Over the course of the coming weeks, we will be writing a weekly series title “Web Hosting 101.” The series will cover everything from tips on how to find the best web hosting company for your needs, to what technical specifications to look for when considering a web hosting provider, to the value of managed web hosting solutions and what to look for when researching wanted server add-ons. With this in mind, the first topic we’re going to cover is “a starter’s guide to web hosting.” Read on and find the article below the fold.
“A Starter’s Guide to Web Hosting”
If you’re a business of any size investing in a web hosting solution is a route you need to learn more about.
For those who don’t know, web hosting is an Internet hosting solution which allows individuals and companies to access their website via an Internet connection. In short, web hosting companies provide space (segments) on a server for clients to host their website. The benefits of utilizing a web hosting solution are:
- Financial – Web hosting solutions allow companies to spend less on maintaining their own onsite server while also cutting down on in-house IT staffing costs.
- Security – Web hosting companies provide their clients with a level of web security which helps protect client’s websites, data and applications. By deploying hardware and software firewalls, web hosting companies provide security to individuals and companies which they otherwise might not be able to provide themselves.
- Technical Support – Web hosting companies provide their customers with IT technical support (most companies offer 24/7/365 support).
But the question remains, how do you look for a good web hosting company which will suit your needs? Follow these three tips for beginner’s web hosting success:
Like buying any other service, price is a big point to consider. Within the web hosting industry, your monthly spend will depend on the services you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for an unmanaged Linux VPS (virtual private server) your monthly cost should be less than a managed Windows VPS (managed = technical support). More of the same, if you are searching for a VDS (Virtual Dedicated Server) with 2GB of RAM, 1 x 500GB SATA with 10,000GB of bandwidth, your monthly cost should be less than VDS with 6GB of RAM, 1 x 1000GB SATA with 10,000GB of bandwidth.
Like any other commodity on the market, different web hosting companies will have different prices for roughly the same product. Whereas you might spend $50 per month on a Windows VPS with 2GB of memory, 20GB of disk storage, 500GB of bandwidth with 1 CPU core, you may be able to find the same deal with another company for $45 per month.
Do Your Web Hosting Research
Before you decide to invest in a web hosting solution, make sure the plan your potential company offers you meets your needs. Before you select a provider, know:
- How much bandwidth you are getting
- How many CPU cores your plan allows for
- How much disk storage your plan gives you
- How much memory is allotted for in your plan
- The company downtime history & monthly downtime statistics
- If the company owns their own datacenter
Forums are a big help when evaluating an excellent web hosting service provider. Forums are digital spaces where people visit to talk about virtually everything web hosting. Once you find a few web hosting review sites like webhostingtalk.com or sitepoint.com, register and ask members questions; as they have most likely occupied your shoes before, they will be able to provide you with answers to your web hosting inquires.
You Pay For What You Get
Everyone loves a good deal and honestly, a free web hosting solution sounds like a great deal however the truth of the matter is free web hosting solutions are free for a reason. When you utilize free web hosting you pay for the following:
- No customer IT technical support
- No personal domain name
- Mismanaged servers
- A lack of security for your website
- Limited server specifications
In short, for a business professional or experienced blogger, a free web hosting solution is no way to go.
By following these three tips, individuals and companies who are new to web hosting, will be able to find a suitable web hosting provider to match their needs.
Next week, Web Hosting 101 will cover the core specifications of utilizing a VPS – bandwidth, CPU cores, memory and disk space.
See you in a week.