It is often the case that people intending to launch a website are more familiar with what they want ON the website than what they should look for IN a website. There are hundreds of website hosting companies available, each offering its own select list of options and variables. Knowing what to look for when researching website hosts will ensure that the choice you make will be appropriate, effective and profitable for you.
Know Your Website
Understanding the purpose of the website is critical to making a good web host choice. If it is built with a goal to share personal photos or experiences with family and friends, it probably doesn’t need an excessive security. On the other hand, a business that has many physical sites and numerous employees may want to sell dozens of products and services through its site, as well as use it to manage the HR and other business functions. A site with that complexity would need a variety of powerful internal services to facilitate all the business aspects expected of it.
Contemplating the anticipated traffic to a website can be a useful exercise if it identifies the possibility of expansion and growth in the not-so-distant future. In this case, you should look for hosting companies which offer an easy way to upgrade your hosting plan.
Researching Your Potential Host
Once there is clarity as to HOW the website will be used, a review of the actual hosting options is helpful. There are free hosting sites available, but they can be unreliable in terms of data storage and power management, and often require unwanted ad placements on all their hosted sites.
For small ventures, there are ‘shared’ hosting plans which are often relatively inexpensive and can provide many options. With this type of hosting, a number of users are sharing a single server’s resources, hence the ‘shared’ aspect. Shared hosts generally offer simple website hosting, so cannot control the server itself. Because the server resources are shared, this option may not provide the highest level of security, and there is a possibility that over-use by any one user may crash the server for them all.
Taking Hosting to Another Level
For more complex ventures, there are the options of Virtual Private Server (‘VPS’) and Dedicated Server. VPS hosting assigns a certain amount of server resources (CPU, RAM, disk space etc.) to a single client, so no other client can use them. You can find quite cheap VPS server options out there. However, dedicated server is a bit different – with it, a single user gets all of the available resources and all of its performance will depend only from that user.
A truly complex website or online project might need cloud hosting. The ‘cloud’ option offers access to a cluster of servers, which together are called ‘the cloud’. In this cases, the computing resources are divided among the various individual servers within the cloud cluster. This division results in better performance since no one server is responsible for all of the work.
Finally, when you consider all the options that are suitable for your site and choose the best one, together with a trusted hosting company, there might be additional options available to choose from, some which come standard with the monthly fee and others that are an added expense. These may include email services, e-commerce capacity etc. Don’t forget that choosing a good hosting company is not an easy task – way your available options, check what you would get for your money and choose what you think is best for you.