It’s a dilemma you know by heart: which hosting provider should I trust for my sites? For developers, bloggers, small business owners, and others, choosing web hosting is sometimes the obstacle course. If you do it right, you could spend a lifetime with a reliable, high-performance web host who can answer your questions by phone, chat, or email. However, rushing into your choice without doing research could leave you feeling trapped. Here is a detailed guide explaining how to find hosting for your website. We’ll highlight some of them with their most attractive features, to help you find the perfect one for you.
#1 Determine the type of hosting you need
Before you start looking for a web host, take some time to think about what you’re looking to get out of this relationship. Just as light sleepers probably shouldn’t date snorers, your needs will affect your compatibility with certain hosting providers and services.
A portfolio website doesn’t need dedicated server hosting , just like a high-traffic, high-volume online store shouldn’t take the cheapest hostings.
Shared hosting is ideal for small or medium traffic sites
With shared hosting, multiple clients and websites share the same server. Most first-time hosting customers have to look to a shared plan when they enter the world of web hosting and then decide when to upgrade to a VPS or a dedicated plan for meet your growing needs. However, a shared web host is cheating you with hundreds or even thousands of others. Because server resources are spread across many sites, performance is sometimes affected as your website grows. If you’re ready to get serious and grow your traffic, you probably don’t want to settle with a shared hosting plan.
Price, support, storage, and performance are all important features to consider when purchasing a shared hosting service. Other differentiators include e-commerce offerings and free domain options, plus perks like ad credits, a website builder, and upgraded hardware.
- Bluehost.com is known for its high performance and low cost shared hosting
- FREE website builder with thousands of templates
- Approved by the WordPress .org team as a top Wp host
- Free CDN makes your site pages load faster
- Price of $7.99 / month
#3 Determine what and how many server resources you need
New web hosting customers naturally flock to providers that offer the most features for the least amount of money. However, instead of just looking for the most attractive partner, you can find what you’re looking for by finding a service that’s compatible with your specific needs. For example, companies may prioritize email functionality over storage, while a developer may prefer high bandwidth rates and tight security.
The technical specifications of web hosting can be confusing for beginners, and web hosts sometimes use confusing jargon to market their services. You don’t need to be wary of plans that offer unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email accounts, but you should understand the different components of hosting and the limitations providers may impose.
Storage and RAM
As part of the choice of hosting, you may encounter 3 types of disks:
- HDD (Hard Disc Drive) – classic hard drive
- SDD (Solid State Drive) – much faster solid state drives
- NVMe SSD – up to 10-11 times faster than standard SSDs
In addition to read and write speed, expressed in MB / s (or GB / s), disks also have a parameter such as IOPS, which is the number of operations per second. In the case of hosted disks, it is important not only how fast the disk is installed, but also how fast the server is able to read or write information to this disk. The principle is simple – the faster the better.
Table on the example of HDD – WD Black Edition 7200 rpm , SSD – Samsung 860 Pro SSD , NVMe SSD – Samsung 960 PCIe NVMe SSD
Of course, there are slower drives (for example, HDD with a read / write speed of 150 MB / s), and much faster ones. These are just examples to show you the difference.
When viewing the page with hosting security restrictions, make sure that the company does not limit the speed of reading data from the disk in any way. What’s the point of using the latest and fastest NVMe SSDs if reads can be limited to, say, 50MB/s.
Things to keep in mind when it comes to hosted disks:
- Do not choose HDD hosting
- SSDs will be faster , but this is not the peak of the possibilities
- NVMe SSDs are 10-11 times faster than SSDs
- Check IOPS limits (minimum 100, preferably 1000 IOPS or more)
- Check the limits on the maximum number of files (minimum 100,000 files)
- Check if the hosting has limits on the speed of reading from the disk (it’s better not to have them)
In the case of RAM, the situation is similar to the situation with the processor and computer that you use at home or at work.
There are two restrictions on hosting:
- Maximum amount of RAM used by all processes on one account
- RAM limit for 1 PHP process (memory_limit)
It is worth taking care that both values are as high as possible , since this directly affects the speed of sites, especially in heavy traffic conditions.
In my opinion, the absolute minimum is 1024 MB (1 GB) of RAM per account and 512 MB per 1 process (memory_limit).
Bandwidth and Data Transfer
In the list of questions at the beginning of the article, we asked about the amount of data stored and the expected traffic. These two factors determine how much space you need to store data, as well as how much bandwidth you need to transfer it. Server space refers to the amount of data that hosting allows you to download. Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that hosting allows users to download from the drive on the server.
In most cases, if your site contains mostly text only, such as a blog or a business site, you won’t have any problems with storage space. But if you have a lot of data, such as a large number of high quality images or videos, digital products, you need to make sure that there is enough space on the hosting. After checking the storage location, you need to check the throughput. General rule: Bandwidth = data * traffic. Consider an example: You have a gallery of 10 images of 200Kb each, 2Mb in total. If the gallery is viewed by 100 people, 200MB of bandwidth is consumed. If the gallery is viewed by 1000 people, it consumes 2GB of bandwidth.
Hosting bandwidth does not significantly affect the speed of simple, small sites. However, if you are hosting, for example, audio or video files for download on your website, it is worth asking what kind of connection is on your hosting.
Check the bandwidth of the hosting server. The higher the throughput, the better. The most common speeds are 500 Mbps, 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps. We can consider the first value (500 Mbps) as a good minimum. Most often, such information can be found in the hosting specification.
Domains and Email
Although usually lumped together, domain registration and web hosting are two different services. Your domain name serves as the address for your website and may be registered and hosted by a different company than the one hosting your site files. I prefer to keep all my hosting resources in the same account, and many of the best domain hosts include free transfers and migrations. Some providers even include free domain hosting for the first year of newly registered addresses. Email hosting is especially for business owners who want brand awareness and name recognition by including the domain name in their email addresses. Hosting providers often include advanced email features, such as forwarding and filtering services, autoresponders, and enhanced security.
Availability rate and reliability
Every hosting service has crashes. The question is not “if” but “when” it will happen. Most importantly, the hosting company should be well prepared for such an event and be able to quickly restore all services. In addition to crashes, your sites may also be temporarily unavailable due to maintenance that will be carried out on the hosting – usually at night when there is less traffic – and which requires a temporary shutdown of the server.
To prevent such a phenomenon from being too frequent, it is worth familiarizing yourself with such a term as SLA (Service Level Agreement), that is, the promise of the hosting company that services will be available for a specified percentage of the time. The most commonly used SLAs range from 99.00% to 99.99% (most common, for example, 99.50%, 99.90%, 99.95%).
Lot? Well, now let’s see how in practice such SLA guarantees are expressed in the availability (or rather, unavailability) of hosting services:
Security and support when choosing a hosting company, check to see if they offer any kind of SLA because, contrary to what you might expect, they are not required to do so. And if so, is it right for you. Unfortunately, there are always people looking for insecure sites to hack or spam. It is very important to have high security. You need to measure the security of your CMS with plugins, but it’s also important to know that your hosting provider provides good security.
Carefully check how your hosting provides security. Look for something like firewalls and antiviruses. Personally check if the server is checking for suspicious activity. From hosting to hosting, the options will vary slightly, and you will have to carefully read all the possibilities and sometimes even call the provider. Don’t be afraid to ask company employees about security measures.
#4 Understand how web hosting pricing works
We know that price is king when doing your research for a new web host. While your costs should definitely factor into your decision, don’t sacrifice support and performance. Also, don’t forget to budget for services like domain name registration and add-on themes or plugins. The hosting itself only costs a few dollars a month, and most providers will give you a discount for signing up for at least a year.
Why Free Web Hosting Isn’t Always a Good Idea
While free hosting accounts may be functionally “suitable” for a hobbyist or someone starting a personal blog, they are a poor choice if you’re running a website used for professional purposes.
Free hosting accounts can have many issues that affect the professionalism of your business and your brand, and can also affect your business in other ways, including:
- Forced or required ads and scripts run on your site that direct your traffic outside of your funnel,
- Slow loading times and page loading speeds affect conversions and force customers to leave,
- Restrictions on scripts and integrations, number of pages or number of products,
- Limitations on optimization and potential negative SEO that could impact your search visibility.
Why Choose Cheap Web Hosting Providers
Since hosting companies can aggregate thousands of customers on a shared server, providers can afford to include dozens of value-added services in hosting packages. By subscribing to an affordable hosting plan, you can experiment with “luxury” options, such as content delivery networks, automatic backups, website builders, and e-commerce tools, to explore different online success tracks.
#5 Choose a web host you can grow with
Don’t be afraid to dream of a bright future for your websites. Some of the more budget-friendly web hosts only focus on shared hosting, which means you’ll have to split up and try your luck in the hosting dating pool when you’re ready to move forward with VPS. or dedicated services and even cloud hosting. We strongly prefer hosts that we can stay with for a long time. HostGator, our top choice for scalability, makes it super easy to provision and deploy VPS.
Flexible software options, combined with powerful hardware and efficient support, make the company an excellent choice for transforming your website from shared hosting to dedicated hosting. HostGator offers free unlimited cPanel migrations and up to 90 manual migrations depending on your plan of choice.