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So, what makes a hosting provider important? What makes it great among others? In reality, great hosting comes down to at least 3 S’s: security, speed, and support. It is imperative that you have the means to rapidly scale as your site, especially as your target audience grows. Otherwise, you will not have the resilience to handle a sudden burst in high traffic.
There are various ways to tell which one is the right hosting provider for you. Of course, like with any decision in life, the process will not be that easy. That is why you need to make some efforts and acquire concrete knowledge.
Here is a quick look at what most experts recommend when it comes to choosing a hosting provider. This should give you an idea of how you can determine which one suits your business needs and wants.
#1. Understand Just How Much Hand-Holding You Require
When talking about basic customer service, it is the type that offers you access to tickets, emails, and, more importantly, phone support. But when it comes to turnaround time requests, things will vary greatly. For instance, you might notice that some service providers are able to handle support within 24 hours while others may take more than a day. Let’s say you are interested in using GoDaddy as your hosting provider. If your read these GoDaddy reviews you can tell that the company is satisfactory in terms of support.
Keep in mind as well that there is a limiting factor when it comes to non-managed service. To put it simply, when a provider tends to answer most of your questions – let’s say about basic configuration – it will not necessarily be your systems manager.
If your goal is to delete the management of your entire website, then you may want to consider the decision to consider managed service. Providers of the latter are responsible for ensuring that your system is well-configured for your required load. They also keep an eye on different security issues, manage day-to-day backups, and even patch your software, among other tasks.
#2. Determine the Amount of Traffic You Expect
The first thing you need to do here is, to be honest with yourself. Do not just jump into a number expecting it to be the real amount of traffic. Instead, be honest and determine a realistic number. Basically, web hosting providers are all about charging services based on two factors: bandwidth usage and storage. The former refers to how many bytes are served to you over a certain period of time. If you think only a handful of visitors will chance upon your site, then the bandwidth should be low. But if you get the chance to rank high on search engines like Google – or your product and service goes viral – then you can expect the bandwidth requirements to ramp up.
As long as you are honest with this part, there is little to non-existing risk. Let’s say you are looking to serve some pages directly to a number of local customers. There is the possibility that you will not run foul in terms of limitations. But if you know that you are really into building a website that will stress shared servers with low-end, then it is best to move forward with either a dedicated or cloud-based server.
#3. Understanding Server Types
By now you already know that the cheapest hosting available on the market is none other than shared hosting or servers. It is where one box could run multiple websites at once. Sure, you might find this flexible, especially if you are on a tight budget. But you are risking the operation and reputation of your website. Keep in mind that shared hosting often suffers from server scramming and downtime. After all, you are sharing the load with hundreds of sites. Plus, shared hosting puts a limit on accessing every server capability, including uploading files (be it SFTP or FTP), restricting running programs, or preventing shell access, just to name a few. If you do not want any of these, then consider dedicated hosting.
Think of dedicated hosting as something that is a physical box – but it is only you who is renting and using it. You can liken it to a computer sitting on your desk. No one is using it except you; hence, all the files and content of that computer is yours for the taking. However, many do not realize that a dedicated hosting comes with different pros and cons as well. For instance, its popular disadvantage is that you will not be able to maximize its potential unless you have the system management skills or you have someone who can do it for you.
#4. Be Wary of Unlimited Offers
Just because web hosting provider is offering an enticing, unlimited offer, it does not mean it is the perfect plan to go. Let’s say it is asking you to pay three dollars a month. You might think it is cheap and satisfactory, but sooner or later, you might be forced to suffer from things you have no idea about. For example, your hosting provider might decide to throttle your site’s performance or even shut it down as soon as you reach a certain usage level.