Web hosting is responsible for storing your website’s files and allows your visitors to access them worldwide. Whether you have established an online business or starting a new one, your website must be powered up by a reliable hosting server, and thus you are going to need a trustworthy hosting provider.
Your search results will be crawled with numerous hosting services when you look for hosting providers. With so many options available, it’s easy to get confused when choosing the right web host. Knowing a few things or two about hosting is always a good idea. It’ll help you to decide the right hosting for your website.
Several web hosting types are available, and it is critical to pick the one that best matches your website's requirements and traffic.
This type of hosting is ideal for small businesses that have low traffic. If you just started a new business on a small scale and have a very tight budget, then shared hosting is the best option to go for.
Since it is the most affordable option but has limitations, shared hosting provides limited resources, including restricted CPU usage, storage, and bandwidth.
VPS is an upgraded version of shared hosting. Virtual Private Server (VPS) is divided into multiple servers and has separate resources for each server, including CPU, storage, and RAM.
In a VPS hosting, your server will be isolated from other servers. It’s an ideal choice for you if your website handles moderate traffic and wants more control over your hosting environment.
If you wish to have full control over your hosting environment, a dedicated server is an ideal choice. Dedicated hosting is equipped with high-performance resources to handle a high volume of traffic.
In dedicated hosting, you’ll have an entire server dedicated to you. This means only you’ll be able to to utilize its maximum capacity.
Managed hosting is ideal for someone who doesn't have the time to manage their server or technical expertise. The hosting provider will take responsibility of server management, such as, backups, security, and software updates
This type of hosting is ideal for companies or individuals who want to resell hosting to their clients.
These three components are essential resources to consider when choosing a hosting.
Central Processing Unit is a crucial component for processing and running applications and server pages. It is essential to consider CPU cores and clock speed. The higher the CPU cores and the clock speed, the faster the processing will be.
Random access memory is a temporary memory that a server uses to store data that is currently being used. Higher RAM will usually result in better performance and your server can keep more data in the memory.
Storage refers to the disk space for storing data on your server, such as images, files, databases etc. It is essential to consider storage size and technology offered by the hosting provider. HDD is a traditional storage technology commonly known as a hard disk and is slower than a Solid state drive (SSD). It would be best to choose SSD for server storage because of the fast access of the data and server performance.
Choose a hosting package that provides adequate bandwidth and traffic to suit your website's requirements.
Bandwidth refers to the data that can be transmitted between your website and its users. Gigabytes (GB) per month are usually measured in bandwidth. How much GB you need depends on the website’s traffic and size. If your website contains large files such as videos, and images you’ll need more bandwidth to transfer these high-volume files.
Linux and Windows are the common operating systems for web hosting. Linux is the most popular web hosting among these. Linux is free, stable, and secure. Windows is suitable for website that uses Microsoft technologies such as ASP.NET.
Nginx and Apache are popular web servers. Among these two, Apache is the most popular and widely used web server.
On the other hand, Nginx is known for its high performance and reliability in handling large volumes of connections.
LiteSpeed is relevantly new and slowly gaining popularity due to its performance and speed.
PHP is used for web development and is a server-side programming language. When choosing a web hosting server, it is essential to know what version of PHP the hosting provider offers. Some applications may require older versions of PHP, so ensure that the hosting provider supports the PHP version you need.
MySQL and MariaDB are the common database system used in web hosting. MySQL is open source and the most popularly used in web hosting databases. Popular web development framework such as PHP, Python and Java are compatible with MySQL.
On the other hand, MariaDB is a fork from MySQL with improved features and performance developed by the community. MariaDB is also open source and free to use and is an excellent choice for web developers and businesses.
Uptime refers to the time that a server is up and running and available to users. Uptime percentage shows that the hosting provider has well-maintained servers with minimal downtime.
To ensure that your website is available to users as much as possible, look for a hosting company with a high uptime guarantee.
Before choosing a hosting provider, consider customer support, operation hours, and support level. It is essential to choose the right hosting provider that offers various modes of communication to be in touch with your concerns, such as live chat, support tickets, direct call, etc.
It is also important to choose a hosting provider that has a dedicated support team available 24/7 to solve customer issues; otherwise, customers might be left waiting during off hours.
You’ll also need to consider the level of support. Depending on the hosting package, support might vary. Customer who use dedicated servers usually receives the highest level of support. Then users with a VPS hosting package get priority support and then shared hosting customers.
It is crucial to pick a hosting service that provides dependable customer care if you have any problems or inquiries.
You may need to pay additional fees for maintenance such as security patches, software updates, and backup. It is essential to discuss first and confirm whether these services are included in a package or come with extra cost. Also, it would be best if you research and compare the price associated with maintenance costs.
You must consider the renewal cost before choosing the hosting provider. Occasionally you’ll see heavily discounted prices for new customers, but what you might fail to see is the renewal cost is not discounted, and the price is high. It would be best to ensure the renewal cost of your chosen hosting plan and then proceed for the long term.
To get the best value, compare the pricing of several hosting companies. Remember that the cheapest option is not necessarily the best one, as it may need more features and resources you require.
Another important factor to consider is server security provided by hosting providers. Below are the key things to consider:
Malware scanner is an essential security feature for the web server. The purpose of the scanner is to detect and eliminate any unwanted software that is a threat to server security. Also consider provider’s backup and recovery plan in case of a sudden malware attack.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is the most common and serious security that can affect a website’s uptime availability and performance. It would be best to consider a web hosting service that can withstand DDoS attacks and monitors 24/7 for security vulnerabilities.
To protect customers' privacy, SSL certificates are essential. SSL certificates are responsible for secured data transfer between the user and the website. It would be best if you consider the level of security needed for your website and pick the right SSL certificate
Consider a hosting provider that is flexible enough to increase or decrease the resources of the server when required. It would be best to ensure that the hosting provider can meet the scalability requirements as your website grows.
Managed service is an excellent option for you if you prefer convenience and want to avoid server management tasks. Few essential things you’ll need to consider in case of using managed service, such as price, 24/7 support, etc. Ensure that your provider has a dedicated team that can manage your server anytime.
On the other hand, if you are a newcomer to web hosting and don’t want to use the managed service, seek service with a user-friendly control panel like cPanel and simple tools.
Keeping a website’s data safe, and secure and recovering them in case of data loss or corruption are key concerns for any website owner. Consider the following before choosing the hosting provider.
To make the user experience smooth and user-friendly, it is essential to ensure faster server response time. It is the key metric to assess the server's speed and performance. A few things are key factors in terms of keeping the server optimal and ensuring faster response times.
For a business website owner, email service is important. A professional business email assists you in maintaining secure, reliable communication between your customers. It would be best if you consider the following things while choosing a hosting service.
Data security rights and policy are crucial matters, and one should take this thing lightly. On top of that, data security is essential to keep and protect sensitive data and information. Ensure your chosen hosting provider has a data security policy in place that is industry standards General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) such as to comply with government regulations.
A refund policy is an important factor when selecting a hosting company since it can offer you with a safety net if you are dissatisfied with the service or encounter any problems. Consider the following elements when considering a hosting provider's return policy:
The process of moving a website or application from one server to another is known as server migration. It is an important factor to consider when selecting a hosting company because you may need to move your website or application if you outgrow your current hosting plan or switch providers. Consider the following aspects while considering a hosting provider's server migration options:
The process of switching your domain name from one registrar to another is known as a domain transfer. It is an important factor to consider when selecting a hosting service because you may wish to move your domain to your new host or consolidate all of your domains with a single provider. When assessing a hosting provider's domain transfer options, consider the following:
When selecting a hosting company, the location of the data center is an important issue to consider because it might affect the performance and accessibility of your website or application. Consider the following variables when considering a hosting provider's data center location:
Aside from the previously mentioned necessary characteristics and considerations, there are some other tools and features that can make your hosting experience easier and more efficient. Here are some resources to consider when choosing a hosting provider:
A site builder is a tool that allows you to create and design a website without requiring coding knowledge or experience. Look for a provider that offers a user-friendly site builder with a variety of customizable templates and features.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems used for building websites. Look for a provider that offers a one-click WordPress installation tool to make it easy to set up your WordPress website.
An uptime monitor is a tool that tracks the availability and uptime of your website. Look for a provider that offers an uptime monitor tool to ensure that your website is always accessible to your audience.