If you are a real estate investor, agent or broker, it is extremely important to have an online presence. The majority of your prospects are searching for properties online. You will miss out on a sea of opportunities if your business doesn’t have a virtual location.
The first step to building your online presence is to launch a real estate website. If you are planning to get started with a website, you need to pick a good website hosting plan. A lot of hosting companies have popped up over the last few years making it extremely difficult to decide which one you should choose. However, you should make this decision after a lot of consideration because everything will ride on which hosting service you pick.
In this guide, I will recommend only three hosting services for real estate investors and real estate agents. I have personally used all three hosts and know the pros and cons of each one of them (which I will explain in this guide).
Why to choose a good website hosting?
A good website hosting service will ensure that your site loads faster. The site speed is a major ranking factor in Google and will have a huge impact on local SEO. A fast loading site provides a better user experience.
When you check a website’s speed using Google PageSpeed Insights tool, you will know what the service response time is as shown in the screenshot below:
Google recommends you should reduce serve response time (TTFB) to ensure that your site loads faster.
Best hosting for real estate websites
Without further ado, here are my top three recommendations for real estate website hosting:
If you are planning to run your website on WordPress, WPEngine is undoubtedly the best hosting service I would recommend.
My sites running on WPEngine have never experienced downtime. It means your site will never be out of action.
The best thing about WPEngine is that it offers StudioPress Themes for WordPressfree of cost. Some of these themes are a perfect fit for real estate investors and agents. If you purchase StudioPress Themes for WordPress separately, you will need to pay nearly $60 for Genesis Framework and up to $50 for a theme. You will save over $100 by hosting your site with WPEngine.
If you are already running your site with some other hosting company and you are not satisfied with their service, you can switch to WPEngine very easily. Their auto migration plugin makes it possible for you to migrate your site with a single click.
Some other benefits of using WPEngine include:
- Free SSL: All WP Engine plans come with free SSL certificate. SSL is an absolute must for website security. It is in fact a Google ranking factor now. A website with SSL starts with HTTPS in web browsers. The sites which don’t have SSL start with HTTP.
- Staging: Their staging technology is very advanced. You can run any change on your site in a testing environment before going live.
- GeoTarget: It helps with local SEO.
- Free Content Delivery Network (CDN): It improves the speed of your site. This really makes WPEngine stand out because most other hosting services don’t offer free CDN. You need to pay on top of your hosting plan for CDN.
- Disaster Recovery: Automatic backups make it possible for you to recover your site if it is compromised or hacked.
- Dedicated security engineering team: WP Engine gives a lot of emphasis on security. They have a dedicated security engineering team. They don’t allow you to upload plugins which can compromise the security of your real estate website.
- Automatic updates: You don’t have to worry about updating your site from time to time. WP Engine takes care of that. You can update the site yourself if you don’t want to wait.
The biggest disadvantage of WPEngine is its cost (if you consider it a disadvantage). The basic plan (if your site receives up to 25,000 visitors per month) will cost you $35.
Check out WP Engine plans here
If you are looking for an inexpensive hosting service with a high-quality performance, SiteGround is undoubtedly the best choice. The hosting plans start at just $3.95 per month. When you site starts getting more than 10,000 visitors per month, you can upgrade to a plan with more bandwidth and storage.
A few advantages of using SiteGround for your real estate website include:
- Free email service: While WP Engine doesn’t offer email service, you can create unlimited email accounts. Their free SpamExperts service help you deal with spammy emails.
- Free SSL.
- Daily backup.
- Free staging tool.
- Free CDN: SiteGround in partnership with Cloudflare offers free CDN service.
- Support: SiteGround boasts of a good support team. They claim that you don’t need to hold on phone or chat if you need any assistance regarding hosting.
Check out SiteGround hosting plans here..
This is one of the most popular and cost-effective hosting services. The basic plan starts at $3.95 (if you purchase hosting for 36 months).
Here are a few advantages of using BlueHost for hosting your site:
- Free domain: It makes BlueHost stand out because most other hosting services don’t offer free domain. You need to purchase domain from a different registrar.
- Free SSL.
- 1-click WordPress install.
- 24/7 support through chat, email or phone.
- Detailed website analytics, marketing tools, security, and data backups all in one place.
Check out BlueHost hosting plans here.
Things to consider when choosing hosting for real estate websites
Finding a good hosting service is very important. While all the three hosts I mentioned in this guide offer state-of-the-art hosting service, following are some consideration to help you pick the one that fits your specific needs:
- Security: This must be on the top of the list of considerations. If your site is compromised after you have worked on it for months, all your efforts and money will be wasted. It will also affect your branding in the online world. Google penalize sites which have been hacked. When it comes to security, I believe WPEngine is a clear winner.
- Support: You or your website developer and designer should be able to get a fast response in the event of a technical breakdown. All the three hosting services – BlueHost, SiteGround and WPEngine – provides 24/7 customer support.
- Uptime: Your website should be functional 24/7. If your website has downtime frequently, your search engine rankings will suffer. BlueHost, SiteGround and WPEngine offer 100% uptime.
- Cost: Cost is usually a big consideration when you are just starting out. SiteGround and BlueHost are clear winners as they offer cost-effective hosting solutions.
- Scalable: Let’s say for example one of the blog posts on your site went viral. The number of visitors to your site suddenly jumped to 50,000. Will your host be able to handle this load? WP Engine is a clear winner because you will be charged on the basis of the number of visitors. You will pay $2 per 1000 visitors after you have exhausted the visitor count specified in your plan.
So these are some of the considerations you should make when choosing a host for your real estate website. If you are just getting started and want to save on hosting, you should go for SiteGround or BlueHost. If you want better security and speed with an easily scalable hosting service, you should pick WPEngine.
If you have any questions regarding a website host, let me know in comments.