So, you’re ready to set up a new website, how exciting, but now you’re faced with the dilemma; “which web hosting package is best for me?”. We don’t mean to scare you, but this decision is kind of a big one. It determines everything from speed, security, uptime, and stability of your website.
In this, we hope to share some important facts that we’ve discovered about hosting over the years, helping you to understand the crucial parts of hosting so that you can make the best decision and choose the right web host for you. Let’s get started.
What is hosting?
Let’s start right at the beginning, what exactly is hosting? Basically, a web host supports a bunch of servers. Servers are designed to let all those who are browsing the web to access their content. This means every time that you click on a website, what you’re actually doing is connecting to a server located somewhere, downloading the site’s files and viewing them.
When you rent a space on a company’s server, you’re paying for them to “host” your site. So, you put all your files onto that server which then allows people browsing the web to view your site. Impressive, right?
What is the difference between hosting and domains?
Many people get domains and hosting confused, and we don’t blame them. It is important to understand the differences between hosting and domain names, so let’s dig in. Understand these differences will give you a little more clarity on the whole thing.
When you’re giving space on a server, you’re also assigned an IP address. However, IP addresses are far too hard to remember, which is where a domain name comes in; it’s easier to remember.
This also benefits you if you ever change your hosting package. Your IP address will change but your domain can remain the same. You won’t lose visitors but you still have the freedom to change your host.
Things you need to consider
Now that we have the nitty-gritty details out of the way, let’s get started on which hosting might be for you. It’s important to list all the requirements that your website might have. These are:
Security requirements? Obviously, all sites need to be secure, but some require a little more security than others. For example, e-commerce sites that will have card details and addresses processed through their website will need to give more attention to security than those who are simply just running a blog, for example.
Email hosting? Do you need email addresses that are linked to the domain of your new site? If you do need this (or simply want this), does your host provide this?
How large is your data? What is your actual file size? Because the more data you have, the more storage and bandwidth your host will need. If you’re not entirely sure how much data you have, think about what your site actually includes. Is it mostly text? Well, you won’t need as much storage or bandwidth. Alternatively, if your site is full of images and videos you will need more storage and bandwidth.
Volume of traffic. How much traffic do you expect on your site? You need to make sure that your host provider will be able to handle your initial traffic and your future traffic. If your business depends heavily on the traffic to your site, you need to pick a hosting package that will ensure uptime.
Different types of hosting packages
There are different types of web hosting services, and it can all be a little confusing. Below we have listed the most popular types, and what the advantages and disadvantages of using them will be.
Shared web hosting. As the name suggests, shared hosting literally means you’re sharing a server with other websites. The low cost of shared hosting makes it a great option for start-ups or blogs. The disadvantage is that the other websites you share the server with may affect your performance. We recommend this server to those with a low budget or start-ups that aren’t initially getting a lot of traffic.
Cloud based hosting. It’s the most modern of technologies that have many benefits attached to it. For example, if your site gets an unusually large amount of traffic all of a sudden, it won’t just shut down. Your hosting company will just accommodate for this surge. We recommend cloud servers to just about anybody, but please be mindful that they cost more.
Dedicated server. A dedicated server is a physical server that usually sits in your company. Yes, you won’t have to worry about other websites slowing down yours, and your data and information are super secure with this type of hosting. However, upgrading, repairing and maintaining a dedicated server does create some issues. We recommend a dedicated server to businesses that have strictly confidential data.
WordPress hosting. WordPress has become so popular that it deserves its very own point. WordPress hosting is perfect for sites that use the platform, it comes with installation updates, plugins and a good level of security. We recommend this to businesses that already use the WordPress platform.
Which one is the best for me?
We highly recommend that you list all the technical requirements that your site has. Make sure the host you’re leaning towards choosing supports them all.
Make sure that the hosting package you’re considering choosing meets all your general initial needs, things like backups, security, domains, bandwidth, storage, and databases are the first factors you need to check off your list.
Shared hosting is good for start-ups as it is cost effective. Dedicated hosting is good for businesses that have a large number of visitors, wants full control and tight security due to highly confidential and sensitive data. Cloud hosting is great for all types of businesses and requirements, it just costs a little more. WordPress hosting is highly optimised for WordPress websites and is perfect for sites that already use the platform.
Lastly, always look for a hosting provider that has experience, will offer you customer support and understands the complexities of your business.
We hope you find this information helpful and it guides you in your decision making process, but if you are still not sure then contact our support and our team would love to help you select the best solution for you.