What Makes a Good Web Host?
What Makes a Good Web Host?
When it comes to hosting your website, there is a misconception that all web hosts are created equal. There is an astounding number of web hosts available online that will happily allow you to sign up with them online and get hosted right away. Knowing what to look for in a web host is essential if you want to keep your website online, be able to have it quickly load, be able to receive your emails and get the support you need when you need it.
What is Web Hosting and Why Should I Care?
Web hosting is the rental of some space on powerful computer on the internet known as a web server. It handles the distribution of your website files (and often your emails) to visitors of your site. Think of web hosting a 'renting some space on the internet for your website'. There are many different web hosting companies on the internet who provide these services and all offer different hosting packages with different specifications. As the owner of a website, you should be guided by your web developer about the best hosting package that is suitable to your website and email requirements.
What Is Important to You?
Different web hosting companies offer different types of web hosting packages depending on the requirements that your website configuration has. It is important to understand what is required from your website and find a suitable web host. For instance, some websites - especially those that service dynamic pages - will require databases. Some main important points to look out for:
- How has your website been developed and what platform is it designed to run on?
If your website is built on WordPress or PHP then you will require a PHP based platform. Alternatively, if you website has been developed using Microsoft Technologies, then you will require a Windows Host.
- What are your storage requirements?
Does your website host video and audio? Does your website have a gallery or downloads for your visitors? These questions will determine the space requirements for your website and will also determine a suitable hosting package.
- How many email accounts do you require?
Some web hosts implement a limit on the number of email accounts that can be applied to a specific hosting package. Ensure that the number of allowed email accounts suits your business or web presence.
- What sort of uptime should you expect?
Each web host will configure their web servers differently and therefore may have different amounts of uptime. Uptime is the percentage of time out that month where the web server is operational and able to serve websites to visitors. iOnline has an average uptime of 99.9% and sometimes this will be exceeded.
- How many databases does your website and web applications require?
Some websites and web applications will require multiple databases to run. Check with your web developer to ensure that the hosting package you are selecting is suitable for your website.
- Technical Support
Talk to your web host and ask them about their support. The type of support and available hours for support should be considered.
- Security Hardening
Additional high level configuration of the server to ensure that your website is protected against malicious users or attacks.
Cheaper Doesn't Always Mean Better.
Some web hosts are able to offer great value for money by providing very cheap hosting. Cheaper doesn't always mean better however! Cheap web hosts aren't usually able to sell their hosting at much cheaper rates by:
- Providing limited support
Email only technical support, being able to contact the web host once per day and no out of hours technical support are some ways that these hosts are able to provide their services for a cheaper amount.
To cut costs, some web hosts will oversell or over provision their services meaning that your website performance or storage capacity may be diminished.
Talk to Us!
Talk to one of the friendly team at iOnline today and we will only be more than happy to assist you with any questions you have about website hosting. We have a wide variety of hosting plans to suit businesses of any size