Understanding Joomla Website Hosting Requirements
There are a miriad website hosting options available for Joomla websites and sometimes its hard to see any advantage in one hosting plan over another even though the price difference is substantial.
Companies like Siteground and Hostgator have earned a solid reputation for low cost, reliable "shared hosting". At first glance it is hard to see why you would host elsewhere when they offer unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth for the price of a cup of coffee per month. Of course there is more to the story.
Unlimited bandwith and diskspace does not mean unlimited hosting. Delve into the fine print and you will find limits on an obscure little item called "inodes". In short, an inode is used for each file and or folder/directory created on the hosting account. This can be a gamechanger for an ecommerce site with large numbers of products each with multiple images for example, especially if using some poorly designed ecommerce extensions that create multiple folders for each product.
I host sites on Siteground and Hostgator and they are exceptional value for even quite large brochure type websites and small ecommerce sites. Ping times (response speeds) are very similar for each and they meet the needs of most small to medium sized websites. Siteground has additional caching tools that are designed to speed up Wordpress and Joomla websites which to my mind gives them an advantage over Hostgator. I should point out that I get paid an affiliate commission from each for recommending new customers, but I would get that from pretty much any hosting company so that is not an incentive to recommend one over the other.
For medium sized ecommerce site I generally recommend Siteground's "Geeky" account which allows 450,000 inodes with plenty of diskspace and unlimited bandwidth. It is still very affordable as well and they offer a free SSL certificate as a bonus.
So where should you host your Joomla Website?
For most Joomla hosting either Siteground or Hostgator basic shared hosting accounts are adequate. For medium Joomla ecommerce sites I recommend Sitegrounds "Geeky" account and for large sites that have outgrown shared hosting Sitegrounds Cloud Hosting or Dedicated server offerings should be considered.