So you may have finally decided to start an online business or build your own website and looking for a good web hosting company but unsure what bandwidth your website may need or how much space you will require, keeping the hosting cost to minimum.
One should not feel like a lost soul as this article discuss basics and fundamentals of Web Hosting to provide you a better understanding as a beginner.
So, what is web hosting and how does it work?
Web hosting is defined as a business hosting services that provides web space and bandwidth through a high-powered computer server that is connected to the internet at very high speeds. There are many web hosting companies that provides a share of disk space and bandwidth to a customer for a monthly fee.
Web hosting companies hold the data for your website in their server and offer a space on their drive to customers for a monthly fee. The customer also has the option of moving their information to better storage if they have more files or websites than just one. The monthly fee of the service is much less expensive than running your own web server at home or in a data centre.
These web hosting companies take care of all the hardware, software, and other technical needs for you.
These are the servers that host a websites or other large pieces of data. There are many other web sites that are hosted on these servers, and the hosting companies are likely to have quite a few of these servers in a large data centre. All these websites share allocated resources of the server to keep them functional.
These networks of servers are generally located in a physical location known as a data centre. These data centres are well secured, often closely guarded and security monitored and comes with a complete backup power facility in case of a power outage.
Types of web hosting
There are many but mainly three types of web hosting which are widely used, dedicated, shared and reseller. Each type of hosting is purposed according to different user requirements and needs.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated hosting is a dedicated single server with no one else hosting on that computer. Anyone who has a busy website or have high traffic will find dedicated hosting as the preferred choice. It is cost-effective solution that makes big savings. You don’t have to spend money to buy servers. A user makes a huge savings every month gets a faster connection at a fraction of price.
Dedicated hosting allows best of configuration options available to user compared to others.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting is the is the most popular form of web hosting for those looking for a great price and don’t have more than a couple thousand daily visitors to the site. Service cost is minimum and affordable by most website owners.
Reseller web hosting is for individuals looking for a low-cost solution to start their own web hosting business. There are two types of reseller hosting, reseller of services and private label.
The reseller of services plans is where service is purchased from a larger web hosting company as a wholesale and then sold to a customer at a lower price. The resellers earn a monthly commission for providing the customer their service so long they remain a customer with the web hosting provider. This plan does not allow control over customer web sites and the reseller only gets a revenue share of the monthly subscription fee collected. There are may companies who offer a reseller service such as Hostinger or Dreamhost.
A private label plan allows the reseller to keep the full monthly payment of the hosting customer, however the reseller pay a monthly fee to the larger hosting company for the reseller space. The more hosting accounts a private-label reseller sells, the higher he earns a profit. Private-label hosting allows you to host many more websites than if you were using shared hosting for each. This is a great solution for someone who has many sites they need to host in one location to save money.
If cost savings and a minimum of hassle are your priority, shared web hosting is the best option. With this type of web hosting, you don’t have to pay for anything more than what you need.
Considerations when looking for a Web Hosting
First in the list is price which is also the most important. There are many hosting companies in the market who offer cheap hosting packages, but if the price is too good to be true, then it probably is, and it could be that package may be lacking some services. Don’t let the price of such hosting package fool you.
There are many hosting companies out there who have great prices and the other features are just as good. Many hosting companies nowadays offer great introductory offers where you can potentially save up to 90% of the purchase price in the first year.
Price is, however, one of the most important decisions that you may take when looking for a web hosting plan but getting the quality of services should also not to be comprised.
Data Transfer / Bandwidth
The amount of bandwidth available and data transfer speed makes a big difference to hosting services. So, it is wise to take a note when choosing a quality hosting plan.
In general, the more bandwidth a hosting company offers, the better it is. This means handling more traffic will be easy for your web site as your business grows.
Be cautious of web hosting vendors that offer unmetered bandwidth. While many of these are legitimate offers, there are some out there who charge more in fee by overselling their bandwidth in hopes the average user won’t use much.
Uptime is a term use to measure how long an average web site hosted by a company stayed available online. It’s never likely that any hosting company will provide an exact 100% uptime. This is impossible due to several reasons such as hardware, software, or power failures.
Uptime of 95% or above is generally considered good. A vast majority of the companies do claim to offer over 95% uptime and often guarantee it. Hence, It is a good idea to be conscious of the uptimes claims posted by the company.
Disk Space / Storage Space
Disk space is the amount of physical storage space a web host gives to you to store your web data and files. Hosting companies tend to sell plans with disk space often measured in gigabytes. Depending on your needs for file storage space, you may need the storage space accordingly.
Generally, the more disk space on offer, the better it is. Note that bigger storage space often reflects the price of the hosting service in some case.
Data backups protects the web data in the event of a data hack or hardware failure. Some companies often charge for this service. A good web hosting company will generally have a regular schedule to back up the data across the web servers. At the very least, a web hosting company can backup web site files daily or in some cases twice a day.
Databases are useful for many programs and applications such as online shopping carts, forums, message boards, product catalogues etc. The more databases the web hosting provider allows, the more applications you can deploy on your web server. Databases are used by the advanced web master, but information is freely available online should you be interested and how to make the most use of it.
Email plays a key role of communication on the Internet with the website users. Most web hosting companies nowadays will give you email addresses with the hosting package and inbox storage space (depending on the chosen price package) to hold email messages.
What you need to look out for is the companies that a small amount of message space and soon as you exhaust the storage space, the company force you to upgrade storage and charge you extra.
If you have a good hosting service but poor customer service, then it will just be like driving a car with one wheel missing. In any business, it is very important to have a good customer service. Web hosting is no different to this. Many of the hosting companies offers 24/7 customer services in case you have a problem with your web site. If your web site goes down in the middle of the night and you don’t find a customer service department to help you then this means lost revenue for your business. You should make sure the web host you select is always available for support.
With the passage of time, many companies now have live chat or social media helpdesk to assist their customer 24 hours of the day.
Choosing the right web hosting service can be difficult to decide as because of many hosting companies out in the market. It is therefore critical that you find a plan that meets your needs and criteria to have a good hosting company.