Selecting a hosting provider can be quite the difficult and tedious task, especially if you do not know what you are looking for. There are a plethora of things that you should be taking into consideration before making the final choice and today we are going to be focusing on exactly that – what steps you need to go through in order to choose the correct hosting provider for you and your project or business.
Start by looking at your needs
Before you can proceed to making any research online for a hosting provider, you need to first take some time and define your needs and expectations. This will greatly benefit you in the long run as it will allow you to point out exactly what you need.
Think about what you need the hosting provider for. Do you have an online business or a store that you will be running? Maybe you want to host a page for your local store? Perhaps you want to create a personal project, which you will be sharing with other users online? Whatever the case might be, start off by noting down your primary intentions.
Next, continue by predicting some factors such as the traffic that you expect your website or application to get as well as whether it will be impacted by any season or holidays.
Finally, think about the complexity of your project or business venture. If for example, you are going to be hosting an online ecommerce store, you will most likely need to have space to upload thousands of pictures and you will expect everything to load fast and instantaneously. In comparison, smaller personal projects will not require this much processing power or storage.
Choosing a server type
You can now proceed to begin your hosting provider research. Generally speaking, there are 3 main types of hosting options in terms of servers that you can choose from – shared hosting, dedicated instances and virtual private servers, usually abbreviated as VPS. At this stage, the information that you put down during the last step will be quite beneficial as it will save you time when making a choice for a server type.
Shared hosting involves many users essentially ‘sharing’ a given server’s resources and because of this, this hosting type is the cheapest one that you can find. However, due to the fact that resources are spread amongst many individual users, your website or application can suffer immensely in the long run, which is less than ideal. Shared hosting is recommended for small-scale and personal projects such as blogs, portfolios as well as for local shops, stores and businesses that are only aiming to provide information about their products or services online without any purchases being made through the platform. Additionally, this hosting option is also a good choice for those who do not have much prior experience in the field.
Dedicated instances, on the other hand, are the most expensive alternative, but also the most efficient. Each server is reserved only for one user and the resources are independent, meaning that they are not shared with others. The price tag is what usually defers companies and individuals from investing in this hosting type. However, if you have the money to do so, this will always be the best option out of the 3. Due to their immense power, dedicated instances are recommended for handling large amounts of traffic and simultaneous user requests, making them the perfect choice when running an online store or a web application that has a lot of daily visitors.
The final option of the bunch is VPS servers. They are essentially the best of both worlds because they combine the advantages of both the aforementioned hosting options. With their virtualization technology, you have multiple virtual machine instances running on the same server, but each one has its own independent resources. This means better performance and overall greater quality when compared to shared hosting, but at a much cheaper price in comparison to dedicated instances. Additionally, they have a lot of the features that you will expect to find that can benefit your website or application and most importantly they are easily scalable, meaning that they can be upgraded and downgraded when necessary. This, consequently, results in you having to pay less as you can remove any resources that you are not using, which is quite beneficial if you are operating a seasonal business and see a major influx of traffic only during some time of the year. Moreover, you can also purchase additional resources in order to accommodate any large, unexpected bursts of traffic. This is something that other hosting plans do not allow you to do, making VPS servers quite the lucrative choice. Nonetheless, they are perfect for any type of project or business, due to their ability to scale, so if you are hesitant or cannot predict the amount of visitors that your project, website or application will be getting, then going for a VPS is a good recommendation to consider. Finally, there are also variations of the VPS servers such as those of VPSBG – Bitcoin VPS option that some providers have started to implement as a separate service. Such a VPS allows you to pay for it using Bitcoin, which protects your privacy, while also enabling you to make cheaper international transactions, which is something that most users will find beneficial.
Look for some extra features
While server type is quite important, there are some additional features that you should also be on the lookout for. Some examples include automatic snapshots and backups as well as viable and trusted DDoS protection. Backups and snapshots will help you restore your website in the case of an information leak and server meltdown, while the DDoS protection will prevent your website from being brought down because of hackers that are generating fake traffic towards your website or application. Additionally, you can also check whether the provider you have chosen offers floating IPs as they can be used to minimize your website downtime in any of the previously mentioned cases as well as during the scheduled server maintenance. Finally, check out their support team and test whether they would be willing to help you choose a server, install extra software and overall help you manage it.