Choosing the right web hosting for your website

When it comes to choosing a web hosting provider (or web host), there are certain important considerations that cannot be ignored. Choosing a wrong web host can result in under performing website or non-functional website. Why? Remember web hosting is a means for your business to rent some hardware and software resources (collectively known as web server) from a web host. It is true you can have your own web server but the expense and the extra complications may prevent you from doing so. When you are choosing a web host, you not only want the right and reliable web host but also the right web server. Here we present our advice on helping you choose a suitable web hosting provider for your business website or blog.

If you have done any searching on web hosting, you probably have discovered there are so many choices. But this does not mean you choose a plan at random. While we don't recommend a specific web hosting provider, we explore certain evaluation techniques that you can use to find a suitable web hosting provider and plan for your website.

Know what and how you want to serve

When choosing a web host, what and how you want your website to show or do probably is not running in your mind. But this is important. Before you buy a computer, you should have some idea of how you will be using it. If you are using it primarily for word processing your computer requirements are a lot different from someone who will be using a computer to play games or develop programs.

Web servers (a computer running [serving] a website) now days do much more than serve textual content. They serve images, videos, audio, Flash, PDFs, and other files. For the average business owner, any web server would be sufficient to handle the general tasks of the web. However, if you want to serve video content only, your hosting requirements would require a special web hosting plan not only in terms of stream video content but also storing it.

If you are looking for web hosting for a website that does not yet exist, you are not constrained to any one particular web server or hosting plan. If this is the case, your website could be developed specifically to run on a Windows server or on a UNIX server. Your web agency can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of these and other systems available in the market. Whatever you choose, make it the primary platform to run your website. Remember chances are your website is likely to remain on the same platform for many years to come unless there is an upgrade. In other words, if your website is to running on a Windows server, overtime your website may run on different versions of Windows but the underlying operating system will remain the same: Windows.

If your website is already developed and you are considering changing your web host, your website should help you decide the type of web hosting plan you need. If it is not clear, you may consult with your web development agency.

Free web hosting

You are likely to come across free web hosting plans in your pursuit for a web host. In our opinion, they are not intended for business use but rather more for personal use. That said you may try using a free web hosting account for evaluation purposes for your personal use. If you like the service, you may think about using that service for your business. Otherwise, you may need to search other hosting plans. Remember free web hosting accounts come with restrictions and conditions that are more favorable to the web host than your business. So read and understand the disclosures carefully before using any free web hosting.

Choosing a paid hosting plan

When it comes to choosing a paid hosting plan, you have three basic choices:

  1. Shared hosting
  2. Virtual private hosting
  3. Dedicated hosting

Each of these plans may have further hosting options. The trick is to understand the each option to decide the right plan. If a plan comes with money back guarantee, make sure you decide it is the right plan for you before the time is up, for you to take advantage of the introductory hosting offers.

Shared hosting

Shared hosting is typically the cheapest web hosting plan when compared with other two hosting options: virtual and dedicated. Basically, with a shared hosting, your website shared the web server resources with other web sites. In other words, the web host rents the web server to not only you but to other web hosting customers as well. So on a shared hosting, the web server runs multiple websites.

Advantages of shared hosting:

  • perfect for start-ups
  • low web hosting costs
  • minimum or no technical skills needed because the website can be configured and managed using control panel

Disadvantages of shared hosting:

  • limited and shared resources. Server resources are shared among all the websites running on the server.
  • Cannot install specific software
  • not intended for those seeking improving website performance

Virtual private hosting

Virtual private hosting is a mixture of shared and dedicated hosting. With a virtual private hosting plan, you get what appears like a "private” web server. You can configure this server virtually as you wish. You can also run any software you want. Obviously, it costs more than the costs of shared hosting.

Advantages of virtual private hosting:

  • more performance and disk space than shared hosting
  • more flexibility in installing custom software

Disadvantages of virtual private hosting:

  • requires technical expertise to configure and troubleshoot
  • Allocated resources limit site performance

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting is intended for those business owners who want a web server that fully devoted to them, not to others. With dedicated hosting, you get a web server that is just dedicated to your website. Businesses that want better performance and have high-traffic to their websites, they may choose a dedicated server because all of the server resources are dedicated to just one company or business.

Advantages of dedicated hosting:

  • Flexibility to run websites as the business needs dictate
  • High performance; no shared resources

Disadvantages of dedicated hosting:

  • Intended for experienced technical professionals only
  • Costs are high

Choosing the right web host

As we pointed out earlier, there are many web hosting providers. But it may take some searching to find the best one. In addition to your specific evaluating criteria, you may find this information helpful in choosing a web hosting provider:

  • Experience – know for how long the web hosting company has been in business. You obviously want to avoid a hosting company that is new or has poor reviews.
  • Location – pay attention to where the hosting company is located. You may find this information usually at the bottom of the page or in the contact page. Try doing your hosting business locally and with companies that speak your language. Avoid using business overseas, where not only there is time difference but also the customer service may not meet your expectations.
  • Customer service – get a taste of the customer service before you decide on a particular hosting company. Call the web hosting support team to ask questions, not the sales team. Also notice the customer service hours.
  • Security – choose a web hosting company that is known to have secure hardware, software, and the hosting facility.

We can help you with your web hosting needs

Not only we design and develop websites for our business clients, we offer web hosting services to suit their exact requirements. If you don't know your hosting requirements, don't worry, we can figure that out. Get in touch with today what we can do for you web hosting and other web needs. Remember only we understand and offer top web solutions.

Posted on 6/19/2011 3:10:31 PM