How to choose a Web Hosting? Understanding the Different Types of Web Hosting:
To understand the suitable hosting plan and hosting type for a website or blog, basically, understand the requirements of a project. If you plan to build a new project or website for your business or personal, make a rough calculation of what kind of website you want to build? What is the website platform or scripting languages it requires? Do you require Applications? Does it need a special Software? How competitive your website can go? Get to know the complete hosting needs before you could invest and decide to choose a hosting plan for your business.
However, if you are a new to the Industry and non-techie person, you may not realize the differences between the hosting types, their features, or why prices vary so much and the specifications of a plan, this is the reason, we have made the comparison of web hosting plans suitable for any kind of website ranging from small-scale to large-scale. Let's learn the basics of web hosting.
What is Web Hosting Service?
Any website needs some sort of hosting service or called server space to store site's data on and to help deliver web content to site visitors. This type of hosting is also called a self-hosted website.
We're going to cover you everything to understand the web hosting service, it's types and uses
What is Linux hosting and Windows hosting?
Linux or Microsoft Windows is the operating system used to run your websites and programs smoothly in the background.
The web hosting providers use these common types of operating systems to store your site's files and deliver them to your visitors.
Linux vs. Windows, Do I need Linux hosting or Windows hosting?
Linux operating systems are the most commonly used by the web hosting providers as it is open source os, more secure and efficient. Linux also has more of the features web designers expect(PHP, HTML, WordPress, All CMS' etc), so unless you have websites that need specific Windows applications, Linux is the preferred choice.
Windows applications which require a Windows server:
Visual Basic development, and etc.
If you are new to this topic - the differences between Linux and Microsoft Windows servers, check out our helpful comparison here.
Furthermore, to understand how to choose a perfect web hosting, we are going to learn on this page:
What to look for in a web host
The different types of web hosting services available
How to choose the perfect hosting plan and type that best suit your individual needs.
What to look for in a web host?
While we all know the value of creating a quality web content and developing a website that is responsive, we must also understand the value of selecting a reliable web hosting company to ensure our websites remain accessible online and safe at all times.
Now in the 21st digital era, every business need websites and many businesses can't afford even a few minutes of downtime where their customers can't access their site. Therefore it has become a crucial fact in choosing a reliable web hosting service for most business owners.
There are hundreds of options out there that range from local hostings - pop providers like International web hosts all of which range in terms of their price and service offerings. But how do you know which web host is suitable for your business or choose from range b/w $10 a month to $100 (This will cover in the section -The different types of web hosting services available)
If your entire life depends upon your website or complete business rely on your website, then Saving money isn’t your priority; investing in its performance it more matter to you. Now, Who should you pay to host your website? What are the qualities you need in a hosting company to decide on a good web host?
Speed & Performance
We all use Laptops or Computers for our work, and you may have noticed the performance of an old laptop and a new laptop that had just brought, and the old one suddenly felt surprisingly slow.
Fast is good, isn't it? We can compare the same laptops with a web hosting server or hosting provider to understand the fact earlier.
Here is a Performance Checklist when evaluating a hosting provider
Multiple Servers Location Options - A closer connection is faster. If a hosting provider offers multiple server locations and if your site has visitors from a specific Geo location- choose the nearest Server to ensure the fastest connection.
A CDN (content delivery network) is designed to decrease latency by having a network of proxy servers around the world. Most of the web hosts offer paid CDNs, and some offer them for free of cost along with the hosting plan.
Choose the Servers's harddisk SSD or HDD. Servers with SSDs rather than spinning hard drives will load your website faster.
Caching options for your WordPress websites to speed up high-traffic WordPress sites dramatically. Look out for Managed Wordpress hosting with options like PHP 7 opcode caching, Memcached/Redis object caching, Nginx/Varnish full page caching, CDN, and ElasticSearch/Solr full-text searching.
2. Security, BackUp & Uptime
A serious Business owner never wishes his website to be down even for a second as it reflects badly on the business and you may lose money. If hackers try to gain access to your site and install some sort of malware, not only it will impact your visitors but Google will display an embarrassing message warning of the threat.
How committed is the company to maintain your website’s stability and reliability?
While a web host is responsible to keep their software up to date to ensure the security of your website, it is also your part to keep the s/w's update you use.
Here is a Security Checklist when evaluating a hosting provider:
Server software updates. Make sure to check if the company is running the latest server software (PHP, Apache, MySQL)
Automatic CMS updates. If the hosting provides automatic updates of your content management software (e.g. WordPress), then that's great. You need to choose to update the version when it occurs.
Make sure to check the company if they have a Web Application Firewall (WAF)? and understand how often rules are updated and how often rules are created for new vulnerabilities? Ideally, the host is proactive and every time there is a vulnerability, they will add a WAF rule to protect you.
Make sure if the company provides regular Backup of your website files and data. There is no security guarantee without stable backup solutions. If your website does get attacked, all you want to make sure that all your site content is backed up and easily accessible so you can get back up and be running again quickly.
As we said, in the beginning, A Web server is like our normal computer. Programs crash, things go wrong, and you need to restart. Similarly goes with a web server- however, here this leads to taking your website down. You need a hosting company that can minimize the impact.
3. Customer Service & Support
Customer support is also another crucial fact to consider while choosing a web host. Imagine that something has gone wrong, or you’re not sure how to take the next step. And it's midnight! What do you now? You need help now no matter what time. You need someone who will listen to your problem right away. Isn't it? This is the reason you must aware to check if the company provides 24/7 Support.
Here is a Support Checklist when evaluating a hosting provider :
Is the support available 24/7, 365 days?
What are the support channels? Phone? Chat? Tickets? Which are available 24/7?
What’s the company’s response time for resolving issues and how friendly is the customer support?
If other Support documentation options like Knowledgebase, tutorials are available?
Is support available in your language?
4. Features & Limitations
Make sure if the hosting company provides the software and infrastructure which is necessary to run your website and content management system. Also, check what are the best worth features options they provide for the price you pay.
Here is a Features Checklist when evaluating a hosting provider :
Make sure to check if the company provides all of the system software and services you’ll need to run and manage your website that is- CMS, operating system, database, web server, Programming Languages. Knowing your hosting needs and having a clear idea of what you want, will certainly help you in choosing the suitable type of hosting plan you deserve.
We will be going to learn more in this section - The different types of web hosting services available
How to choose the perfect hosting plan and type that best suit your individual needs.
Apart from web hosting features and software, make sure if the company provides other services includes domain registration and transfers, email hosting, and database management. It’s convenient to have everything in one place.
Make sure to check the actual limits of resources of the particular plan you're going to choose. Companies that claim “unlimited” still have limits on what they consider too much storage and bandwidth. Check those limits in their Terms of Service and Fair Use documents.
To make ease of managing your hosting account and website, make sure if the company provides a control panel like cPanel, and easy installation of popular content management systems like WordPress, Joomla etc.
If you're on the one planning to shift your hosting provider, make sure if the company provides free or paid website migration support and the terms of it. Because, Moving your website to a new hosting provider can be tricky and ultimately, you want to find a host that will do the migration for free for you.
Does the company provide other tools like SSL? Let’s Encrypt? Staging? FTP? SSH?
Common Types of Web Hosting Services are available:
Now that you have a solid idea on how to choose a good web host. let's get into the different kinds of hosting services that are available so you can begin to make your decision on choosing the suitable web hosting type and specific for your website.
What is Shared Web Hosting?
Shared hosting is the most basic and cheapest, web hosting service perfectly for beginners.
Do I Need Shared Hosting?
It is good options for beginners having limited tech knowledge, people with low traffic websites, and those that don't have a lot of content on their website.
Why the Shared hosting is cheapest and How it will Work?
It is one of the cheapest hosting types because, with Shared hosting server, many other websites are hosted, can be hundreds or thousands(depends upon the capacity of a server) several other clients share the server and pay accordingly, this is why the shared hosting is cheapest hosting service.
The Limitations of a Shared Server:
Limited Resources - Each shared hosting accounts are allocated with limited resources like Disk Space, Bandwidth, Emails, Databases(depending on the package provided by a company)
So is shared hosting ever a good idea? Yes! It can be a great option for those websites that don’t get a lot of traffic (yet), static brochure sites, development and test sites, personal sites or other websites where uptime is not a huge bother.
Less Uptime - If one website experiences huge traffic than it supposed to be, then the large portion of server resources gets exhausted at one time, this leads to left nothing for you and causes slow page loading, errors, downtime. For a serious business owner, it could be frustrating.
The reliable web hosting providers like InMotion, HostSoch, HostGator, Bluehost are the top options to consider for the best uptime and fastest shared hosting services.
What is VPS Hosting?
VPS hosting is a type of web hosting that uses Virtual Private Servers. VPS, or virtual private server hosting is the advanced option to shared hosting. It is a lot more reliable and stable than shared hosting.
It works in a bit same shared hosting manner wherein On a Virtual Private Server, you are allotted with resources that are not shared by everyone. However, the overall CPU time and memory are shared across all accounts on the machine, but at the same time, portions of those resources are always dedicated to each account.
Do I Need VPS Hosting?
VPS hosting is a good choice for large scale e-commerce sites, web developers, and businesses those who need an advanced hosting than Shared hosting, Who needs the ability to scale, its flexibility, and yet reasonable pricing range from $29.99/month.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting is an alternative to hosting those websites hosted on single servers (shared or dedicated) and it is the type of hosting(clustered servers) where websites are hosted on multiple servers.
With cloud hosting, however, the network of servers that are used is vast and often pulled from different data centers in different locations. This means that if one server has an issue, another will pick up the slack so the site doesn’t go offline.
Cloud Hosting: Only Pay for What You Use
Cloud hosting is also a great option because it allows you to add and remove resources as your business grows. This means you pay for what you use.
The benefits of cloud hosting plans over more basic options:
What is Dedicated Hosting?
As we understood With shared hosting you share server resources with other accounts. With Dedicated hosting server, only your alone websites will be hosted on the entire server.
Do I Need Dedicated Hosting?
Dedicated hosting server comes with huge resources and it's best suitable for large-scale websites and portal with huge number of visitors.
The cost of these dedicated servers is also very extreme that is it starts from Rs. 10,000 per month. It also requires very good IT knowledge to monitor and set up the servers when other options such as Cloud hosting are available.
Dedicated servers are Highly Flexible
You can customize the server for as many of your needs as you wish within your allotted bandwidth, memory and hard drive space.
You hold complete control on the server as you are not sharing the server with other sites with shared hosting. For example, you may have root access that is not allowed with shared services.
The entire server belongs to you and the websites are hosted in it all yours, therefore you don't have to worry about others.
What is Reseller Hosting Service?
Reseller hosting is a type of web hosting wherein you rent some portion of the hosting space and bandwidth with other users. Therefore, the resellers are like the hosting service provider to those end users.
Reseller Hosting is Cheap to end users
If you're an end user looking to buy a hosting plan from a Reseller Hosting, then you're buying a website which is comparatively very cheap than Shared hosting from an established firm.
Lack of Customer Support for end Users.
Unlike established web hosting firms, the resellers might not be able to provide reliable technical support.
Should You Get a Web Hosting Reselling Business?
If you want to earn online money through web hosting, then Reseller hosting is one of the best types of such web hosting to earn from it.
Being a reseller, what benefits you get with a Reseller Hosting account.
Free end-user support - All customer support related matters will be taken care by the reseller provider. Hence, you need to worry about the client's support option.
WHMCS - A Reseller account will have WHMCS- a client management, billing, and support solution that’s specifically designed for web hosts to take care of the client's websites and all related functionality.
SSL certificated offered for your domain to ensure security for all transactions on the website.
SSL reseller accounts (this allows the hosting company to resell SSL certificates to their clients)
Domain reseller accounts (this allows the hosting company to resell domain names to clients)
What Is SSD Hosting?
SSD (Solid State Drive) is the latest type of hard disk storage device. These days SSD is used in various high computers & laptops and servers.
And every hosting provider is moving towards an SSD storage to ensure to provide better and speed performance to their customers.
See our comparison for best SSD hosting providers.
How Fast are SSDs?
With regards to speed consideration, one key metric is called Input/Output or IOPS. According to Wikipedia, it states -
“IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second, pronounced eye-ops) is a common performance measurement used to benchmark computer storage devices like hard disk drives (HDD), solid-state drives (SSD), and storage area networks (SAN).”
SSD's Random Read IOPS: between 4,600 to 15,500 depending on disk capacity
SSD's Random Write IOPS: between 65,000 to 75,000 depending on disk capacity
Which much more than those with SATA(7.2K SATA – around 80 IOPS) and SAS(15K SAS – around 180 IOPS)
Ultimately, this means the higher the IOPS, the faster the disk.
We all love speed and SSDs are faster than any older type of storage device like SATA and SAS. If you need a better speed performance, better consider SSD Hosting.