Having your own web host is a critical component in building an online business. If you are reading this, you would have selected a niche and also a domain name for your business. There is plenty of web host provider in the market right now. They provide space and bandwidth for your website. Think of it as an empty building to set up your shop.
There are free hosting and paid hosting. Most beginners will try their luck with free hosting. In this segment, I will only recommend paid hosting to start an online business. I will not encourage you to use free hosting.
Why You Should Not Use Free Hosting?
- It does not give the impression to others that it is a serious business. Running a business takes commitment and one of them is a financial commitment. So, if you are not even willing to spend a minimum amount for an essential business component, how serious can you be?
- Free hosting comes with its branding. So you cannot entirely say you own your site.
- You are given a limited bandwidth and templates to work on. You can only run a very basic website and nothing more. If you want more, you have to pay.
- You won’t have the full power to monetize your website. The purpose of free sites is to put their customer ads on your site so that it will make money for them. Even if they allow you to monetize, the options will be very few. It defeats the purpose of you wanting to build a site to make money out of it.
- Notorious for people who want to set up a quick site for spamming purposes. Free sites do not have much credibility in the eyes of Google. You will find it hard to rank in the search engine.
- You will not get much customer support. Free user’s inquiry is not treated with the same urgency as paid users. So, if you have an issue and need help, you may need to wait a while before getting a response.
Types Of Web Hosting That You Need To Get Familiar With:
Basic Shared Web Hosting
Dedicated Web Hosting
VPS – Virtual Private Server
(a) Basic Shared Web Hosting
Usually the cheapest and easiest the use. This is the type of hosting that most people use. This means that your site is hosted in a high powered server together with other sites. You will be sharing your bandwidth and disk space with those sites. Shared web hosting is the best option if you only want to pay minimum price for hosting.
Shared web hosting is differentiated by the plan type that you choose. Nowadays, no matter which plans you choose, you will get the same bandwidth and storage. The difference is the number of domains that you can use under the plan, how many websites you can host in the same plan and other features. However, for starters, a simple basic plan will do.
(b) Dedicated Web Hosting
This is the total opposite of a shared web hosting. Just like the word, dedicated hosting is where your site will be hosted exclusively on a single server. No one will be sharing with you. This is for busy sites that get hundreds of thousands of traffic a month and a ton of money. It gives you higher speed, bigger space, bandwidth, and your own unique IP addresses. Obviously, the price is also higher.
(c) VPS – Virtual Private Server
Think of VPS hosting as an in-between basic and dedicated hosting. Here, you are given your own exclusive space within a server. You do not share the resources within this space with anyone else. You get a high degree of control and customization within your space. Plus, this type of hosting is much cheaper than dedicated hosting.
(d) WordPress Hosting:
Simply means hosting that is optimized for WordPress. It is supposed to make your site load faster and more safe from a security point of view. It has a one-click installation feature to make you install your site better. Your WP software, themes, and plugins will also be automatically be updated. There are 2 types of WordPress hosting
- Shared hosting – similar to Basic Shared Web Hosting
- Managed hosting – similar to Dedicated Hosting with the following features:
- Faster speed
- Server site caching
- Better security
- Staging site – this is where you can actually make changes and test your site in a ‘draft’ mode.
(e) Cloud Hosting
In basic and dedicated hosting, you will be using resources from a single server whether it is shared with other people or exclusive for you. In cloud hosting This is a type of hosting that uses you will be sharing resources for the entire network of servers. Your data will be moved from one to another to avoid redundancy of servers, efficient resource distribution, and better security. However, this requires technical skill to manage.
(f) Reseller Web Hosting
Reseller web hosting is the best way to buy in bulk webspace and resell it back to others. This is a very affordable option for anyone who wants to start their own web hosting business. You don’t have to invest in infrastructure or systems. You only need to sell space and provide first-line customer support.
Reseller web hosting is not just for those who want to start a hosting business. It is also for people who want to host more than one site. In shared hosting, you do get to host multiple websites but it is under one cPanel. In this reseller hosting, you will get one cPanel for each website that is hosted.
Things To Look For In A Web Host Provider
Price is the first thing people look at when choosing the right web host. Who does not want to pay the minimum price for great service? These days, most web hosts do offer affordable start-up plan. However, price is not the only deciding factor. Price comes with features and higher the price, the more features you will get.
(2) Storage Space
Also known as disk space. This is the amount of space you get to keep your web files in their server. If you need more space, you need the respective plan that gives you that. When you are starting out, it is better to go with the basic plan. You can always upgrade later if you want.
Bandwidth relates to the amount of traffic that your website can support. Most of the reputable web host now offers unlimited bandwidth.
(4) Customer Support
This is a very critical component in choosing a web host. It looks like a no-brainer but you need to make sure that the company you will be buying hosting from has 24/7 customer support. You do not know when you need to reach out for help in case anything happens to your site. Host providers who only provide support during certain hours may not be a good choice.
(5) Money Back Guarantee
What happens if you sign with a web host but do not like it or you have chosen the wrong plan? It would be good if your web host company has a money-back guarantee. Most company does. Unless you are signing up with a very established provider, I would suggest you look for that money-back guarantee of at least 30 days.
(6) Operating System
The industry standard in this aspect is Linux. Make sure your web host has a Linux operating system as it is very stable.
All good web host does regular data backup. Frequent data back up ensures that your site can be restored to its most recent updated version in case your site crashes or something goes wrong. However, to ensure that the frequency of back up is higher, this feature is usually offered as an add-on to purchase. For a normal plan, a free back up feature should be done at least daily.
(8) Control Panel
Since you will be using WordPress to build your website, cPanel is the preferred control panel.
This is a guarantee that your site will always be up and running for a certain period of time. As a business owner, if your site is not available, it means potential loss of business. Therefore, this is a very critical element of good web hosting. The industry standard is 99.5% uptime guarantee.
You Need FTP
Your web host must have FTP (File Transfer Protocol). This enables you to move files very quickly into your server and also access your hosting account.
Where Can You Get Good Hosting?
There are many hosting companies in the market. The fact that you can join a reseller program and start your own hosting company adds to the mushrooming of these companies. You now know the type of hosting and what criteria to look for a good hosting plan. The next step is finding a good hosting provider. Some of the top web host in the market is are:
You can also find more options in this article here.
Ranking to find the best web host changes over time and the difference is often minimal. In my opinion, you need to only look at these 2 providers to meet your hosting needs. These 2 options are
I am going to give you 2. These 2 are in my opinion, are the top of the line and are sufficient enough to meet your web hosting needs. This selection is based on the fact of their reputation, their longevity in the market besides the criteria mentioned above. The 2 hosting providers are:
At this time of writing, let me show a quick comparison of their basic shared hosting plan.
What Do You Need To Do Now?
Choosing the right hosting provider is very important. Hosting is an integral part of your business and it is one of the few ‘must-have’ components that you need to pay for. Understanding the type of hosting and also the key features that a good hosting plan needs to have helps you to choose the right one. What you need to do now is to decide to get a hosting plan to start building your site.