Choosing The Right Web Hosting Company

Choosing The Right Web Hosting Company

Posted 26th January, 2019 by Diana

Choosing The Right Web Hosting Company

One of the most important things every website owner needs to consider, is undoubtedly, his web hosting provider. The platform that hosts your website, not only is what makes it live on the internet, but also has a significant impact on the loading speed and uptime. Another important factor that needs to be considered when choosing a web host, is ease of use when it comes to platform. Don’t forget that it’s very likely for your web host to not only host your website but also your emails, domains, DNS and SSLs. Let’s start exploring things one at a time.

Loading Speed and Uptime

Selecting a provider based on speed and uptime gives you a few options to choose from. You can either go with a shared hosting provider, a dedicated server, or a managed application platform solution. Here’s a quick overview of what all these 3 solutions mean:

Shared Hosting

A shared hosting platform is usually a very powerful server, that is separated into thousands of small pieces, allocated to each website. It can be a server using the famous platform called cPanel, or a cloud-based platform (for more information on what the cloud is, keep reading).

Pros:

  • Cheap Price.
  • cPanel makes it very user friendly.

Cons:

  • Unreliable.
  • Slow speeds as you are using limited resources (CPU, RAM, Disk, etc).
  • Potential downtime issues.
  • Standard server configuration for all sites on the server.
  • With the exception of the cloud-based platforms, all your website’s components (files, database, DNS) are on one single server, so in case of a single failure, the whole website goes down.
  • Potentially bad security-wise.

Dedicated Server

A Dedicated Server is quite often the same as the shared hosting, with the difference that you are the only one using it, therefore, all the resources are yours. It most likely going to be a cPanel server again and you can configure it the way it fits you best.

Pros:

  • Great Speed.
  • cPanel makes it very user friendly.
  • Higher availability.
  • Custom server configuration just for you.

Cons:

  • Significantly more expensive than shared hosting.
  • All your website’s components (files, database, DNS) are on one single server, so in case of a single failure, the whole website goes down.
  • Potentially bad security-wise, but can be customised based on your needs.

Managed Application Platform

Such platforms are relatively new to the industry (~5 years old), as the standard cPanel shared hosting has been the leader for over 20 years now. However, the idea behind them is quite interesting. In a Managed Platform, your site is hosted on a small cloud with the exception that this small cloud was built especially for your website. Don’t worry though, provisioning such a cloud is so automated that takes a few seconds.

Time to explain what the cloud is! Basically, the easiest way to explain what the cloud is, is this: Several clusters of servers are configured to do one individual thing, and in the end, they communicate all together to show your website to the internet. In more detail, clusters of servers are basically several servers that work together in parallel, communicating to each other. One cluster of servers is handling all customer files, one cluster the databases, one cluster the DNS, etc. These clusters not only handle an individual service, but also take backups in parallel. So, let’s say that on our databases cluster, we have a server failure. This will not affect your website as the backup servers will automatically recover and continue communicating with your website.

Pros:

  • Great Speed.
  • Average Price.
  • Almost-Perfect availability.
  • Custom server configuration based on your website.
  • Better security overall. System is build to prevent external attackers as much as possible.

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive than shared hosting.
  • Platform might be not so user friendly.

Okay, so you might be thinking now: If that’s what the cloud is, I can just go with a shared-hosting cloud platform, since it’s cheaper, right? Well, yes, you can, however, what differentiates the Managed Platforms from the Shared Cloud Platforms is the custom configuration of the cloud, based on your website’s nature. For example, let’s say that your site is e-commerce is based on WordPress and Woocommerce. While WordPress is an amazing Content Management System, complex themes or plugins like Woocommerce, might cause unexpected behaviour based on your server’s configuration. On a Managed Platform, the cloud is built especially for WordPress and it knows all about custom themes and plugins, so unexpected behaviour is almost impossible.

Platform based on ease of use

As explained above, individual servers using famous platforms like cPanel are usually much more user friendly and easy to use, especially for beginner users. Cloud and Managed platforms are often built for more advanced users and are not so easy to use.

Another factor to consider is hosting and managing your emails and domains. Companies focused on Cloud and Managed platforms are more focused on the hosting platform itself, rather than 3rd party services like domains and emails. Some of them are not even offering them, they just do web hosting.

Summary

Still extremely confused and not sure what to do? We can give you a couple of examples and help you with your choice:

Example 1

You are a blogger or a business owner that has a website with no more than 50-100 views a day. Through the website, you advertise your business or you occasionally like to blog. While site speed is important, it’s not the end of the world for your site to have some issues from time to time. Based on your budget and your understanding of how the internet works you can choose between cPanel shared hosting and cloud shared hosting. cPanel for the more entry-level users and cloud hosting for the slightly more advanced ones.

Example 2

You are a business owner that has a store but also wants to sell his products online for greater exposure. Website traffic varies based on the time of the day. As your site is e-commerce, it’s also slightly heavier. Speed is very important to you as well as uptime. If your site is slow, no one will want to buy your products! Depending on the size of your store, the traffic you get and your budget, you can either go with a Dedicated server or a Managed Platform. Simple shared hosting is not recommended for e-commerce sites.

Conclusion

Choosing the right web hosting company for you is not an easy task but certainly an important one. There are so many factors that you need to consider before you make your move.

If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us for help. In fact, we at Fixed.net come from a web hosting background. Before Fixed.Net , we used to run one of the fastest growing hosting companies in the UK, that was eventually acquired by GoDaddy and is now hosting over 1 million websites.

Categories: Wordpress, Site Speed, Hosting, Website Maintenance