We get a lot of questions from beginning web masters looking to pick out the best hosting service for their new website. While we like all of our top-rated hosts, each definitely is best suited for a specific kind of user building a specific kind of site. Here, we'll delve into the differences between two of the most popular hosts we review: Hostmonster and Yahoo! Small Business Web Hosting.
What they have in common:
Yahoo! and Hostmonster are both reasonably-priced hosting services with solid introductory discounts. Both services offer you a 30 day money-back guarantee and include the first year's domain registration in the cost of hosting. Both services offer you 24 hour support by phone or email, and can handle basic web hosting tasks like building a website, creating email addresses, and starting a blog.
What sets Yahoo! Small Business apart:
Yahoo! Small Business's web hosting is actually very unusual among the web hosts we've reviewed. Their service is geared specifically for beginners, with extensive, step-by-step help, question marks with pop-up tips all over the site, and a very streamlined interface. The feature set is fairly stripped-down, which can actually be a good thing for beginners who plan to make a site as simply as possible, since they won't have to wade through things they don't need. If you plan to build up your knowledge and eventually create a more feature-rich, complex site, you might want to pick a host with a few more advanced tools, but if a basic site is enough for you, then this is certainly one of the easiest ways to do that.
While both Hostmonster and Yahoo! have good response time and uptime, Yahoo! is slightly better on both fronts.
You might choose Yahoo! over Hostmonster if:
- You are an absolute beginner.
- You just want the easiest basic site possible.
- You need lots of tutorials and step-by-step help.
What sets Hostmonster apart:
Hostmonster is a great, all-around host. Suitable for beginners through advanced users, Hostmonster gives you the tools you'll need as an advanced user while still providing enough support, simple tools, and direction to help beginners get a basic site off the ground. If you're looking for a hosting solution that can grow with you as you gain more expertise, Hostmonster is a good place to start.
In addition to support over email and on the phone, Hostmonster has support available by live web chat for when you just have a quick question and would like an immediate response without having to wait for an email. Hostmonster uses the popular cPanel dashboard, which we've found fairly simple to use. cPanel makes a good foundation for beginners planning to increase their skills, since it's quite similar to the systems used by most hosts and you'll be able to use the skills you learn with Hostmonster easily if you switch hosts in the future.
For more advanced users, Hostmonster has a few more bells and whistles than Yahoo!, including unlimited email addresses, better e-commerce tools, and support for more programming languages. Hostmonster also offers advanced users Shell Access (SSH) if they need it.
You might choose Hostmonster over Yahoo! if:
- You're an intermediate or advanced user.
- You're a beginner planning to learn more about web hosting or web design.
- You need unlimited email addresses.
- You like chat support.
- You want more advanced, feature-rich tools.