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Are you looking to launch a website for your business? Do you want to start a food blog? Maybe create an online store where you can sell products and services online? To pursue any of these projects you’re gonna need web hosting. In this blog post I will talk about what web hosting is, the various kinds of plans there are, and how to choose the best hosting for the kind of website you want to build.
What is web hosting?
First let’s talk about what web hosting is.
Hosting is the service provided by, you guessed it, a hosting provider where space on a server is allocated to your website so it can receive traffic and serve files to visitors requesting them.
There are so many different options out there that it’s easy to create a situation where you either don’t have any enough server resources allocated to your website, or an abundance of resources. In the latter case you end up overpaying for hosting.
Let’s go over some of the options you’ll come across when looking for web hosting.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting is probably the most popular type of web hosting plan that exists as it’s cheap and easy to set up.
With these plans your site shares resources with other websites on the same server. This is how companies like Bluehost can offer web hosting for as little as $3.95/month.
Shared web hosting is best for small to mid-sized companies or personal blogs that don’t expect to get a lot of traffic at first.
However as companies scale and their websites start generating more traffic then shared hosting becomes limiting as the server cannot guarantee the necessary resources to accommodate the traffic.
Still, if you’re simply launching a digital presence for your business or starting a personal blog then this is the perfect hosting plan for you.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and it’s considered the next step up from shared web hosting.
In a VPS your website is still sharing the same server with other websites, but that shared server gets sliced up into multiple virtual machines that allow you to claim 100% of the resources from that virtual slice.
Because of this you’re never sharing those resources, which can improve performance and help your website handle the incoming traffic.
Dedicated Hosting is exactly what it sounds like. You get a dedicated server where all of the resources from that server are dedicated entirely to your website.
Dedicated hosting is the ideal solution for larger companies that expect to receive lots of traffic, or need specific configurations and security systems enabled on their server.
However this type of hosting requires technical expertise, which means you’ll likely need an administrator who can help you manage the server.
Cloud hosting is quickly becoming one of the most popular type of web hosting due to its scalability and affordability.
Cloud hosting consists of interconnected web servers that allows a website or app to scale as needed.
Among the most popular cloud hosting providers are Google Cloud Platform, AWS, and Microsoft Azure.
I’m personally quite fond of Cloudways and have been using them to host all of my web projects.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress Hosting is a type of hosting where the server environment and resources are optimized specifically for WordPress websites.
WordPress powers almost 40% of all websites so if you’ve decided to build your business website or ecommerce store on WordPress then one of these plans may help you get the most out of the popular blogging platform.
What is the best hosting for your website?
When deciding which web hosting plan to choose for your website there are several factors to keep in mind. Here we’ll go over each of these factors.
What type of website are you launching?
When choosing web hosting an important factor to consider is what kind of website you’ll be launching.
Is it an online store? Is it a personal or food blog? Is it simply a digital presence for your business with just a few informational pages?
If you don’t expect your website to receive a lot of traffic then a shared hosting plan from a provider like Bluehost will more than satisfy your needs.
Most bloggers and start-ups opt for shared hosting plans because they are affordable and super-easy to set up.
However if you’re launching an ecommerce website then it’s important to think ahead.
As ecommerce websites scale they start to generate more traffic, and create more data. Security also becomes paramount.
This means you should opt for a hosting plan where you can easily scale the server to meet your website’s needs.
With a single click on cloud hosting you can scale your server to immediately meet the needs of your ecommerce website.
Will you be needing technical support?
That’s a rhetorical question. Of course you will!
Make sure that whatever hosting plan you choose comes with basic technical support like chat, email, a phone number that’s not hidden in the deepest depths of the hosting provider’s website.
Reaching the technical support team when you’re seeing a 500 error on your screen is crucial to getting your website back up and running.
Websites break. Backups are needed. Words to live by.
Choose a web hosting plan that offers automatic backups. This should be a bare minimum service offering these days.
With automatic backups you can rest assured that whatever calamity happens to your website you’ll always be able to restore it with minimal to no loss of data.
In addition to backups the web host should also provide you with a free basic SSL Certificate to protect the data on your website.
When choosing a web host you’ll want to keep in mind the type of website you’re looking to launch. Personal blogs or a business website for a simple digital presence will likely not need anything more complex than a shared web hosting plan.
However when launching an ecommerce website then you’ll want to look into plans that give you the ability to scale the server when the time comes.
Cloud hosting is quickly becoming the ideal solution for just about any kind of website you’re looking to build so this option should be kept top of mind.