Choosing a reliable and robust web hosting service is essential when building up an online brand for your business and website.
This article will go over several factors you should consider when choosing a web hosting company or platform for your business.
So, without further ado let’s go ahead and explore what to consider and watch out for.
1) Datacentre locations
The first thing you will want to do is pick a hosting company that has servers in your country or closest to where the majority of your visitors are coming from.
For example, if your business is based in Germany you will want a datacentre in Germany or a neighboring country in the European Union like Austria or France.
Choosing an appropriate datacentre location will ensure your visitors get the best loading time and experience minimal delays when accessing your website.
If you operate in multiple countries then implementing a CDN may also be a wise choice to provide a consistently fast experience for all of your visitors.
There are numerous CDN providers that can integrate with hosting providers such as CloudFlare, StackPath, and more.
2) Storage space and bandwidth
Next up is storage and bandwidth which is very important as poor planning can result in unnecessary expenses and downtime.
You will want to check how much storage space the server provides and whether they provide limits on things like databases, subdomains, and email accounts.
Bandwidth is also critical, specifically, you will want to see if the hosting provider has extra charges if you receive a spike in traffic.
Choosing a server that has plenty of storage for your website and future changes will ensure you have plenty of resources if you choose to expand later on.
3) Support for popular applications like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others
This is something that virtually all hosting providers have but important if your planning to use software like WordPress to build your website or other specific CMS’s like Prestashop.
Having a hosting company optimized for your software will help you a lot and make it much easier to install, update, and get support for your website or store.
You may also want to consider other applications you may like to use down the track and check with your provider to make sure they can be installed.
4) Security features
Security is a paramount component of any web hosting solution and something that all good servers are equipped with.
Some providers will take backups for you as part of the service or offer options to automatically install security updates.
Other providers may even offer managed services and look after the server for you for an additional fee or as part of your subscription.
5) Technical support
Having good technical support that you can fall back to is very important for business owners as at some point you are likely to experience issues and need to recover
You should look to see if the hosting company has a call enter your country or offers email support to ensure you can get in touch if something breaks.
Depending on your software configuration however, support may not be guaranteed for example if you are using your own custom software on the server or a CMS that is not supported by the host.
In addition, if you using a VPS (Virtual Private Server) then you likely will have limited or no support as you will be responsible for managing the server yourself.
6) Server stack and technical specifications
This next point ties in with performance and security and will aid you in choosing systems that are scalable and will be suitable for your needs.
Some of these factors which will help performance and security include the following:
- SSL Certificates (check with your provider as some offer these for free)
- SSD drives instead of standard hard drives (available with most providers and significantly faster)
- Security headers to prevent cross-site scripting attacks (XSS)
- 2-factor authentication for your login
- Built-in cache system or CDN
7) Shared, VPS or Dedicated server
Most providers will split up their offerings into 3 types of hosting packages such as Shared, VPS, or Dedicated.
This section will explain each one along with its advantages and shortcomings.
8) Shared hosting
Most providers will start out with shared hosting which is essentially a large server hosting your website as well as other clients of the company.
Shared hosting tends to have limitations on storage and bandwidth and can slow down if your website or another website uses more resources or experiences spikes in traffic.
Websites tend to be very simple to install and maintain as the server is taken care of all you need to maintain is your website itself which makes them ideal for small sites starting out.
A VPS is a virtual machine running on a server that you have full control over, unlike the previous option you are not sharing with any other sites which give you free rein to install whatever you want and modify the server configuration. With all this power however comes great responsibility as you will need to install server updates and administer everything else. The upside however is that your website will be faster and can handle more traffic if required.
A dedicated option is like a VPS however generally involves a physical server (bare metal) that you have full access to and can configure to your liking.
It has the same benefits as a VPS but can handle more traffic, more storage, and is ideal if your scaling to handle hundreds of thousands of visitors all the time.
We hope this article provided an insight into web hosting and what the right option for you may be whether you starting out or looking to expand. So to choose simple web hosting or business hosting you may consider our recommendation and personal experience.