Every site needs a server. Various forms of hosting provided by ISPs are often used for this purpose. This allows website owners to use server resources and present content to network users. There are many hosting options with different functionality and different prices. How to choose the right web hosting for your application?
What should be a good hosting experience?
The hosting service provider must first meet the needs of the customer, which is usually related to the requirements of a particular business. Here are some of the most important features that should characterize a good host. These include speed, security, scalability, price, and type of hosting environment.
Speed and security – issues to consider when choosing hosting
The page load time should be as short as possible. This is especially important for online sales sites. If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, many customers will likely leave your site, putting money in your wallet or in your competitors.
It should also be noted that Google uses page speed ranking factor. Therefore, the slow performance of the website can not only intimidate customers, but also damage their position in search results. Most people only pay attention to the first few pages of the list, so poor performance can significantly damage the coverage of your website.
Although the speed of a website depends on several different factors, choosing a hosting provider remains one of the most important issues. By offering fast service and servers with a large amount of memory and computing power, you can increase your sales results, as well as the recognition of your company, by ensuring a high position in the search engine.
Information security is a key aspect of website management
Maintaining a secure website should be a must for any hosting provider. It should be noted that the servers of the selected provider are equipped with effective firewalls and are also monitored to detect suspicious activity or interference.
What else should a good supplier characterize? SSL (Secure Socket Layer) support is a must. This protocol provides an additional level of security by encrypting the information transferred between the server and the user’s browser. SSL can be defined as a standard practice for all websites. If the website is used to sell a product or accept payments, its use is mandatory. This is to ensure that confidential information is adequately protected.
Support and expansion – other important hosting features
It makes sense to use the services of a hosting company, regardless of whether the client has the technological know-how and internal resources to manage the company’s web server. By deciding on external services, you can reduce the cost of operating the company’s servers, as well as maintaining the network environment.. Therefore, it makes sense to choose a hosting service that provides 24/7 technical support so that you can take advantage of support at any time.
Scalability – what to look for?
Initially, before choosing a particular hosting package, it is worth paying attention to the available traffic on the website, as well as where the shared content occupies. If you expect your website resources to grow over time, you should choose a hosting that will allow you to expand your offerings in the future. This will be important when we are waiting for website traffic to increase or for additional content to appear.
What does the hosting price depend on and what tariffs do providers offer?
Website hosting fees can range from a few dozen zlotys a month to a few thousand for the same period.. Sometimes you can even find offers that provide this set of services completely free of charge. Free hosting is usually offered in exchange for an ad that the service provider will place on the customer’s website. However, a cheap hosting contract can mean that we have limited flexibility and access to resources as a customer. This in turn can lead to performance problems. Therefore, it is worth making sure that we know the requirements of our website before deciding to take advantage of a special offer.
Type of network environment
It is a concept that refers to a form of cooperation between a supplier and a customer. The hosting environment is the physical infrastructure that forms the basis of the hosting service offer. In telecommunications terminology, a typical hosting environment is a network operation center (NOC) where the equipment needed to host a service is located.
Shared hosting – the standard solution
This is usually the cheapest option, although we have to consider some discounts to save. In shared hosting, your website is hosted on the same server as other websites. The provider allocates fixed space and resources used by other customers.
The big disadvantage of such a solution is the low efficiency when other pages on the server are struggling with a big jump in visitor traffic. In the worst case scenario, our site may be completely inaccessible.
Virtual personal hosting
The next “level” of hosting is the Virtual Private Server (VPS). The VPS website has its own part of the server, which does not reduce the performance of the given website due to changes in traffic on other portals.. This is due to the lower risk of the website being inaccessible. In addition, because one site is independent of another, security risks are reduced. In addition to more resources, Virtual Private Hosting gives you more control over your hosting environment.
Website hosting with a dedicated server
In this case, the client has a single server that covers only one website. In such a model, we can use disk space and computing power without sharing it with other customers. We also have more control over how the server is used.
This solution is a good choice for businesses with qualified IT staff. You can usually choose an option that includes your own dedicated server on the site. In these cases, the hosting company providing its services is responsible for managing the server. His responsibilities include dealing with problems and failures, including installing and maintaining firewalls, updates and other security.
Managed modified hosting – another custom hosting option
Another option for private hosting is so-called managed private hosting. The company that owns the website rents a completely separate server from the hosting provider who takes care of the server maintenance and security.
Cloud hosting servers are a combination of computing power of hundreds of physical servers
These types of servers operate in a separate, usually dynamically allocated, part of the public cloud resource cloud. A good example is Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure platforms, which combine the computing power of hundreds of physical servers.. The big advantage is the trouble-free scale – due to the large number of servers, we can add more resources without changing the provider. In this model, we only pay for the actual space used.
Another advantage of cloud hosting is stability – the failure of a server will not cause problems with the operation of the client’s website. Due to the availability of backups in other physical locations, other resources are activated immediately in the event of a failure. Thanks to this, we will not have to worry about the website not being accessible to users.
The most important questions to ask your hosting provider
In addition to the appropriate service model, as well as the price, there are several important aspects that are worth considering. By adjusting the individual parameters of the proposal, it will be much easier to sign a contract that meets our expectations. By answering a few questions, you can increase the likelihood that your hosting solution will be the right one. So what to look for and what to ask your service provider?
What are the terms of the agreement and what support does the hosting provider offer?
Some hosting companies offer their services in the “pay as you like” mode, which allows you to cancel your package at any time. Others may enter into a contract at a lower salary level when it is time to renew the contract. Therefore, it is worthwhile to be sure of what the terms of the contract look like and which form of payment is most suitable for us.
Another aspect is technical support. It is worth providing emergency access at any time, so we can minimize the length of moments without the presence of a website. It’s a good idea to ask your potential hosting provider if they offer 24/7 support and learn how to contact them. The most common forms of communication are telephone, email and live chat.
What kind of protection can you rely on and is it possible to create a backup?
A good service provider should have a strong firewall, as well as the latest and most effective antivirus software. All services must be supplemented by regular monitoring, as well as regular updates and adjustments. In addition, an important issue is the ability to create a backup that will help you quickly restore the website after a failure.
One last important aspect: are there any restrictions on the service package provided?
When choosing a hosting offer, it is important to gather information about possible restrictions on individual services. These can include, for example, the number of domains, file transfer speeds, or resource usage. With this information, we will be able to choose a plan that is tailored to our needs and will not hinder our business.