Web hosting is the concept where a web server is used to save your website on the internet. It’s kind of like saving your files on an external hard drive or USB stick, but you are using a web host instead. Here is a useful guide on knowing which web host to choose and why.
1. Understanding your website’s needs
A web host is a server that’s connected to the internet. Your website information and files are saved on a hard drive in there, which is used by your site when a user types in www.website.com/your-domain-name into their web browser or see it from other sites that hyperlink to yours. It’s kind of like renting an apartment from another person, but you’re using their house instead, except instead of living in it, you put your files on it.
There are web hosts whose goal is to make web hosting exciting for all of their clients, whether you’re a student looking to get your first portfolio website setup, or an established business looking for solid web hosting you can rely on. One of them is jolt.co.uk for example. They say that whether that platform is a regular shared hosting account or a multiserver dedicated cluster, their team is here to help and support you every step of the way. Professional services definitely make things easier when it comes to website needs.
2. Planning your needs for space and bandwidth
It’s good to learn how much of each you need so you can plan ahead. There are two kinds of web hosting: shared hosting and virtual private server (VPS) hosting, which uses multiple partitions inside one physical machine — it’s like having multiple rooms with walls separating them inside a house. You may rent either depending on what kind of website you have now and what kind of plans it requires in the future. Here are the two types.
Shared Hosting — if your website is new, meaning it doesn’t get many visitors per month, and they don’t download much per visit (meaning less than 1 GB per month), you can go for shared hosting which is the cheapest option.
If your website is older, has a lot of visitors who download a ton (more than 10 GB per month), or serve media files like videos, you should get VPS hosting for better performance and security.
3. Types of web hosting based on plans and location
There are three types of web hosting plans you can choose from based on your needs, which have different prices depending on the features they offer — these are usually called “packages” or “plans”. These are some popular options out there. Try to find one that fits what you need the most:
- Reseller Hosting — if your website makes money by providing hosting services to other people’s websites, self-hosted blogs that use WordPress, or totally free but customized sites like Wikis and forums, this is a good option for you. Usually costs more though because profit margins are involved.
- Managed Hosting — if you’re not technically savvy about servers and stuff, it’s better to go for this plan. You’ll have a website host to take care of all the technical stuff and an assigned client manager who will be in charge if anything goes wrong. The downside is you’ll pay more than shared hosting plans, but much less than VPS or dedicated servers.
- Dedicated Server — this package is what’s called the “holy grail” because it usually comes with top-of-the-line hardware and software, great security measures such as firewalls, automated updates and backups every hour, unlimited disk space, and bandwidth…
4. How to choose from all the types of hosting services
Choosing from all these can be difficult, so here are some guidelines:
If your website needs a lot of storage space and bandwidth but doesn’t generate much revenue by itself — meaning it’s not a popular article directory or retail store — you should go with shared hosting plans because they have enough server space and bandwidth to handle thousands of sites. This is why some companies offer them since their clients are mainly small business owners who don’t know where to start when looking for the web. However, if your website gets more visitors every day, it might not be enough.
Managed or reseller hosting may be your best bet because you’ll have a team of experts to take care of the technical part while you manage everything in terms of content and marketing. Your client manager will also be there for you in case anything goes wrong, but it’s good to know that managing these takes time, so expect to pay more than shared hosting plans.
While there are many webs hosting solutions out there, it’s best to choose one based on your needs and the amount of traffic you usually get. There are some who will provide discounts for first-time buyers, so take advantage of these. Never sign up for a hosting service plan without reading their Terms and Service thoroughly first, and as always, be safe on the internet.