Sites Built Using Different Hosting Services
How to Select the Best Web Hosting Service
We are going to show you what you must (yes, you MUST) consider when choosing the host for your website(s). Whether you want to launch a personal site with interesting info, stories and some ads to help you keep it up, or you want to launch a fully professional business site or shop, you have to find a trustworthy, affordable and stable hosting service. You must have some idea about what those deals are about, and what kind of service you might need when you launch your first-ever (or tenth, hundredth or thousandth) website.
The Service’s Price
It’s always the first thing anyone will check. There are cheap services, expensive hosts, and free hosts. Which one should you choose? Well, the simple answer is: anything but the free ones! It might sound a bit weird, but when it comes to hosting (particularly if you are looking for professional and stable service) free services are out of the question. The free hosts have high downtime rates (which means that your site won’t be available either), and they place undesired ads on your page.
In case you are ready to spend money on proper hosting, you should find a mid-priced host. What seems to be too good to be true, it’s probably too good to be actually true, so check the “cheap” and “unlimited” offers carefully. The $2 per month and even lower offers look good, but what you get for it? Always look on the details, and if you need proper service, never go for the cheapest offer. According to our previous experiences and research, the average (yet good) services cost over ten bucks a month, and they offer you lots of great features.
Your Needs – Know What You Want to Do With Your Site!
Some host services make money from people who don’t know what to do, because they tend to sign up, run their site for a few months, then give it up. But after another bunch of months, they go back and start again from scratch. What does this tell us? Well, first, the host is a good one, if quitters keep coming back, and second, you shouldn’t quit at the first roadblocks you might run into! Before you launch a website and register your domain at a hosting service, you have to think it through:
- How much traffic do you expect?
- What will be your website’s main niche, what will it be about? (Will it be a web shop? Or it will be run on affiliate marketing? Or maybe it’s a company site with only info, references, and contact?)
- Do you need any kind of special software (e.g. Windows applications, WordPress and its plugins, PHP)?
If you have answers, then think through what you want to achieve in the next 12 months, and where you want to take your business next. In case you don’t know the answers, you can take advantage of our consulting service, so you can find those answers sooner!
Some of the hosting services are quite picky when it comes to the actual content of your site. In most cases, fraudulent activities, schemes, and pyramid games are not allowed. Others might charge you extra if you want to build a web-shop. These are all matters you have to check. When you start searching for the best web hosting provider, you have to go the extra mile: write an email to them, call them on phone, Skype or whatever they use. Ask questions, get answers… and do this before you sign up and pay!
We recommend that you read through our hosting reviews, so you could find a bit more specific info, and our advice to you is: never stop looking for a better choice. If you are lucky, and you have a website running, you shouldn’t just sit and wait. Apart from making the site work, add content to it, it’s also your task to scour the web regularly for better offers. A year flies on if you lead a successful site, and you have to be ready to expand or move to a new host or to stay at the same host, but get a dedicated server!
Know the Different Server Types and Their Pros and Cons
There are basically four types of different servers the best web hosting services can provide you with. There are some which are more expensive than the others, but they are better too. Depending on your needs, you should consider choosing one of these four server types:
The most basic type of service. You get a “slot” on a server which already has hundreds or even thousands of websites. You share the traffic and the workload with those other sites, so if they are viral, and receive a lot of traffic, your site might become slow. Increasing traffic might even lead to downtimes. The shared servers have other restrictions which limit your options further (e.g. database access, storage, add-ons).
The basic idea of the Virtual Private Server is that you can have your site run on a virtual machine, which has all the power an actual machine could have. The VPS instance may share the “box” with other VPS instances, but since you get a full machine dedicated to you, the performance is usually better than what you could reach with the simple sharing. Using VPS requires some server-related management and maintenance knowledge, so you would know what you are doing.
These are becoming quite common nowadays, and they have increasing popularity. The cloud servers are based on the cloud technology, which also means that they are faster and safer than the base-level hosting. The cloud hosting comes forward when you try to grab an affordable service, yet you don’t want to risk performance on shared hosting. Clouds are the mid-way solutions: they are cheap, and they are easier to handle. Also, they have better failover technology, granting almost a hundred percent uptime!
The dedicated server is for the big fishes. It’s sure you will start with one of the first three methods, but if you become a big shot, you must switch to dedicated servers. This hosting means that you get one full server dedicated to your site only, granting you the performance much better than anything else! These are expensive though, costing usually $70-$200 per month, depending on the features and the discount you can get.
Is There Room for You to Grow?
Probably, this isn’t the first thing you think about, but if you pay attention to it, you can spare a headache later! The future is in the future, but when it comes to business, that future might come sooner than expected: you launch your site, with high hopes, and what if your results exceed your hopes? You might find that even though you get millions of views, there is hardly any business done… and the reason is: your shared hosting plan can’t handle the traffic, your site doesn’t work properly. To avoid expensive expansions, and migrations, you have to choose a plan that:
- Has enough power to handle your traffic
- Offers you affordable migration and expansion options
In most cases, the cloud hosting and the VPS are the best choices for those who start small but aim big. From these two, the cloud hosting is usually the more affordable.
Limitations and The Hardware
When you are looking for the best web hosting service to contract with, you have to take a look at the information they provide about the limits and the hardware they use! By the limitations, we mean the technical specifications: how much RAM is included in the package, how much storage space (and what kind, SSD, HDD?) you get, how many views are included, how many processor cores your site is powered by, and so on.
There are other details you should pay attention to when you choose the best hosting service. For example, the matter of the domain names: is the package include only one domain, or you can have several domains and sub-domains? One of the main drawbacks of cheap and free (and shared) hosting services is the bandwidth limitation, and the hosts right to throttle the performance! Yes, there are some (but they are not the big ones), who will slow down your page, or simply put out an error page until next month. This is such a last century thing, that it would ruin your business in hours!
As for the hardware, you might need to call them or write an email to them. The best hosting services will be helpful, and they will tell you exactly what kind of servers they use. This way, you can avoid the risk of downtimes because of overheating servers, meltdowns and other issues which may arise without proper equipment. If a host you contact holds back the info, then you should look for another one. We hope our reviews will help you to avoid confusion and future issues!
Support and Tech Support
When you choose a hosting service, you choose a SERVICE. With a service, you have to get additional services such as support. You become a client, and the clients always have rights, and one of them is the right to get answers to questions and to have arisen issues resolved. Even if you are not a client, you should have the right to get support, and the best hosting services will grant you that right.
There are usually different levels of support too: those who chose the cheapest plans have to be ready to get in touch with outsourced support, while those who chose higher level plans (e.g. dedicated servers) can get better, fully professional support. But this diversification isn’t common, you mostly get the best the company can provide. The phone, chat and other instant messaging options are the best ways to get fast help, but as we found out the turnaround time for emails is usually under 48 hours. If you have a complex matter, you should write an email. The best web hosting services we’ve found so far, are all great in the field of support too.
Features and Interface
Nowadays, when we always want to do a thing with a click or two, the web hosting providers have to offer a good panel for the clients, so they can install and add whatever they need. There are some commercial panels which are very easy to use (e.g. cPanel), and they are available at most of the big services. You have to find a hosting service that grants you easy-install options, so you could use auto script installers, security purpose-software, file transfer options, and so on.
It’s also good if you get all this in a click-and-go kind of method, so you can easily set them up or install them. Additional features include email options (free storage, maybe autoresponder or email list builder), FTP options, and of course the popular one-click upgrades and other goods.
Today, WordPress is the hardest rocker around, and there are hardly any hosting services which don’t offer you WP installs. You can set up a WP site easily, choose from thousands of themes, and you get a full panel. Of course, PHP, Java scripting, Flash and a lot more important script and tools have to be supported. In our reviews, you will find info about these.
The Extras You Get!
Now, this is a very important factor you have to consider. Apart from the hosting service, what else you get for your money? The best hosting services will offer you some freebies if you don’t go with the cheapest solution. For example, a common bonus is free advertising credits: Google AdWords credits, Bing credits, and some other search engine bonuses might be included. For web-shops, there are some e-commerce extras too, which might help you get the most out of your store! Always check the details of these offers, and choose the plan that gives you the most, but it’s still in your budget.
We hope you get the idea about the web hosting providers by now. You have to be very careful about them because sometimes the devil hides in the details. For most of the time, though, if you would like to run a legit business or a personal site, you won’t have too many problems. There are many unbiased reviewers out there, and if you are not sure about what you read on host’s site is real, then check its reputation. Naturally, you can visit our site too, as we have the best hosts already checked and reviewed, and we hope we can provide you with the answers you seek!
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