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.
So, we’re assuming, because you’ve ended up here, that you’ve entered the weird world of debate revolving around which one you should get: Cloud server hosting or dedicated server hosting. Now, it can all be a little confusing – we won’t even begin to mention that you can have a blend of the two. So, which one should you choose?The reality is, both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and ultimately, your decision will be entirely subjective to your business, your objectives and your needs. Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you to make the best decision. The following will lay out the advantages and disadvantages of having both a cloud server and a dedicated server. From this, you will (hopefully) not only understand the two a little bit better, but also be able to determine which one would be best for you and your needs.
Cloud ServersAs you probably guessed, a cloud server is a virtual server rather than a physical server. They are built and hosted virtually through the internet, and can be accessed anywhere. The whole purpose of a server, especially for businesses, is to store and share data and distribute files and folders across a network of computers. Hypothetically, a cloud server would allow remote workers to have access to the same files and data, through the cloud service provider.
Benefits of a cloud serverThe big benefit of a cloud server is that you can share hardware, files and data easily, wherever you are. This would be great for a business that possibly has a lot of remote workers. But that’s not the only reason to favour a cloud server. Cloud servers have the added benefit that you only pay for the exact about of server space that you used up. So, if demand is low, your cost will also be low. This brings us onto the next benefit; it doesn’t matter how much your demands or workload fluctuates, your server will just adapt to your business at that time. This allows you to easily to manage your server, without cost implications.
Dedicated serverOn the other hand, you have a dedicated server. These are physical servers, you or your business will purchase or rent one of these, purely for your own needs. Don’t worry, you can still upgrade your dedicated server, it just has to be carried out by an expert – something that most businesses have.Many big businesses and organisations opt to purchase a dedicated server, and those with steady but high demands, find that they work the best for them.
Benefits of a dedicated serverThe main benefits that come with a dedicated server revolve around the fact that it is your server. You have the full resources of a single server, with no worry about other websites, spammers or scripts slowing down your server. With it being just your server, you also have a better sense of security. You can be completely sure that you aren’t sharing a server with any malicious website. This is particularly important for large businesses with sensitive data. Something which is important for many is the IP address too. With a dedicated server you get your own unique IP address, instead of sharing one with other websites. In short, if you arr sharing a server with a spam website then your website might not rank high, just because of this factor.
Which one is best for me? Obviously, your decision will depend on many different things. Below we have listed some of the top factors people look into before choosing their server. By exploring these points, you will optimistically make a solid decision about your server. These factors are; cost, security and uptime.
CostCloud servers give you the option to pay hourly or monthly, depending on the resources you use. This means you will only pay for what you use; perfect for businesses that might not be able to estimate their capacity, for whatever reason. Dedicated servers require you to assume just how much capacity you’ll need, investing in a server that will meet these assumptions. That being said, providers could give you a much better deal on a long-term contract with a dedicated server.
SecurityWe’ve mentioned that a dedicated server is great for security – you don’t have to worry about sharing anything with anybody else. Basically, when you’re in a shared hosting, like with a cloud server, you are more vulnerable to hackers. Once a hacker has access to one of the websites on the shared hosting server, it has easier access to the others. If security is at the forefront of your business (maybe you have very sensitive data to protect), a dedicated server would probably be the best choice for you.
UptimeWith a dedicated server, your uptime is heavily dependent on one single server. This basically means that, in the event of failure, there’s not really a backup plan…unless you have a second server. On the flip side, with a cloud server, your uptime could possibly be affected when other sites, on the shared server, get a peak in traffic. That being said, for those who are quite dependent on uptime, a cloud server would probably be your safest choice.
Make the decision
We hope we have shed a little bit of light on the advantages and disadvantages of cloud and dedicated servers, so that you can make the best decision for yourself or your organisation. Both have amazing qualities, it’s just about picking the right one for you, still not sure which one is best for you? Contact us and we’re happy to help you find the perfect fit.