Tips for choosing web hosting

Choose appropriate web hosting is one of the most important issues and that is not usually pay due attention when we started a web project.

The “hosting” or web hosting is a service usually offered by specialized companies, which allows us to publish our blog, website or online webapp ensuring their availability and proper operation. Additionally, they tend to offer email accounts, databases, backup and some other more or less interesting services.

choosing web hosting

There are also different types of web hosting. The most common and economical is the shared hosting, i.e. a single machine or server supports a multitude of websites hosted at the same time. Shared hosting has the advantage of price and ease of use, but also some disadvantages:

  • There may be too many sites hosted on the same server.
  • Inappropriate behavior or inefficient applications of the “neighbors” may affect us.
  • The availability of resources in use peaks is not guaranteed.

However, for a large majority of projects, is the most appropriate type of hosting.

The VPS (Virtual Private Server) is the next step up in price. Here we continue to share machine, but more separate and independently. Surprisingly, in the most basic plans, despite being more expensive than shared hosting, we will have less server resources but (and this is the key difference), we have them always guaranteed regardless of our neighbors hosting. In addition, VPS often require a little more knowledge and server management effort, especially early in its initial configuration.

In the case of a dedicated server, will have a computer to ourselves but with the consequent increase in costs and expertise requirement (unless we hire additional maintenance).

Finally, the Cloud Hosting is presented as the most modern. Here the load is distributed between multiple machines and able to increase or decrease resources based on the needs of the moment (visits, processor load …). This type of web hosting is not yet widespread and prices are generally higher than in traditional housing.

Here are some tips for choosing web hosting:

Compare the securities offered as disk space and bandwidth
Some offer very reasonably priced but very few features, other space and transfer unlimited but under conditions of use of certain. Look closely at the terms of use or TOS (Terms of Service) to make sure that the use you want to give your housing is permitted. You can find limitations to store files that are not part of the web (backups, videos …) or to publish adult content.

In general recommend to start spaces equal to or less than 1GB or 2GB or lower than 20GB monthly bandwidth.

Search differential characteristics
It may be interesting to have the possibility of adding multiple domains or subdomains on our own, so we have several independent websites hosted on a single account. Some hosting services specialize in certain applications such as WordPress, so they are optimized to make them work properly and their staffs know their characteristics when assisting to any incident. Some offer assistance 24 hours a day, or SSL certificate…

Make sure that they have a standard control panel
cPanel or Plesk are the most common. These are applications that allow you to manage your web server. Add a subdomain, manage access by FTP, create email accounts, databases … Some hosting services have developed their own management applications and are, in most cases, a real headache, with multitude of limitations with regard to the mentioned above.

Do not purchase domain name and hosting from same company
Many hosting services offer you a free domain name. In this way you avoid having to purchase and set it aside, but will stay hostage of that company if that do not work as expected and you decide to move to another server. It is not that it is impossible to do so, but almost for sure, it will be much more difficult.

Make sure that it supports the technologies that you will need
The PHP server language and at least one MySQL database usually the usual requirements of the most popular web applications such as WordPress or Joomla. There are many other server technologies like Ruby, ASP.net, ColdFusion … which need or not will depend on of the applications that you need to install.

On the other hand, servers with LINUX operating system are usually more stable and economical.

Beware of touts
There are many small hosting companies that buy the service from larger company and resell later with a margin. While this is not necessarily bad, because they can contribute a value added in the technical support, often they are only an unnecessary link of the one that is convenient to disregard.

Do not use free for real projects
Yes, it is true that there are offers of free hosting but even recommend them to learn, they are not a good choice for real projects. Almost all of them have a very poor quality and do not even ensure continuity: any day can close the service and no murmur.

Contrasts in blogs, forums and social networks reliability of the hosting company
It will take some time and if people are unhappy with the service you’ll find it easily. It is also relatively easy to ask their experience with real clients who can give you a firsthand opinion.

Remember that there is no perfect accommodation service
Think that at one time or another, have some sort of problem with your hosting. Perhaps the number of visits to your site grows more than expected and you must migrate to a better hosting, there may be peaks requests that temporarily do so inaccessible, perhaps maintenance at the wrong time or in the worst case, you suffer a hacker attack and jump off the unusable web. All these circumstances have lived at one time or another. Being prepared everything is hopeless, but you need to be aware of it.

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