Where to start when it comes to website hosting?

If you’re a start-up attempting to launch your business, there will no doubt be a lot on you plate to prepare and consider. Even if you are already established and are in a position to further grow your business online, how do you go about deciding what type of hosting is going to be best suited?

No matter what type of company or organisation you run or work for, having an online presence is vital in this day and age, and for those who don’t have the IT expertise, it can be costly or tricky to know which option to choose.

Here is a simple guide to the different types of hosting available and how to choose the right plan for your business….

Web Hosting

For businesses who are just starting out and have simple requirements, shared hosting platforms tend to be the go-to-option as they are simple to get started with and very cost effective.

Shared hosting is ideal for blog sites, test-sites, and sites which have less than 1000 visitors per day. With this type of hosting, you are sharing the resources of the server with other sites so there could potentially be 100’s of other sites sharing the same pool of resource and storage. That’s why shared hosting isn’t a viable option for e-commerce sites as a serge in traffic could affect the performance of your site.

Your website should demonstrate who you are and be easy to use, without draining much-needed resources with expensive and unnecessary charges. You’ll need to consider bandwidth, SSL certificates, subdomains and webspace in order to choose the right hosting plan.

Once you start to grow and gain more visitors, then it’s time to look at more advanced hosting options.

VPS Hosting

Virtual Private Servers are a great option for businesses who have outgrown shared hosting and want to have dedicated resources at an affordable cost. It’s essentially a set between shared hosting and having your own full dedicated servers. This removes the potential negative impacts of other businesses impacting your website.

With a VPS you have more control and flexibility, for example, to make installations. VPS hosting is available in Linux and Windows and hosting control panels such as Plesk and cPanel can be installed. This allows the server to be customised to your precise business needs.

When it comes to VPS, there are various plans available so you’ll need to consider how many CPU’s you need, how many GB’s of memory and SSD (RAID) storage is required as well as your data transfers per month.

Colocation

A lot of businesses can be frustrated by the logistical nightmares of hosting their data, either struggling to create the best environment to keep it secure or exhausted by endless visits to external centres. Why not remove the need for your office to fulfil data hosting, allowing you to focus on your business?

Colocation allows you to move your servers into the safe environment of a securely managed data centre whist still retaining complete control over your servers. You can benefit from the data centres round the clock support, security, HVAC, fire protection and also the expertise of the DC’s onsite employees.

Colocation means that you rent rack space but you still retain control and are responsible for software, storage and backups. For businesses who have the technical expertise and simply want to move their equipment to a more secure environment, this is a fantastic option. However, for a start-up, it’s not as practical as you will have a larger upfront cost and will be required to still manage the servers yourself.

Dedicated Servers

Managed Dedicated Server hosting plans provide you complete control and unrivalled performance levels so you can focus your time and efforts on what you do best.

Linux server hosting plans tend to be the most popular choice as they are available in many flavours including the latest CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian and Red Hat Enterprise, and hosting control panels such as Plesk and cPanel. This lets you customise a server to your precise business needs.

Although a more expensive option, you will have higher levels or resource, unlimited bandwidth, more cores and threads and also more RAM. Having a dedicated server also gives you root access allowing you full control of how you want to manage.

Public Cloud

Businesses will often move over to a cloud hosting platform when they have been having hardware failures and frustrations which are impacting on their business.

Although the name came appear off-putting, public cloud hosting is actually one of the most secure and effective ways to host online. With no single-point-of-failure within the infrastructure, you don’t have to worry about downtime. Public cloud is secure, scalable and allows for high-performance. With managed public cloud hosting, you can rest assured your service would never be impacted by hardware failure again.

Not only do you get a fully redundant platform but you also benefit from enterprise grade hardware, reliable network speeds, as well as having the flexibility to choose what operating system and control panel to use.

Private Cloud

Private Cloud is specifically designed as a mission-critical system that will never let you down. With four core qualities in mind; security, reliability, scalability and high-performance, your solution can be designed from the ground up.

A Private Cloud platform will safeguard your future, protecting you from damaging downtime whilst being fully scalable to cope with any challenge.

Private cloud solutions include server performance monitoring, essential security updates and an image backup of each cloud server. If you’re looking for a Managed Private Cloud Hosting solution which offers you complete control and peace of mind, allowing you to get on with the running of your business, then a managed Private Cloud solution is the perfect solution for you.

Hosting isn’t a one-size fits all. It’s important for businesses to understand the impacts of their hosting on their hosting solution on other areas of the business, such as SEO and cybersecurity.

There are other factors to consider when choosing your hosting provider. A good hosting provider will also be able to assist and advise on the following:

  • Support – Do you need managed or non-managed hosting? What IT resources do you have on site that would enable you to manage your server and systems? Taking a managed support package with your hosting provider is often recommended as you will benefit from the expertise, facilities and SLA’s that come with the support package. Taking a managed support package frees up your time to allow you to get on with more pertinent projects and are generally a more cost-effective option for your business.
  • SSL – Secure Socket Layer certificates are a web protocol which authenticates and encrypts data across the internet. Depending on your industry, traffic, data security and hosting requirements, you will need to choose either a paid or free SSL certificate to ensure security for your site. Nowadays, this is expected for any sites outside of single-page or simple blogs sites.
  • Domain names – You can retain a domain name for up to 10 years so when it’s time to renew or change, it’s important to still retain control over the old domain. You can use 301 redirects to ensure your traffic isn’t affected when you purchase a new domain.
Eloise Idoine
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Eloise Idoine

Eloise spent the last 11 years working in software, marketing and hosting and prides herself on helping businesses grow and achieve their objectives by implementing the right solutions. There is a great sense of achievement when she can assist a business or an individual to streamline their processes and make their working lives easier. Eloise passionate about learning, sharing knowledge and inspiring others to achieve more!