When it comes to running a well-performing, successful website, hosting is one of the most important things to consider. However, nowadays one can easily get confused as to what hosting solution to choose.
After all, there are so many possible providers, each of them offering a myriad of options, plans, and pricing.
If you have or plan to create a website, you need to seriously think about hosting. This can make or break your website and consequently, your business.
In order to determine the right web hosting solution for your business, you need to take some time and think things through. What’s the best hosting for WordPress? What about an eCommerce website? What if you are building out a content heavy site?
You can make the correct decision only if you know precisely what your business needs and what requirements your website should fulfill.
In this text, we will take an in-depth look at the different types of hosting solutions and what you actually get when you sign up for a hosting plan.
Also, we will list out the things you need to consider when looking for a hosting solution for your business website.
The Different Types of Web Hosting
When looking for a hosting solution, the first thing you will run into is the various types of hosting services offered by providers.
There are three main types of hosting, each of them suitable for a particular purpose. Let’s take a look at each of the basic types and what the terms actually mean.
Shared hosting solutions are created by separating a server into hundreds of smaller individual pieces, each of them using the server’s resources, bandwidth, and storage at the same time.
With shared hosting, you get only a piece of the server and share its resources with hundreds of other accounts. This type of hosting is very affordable but only suitable for smaller, static websites and personal blogs.
Hosting a website on a VPS (Virtual Private Server) is best suited for bigger and more complex websites. The concept involves a physical server that runs several VPS instances, each of them allotted a specific portion of the parent server’s hardware resources.
VPS hosting is faster and more stable than shared hosting and is recommended for dynamic websites with lots of traffic.
The best hosting solution you can get is a dedicated server — you get an entire physical server to yourself, along with all its bandwidth, storage, and resources.
Dedicated servers guarantee exceptional performance and stability, making them ideal for big corporate websites, streaming services, video portals, etc. Naturally, this is the priciest type of right web hosting offered on the market.
What Exactly Are You Getting When You Purchase a Hosting Plan?
The term hosting might be a bit mystical for you, especially if you are not a tech-savvy person. In order for you to get a better understanding of what you are actually buying, we have prepared a breakdown of the different components of a web hosting plan.
Each hosting plan guarantees you at least a part of a physical server where you can store your information and content.
Servers are basically high-end computers that are specifically designed and optimized for storing websites, apps, and other types of data.
Servers are stored in a building that is referred to as a data center. Modern data centers have enhanced security against break-ins, fire, and other hazards that might end up damaging the servers.
On top of that, data centers are equipped with backup power generators that keep the servers online in case there’s a power outage in the building.
Your plan also includes the software that is required for you to run and manage your hosting solution. Also known as control panels, those powerful programs are not free and require a license in order to be used.
Perhaps the most popular control panel out there is called cPanel, which is a part of most hosting solutions on the market.
Dealing with hosting solutions is not easy, especially if you are not well-versed on the topic or this is your first time using such a service. Fortunately, hosting companies provide you with support in multiple ways.
Those can include live support from agents by phone, email, or a ticket system, as well as FAQ sections, tutorials, knowledge bases, and more. Needless to say, good support is essential, no matter the type of hosting you are getting.
What to Consider When Choosing a Hosting Plan
As we already mentioned, choosing the right hosting solution for your business depends on a lot of factors.
In order to find the optimal provider for your needs, you need to think about what you plan to accomplish with your website and how exactly you will use it for your business purposes.
Let’s have a look at a few questions you should ask yourself when looking for and considering hosting plans for your business website.
1. How Much Traffic Are You Expecting?
One of the crucial characteristics of a hosting solution is its bandwidth — the amount of traffic that it can process at the same time.
The larger the traffic to your website, the more bandwidth you will require in order to keep it running smoothly. In order to determine the bandwidth you need, you have to project how many monthly visitors your website will get.
When considering the numbers, keep in mind that your operation is likely to grow, which might exponentially increase the traffic to your website.
Choose a hosting solution that is scalable, so it can continue supporting your website as your business develops. We recommend looking into unlimited bandwidth VPS plans if you expect high numbers of monthly visitors.
2. What Type of Content Do You Want to Host on Your Website?
Another key component of a hosting plan is the available storage space you have on the server. Depending on the content you will host on your website, your storage needs might be drastically different.
For example, if your website will feature videos and streaming, you will need as much space as you can get. On the other hand, simple and static business websites might not need a lot when it comes to available storage.
3. Where Should Your Hosting Servers Be Located?
The location where the physical server is located is of great importance in more than one way. The closer the server is to your website users, the faster their connection will be.
On top of that, the geolocation of your hosting server also directly affects the data privacy and content rules you need to abide by. For example, hosting adult content on your website is illegal in some countries.
When it comes to safe and secure hosting, we recommend going with an offshore hosting company.
Such companies have flexible content policies and offer the best in terms of data privacy, security, and anonymity. You can also benefit from high bandwidth, great server performance, and exceptional customer service.
4. Does the Provider Guarantee Good Uptime?
It’s needless to say that your business site should be up and running at all times. However, all hosting companies do regular maintenance on their server, which might result in some downtime for your site.
When evaluating right web hosting providers, make sure you check what uptime they guarantee and their policies on the subject. You need to find a hosting company that provides as close to 100% uptime as possible.
Of course, you should not take what you read on a company’s website at face value. Do some research on how the hosting company handles downtime by checking out review websites and online forums.
5. What Level of Customization Will You Need?
The last thing to consider when selecting a right web hosting service for your website is the customization options you will need for your solution.
Different hosting plans offer different levels of customization — dedicated servers, for example, give you the freedom to customize everything as you wish.
However, they require a certain degree of technical knowledge to be run. Shared hosting plans, however, do not, as you have no access to options that customize the server on which your website is hosted.
Once again, it all depends on the nature of your business and the specific requirements of your website.
If you need to install and run specialized software or custom applications, you cannot go with a standard shared hosting plan.
For advanced customization options, you should choose a VPS hosting plan, or even better — a dedicated server. The latter will grant you total control over all aspects of the hosting service.
Nowadays, a good online presence is a must for any business, no matter its size, scope, and industry. It all begins and ends with your business website — it is how your company presents itself to the world.
Needless to say, you need it to be fast, stable, and as professional as possible. In order to achieve that, you have to choose a right web hosting provider that is both dependable and fitting your specific business needs.
Poor hosting can negatively affect your business, while a stellar solution can help your company grow and succeed.
For those reasons, you should be extra careful when choosing a right web hosting provider and plan for your website. Before you commit, make sure you do a thorough research and answer the questions we have outlined in this article.
You can then be certain that you have chosen the optimal hosting solution for your business needs.