If you want a website, but don’t know which web hosting service to pick, where to reserve your domain, how much space do you need and other details that you need to pay attention to when selecting a hosting provider, this post is for you.
Picking a web hosting service helps you build the base the for a fast loading website, which comes with many advantages, while a slow, unreliable provider can be the wall preventing your website being fast and reliable.
Popular Web Hosting Services
You can pick from many hosting provider’s packages, but the best known and most popular ones, which are recommended to use with WordPress are:
- WP Engine
- Digital Ocean
I could continue this list, but on the popularity lists and on the best voted sites you can mostly find these, most commonly with SiteGround leading the polls.
This post’s purpose isn’t to show you the different packages and offers in details, I only want to give you a standpoint to help you chose.
Pick a hosting provider based on your page’s type!
What does this mean? Before you start looking through hosting provider’s offers, think through what type of a website are you trying to build, because this decides how much space will you need, do you want many subdomains and email addresses, or is less enough.
If you only need a few pages for a portfolio website, which only has a few images, and introduction and maybe a video, then 1GB will be more than enough for you.
If you are going to run a website which will be filled with content and images (blog, magazine, etc.), then it will worth your while to look for more space (3GB, 5-6GB).
Should the storage be unlimited or not?
The unlimited word doesn’t mean the size of the space, but the parameters that are connected to the storage, for example the number of the databases, subdomains, parked domains, available number of domains, email addresses and the data traffic.
Unlimited storages are more expensive, than its simpler siblings, and if those are enough for your needs, then there is no point in getting one with unlimited storage.
Should it be a shared hosting, VPS or a dedicated server?
In the case of shared hosting the server handles many websites, so if your websites doesn’t have high visitation numbers it could be a good solution for you, but it’s good to mention, that if the server is overwhelmed it may affect the speed of your website. The advantage of shared hosting is its cheap price.
VPS, virtual private server, is suitable for a more visited website, webstore, without you having to pay for your own server. VPS is more expensive than shared hosting, and its operation is a bit more complicated, however its advantage is that the speed can be amended.
A dedicated server is the most expensive solution, and its operation isn’t for the everyday user. Its advantage that in this scenario you control everything.
The higher this percentage is the better! If it is 99.9%, it means that the hosting providers’ servers allows a yearly 8.7hrs failure, which means in a year this is the maximum number of hours that your website won’t be available.
A provider that guarantees a higher than 99.5% uptime is considered trustworthy, even if you just look at this specific number.
It must run PHP and have at least PHP’s 7.0 version available
If you want to run a WordPress or other content management system, maybe a webstore, the ability to run PHP is a must. I find it important to mention this, because there are a few cheap static hosting package that are cheap exactly because it doesn’t have this function.
Of course these packages have their own raison d’etre, but it doesn’t matter if they are cheap, if you are thinking about going with WordPress, these aren’t suitable for you.
For the optimal performance, fast website, make sure to pick a hosting service where PHP’s 7.0 or higher version is available.
This is fairly basic, as content management systems (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) are very popular. There are packages that are recommended directly for WordPress or Joomla, but honestly any of the non-static, PHP running provider, that has a database is suitable.
I personally really love cPanel and find it really important that a hosting provider contains cPanel too (I have found expensive packages, which didn’t include it).
On this platform you can create email addresses, and with the help of the file manager you can reach the website’s files, you can make a backup, you can add subdomains or domains, you can use its antivirus program, and with the aid of application installation help you can easily install WordPress or other CMS.
Even if cPanel only did these, it would still be very useful, but the above listed are only a fraction of all its functions.
DDoS security, Spam and antivirus
Unfortunately websites that are based on WordPress or Joomla are very popular among hackers. I will get into more details in another post, where you can read what you can do for the safety of your website, I won’t discuss this here right now.
The DDoS security helps you in case the database is under a DDoS attack, it still stays available thanks to the firewall.
As mentioned earlier, through cPanel you can also make a backup. If you don’t want to deal with this (it doesn’t take long, but it is very handy, so it’s best to not avoid this), or if you think it’s best if you aren’t the only one with a backup, then it will be useful if your provider makes a backup as well.
Regarding this options, the most important thing to check is how regularly will your service provider make a backup, and how much would it cost to have the provider restore the website from the last backup.
It’s important to know, that if you get stuck with something, can you get help easily, quickly and lastly by someone who handles your problem professionally.
It’s hard to answer this ahead of time, but it can give you a standpoint if you read reviews on the given providers on forums, frequently asked questions sections, at Facebook ratings, etc.
Compare hosting services offers!
Above I showed you what do you have to keep an eye on when selecting a hosting provider. If you completed all of these steps, checked out the hosting providers offers, then you probably have an idea about which providers are the ones that you are interested in.
There is nothing else left, then comparing what these providers offer, and it would worth your file to check what are people’s opinions using the given hosting provider on forums, professional sites, social network sites, etc.
I hope, that I made it easier for you to find a suitable web hosting service.