There are hundreds of thousands of web hosting companies out there, and just as many entrepreneurs who don’t fully understand what their services are all about. If you are launching your business in the online environment, this kind of knowledge is just as crucial as it is difficult to obtain. The problem? Marketing gimmicks and technical jargon, mostly. Try as you might, you’ll still fail to wrap your hand around every single detail.
Unfortunately, that’s where the devil lays. Reliable web hosting is paramount for growing businesses, but how can you know whether you’re making the right choice or not? You can’t, at least not without some essential pre-knowledge. And, that’s what we’re here to provide.
Choosing the Appropriate Web Hosting Option
The best web hosting is the one that’s best suited to your company’s specific needs. Anyone can tell you that, but what does it really mean? If startled by your choices, you need to answer this question before you make a decision.
What kind of a website do you need?
Will you be running a blog, an ecommerce site or something else? Bloggers thrive on shared hosting while growing businesses need a VPS (we’ll explain it all, just keep reading). Most small to large companies use cloud hosting, but those with multiple sites require a dedicated hosting solution.
Web Hosting Types Explained
There are four main types of web hosting, though auxiliary solutions are just as popular. However basic, shared hosting isn’t only used by ambitious bloggers, just as well as a VPS sometimes serves as a great hosting plan for large companies. As promised, we’ll take a quick look at each of them individually.
- Shared Web Hosting
If you’re totally new to the whole web hosting adventure, shared web hosting might be your best choice. This way, you’ll share a server with other websites and pay only a part of the full price. The shared cost is the biggest advantage of this hosting plan, while disadvantages might not be in your beginner’s favour. When you’re sharing a server with a really popular website, you can’t hope for super speedy performance.
- VPS (Virtual Private Servers)
Virtual Private Servers are big old cheaters, and here’s why. Just like shared web hosting, they use a singular server, but unlike the first solution, a VPS server is divided into separate servers that function similarly to dedicated hosting. Basically, this means that your website enjoys almost every perk of being privately hosted, but the whole package costs less.
- Cloud Hosting
Instead of using a single server, cloud hosting is created with joint forces of multiple ones. Its scalability is it greatest strength – while any sudden surge of traffic will crash your shared or VPS website, cloud-based hosting will seamlessly grow with it.
- Dedicated Hosting
Exclusive websites require an exclusive server space, which can be acquired only with dedicated hosting. If this is your pick, you’ll have to pay for both the physical server and a system administrator to help you maintain it. Since dedicated hosting is so pricey, better start small and make a switch once your traffic starts to grow.
- Reseller Web Hosting
In the off chance that you want to become a small web host provider yourself, reseller web hosting is your solution. You’ll be buying resources from a bigger company and resell it to your own clients as an additional service. These packages come with an extra set of tools, thus enabling you greater technical control.
- Managed WordPress Hosting
As WordPress continues its dominance as a web building platform, more and more web hosting companies are offering a special set of additional services that keep your WP website up and running. It’s a nice option for those who use this popular platform, but want extra security measures.
Questions to Ask Your Web Host
Once you decide which web hosting type is most convenient for your needs, you have to check a couple of additional features to make sure that they are compatible with your business goals. Here’s a shortlist to help you out.
- What Uptime Score Do They Offer?
Uptime score refers to the amount of time that your website is available to visitors. Regardless of your niche and business, it’s the single most important thing about web hosting, so make sure that the uptime score offered to you isn’t below 99%. If sceptical about what kind of service reliability you’ll receive, use a server monitor tool to track it down.
- How Much Traffic Can It Sustain?
Shared hosting is considered a basic solution because it can’t support more than 40,000 unique visits per month. For beginners, that’s just enough. But, small business can succeed only when they strive toward more. You’ll need sturdier support as your audience grows, which is why server scalability is of the utmost importance.
- How Many Domains Are Included in the Package?
Though you might not need more than one at the moment, consider buying a couple of domain names just in case. They are surprisingly cheap and can unlock new possibilities down the line, so make sure that your web hosting plan offers at least 25 of them.
- What Is the Renewal Price?
The low costs of web hosting packages might come as a surprise, but renewal costs are even more so. Charging as much as $10 per month for the subscription period, but making up for all that money with a renewal price later on is a common protocol among web hosts. To avoid this kind of financial shock, make sure to check the company’s Terms of Service beforehand.
- Is It Suitable for an Ecommerce Site?
If your website will be an ecommerce store, you’ll need some additional tools and features to be included to your web hosting plan. Here’s what to ask for:
- One-click cart software
- Dedicated IP
- SSL certification
How Easy Can You Control It?
Check the reviews for a hosting control panel as well. In case it’s not particularly user-friendly, stay away from the package. Even if you pay it a little less, you’ll still have to set some money aside for hiring technical support. Moreover, it will slow you down and cause unwanted delays.
How Often Is It Backed Up?
A granny-proof hosting control panel is particularly important when it comes to unpredicted website crashes. If equipped with one, you’ll be able to solve the problem quite quickly. However, the online space is a playground for determined cybercriminals, which is why your web hosting package has to come with regular backups and efficient customer support.
Hopefully, some of your doubts have been sorted out. Web hosting is a big decision for those without any experience, so don’t rush into it. Read your Terms of Service carefully, check out reviews and compare different models – the perfect solution is out there, so be patient and always learn more.
About the Author
First Site Guide is a website offering advice and guidance to those starting their first ever website. Ines Pljakic is an Inbound Marketing Specialist who works at First Site Guide. She specialises in the process of coming up with creative ideas for inbound strategies, as well as distributing it to targeted audiences.