Web hosting has become an essential part of doing business online in Pakistan. A good web host can make or break your website. With so many options available, choosing the right web host in Pakistan can be overwhelming.
This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about web hosting in Pakistan – from different types of hosting and top providers to key factors to consider when choosing a host.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting refers to a service that allows you to publish a website or web page onto the internet. The web host stores all the files for your site on servers and makes your site accessible online 24/7.
When you sign up for web hosting, you are essentially renting space on a server owned by the web hosting company. This rented space is used to store all the files, databases, emails, images, scripts, applications etc. that comprise your website.
Types of Web Hosting
There are several types of web hosting services available in Pakistan:
This is the most common and budget-friendly hosting option. Multiple websites are hosted on the same server and resources are shared amongst all the users. Shared hosting is ideal for personal blogs, small business websites and ecommerce stores that do not expect very high traffic volumes.
Some popular shared hosting providers in Pakistan include Hostinger, HostGator, Bluehost and GoDaddy.
Specialized WordPress hosting optimizes servers specifically for hosting WordPress sites. It offers built-in WordPress features, themes, plugins and auto updates. This results in faster performance. WP Engine, Flywheel and SiteGround are some managed WordPress hosting providers in Pakistan.
VPS or Virtual Private Server hosting provides more power and resources compared to shared hosting. Here, a physical server is virtually partitioned into multiple virtual private servers. Each VPS functions as an independent server giving you greater control and customization. VPS hosting can accommodate higher traffic websites.
As the name suggests, dedicated hosting assigns an entire physical server to a single website. This provides maximum performance, control and customization for large businesses, ecommerce stores and high traffic websites. But it is also the most expensive hosting option.
With cloud hosting, websites are hosted on multiple servers that are connected to work as a single system. Resources can be allocated as per changing requirements providing flexibility and scalability. Cloudways and DigitalOcean offer cloud hosting services in Pakistan.
Top Web Hosting Providers in Pakistan
Some of the best and most popular web hosting providers in Pakistan include:
- Hosting.pk – One of the leading web hosts in Pakistan offering shared, WordPress, VPS and dedicated hosting. 24/7 support and 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Hostinger – Fast and secure web hosting for an affordable price starting Rs. 61/month. Excellent uptime record.
- HostGator – Reliable American hosting company with servers in Karachi. Feature-rich hosting plans and excellent support.
- BlueHost – Veteran hosting provider ideal for beginners. Free domain and SSL, 1-click WordPress installer.
- GoDaddy – A globally trusted brand, GoDaddy provides hosting packages tailored for Pakistani customers.
- Connect.pk – Local Pakistan hosting company with datacenters in Karachi and Islamabad. Offers site migration services.
- Cloudways – Managed cloud hosting on AWS, Google Cloud, DigitalOcean. Scalable solutions for developers.
- SiteGround – One of the fastest WordPress hosts with servers in Karachi. Expert WP support and security.
- StormFiber – Leading internet provider in Pakistan offering cloud hosting and dedicated servers.
When choosing a hosting provider pay attention to server locations, pricing, features, reliability, support and reviews.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Web Host
Here are some important factors to evaluate when selecting the right web hosting provider in Pakistan for your needs:
Ideally, choose a hosting provider that has servers based in Pakistan. Local servers ensure faster page load speeds and better website performance which is vital for SEO and user experience.
Reliability and Uptime
Select a web host with a proven track record of providing consistently reliable hosting services. Check their historical uptime metrics which should be 99.9% or higher.
24/7 customer support availability is crucial in case issues arise. Chat, phone and ticket support options should be provided.
Your web host must utilize up-to-date security measures like firewalls, SSL certificates, DDoS protection and regular software updates.
Look for necessary features like email accounts, MySQL databases, SSD storage, CDN and backups based on your requirements.
Compare pricing of different hosting plans. Watch out for hidden charges. A moderate price for the features provided is ideal.
Read hosting reviews and check social media presence to determine reliability and reputation. Higher number of positive reviews indicates a well-reputed provider.
Ease of Use
An intuitive control panel or dashboard makes managing your hosting account straightforward. cPanel is commonly used.
By evaluating these key aspects, you can zero in on the ideal web hosting provider for your specific needs and budget.
Do You Need a Local Web Host in Pakistan?
New website owners often wonder – is it better to go with a local web hosting company based in Pakistan? Or an international giant like HostGator or Bluehost?
Here are a few benefits of choosing a local Pakistani web host:
- Faster website speeds – Local hosts have servers based in Pakistan leading to much faster page load times for visitors within the country.
- Improved SEO – Nearby servers give better website performance that can boost local search engine rankings.
- Understanding of local market – Local companies have experience hosting Pakistani sites and understand common requirements.
- Easier payments – Limited international payment options make paying international companies tricky. Local hosts accept local payment modes.
- Native language support – Local companies can provide web hosting support in Urdu if required.
- Adherence to local laws – A Pakistan-based host will ensure compliance with all necessary governmental regulations and laws.
- Hosting reliability – International hosts can sometimes blacklist Pakistan IP addresses. Local companies offer reliable hosting.
However, large international web hosting companies often provide better resources, technology, security and support capabilities. Evaluate your priorities to decide what’s suitable.
How Much Does Web Hosting Cost in Pakistan?
The cost of web hosting in Pakistan varies greatly depending on:
- Type of hosting plan – Shared, VPS, dedicated etc.
- Features and resources – Storage, bandwidth, speed, security etc.
- Duration – Monthly, yearly or longer term plans
- Additional services – Domain registration, backups, SSL etc.
Entry-level shared hosting starts from just Rs. 100 to Rs. 300 per month. This is suitable for new websites with low visitor traffic.
Mid-range plans with more features and resources are priced around Rs. 800 to Rs. 1500 per month. Ideal for growing sites.
High-end VPS and dedicated hosting with maximum performance scales up to several thousand rupees per month. Meant for large corporate sites handling very high traffic volumes.
Many web hosts offer significant discounts if you pay for yearly or longer duration hosting plans in one go rather than month-to-month payments.
So you can find a feature-rich web hosting package in Pakistan for pretty much any budget.
How to Choose the Best Domain Name in Pakistan?
Your domain name is your website’s address on the web. It should be short, memorable, descriptive and enhance your brand identity.
Here are some tips for choosing the perfect domain name in Pakistan:
- Keep it short – Opt for a short and concise domain between 3 to 30 characters like pakwheels.com. Easier to remember.
- Pick targeted keywords – Incorporate your primary business keywords eg. cosmetics.pk, sportsadda.pk. Helps with SEO.
- Make it memorable – Use alliteration, rhymes or blends of words that stick in people’s minds.
- Add locality – Using ‘.pk’ or Pakistan city names indicates your local presence.
- Avoid hyphens – Hyphenated domains are harder to remember. Prefer domains like fashionstruck.pk over fashion-struck.pk.
- Check availability – Double check to see if your preferred domain is available for registration.
- Evaluate extensions – ‘.com.pk’ is common but you can also consider ‘.pk’, ‘.com’, ‘.net’, ‘.org’ etc.
- Be prepared to pay – Expect to pay Rs. 350 to Rs. 750 per year for domain registration and renewal.
Top Website Builders in Pakistan
For those looking to create a website without coding, website builders provide an easy drag-and-drop platform. Some popular options in Pakistan include:
Extremely user-friendly builder with 500+ designer templates. Packed with features. Prices start from $4.5 a month.
Allows building WordPress sites without hosting. Limited customization. Starts free, paid plans from $4 per month.
Ideal for ecommerce stores. Automates tasks like inventory and shipping. $29 to $299 per month.
Powerful for animated, dynamic sites. Caters to designers. $12 to $36 a month.
Beautiful minimalist templates. All-in-one platform with ecommerce. Plans start at $12 a month.
Intuitive drag and drop builder. Best for simple sites and blogs. Prices begin from $6 per month.
So whether you need an online store, portfolio or blog – you can easily build professional quality websites without coding using these top website builders in Pakistan.
Best Free Web Hosting Services in Pakistan
If you have a simple website with low visitor traffic, opting for a free web hosting service can be a good starting point before moving to a paid hosting plan.
Some popular free hosting options in Pakistan:
- 000Webhost – Provides 1GB SSD storage and 10GB bandwidth per month.
- GoogieHost – Awards 1GB storage with 700MB bandwidth for free accounts.
- Byet – One of the few free hosts that allow custom domains. Offers 1GB storage.
- Awardspace – No ads, good uptime, easy to use. But limited to 100MB storage only.
- HelioHost – Fast free host with straightforward cPanel interface. But has resource limitations.
- Hostinger – Gives Rs. 610 hosting credit for the first month. Requires credit card.
- Zyma – PHP enabled hosting with daily backups. But only provides 500MB space.
- GitHub Pages – Free static hosting for websites developed on GitHub. No DB or server-side code.
These options allow you to test things before investing in paid hosting. But advanced features, resources, support and custom domains are limited.
Best Domain Registrars in Pakistan
A domain registrar handles the reservation of your domain name and facilitates its registration. Here are some reputable domain registrars in Pakistan:
- pkNIC – The .pk ccTLD manager. Directly registers .pk domains starting Rs. 500/year.
- Web.pk – Leading registrar accredited by pkNIC. Domain registration from Rs. 660/year.
- ResellerClub – Globally trusted domain provider with competitive pricing. Also offers web hosting.
- GoDaddy – World’s largest domain registrar now operates localized portal for Pakistani clients.
- Bigrock – Part of Endurance International Group. Domain names starting Rs. 610/year.
- Namecheap – Reliable registrar with excellent control panel and free WHOIS Guard.
- Hostinger – Along with web hosting, provides domain registration from just Rs. 492/year.
- Connect.pk – Local domain registrar catering specifically to Pakistani customers.
Check reviews and Accreditation status when choosing a domain registrar. pkNIC accredited registrars ensure fast and seamless domain registration and management.
Which is Better – .pk or .com.pk Domain?
-.pk and -.com.pk are Pakistan’s country code top-level domains. When registering a domain name, a common dilemma is whether to go with .pk or .com.pk extension.
Some key differences:
- Availability – .pk domains tend to sell out fast. But .com.pk provides wider availability for popular names.
- Meaning – .pk denotes Pakistan origin. .com.pk indicates a commercial Pakistan-based site.
- Preference for SEO – Google treats .pk and .com.pk equally. But .pk shows local relevance.
- Cost – .pk pricing starts around Rs. 500/year. .com.pk costs slightly higher, starting from Rs. 800/year.
- Ease of registration – .pk requires local presence docs. .com.pk registration is easier.
- Recognition – .pk is well established in Pakistan. .com.pk is commonly used too.
For most purposes, .com.pk offers wider availability and easier registration. But .pk has better meaning and recognition locally. Evaluate your priorities to pick the right domain extension.
Shared vs VPS vs Dedicated Hosting: Key Differences
Deciding among shared, VPS and dedicated hosting depends primarily on your website traffic, scale, technical needs and budget.
Here is a quick comparison:
- Multiple sites hosted on a single server.
- Resources like RAM, storage are shared.
- Most affordable but limited resources.
- Ideal for new or small websites.
- Starting price ~Rs. 100/month.
- Virtual division of a physical server.
- Guaranteed resources based on plan.
- More flexibility and control vs shared hosting.
- For growing sites with increasing traffic.
- Starts around Rs. 1500/month.
- Entire server devoted to a single site.
- Complete control over resources and security.
- For large websites with very high traffic.
- Most expensive option at over Rs. 5000/month.
Assess your website’s scalability needs and budget to determine the ideal type of hosting plan.
Migrating Website to a New Host in Pakistan
Switching your website hosting to a new provider in Pakistan is easy by following these steps:
1. Choose New Host
Select a new host with required features, reliability and costs that better meets your needs.
2. Backup Your Site
Take a full backup of all your website files, databases, emails and other assets before migrating.
3. Transfer Domain Name
Unlock your domain name and initiate transfer to the new host as per their procedures.
4. Point DNS
Update the nameserver records to point your domain to new host’s servers.
5. Upload Files
Use FTP to upload your site files and import databases to the new hosting account.
6. Update Settings
Change the domain, nameservers and other settings in the CMS or scripts powering your site.
7. Test Site
Thoroughly test your migrated website to ensure everything is working properly before going live.
Take care to avoid downtime during the transition. Many hosts offer free migration services to make the process smooth.
8 Important Questions to Ask Web Hosting Providers
Asking the right questions before choosing a web host is important to ensure they can meet your requirements. Here are 8 crucial questions to ask potential web hosting providers in Pakistan:
- Where are your servers located?
- What is your uptime guarantee? What is the average historical uptime?
- What security measures do you have in place?
- Do you offer regular backups and restore options?
- What is the process for domain name registration and transfers?
- What control panel do you use? cPanel?
- What support options do you provide and what are the response times?
- Do you offer service guarantees or SLA? What is refund policy?
Get satisfactory responses to these questions before finalizing a web hosting provider in Pakistan to avoid issues later on.
5 Common Web Hosting Problems Faced by New Websites
Launching a new website is hard work. And unfortunately, even with the best web host, some common problems can come up:
1. Unexpected Downtime – Even reliable hosts face some amount of downtime. If uptime guarantee is not met, ask for compensation.
2. Slow Page Speeds – Entry-level shared hosting plans often deliver poor speeds due to overload. Upgrade plan.
3. Data Loss – Lack of backups can lead to loss of crucial site data. Confirm backup systems.
4. Malware Infection – Insecure hosts increase vulnerability to malware. Choose provider with robust security.
5. Poor Customer Support – Some hosts provide little support for issues. Opt for 24X7 live chat, call support.
Discuss any past incidents of these issues before selecting a web host. Proactive mitigation by the provider is a good sign.
10 Must Have Features in a Web Hosting Plan
When comparing hosting plans, here are 10 essential features your chosen plan should include:
- SSL Certificate – Free SSL to enable HTTPS for security.
- SSD Storage – SSD drives provide much faster I/O speeds.
- Regular Backups – Automated backups to prevent data loss.
- CDN Support– Integrated CDN for faster website load times.
- Email Accounts– Multiple professional email accounts.
- Databases– MySQL databases to power dynamic sites.