Finding the right hosting company for your website can be difficult. There are hundreds of major web hosts to choose from and each offers a unique variety of resources and features. By narrowing down your next hosting company with a few criteria you can turn the chore of finding a new web host into a fun shopping experience and rewarding business decision. Read on to find out how to pick the right web host for your specific website.
Choosing a Web Hosting Company by Hosting Environment
The first factor you should look at when picking a new web host is the type of hosting environment in which you want to operate your website. There are several popular types of hosting setups including shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated server web hosting.
Shared hosting is a system where your website is placed on a large server with hundreds of other websites. This helps reduce costs for each website owner because the resources of each server can be shared. Shared hosting is often economically priced at around $10 per month but does come with potential drawbacks. With shared hosting companies, you may find that your website slows down during peak traffic hours.
If you’re running a major website with a million or more monthly visitors then you’ll probably want to shell out for a dedicated server. Dedicated servers are physical machines to which you’ll have exclusive access. They can cost upwards of $200 per month but they offer root-level administrative access, the benefits of not sharing IP addresses or resources, and increased stability.
If the perks of a dedicated server intrigue you but you don’t need to cater to millions of monthly visitors right now then a VPS is the perfect solution. Virtual Private Servers allow you all of the administrator control and configuration options that a dedicated private server have at much less cost.
With a VPS hosting provider you’ll get your own virtual server that can be setup with your desired operating system and server software. These setups can be used for websites with thousands or hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. VPS hosting packages often cost between $20 and $50 per month depending on the resource allotment and company.
Finding a Host with Optimal Resources
When looking for a new web hosting company, you should first consider the level of resources your website will need. If you’re currently running a website, then this task is made easier because you can go through your traffic logs to see how much bandwidth, CPU and RAM resources you currently utilize. If your current host doesn’t offer easy access to these metrics then you can use a third-party tool like Google Analytics to retrieve the information.
Compare your current or estimated future web hosting resource needs to the packages offered by hosting companies in which you’re interested. The easiest place to start with this is by looking at the total file size of your website’s contents.
If you have a lot of media such as HD videos or high-resolution photos then you may run into server space limitations at lower-priced hosting companies. Some hosting companies offer unlimited storage, so if you’re running a media-rich website then look for such hosts before settling into a hosting package that will leave you short on room in the near future.
WordPress hosting is a great option if you’re using the CMS and generally costs around $10 per month. It can be setup on any hosting environment and many hosts use VPS or cloud technology to provide such services.
CMS Optimized Hosting
One of the best ways to pick a hosting company for your new website is to find a host that caters to the CMS that you’re going to use. Most websites are built on either Joomla, WordPress, or Drupal, and modern hosts have tailor-made setups for these Content Management Systems.
By getting WordPress hosting, for example, you can make installing the CMS easier because hosts with these optimized plans typically have one-click installation processes for the software. You will also benefit from pre-configured server settings that improve WordPress websites’ SEO and load times.
Web Hosting Bonuses and Extra Features
Since many hosts offer similar packages and pricing, it can help to narrow your selection down by looking at the extra features and bonuses that each host provides. For example, some hosts allow you to have unlimited domain names or email addresses. This can be incredibly helpful if you’re planning on running more than one site or want to have a few dozen email addresses at your custom domain name.
Another thing to check for in your next host is if they offer green hosting. Green web hosts help conserve the environment and save energy by using efficient network equipment and devices. Green hosting companies don’t usually charge more than traditional hosting and their performance is excellent, considering the modern, efficient hardware and policies they maintain.
Check the customer service and guarantee policies at various hosting companies to see which company has the best policy in place for your website. If you’re unsure of the intended duration of your site or you’re new to website hosting then look for a hosting company with a 30 or 60 day money-back guarantee. If this is your first website you may want to find a host with fast response times and a technical support staff or plenty of helpful documentation.
Choosing the right web host for your website comes down to what factors you consider important in a host. You’ll want a host with plenty of resources and server space so that you don’t outgrow your hosting plan as your website attracts an increasing number of visitors. Looking for hosts that offer CMS-optimized hosting plans can help if you’re using WordPress or another Content Management System. If you’re decided between just a handful of hosts, check out the extra features that each company offers to see what will be most useful as you build and market your new website.