A website host plays a critical role in improving your site’s performance, and helps you connect with a relevant audience. It’s one of the fundamental elements of running a successful online business. So, it’s essential that you carefully choose one that best fits your needs and requirements.
However, selecting the best-suited website hosting is easier said than done. It’s an intricate process that requires you to consider various factors in order to make an informed decision. So, purchasing an ideal website hosting can be challenging, especially for businesses that have just gotten started.
In this article, we will explain the things you need to consider when selecting a website hosting and guide you through the process.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
What Is a Website Host and Why Do You Need One
Before diving into the nitty-gritty process, let’s first explore the concept of website hosting and why you need it to run an online business.
A website host is a business housing service that provides the space for you to store your website data in an organized way. You need a hosting service to connect your website to the internet and make your content visible to a relevant audience.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a new online business or an established firm entering the digital realm, website hosting is essential for you to have online visibility.
Website hosting makes it possible for your target audience to access desired information and interact with your site via internet browsers. So, it’s safe to say that no online business can survive without a decent hosting service.
Your hosting also dictates how your website performs. It impacts load time, speed, security, and other key elements that facilitate user experience, which in turn drives your search engine rankings. So, it’s a no-brainer that you should always consider a top-tier website hosting service.
What Are the Different Types of Website Hosts?
Now that we’ve discussed the concept of website hosting and touched upon its importance for running an online business, let’s discuss the types of website hosting for you to consider when making a purchase.
Shared Website Hosting
Shared website hosting is best suited for startups or companies that have just gotten started. This hosting type can also be considered a viable option for small businesses with a limited budget.
Shared website hosting is generally the most affordable hosting service for you to consider. Here, a server hosts dozens of websites, with the storage space being utilized by all active users.
However, you’d just be sharing the hosting server with other websites. You won’t have access to their website data and vice versa.
Shared website hosting has its pros and cons. The affordability of shared hosting plans makes them a desirable option for small to medium-sized businesses. But, it’s also perceived to be more susceptible to security exploits, compared to other hosting options.
Shared website hosting plans come with very limited perks and minimal or no customization feats. And since you’d be sharing the server with others, the performance of your site can also be affected by how others use the service.
However, there are some hosting service providers out there with shared plans that can efficiently handle a significant traffic volume.
So, if you’re just getting started, shared website hosting is probably the best option for you to consider. You can scale from there as your business grows. However, it’s of great importance that you carefully select your service provider to avoid any mishaps in the future.
Virtual Private Server
Consider a virtual private server as an upgrade to a shared website hosting service. Here, the main server is partitioned into multiple virtual servers. So technically, you’re sharing the overall space but have a dedicated partition for your site.
This enables you to utilize the available resources in a better way and be less prone to how other websites use the hosting service.
A virtual private server gives you access to dedicated resources. You can configure your server best suited to your needs, depending on the terms and conditions of your hosting service provider and your choice of plan.
If you’re a growing startup, a virtual private server is a step-up for you from shared hosting. It makes you less susceptible to security exploits and facilitates improved website performance.
Dedicated Website Hosting
Dedicated hosting is a secure and customizable option to consider for businesses. With this type of hosting, you will get access to a private server and storage space that’s shared with no other site.
This significantly improves the load time, which is of great importance, as a 1-second delay in your site’s load time can lead to an 11% loss in page views and a 7% reduction in your conversions. Moreover, dedicated website hosting guarantees more uptime and ensures better website performance.
All these perks and privileges make dedicated web hosting a premium service compared to other options available. Having a private server all to yourself comes at a price that not everyone is willing to pay.
Dedicated website hosting may not be a feasible option to consider if you’re a startup owner or run a small business with a limited budget. This type of hosting is better suited for established businesses, or websites that need access to powerful resources and advanced server customization options.
Cloud Website Hosting
People often mistake cloud hosting for a virtual private server. Despite having similar attributes, cloud website hosting encompasses a network of remotely located virtual servers. So, in a way, the performance of cloud website hosting is a bit superior to that of a VPS.
When using cloud website hosting, if one of the servers in the network runs into a problem, the others serve as a replacement. So, you’re less likely to encounter website performance or uptime issues.
This is one of the reasons why cloud website hosting is growing in popularity. With cloud hosting, you don’t have to choose between server-related resources, and cost savings as you get access to a variety of perks without having to break the bank.
Cloud hosting is also a preferred option for businesses due to its scalability. Most service providers allow you to scale your server resources based on your needs and preferences. So, you only pay for what you use and scale your resources as you grow.
WordPress is a renowned platform preferred by businesses around the globe. More than 43% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress. So, it’s safe to say that the platform is quite popular worldwide.
But, what makes WordPress hosting so special?
Well, WordPress hosting is optimized for WordPress as the content management system for the respective sites. So, if a business prefers WordPress as a CMS, this type of hosting serves as a decent option for them to consider.
With WordPress hosting, you get two options: shared WordPress hosting and managed WordPress hosting.
The shared option comes with similar perks and privileges as any other shared website hosting service, except for pre-configured WordPress as your CMS and improved security.
However, manager WordPress hosting comes with additional features, such as server caching, advanced security, greater speed, and more uptime.
If you prefer WordPress as the content management system for your website, WordPress hosting is a decent option for you to consider.
How to Choose Your Website Host
Now that we have explored the different hosting options, let’s discuss how you can choose an ideal hosting service for your site.
Estimate Your Budget
Your budget plays an important role when choosing a hosting service for your site. There are different tiers when it comes to selecting the best-suited hosting service. Each option has different attributes, and the price you’re willing to pay dictates your access to available resources.
Keep in mind that buying a website hosting service is a long-term investment. So, it’s essential that you’ve carefully estimated your budget before making the purchase decision.
Assess Your Needs
When purchasing website hosting, it’s easy to go overboard and buy a top-tier service with resources that you don’t need at the moment.
For example, you don’t need dedicated hosting for an e-commerce website that you just launched. It’d be overkill, since you’re not likely to make use of the attributes a dedicated hosting has to offer.
So, it’s best that you carefully assess your website needs before exploring available hosting options. Once you’ve done that, it’d be easy for you to choose a hosting that best serves your business requirements.
It’s best to consider flexibility with respect to the price or subscription plans offered by hosting service providers when making a purchase decision. The more plans offered by a service provider, the better.
Generally, website hosting service providers offer a variety of packages, ranging from monthly to yearly subscriptions. Some may even offer discounted rates if you choose 5 or 10-year plans.
Technically, you have two options.
- The first option is to test the service for a few months before choosing the long-term plan.
- The second option is to go with the long-term investment and save a lot of money.
To mitigate the risk, it’s best that you consider the first option. It’d cost you a bit more, but at least you’d get to test the service before making an investment. However, if you choose to go with the second option, do your research first and carefully go through the terms of service before making the final decision.
Scalability is one of the critical factors to consider when purchasing a website hosting service. You would want a hosting service that facilitates your business operations as you grow, not one that hinders it.
So, it’s best to learn if your preferred service provider offers scalable hosting options. And if so, what are the terms and conditions that apply? You should also explore the server attributes and resources that follow an upgrade.
An ideal service provider is one that offers need-based access to additional resources and space for your website, along with a quick and effortless transition.
It’s worth mentioning that the renewal price of your preferred website hosting plan may vary from the sign-up price. Almost all hosting service providers offer heavy discounts on initial purchases. However, the recurring cost of using your preferred service can be significantly different.
So, it’s best that you consider not just the initial but also the recurring cost before making the purchase decision to draw accurate feasibility for your investment.
Before purchasing hosting for your site, it’s essential that you check the bandwidth consumption a service provider offers with your preferred subscription plan.
You should always consider the quality of technical support offered by your preferred website hosting service provider before making a purchase decision.
You may come across a variety of technical issues, especially in the configuration process. Moreover, when you’re managing a website, glitches and bugs are common occurrences. And these issues need a quick fix to keep the user experience unaffected.
However, it’s a bit tricky to assess the quality of tech support offered by a respective hosting service provider. For this, it’s best that you explore online communities and interact with like-minded professionals online for hosting service reviews and recommendations.
It’s wise to seek reviews concerning your preferred hosting provider before making a purchase. But, it’s even better to test the performance of the server yourself, compared to taking recommendations at face value.
So, you should always check the hosting server’s responsiveness before making the purchase. For this to work, you should have a website that’s up and running. Moreover, your preferred hosting provider should allow you to test the service by offering a free trial.
But, if your service provider doesn’t offer a test run, you can consider purchasing a short-term subscription to test the service. Another reason why purchasing long-term plans upfront is a bad idea.
You should always check your hosting service provider’s refund policy before making a purchase decision.
It’s possible to make the wrong decision, even after conducting thorough research. And when you get to experience the service, you realize that it’s not an ideal choice for you. This can complicate things, especially when you’ve purchased a long-term subscription.
So, before making a purchase, carefully go through the service provider’s refund policy, and feel free to reach out to them if the clauses confuse you. This would make it easier for you to get your money back in case you’re not satisfied with the service.
It’s a Wrap
To sum up, the importance of selecting the appropriate website hosting provider cannot be overstated for website owners. There are multiple factors that require consideration when choosing a hosting service, such as the website’s nature, the expected traffic, budget, and technical requirements. Conducting thorough research, comparing various hosting options, and carefully assessing your needs are the best ways to ensure that you make the right decision. Ultimately, choosing a trustworthy and efficient hosting provider is vital to ensuring the website’s success and the contentment of its visitors. Therefore, take your time, make an informed decision, and reap the rewards of a dependable web hosting service.