How to Choose a Web Host for Your Website – 4 Types of Hosting

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To establish an online presence, web hosting is an essential part of the process. You need to choose a web host that perfectly fits your business needs and budget.

There are lots of web hosts today which makes it somehow difficult to know what is what and who is who among the web hosting service providers. Fortunately, this article is written to help you put all the puzzles together and connect you to the right web host for your projects.

We’ve compiled invaluable information about choosing the right web hosting services based on experience and use cases. Once you understand the criteria to pick a hosting service, you’ll be able to make a decision and start your blog on the right path to success.

So, in this article, we will discuss the followings:

  • What exactly is web hosting?
  • Why do you need website hosting?
  • The essential features you need to pick the right web host.
  • Different types of web hosting
  • The best web host for you
  • And our top editorial pick

What is Web Hosting?

Web Hosting is the business of making individual or organization websites/web pages visible on the internet. A web host provides the space and technology required for the website to live on the internet.

Without it, your website has no place on the internet. Therefore, it won’t be visible to people who dial your domain URL. Imagine what a parcel of land does to a building. That’s what hosting does to a website.

Without the land to build your house on, you have no place to set bricks upon.

So, in simple layman’s terms, hosting companies provide the parcel of land you need to build your website on the internet, so it becomes visible for people to see.

This parcel of land is what they called servers in digital marketing terminology. Your website’s files are stored on your web host server, ready to be accessed 24/7/365 days.

If you require more information, check out this Wikipedia definition.

Why do Web Host Matters?

When starting a new blog, the choice of hosting could be the last thing on your list. But the attention you give to this area could also determine the success or failure of your business.

Today, there are so many choices to make that it’s so easy to opt for cheap low-cost services.

But think about it…website hosting should be seen as part of your business investment. It is one of the most important aspects of your online business. You shouldn’t settle for less.

This is because the availability and performance of your website will go a long way in determining how people use your website. If people can’t get through your web pages quickly or it takes ages to load, you might be losing money and an audience in the process.

So choose your web host wisely.

What to Look for in a Web Host?

For beginners, even pro internet marketers, there are certain criteria one should look for in any web host before making a choice.

Let’s take a look at some of the important features you should watch for in a potential web host.

1. Responsive Customer Supports

image illustration of customer care rep

Customer support channels are something you should look for in any potential web hosting provider. Take it or leave it, no matter how good a web host is, something will surely break someday. You need your web host support team to be there at the point of need.

If your web host only provides one support channel, that’s a sign of an unreliable support team.

Imagine you’re in the middle of a BIG launch, and suddenly, your website is offline. 

You tried everything you could from your end, but nothing seems to be working. It appears you need your web host to get it back online. You quickly open a support ticket, and behold, it was the weekend, and no one responds to your email.

What’s going to happen?

All your efforts, investments, preparations, potential sales, etc…everything will count for nothing.

A good web host will provide several support channels to reach out in a time of need. At least, there should be an email, live chat, Twitter, and Phone call support system on the ground 24/7/365 days.

2. Clear Pricing Details

Hosting prices should be laid out on the website. This is because price increases are a common practice in the industry.

Changes in prices usually come as a result of growth in your business and an increase in blog sizes. As your website traffic and needs increase, more disc space, bandwidth usage, and budget are required.

Make sure to opt for a web host that has its prices, terms, and conditions visible on the website.

3. Server Uptime and Reliability Guarantee

Server downtime is one of the reasons I left my first web host. There are a few things in online marketing more frustrating than seeing your website offline.

Most web hosts displayed the 99.9% uptime guarantee sales tactic on the sales page, but from experience, many web hosts don’t deliver even up to 90% server uptime.

Be sure to check with your web host to verify server uptime and guarantee policy, or read an honest review from previous or current customers, it will guide you to more reliable and useful information.

4. Bandwidth and Storage Capacity

If you’re on a Shared hosting plan, this is something of concern as unlimited bandwidth is not always unlimited. Though you’re just starting with a simple blog with low traffic, bandwidth and storage capacity might not be an issue.

But as your blog grows in popularity and traffic, there are chances you might exceed bandwidth limits. The good thing is to choose a web host that discloses bandwidth limit and storage capacity.

As per the storage limit, unless you’re uploading video and media content to the server, collecting and storing user data, you’re never going to hit the maximum storage limit.

5. Scalability

You can always switch hosts or migrate the existing blog to another web host, but it is a good idea to choose a web host provider that offers scalable packages.

When you’re starting, you are probably on a shared server, but as your blog grows, and traffic goes up, you may require quality services like a cloud or managed WordPress.

6. Renewal Fee

There is a common marketing tactic in the web hosting industry, most first-time purchases are introductory prices – this means you get a huge discount on being a first-time customer.

Some web hosts offer discounts of up to 80% if you’re taking up the annual or multiple years hosting plan. And you could even get a discount on renewal, but that’s not always the case, anyway.

The thing is, you need to read the pricing details carefully so you understand what the actual renewal cost is after your initial hosting period expires. You don’t want to subscribe to a plan you might not be able to renew when it’s time.

Different Types of Web Hosting

Businesses differ in many aspects, so marketing needs will vary from business to business. Your web hosting choice will depend on your business type, needs, traffic level, management skills, budget, etc.

With that being said, let’s walk through the available options today.

1. Shared Hosting – Best for Beginners

As the name suggests, Shared Hosting is when you share server resources (such as CPU, RAM, Storage, etc.) with hundreds of other websites on the same server.

Shared Hosting is the ideal option when starting a new blog with a low traffic level. If you’re looking for a cheap web hosting plan, this is the perfect option for beginners.

It is believed that shared hosting is less fast than others.

This is true when you compare the average speed on a Shared server with a website on either VPS, dedicated, or cloud servers. One of the biggest advantages of Shared Hosting is that it’s cheap and very affordable.

Being on a Shared Hosting server also means every website on the same server shares the operational cost. The web host shared operational costs among all websites that reside on the same server. This makes it very affordable for people on a tight marketing budget to start their blog without the high cost.

Here is a typical example of what a Shared Hosting type looks like in the real world.

image of an apartment

As you can see, there are lots of apartments in the building above. Each tenant occupies their apartment in the building. If the tenant opposite you gets too loud on his music or her children make a hell of a noise, you get disturbed in your apartment.

Typically, Shared Hosting starts at around $2/month and might go up to $10/month. This depends on some other factors like hosting features, add-ons, etc.

Most web hosts Shared Hosting plan comes with a cPanel user interface. So you have complete control over your website files.

There’s very little to configure in most Shared Hosting plans. This allows you to concentrate mostly on your website’s management, such as content and promotion.

Domain.com is one of the leading domain name registrar and web hosting companies.

For as low as $3.75/month, you can host your website with a stable and secure platform. Enjoy unlimited storage and scalable bandwidth that grows with you. 

You also get a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt when hosting your website with Domain.com. Plus a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and a free domain name registration for a year. Unlimited subdomains, up to 25 MySQL Databases, unlimited disk spaces, etc.

2. VPS – Virtual Private Server

A VPS Hosting is considered the middle ground between a Shared and Dedicated server.

VPS is more reliable and less server crowded. Though it’s still a Shared Hosting environment, its setup is quite different from a typical Shared server.

Websites on a VPS plan share one physical server, but it houses multiple separate virtual machines. And unlike Shared Hosting, the number of websites on a VPS server is limited to provide better performance and reliability.

The buildings in the image below can be compared to how VPS (virtual private server) works in online marketing. A building with many tenants but not as many as what is in the first image above. But still a shared apartment by several tenants.

example of a small apartment building

One of the significant advantages of a VPS over Shared servers is that server resources are shared evenly among all websites on the same server. So, if one website experiences a sudden traffic surge, it doesn’t affect another website’s performance. 

This is possible via a virtual machine that creates separations for each website within the VPS server. Another advantage is that VPS hosting is easy to scale as your site grows. Since you’re allocated a portion of the server resources, increasing what is allocated to you is no BIG deal.

You can easily make changes without affecting other websites on the same VPS server. Since you’re only running virtual machines that create separations, making changes without affecting others is possible.

As expected, VPS is more expensive, if you have the money, go for it. However, while VPS hosting is more advanced than shared hosting, it requires a bit of tech knowledge. You need to know what you’re doing when configuring your VPS.

NameCheap offers one of the best VPS hosting plans and features in the industry. And it is fairly priced too. At $9.88/month, you can purchase the Pulsar plan at 34% off the regular price today. You choose your operating system (CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian) and decide if you want to install cPanel or not.

3. Dedicated Server

With Dedicated Server Hosting, you have all the server resources for yourself. You share nothing with other websites. You’re provided with dedicated server equipment, the security system, software, etc.

This gives you total control over the server resources. It is a more flexible option that allows you to negotiate with the web host the terms and conditions and service level agreements as needed.

In the real-world example, here is what Dedicated Hosting types could be compared to.

example of a home

As you can see from the image above, you shared no room with any other tenants. One family occupies all the rooms in the building. No noisy neighbors. No interference from outsiders. If anyone intrudes into your privacy here, you could shut them down as you wish.

This is similar to how dedicated hosting types work in online marketing.

One of the advantages of a dedicated server is getting a custom firewall that helps increase your website security. You also get a unique dedicated IP address since you’re not on a shared server.

As expected, the server performance is of higher quality than the two hosting types mentioned above. Though investment can be the major concern for dedicated hosting, if you’re certain your business needs a dedicated hosting environment, you must be doing well enough to pay for its services.

The price starts anywhere from $40 to a $200 monthly fee. It’s a bit more expensive than Shared or VPS hosting. 

HostGator and NameCheap offer some of the best affordable and high-quality dedicated hosting plans in the industry today. Save up to 22% off NameCheap dedicated hosting plans today and enjoy same-day set-up, a 99.99% uptime guarantee, free migration services, etc.

HostGator Dedicated Hosting plans start at $89.98/month for the Value server plan. This plan gives you 1 TB HDD, 8 Gig RAM, 4 core/8 thread, unmetered bandwidth, Linux or Windows OS, and Intel Xeon-D CPU.

4. Cloud Hosting

Cloud Hosting is essentially on a virtual machine, but this time, your website is part of a large network of computers powering your website dynamically.

It is a type of cloud technology that uses multiple servers to balance the load, increase server performance, and provide top-notch hosting services. So, in the case where a server that your website resides in fails, another server automatically comes in to keep it running.

Cloud Hosting is the most scalable hosting type. As your business grows and requires more space and features, you can easily move up the hosting plan ladder. For mission-critical and high-traffic sites, eCommerce stores, lead generation sites, etc…Cloud hosting is the perfect solution.

It is not uncommon for web hosts not to offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee in Cloud hosting. And speed is one of the significant features of any Cloud Hosting plan. In the event of a DDoS attack on a shared hosting server, the server becomes overwhelmed by a myriad of parallel requests. 

But in cloud hosting, it’s possible to spread the request across many computers, which helps mitigate the request better than when on a single server.

At the time of writing this line, this very blog you’re reading is hosted on the NameCheap EasyWP Cloud hosting server. EasyWP comes with an in-built 3 layers caching system. This makes the installation of another WordPress caching plugin unnecessary.

And for as low as $1, you can test-drive EasyWP for a whole 30-days. 

Another big player in the Cloud hosting service is Cloudways. Cloudways is one of the best web hosts that specializes in cloud services. And you can install your favorite application of choice.

Whether you’re building with WordPress, Joomla, Magneto, Laravel, and PHP, you can do it with Cloudways.

They offer top-of-the-range cloud hosting services;

  • AWS – Amazon web services.
  • Digital Ocean
  • Linode
  • VULTR
  • Google Cloud Compute

Cloudways is one of the best in the industry when choosing cloud hosting. If you want to test Cloudways for three days, use the coupon code “CYBERNAI20” to save 20% on your first invoice.

Which Hosting Type is Right For You?

Your level of entry, blog size, needs, budget, tech skills, business type, etc…all play important roles in the option you take.

It takes a lot of consideration and checklists to choose a web host that is right for you. However, the most crucial part of the puzzle is understanding the different types of hosting.

Once you have a good understanding of this, you can better decide to pick the right option for your blog business. Hopefully, this article has provided you with helpful tips to make the right decision.

If you’re a beginner starting your first blog online, it makes sense to go for a Shared Hosting plan. Look out for things like CDN usage, SSL certificate usage (most web hosts offer free SSL certificates), RAM, SSD size, optimization features, backup policy, etc.

If you’re in doubt of anything, the best is to contact the support team of your potential web host. At least, you’ll have a sneak view of how the support team works.

Our Best Web Hosting Pick

This article is incomplete without giving you our best recommendations.

Though I will advise you to take this as a recommendation, I have practical experience with the companies listed here. Individual experience might defer.

Based on popular votes and my own experience, here is a list of the web host to try today:

There you have it, that’s our pick for the web hosting type for bloggers. Whether you’re starting a new blog on WordPress or another content management system, try one of these web hosts today.

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