Web Hosting Buying Guide and Tips: Having a web presence of your business is the most crucial thing these days. In simpler words, a website can be the key to success if you are a Businessman, Blogger or Artist.
But you can't run a website without web hosting which makes your website available on the internet 24×7.
Now you must be wondering why it's hard to choose web hosting? Well, Web hosting is responsible for your web server’s speed, ping, and uptime. To handle some time to give your visitor a smooth browsing experience, you need to have a good web hosting for your website.
A web hosting provides you with a web server, which is a computer that contains your website data and web pages and delivers the content of your website to the users through the Internet.
Now a web server can host multiple websites at once and that brings us to the types of web hosting, Shared, VPS & Dedicated. When your websites get hosted on a server that is shared with others is called Shared hosting.
VPS allows your website to run with a dedicated server space & Dedicated gives you the entire server and its resources.
If you have a small number of people that come to your web page then you can opt for Shared hosting while VPS lets you tackle intermediate traffic. When there is a huge number of web traffic and the website contains large files then dedicated hosting is recommended.
Today I'm going to guide you with web hosting tips and things to consider before buying web hosting. So, without any further delay let's get started.
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Evaluate and Understand Your Hosting Needs
“If you don't need, then don't buy” yes this applies to web hosting too. Before rushing into different web hosting plans and different web hosting providers, you need to understand what you are looking for?
First You need to know your website type, the expected audience on your website then you have to decide your budget and the requirements based on that.
A web server has the same components as a normal pc does. Just like your PC has a disk that stores your files and data a web server also has an amount of disk space that contains your web pages and web files. The only difference is your web server does not need bulk disk space.
But when you host a website over time it starts consuming more data. Now there is a formula that helps you to get an idea about how much space you need right now & how much you need after a year?
Now the total space required for now is: APS x APW x TP = 2 x 100 x 5 = 1000MB
The Disk space required after one year is: APS x APW x TP x G = 1000 x 25% = 250MB
Now, this would be applicable for a blog website. Now if there are websites that contain videos, Audios or heavy applications then APS will also increase. For example, Youtube increases its storage capacity on a daily basis, YouTube needs more than a petabyte of new storage every single day.
Now it's not about disk space only, the disk type also has a key role in your web server’s performance. There are mainly 3 types of disk drives the web hosting company offers, So let's talk about them.
In the past, most hosting companies used hard disk drives (HDDs) as core storage devices. It was before 2009 before SSD came into the market. HDD is not too slow but if we talk about it these days SSD has outpowered HDD.
You should always consider SSD if you are opting for shared hosting. The only time you should use an HDD is when the hosting provider gives you mixed storage.
Solid-state drives came to the market in 2009 and made a revolution. Earlier SSD used to be expensive and not quite popular but over time it took over the market.
Though HDD is still being used on a huge scale in the web hosting sector almost every company is providing SSD as it gives better performance and it has been affordable over time. It transmits data way faster at a speed of 50-250MB/ second.
You won't be surprised to know a normal SSD is getting outpowered by its upgraded version NVMe. When your system needs to complete thousands of operations per second, NVMe technology is the only solution with a speed of 2000MB/ second.
That's the reason many web hosting providers have started rolling out plans with NVMe SSD which will make your website future proof.
Which one to choose ?
Today most web hosting companies provide you a standard Solid state drive because it gives you speed, faster data transfer and consumes less power.
You should always go for a standard SSD as it will give you enterprise level performance to your website. There are many companies who have already started rolling out NVMe SSD which is 60% faster than regular SSD to level up the web hosting performance.
You should always consider a SSD over a HDD unless you are taking dedicated hosting with a mixed storage, where HDD is used to store data, and SSD performs all the task.
Important Things to Consider
Web Hosting may look simple to you but there are plenty of things and tools that make it happen. Web hosting has many components which help it to achieve a good performance.
Now you need to understand those components and how it affects your website and your business. So let's jump to it.
Web hosting companies generally provide you monthly bandwidth of 10GB or any amount while many companies give your unmetered bandwidth.
So before judging the efficiency of the bandwidth, you have to understand the need and concept of bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred between the site, its users and the servers. Now you can figure out your estimated bandwidth with this table.
|Average Page size||Number of pages||Disk spaceneeded||Daily page loads||Monthlypage Loads||Monthly Bandwidth|
Scalability refers to the ability to upgrade individual resources as your needs increase while running a website. Scalability is important as it allows you to add bandwidth, storage or other resources immediately to meet your increased needs.
It's better to host your website with a scalable hosting company as your website traffic will increase and you'll have more content and data on your webpage.
No matter which web hosting provider you choose, security is the most important factor which should never be compromised. The internet is an unpredictable platform where billions of people have to access.
You need to make sure your website data and your visitor’s data should be secured at any cost. Data is the most confidential thing on the internet, there are plenty of websites that contain personal data, mobile numbers, payment histories.
You need to make sure your hosting has firewall protection, and Anti-DDoS protection to secure your server.
Running a website is never easy, especially if you have not opted for fully managed hosting. There are plenty of problems that could occur anytime while hosting a website and if you are not a technical person you can't solve those on your own.
24×7 customer support is necessary to help you with any problem or confusion you are facing. Don't worry most of the companies come with 24×7 support but not everyone has a fast response. So do confirm these terms with your hosting provider.
Backup is used to copy files and databases so that they can be preserved in case of equipment failure. Now you don't want to lose all of your business data for s basic technical failure, Right?.
Most of the web hosting providers allow their customers to back up their website regularly and some of them support automatic backup which is a bonus.
Now location refers to the Server location which is the location of the data centre where your website is hosted.
A data centre is usually maintained by the web host for the purpose of handling the data needed for its operation. Now there are plenty of data centres at different locations around the world.
Why is it important?
If the server is located closer, the user will get a faster data transfer speed while visiting your website. That means, your website will load quicker if the server is located closer to you.
Uptime is the most important factor people make sure of while buying a web hosting service. That's the reason web hosting providers mention their uptime at the top of their web pages with the flashy font style.
Now uptime refers to the total duration for which a server is fully functional and running on the internet. When your server is shut down or not available it's called downtime.
Now 1 hour of downtime can affect your traffic and you'll face loss in your business. That's why people always want 100% uptime or as close to it as possible.If the hosting provider gives you an uptime below 99% then you shouldn't consider buying it.
SSL stands for Secure socket layer which is a standard technology that establishes an encrypted connection between a web server (host) and web browser (client). Encrypted data can be read if they are being spied on by someone on the internet.
Without an SSL, anyone able to see your data transfer would be able to read all data sent or received like credit card details, address etc.
Pricing and Renewal
Web hosting is a big industry, Plenty of companies are coming to the market as the requirement is also increasing. Now the pricing is also not the same in every company.
Before you buy web hosting you need to know is it worth what you are paying?. You'll see many companies are taking too much from you where other companies are giving you the same service at a cheaper cost.
This is something that you can't expect from every company. There are not many companies that give you a refund or money-back guarantee in case you don't like their services for not being up to the mark.
But if you find one that offers the same, then it's a bonus.
Bandwidth Isn't the Same as Data Transfer
Very often web hosts talk about bandwidth and data transfer as the same thing but technically it's not. These two are related but not similar things in web hosting.
Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be transferred over a period of time. Example- If the bandwidth is 100MBPS then it means a maximum of 100MB of data can be transferred per second.
Now Data transfer refers to the actual amount of data being transferred at a period.
Now for example – If bandwidth was a tunnel, the bigger the tunnel the more cars can pass through it at a time.
Now the Data transfer is the number of cars allowed to go through the tunnel in a given period, say a month.
Unlimited Isn't Quite Unlimited
Now let's come to a few things that you shouldn't fall for. Just like unlimited resources for your web hosting. You'll see many web hosting companies use taglines like unlimited storage, Unlimited bandwidth & unlimited everything.
Now the fact you should know is they are lying. There are no such companies that can provide you with unlimited resources for your website. It's a part of their marketing strategy.
So, you must be thinking How they are playing with unlimited hosting? The answer is Inodes limit. Let me tell you that Inode Limit is one of the few ways to limit users' consumption in “unlimited hosting plans”.
Inodes are used to store your file information, suppose you are uploading a file or an application in your server a number of inodes will be created. Now the web hosting providers give you a certain amount of inodes. When you are going to reach the limit the hosting provider will tell you to upgrade your hosting plans.
Now what if you crossed the inodes mark ? If you don't upgrade your plans and cross the limit then they will terminate your web server after warning you a few times. Now if you want to get the money back, please don't hope. No such company offers your money back guarantee for more than 45 days.
Let's come to another myth, that is unlimited bandwidth, it is another marketing strategy to gain attention. Technically, bandwidth refers to a data transfer speed that cannot be limitless. They can provide you with a bandwidth that does not restrict you but it's not unlimited.
So, if you see your hosting provider is charging you more for unlimited things just don't fall into the trap. A limited bandwidth plan which costs less is far better.
The Solid-State Drive/Hard Disk Drive Tradeoff
There is always a clash between HDD and SSD because HDD is still relevant to today's market and it can perform many operations without any issue. But the NVMe SSD is very fast and performs 660x faster than the HDD and its future proof.
There are pros and cons to both of them. HDDs are way too cheaper and come with a larger disk and it doesn't cost that much, that's why people don't mind using them for regular usage.
But it takes a lot of power and space.
When it comes to multiple tasks and operations that require speed then HDD may not perform well.
On the other hand, SSD is too fast and they can perform multiple tasks at super fast speed. It doesn't need a lot of space and takes way less power. But they are pretty expensive compared to HDDs and come with smaller disk sizes.
But you'll never face any problem and it's future proof. Most professional companies have replaced HDD with SSD to enhance their performance.
But the companies like YouStable, A2 Hosting are using NVMe which makes their hosting service very fast and there’s a reason why they are called as the Industry Leading Web Hosting Providers.
Get Started with Web Hosting Buying Guide and Tips
Now that was everything about web hosting services. I have covered every key element to look at before buying web hosting for your website.
If you are running a business it's important to give your users a top-notch experience when people visit your website. A website is nothing except good web hosting, web hosting runs the website and it's responsible for website performance.
By the way, if you get stuck at a point where you are confused, which is better? SSD HDD or NVMe SSD?
As I have mentioned above, NVMe SSDs are 60 times faster than the regular SSDs and the regular SSDs are 600 times faster than the regular HDD drivers.
I hope now you know which one to choose if you want your content to load up faster.
You should always research before buying any web hosting as it's a service, not a usual product.
There are plenty of web hosting companies available in the market, it's always recommended to know the main things before buying a service which are quality, claims, safety, price and Competitor Comparison.
Now if you are confused then you can see our web hosting recommendation series on GoogieHost for different kinds of websites. That's it for today. Thanks for visiting GoogieHost, we will come back with another topic.