How do you find the best web hosting in Singapore? Buy a ticket to Australia!
Nope, it’s not a trick question, and we’re not just being cute, though each and every one of us has a mother who thinks we are. The reality is that the majority of Australian internet service comes from datacenters based in Singapore. For whatever reason you want to ascribe it to, that part of the world really brings its A-game when it comes to serving up a juicy, fast online experience.
Well, that certainly simplifies matters, especially if you’re already in Singapore. We’re just kidding about that airline ticket thing. Reading this article will substitute for taking a trip Down Under. So…all you need to do is go out and pick a Singapore-based host – any host – and you’re good to go, right? Sorry, but life is never that easy, boys and girls. Just as with any other thing, you will find there is good, bad, and downright ugly in the Singaporean web hosting world.
We’d like to help you avoid that last one.
Why Listen to Us?
Here’s another not quite tricky question. Would you rather base an important business decision like web hosting on the opinion of someone who knows a lot or little about the topic? We hope you said a lot. The truth is you can’t throw a koala online without hitting a web host “review” website that purports to know everything about the ins and outs of the industry and doesn’t hesitate to throw opinions out there that could end up causing you to have a disastrous experience.
We suspect a great many of these “reviews” are intended to do one thing – collect fat affiliate commission checks for the author. Nothing wrong that business model. We use it ourselves. The problem is you have no idea whether the person really even tested the web hosts they recommend or just woke up one morning and decided to be a guru with an opinion.
What we have to offer in regard to web hosting options are opinions derived from our main man’s (Lucas Johnson) 15-years of running a full service web design agency. As often happens when you’re a website designer, satisfied clients ask if you will host their website when you’re done building it.Eventually we started saying yes. Then we said yes a lot more and eventually ended up with a portfolio of more than 400 websites for which we were responsible for finding quality hosting.
It was a bit of a crap shoot in the beginning but, over years of data collection, we have amassed an impressive archival and real-time database that takes the guesswork out of choosing a host. This information represents hundreds of hours of research and monitoring and tells us exactly what kind of loading speed and uptime each web host offers. As we said, these are real world numbers, not a ‘best case scenario’ or ‘we hope to do this well someday.’ We’re talking actual performance under real world conditions on existing websites.
Are you excited yet? We hope so because we’re about to rip back the curtain and help you choose a quality web host. All you have to do is keep reading.
The Big Four
Just so you don’t die from suspense, let’s do a quick reveal of the Big Four, which includes:
- A2 Hosting
Sure, there are plenty of other web hosts we could have picked but didn’t. The truth is that our many years of toiling on the front lines of professional web design and hosting gives us a pretty clear idea of who the A-listers are, so that’s how we narrowed our list quickly.
How We Evaluate a Web Host
If we had a dollar for every time some budding online entrepreneur decided to go with the cheapest web host he or she could find, we’d have more money than anyone else. Even really, really rich people.
Choosing poorly when it comes to a web host is not just a ‘shoulder shrug’ bad decision. It’ll cost you real money. Think of a web host the same as you would the foundation of a building. If you use cheap concrete, poor construction techniques, or hire a contractor that doesn’t give a crap, there’s going to be trouble eventually, and if your business is in that building, well, figure it out.
When it comes to your website, you need a strong, fast, reliable foundation. Here are the factors that go into a good web host.
Speed: The most important factor of all. If your website doesn’t load fast, potential customers will not wait around. We measure server speed and rate each host a score from A+ to D.
Speed Where You Need It: In a perfect world, your server will be fastest at your audience’s location. This makes sense. Screaming fast speed in London won’t matter much if most of your customers are in Japan.
Uptime: This refers to the actual time, expressed as a percentage, that a visitor can access your website without any technical difficulties. These days, most credible hosts will guarantee 99.5% and above.
Security: Sometimes it seems the internet is one big hacker playground. You need to know your web host takes security and personal data protection seriously. It’s your brand and reputation at stake! Look for strong security credentials and automatic malware scanning.
Customer/Technical Support: Face it. Things are going to go wrong with your website and server. When they do, you must know you can reach out in a variety of ways 24/7/365 and someone will answer who can help.
Backups: Refer to the preceding point. Things go wrong. They just do. A good web host should provide automatic data backups on a regular basis.
Storage/Bandwidth: The goal is to have as much of both of these as possible, especially if you have large files (images, audio, video) and/or a lot of monthly traffic. Some of the really cheap hosts have tight limits.
Price: Be suspicious of the really REALLY cheap web hosts. They have to cut corners somewhere. As the same time, there’s no sense in paying for all the tricked out bells and whistles if you just run a small informational website or blog.
The Web Host Testing Process
We didn’t just sit back in our comfy office, call up whoever answers the phone, and ask for their opinion of their web hosting service. Nope. Our process is a little more in-depth than that. We had to create an unbiased approach to the testing task which included buying actual hosting plans and creating test web sites, just as if we were an actual customer.
It’s the only way we could think of to fairly review and rank each host.
For each review, we check uptime, server speed, and customer support (even if we have to pretend like we have a problem). We even confirmed that the test sites were physically hosted on a Singaporean datacenter
In case you’re interested in how we actually tested for speed, it involves pinging a server from eight various locations around the world and measuring how long it takes for a response. We use the Google standard of 200 ms in determining each hosts’ eventual rank in this category. Anything that beats Google’s recommendation gets an A.
Once again, how important is quick response time? Let’s emphasize the point with a fun-loving statistic about everyone’s favorite online retailer. If Amazon’s site were to slow down by a single second, Jeff Bezos and company could lose up to $1.6 billion in a year.
The 4 Best Singapore-Based Web Hosts
Hopefully the previous discussion about methods and testing and bonafides hasn’t sent you into a deep restful slumber. Without further ado, here are our Singapore favorites in order.
- 20 GB SSD storage
- 24/7 technical support
- Premium backup included
- 25,000 monthly visits
- SuperCasher included
Of the final four web hosts to make our list, Siteground probably enjoys the best reputation for quality in every aspect, including unsurpassed customer service. It’s not just that they answer the phone quickly, but they actually know what they’re talking about. As far as features go, they’ve got a ton of them.
Remember earlier when we were yakking on and on about the 200 ms Google standard for server response time? Hold onto your socks, folks, because Siteground yielded incredible numbers that included a worldwide average of 148.38 ms and a mind-blowing 57 ms in Sydney, Singapore, and Japan. It’s almost unfair to be that fast, but we won’t complain.
How much will all of this quality, features, and speed set you back? About eight bucks a month. You probably spend more than that on your morning coffee. Like all good web hosts do, Siteground has an innovative software twist to throw your way. This one is called SuperCacher and it will boost your page-loading even more.
Pros: A quality reputation this company clings to like solid gold.
Cons: Some storage limits with certain plans, and not the rock bottom lowest prices.
#2. A2 Hosting
- Unlimited bandwidth and SSD storage
- Optimized for WordPress
- FREE website migration
- Any time money-back guarantee
While Siteground sets the bar pretty high for competing web host companies, A2 Hosting has shown no reservations about accepting the challenge. As another entrant in the international internet service provider game, customer service is everything it should be – we think. Actually we had no technical issues and couldn’t even make up anything that would even remotely pass as a problem.
In case our recitation of server speed test numbers has left your brain in a confused mess, here’s something we forgot to mention related to the Google standard of 200 ms. The LOWER a number, the better. During our test run, A2 Hosting clocked in at an average of 176.13 ms and a 137 ms average in Sydney, Singapore, and Japan. Maybe not quite as fast as those Siteground speed merchants, but still very solid. We’re talking instantaneous page-loading for all practical purposes.
Pros: A2 makes working with CMS packages like WordPress and Joomla a breeze.
Cons: Unlimited everything! Oh wait, that’s a good thing too.
- 99.9% guaranteed uptime
- 45 day refund period
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Great reseller tools
HostGator didn’t get to be one of the world’s most popular web hosts by accident or just because their mascot is a stupid blue alligator that stands on two feet with his hands on his hips. They actually offer a pretty darn good web hosting experience. They’re fast, reliable, and include a ton of extra features that other cheap hosts like to charge for.
One of the nicey-nice things about HostGator is they try to cover all the bases with a plethora of flexible plans suitable for everyone from a rank amateur to the techiest of tech dweebs. While they made their bones with shared hosting, you could just as easily rent your own dedicated server from them and host hundreds of websites on it.
Pros: Unlimited everything including WordPress sites.
Cons: Not quite as fast of a server time as others on the list. Still, for the price…
- 20 GB SSD storage
- Up to 10 websites
- 99.9% uptime guaranteed
- cPanel / Softaculous
- SpamGuard Basic included
You’d think a squared-away outfit like Vodien would be all over the customer service game but, sadly, that was not our experience. It took 12 hours to get a response for our technical issue. That’s longer than the entire Anglo-Zanzibar War! Granted, that particular conflict was one of kind for brevity, lasting only about 40 minutes.
Reviewing the features, everything seems in place. Vodien matches up quite well with Siteground and the others, except to get all the same goodies would cost you fifty bucks per month! That makes us break out in hives.The good news is that the slippery quick server speed might make it worthwhile. We’re talking about a worldwide average of 156.25 ms and 67 ms for Sydney, Singapore, and Japan. In case we haven’t said it before, anything under 200 ms is so fast you’re not going to notice the difference.
Pros: Their customer service is probably fine – we just hit them on a bad day.
Cons: SSD storage limited to premium plans.
The Bottom Line
Reviewing these four high-quality web hosts is the most fun we’ve had since they invented beer, but it was tough to pick a clear winner. Statistically, they’re all quite close, and the small differences in numbers were really not much of a difference at all. Each of our web hosts offer robust packages with plenty of features that the most discriminating website owner will love.
The only real difference we can point to is price. Siteground, A2 Hosting, and HostGator surged into the lead in this area, offering everything a web host should in their entry-level packages. With Vodien, you’d have to put down $50/month for the same features.
So, if you were going to hold us down and tickle us, we’d say that Siteground is our top choice, but not by much. The combination of price, speed, and support seems a notch better, however, going with any of the others on this list would not be a mistake.
When the name of the game is speed, they all smash the Google standard by a long ways.