What is Web Hosting and How to Choose the Best one?

Web hosting is a type of service that provides space for you on the internet. It is a connection between you and the server. Web site hosting is a fundamental part of any website, and it makes your business visible to the world. That is why it is crucial to make the right choice when choosing a web host.

To become visible on the internet, you need space to store your data. That is what web hosts do. They provide space where you store your essential files and data. These data may include HTML files, CSS files, images, and videos, or other files.

Once they store your data on a server, they are ready to be shared when a visitor visits your website.

As you see, choosing the right web site hosting services might play a key role in building a successful business. For that reason, you need to carefully pick the most suitable plan for you and your business.

Since web hosting is not something you do every day, it can be overwhelming to understand how it works. There are thousands of web hosts available nowadays, and they all offer varieties of plans. They differ in the services and features they offer.

To choose the best service for you and your business, you need to establish your budget and website needs.

One is for sure: you need a fast, functional, and reliable site because you want your visitors to have a pleasant experience. Imagine having a website that takes ages to load. Not only would it provide a negative user experience, but it would also affect your bounce rate.

To avoid mistakes that can cost you your business, we will help you understand how it works and what to do to choose the best web host.

How does web hosting work

Web hosting is similar to renting a real-life place for your business. You consider the working area, is it a shared space or a place on your own, how many people do you expect to visit your office, are you planning to expand quickly, and so on.

There are varieties of different web hosts that meet everybody’s needs. Here, we listed the three most popular options.

Shared Hosting

Choose this plan if you are starting and need a simple option that does not cost much. It is pretty limited, and you cannot make any customization. Your site will share the server with multiple websites, so choose this plan if you expect moderate traffic.

Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

VPS plan is the next step from shared hosting. It is suitable for websites that have more traffic and want more freedom to customize their business. It offers more space and bandwidth. Your website has its own space on the server while still sharing physical servers with other users.

Dedicated Server Hosting

Although it allows most freedom for control and customization, this plan is more expensive than other plans. Use this plan if your aim is reliability and high performance, and you expect a lot of traffic. Also, you will need some technical knowledge to maintain the server.

The essential parts of your hosting plan

Now you have a better picture of how web hosting works and what are the available features. Now, we will list the essential things that your hosting plan should have.

  • Reliability – You do not want to have your website crashing every once in a while. For that reason, you need to make sure that the host service of your choice provides high levels of uptime.

  • Reasonable cost – Planning your budget is the essential thing when starting a business. It is a waste of time if you spend hours reading about different plans and have no idea how much money you can spare.

  • Ability to meet your needs – Once you know what content you will be uploading, you want to make sure it will work on your website. There is no point in having a fancy website built on a programming language that your web host does not support.

  • Capacity for the traffic you expect – If you are starting your business, then this is not something you should worry about at first. However, if you are a well-established company with a strong brand image, you want to get into those analytics and go for a more expensive plan.

  • Excellent Customer Service – This is another essential thing that you should consider. Even if you want to build a website on your own or you have a web developer, your web host should have customer service. You do not want to end up paying a costly plan that offers poor customer service.

How to choose the best web hosting

So far, you could read about different hosting plans, the most important things that your plan should include. Now, we will dive into more details to help you make the right decision.

Speed

Speed is probably the most important thing you should consider when making a final decision. The simple reason for this is that people do not have time. If they have to wait for your website to load, they will go and find another one.

Now speed can depend on many things. For example, if you need a simple, one-page website, you do not need the same storage as an e-commerce site. Additionally, check if their storage is limited or unlimited. You do not need the same space for a simple website built on HTML compared to a website that offers e-commerce.

Also, pay attention to what type of storage your host uses. Look for one with up-to-date SSD storage since it is much faster than old-fashioned HD storage. Make sure to check if you get a fair share of server resources.

For example, if you use a shared host, you will have to reach fewer server resources such as CPU, RAM, and other essential parts that affect the speed. On the other hand, if you have your own space on the server, you will experience a higher performance on your website.

Do not forget about the location of the server. If your business is in the U.S.A., and your target audience lives in Australia, your visitors will experience a longer loading time. You might want to consider using a CDN that serves as a mini-server that stores your data in your target location.

Security

Security is another thing to consider, especially if you have an e-commerce business where customers trust you with their personal information.

To check if they have a high level of security, you should research how they protect their servers from any vulnerabilities and if they install the latest OS patches. Moreover, their servers should include firewalls for removing hackers and harmful traffic.

Make sure to establish all these factors in advance. You want to know if they provide malware scanning and removal or if you need to buy an additional one. Also, establish if you do the backup or it comes with your plan.

If they backup your data see how often they do it, how long they keep the data, and if you can access and download it.

To ensure the highest levels of privacy and security, make sure that your host offers a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. In this way, you will not put the data of your customers, such as passwords and credit card details, in danger.

Price

Besides going with a plan that meets your budget, you should check the price. Often, they advertise it to attract customers, and then they charge more for the following year. So, before you sign up for anything, make sure there are no hidden costs.

Also, you want to check the cancellation policy in advance so you do not end up paying for something that you will not be using.

Customer Support

Having proactive customer support can save you a lot of trouble. The last thing you want to do when building your business is fix the website issues yourself.

For that reason, you should establish what type of CS you can expect, their response and resolution time, do you contact them via live chat, phone, or email. Also, you want to know their working hours and whether you can reach them any time you need them.

Final thoughts on finding the best hosting

While finding free web hosting might sound like the easiest and the cheapest thing to do, it may cost you your business. In this article, we covered the essential factors to consider when choosing your web site hosting service.

You want a fast-loading site that allows you to provide the best user experience. That is why your web hosting service should provide

  • speed to support fast loading time
  • exceptional security to keep that protects customer privacy
  • proactive customer support to help you in time of need
  • and a reasonable and fair price to match your budget

Once they meet all these requirements, you will know that they offer the best web hosting service.

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