Web Hosting: What Is It?
Hosting a website means providing the necessary technology and services to a website, making it available over the internet. Without it, your site won’t be seen or accessed by users. This works by storing your data on special computers also called servers. So when users want to see your website, they simply need to type your domain or address into their browser. Then, their computer or mobile devices connect to your server and your website’s pages are delivered to them through their servers.
You see, everything on the internet lives on a server from blog articles to podcasts, videos, online games, tweets, and even Netflix’s movies. You can access all these because a business owner or a company is paying to keep them up and running. So if you’re planning to build your website, you also need to choose a web hosting provider and pay a necessary amount to keep it accessible to your visitors.
Now, here comes the problem. Many service providers know how to host a website. Thus, making it difficult for you to find exactly what you are looking for and what your website needs. This is why in this article, we will discuss all you need to know about web hosting before you sign up with a particular service provider.
A web host is incredibly necessary for your website. To give you an idea of its importance, you can think of it as your wallet. It carries your money, identification cards, debit cards, credit cards, and maybe even your insurance cards. Without it, going through the day will be a nightmare. Web hosting is pretty much the same. It serves as an online storage center that keeps the information, images, videos, and other contents that make up your website.
Choosing a Web Host: Top 10 Things to Look Out For
Your chosen web hosting provider is responsible for maintaining the server where your website’s data resides. It also manages the technology that connects your website to the internet. So, if you want your website running smoothly at all times, choose the right service provider. To help you out, here are the top factors to consider when choosing a web host.
1. Reliability and Uptime Score
Two things can push your website offline: a weak server and an unstable network connection. When this happens, you lose possible views, sales, and it can lead you to a low ranking on Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. Avoid this by choosing a web hosting service with reputable uptime scores, preferably above 99.5 percent. Anything lower should be a no-no.
2. Cost of Registration and Maintenance
While discounted signup and first payment deals are tempting, most web host service providers triple the amount for renewals. So before you commit to one, check out their renewal charge to avoid getting a surprise bill at the end of your discounted period.
3. Customer Support
How to choose a web host? Check the live support they offer. Look for one that can effectively and quickly support you in case you face technical problems. Also, find those who offer chat support and those that are visible in social media. As much as possible, don’t settle with support tickets and emails. Try to give priority as well to companies with in-house customer service as they have a better understanding of the company operation than outsourced customer support.
4. Addition of Domains
You may only have one website and domain name now but soon you’ll realize that you need more to build up your site’s popularity. Thus, look out for different packages when signing up with a hosting service. Pay close attention if they allow running multiple sites on a single account, find out its cost, and compare this to others in the industry.
5. Site Backup Availability
Nowadays, there’s no saying that your website won’t be hit by cyber threats. If this happens, your site can experience irreversible damages such as the replacement or loss of your site’s index.php file. You can also encounter hard disk failures. Thus, it is recommended that you choose a host service provider with regular web data backup.
Here’s an advanced feature not every hosting service company can provide. This factor refers to the ability of a web host to scale up their performance in an instant and scale back when demand dies down. If you’re planning to put up an online shopping store, this factor would be very important. For example, there will be seasons where you’ll receive thousands of orders. During this time, you’ll need a hosting service that can keep up with demand and pull back as necessary.
Nowadays, no business is safe from cyberattacks and threats. If you’re a small business owner who is already stretching your limited resources, you’d have a difficult time defending your website on your own. So you’ll need a web hosting service that provides the means and ways to protect your website from daily attacks. Check out for security features, guarantees, and negotiate your expectations.
Most web hosting services offer email support even with their basic packages. But, before you commit to a hosting service company, consider the email capacity needed for your business. If you’re a one-man team, you don’t need a web host that offers 10 email accounts. However, if you are planning to have more than 50 employees, look for a service that can provide that capacity.
9. Mobile Capability
Since we’re now in the digital age where there are more mobile users than desktop users, your website must be compatible with mobile devices. Now, there are web hosting services that can help you make sure that it is. Look for those who offer a system that can produce dynamic websites that are compatible with both desktop and mobile devices.
A web hosting service’s compliance with data privacy and protection laws is one important factor you should consider. Make sure to look for a provider who offers assurances on their process of protecting the data which will be collected by your website. If you already have a prospect web host, ask about their SSL certificate support, firewall deployments, internal security measures, data encryption, and the security of their Web Hosting Automation Platform.
In the past, choosing a web host depends mainly on the amount of bandwidth and the disk space they offer. However, since times have changed, there are more factors that you’ll need to consider to ensure your website’s best performance as well as its continuous growth.
Different Types of Web Hosting
Planning to start an online business or a company website seems easy. However, there are tons of things you should deal with before you can start making money and gain attention. There’s the web design, SEO, content creation, marketing, and much more. But before you worry about all these, you should put your site on the web first. And to do that, you’ll need to find a reliable web host.
Choosing a web host can get very confusing pretty quickly. You have to familiarize with technical terms and understand the different types of web hosting packages. While all types of web hosting platforms act as a storage place for your site, they still differ in their storage capacity, technical knowledge requirement, server speed, reliability, and control. Thus, it’s important that you understand their differences and what each of them can do for your business.
Now, to help you start your plans for building or upgrading your website, ask yourself: What type of web hosting do I need? To answer this question, here are the most common types of web hosting platforms.
1. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is ideal for entry-level web hosting. In this type of hosting, your website is stored on the same server with other sites. Thus, you will all share the same server resources. All domains will have the same Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Random Access Memory (RAM). Now, because you are all sharing the same resources, the cost naturally becomes lower. Shared hosting is the cheapest way to get your website up online. This is why it’s perfect for website owners who are just starting.
If you’re a small business owner or a stay-at-home mom who wants to start a blogging website, shared hosting is the simplest method to get your website up and running. With it, you will normally have access to a lot of helpful tools like WordPress hosting, emailing, and website builders.
However, the downside of sharing the server with other site owners is that upsurge in usage can affect your site’s user experience. Thus, if you’re not expecting to receive a great amount of traffic, this type of hosting is certainly for you. Once you successfully build your brand and finally get people visiting your site, you can then shift to another type of website hosting.
2. Dedicated Server Hosting
This type of web hosting is the opposite of shared hosting because you no longer have to share a server. Thus, you will have admin and full root access and you will have control over everything including operating system and security. However, having this much control and access comes with a price.
Dedicated server hosting is one of the most expensive hosting options out there. This is why it’s only recommended for website owners who already have a following and who gain high levels of traffic. Also, if you need to have complete control over your servers and if you have a superb technical understanding of installation and management, then this is the web hosting service you need.
3. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
This hosting plan stands between a shared server and a dedicated server. So if you need more control but don’t need a dedicated server, this is the hosting package for you.
What makes VPS hosting unique is that even if your website shares a physical server with other sites, you’ll still have your own space. This type of hosting service allows you more storage space and customization. However, other sites on the server still affect your site’s performance. Thus, your website will not be able to handle high levels of traffic or surges in usage.
VPS hosting is perfect if you want dedicated hosting but don’t have the required technical skills and knowledge. Also, it is cheaper but complete with the control dedicated hosting provides.
4. Cloud-based Web Hosting
Cloud-based web hosting is the biggest trend in terms of hosting. It works by putting many computers together, making it seem like one giant server. The idea behind this is that as your need grows, the hosting company of your choice can add more hardware to make your grid or cloud larger. Thus, if you get an extremely large amount of traffic, your website will be able to accommodate it and there will be no reason for you to shut down.
If your website is already growing and starting to get more traffic, shifting to cloud-based hosting from a shared hosting plan is the best step moving forward. To make it even better, this type of hosting allows you to pay only for what you need.
5. Colocation Hosting
In colocation hosting, you will rent rack space and you will bring in your server hardware. The data center you rent from will only provide physical security, internet uplink, power, and cooling. Thus, you will be responsible for your own data storage, backup, server software, and others. Also, when your hardware fails, you should be the one to replace it and get your server up and running.
Now, if you don’t have the technical knowledge and if your business is just starting, investing time, money, and effort on colocation hosting is not worth it.
How Much Does it Cost to Host a Website?
Another thing you should know about is the cost to host a website to avoid overspending. Here’s a quick guide on the cost of web hosting services according to Website Builder Expert:
|Web Hosting Type||Average Cost per Month|
|Shared||$2.75 to $15|
|Dedicated||$80 to $730|
|VPS||$5 to $80|
|Cloud||$4.50 to $240|
|WordPress||$4.99 to $290|
3. Bandwidth is not the same as data transfer
While frequently used interchangeable, bandwidth and data transfer do not mean the same thing in web hosting. Bandwidth refers to the total amount of transferrable data at a single time. On the other hand, data transfer is the actual amount of usable data over a specific time – which is usually a month. For example, a web host can have a 5 GB bandwidth max. But depending on the hosting plan you choose, your site may only be allowed 1 GB of monthly data transfers.
Knowing your website’s data limitations is a must before signing up with a web host. This is to avoid getting your site slowed down by your host or getting charged with penalties when you exceed your allotted monthly data transfers.
4. SSD and HDD
When you sign up with a web host, here are two terms you’d often encounter. For shared hosting, it’s highly likely that you’ll receive a space on a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) server. What makes an HDD-based server great is that you’ll have more storage for a cheaper price. On the other hand, as your business grows and your needs increase, you have to sign up with more powerful hosting services such as dedicated and VPS. These services will then let you choose whether or not you want to build your site on a solid-state drive (SSD).
Servers on SSD are incredibly fast storage units. However, this is still pretty expensive that’s why such servers usually carry a small amount of storage compared to that of HDDs. So don’t be surprised when you don’t see 1 TB SSD servers.
Choosing a Web Hosting Agency in Florida
- Local web hosting
There are many factors why you should choose a central Florida web hosting agency. If your business is situated in the area, a local hosting company provides a more personal touch when it comes to customer service. If you think about it, it’ll be easier to contact someone closer to you. So whenever you face issues with your website, you can quickly make a phone call and talk to a real person. Also, in this way, it’ll be easier for them to solve your problems. Unlike when you choose a company in, say, India where you’ll be entertained with an automated phone call.
Also, many of these Florida small business web hosting companies offer round-the-clock customer support every day for the whole year. As the owner of a business, this will save you time as help will always be within arms reach. Plus, you can meet with a Web hosting company’s personnel in person and you can establish a professional relationship with the company of your choice.
Aside from customer support, a local web hosting provider also offers better speed and performance for your website. You see, a locally hosted site loads approximately three times faster compared to a website that is hosted internationally. This is because your website’s visitors are physically closer to your data center. With faster loading speed, it is easier for your prospective customers to find what they need on your site and they’ll have a better user experience – which is what you want to help you rank higher in search engines.
- Size of your business
Another factor that can help you choose a web host is the size of your business. Are you just starting? Or have you already established a strong following in the community? Do you expect a lot of people visiting and using your site? These questions are all essential to determine what type of web host you need.
There are different types of web hosting. For small businesses, the recommended type is shared because it’s the cheapest as well as the easiest to maintain. However, it can’t handle heavy traffic and high levels of usage. If you’re an already established site with plenty of visitors, there’s VPS and dedicated hosting. But they’re pricier, of course. On the other hand, if you are building your site on WordPress, you can consider WordPress hosting. Or for big companies, the Cloud web hosting and colocation would be a good fit. To know more about the most common types of website hosting, you can click here.
Finding the right web hosting Florida Agency for your business can sure be difficult. But it’s worth it. Take the time to consider your options and never base your decision on who offers the cheapest price. Remember, as with everything else, you get what you pay for.
If you are lucky to choose the best web host for your site the day you start your online journey, you can save yourself from the trouble and frustration of having to move your website to another company later on. So choose wisely.
Still unsure of what to do and where to begin? Or maybe you need guidance on your current web host plan? We can help you. Send us a message and let’s schedule a chat.