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Top 10 Best Web Hosting Services in 2021

Finding a reliable web hosting service is an integral part of getting your website online. Check out the best web hosting platforms that offer a stable uptime performance, incredible support and value for your money.

Reasons to look for a good web hosting service

Your website is one of the most crucial elements of your business. It’s a representation of your brand to the online society.

As a matter of fact, running a website is fairly similar to owning a pet. Like your pup, it needs constant care, and oversight. If neglected, it may begin to look unappealing and that will hurt your business in the long run.

This is where web hosting services come in handy. These platforms offer to host your website and take care of all the monitoring and maintenance required, for a small fee. Enlisting the help of a professional web host frees you up to focus on your business.

The one question that may website owners have is, how do I choose a web hosting platform from the sea of options available?

In the following guide, we’ve reviewed 10 of the best web hosting services. We have also highlighted the most essential features to look for in a suitable host. Read on and discover which host works for you.

What is a web hosting service?

To understand the role of a web host, you should first familiarize yourself with the term server. Now, a server is a tangible computer that operates uninterrupted so as to ensure that your website is available to any Internet users who would like to view it.

What a web hosting service does is to maintain these servers. In doing so, it protects your website from malicious attacks and transfers your content – be it text, files or images- from the server to your website for viewing.

So once you decide to create a new website, the next thing you have to figure out is which hosting platform can offer server space for your site.

When you find a suitable web host, you’ll pay to sign up for their services. In return, the provider will be responsible for storing all your files, emails, and databases on the server. Think of it as a self-storage unit where you lease space and use it to store your belongings.

There are dozens of different web hosting plans that you can pick from. The four main ones are:

Shared hosting

Shared hosting is the most popular form of hosting, and understandably so. It’s where the provider uses a single server to host multiple websites, which helps to cut back on the cost the client has to pay.

This then means that all the websites hosted on that specific server share resources amongst themselves. From the memory to the computing power and disk space. Although you’ll be sharing several resources, you won’t have access to another site’s files, databases or personal data.

The biggest advantage of shared hosting is that it’s cheap. This is primarily because the provider is able to split the server’s upkeep costs between different clients.

Pros

  • Inexpensive; perfect for small online startups
  • Does not require any technical knowledge to run it
  • Zero administration issues; the web host is fully responsible for the administration and hardware maintenance

Cons

  • Lack of administrative power means you can’t perform tasks you otherwise would be able to
  • Perform poorly when there are websites with heavy traffic

Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting

This type is a step ahead of shared hosting. As with shared hosting, there will still be multiple websites hosted on a single server.

But with VPS,  the web host allocates a specific partition to your website. Essentially, you end up with a distinct space on the server, set aside for your site, along with a reserved amount of memory and resources.

VPS hosting is best suited for medium-sized businesses, which have an increasing number of websites and traffic.

Pros

  • You get a dedicated server space
  • Traffic flow on other sites has zero impact on your site’s performance
  • You’ll have root access to the server
  • It’s easy to scale and customize

Cons

  • Knowledge of the technical bits and how to manage a server is required
  • More costly than other kinds of hosting

Cloud hosting

This is a far cry from the traditional method of hosting where your website is hosted on a single server.

With cloud hosting, the service provider lets you distribute your site’s data across several, interconnected servers. These servers are situated across a wide geographical region, but, they only exist vrtually; hence the name ‘cloud hosting’.

The greatest benefit of cloud hosting is that it gives you access to computing resources that you would otherwise not have; making it easy to scale and expand your website.

Another perk is that you’ll only have to pay for the specific resources you end up using. Plus, cloud hosting is way more reliable than traditional hosting.

With the latter, if all information was stored on a single server, and that server malfunctions, then that would probably be the end of your website.

With cloud hosting, however, your website’s data is shared among interconnected machines, which all store the same information. It means that if one of them malfunctions, then the others will pick up the slack and ensure your site stays online.

Pros

  • Better uptime performance
  • Reliability
  • More scalable and flexible hosting solution
  • Excellent backup and disaster recovery

Cons

  • The costs of data recovery can go up fast
  • Web host may have a restriction on how much data can be stored

Dedicated hosting

Developing a website tailored to your business is no mean feat. You’ll have to build an online presence while considering factors, such as commerce, security, search engine optimization and more.

If you want to end up with a robust foundation that can truly withstand your website’s high traffic volume, then a dedicated web host is your best bet.

Contrary to shared hosting where servers are shared amongst multiple sites, a dedicated server will only host your website. While you’ll likely pay more for this service, you get to enjoy perks like reliability and stability.

Pros

  • More reliable as resources aren’t shared among different websites
  • Complete control of the server
  • Better security
  • Higher level of customer support

Cons

  • Pricey

In an era where technology is all the rage, you cannot overlook the importance of having a good website hosting service for your business.

Sure, you’ll have to spend money on this affair. But, the perks it offers to your business site significantly outweigh the expense. Here are a few reasons why you should invest in a good web hosting service:

Boost your website load time

By investing in a professional website host, you’re guaranteed that your website will have a fast load time. This, in turn, ensures that your customers have a smooth browsing experience; hence, increasing their chances of engaging your business for the products or services they need.

On the other hand, if your website is sluggish, there’s no doubt that customers will resort to competitor websites to find what they’re looking for. In a nutshell, using a good web hosting service is crucial to boosting your revenue and profits.

Improved security

Another reason why you should put money into a top-rated hosting service is because it guarantees security for your website.

The majority of web hosts have high-end security features so as to offer maximum protection to your website. That said, check out the specific security systems that a given host has in place, before deciding to go for it.

Easy website monitoring

One type of hosting offered by these providers is cloud hosting. This gives you one of the easiest ways to monitor your website.

You can track your website’s progress remotely as long as you have a stable internet connection. Some hosting platforms even have features that notify you when there’s something wrong with your website.

Freedom to pick from different hosting options

Investing in a good web host also opens up opportunities to pick from different kinds of hosting, such as: dedicated, shared, cloud and VPS.

That said, the types of hosting options will differ from one provider to the next. So start by assessing the needs of your company, then figure out the best hosting plan.

Best overall & best for WordPress

WP Engine Web Hosting Service

WP Engine Web Hosting Service

Since the service specializes in WordPress, you enjoy some pretty cool perks, including the ability to create a live platform for your site.

  • Speed:
  • Uptime reliability:
  • Customer support:
  • Value for money:

WordPress forms the foundation of millions of websites, so it comes as little surprise that many web hosting services prioritize WordPress hosting. One platform that particularly stands out in WP hosting services is the WP Engine.

Once you sign up for WP Engine, you’ll get to pick from plans that are completely optimized for this platform. A few of the WordPress-specific features you’ll be able to enjoy are quick and seamless migrations, support for setting up staging sites, a free SSL certificate and an array of performance tracking and diagnostic tools.

That said, the lack of email hosting makes it an unattractive solution for some website owners. Due to this, customers are forced to enlist a third-party company to get a domain name. Besides, this also takes away from the incentives of their hosting plans.

Best dedicated servers

Liquid Web Hosting Service

Liquid Web Hosting Service

Liquid Web hosting service stands out primarily for its superb dedicated servers. Thanks to this, it’s able to handle intense traffic demands, offer you complete control of your servers.

  • Speed:
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  • Customer support:
  • Value for money:

Liquid Web is a top name when it comes to dedicated hosting solutions. The platform boasts reliable infrastructure and resources designed to optimize the potential of your website.

Unlike WP Engine which fails to offer email hosting, Liquid Web does, giving it a competitive edge. We also like their customer service system, which comprises phone support, help desk and an online live chat available 24/7.

This web host also offers a decent uptime performance. In fact, the firm guarantees a network uptime of up to 100%, a promise that it lives up to. Its speed is also exemplary compared to other web hosting services. If you host your site at Liquid Web, you’ll enjoy a blazing speed of about 338 ms.

The only challenge that Liquid Web presents is that it doesn’t offer shared web hosting. This makes it unsuitable for small to medium-size businesses that may be looking to save on costs by using this kind of hosting.

Best for cloud hosting

Cloudways Web Hosting Service

Cloudways Web Hosting Service

CloudWays is particularly good at offering excellent cloud hosting services.

  • Speed:
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  • Value for money:

Cloud really steps up the game when it comes to cloud hosting. For one, it lets its customers pick from one of five platforms, and this includes Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services.

You also get access to pocket-friendly pay-as-you-go packages. What this means is that you will only pay for the amount of time you have used.

Let’s say you’ve decided to cancel a plan 15 days into a month. Rather than pay for the entire month, you’ll only pay for the 15 days of hosting. This makes it superior to other web hosting providers that require site owners to pay a huge sum of money upfront.

That said, there are a few areas where the web hosting firm falls short, such as the lack of domain registration. Also take note that you have to pay extra if you wish to add email hosting to your hosting package. This can be upsetting given that other platforms offer this for free.

Best premium managed WordPress host

Kinsta Web Hosting Service

Kinsta Web Hosting Service

This web host excels at offering advanced managed hosting for WordPress sites. It offers WordPress specific tools, making it incredibly easy to run your WP website.

  • Speed:
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  • Customer support:
  • Reputation:

Ready to invest in a premium managed WordPress hosting? Then you’ll want to check out what Kinsta has in store for you. This web host was started back in 2013 with one main objective: to create the ultimate WordPress building avenue globally.

Granted, Kinsta plans are a bit steep compared to the other WordPress hosts. But this is only because they offer cutting-edge features.

One that really stands out is the fact that they employ Google Cloud Platform (GCP), which is essentially the same cloud computing platform that Google uses. This explains why they’re way ahead of the curve when it comes to speed, security and stability.

Now, while some users can benefit from the premium WP hosting, their premium pricing might be a turn-off for some. The cheapest plan starts at $30 a month. If you find that a little too expensive, you’re free to use other solutions.

Another thing you might not like about Kinsta is that it doesn’t offer email hosting. This is a huge setback because other WordPress hosts that cost much less, offer this for free.

Best for business class hosting

InMotion Hosting Web Hosting Service

InMotion Hosting Web Hosting Service

InMotion hosting provides a 90-day money-back guarantee for all the business plans packages and a 30-day warranty for Value class plans.

  • Speed:
  • Uptime reliability:
  • Customer support:
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If you’re looking for a service that can host your business website, then Inmotion Hosting is your best bet. This web hosting service has a nice selection of features, making it suitable for both personal use and businesses.

One of the things we like about it entails its relatively fast speed. It averages a loading time of 347 ms, which puts it at par with top-rated web hosts like WP Engine. Its average uptime is also pretty decent, averaging a 99.95% guarantee.

Inmotion also offers free SSL certificates. This is a plus for businesses looking to explore e-commerce features whilst providing their clients with adequate security.

If you happen not to like any of their services, you have the freedom to sign out and get a full refund. However, the fact that this warranty duration varies from one plan to another makes some hesitant to use the web host.

We’re referring to the fact that dedicated servers and monthly-billed Reseller and VPS plans get a 30-day guarantee while those subscribed on 6 month+ hosting plans get a 90-day money back guarantee.

Best for value

A2 Hosting Web Hosting Service

A2 Hosting Web Hosting Service

Unlike other web hosting providers who charge up to $100 or more to move your website to their servers, A2 Hosting does it for free.

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  • Value for money:

Want to invest in a web hosting service that gives you the best value for your money? Then A2 web host is a superb choice.

A2 stands out of the crowd by offering impressive pricing plans, unmatched uptime and remarkable customer support. One particular aspect where this platform excels is speed. The hosting provider utilizes solid-state drives (SSDs), a factor that contributes significantly to its high-speed performance.

Another feature that causes A2 to be ahead of the curve is their anytime money-back guarantee. With other hosting firms, you’re given a specific timeframe to ask for a refund. But with A2, you can get your money back at any time.

But every platform has its fair share of setbacks, and one disadvantage with using A2 services entails their high renewal rates.

Worse is the fact that you have to send them a written cancellation request, and do so at least 15 days before your scheduled renewal date. If you miss this window, you’ll automatically be charged for the next renewal.

Best uptime

SiteGround Web Hosting Service

SiteGround Web Hosting Service

SiteGround’s key highlight is its reliable uptime. The service provider goes as far as to offer you a month of service for free if the uptime drops below 99.9%.

  • Speed:
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  • Customer support:
  • Value for money:

We cannot emphasize enough just how important it is to pick a provider with a great uptime performance. Thankfully, this is one of SiteGroud’s key strengths, so you’ll never have to worry about your website remaining offline for an unreasonable length of time.

Their intuitive interface is another aspect that makes SiteGround worth the investment; both by newbies and veteran users. Beginners will be impressed by the fact that they can set up website builders like Weebly with just a few clicks. The host also offers simple integrations for Joomla, WordPress and Drupal.  

That said, there are a few things that SiteGround can improve on, and one of these is their renewal fees. Let’s look at the Startup shared plan as an example. The company lures you with a discounted $4.99/ month initial cost. But when it’s time to renew, you’re hit with a $14.99/month fee.

Best for linux-based sites

DreamHost Web Hosting Service

DreamHost Web Hosting Service

DreamHost is a superb choice for customers who prefer to host their sites on Linux.

  • Speed:
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  • Customer support:
  • Value for money:

Some website owners may prefer linux hosting for a couple of reasons. Hosting your site on these servers is not only secure, but also economical, and offers unparalleled privacy. If this sounds like something you’d want, DreamHost is the ultimate linux hosting provider.

Another superb feature offered by DreamHost is the smart anti-spam filter. This is designed to filter all your spam messages, malware, viruses and phishing attacks. The best part is that this filter adapts to new threats, ensuring that your site remains protected.

If you came across DreamHost’s 97-day money back guarantee, and felt like it was too good to be true, that’s because it is. A closer examination of their terms reveals that this offer is only valid for users who pay via credit card for their shared web hosting plan.

Their limitations on email hosting is another aspect that makes DreamHost unattractive. To be more specific, DreamHost doesn’t offer this hosting for users subscribed to their Remixer Standard and Shared Starter plans. If you want to enjoy this service, you have to upgrade to the next plan.

Best affordable

HostGator Web Hosting Service

HostGator Web Hosting Service

HostGator’s main strength is its affordability.

  • Speed:
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  • Customer support:
  • Value for money:

You don’t need to pay through your nose for a web hosting service, especially if you’re in the process of launching a new website. If you’re looking to save money, HostGator is among the most affordable hosting providers.

Despite the low price tag, the platform has a really nice set of features that you’re sure to love.  For one, it offers a fairly stable uptime rated at 99.95%. What we like most about this is that they give you a whole month of credit on your account if the uptime falls below this threshold.

Another strong point for HostGator is its money-back guarantee. Unlike other web hosts that offer a money-back guarantee on just a few plans, HostGator’s policy applies to all of its packages. This is a 45-day money back guarantee; longer than the industry average of one month.

The one area where the platform tends to disappoint is in speed. Its upload time averages 707 ms, which is one of the longest in our review. Still, it’s slightly better than Bluehost’s average of 713 ms. Another point you should keep in mind is that HostGator doesn’t offer as many backup options as those you get from other web hosts.

Best for email hosting

Bluehost Web Hosting Service

Bluehost Web Hosting Service

What makes Bluehost really stand out is the provision of email accounts and unlimited email storage on almost all of its plans.

  • Speed:
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  • Customer support:
  • Value for money:

Though many businesses neglect this, professional email hosting is crucial for your business. Not only do you get an email address that looks professional, but you also get all your email-related activities taken care of.

Now, instead of paying extra for an email host provider, look for a web host that includes this feature in their plans, like Bluehost.

Bluehost offers email accounts and email storage in all their packages. With their Basic plan, you get 5 email accounts and 100 MB of email storage per account. All their other plans offer hosting for unlimited email accounts and unlimited email storage.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that Bluehost offers a Weebly-based web builder. This is a simple browser-founded platform that allows you to create a site of at least 6 pages. This web hosting service also touts exceptional customer support, a free migration tool and a user-friendly cPanel that lets you tweak a few things.

That said, one of the biggest drawbacks is the fact that Bluehost doesn’t offer monthly shared hosting. If you want to subscribe to their shared hosting, you’ll have to pay for 12 or 36 months upfront. This can prove costly, especially if you’re just starting out.

What to look for in a good web hosting service

In the past, the only things you had to consider when choosing a web hosting platform were bandwidth and disk space.

But we’ve come a long way since. If you want to invest in a hosting service that’s truly right for your website, then you need to conduct a more comprehensive analysis. Here are the main points to keep in mind when picking a web hosting service.

Determine your website needs

A quick search on Google reveals that there are hundreds of web host providers. But before you start looking at what any of them offers, think about your website and its needs.

Ask yourself, “what sort of website I’m I developing?” Next, estimate just how much traffic you expect your website to get.

While these issues may seem basic, they’re very crucial in your selection process. For instance, if you’re developing a WordPress website, then you’ll want to focus on platforms that offer WordPress hosting. Similarly, if you’re creating an online store, then hosting providers that emphasize on eCommerce are the best.

Examine server reliability and uptime scores

When Amazon experienced a 15-minute system downtime last year, Jeff Bezos allegedly lost up to $6.6 million. Slack, another tech giant, lost over $8 million in payouts when the platform experienced outages back in 2019.

Both of these instances show just how important it is to ensure your website is up and running 24/7. Now this task falls on your web hosting provider. So before deciding which avenue to use, read reviews. Check whether it delivers a reliable and steady uptime performance.

Ideally, the web host should be able to guarantee 99.95% uptime. Anything below 99% is unacceptable.

Scalability

Apart from its uptime performance, another thing you’ll want to think about is the ability to scale your website in the future.

There are numerous types of hosting plans. If you’re a newbie in the field, there’s a good chance that you’ll start off with a shared hosting package. But once your website starts getting an increase in traffic, you’ll want to upgrade your plan.

For this reason, look for a provider that allows you to scale your plan easily. This is much easier than looking for an entirely new hosting service.

Check out their pricing

There are two kinds of prices you’ll want to pay attention to: the price you pay when you’re subscribing for the service and the renewal fee.

With most providers, the initial startup cost will differ significantly from the renewal fee. Often, you’ll find that the renewal cost is more expensive than the sign-up fee.

Taking this into account, look for web hosting services that don’t go overboard with their price hikes. Let’s say the signup cost was about $5 a month. In that case, the renewal fee shouldn’t be anything more than $10 a month.

If this is your first time looking for a web hosting platform, be sure to read the fine print of their terms and conditions. Specifically, look for the clause that explains the company’s renewal rates.

A refund policy is key

Signing up for a web hosting service is not cheap, moreso, if you’re just getting started.

Due to this, we recommend using providers that offer either a refund or a free trial. This way, you have a chance to try out their services before deciding to make a bigger commitment.

Similarly, this allows you to put their services to test, and if it happens to be the wrong fit for you, then you have a right to be compensated and try other platforms.

As we recommended earlier, make sure you read their terms carefully. Some hosting providers require you to pay a sum of money to sign out of their services.

Customer support

After uptime performance and pricing, the next most crucial factor in choosing a web host is the quality of customer service offered.

If the web hosting firm offers excellent customer services, then you’re guaranteed that you’ll always have someone to help in case problems crop up. Essentially, the customer support team should be ready to solve issues on your site, effectively and promptly.

Whenever possible, opt for platforms that have a chat support section and a social media presence as opposed to just email and support tickets.

On the same note, prioritize firms that invest in in-house customer service reps. Such personnel have a deeper understanding of the web host compared to outsourced customer service reps.

Website backups

From intrusions on infrastructure to data breaches and spear phishing cases, there’s been an alarming increase in the number of cyber threats.

Sadly, the extortionists are no longer targeting only big companies. Even small and medium-sized businesses are at a risk. When such activities happen, enterprises are hit with irreparable damages.

If you own a website, you may end up replacing your index.php file. Or worse, you might encounter a severe malfunction on your server or hard disk.

With all these risks in mind, it helps if your host has an efficient data backup system. This way, you won’t have to start from scratch if you encounter a security threat. Ask yourself the following questions before picking a provider:

  • Can you restore the backup information by yourself or do you need to speak to a customer rep?
  • Is it possible to back up your website manually through the control panel?
  • Does the web host offer full backups, and how regularly does it back up your data?

Account limitations

This is one factor that a lot of website owners forget to consider.

But you need to remember that every hosting firm has a set of policies for engagement. If you violate any term, knowingly or unknowingly, you’ll likely have to pay extra.

In worst case scenarios, the web hosting service may decide to discontinue your plan either temporarily or permanently.

On this note, are you aware that some hosting companies impose a CPU restriction? Oftentimes, this limitation is imposed on clients using shared hosting.

Shared hosting plans are designed to provide an infinite amount of resources. But if a client starts using an excessive amount of them, this will impact the server’s performance for other customers.

Email options

You have a chance to get more feedback and conversions if your email is synced to the domain name of your site.

So when you’re looking for a suitable hosting firm, pick one that offers email hosting for your site’s primary email.

Essential features

While most web hosting service providers offer all basic features for running a site, there are a couple of other essentials they should provide. These include:

A one-click installer

This is an excellent tool for installing applications like Drupal, WordPress and Joomla, effortlessly. It’s particularly handy if you don’t have any technical experience or knowledge of web creation and development.

.htaccess file access

A web hosting platform that offers this feature allows you to make administrative modifications to your whole website. Without it, it will be pretty difficult to edit and adjust any parameters relating to your website, and this includes password authentication and management.

FAQ

What is the meaning of bandwidth in web hosting?

Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that is transferable between your website, its users and the servers. This capacity is estimated in either Megabytes per Second (MB/s) or Gigabytes per Second (GB/s).

You can think of bandwidth as the width of a road. If it’s wide enough, then its capability to handle more traffic increases, allowing you to move faster. But if the road is too narrow, then it cannot handle as much traffic, limiting your movement. In the case of bandwidth, the higher the capacity, the better its ability to carry data is.

Are there any hidden fees in web hosting?

Most web hosts do their best to be transparent. But this doesn’t eliminate the fact that there are unscrupulous players, who will always hit you with unexpected fees.

One particular expense you should watch out for entails excessive usage fees. Each web hosting service has limitations, so read the fine print keenly and be careful not to surpass the stated resources. Otherwise, you may end up paying fees that you never knew existed.

On the same note, a few platforms charge you for transferring your domain. If you plan to migrate your site to another account, confirm (in advance) that doing so won’t cost you extra.

Can I host a website on my PC?

Sure, you can, but it’s not advisable to do so. Professional web hosting services give you access to features that you otherwise wouldn’t have if you opt to host on your PC.

Plus, there’s so much that goes into hosting a website on your PC. For instance, you should have expertise in setting up a WWW server software on your laptop.

You’ll also have to examine the bandwidth that your internet service provider offers. Thirdly, you’ll have to ensure that your computer is always turned on. Whenever you turn it off or reboot, your site automatically goes offline as well.  

What is the meaning of reseller hosting?

The concept behind this is pretty straightforward. It involves buying web hosting services in bulk, which puts you at an advantage of getting a hefty discount.

You then have the freedom to resell these services to clients, and gain more profit in the process. Ideally, you’dl be enlisting the services so you can build your own website from the ground up. But you’ll also be able to control and delegate server resources to others.

What does SSL mean and why is it crucial?

This is the contracted form of Secure Sockets Layer, and it serves as an extra layer of protection for your website.

SSL refers to the technology used to create an encrypted connection between the host’s web servers and your web browser. Encryption means that any data transmitted between the two remains completely private and secure.

Final verdict

If you’ve figured out what your website needs, how much you’d like to spend on this affair and the specific platform that can increase traffic to your site, then you’re on your way to finding the best web host.

Some things you’ll want to keep in mind are the host’s uptime performance, speed, storage, limitations, refund policy, and fees. These factors will help you narrow down your options, making your web host selection easier. If you encounter any problems in your search, you can always contact customer support reps of the specific hosting company.

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