If you are thinking about building a website for your own business or a personal page, you’ve probably come across many offers with a lot of options and technical data that can be (at least) confusing. There are plenty of providers out there with different plans and prices to choose from. Here we will discuss which is the best option when your business is small or medium-sized and you need good service and pricing.
First, you need to know that your web page will be stored on a server (a kind of special computer) that will answer every request each time an url ( or web page name) is typed into a browser.
There are several types of servers and each of them is designed according to the service they need to provide. We can at first divide this service between two major groups: shared and dedicated storage (or hosting).
In shared hosting you share server’s space with other websites, so all the files of your site are allocated with other files from other sites.
This means that the server has to resolve how to answer requests from various site visitors and that many of these sites can have several requests at the same time.
Although the server was designed with this in mind, resources are fixed and limited and this may lead to a temporary loss of quality which always ends in a speed degradation and even security issues.
Since servers running shared hosting use few resources, these plans are usually less expensive than dedicated hosting plans. See for example Bluehost comparison below:
Shared hosting pricing:
Dedicated hosting pricing:
With dedicated hosting, you have your own server and need to maintain it to keep the site running. Of course higher prices (see above pics) come with better resources and options about speed, storage and security.
3 keys facts to consider about shared hosting:
1-How many visitors you estimate per month?
Shared hosting is a good choice for some hundreds of visitors per month, which is known as “low traffic”
2-Do you have any technical skills?
Shared hosting plans are always easy to maintain through a dashboard known as a “cPanel” where all the features are available in a clear and intuitive form if you need to change or change something (email addresses, backups, etc.) These plans come with good basic support from the service provider.
3-What is your site about and what resources it needs?
If you need a personal site or blog with a few pages showing services, client testimonials, and so on, shared hosting is for sure the right option. But, if you plan to show a big e-commerce store, you should go for a dedicated hosting plan.
7 keys facts to consider when choosing a shared hosting plan:
1-Bandwidth: Refers to the speed of the network the site is hosted on. A very important feature to care about, the higher the bandwidth, the higher the number of visitors your site can handle (think of this as a runway, the more lanes it has the more cars can travel along) Always look for unmetered bandwidth here.
2-Backup: This is an essential feature, some hosting plans do not include this and you must pay an extra charge.
3-Uptime: Which uptime does your provider guarantee? As a rule, don’t settle for less than 99% with this value.
4-SSL: This is an invaluable security option, with an SSL certificate the traffic between your site and the server travels through an encrypted connection. If your site does not have SSL, Google will show your website in the last positions of a web search and will also warn the user that your site is insecure. Some providers include this in their hosting plans, and others offer it at extra cost.
5-Number of websites: If you plan to add a second website later, check if your plan allows you to host more than one site.
6-Email: Check how many emails addresses your provider offers, 5 is a usual number but there are providers that consider email as an additional extra cost feature.
7-Security: In shared hosting, security is managed by the hosting provider and you have no option to install additional security options. Since your site runs on the same server that others if one of these sites is affected by some kind of malware there is a certain chance for your site to be affected too.
You need not pay a lot of money to be online with an excellent website and reliable performance.
Shared hosting is an excellent low-cost option to begin with and you can always upgrade to a higher plan when your site increases traffic.
Consider shared hosting as a good choice for:
Small business sites.
WordPress managed hosting.
Learn more at www.bluehost.com