- 1 Choosing the right Web Hosting matters
- 1.1 Factors to think about when choosing web hosting
- 1.2 1. Server Uptime & Customer Support:
- 1.3 2. Pricing & included features
- 1.4 3. Data Storage and Bandwidth limits
- 1.5 4. Shared Hosting vs Virtual Private Server vs Dedicated Server vs Cloud Hosting
- 1.6 5. Addon Domains & Sub Domains
- 1.7 6. E-mail and FTP accounts
- 1.8 7. Programming Languages & Databases
- 1.9 10. Web Hosting ideas for good website positioning
Choosing the right Web Hosting matters
Whether or not you’re putting up a personal website or a business one, you should choose your web hosting provider properly. The reason is that you will most definitely need your website to be seen by the largest number of people. To do that it is essential to take a little time to go over certain basic but very important factors that can ensure more visibility for your website.
Factors to think about when choosing web hosting
There are such a lot of hosting providers and packages on offer right now. Each one among them have their own unique advantages and weaknesses. So how would you decide which one to choose?
Even after you zone in on a specific provider, you still want to choose the web hosting package that will suit you. Every hosting site offer many different types of packages to choose from. The most popular type is the ‘Unlimited Bandwidth’ package.
The next points should make your task of choosing hosting less complicated for you.
1. Server Uptime & Customer Support:
Probably the most fundamental factor for a website to be found on the internet depends on whether the server where the files are saved is online i.e. up and operating at any given time. This is known as Server Uptime.You will see that most of the hosting providers will claim a 99.99% server uptime. Some even claimed 100%.
When you’ve got time, search for feedback by customers of the provider on web forums or elsewhere online. Or go for the bigger extra established hosting companies who’ve built a trusted reputation. Most good hosting companies have a number of server data and power backups. Just a few also promised 100% they usually do that by guaranteeing refund of fees within the eventuality that any downtime might happen.
Another very important feature of a good web hosting is Customer Support. They should provide customers with 24/7 telephone and internet support. They should have an excellent collection of tutorials and FAQs readily on their website in case you might need assistance. Make no mistake, you will contact your hosting support more often than you think, especially if you are serious about your website.
2. Pricing & included features
The range of pricing and features included in a web hosting packages are pretty vast. You will want a fair balance of features and high quality that can fit your needs. As with any other product, low cost normally gets much less quality. On the other hand some pricing may be exorbitant without any special value.
The prices of a hosting packages are normally depending on the set of features included. These contains data storage and bandwidth limits, number of allowed addon domains and subdomains, number of email and ftp accounts hosted, shared or virtual or dedicated server plans, programming languages and databases, website tools, shopping cart and many others, and the list goes on. One may be easily confused with these quite a few choices more so if you are not familiar with them. Don’t worry, we are going to cover the essential ones in the next paras.
Pricing for a good value shared hosting packages normally starts around 6-8 US$ per month. Virtual Private/Dedicated Server around US$ 30-50 pm and Dedicated Servers at US$ 60-80 pm.
Pricing tip: If you have not acquired a domain name or want to add another, then some packages include free domain with hosting. They could be a good discount.
3. Data Storage and Bandwidth limits
If you are new to putting up websites, you may need very little idea about how much data storage space and bandwidth your website will need. First off, don’t worry too much about this. Even the most professional people will tell you that themselves. Because your needs will grow as the number of visitors to your website will increase, you will know all about it as you go alongside.
Data Storage Space: Until you intend to host lots of video/movie clips or a big amount of huge resolution pictures, most hosting packages will do. Normal websites rarely occupy beyond 40-50 MB (megabytes of storage space). The basic shared hosting package for the highest registrar costing $4.99 pm includes 10 GB(1000 MB) of storage space.
Bandwidth Limits: Bandwidth limit is the amount of data transfers your hosting permits per month. This depends on how much visitors your website has and the type of files you serve i.e. basic web pages, photos or video clips etc. Here too, not that much to worry about for normal websites. Most hosting suppliers will offer “Unlimited Bandwidth” even on their value shared hosting packages.
How to choose between these types of web hosting? Putting it simply, it is best to choose by how busy or popular you think your website shall be viz Shared – VPS – Dedicated – Cloud, in that order.
Shared Hosting: Majority of websites on the internet are on Shared hosting. It’s good for personal and small websites. They are probably the most economical of hosting packages. In shared hosting, a lot of hosting accounts usually 10-100 are hosted on a single physical server. They share the same server storage and broadband connection.
Shared hosting is especially recommended for starters and small to medium personal and business websites that don’t host picture/movie/video downloads.They can cost between $5-$15 per month.
Virtual Private Servers: One of these web hosting is usually used by medium websites with medium storage and bandwidth requirements. Virtual Private Servers are hosted on unique ip addresses (eg. 22.214.171.124) and are just about like a dedicated physical stand-alone server, but with less cost than a physical dedicated server. The best way it really works is that multiple accounts say 3-10 are hosted on a single physical server, each accounts having it’s own unique host id or ip address, data storage and bandwidth separated from one another by software.
VPS hosting can cost between $30 to $150 per month depending on the features for a 1 year contract. Note: All hosting packages price decrease as you increase the number of years of contract.
Dedicated Server: They’re usually used by the medium to big websites who need storage and bandwidth scalable to their requirements. They’re hosted on separate physical servers. In other words they have a server rented out to them. They have full control over the server with its own unique address, hard disk, ram and bandwidth.
The price of renting a dedicated server depends on the physical components of the server, the hard disk capacity, the processor version, the amount of ram and the broadband connection. Prices can vary between $65 to $200 per month.
Cloud Hosting: A relatively new factor in the world of hosting, Cloud hosting is the next generation type of hosting. Instead of having one physical server, cloud hosting makes use of several servers located in different locations connected to one another.
The main advantages of cloud hosting is the scalability factor and cost effectivity. For large websites there’s massive benefits. As a website grows larger than its current capability, all they need to do is add another server to join the networked group of servers.
Cloud hosting packages can be priced anywhere from $100 to $550 depending on the storage and bandwidth requirements.
5. Addon Domains & Sub Domains
Addon Domains are the domain names i.e. websites eg. “http://www.yoursite1.com”, “http://www.yoursite2.com” that you just wish to host together with your hosting supplier. In case you intend to host more than one website, it’s worthwhile to choose the package deal that allows it. Most of the cheapest hosting packages will allow just one website.
Sub Domains: They are the different directories that you may wish to create eg. “http://directory1.yoursite.com” or “http://directory2.yoursite.com”. The number of Sub Domains allowed may be totally different on completely different packages. Don’t confuse this with folders eg. “http://www.yoursite.com/folder1” or “http://www.yoursite.com/folder2”. There is no limit on folders.
6. E-mail and FTP accounts
E-mail Accounts: These are unique email accounts for your website/s eg. “email@example.com”. You may set these up and give it to anyone, your friends, visitors, customers. No worries here trigger a lot of web hosting packages will give you plenty.
FTP Accounts: FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol”. FTP accounts are used to access your hosting files from web softwares. They are a tremendous help to the web masters in that they allow you to update, delete or create new files and folders in your host directly from web design software and ftp softwares. No worries here too as most packages will give you more than 10 accounts. You can allocate this to your designers and co staff as you want.
7. Programming Languages & Databases
Frontpage Server Extension, PHP5, Customized PHP.ini, Perl w/FASTCGI, Python CGI, Java, Ruby CGI, Ruby on Rails w/FASTCGI, ColdFusion, MySQL(Unix), MsAccess, MySQL(Win) and many others.
These are programming softwares and databases used by your web hosting server. They’re used for the more advanced web features like automated content management, user management, running scripts and applications etc. In case you don’t understand them, you don’t need to. Because most of the package include the popular languages and databases that you may need when you want to use them.
8. Content Management, Blogs, Forums: Drupal, Joomla, Mambo, Nucleas, Moodle, WordPress, Geeklog, Lifetype, Serendipity, phpBB, SMF, Vanilla Discussion board and so on.
These are ready made tools for setting up blogs, forums and content management to boost websites. Most packages have enough choices here too.
9. Website Tools, Advertising and marketing Tools, Shopping Cart Website Tools: Website Builder, Web Analytics Tools, FrontPage Extensions, Google Custom Search, Google Webmaster Tools and so forth.
These are basic tools that helps in building websites, gauging website popularity and statistics and site enhancements included in most hosting packages.
Advertising and marketing Tools: Google AdWords Credit – $50, Yahoo! Search Advertising and marketing Credit – $25, Facebook Advertisements Credit – $50 and so forth.
These are ad credits for promoting your website. They are great bargains if it is included.
Shopping Cart – For those wishing to sell products online this software is quite important. Most packages include them.
10. Web Hosting ideas for good website positioning
One of the things that improves Search Engine Optimization (website positioning) and should be considered when choosing a web host is the location of the server. Expertise shows that search engines favor locally hosted websites when search is made. Huge search engines like Google are known to give preference to locally hosted sites. Because of this to rank higher in, for eg., UK, it helps to have a hosting server that’s located within the UK. Another factor that is also known to help web optimization in local search rankings is regional TLDs or domain names. So for UK, the domains.co.uk or.org.uk are given preference.
Another point to note is that shared hosting can hurt your website’s SEO rankings. Experts believe that if you have a website which shares the same server and ip address as a Google penalized website, your website also suffers because of this. The obvious strategy to avoid this is to host your website or websites on a separate ip address which will mean a dedicated server of a Virtual Private.