How to Choose a Hosting Provider That Best Fits the Needs of Your Website

Guest Post by Frank Petser

 

 

Web hosting companies of today come in all shapes and sizes. With hundreds of different web hosting providers to choose from, it’s now more difficult than ever to find a web host that best suits the needs of your website and because of the advancements in technology over the recent years, setting up a basic web server to host other people’s websites can be done at a relatively low price and in most cases the process only takes a couple of hours if you know what you’re doing.

 

While this is generally a good thing and the competition has helped bring down the overall prices of web hosting, it also means that unfortunately there’s a high chance of having your website end up being hosted literally in someone’s basement on a low end web server or worse, on an old laptop.

 

In order to avoid the headache of losing valuable data like customer details, written content, media and other important files because of an incompetent web hosting company was unable to recover from a hard drive failure, it’s vital that you know how to choose a hosting provider who can guarantee the safety of your files and website as a whole at all times.

 

 

Avoid making the most common mistake

 

One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to find a suitable host is comparing only the different web hosting prices. While it’s understandable that nobody wants to pay more than they have to, web hosting price comparison is just one of many variables you will have to consider.

 

For example, it’s true that you can find a hosting plan for as cheap as two dollars per month, but you’ll soon realize that you are limited to uploading no more than 1GB worth of files, not to mention the bandwidth and content limitations. Heck, the server might not even be able to handle multiple PHP scripts running at the same time.

 

To avoid running into these problems before you whip out your wallet, let’s go over some of the main key features you should look out for when choosing the best website hosting for a small business.

 

 

Where is the server physically located?

 

If you have a local business and don’t plan on expanding onto the global scene any time soon, you might want to pick a web hosting provider near you or at least on the same continent as your business. This way your website will load much faster for your everyday customer and that alone can have a tremendous positive impact on your overall sales.

 

 

Shared or dedicated hosting plan?

 

A shared hosting plan means that your website will share web space on a single server with multiple other websites and depending on your host, you may be limited to how much memory, bandwidth and disk space you can use.

 

In most cases a shared hosting plan is perfectly fine for small to medium sized businesses and a dedicated server is not necessary. However if you are planning to host content on your website that doesn’t fit the interests of the general public or is not safe for work (ie. adult material) then your only option is to choose a dedicated server.

 

 

How many domains can you host?

 

As your business grows, you might find yourself in a position where you need to launch another website so in order to avoid having to purchase additional hosting packages for each of your domains, you might want to figure out how many domains you are allowed to host with a single plan beforehand.

 

Note: many common shared hosting plans don’t have the option of adding additional domains.

 

 

Which scripting languages are supported?

 

Most modern websites require PHP5+ and SQL scripting languages to function, therefore you need to make sure your host can handle them. If you’re not sure, you can ask your web developer to check this for you.

 

 

Best hosting provider for WordPress

 

WordPress is the world’s number one free Content Management System favored by almost all small businesses who are looking for the most cost effective way of having a powerful online presence.

 

In order to find the best web hosting for a WordPress website, you have to make sure your host meets the following system requirements:

 

PHP 5.6 or greater

MySQL 5.6 or greater

The mod_rewrite Apache module

 

Again, if you’re not sure what all of this means, you should consult with a web developer or an unbiased third party in order to avoid nasty surprises later on.

 

 

 

Frank is a freelance web developer from Estonia who has been working with HTML, PHP, CSS, JS and SEO for the past 12 years and blogs on ynef.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

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