Nowadays, when technology development is moving faster than light, more and more people are switching from the offline lifestyle we all know to the more entertaining and interesting online environment. Nowadays, more and more people have a website. Some are running blogs, just for sharing their thoughts and opinions, while others are using them for business purposes. If you`re not having a website already, you should think seriously at this, because can bring you benefits you didn`t know about. If you don`t know already, a website has to be hosted somewhere, where some people can take care of it in order to keep it live and running on the internet. Therefore, choosing the right web hosting service for the websites you have can bring you some headaches.
Not all websites are the same. They can be build on many platforms, because their purpose can be different. Every individual platform requires special treatment, that`s why you have to know if the web host you`ll choose can really host your website without affecting its integrity.
1. CPU Usage
Every server runs on a processor, which is divided in CPUs(Central Processing Units). In other words, the processor is the server`s brain, being responsive for interpreting and executing commands which come from hardware and software. Many web hosts are advertising unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth, but how can they be unlimited when the physical devices like servers are limited? There are, of course, some limits.
If your website is getting a very big amount of traffic in one day and the server will get overhead, your website will be shutted down. This is because your server was eating too many server resources, which are these CPUs. If you`ll search for “Unlimited CPU Usage” in a web host plans, you won`t find it, because no one can guarantee it, therefore, make sure to carefully read the terms and conditions of every plan when signing in.
2. Amount of Uploaded Files
The “Unlimited Storage” feature offered by many web hosting companies it is and actually can be called unlimited web hosting. How many GB of data can you really upload for a website to run? You won`t need more than 10GB, but what happens if there are too many FILES uploaded? The big challenge for every web hosting company is to host as many websites they can on their servers. So, the problem is reduced to keeping the servers healthy.
The company will limit the number of uploaded files in order to limit the resources used by the server. If you`re having some websites running on WordPress, which is a CMS and uses a lot of files, combined with some Plugins, you might reach the file limit and the unlimited storage promised will be for you just a myth.
3. Server Location
Every web host is actually a company which is running the activity of hosting websites on some servers based in a city or region of a country. If your website is targeting visitors or clients based in Europe and the servers on which the website is hosted are based in USA, they will experience extra time on loading pages or downloading things. We all hate waiting for a web page to load and you don`t want to loose clients because they closed the still loading website.
Therefore, if you`re running a local business, is better to orientate to local hosting companies which will deliver your ewebsite fast. Plus, speed is very important for SEO and will get you ranked better than competitors with websites hosted on foreign countries.
4. Server Environment Control
Beware of web hosts that cannot assure you at least a basic server environment control. What`s this all about? Make sure you get a proper admin panel(cPanel, Plesk) which has to be intuitive and feature rich. Make sure you can control things like SSH, PHP or .htaccess settings and that database managing environment is flexible enough. A good web hosting platform will let you access reports referred to website visitors, bandwidth usage and storage usage, important things when it comes to website optimization.
5. Hidden Prices
At the end of the day, it`s all about the money. Do not think that you made a great deal by choosing a web hosting plan which doesn`t cost more than $5/month. The cheapest plans are also features poor. You`ll probably get a few GB of data transfer, very limited email accounts and MySql databases and probably nothing else. But you might think that you`ve just created your website and there aren`t so many people visiting it.
But things might change, right? With time, your traffic will increase, your business might grow and without a doubt, your web hosting bill will be bigger than $5. At some point you might need additional bandwidth because of the bigger traffic, additional MySQL databases and more features like WordPress installs, Back-ups and Cron Jobs, dedicated IP address, more email accounts, etc, which will make you pay at least $20 each month. Therefore, make sure to think on a long term or to see if you can easily upgrade your hosting plan with a better one.
There are probably many more things to know about web hosting before choosing a plan for your website. In many cases they are strongly linked to the purpose of the website, that`s why you should firstly know what your website requires to run smoothly and then pick the right web host. If you know any more things to look for at a webhost, don`t hesitate to share them with us!