When making plans for your company’s online presence, there are certain facts about web hosting you need to know. You see, web hosting is as important as choosing an ideal location for your business. Choosing the right web-hosting provider can make a huge difference as it ensures whether your website survives or not.
Web hosting comes in different shapes, sizes, and offerings. However, before you settle for a certain web hosting provider as your preferred choice, you need to weigh the costs and benefits against the return on investment and see if it is a worthwhile venture.
Here are the facts you need to know about web hosting:
Like earlier mentioned, cost should be a primary determiner in your choice. You need to ask yourself questions like:
• What is your budget?
• What feature are you looking for?
If you treat your website as a personal website instead of viewing it as a business, you might end up getting less than you hoped for. Low-cost hosting might seem appealing to you, but keep in mind that the provider could be hosting hundreds of sites of one single. This could mean serious problems for you as it only takes two or three sites to stir up issues. A single outage could cause problems like that of a power outage. How many businesses are forced to close due to problems caused by power outages? Consider that carefully before you make a choice.
On the other hand, medium to high-level providers offer more satisfying services. Depending on your needs, you can decide to have a single server or even multiple servers that is, if you are willing to pay the extra penny. And with cloud computing taking shape, web hosting is becoming a whole lot easier with fewer issues, unlike traditional options.
Typically, the provider handles the technical aspects of web hosting such as patching, hardware needs, server administration, general maintenance of systems and connection to the Internet. As for the site owner, the work becomes easier as they are only required to choose the technologies to be used. With that in mind, you can come up with a list of all the technologies you want to be supported and run it against what the provider supports. Here are few questions to ponder on:
• Does your provider offer live chat or IM?
• What about phone and email support, do they offer these?
• What is their average response time?
• Do they have a ticketing system?
• Do they provide 24/7 coverage?
Most people will first look at the features of a product or service before even looking at the price tag. In simple terms, you can say that what draws you to a product is not the price but the features. Web hosting is no different; you need a provider offering the best features. For you to understand the features the provider offers, you need to ask the following question:
• What are the supported technologies?
• Which is their area if specialization?
• What is their Application Memory Limit?
• What are the Bandwidth options?
• What’s the cost of additional services, packages or Custom DLLs?
• Do they employ the use of only the latest versions of the.NET Framework or are they behind by a version or two?
Like earlier said, do not opt for a cheaper option just because it has the most features, instead opt for a host with features that fit your requirements as well as your budget.
4. Types of Hosting
There are numerous types of hosts, and these include:
Budget Hosting- it is also referred to as shared hosting. Most providers have this category as it offers low-cost plans and they all come with decent features. The cost of these low-cost plans ranges from a few dollars to $20 per month. The plans cover a wide range of technologies, which makes them ideal for starter or personal sites.
Medium-level Hosting- in this category, providers mostly focus on small-midsize businesses. The price ranges from $50-$500 per month. The type of plans includes higher-end shared hosting, virtual plans, and dedicated server plans.
Enterprise-level hosting- the cost of this type of hosting can go up to thousands of dollars in just a single month. And if you decide to externalize your infrastructures completely, the cost could be significantly higher. In enterprise-level hosting, the provider charges you a monthly fee for using their equipment; it is seen as renting since you do not own the equipment.
Co-location- unlike enterprise-level hosting, here you buy the equipment and instead of housing them in your own facilities, you opt for a third-party facility. In this case, a dedicated cage is normally provided as an easy way to access your hardware. You can also choose to collaborate with provider as an easy way of maintaining your equipment. However, the provider might choose to only handle the data centre portion, which means that their work will revolve around Internet connection, power, and building.
Cloud Hosting-unlike the previous options, cloud hosting- also referred to as cloud computing, takes a different approach from the norm. Hosting providers will offer on-demand resources, which include disk space, server processing, bandwidth, etc. The prices will vary depending on the resources offered and the additional features.
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Security alone could fill an entire article; however, we’ll only look at the key components. Here are some of the highlights:
• Is your site required to be PCI compliant?
• Do you have any use for Sarbanes-Oxley?
• Is the provider SAS 70 compliant?
• Has the provider implemented intrusion detection systems?
Each question should be handled differently, and the provider should be in position to answer them easily. How the host handles the questions will determine how safe and secure your site will be. Your site may not necessarily require all these security measures, but it doesn’t hurt to know that the host can meet the requirements.
6. Host Size
In web hosting, the bigger the size isn’t always the best option. Preferably, evaluate the turnover rate, customers and the number of domains that a host has, before hiring them. As earlier mentioned, low-cost hosting tends to target more clients, which means that they also lose many clients. This is largely because they are not keen on maintaining long-term relationships, unlike higher-end providers.