Creating a website is only the first step. Keeping it online and accessible to visitors 24/7 involves a lot of additional work. Hosting your site means choosing a company that stores its files and saves them online as long as you want them there. An excellent hosting company can make all the difference in how much maintenance your site requires, how fast it appears to visitors and how much it costs you over time. Choose the wrong host; your site could go offline frequently or crash from too much traffic.
Before signing up for hosting, ensure the company has all the features your website needs. A good web host should be reliable and have a good track record of online websites. In particular, you should look for a host that handles occasional spikes in traffic well and offers strong customer support. You'll also want to ensure the hosts' terms of service and price structure meet your needs and are compatible with your budget.
1. Uptime and reliability: The better the uptime record, the fewer times your site will go down, which will likely impress your visitors and increase your traffic time.
2. Speed: The speed at which your site loads and responds is crucial to your visitors' experience. Slower sites may make people decide to go to a competitor instead.
3. Ease of use: You want your hosting service to be intuitive and easy to navigate, or you'll never be able to manage your site.
4. Security: You want your site to be safe from hackers and malicious threats. Look for hosting companies with good security track records.
Bandwidth and storage: Hosting companies charge more if your site's traffic or storage use exceeds a certain amount. Make sure your needs fit within their limits.
5. Support: A company that provides excellent customer support can help you avoid problems.
Price: Most hosts offer a wide range of services and price points. Choose one that fits your budget.
Shared hosting is the cheapest form of website hosting. In this hosting, one server hosts multiple websites. While this is cheap because you aren't responsible for the total cost of the server, it comes with a significant trade-off in performance and reliability. Your website will likely go down any time one of the websites hosted on the server goes down. If this happens, you may lose visitors or have to spend time troubleshooting the issue.
If your website gets a lot of traffic, you may also experience a significant slowdown as other websites on the server compete for bandwidth. Hosting companies' terms of service vary, but you can expect to get a refund if your website goes down for significant periods. You may also be able to get a refund if you can't access your files, although these policies vary depending on the host. Check your hosting company's terms of service to learn more.
VPS hosting falls between shared hosting and dedicated hosting in terms of cost and service. You get a virtual server that functions much like a separate physical server. You have more control than shared hosting, but you don't have to pay the total cost of a dedicated server. Like shared hosting, VPS hosting is pretty standard. This means you're more likely to find a host that can help you if you need assistance. VPS hosts usually guarantee a certain amount of uptime per month. They may also offer you a certain amount of bandwidth for a monthly fee. VPS providers expect you to use their servers the same way a dedicated server does, so you're responsible for keeping everything up and running. You may find getting help from your host if you run into issues a bit more challenging.
Cloud hosting is one of the newer hosting services available. The big difference between cloud hosting and other hosting types is that you can access your website's files remotely. If you lose access to your computer, your website stays up and running. There are different types of cloud hosting. Some providers host your website's files on their servers and provide access to those files. Other providers host your website on their servers. The difference between the two is that your website doesn't go down with the first option unless the provider's servers go down. With the second option, if your provider experiences an outage, your website goes down too.
Dedicated server hosting is the most expensive hosting option. As the name suggests, it gives you complete control over one server. You can choose the location and hardware of the server, as well as its operating system. Because you're responsible for the entire server, dedicated hosting is the most hands-on form of hosting. You'll need to manage the server and its software, including installing patches and updates. Because dedicated servers are self-managed, your hosting company may give you more support than they would with other hosting options. You'll probably pay less for dedicated server hosting than buying physical hardware and hosting the server yourself through a colocation provider. However, it's important to note that dedicated server hosting isn't helpful for everyone. You don't want to choose this hosting option if your site experiences low traffic or relatively low bandwidth traffic.
Hosting is an essential part of owning a website. If you're not careful, you could spend more money on hosting than you spent on creating your website. It's essential to research and select a hosting company that meets your needs. You'll also want to ensure you're getting the best deal possible. Check out reviews of hosting providers and read through their terms of service to ensure they're a good fit for your website. You want your hosting company to do more than keep your website online. You want them to help your site — and your business — succeed.