How To Choose A Web Hosting Company for Your Business Website

Choosing a web hosting company for your business website can be a nerve wracking experience. Especially if you don’t know what to look out for, what to avoid, and what to expect.

Make the wrong choice, and you can kiss goodbye to your business brand website; along with all the time, effort and money you’ve invested. Not to mention your reputation – sad but true!

I know how it feels like, because one of my clients had a horrendous experience with his previous web hosting company. I believe that’s the reason why I’m writing this article.

Here you’ll learn what to look out for, and avoid during the assessment period, as well as what to expect once you purchase your web hosting package.

My Goal

When you finish reading this article, you’ll have all the information you need to make an educated decision, as you’ll be more knowledgeable than those who are not read on the subject.

And most importantly, you’ll know exactly which type of web hosting and company will meet your business needs.

Before we get to the nitty gritty, let me give you a brief introduction of web hosting. But if you’re a seasoned pro, you can move on to what matters.

Let’s begin.

What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting in layman terms, is a server, on a computer network infrastructure that houses websites, and files which can be accessed across the internet through an internet browser.

It all starts with a server, as the data centre on a network that allows connectivity.

In order for your website to be live and accessible online, you need to have your website files hosted on a server that has been pre-configured for the effect.

When you pay for web hosting, what you’re really purchasing is a physical disk space on a server. Plus, the bandwidth which is the network connection for the server.

Disc space, covers:

  • Website, files, and emails.

Bandwidth, covers:

  • The amount of traffic that comes in and out of your website.

Types of Web Hosting

There are many types of web hosting.

Here is a list of the main types:

All the other hosting types, are offshoots of the ones listed above.

Let me introduce you to the first type of web hosting.

The first type of hosting I’m going to introduce to you, is called shared hosting.

Read on…

Shared Hosting

shared-hosting-cover

Shared hosting is the most common and popular type of website hosting available.

Why?

It’s more affordable and cost effective than the other hosting types.

It’s most suitable for those who are just starting out, have a short budget, or just want a basic website to have an online presence.

Here I’m going to explain to you:

  • What is shared hosting
  • Its advantages and disadvantages
  • Account management tips
  • And who it’s most suitable for

I will layout the information in a clear concise and non-threatening way, to make it easier for non-technical minded people to understand.

What is shared hosting?

It’s another word for a shared server, and server resources.

It’s the type of website hosting where multiple websites are hosted on the same server, and share the same server resources.

Advantages:

More affordable than other web hosting types.

Updates and maintenances are done by the web hosting company. So, you don’t need to be technically gifted to manage the server.

Disadvantages:

If a websites hosted on the server exceeds its allocated server resources, it can affect the performance of other websites on the same server.

Users whose website uses up more than the pre-agreed resources, may incur punitive damages in form of a fine, have their hosting account suspended or closed.

Account management tips:

If you’ve signed up for a shared hosting package and believe that your website will need more resources in form of bandwidth or disk space, contact your hosting company in advance for an upgrade.

It may be necessary if:

  • You expect to get more traffic than expected, especially during promotion campaigns.
  • You need more space because your website has grew exponentially
  • You’re streaming videos from your website
  • You’re offering digital downloadable products

If you follow the recommended advice, you’ll be in your hosting company good books.

Most suitable for:

  • Solopreneurs.
  • Small / Medium size businesses that just want to have an online presence.

Website that won’t attract high traffic volume or other activities that consume a lot of hosting server resources.

You’ve just learned what shared hosting is, its advantages, disadvantages and its suitability.

You also learned what to do in order to be on the good side of your web hosting company.

With this information, you now can go ahead and make an educated decision with confidence.

But before that, let me introduce you to the next hosting type.

Virtual Private Server

vps-cover

Virtual Private Server is like Shared Hosting but with a twist.

If you remember, with shared hosting if a website on the same server uses up more than its fair share of resources, it can affect the performance of other websites.

With VPS the hosting account is setup differently.

When the hosting account is created, each user is given its own pre-agreed resources in advance.

If they use-up their own allocated server resources, it will not affect the performance of other user’s website on the server.

Let me give you a more in-depth explanation:

  • What is a Virtual Private Server
  • Its advantages and disadvantages
  • Account management tips
  • And Who it’s most suitable for

Here you go.

What’s a Virtual Private Server?

A Virtual Private Server is equivalent to having your own server. But in this case the server is shared with other users. The resources are shared equally among the users.

Advantages:

You have your very own pre-allocated server resources from the very beginning. Knowing that can allow you to plan how and where to use your resources.

Other server users’ activities will not affect your website’s performance in any way shape or form. Your website is protected from that even though you share the same server.

Disadvantages:

If you use up all of your pre-allocated monthly resources your website may not even show up online. It may go offline completely.

If your website goes offline because you used-up your allocated monthly resources, contact your web hosting company. And ask them to increase your resources capacity. Obviously you’ll need to pay extra for the privilege.

Account management tips:

If you believe that your website will need more resources than you’ve been allocated to when you signed up with an hosting company, you need to do the following:

  • Contact them and inform them of your change of circumnstaces in advance.
  • And ask them to increase your disc space or bandwidth, depending on your requirements.

Increase your hosting resources capacity.

Most suitable for:

Small, Medium size businesses with websites that don’t require too much capacity.

But may not be suitable to complete beginners.

You’ve just learned the pros and cons of virtual private server hosting or VPS in short.

With the information you’ve acquired here, it will be easier for you to make an informed decision of whether or not VPS is the best web hosting type for you.

A virtual private hosting is very popular with intermediate or advanced web hosting users.

I hope the information provided has been helpful.

Now let me introduce you to what the experts’ call the mother of all web hosting packages.

Dedicated Server

dedicated-server-cover

With a dedicated server, you’ve access to the entire server and its resources.

If you have a high traffic website like an eCommerce, News website, video streaming website, and so on, you should consider having a dedicated server.

The reason being is your website would need more than the average space and bandwidth. With a dedicated server your website would be hosted on its own server.

Here I’m going to explain to you:

  • What is a dedicated server
  • Its advantages and disadvantages
  • Account management tips
  • And who it’s most suitable for

What’s a dedicated server?

A dedicated server hosting is when you’ve full and exclusive access to a server and its resources.

Advantages:

  • You’ll have the all server and its resources at your disposal…
  • Your websites won’t need to compete with other people websites for resources.
  • You can manage and allocate your server resources as you please.

There would be no issues with sharing resources with other users.

Disadvantages:

If you’re not technically minded, you may need to learn the ins and outs of server management, or hire someone to manage the server for you.

In most cases you’ll be responsible for the server maintenance and handling technical issues when they arise.

The technical aspect will not be a problem if you’ve server management experience or if you’ve a technical team available to do that on your behalf.

Account management tips:

Choose a web hosting with cPanel. In my opinion it’s easier to learn and manage than other software systems on the market.

If your hosting provider doesn’t maintain the server for you, you’ll need to learn or outsource your server mainteanance.

Most suitable for:

A dedicated server is more suited for someone with hosting management experience or has a technical team for the effect.

  • Business with websites with high traffic and bandwidth requirements
  • Ecommerce websites
  • Video streaming websites
  • Social media websites
  • News websites
  • Digital downloads websites
  • And so on. You’ve got the idea

You’ve just learned about Dedicated Server Hosting, which is the ultimate web hosting type available.

Not let me introduce you to my last website hosting type.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is different from the other web hosting services you’ve read about so far.

It because cloud hosting operates from a completely different service model.

Let me explain what I mean.

Here I’m going to explain to you:

  • What is cloud hosting
  • Its advantages and disadvantages
  • Account management tips
  • And who it’s most suitable for

What’s cloud hosting?

Cloud hosting is the acquisition of computer resources from a data host service provider.

Here is how it works:

With cloud hosting your website and files are stored on a network on virtual hybrid servers across the internet.

Advantages

Highly scalable… can be quickly scaled up and down at any time, on demand.

Avoid downtime and performance related issues, as files are stored in multiple servers on the network.

You only pay for the resources you use; it’s pay as you go.

Makes disaster recovery easier, because the data is stored in many locations on the internet.

Disadvantages

Access to your data is dependent on having an internet connection.

If you choose the wrong service provider, your data security can be put at risk.

Heavily reliant on third parties discretion.

Account management tips

Check and test your resources for anamalies regularly.

Who it’s most suited for

Businesses or organisations that are very reliant in having an unenterrupted online presence.

Those who don’t have the resources or man power to set up and maintain their own private servers.

Now let’s compare and contrast the different web hosting types list above,

Compare And Contrast

Compare And Contrast

You’ve been introduced to the main types of web hosting services.

But, sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming to preocess all the information on this guide…

I will try to make it easier by giving you a birds eye view to compare and contrast the different types of website hosting that you’ve had a chance to read about on this post.

Shared hosting

The most common type of website hosting available on the market.

User Level: Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced

Suitability: Small business.

Virtual Private Server

For those who want to have the experience of having their own server, but can’t afford it.

User Level: Intermediate, Advanced.

Suitability: Small, medium size, and large companies.

Dedicated Server

Unrestricted access to a server and its resources.

User Level: Advanced.

Suitability: Medium, and large companies.

Cloud Hosting

Recently introduced to the mass market, even though it’s has been around for a while.

User Level: Intermediate, Advanced.

Suitability: Medium, and large companies.

When comparing cloud hosting, and private physical server hosting models.

Cloud hosting usually features better in terms of performance and reliability due to its highly scalable resources.

Web Hosting Management

Web Hosting Management

I strongly recommend that you only buy hosting with cPanel.

Below is an image of cPanel email management section:

cpanel-email-image

You may be asking yourself, what’s cPanel?

cPanel is just an abbreviation for Control Panel. It’s a web based hosting management software, which allow users to manage their account from its graphical interface.

In my opinion cPanel is currently the best hosting management software on the market.

It has a very user friendly interface, and is easy to use and manage.

Through cPanel, even non-technical minded users can learn to manage their hosting accounts with easy.

cPanel, allow users to manage key areas of their hosting such as:

  • Managing domains
  • Set-up branded emails
  • Create databases
  • Back-up files
  • Redirect traffic

And so on…

Through a cPanel interface, you can do all of the above without knowing how to code. It’s click and type, without needing to know what’s happening on the background.

If you’re already hosting your website with another host, and you want to change service providers, the next topic will certainly be of interest to you.

Website Migration

Website Migration

It happens when you move from one hosting company to another.

When you migrate, you copy and transfer your website and files from one host’s server to another.

To be able to do that you need to have the required technical skills.

But if you don’t have the required technical aptitude, contact your new hosting company for assistance.

And guess what.

Most hosting companies actually help newcomers with their migration for free.

Reason?

Obviously because it’s in their best interest to do so; they want your business.

If your website is already being hosted somewhere else, don’t panic.

All you need to do is contact the company you want to host you website with and ask them for assistance.

Now, we’re getting to the climax…

Ready to Choose Your Website Host?

I saved this section for the last because I wanted to make sure that by the time you got to this point you’d have read through the article and learned the ins and outs of web hosting.

Have you made up your mind yet?

Now you know that there are four main types of web hosting, namely: “Shared Hosting”, Virtual Private Server”, “Dedicated Server” and “Cloud Hosting”.

Which one will be a good fit for your business?

It’s time to make a decision.

If you’re still unsure, feel free to contact us for assistance. And we’ll be more than happy to help you.

Qualify potential hosting companies

In this section you’ll learn what to look out for, what to avoid, and what to expect when you sign up with a web hosting company.

Main areas to look out for:

  • Customer support
  • Resources Capacity
  • Company reputation

Let me explain.

Customer Support

Even if you’re a technical whiz, it’s almost certain that there will be times when you’ll need to contact your host’s customer service for assistance of some sort.

So, finding a company with a good customer support is very important.

The reason I put customer support on top of my list is because unfortunately bad things can, and do happen. And when it does, you need to be able to contact the service provider quickly.

Ideally a good host should have a 24/7 support system in place, to support its customers either on the phone, chat or email system.

Resources Capacity

Another important factor in choosing a web hosting company is your capacity needs.

It’s important to take into consideration disk space, bandwidth limits, how many domains, and emails you’d be allowed on the hosting account.

A web hosting company that allows you to easily upgrade or downgrade your hosting plan, is ideal. Go for service providers that offers room for growth.

Reputation

Well, it goes without saying…

“Your brand is as good as your reputation.” – Richard branson

You should research your potential web hosting service providers to find out what others are saying about their services, and quality of their hosting.

While doing research, beware of biased reviews, be that positive or negative! You’ll inevitable come across Affiliate websites, and websites that have just been created as proxy sites.

Make sure you filter out affiliate reviews, and proxy sites. They’re usually easy to spot by their make-up and content.

The best recommendation you can get is through word of mouth, from someone you know, like and trust. Also, speak to people in your niche, or ask on niche related forums.

Wrapping up

Here you have it.

I’ve just provided you with the inforantion you need to choose a web host for your website.

I hope the information laid out in this guide has given you the clarity, and the guidance you need to choose a web host that will be a good fit for you and your business.

Now you know the ins and outs, and the advantages and disadvantages of different types of web hosting. With the guidance provided here you’ll be able to make an educated choice.

But, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, I understand, that’s why I created this downloadable checklist to help you further; to guide you through the process. Click Here to download the checklist now.

Eliminate guesswork

By downloading the checklist, you’ll eliminate any possibility of guesswork, and be even more resourceful. Choosing a hosting for your website is too important to be left to chance!

The only thing left for you to do now, is for you to start putting what you’ve learned here into practice.

About us

You may have guessed that we’re a web hosting company…

But, we’re not your run of the mill hosting company. We only host and manage websites for small and medium size businesses based in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Feel free to contact us if you need any further assistance.

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share, like and comment. We’d love to hear your feedback! I look forward to hearing from you.