You’ve decided to start shopping around for the best web hosting service for you and your company. But how do you wade through all the information out there? Use our handy guide to figure out the best way to get your website onto the devices of your audience.
Types Of Web Hosting
Does what it says on the tin. You do get free hosting, but remember that you get what you pay for. Free hosting is great for blogs, or very simple websites when you’re just finding your feet. Big names include WordPress and Blogger. Because you aren’t paying for a domain name, you’ll have to have .wordpress or .blogger as part of your website name. This may not matter, or it may signal to your audience that you aren’t serious. It all depends on your reasons for choosing free hosting.
This can be an attractive option when you’re starting out, thanks to its low price point. Shared Hosting means that the service provider lets a number of different websites use the same server. Limits on the use of the server are put in place for each customer, but pages might not load as quickly as websites with dedicated hosting (more on that later).
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, or in other words, a virtualized server. It’s one of the newer options out there. It’s still on a physical server, but each website gets to have its own allocated server resources and operating system.
Again, some of these terms almost explain themselves! When you choose this type of hosting, a server is dedicated to your website. No need to share your server with anyone else, and nobody else will cause any slowdowns – especially important if your website gets lots of traffic.
It’s probably best to check with the hosting providers you are researching, as this term can sometimes be a little vague. You’ll want to find out exactly what they manage – usually they will manage and maintain the servers, along with taking care of security, monitoring and data storage and backup.
If you are a big enough organisation to have your own servers, you can pay to have your hardware installed at a colocation provider. Basically, you place your physical machines on their racks, and share their bandwidth.
This is also known as third-party hosting. Someone can buy a large amount of hosting space and then turn around and sell it to their customers, piece by piece.
Web Hosting Capacities
Also known as disk capacity, it’s simply the number of bytes, from kilobytes to terabytes, that can be stored. In order to determine the amount of disk space you’ll need for hosting, you’ll need to have an accurate idea of how many bytes each webpage contains.
Bandwidth is all about the speed at which data can travel. Think about how many images, videos and music files are on your site. The more complex your site, the more bandwidth you’ll need.
Important Factors To Consider
This is where things can get a bit sentimental. Do you need 24/7 support? Would you like to talk to someone over the phone, or are you more of a live chat person? Does the web hosting company offer online resources, or have comprehensive FAQs?
Time to look under the hood. You’ll want to find out everything you can about the control panel, and all the ways you’ll be able to manage your hosting services. The best ones have easy to use interfaces along with resources and forums, just in case you or your systems administrator get stuck.
Continuing with the car metaphor, the configuration of the server refers to how all the parts are put together – the details of the hardware and software, the arrangement of the network, and also the hosting company should describe the options available for configuration.
The database is the part of your website hosting that remembers everything, especially if your website uses a content management system and has a great deal of information to keep track of.
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