It is impossible to stress just how important getting the right web hosting is. It can be a fairly intimidating experience for people starting out so I will try to keep it as simple as possible.
A web host is basically a server on which your new website will be stored. Think of a server as a computer somewhere that has your database and all your website files stored on it. There are hundreds of web hosting companies which I’m sure you have seen advertised on TV, social media, YouTube adverts etc.
There are many different types of hosting available.
Shared Hosting – Shared hosting is by far the most popular choice for people starting out. This is because it is the cheapest option available. In a shared hosting environment, you and other website owners share the one server. This is the reason that shared hosting is more affordable as you and other website owners are basically sharing the cost of running the server. Despite its popularity, there are downsides to shared hosting, slower site loading times can be an issue, also if the website of another owner sharing the server gets hacked, and this can present problems for the whole server.
Shared hosting is, however, the best choice for small business and bloggers starting out.
VPS Hosting - VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and this refers to a virtual machine that allows you to run several different operating systems on one machine, a VPS gives you almost as much control as a dedicated server. Please remember if you do not have any technical knowledge then you must purchase a managed VPS, this way the hosting provider can help you by managing system upgrades and other settings.
VPS hosting is best for medium sized businesses or sites that get high traffic.
Dedicated Server Hosting
The clue is in the title, with a dedicated server hosting package you are getting the server all to yourself. This allows for a much faster performance as you have the entire resources of the server available to you. This is a great choice for big websites that generate a lot of traffic but also need a higher level of security. Obviously, this is a much more expensive option to take but it’s the only realistic choice for large companies
Managed WordPress Hosting
With the surge in popularity of WordPress, many hosting companies now offer specific packages targeting WordPress users. An account with one of these lets you have a WordPress based site and nothing else. They can optimize your site for performance, perform regular backups and make sure your site is secure. As well as that they can tell you if a certain plugin isn’t suitable or is slowing your site down.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a web hosting package, for example, there are usually at least 3 different levels of the different types hosting each with different features.
Different companies offer added features and it can all get a bit confusing. If you are starting out then its best to go with a shared hosting account. If your website garners a lot of attention and starts generating a lot of traffic then it's easy to upgrade a plan or even switch to a dedicated hosting package if needs be.
Remember you can always switch host if you choose although this can be a complicated process, many hosting companies now offer free site migration which means they will take care of transferring your full website over as soon as you purchase a plan with them.
Factors you should consider before choosing a host.
If something is too good to be true then it probably is! If a hosting company offers you web hosting for free or for very little then there is always a catch. You may have to advertise for them on your site or fulfil some other obligation. Either way, you will soon outgrow these restrictions and realise that you should probably have just paid the extra few dollars at the beginning.
Customer support is a crucial feature especially if you are not of a technical background. On more than one occasion we have been helped out of tricky situations by customer support and it’s the kind of feature that you will definitely need.
So Which Hosting company is the best?
Here is the million dollar question. Regardless of where you look or who you talk to, everyone differs in opinion. We have used many hosting companies and want to be as transparent as possible in any reviews or recommendations.
Click the links below to read more about some hosting companies