teach you how to use cPanel. And there is even a feature called Fantastico that installs common free software packages like WordPress with a single click. So if you don’t want to spend days learning a complex control panel, cPanel is a great choice.
cPanel even comes with a feature called Web Host Manager (WHM). It gives you complete control over your server and allows you to create user accounts and perform basic web host and control panel maintenance. While cPanel is more for the end-user, WHM is for the server administrator.
There is one caveat, however. cPanel is mostly a Linux/Unix control panel. There is a beta build for the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008, but it is quite unstable.
What is VPS/VDS hosting?
A virtual private server (VPS) also known as a virtual dedicated server (VDS) is a hosting solution for the average medium-sized to low-budget business or person. It gives you the same control level you would get if you had a dedicated server. A VPS/VDS server is the middle man between shared hosting and dedicated servers. It gives you more control and features than a shared hosting account, it’s by far less expensive than your average dedicated server while still giving you the performance needed for your website.
Benefits of a VPS:
- Low cost
- Root access
- Better management ability
- Server monitoring
- Dedicated resources
What About Disk Space?
Why pay for space you do not need or get capped for space you over exceed! Any website owner must have an idea of what it is their website is in need of. Unless you have downloadable content such as software, videos, audio, or even high-resolution pictures a few gigs of space will be just fine for you. However, if you are someone trying to make an art gallery website or even want to upload your family videos for people to stream you will be needing the right amount of storage for you. We would suggest you try a much bigger webspace package such as maybe 10 to 20 gigs (if not more).
What Does Bandwidth Mean?
A key thing to also look for is bandwidth. If you know your website is going to get a lot of traffic or if you plan on streaming content it would be beneficial to look for a high transfer bandwidth provider or even try your hands at un-metered bandwidth. Mind you we do not suggest you looking for “unlimited” bandwidth, in the web hosting world there is no such thing as unlimited except as an advertising scheme.
Emails / FTP Accounts / SQL Databases
With time your website will grow and with growth, you will need more email accounts, FTP accounts, or even SQL databases. It’s a good idea to add separate FTPs for any sub-domain or section of your website. In addition, if you are the blogging type you will need multiple Databases for the blogs you have in mind of making.