Choosing the right type of web hosting can be confusing, especially with the amount of variety out there. In this article we’ll show you the types of hosting out there and which one is best for you.
Web Hosting Basics
Lets start with the basics, “Web Hosting” is a term used to host your website on the internet, without this and a domain name users on the internet are unable to see you. You’ll need to find a reliable provider and a relatively near server location to give you the best performance e.g if you live in London then Web Hosting UK would be a good choice.
Firstly you’ll need to find a domain provider to decide what your website is going to be called, this is also your brand so give this some thought. You’ll also need to decide where you are targeting such as a .co.uk domain extension for mainly targeting the UK or .com if you want to be seen internationally.
Research Your Hosting Provider
Once you’ve chosen your domain name and registered it you’ll need find a provider to host to begin designing and uploading your files, this can be with the same provider or a different one of your choosing. Remember to do your research before choosing a provider and check out some of the options:
Find an established provider – They is 1000’s of providers wanting to host your website, find a provider which has been around for a while and has a thorough understanding of your requirements.
Support is crucial, research a provider that you can contact at short notice should your website suddenly go offline.
Check out the companies reviews, this will give you a better understanding if their service is great or poor.
Server uptime is very important, have a look at their terms and uptime service agreement (SLA).
Request a trial to test out the speed of their server and what software is included.
Understanding Hosting Types
They is several different types of web hosting that you can now choose depending on what your hosting provider offers, these are:
Shared hosting – For new and small websites that dont need much resources this is usually the best starting option.
Cloud hosting – For websites which need more resources and more CPU intensive, this option would be chosen.
Reseller hosting – For those that want to sell web hosting this is a great starting point saving you costs on having to buy your own server and house it in a datacentre. Reseller hosting can also be used if you have multiple domains and want to keep them all under one hosting account.
VPS – Virtual private servers are essentially dedicated server containers partitioned to allow the user to manage their own website with the added option of being able to choose an operating system image and SSH (Secure Socket Shell) into the servers to fully manage. Server management would also be required including firewall management and server hardening.
Dedicated server – For large websites which are CPU and memory intensive a dedicated server would be chosen. This option also gives you full access to your own server so knowledge of security threats, firewalls and server hardening would be required before taking out this option.
For most users shared hosting would only be required as its not only the most affordable but the need to learn how to manage the server is not required, this is managed by your hosting provider. The hosting provider should also offer additional software and a control panel for you to easily manage your account depending on the operating system they are using.
If the provider is using Linux servers a good recommendation would be to choose cPanel control panel, if the provider is using a Windows server then generally Plesk is the best option.
Find a hosting provider that is reliable and has good uptime guarantee by checking out their SLA in the terms and conditions section. Find a package that is right for you and a location that is ideally within the same country if possible for best performance. Some providers also offer a first month or first years discount, dont be afraid to ask!