A Detailed Guide to Choosing the Right Web Hosting Plan
In today's world, not having a website particularly for your business will be viewed as a downside for your business. Although many businesses use a third party for their design and hosting, some companies still maintain an in-house I.T department that take charge of their websites. Whichever is the option you take, you must decide on a web hosting plan or package for your website.
Your ultimate decision about the appropriate website hosting plan is affected by a lot of factors which include whether you’re launching a new website or thinking about switching to a new plan for the one you already have. The decision can be a difficult one for starters especially as there are lots of web hosting packages coming with different types features that it’s hard to truly understand and for a starter, can make a decision hard to reach.
To help you navigate the process of choosing a web hosting provider, we have compiled a list of the main questions you should ask and things you need to know before taking a decison on the apropriate web hosting package for your business, organisation or any other need.
Questions That Will Help You to Understand Your Needs
Before we get into the specifics of what different web hosting packages offer, you should take some time to define your particular needs. These questions will guide you on the kind of web hosting plan that will suite your needs.
1. How big is my website?
Websites vary and so are their sizes. From small business websites ranging from few simple pages to complex content management systems that can run into thousands of web pages, the fact is that the nature and size of your website will actually affect and determine your hosting needs. The need of large and huge sites with hundreds of pages and a complicated infrastructure will surely vary and be more complicated from smaller, simpler websites. Another consideration should be the needs of the websites in consideration of the growth potentials and expectations in the coming years.
2. How secure does it need to be?
Website security is of critical importance.. Of course, you do not want to get hacked and so you will take your security needs very seriously. Websites that collect some information from people need to be extra secure, especially if you are receiving orders from people or plan to make sales through the site in future. You must be very careful to take customer perception and trust very seriously and keep in mind that if customers will be trusting you with critical information like their credit card, you need to earn that trust by making sure your website provides adequate security. Customers must also see that your website is showing the trust signs sufficiently for them to be able to supply their credit card information.
3. Will sales be conducted through the website?
E-commerce platforms require additional functionality for people to select products and make purchases. All of these will need the right environment for the necessary applications to work with them effectively. If you want to sell through your website, then look for a web hosting provider that provides the right level of functionality and security to accomplish that, and that’s compatible with the e-commerce software you intend to use. If the environment cannot accommodate your software, then you will have some problems and may need additional custom codes or completely change your web hosting provider to get things work for you.
4. What level of traffic is expected?
Understanding traffic potential isn't so easy. But your analytics like Google Webmaster Tools account can be very helpful in this regard. Nevertheless, if you are starting a new website, traffic expectation can be quite low. Based on certain assumptions like the popularity of your brand, you can make some some informed assumptions about traffic expectations.
5. Is website speed important to you?
Many website owners will be interested in a normal website speed. Web servers play a crucial role in determining the speed of a website. Visitors expect websites to load fast and Google also reward fast loading websites. For those reasons, you’ll want web hosting that enables your website to load quite quickly. A lot of factors affect the loading speed of a website. While small HTML sites will load fast, larger content management systems need strong web hosting providers to load at good speed.
6. Are you experienced with running a website?
If you are experienced with web hosting management, then it may be easier to wokr without much support. However, if you are new to web hosting, then you will require a lot of suport from the customer suport deartment of your web hosting comppany. Your experience should affect your choice. If you are not so good at standing alone, then you will need to review the support base of your web host and see how much support you will get from them.
7. Will you need to hire a website designer or you are putting your website together yourself?
Availability of website templates can help you put together a good website if you are doing it yourself. However, if you are hiing a professional website designer, then you will not need to bother about templates available with your web hosting package as your web desiger will likely have some custom templates to implement for your website. If you’ll be hiring a professional designer to put the website together for you, you also need to check template compatibility with your web hosting environment.
You can read more on: A Guide on How to Design Your Website By Yourself
8. Will there be a blog for your website?
There are lots of blogging platforms. If you intend to run a blog on your website or if your website will primarily focus on blogging, then you’ll want to consider which blogging platform you want to go with and make sure your hosting package and environment are well suited to work with it.
9. How much customization will be required?
Would you want to run some customized software. Most available shared web hosting do not give room for customization. For instance, if you want to run live broadcast, you will likely not be good with a shared web hosting plan.
10. Will you be running on more than one domain?
If you run numerous businesses and want to be able to run separate domains for each of your businesses using a single web hosting plan, you have to be careful to be sure your choice of web hosting supports your desired plan for multiple domains. Our shared web hosting plans allow you to host multiple domains and you will have to chose the package that suits your need.
What You Should Look Out For in Every Web Hosting Plan You Consider
In deciding on your choice of web hosting, here are some few features you must insist on, investigate and be sure they are offered by your web host for you to have some rest of mind.
1. Server Must Be Reliable
What is a reliable server you may want to ask. It is simply a server that guarantees an acceptable uptime. A server that you can be sure that will keep your website up and running and not one that will be down most times and frustrating your web hosting efforts.
Note: Todhost guarantees 99.9% uptime on all web hosting plans
2. Compatibility with your web design needs
If your web hosting environment is not compatible with your web design software, then there will be some problems. No matter your choice of web design applications, be it with WordPress, PHP, Ruby on Rails, or some other specific website software, your web hosting package needs to work with what you’re using.
3. Your hosting should be able to handle the amount of traffic you receive
This will most certainly not be a problem for most new website owners because their website would not be pulling much traffic as it takes some time to build up traffic and shared hosting accounts can manage in the realm of 30,000-40,000 monthly visitors without much issue. But if you anticipate more traffic than that, you’ll need to consider splurging for a higher-level plan that can accommodate those challenges.
4. What is your budget
Whatever could be your need, whatever hosting plan you desire, you cannot take a plan that you cannot afford. So you must make sure that your choice matches with your budget. You can only invest in what you can afford. As a matter of fact, shared hosting plans are good enough for a lot of website needs and are typically very affordable. More expensive plans offer more features, more customization options, or better bandwidth and speed for higher levels of traffic. There’s no need to pay for all that if you don’t need it. You must understand the financial implication of your choices because it can be very damaging to have your website suspended for non-payment.
5. Quality and reliable customer service
You will always need customer support. Whether you’re a newbie who will rely on a customer support staff to guide you through or a very experienced web designer, you will at some point need support of your web host. No matter the type of website you launch or hosting package you go with, research the reputation the provider for customer service.
Match Your Web Hosting Needs to Your Options
By now, you should have been able to understand and decide on your web hosting needs. You will have to choose an appropriate option for your needs. Now let us look at the options you have to help you match what you need to what is out there.
Different Types of Hosting
There are various options you can choose from for your web hosting. We will look at the major categories.
- Shared Hosting
We will recommend shared hosting service as the best option for new website owners especially if you are a starter.. Shared hosting will be perfect plan for for those who want an easy and affordable plan that will work for a small website with moderate traffic. If your need get to the point of scaling up, it is quite easy to migrate your shared hosting plan to some other.
- Cloud Hosting
The key advantage of cloud hosting is that it offers an impressive speed. If you want to be extra sure that people who visit your site will see fast load times – particularly if you have a lot on your site that could slow the load time, like high resolution images or videos – then cloud hosting should be a good option for you. The main reason to go with cloud hosting is for affordable speed, but it also offers easier maintenance and better response to sudden spikes in traffic.
- VPS Hosting
Virtual Private Servers, simply referred to as VPS is recommended when your traffic starts growing and our website gets bigger with increasing number of visitors. VPS hosting is a step up from shared hosting in terms of the amount of traffic and storage it can handle. With a VPS, you are not sharing your server with as many other websites, so your website can take advantage of a bigger share of the bandwidth and will experience greater speed.
- Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated servers are the most expensive web hosting options and also offer the most resources. For websites that anticipate having lots of traffic and needing a significant amount of storage space, your safest is to go with a dedicated server. Te dedicated server option ensures your website will keep going strong no matter how many unique visitors you get or how many gigabytes of storage you load to the site. The other key feature and beauty of a dedicated server is that It allows for customization which is good for developer needs. Dedicated servers are more expensive but also offers the most.
Additional Features To Consider When Choosing a Web Hosting Provider
Based on your specific needs, these are additional features to look out for when deciding on the type of hosting you need.
Website builder – This comes as a special feature or as an addon with some web hosts. Site builders can actually make setting up websites quite easy. With a site builder, you safe money because you wouldn't need to pay a website designer and you need no knowledge of coding.
E-commerce features – Some web hosting come with full e-commerce capabilities. On Todhost, you can have full e-commerce features for your site with 1-clic easy installs..
Software compatibility – In general, you need to make sure that any web hosting package you consider will be compatible with the software you’ll be using for web design and e-commerce.
SSL – Websites that will collect personal information from visitors especially e-commerce websites which will also process payment information need to have SSL enabled for protection. This feature encrypts all sensitive information you share through your website. It comes with many web hosting packages and can be bought as an add-on for many others.
Easy migration – For some reasons, you may at some point want to move your website from one provider to another.
Tutorials and other educational materials – Resources which help you deal with some issues on your own are a good feature for every web hosting. At Todhost, we have a large poll of knowledgebase articles which can help you learn how to do things yourself..
Easy to use control panel – An easy-to-use control will make your trouble easier especially if you are new.