The Ultimate Guide To Web Hosting
Imagine opening a clothing shop in your locality. Now you have hired staff, purchased all the products you will sell, designed your store layout, finalized branding, and bought your POS system. You still need to sign a lease for a storefront. You still need to get a physical storefront.
This is how it feels to have a website but not web hosting. Visitors will only find your website online if they know where to find it. Your domain and web page files are still there. If you don’t have physical space, customers of your retail store won’t be able to go there.
Let’s get this straightened out: This guide will help you find a web host that meets all your requirements and not only supports your website.
Types of web hosting
Shared Hosting Stores your website on the exact same server as other websites. It is the cheapest hosting option. While shared hosting can be cost-effective, it is not ideal for sites that receive low traffic. You share the server’s resources and bandwidth with hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses.
VPS hosting can be a little more expensive than shared hosting but is great if your site gets a lot of traffic. VPS hosting is a way to have a dedicated server for your website. However, it is technically still shared hosting. VPS hosting is a popular choice for small businesses as it offers greater customization and faster performance than shared hosting. It’s also more cost-effective.
Dedicated Server Hosting is an expensive option for websites that receive a lot of traffic over a long period. Your website will have its own server with dedicated hosting. Your business can have full control over the security and systems of your server. This option is not for everyone. You need staff who are able to manage your server properly.
Managed Hosting is where the web host takes care of your server, including security and maintenance. This option is great for small businesses that don’t want or need to hire someone who can understand the technical side of web servers. Managed WordPress Hosting is a popular option for small businesses. These servers are optimized to run WordPress websites.
Cloud hosting has recently emerged as a popular option for web hosting. Cloud hosting allows multiple servers to be used together and behave as one server. This type of web hosting is great for growing businesses. As websites get more traffic and increase in volume, the cloud space can expand. Cloud hosting is usually pay-per-use. You only pay for what you use at any given moment.
Decide which features you need in a web host service
Once you have identified your website type, you can determine the features that you require from your web host service.
If you own an online store, your host must support ecommerce. If you have a small to medium-sized business and are growing rapidly, it is important that your host service can scale with you. This will help you avoid having to switch providers later.
Consider the web hosting support that you require
Servers, like our personal computers, need to be updated and maintained to ensure that they perform optimally and keep their contents safe. Think about how much effort you are willing to put into this upkeep.
You’ve seen that different hosting services offer different levels of technical support, such as installation, security, and optimization. Make sure you determine if your company has a team member (or plans to hire one) who will manage your server in order to make the best hosting decision for your small business. Managed hosting is an option if you don’t have one.
Consider the size of your company and the expected traffic to your site. Next, ask yourself: “If our website was not up and running immediately, is it possible to lose customers or damage the trust that we have built with them?”
These are the key points that will guide you in deciding how much support you need from your service provider.
Consider the growth of your website
Are you planning to grow your business or will you keep it the same size? Are you expecting a dramatic change in website traffic as you scale? Or do you anticipate your following and number of visitors staying the same over time?
These questions, along with your industry and business type, will help you select the right hosting service to support your growth plans.
It might be worthwhile to invest in dedicated servers if you are certain you will see significant traffic to your site. Cloud-based hosting might be a good option if your traffic and growth expectations are uncertain but could change dramatically over time. A shared server is ideal for bloggers who want to share their travel stories with others.
For web hosting, set a budget
What is the cost of web hosting? It’s not an easy question to answer. It depends on which provider you choose, what type of hosting you require, and which plan you invest in. This is a crucial factor in your decision-making, especially if you are a small business.
We recommend that you thoroughly review the pricing information for each service, such as this Bluehost shared hosting pricing table:
There are many options for web hosting, including free ones (which we will discuss below), and those that can cost a few dollars to several hundred dollars each month. Dedicated hosting is typically the most expensive, while shared hosting is usually the cheapest.
The more you pay for hosting, the more bandwidth and security protections you will receive. Additionally, you have access to more perks and features (e.g. SEO tools, backups, and site builders). These features will be up-sold by many providers, so you should set a budget before you start your search.
Take into account whether you want paid or free web hosting
There are many free hosting options that will host your pages. In the next section, we’ll discuss some of these options. There are some drawbacks to free hosting.
First, free hosting providers have far more restrictions than paid ones: they limit your site’s pages, storage, bandwidth, and uptime. Your site’s growth will be limited by the number of pages and storage. A site with low bandwidth or non-functional web pages will have fewer visitors and a lower search engine performance.
Lastly, but perhaps most important, free hosting servers are less secure and lack proper security measures such as encryption, firewall, spam blocking, and a firewall. An attack on your server could have a far greater impact on your reputation than an inactive page or banner ad. It’s also not something you should take lightly.
We recommend hosting free for hobbyists only who do not plan to scale up their websites or store any personal information. If you are a blogger or a small business owner who wants to increase your online presence, you should consider a paid plan.