Best social network host: web hosting solutions for communication sites
In this article, I’ll cover the 3 best social network host options. Additionally, you’ll find a few tips on how to create a social networking site.
A social network or else known as social media hosting is a type of web hosting that enables users to create websites with social networking capabilities like Facebook or Twitter. In simple terms, you are free to create anything from a simple forum site to the next Facebook.
Now talking about what makes a host suitable for social networking hosting, there are a few factors:
- The host should be generous in terms of storage and bandwidth,
- There should be enough raw server power,
- The provider’s performance should be reliable and fast.
Simply put, if you’re looking to build a website that allows your visitors to interact with one another, having a hosting service that is resource-rich, powerful, and fast is an absolute must.
To find the best social networking hosting providers, I’ve tested dozens of hosting solutions by taking their price, ease-of-use, performance, and additional features into consideration. Only a few proved to be sufficient for the job.
Without further ado, let’s explore the 3 best options for social network hosting.
Best social network hosting providers: ranked
- Liquid Web – the best social networking hosting provider overall
- ScalaHosting – affordable and inclusive social media hosting service
- Cloudways – beginner-friendly and fast managed VPS solution
If you’re not sure which provider is the best fit for you, feel free to check out our list of things to consider when making a social networking site.
1. Liquid Web
|Features||Fully managed, free SSL, automated backups, DDoS protection, choice of control panels|
|Best for||Big networking and communication website hosting|
Liquid Web is a powerful, fully-managed cloud VPS provider that is very well suited for social media hosting. Due to impressive servers and advanced technologies, the provider offers highly reliable and fast services that are also easy to use.
Why is Liquid Web good for social networking hosting?
There are a few main features that make Liquid Web one of the best hosting solution for social media platforms:
- Scalability – Liquid Web provides premium managed VPS hosting for as little as $25.00/mo. While the base resources are pretty generous, you can also easily scale them up and down if needed.
- Ease of use – Liquid Web is a fully-managed VPS hosting solution, meaning that the backend tasks like server management, updates, security, and many more will be taken care of by the Liquid Web’s agents. Additionally, for simplified site management, you can also choose either a cPanel, InterWorx, or Plesk as your preferred control panel. Plus, Liquid Web offers 1-click installations including popular networking CMS applications like Dolphin, Oxwall, Elgg, and many more.
- Reliable and speedy performance – you can expect only the best performance, as the host comes with a 100% uptime guarantee backed by SLA, fully configurable servers, Load Balancers, CDN, and a choice of 3 data center locations (in the US and EU). Throughout 2 weeks of testing, the uptime was 100% as guaranteed, and the loading times were well below the recommended values for a high-ranking website. To know more about the provider’s performance, check out our Liquid Web review.
The combination of the aforementioned benefits makes Liquid Web one of the most competitive VPS hosting services on the market. For a social networking website, this host has got you covered in every aspect.
Liquid Web pricing
Liquid Web has 4 standard cloud VPS plans, with prices ranging from $25.00/mo to $105.00/mo. Additionally, the host also offers Bundle & Save packages, where for a few additional $/mo you get even more resources.
Now talking about the standard plans, all include 10TB of bandwidth, DDoS protection, server monitoring, firewall, and a dedicated IP.
Regardless of the similarities, plans vary in terms of resources: from 2 to 8 vCPU cores, 40 to 200 GB disk space, and 2 to 16 GB RAM.
If you’re looking to run a smaller social network application, the 2 GB RAM plan will be more than enough. For just $25.00/mo, you get 40GB disk space, 10TB bandwidth, and 2GB RAM. If at some point that becomes not enough, simply scale up.
- Powerful fully-managed and scalable cloud VPS
- Choice of cPanel, InterWorx, or Plesk control panel
- Reliable 100% uptime guarantee
- Premium prices
- Steeper learning curve
|Features||Fully managed, free SSL, domain, backups, SPanel, SShield|
|Best For||Affordable and fully managed VPS hosting for networking sites|
ScalaHosting is yet another provider that offers fully-managed VPS solutions for social networking hosting. The host’s prices are affordable, yet it does not compromise on the resources, simplicity, or performance. Simply put, ScalaHosting provides powerful solutions for shared hosting prices.
Why is ScalaHosting good for social networking hosting?
Some of the most notable features that make ScalaHosting suitable for social media hosting include:
- Affordable pricing – ScalaHosting offers very affordable managed VPS plans, starting at just $14.95/mo. For that price, you get all the essentials like a custom domain, and SSL, automatic daily and on-demand backups, server-level firewalls, dedicated IP, SShield protection, and malware scans and removal.
- Ease of use – the provider comes with a custom control panel called SPanel. The panel is modern-looking and just as simple to use as a popular cPanel would be. Additionally, the provider comes with the Softaculous app installer, which enables you to install quite a few social networking apps.
- Powerful performance – ScalaHosting offers the latest PHP version, LiteSpeed Web Server technology, and a couple (the US and EU) of server locations (even more available locations across the globe with DigitalOcean and AWS servers). This together guarantees very good performance results – over the 2 weeks of examination, the provider showed an impressive 100% uptime and a very speedy average response time of 443ms. If you wish to know more about the performance, check out our ScalaHosting review.
Affordable pricing, user-friendly interface, and impressive performance all together make ScalaHosting an obvious choice for a social networking website project.
ScalaHosting comes with 4 standard managed VPS plans priced between $14.95/mo and $152.95/mo. In addition to 4 set options, you are also free to configure a plan based on your specific needs.
Now, no matter which standard plan you opt for, all come with a free SSL, custom domain, CDN, dedicated IP, daily remote backups, and SShield security protection.
While there are a few common things, the plans do include a different amount of resources. You can expect anywhere from 1 to 6 CPU cores, 20 to 80 GB storage, and 2 to 8GB RAM, depending on the plan.
If you’re just starting out your networking site, the Start plan will be a great option. With a 36-month billing cycle, the plan will cost only $14.95/mo, and yet you’ll get all the necessities like a free domain, an abundance of security features, and generous storage with bandwidth.
- Affordable managed VPS from just $14.95/mo
- Reliable and fast performance
- Easy to use SPanel with Softaculous 1-click installer
- High renewal rates
- Steeper learning curve than with shared hosting
|Features||Free SSL, numerous server and location choices, built-in cache, in-house developed control panel|
|Best for||Beginners looking for powerful and fast social networking hosting|
Cloudways puts a strong emphasis on ease of use, which makes it a great solution for beginners and advanced users looking to run a social media site fast. Essentially, Cloudways configures and manages servers from popular VPS providers such as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Vultr, Linode, and DigitalOcean. More so, it includes a comprehensive control panel making site’s management simple to any user.
Why is Cloudways good for social networking hosting?
Cloudways makes your life simpler by setting up the server and providing an optimal and simple-to-use solution. Here are the main features that make this provider stand out:
- Managed Cloud VPS with a control panel – Cloudways operates in a unique manner that combines an in-house developed control panel with an external server. This host takes an unmanaged server and gives you a managed cloud VPS plan that contains a control panel with an easy-to-navigate interface. The prices start at a very reasonable $7.50/mo. Best of all, there are no increased renewal rates.
- Full control over the server – despite which server provider you choose, you’ll get full control over your server. Choose your server size, its provider, and location; options are in your hands. Best of all, scaling with Cloudways is very easy and can be achieved in only a few clicks. You’ll also pay for only what you’ve used up.
- Performance – each server provider offers very reliable and speedy performance. After testing the cheapest DigitalOcean plan, the provider showed a very reliable 99.98% uptime and a very fast response time of 229ms. More so, depending on which server provider you choose, the server location choice also varies from 8 to 20 locations all over the world. To learn more about the host’s performance, check out our Cloudways review.
In short, Cloudways uses a pretty non-traditional approach to hosting by offering some of the biggest VPS server provider services and adding additional ease of use. Exactly the simplicity, reliable server suppliers, and control over your resource make Cloudways suitable for social media network hosting.
As Cloudways offers services from 5 different server providers, there is an abundance of plans you can choose from. The prices also vary greatly with the lowest one starting at just $7.50/mo and going all the way into thousands of dollars.
Here is each server provider’s cheapest plan. You can clearly draw a line between premium and standard services right away.
Now, regardless of which plan you choose, all come with a 1-click SSL installation, managed security, automated backups, staging, and free CDN.
As for the differences, you can expect the resources to vary from 1 to 4 CPU cores, 25 to 256 GB storage, 2GB to 5TB bandwidth, and 1 to 16GB RAM depending on the server provider and its specific plan.
Keep in mind that you’re not only buying hosting services but also ease of use. The additional cost is for the managed services that will cover such tasks as server setup, management, and maintenance.
When it comes to the best value for money, consider DigitalOcean. Offering nearly the same resources as every server provider for just $7.50/mo, it’s a perfect fit for anyone starting their social network site project.
- Full control over the server
- User-friendly managed VPS with a custom control panel
- Fast and trustworthy performance
- More expensive than buying a VPS directly from a supplier
- Many services cost extra
Best social networking hosting providers: final recommendations
Picking a hosting provider for your social networking website is not too hard – look for a host that is simple to manage and stores enough server power and resources for a reasonable price. While there are quite a few good options in the market, let’s recap the 3 best social network hosting solutions:
- Liquid Web is a powerful fully managed cloud VPS hosting provider that comes with great performance and generous server resources.
- ScalaHosting is a highly affordable managed VPS hosting provider that offers resource-rich an all inclusive plans.
- Cloudways is a beginner-oriented managed VPS hosting solutions that come with good performance and ease of use.
How to create a social network website?
There are no strict steps you need to follow when creating a social network website. However, if you wish to run a fast and functional social media site, you will need to choose the best-suited hosting type and the best social network software that works for you.
Choosing social network hosting
The first thing you need to do when looking for a suitable host for your interactive online community site is to pick a suitable type of hosting. Here are the main 3 options to consider:
- Shared hosting – this is the most widespread, cost-effective, and simplistic type of website hosting. A protected server or collection of secured servers will be shared by several users, meaning that the resources will also be shared. It is not ideal for social networking sites as scalability is limited, and the performance highly depends on what your server neighbors are doing.
- VPS hosting – VPS hosting can be looked at as a compromise between the affordability of shared hosting and the performance and security of dedicated hosting. This service works by virtualizing a physical server and distributing the server's resources across different users. It’s the optimal solution for starting a social networking site; Liquid Web, ScalaHosting, and Cloudways all offer exactly this service.
- Dedicated hosting – typically used for websites that require the highest level of resources, speed, security, and control. Dedicated hosting also requires the highest level of technical knowledge as you get a physical server with its resources and management entirely to yourself. If your social network grows, you’ll inevitably need not just one, but a network of dedicated servers.
You can't win a race if you're out of gas, no matter how vital speed is. When selecting a web host, prioritize resources, security, and performance. The perfect middle to run a social network site would be VPS hosting.
Choosing the best social networking software
There are a few ways on how you can run a successful social networking site – you can either integrate it into your existing site with the help of third-party integrations or by using a CMS entirely dedicated to networking. Here are some of the best social networking application options:
BuddyPress (based on WordPress)
If you're seeking social network software that is modern and powerful, BuddyPress might be a great option. It comprises a set of components that are common to most social networks, and it takes advantage of WordPress's vast plugin system to provide fantastic add-on functionality.
BuddyPress is a site-building and development platform that focuses on ease of integration, user-friendliness, and flexibility. It's powerful yet surprisingly simple, and not to mention it’s free, aside from a few paid extensions.
BuddyPress is a simplistic yet very functional WordPress plugin that can be used by both beginners and advanced users.
Dolphin is one of the most advanced community software in the market today. It’s a free software (open-source) for creating social networks, dating sites, and web communities.
Some of the features you can include in your website to make it unique are video chat, forums, groups, events, video and photo sharing, iPhone app, and many other features.
Dolphin is a great tool to use in both the early stages and once your project is in a more advanced phase.
Elgg is an open-source (free) social networking platform that gives people and businesses the tools they need to develop a social media app environment.
It has specific capabilities like blogging, microblogging, file sharing, networking, groups, and much more. It was also the first platform to bring educational software concepts from commercial social networking networks.
Elgg is a very functional, award-winning social networking software that is highly suitable for both small and large communication sites.
Best social networking hosting FAQs
What is a social media host?
A social media host enables users to create a public content-sharing platform where the end-users can upload, view, and share content with others on the platform.
How do I host a social networking site?
To host a social networking site, you need to invest in a hosting provider that guarantees generous resources, solid uptimes, and fast connection speeds. A social networking site needs to sustain high-traffics, so prioritize stability when choosing a host.
Which hosting is best for social networking websites?
The best hosting for social networking websites is VPS hosting. This type of hosting is much more powerful, secure, and fast than shared hosting, yet way cheaper than a dedicated one. It’s a serviceable compromise between costs and performance.
How do I create a social networking site with WordPress?
To create a social networking site with WordPress you need to install the free BuddyPress plugin. This software will allow you to seamlessly integrate a social media app environment within a WordPress website.