The Complete Web Hosting Guide For Business Owners
Nowadays, running your own website is a great way to make money. It is a profitable investment that is not as influenced by the ever-changing state of the economy as some others.
To be able to run a successful website, you need to hire a web hosting company. From physical storage for your files over protection from hackers to handling traffic increases — web hosts take care of everything for you.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about web hosting companies, what they can offer you, and how you can choose the best one.
What Exactly Are You Buying?
The first and most important question you must ask before paying for a web host is what exactly you will get for the money you give. In the sections that follow, we will break it down for you.
When paying for web hosting, you, first and foremost, pay for a server. A server is a computer or program that provides different services, resources, and data to other computers over a network. Basically, it is a virtual space that stores other websites or web apps.
The servers we mentioned above need to be stored somewhere. This space, called a datacenter, needs to be huge, and it needs to offer them protection against any threat. It guards the servers against fires or any other potential hazards, as well as from anyone trying to access them without authorization.
Paying for web hosting also entails paying for software that you need to run your server. The software is used to manage the hosting service, and you need a special license to own it. It is called a control panel, and the most commonly used model is cPanel.
Web hosting is not easy, especially if you are just starting out. That’s why all great web hosting companies provide you with a team of experts who can answer all your questions and solve any server problems.
You can call the support team, email them, or submit a ticket explaining the issue you are having. Alternatively, you can read guide articles on your host’s website and try to fix the problem yourself.
Types of Web Hosting Services
Apart from knowing what you pay for when hiring a web host, it is also important to differentiate between various web hosting types.
Which hosting type you should choose depends on two factors. Firstly, you need a host that will be able to handle your website’s traffic. Secondly, the host needs to have enough space to store your website and everything it needs to run smoothly.
Shared hosting is a service where you share a server’s space, bandwidth, and resources with multiple other accounts.
This type of hosting is perfect for new and small websites. However, it’s not enough for bigger websites that have a lot of visitors, as the resources are limited. Your visitors might not be able to access your website, because other concurrent visitors will be using up the available resources.
When your website exceeds a certain amount of traffic, switching from shared hosting to virtual private server hosting becomes necessary.
This type of hosting mimics a physical server in a virtual environment. Each user is given a portion of the host’s hardware resources — their own little private server.
This type of hosting offers you better performance, security, and reliability than shared hosting. However, it is not as good as dedicated hosting, as you don’t have full control over the server. You only control the server segment allocated to you by the hosting provider, but you still share the same hardware with others. So, if someone else uses a different section on the same server for illegal activities or they get infected with viruses, that can easily spread to you, even if you do nothing wrong.
Dedicated hosts allocate an entire physical server to you, which means you don’t share the hardware’s space and resources with others. You can host as many websites on it as you wish or need, depending on storage constraints. Dedicated hosts also give you more security.
This type is perfect for large companies and corporations that have a lot of website traffic and require great bandwidth and storage space. Choosing dedicated hosting will ensure no other websites take up the space you need and affect your site’s performance.
Cloud hosts use a network of servers to host any single website. That way, if one of the servers fails or gets compromised, others will take over, and your site will run without any issues.
Cloud servers are also much safer than the other three types of hosting. Namely, a physical server failing will not compromise your data, as it will remain safe on a different one. Additionally, cloud servers make allocating new resources to your site rather easy.
Features to Look for in Web Hosting
Now that you know the types of web hosting, it is time to discuss everything you need to look for when choosing a web host.
How you go about making the decision will largely depend on the kind of website you own. Different hosts allow for different types of content, which is something you need to pay attention to.
If you are, for example, running an adult website, you need to look for a host that allows such content. Many hosts will actually take down your website due to adult content. But certain hosts, such as Vicetemple, specialize in adult hosting, so your content will remain online without any issues.
Additionally, it is also important whether you choose offshore or onshore hosts. Opting for European hosting providers will ensure you get the best infrastructure and technology without having to pay crazy sums of money.
However, you might also want a host-based in a country with more favorable privacy laws. Hosts in these countries are often more lenient about the type of content they allow on their servers. In such cases, choosing one of the various offshore hosting companies could be a better idea.
Other important factors to consider when choosing a web host are speed, bandwidth, storage, scalability, quality support, and site backup.
How fast your website loads is one of the most important issues to consider. For example, Google now looks at this factor when determining your site's overall quality.
If you wish to gauge the speed and consistency a web host offers, reading customer reviews is a good idea. Additionally, you ought to pay close attention to the host’s location. The closer its data centers are to your website visitors, the greater the loading speed will be.
A lot of hosts advertise having unlimited bandwidth, domains, and disk space. However, this is a misleading marketing trick.
Hosts say they have unlimited resources because they know that the chances of a website using them all up are low. In reality, they always have limited resources.
Before you choose a host, always ask them about their CPU policies and what resources they have to handle any potential traffic increase.
Similarly, most hosts will say they provide unlimited storage. That is, once again, not true, as there are clear physical space restrictions.
However, most small business websites will not need more than around 1GB of storage. If that’s your case, then a small shared server will be more than enough for your needs.
If you expect your website to grow in the future, you need a host that can handle and match that growth. Upgrading from a shared server to a VPS will one day become necessary. When that day comes, make sure to look for a host that allows you to customize your own VPS. That will allow you to use all their resources optimally without overpaying for the service.
Server issues or technical difficulties are bound to happen. So, always choose a host that offers you 24/7 support. That way, you will be covered no matter when a problem might occur.
To determine whether a web hosting company has a good support team, you should read the reviews on the internet. These will also tell you which pricing plans the company offers when it comes to customer support.
Choosing a host that backs up all data regularly is a must. That way, you’ll be able to recover your data no matter how much damage is done to the servers. Also, ask the host whether you can perform manual backups by yourself.
Choosing a good web host is an important step for your site’s future. Thus, never hesitate to do your research, ask questions, and only choose hosts that meet all your requirements. Our list is a good place to start when evaluating your choices.