Which platform to choose?
Most, if not all hosting providers provide Linux and Windows as the two options that you can choose from, to host your website. With the number of options being only two, choosing the right one for your website can be a tough job. In the following section, you can read more about these two platforms and help yourself in choosing a one between them.
Linux Hosting should be your go-to choice unless you have websites which need specific Windows applications. With Linux hosting, you can host the websites created using PHP, Perl, MySQL, WordPress etc. And if you’re yet to create your website, you get an option to install WordPress, Joomla etc through cPanel and then you can build your website. If you want to host a personal website, a blog, eCommerce Website or a portfolio website, then Linux is the best option for you.
Linux Hosting is cheaper in contrast with Windows Hosting. Because Linux is open source application and the hosting providers don’t have to pay to get the license. Even if anyone purchases the enterprise version with support, it still costs less than Windows. Linux is more stable when compared to Windows. They need to be rebooted very rarely to apply any configuration changes. Therefore, expect more uptime in Linux Hosting than Windows Hosting. Linux is also the more secure than the Windows. As it is recently observed, most of the hackers’ attacks are laid on Windows servers. Therefore, when it comes to security, Linux bags the honors.
If you have a website or about to create a website using any Microsoft-specific technology, you will need Windows web hosting. Some programs such as ASP.NET, SQL Server, and Active Directory are exclusive to Windows. Well, windows hosting is costlier when compared to Linux hosting. That is because Windows OS is owned by Microsoft and every product from them carries a license fee. The hosting provider that you choose has to pay to the products from Microsoft. Hence the hefty price tag is justified. Therefore if you’re just a beginner who is not willing to burn a hole in your pocket, you should go for Linux Hosting. Windows Hosting is most often is used in big organizations or large corporate environments. Windows might be used in SharePoint document management and storage system or in exchange which is Microsoft's email, calendaring, contact, scheduling and collaboration platform. If you are intending to make use of these, then Widows is the one you should move forward with.
And when we talk about security, recent observations state that it is the windows servers that have been the victims of most of the recent hacker attacks. And when compared to Linux Hosting, Windows servers are less stable as they need to be rebooted every now and then to apply some changes in configurations. Where windows hosting stands out is the ease of using it offers. For the users that have been using Windows OS on their PC’s, sudden shift to working with Linux interface might be a steep learning curve.
Which web hosting type to choose?
Web hosting is provided by many hosts with different configurations in different packages in different price ranges. But before choosing the best web hosting provider, you should decide the type of hosting you need. Shared, VPS, dedicated and cloud hosting are four of the most common types of hosting.
Shared Web Hosting is best for beginners. This is the entry level of web hosting where you can buy web hosting at very cheaper rates. Your website shares a server with other websites that lie in the same server. This helps in reducing the cost every individual needs to pay. This is great for someone with the limited fund and for those who’ve just got started. Another advantage going forward with shared web hosting is that you don’t have to worry much about the setup process since it is care of by the provider itself. Therefore, shared hosting is good if you’re hosting a personal website, a portfolio website, or a blog. The websites at beginner stage that have very low traffic and require fewer resources are well suited for this plan.
It is kind of advanced variant of shared hosting where all sites share the same server but they all lie in different virtual sections. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. VPS hosting is a lot more reliable and stable than shared hosting and a bit costly too. There will not be any boundary breaching. The resources allocated to you will only be used by you. You get a great level of flexibility and you can customize your plan according to your needs. If you are looking for an upgrade over shared hosting, and but can’t afford to buy a dedicated server, then VPS is for you.
Dedicated Server Hosting stands true to its name. You get a server for yourself to host your websites. This comes as a huge advantage as there is no other client that you have to share your resources with. And the hosting provider gives you the freedom to choose your server according to your wish. You can choose the OS, the memory you require, and other configurations.
Cloud hosting is not only gaining upward trend, but most of the hosting providers are also trying to have cloud hosting as an option in their line-up. Often called as future of web hosting, cloud hosting is the type of web hosting where your website resides in a network of different computers from which it can access everything that it needs.
How to Create a Website easily?
Next up is how to create your website. Using SiteBuilder is the easiest way to create your websites. You can make use of CMS’ too. And if you want a website to be according to your taste and need, you can go for coding. Through coding, you have to build everything from scratch. Even though it is a time-taking process, the end result will be worth every minute that is spent on developing it.
Let’s go in depth with everything that you know before jumping to conclusion.
Creating a Website using CMS
CMS or Content Management System is a software application that helps you in a great way in creating your website, editing, and publishing of content on your website. CMS’ can be a great tool to save a lot of time, energy and resources.
Even though Windows Hosting supports CMS, Linux server is the most recommended and well suited for hosting CMS based web applications. The most used and most popular CMS are WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, Magento.
WordPress leads the pack when it comes to CMS. This is the most popular CMS. With its flexible nature and tons of customization options through themes and plug-ins, WordPress’ ease of use is one of the main highlights. This is most suited for blogs portfolio websites and personal websites. Linux server is the one most suitable for WordPress based websites. Some providers also provide specialized WordPress hosting plans.
Drupal is a free tool used to create and manage any type of websites. This is less inclined towards blogging. It is written in PHP. A Drupal community comprised more than 1.3 million members. You get themes too. Drupal is highly flexible and scalable. Once again, Linux server should be your go-to choice to host your Drupal based web applications.
Joomla: Ease of use of Joomla stands in between WordPress and Drupal. You get a large number of plugins and the developer community is also quite large. Joomla has a large number of verified third-party extensions. There are also thousands of high templates available, many of which are free. Paid templates are also available and come with support. Like other CMS, Linux server should be your go-to choice to host your Joomla based web applications
Magento serves a distinct purpose when compared to WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. It is a content management system designed for entrepreneurs or small business owners who want to get started with an e-commerce website. Magento should be your go-to tool if you want to build a full online shop, not any ordinary website or blog. Since Magento it's an eCommerce platform, Advanced hosting like VPS, Cloud hosting or Shared hosting with more power and resources is the best-suited web hosting option for Magento websites.
Site builder is a tool that helps you build your websites with utmost ease. Building websites in website builder is easier than CMS’. You can build an entire website without having to write a single line of code. And for customization, some SiteBuilders let you add coding too. Many hosting companies have their own website builders too.
Another way of creating your website is by coding. You need to make use of some scripting languages or frameworks.
Scripting languages and Frameworks:
Now, after getting to know about CMS’, if you still want to build your website by coding, you will have to make use of some programming languages.
To do the front-end development, the following three are the essential languages that you may need to use.
Hypertext Markup Language: HTML is used to create web pages. Using HTML, you can link one website to another website or to the pages of the same website by making use of tags, you can also format text, add images etc.
If HTML is called as the creator of a web page, we can call CSS as the make-up artist. Because CSS is used to describe the style of an HTML document. CSS saves a lot of work. It can control the layout of multiple web pages all at once.
Server-side languages: Server-side languages or back-end languages run directly on the server. It processes user requests, communicates with the server and the databases etc.
Let get to know more about some top server-side languages.
PHP is the most popular server-side language used worldwide. It works like a pump. It is used to retrieve and edit information from the database. It is mostly used in combination with SQL databases. It is most widely used and it is strictly designed for the web. WordPress, Wikipedia, and Facebook are fine examples of websites powered by PHP. You can go for Linux php hosting if you have websites written in PHP with a combination of MySQL, Python or Perl or other. However, If you have any web applications that are written in PHP along with ASP, ASP.NET, MySQL you better go for Windows server.
Python is simple with fewer lines of code. It makes it possible to write complex programs in a very short time as compared to PHP. This is also ideal for developers to get their products ready very quickly. It works very well with object-oriented designs and the main focus here is on simplicity and readability of the code which comes as a boon for beginners. It is also one of the oldest scripting languages. YouTube and Google are examples of websites that are powered by Python. Linux server would be recommended if you’ve web applications written in Python, Linux hosting should be your go-to choice.
Java: Java is a popular programming language, created in 1995. Java is a cross-platform language. It is one of the easiest programming languages to learn and use. It is specially used to create Android apps, desktop applications, web applications etc. It is also used for database connection. If you have Java-based web applications, you better go for VPS server as you get better resources.
Perl is a programming language that is specially designed for text processing. It is supported by a variety of platforms like Windows, MacOS, and many other versions of UNIX. Perl is an open source application. Perl works with HTML, XML, and other mark-up languages. Linux hosting should be your choice if you have any Perl based web applications.
VB.NET: Visual Basic .NET or VB.NET is an object-oriented programming language implemented on the .NET Framework. It is the evolution of the visual basic language. Yet any code written in the old version is not compatible with VB.NET. Without a doubt, go for Windows server if you have web applications written in VB.NET.
CakePHP is an open-source framework for PHP. It was created to make developing, deploying and maintaining applications much easier. CakePHP is based on an MVC-like architecture that is Model, View, Controller architecture which is powerful and easy to understand. The separation of business logic from data and presentation layers is guaranteed by Models, Views, and Controllers.
This is yet another framework for PHP that follows MVS architecture pattern. Laravel was first made available in the month of June 2011. Laravel offers a very rich set of functionalities. Laravel also has a very rich set of features which will help the developers to in faster web development.
CodeIgniter is a very powerful PHP framework that is built for developers who need a simple yet all-rounder toolkit to create full-featured web applications. Good knowledge of PHP just makes CodeIgniter more easy to use. CodeIgniter was first created by EllisLab and is now a project of the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
This is another powerful framework from Adobe. Back in 1995, ColdFusion was originally designed as a way to make it easier to connect simple HTML pages to a database. With version 2, it became a full platform with an IDE in addition to a full scripting language. Its association with ColdFusion Markup Language is its distinguishing feature.
Django a high-level Python framework which was developed for rapid development and clean design. This is very useful for developers in development in a fast-paced environment. Pinterest, NASA are 2 examples of websites that are powered by Django.
Ruby on Rails:
Ruby on Rails is another extremely powerful and productive web application framework. It is written in Ruby. Ruby is a high-level programming language. Ruby is object-oriented. Rails are the framework. Therefore, the name ‘Ruby on Rails’.
Silverlight is a powerful web browser plugin for enabling interactive media experiences, rich business applications and immersive mobile apps. It was released back in 2007 by Microsoft.
Symfony is a PHP web application framework sponsored by SensioLabs. It was developed by Fabien Potencier in 2005. This too follows the MVS architecture pattern. It contains a set of very useful reusable PHP components. These Symfony components can be used in other applications, independently from the Symfony framework.
Yii is a PHP framework for rapidly-developing, modern Web applications. It is an open source application and this too is built around the Model-View-Controller architecture pattern. This platform provides secure and professional features to create web applications very quickly.
Student Hosting is a type of web hosting where students can host their test websites or projects etc. They can avail web hosting for a cost next to nothing or for absolutely free. In this type Linux shared hosting would be provided usually.
eCommerce hosting is a type of hosting that will have plans specially meant to serve online eCommerce websites. It differs from the standard hosting both in terms of functionalities and features. E-commerce hosting is specially designed to provide entrepreneurs and businesses an easy way to set-up and manage an eCommerce website. Linux server is the preferred choice.
Cheap hosting is offered at very cheap rates. This is best suited for those who are just getting started and want to experiment online. This type of hosting is extremely useful when you don’t want to invest much in web hosting.
When you opt for SEO Hosting, the providers provide many SEO friendly services. They let you have multiple IPs for different websites that belong to you so that you can interlink them without letting the search engine algorithm know about it.
Unlimited Hosting refers to the type of web hosting where the provider provides you with unlimited disk storage, data transfer, unlimited bandwidth etc. Though these plans are quite on the costlier side, these are good enough for you to get the resources without limit.
Many shared hosting providers won't allow adult websites on their servers. Adult websites rely on a lot of graphics and streaming videos. Adult hosting is not only restricted to porn sites. Any website that deals with any content that is meant only for those who are more than 18 or 21 years old. It can also be tobacco, firearms, and drugs. Type of hosting depends on your requirements.
Some of the hosting providers provide Green hosting and are committed to using reusable energy sources like wind, solar or hydroelectric power.
Almost all hosting providers will come up with plans that will allow you to store your data containing images, or any other media. But if you want to host a website which is meant to be an image sharing platform, or portfolio website or image selling website, image hosting is the best optimal solution for you.
If you want not only images but also other media like video or audio to be the specialization of your website, go for Media hosting. This is very suitable for websites that are used for live streaming of video, audio etc. Streaming videos and other large files require huge resources. So, VPS or Dedicated server is recommended.
Offshore hosting simply means that your website is hosted in a server located in another country. This type of hosting helps you greatly with the censorship issues, copyright issues or any other country-specific issues.
Email hosting is the type of hosting, where the hosting provider rents out the email server to its customers. Even though you get email accounts with normal hosting, you can go for Email hosting if you have higher requirements.
SSI is a simple yet a highly useful feature that lets you do time-saving tasks such as include the contents of an external file across multiple pages on your website, or access and display server specific information such as the current server time, visitor's IP address, etc. SSI hosting means, you have to look for a provider with a server that supports SSI. SSI is a Linux feature. So, going for Linux hosting is most preferred. You can either ask your web host about SSI support for your account or try and manually enable SSI.
NGINX server is known for its high performance, stability and a long list of features. It is very simple to configure and resource consumption is low. It is not just a web server but can also be used as a reverse proxy, load balancer, mail proxy, and HTTP cache.
Now for a change, this is not a framework or a scripting language, but MongoDB is a database. It is a document based database. And it is a NoSQL database and is written in C++. Data is stored here in terms of documents, not in the form of tables. Therefore, you get the freedom from complex joins as we can see in SQL.
Zend Optimizer is an application that works as a great performance enhancer of PHP applications. It allows PHP applications to run files encoded by Zen Guard. An application with Zend Optimizer can execute scripts for more than 40% faster.
SSL certificate is used to activate the HTTP protocol and the padlock when it is installed on a web server. This is used for secure connection between web server and the web browser. While most of the hosting providers provide SSL certificate as an add-on service, some providers provide SSL certificate free for Lifetime.
Well, a domain name is the name or simply the face of your website. Along with hosting, domain names also carry a hefty price tag usually. But some hosting providers provide free domain names with their web hosting plan. Some may provide it free for a year or two, but some of the best web hosting providers, provide Free Domain Name for a lifetime.
Hosting Comparison - How Do You Need to Choose A Web Hosting Service?
Firstly you should understand choosing a good Web Hosting Service Provider is quite a difficult task. It is always good to get the best suitable hosting services when your business is concerned. Does the Recommendation is the final solution? Yes, a referral is important, but weighing the various features and benefits on your own would help you make a decision that suits you and not based on other's choice. So, Here are Real customer reviews and a comparison of several top hosting services that make it easy to choose the right plan/provider to fit your requirements well.
This Guide explains to you How to Choose a Web Hosting Service that exactly suites your business:
Know Your Own Hosting Needs:
Firstly, have a rough calculation of what kind of website you want to build? Do you require Applications? Does it need special Software? How competitive your website can go? Get to know your hosting needs before you could invest and host a site for your business.
Server Uptime Record:
Every web hosting company has some downtime, so to expect your website to have no downtime is unrealistic. So, depending on your business needs, some downtime might not affect your business at all. For some large E-commerce sites having even a minute of downtime results in thousands of dollars loss in business.
Disk Space and Bandwidth:
Considering on the monthly hosting plan, you want to make sure that you get enough disk space and bandwidth, to be able to handle the traffic on your website as well as many types of media files that you might be uploading to your website as well, because what might happen is if you exceed your bandwidth limits, you might end up with having your website shut down or you might end up with spike in cause that you’d not except. There are few limitations which if exceeds will lead to account suspension. It is very important that you get to know the features and limitations of hosting before you could actually get into violation stuff.
Multiple Add-on Domains:
Generally, many hosting companies provide at least 25 Add-on Domains in one account. So, make sure when you purchase hosting, always check for the capacity of the domain, because to host extra domain you need hosting space.
Server Upgrade Options:
Basically, there are three stages of Hosting, they are: Shared, Virtual, Dedicated. In each stage the benefits and changes for the betterment of your website. You may need more website, Databases or Packed Domains, where you can just upgrade the stage or level of hosting.
Many hosting companies, at the initial stage of purchasing the hosting account you will be provided with lots of discount stuff to reduce your pay. But, before you could purchase the hosting account, get an idea of renewal charges and you okay with renewal charges.
Choose a Hosting service provider who provides a trail for certain period to test their service and offers of hosting account, and if you’re not okay with the service provided, you can cancel the account and get the refund.
.htaccess, Cron Jobs, Auto Script Installer:
One must and should option that every hosting service provider should provide, but some of the hosting providers do not offer these features. Cron jobs for a day to day task, Auto Script Installer is used as a time saver, .htaccess allows you to safeguard, page redirects, etc, FTP access an easy file.
If you’re running an E-commerce store, then it is very important for you to choose the best hosting account which has E-commerce features and support. Features such as SSL Certification, Dedicated IP, and one-click shop software installation are required for E-commerce store.
Holding an eco-friendly website and a non-eco-friendly website indeed has a lot of difference. So, if you care for Mother Nature, choose a web host solution that operates on renewable energy. Eg: A company that compresses its use through Green Certificates.
Almost all the companies have this option, but just to ensure that you’re on the safer side. Before signing up with host account, know the limitations of creating email accounts for your official use.
To always be on the safer side, it’s good to have site backup, when the server is crashed the entire database will be nuked. Some web hosts don't back up your website regularly and most of them simply do so for their own protection and don't make the files available to their customers. So make sure that choose the hosting company that provides regular site backup facility.
As user-friendly Control Panel, as most of the task such uploading, editing, creating will be done with the help of Control Panel. Some of best Control Panel’s cPanel and Plesk though they are a third party vendor, they are easy to use, reliable and stable.
Live Chat Support:
There is nothing worse than having your website go down and having to wait for 4 or more hours for tech support to respond back to your Email.
Servers Optimized for the Application that you will be using:
There are some web hosting companies that have service that is optimized to host WordPress applications. So, if you’re hosting WordPress website, you might want to look into hosting companies or you might want to look into Managed Hosting services.