Web Hosting Services Guide In South Africa

This is a guide to help you choose a web hosting South Africa. Great web hosting boils down to speed, support, security & scalability. Your web host should give your or your organization the ability to rapidly scale your website as your target audience grows and the resiliency to handle sudden bursts of high traffic.

South Africa has a wide range of service providers offering a variety of hosting products & services from few rands a month to thousands of rands.

 

If you are a small business depending on your requirements getting started, you can probably start with shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS), or dedicated server ranging from R60 – R999 per month.

 

Here is what we recommend you consider when choosing a web hosting provider.

Decide how much help you will need. Basic customer service provides access to email, ticket and phone support. Turnaround time on requests, however, this will vary. Some service providers even offer 24-hour phone support.

Fot those looking to have self-managed services – VPS & Server hosting. The limiting factor to non-managed service is that while your service provider may answer questions about basic server configurations, they are not your systems manager. You will still need to do most work yourself.

If you want to outsource the management of your server completely, then you want to consider managed service. Providers of managed service will make sure your system is configured properly for your load, keep an eye on security issues, patch your software as needed and manage backups among other tasks.

Estimate the amount of traffic you expect. Hosting providers generally charge based on storage and bandwidth usage. Bandwidth is a measure of how many bytes you serve over a given period. If you expect only a few folks to visit your site, bandwidth will be low. But if you’re suddenly featured at the top of Google first page or your product goes viral you can expect bandwidth requirements to go high.

As long as you’re honest with yourself, there’s not much of a risk. For example, if you plan to only serve a few pages to a few local customers, you’ll never run afoul of any limits. But if you know that you’re really building a site that will stress low-end shared servers, be sure to pick a dedicated or cloud-based server. If not you will find your website suspended by your service provider.

Understand server types. The very cheapest hosting is available on shared servers, where one box may run hundreds of websites. The performance of your site depends on the load all the other sites are putting on the host. Shared hosting limits your access to the server’s capabilities, generally limiting you to uploading files via FTP or SFTP, preventing shell access, restricting what programs you can run on the service and limiting the amount of database access your site can perform.

The next tier up is VPS (for a virtual private server), which is a full instance of a virtual machine (a simulated computer) running on a box. Usually, hosting providers run many VPS instances on one box, but performance is almost always better than base-level shared services. If you use a VPS, you should be familiar with basic server maintenance and management.

If you don’t want to share performance with other sites, consider a dedicated server, a physical box that’s rented to you. It’s the same as having a server sitting behind your desk, except it’s located in a service provider’s data center. Only those with system management skills need to apply.

Cloud servers may be a better choice. They usually run on the giant public clouds, like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. Service providers can build whatever configuration suits the needs of their customers. The big benefit of cloud servers is that you can scale seamlessly. If you need to be able to handle that big traffic surge, just pay your provider more money. Nothing needs to be moved or rebuilt.

Be wary of unlimited offers. Some hosting providers offer so-called unlimited storage and bandwidth for a few rands a month. This deal often isn’t what it seems to be. If you pay three bucks a month for hosting, there will likely be something in your terms of service allowing your hosting provider to either throttle your performance or shut you down after a certain usage level.

Choose a portable content management system to avoid lock-in. Most hosts are pretty good, but times change. Management changes, acquisitions, and technology shifts can alter your web hosting plans. Make sure your site isn’t locked to anyone host and that you have a backup practice in place. In case there is dispute and you want to move to the next service provider.

For my business, I make sure I use an open source content management system. Many people use WordPress on top of PHP, which will run on just about anything. Do regular updates and site backups, so you always have access to your site’s data, media and structure. This approach means all you need to do is load your backup on another provider’s service and point your domain name to that provider.

Own your domain name. We have helped clients who wanted to transfer domains to us but only to find out that their domains are not registered with their name. The registered owner can decline or ignore to accept transfer tickets when moving to new service provider.

Now that you know how to get your site up onto the internet, you’re all set to get started. Go forth and build something great. Check out our web hosting services to find a service that works for you.

2020 Top 15 South Africa Web Hosting Companies

1. Inslyhost

Inslyhost is the brain child of Silas Selekane. Started in 2010 trading as Khudu Multimedia (currently known as Khudu Technologies). He saw the need to have stable reliable and cheap web hosting in South Africa as at the time they were relying on other service providers for web hosting. They were constantly hacked.

Inslyhost world class data centres are located in South Africa and Germany. Their servers have at least 8 processing cores with 12GB of RAM and four hard drives in RAID10 to offer minimal downtime and optimum speed to their clients.

Their offering includes Linux Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Domains, VPS hosting.

Hosting packages starts from R5/month.

2. Xneelo

Xneelo (formerly known as Hetzner) has been providing website hosting services since the year 1999. With the quality of service provided by them over the number of years since its inception has helped them earn the trust of more than 50,000 customers. Xneelo’s resilient network and round-the-clock support they ensure that your website stays up, fast and supported.

Power, connectivity, security, fire protection and Jupiter network are the other silent features of the data center located in Samrand, Cape Town and GERMANY.
Their services includes shared hosting, self-managed servers, managed servers, colocation and custom hosting solutions.

3. Webspace Bar

Since 2011, Webspacebar has been providing website hosting services in South Africa with over 4000 domains in their enterprise.

Their servers are setup in Raid10 using only SSD drives to give their clients fastest speed and loading times. Security is top priority to ensure that their clients hosting account are safeguarded all the time. Offer 365 days support. Least but not last they pride them as offering affordable web hosting in South Africa.

Their services includes Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting and Domain Registration.

4. Afrihost

Afrihost is the brainchild of best friends Gian Visser, Brendan Armstrong and Peter Meintjes, who had a dream of building a company free of corporate shackles, that would delight their clients with excellent service and amazing products.

They all had their individual small startups but their passion for technology brought them to join forces and launch Afrihost.

A Web Hosting and IT services company that reflected their personal values of service and product excellence – not driven by profit, but rather by client and employee satisfaction (which had often brought them in conflict with their former corporate employers).

Their services includes shared hosting, reseller hosting, cloud hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, domain names, broadband, and more.

5. Nivacity.com

Nivacity is the brain child of Emmanuel Mbekezeni a former employee of 000WebHost.com. Started in 2010 and currently host over 4000 domains worldwide.

He saw the need to have stable and reliable web hosting as at the time they were relying on other service providers for web hosting.

Nivacity.com world class data centres are located in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Germany.

Their servers have at least 8 processing cores with 12GB of RAM and four hard drives in RAID10 to offer minimal downtime and optimum speed to their clients.

Their offering includes Linux Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Adult Hosting, Application Hosting, VPS hosting and more.

6. 1-Grid.com

1-Grid (formaly know as Gridhost owned by Webafrica) is even older than many social media sites like Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

The company has been providing website hosting services for 20 years and more than 50000 clients trust them with their hosting needs.

The website hosting services are designed in such a way that it provides bank-grade security, lightning fast connectivity, round the clock monitoring and disaster recovery.

All their servers are hosted locally which can ensure higher speed, higher uptime, data safety and a complete peace of mind.

They offer free-web-hosting, web & email hosting, website-design, website design, website-builder, website builder, wildcard-domain, website optimisation, facebook-marketing

7. Domains

Since 2001, Domains.co.za has been providing website hosting services in South Africa. All the website hosting is done on high-end Supermicro hardware and an IPv6 ready website hosting network.

All the website hosting servers are in Johannesburg, South Africa, thus ensuring good speeds.

In September 2011 DiaMatrix(Domains parent company) became South Africa’s first accredited .co.za domain registrar. In February 2012 domains.co.za launched a White Labelled Multi Registrar EPP Solution – the first of its kind. This solution is aimed at ISP’s / companies in South African wanting to become Registrars on the new .co.za Registry / Registrar EPP platform

With over 19 years of experience, Domains.co.za provides 24/7 monitoring services, unmatched customer support, weekly backups of the website and excellent server uptime.

Their services includes Domains, Web Hosting, Cloud Server Hosting, SSL Certificates, Reseller Hosting and more.

8. Web4Africa

Web4Africa is providing website hosting services in South Africa and international countries i.e Kenya, Ghana & Nigeria for as long as 15 years.

Web4Africa was established in the year 2002 and since it has invested significantly in the best in class dedicated servers which are enterprise-grade, networking tools, and a high tech data center.

Website hosting services like Windows hosting, reseller hosting, virtual private server, dedicated server and even colocation is being provided by Wed4Africa in South Africa. Easy installation of numerous website applications like WordPress, Joomla, PrestaShop, phpBB etc is possible with the control panel for website hosting.

9. EliteHost

Founded in 2005 Elitehost (a division of Optify Systems (Pty) Ltd. They started as a small business with stable and affordable hosting options available. Over time, they have established themselves in the South African hosting market. They offer complete hosting solutions from web hosting to virtual servers.

Elitehost world class data centres are located in Johannesburg (ZA), Los Angeles (USA) and Maidenhead (UK). Their servers have at least 8 processing cores with 12GB of RAM and four hard drives in RAID10 to offer minimal downtime and quality support.

They recently merged with AmpleHosting.co.za.

10. Mweb

MWEB was founded in 1997 and is one of the biggest internet service providers in South Africa. They are well known for their uncapped ADSL.

They now offer broadband, voice, hosting and related services.

They currently serve 350 000 clients. Web hosting packages starts from R59/pm.

11. HostKing

Hostking is a hosting company based in Cape Town that offers both Linux and Windows hosting. Founded in 2011. Their mission is dedicated to provide the most affordable world-class web hosting in South Africa accompanied by 24/7 email and chat support.

They guarantee uptime of 99.9%. They have a wide variety of hosting offers available and I’m glad to say that their website offers a ton of information.

Their web hosting packages starts from R0/month for 500MB disk space.

12. SmartWeb

Smartweb offers 24/7 tech support and was originally created because they were fed up with the hosting customer service in South Africa. They offer lightning fast and reliable web hosting experience.

They offer Shared Hosting, SSL Certificates, Managed WordPress, Reseller Hosting, Website Builder and more.

13. AmpleHosting

Ample Hosting is a company specialising in hosting, recently it got merged with HostAfrica. They are based in Pietermaritzburg and have been in operation for more than 8 years. They pride themselves in that they spend more than other hosting companies on quality hardware and support services.

They offer site builder, shared web hosting, Reseller Hosting, dedicated server hosting and more…

Their web hosting packages starts from R49/month.

14. Cybersmart

Cybersmart was incorporated in the year 1998 with an aim of providing best internet and website hosting services for the people of South Africa. In order to ensure optimal performances from all their servers, they decided to host them locally.

Optimal performance, in this case, relates to better connectivity and high speed. Web applications like Joomla, WordPress, Magento, Drupal etc are easily compatible with the server. Besides website hosting Cybersmart provides services like capped ADSL, uncapped ADSL, cloud hosting, light speed internet and fiber optic internet.

15. Axxess

Franco Barbalich incorporated Axxess in the year 1997 from his one bedroom flat with an intention to provide best internet services to the people of South Africa. The company grew steadily and this allowed them to add few more products like website hosting, hardware sales etc between the year 2000 and 2006.

Axxess offers ample of options when it comes to website hosting. You can choose from various packages in Linux, Windows and cloud hosting. Axxess boasts of ultrafast website hosting, 24/7 customer support and state of art technology.

The importance of good web hosting

good web hosting

The importance of good web hosting

In this post, we outline the importance of a good web hosting. How you should choose a host and more.

Let’s dive into it.

What is web hosting?

Every business today has a website therefore every site needs web hosting. Website hosting provides your business with an incredible service by saving files safe, these files are stored in an online server that provides them with quick access anytime.

Selecting a quality hosting website is one of the most crucial tasks a business ever has to do, the way a business is presented in the digital market indicates their progress and success.

Quality web hosting aims to ensure that your company, business or administration has quality internet hosting, being able to serve your customers professionally and avoid constant web server constrains. and this can be cheap web hosting, it should still meet the standards to get and keep website online.

Why good web hosting is important

 

There is a whole lot of options on the internet when choosing a hosting for your business. Not having a professional presence on the internet is not an option.

Depending on the service you settle for, there is always dedicated support, in case issues relating to your server develop. With a reliable web host, such issues will not take long before being addressed. Real visible online and constant permanence is essential to keep your online audience engaged.

4 factors that determine what a good web hosting looks like:

  • Uptime/ Downtime

Great consumer experience is determined by good accessibility your consumers have on your website. It is crucial that your site is working all the time. The worst thing that can happen to your website is to have downtime during peak hours, which can lead to lose of revenue.

Consumers only choose your hosting because it stands out from the other competitors because it is the most reliable. If your site is always down, it indirectly affects your SEO rankings.

 

That is why when choosing a company to host your business, it is important to check the reviews written by their current consumers because truth of the matter is, a company will never write that they were down for a week.

  • Loading speed

First impressions are imperative on the web. It is important to understand that today’s world operates online. People these days don’t have the time to wait for a website to load.

As a business your consumers, and website visitors make an instant judgement about you and your business. If your website loads fast, the first reason why your first website visitors go for your business. It’s a quick-win for your user experience. Slow speed sends a bad impression that your website is an unsafe and unsecured environment to rely on, therefore there is no point for people to invest on it.

  • Security

Your website is your brand, your storefront and mostly your first link with consumers. Without having a safe, well taken care of website is a risk to being hacked. It is important that it is safe and secure because if not it might compromise your important business relationships with your consumers.

Bad website security can affect your websites SEO. SSL certificates are important because they protect the data collected by your website as it gets transferred from your website to a server. It helps visitors stay longer on your website because it ensures them that the information that is transmitted between the web browser and the server is safe.

  • 24/7 Support

When managing websites, you need to work around the clock since everything on the internet is accessible anytime. Having a team working 24/7 is not enough, consumers expect quick responses, within minutes. Consumer’s satisfaction is always the biggest factor in profitability. A 24/7 support line will often offer a substantial positive ROI, simply because it means consumers stay where they are valued and shown appreciation.

Conclusion

Web hosting is the spine of your website, and provides complete resources on which your websites runs. It is very crucial to choose the most suitable web hosting provider to ensure that your website never goes down and always performs efficiently and effectively whenever someone visits it.

Should I choose WordPress Hosting vs Shared Hosting?

 

Should I choose WordPress Hosting vs Shared Hosting?

Should I choose shared hosting for my WordPress website or should I consider WordPress Hosting?

The two options are common types, knowing which its best for your needs can be a challenge, in this post we will compare the two.

Getting Started

Shared Hosting: Shared Hosting is the known and common type of web hosting. It Is affordable and relevant for small websites that do not require a large number of resources or customizations. It is an affordable and great way to get your business online.

WordPress: WordPress hosting is a service which made specifically to host websites built on the WordPress Content Management System (CMS). Having incredible performance and reliability.

WordPress hosting takes care of all of the technical details and ensures that your WordPress website can handle all the traffic. The hosting services ensure that you do not need to take care of all the details, rather you will focus on the important day to day operations of your business – i.e creating content, etc.

Given the above, you can decide if you need shared or WordPress hosting depending on your needs. For start with Shared Hosting Hosting and once you reach a certain number of visits to your website you can opt for WordPress hosting as the packages are optimized to support the traffic and also performs very well on all major devices.

The Advantages of

Shared Hosting:

It Is the least expensive hosting plan out there.

Depending on your web host, the biggest advantage will be unlimited disk space. When your website and emails grow in size you do not have you worry about running out of space.

With shared web hosting you can host WordPress, basic HTML website, or other Content Management Systems (CMS) like Drupal or Joomla.

Shared web hosting can be customized to suit most major CMS in the market. Can support most software languages in the market i.e PHP, Ruby, etc. This is depended on the web hosting service provider. Before committing to web hosting ask your service provider what their shared web hosting support and which version of languages do they support.

The above is important in a sense that, I had instances where I wanted to host web app or website and only find out that I cannot install PHP modules I want to support my app. Or my host does not support such for some reason.

WordPress Hosting:

WordPress now powers 30% of the web, according to data from web technology survey firm W3Techs. WordPress hosting is a step up in performance and stability. WordPress server hosting only host WordPress websites, the server overall speed and resources load has been optimized with advanced caching to bring super-fast loading times. This will be perfect for medium sized WordPress Websites.

Insly Host understands that part of running a successful and professional website if the software behind it, thus why it is critical to keep the software up to date to ensure security and inclusion of new features i.e update customers WordPress websites automatically.

With WordPress web hosting you will have peace of mind knowing that you have the latest software installed on your website.

WordPress Hosting package typically includes backups of your website. This feature is very helpful if your website unexpectedly breaks or gets hacked. With this feature, you can restore tour website to the earlier version of the backup.

Compared to other web hosting options or plans, WordPress web hosting offers valuable benefits and features.

The disadvantages

Shared Hosting

One of the major disadvantages of shared web hosting is the number of websites on a single server. Depending on the web hosting service provider, their server can host over thousands of websites, and this limits the resources available to your websites.

As your website traffic grows you will start to see the effects of limited resources. When your receive traffic spike, your website may become sluggish and even completely unresponsive.

Another disadvantage of a shared website hosting is security. Website on shared servers has many ‘neighbors’. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to ensure that all websites have the latest security updates on their websites.

As a result of the actions from your neighbours your websites maybe be exposed to hackers.

Tweaking and customizations of shared web hosting are prohibited due to the affected it may have on other websites on the same server. Even though there is some add-on that can help achieve this, but its still not perfect. You will need to look into upgrading to a higher server plan(VPS Hosting or Dedicated Server) in order to make server customizations i.e install and tweak specific modules and add-ons.

WordPress Hosting

Only the WordPress CMS is allowed on WordPress Hosting package. This is because the WordPress Hosting is optimized specifically for the WordPress Content Management Systems.

The package restricts the number of websites can be installed in your hosting account and also the amount of traffic. These restrictions are intentional as the packages are made specifically to suit the WordPress website and its expected traffic.

WordPress web hosting package cost more than shared web hosting but the cost is worth it given the benefits the package entails.

Conclusion

Shared web hosting recommended when:

  • You need to host website other than medium-sized WordPress
  • Low cost is a priority than speed
  • When you want to slowly grow your website

WordPress web hosting recommended when:

  • You want to build your website using WordPress
  • You have a large WordPress website which is resource-intensive
  • You want to focus on your WordPress content, not the technical details of updates, hackers and more.

Getting started with shared web hosting can be a wise idea. Shared hosting is simple to set up and allows you to get a website live quickly. However, WordPress hosting is a great choice for anyone using the WordPress CMX and who want to grow their site quicker.