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What Are Website Hosting Services and Which Is Right for You?
Website hosting services are basically the plot of internet land that your website storefront sits on. If you have a website, it needs to be on the web, and these hosting services are the landlords that put up your site and keep it running so your customers can access and see it when they type in your URL.
There are different types of web hosting services that cater to the varying types of businesses. Some web hosting companies will build your entire website, while others will just give you the plot of land and the shovel and leave you to it. Depending on your business model and size, you’ll choose a hosting company based on the factors explained below.
How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Company?
Without the best web hosting, your ability to run a successful website is going to be seriously hindered. There is a dizzying array of web hosting providers, like Bluehost and Ionos, competing for your business. How can you pinpoint the best one? Start by keeping the following points in mind:
The first thing you need to do when shopping for a web hosting service is to evaluate your disk space and bandwidth needs. If your site features lots of graphics, dozens of pages, and large amounts of traffic, you’re going to need decent bandwidth and disk space. Unlimited plans are available, and they make life easier.
Keep compatibility in mind, too. In the excitement of looking for a website hosting provider, you might overlook one critical thing: the type of operating systems that are supported. You’re not going to want to switch operating systems, so double-check this point before settling for a provider.
Reliability and availability are critical characteristics to consider when shopping around for web hosting. The best web hosting companies offer availability rates of 98 and 99 percent, frequently referred to as “Uptime.”
Security is also an essential concern. Choosing a web hosting provider without learning about its available security features is a big mistake. Things like firewalls, daily backups, and user authentication should all be included.
Hosting Packages and What They Mean to You
The larger or more complex a website, the more comprehensive a configuration package it’s going to need. The main ones are broken down as follows:
Shared web hosting is the basic package that services, like Bluehost and Ionos offer. Your website sits on the same server along with many other websites, so you’re sharing the server, and any other resources, such as memory or CPU. These are good for basic website needs such as email sending, file sharing, and base level ecommerce sites. Shared hosting is the cheapest and therefore smartest option for smaller or startup businesses.
A virtual private server is designated for your direct purposes, more than a shared server. You still may be sharing an actual server, but the service creates a virtual server of your very own. That means all the resources are yours alone, from memory storage to processing power and beyond. This is a safer and much more reliable option that keeps your site separate from the others while still maintaining affordability.
Dedicated hosting is already another level. In addition to getting your own server, dedicated hosting lets you take full control over your server. That means you have full administrative access and can set things up the way you like it. This type of package comes with a royal suite of features that may not be necessary for all types of businesses.
WordPress is a shared hosting service that caters to a more specialized clientele. The servers themselves are optimized differently, and have features that are particularly attractive to WordPress performance such as faster load time, pre-installation, security features that work specifically with WordPress, and WordPress updates. This is useful for businesses that have websites created on WordPress.
Some Top Features When It Comes to Top Hosting Quality
Hosting quality is affected by several factors that are important to weigh during your decision making process. Some of the most significant ones include:
We mention this in more detail below, and really it’s one of the most important factors to consider, so don’t skimp on uptime. Bluehost has one of the best uptime guarantees at 99.9%.
Load time is also really important. Recent studies show that the average attention span has shrunk over the years to smaller than that of a goldfish! So, if your website takes even a drop too long to load a page, your business is dead before it’s even started. To keep yourself in the running, be sure your hosting service has a fast load time.
Because having an issue with your website is nothing to take lightly, you want to make sure customer service is available, knowledgeable, and easy to work with. More on this below.
The number of servers and location plays a huge part in the speed of your website loading and service. Obviously, the more servers available, the faster the service, but where those servers are found in the world will also affect the quality. Look for servers in substantial locations close to you such as the UK, US, or Germany depending on your location.