Before your website can blast off into the digital realm, you’ll need a hosting platform to ready you for launch. But with so many server options and different hosting companies claiming to be the best, fastest, or most secure – how do you know which provider to trust with your business? Read this quick guide to learn how to find the best web hosting company that will rocket your website into orbit.
How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Company
There are almost too many options when choosing a host for your website – some of which even have a major impact on your business’ growth. That said, you need to know what to look for when shopping for the best web hosting company that can cater to your needs.
- Web Hosting Server Type
- Storage & RAM
- Bandwidth & Data Transfer
- Uptime Rates & Reliability
- Encryption & Cybersecurity
- IT Support Offerings
- Website Maintenance Offerings
Reflect then Research
The first step in looking for a trusted hosting provider is to determine your current needs and your growth potential. Yep – it’s time for a little self-awareness.
Ask yourself what you’ll be doing with the website.
- Do you need a full-fledged e-commerce website with all the bells and whistles, or just a basic site that tells people about the business?
- Are you expecting thousands of visitors per month, or just a few hundred?
- Would you rather have full IT support and expert website maintenance, or would you rather be left to your own devices after launch?
Different needs demand different storage options, bandwidth, or ongoing support. Mapping out where you currently stand and where you want to go with your business will help you determine who you can trust to get you there.
The best web hosting company is the one that suits your current needs – and can accommodate any future ones.
Understanding Web Hosting Server Types
You may have heard the terms, “cloud server,” or, “dedicated server” – but do you know how each type of server could impact your website? While opting for the cheapest hosting provider may be tempting, you may find that it limits your growth potential – and takes a major toll on your website’s security and speed!
The cheapest hosting options are often available on shared servers. Why? A shared server is one that runs many other websites along with yours. Lower prices often mean more customers crammed onto one server. While this can be a cost-effective option for smaller sites, be wary of cutting corners to save a few extra bucks – it may cost you in the long run.
With shared servers, the performance of your website depends on the load that the other sites are also putting on the host. For those who aren’t familiar with the impact that website speed has on your site’s overall performance, read our blog on why website speed matters.
Can you guess what makes a dedicated server from a shared one? Hopefully.
A dedicated server is fully committed to you. It’s the cream of the crop when it comes to web hosting. There’s no sharing of resources, CPU time, bandwidth, or RAM – meaning your website will load faster and be more consistent for you and your audience.
These types of web servers are usually best suited for large e-commerce and enterprise-level websites – or websites that experience more than 100,000 monthly visits.
With dedicated hosting, you’ll get more control over your website’s server-side customizations. You can add or remove software, tweak all of your settings, or install updates from your dashboard.
Is server control not a selling point for you? Don’t worry – dedicated hosting often comes with a team of IT experts that can help if you need it. When asking a web hosting company about a dedicated server, be sure to also ask about their level of IT support. If they can’t cater to your level of need, then find another provider.
VPS stands for “Virtual Private Server”. The main server is split into segments and shared by a select number of websites. A virtual private server can benefit websites with large video or image files, interactive websites with complex scripts, or website owners that don’t want to deal with the inconsistencies and lack of control that a shared hosting option provides.
VPS hosting is a happy medium between shared and dedicated hosting. It’s a step up from shared, as it delegates resources more effectively – meaning your site will load faster, perform better, and have higher uptime rates. However, this hosting option is not as robust or customizable as a dedicated server.
Cloud hosting is often a more cost-effective version of VPS. Cloud hosting behaves similarly to a virtual private server, except there are multiple remote servers that share the workload. If one server fails or takes too long to load, another server will pick up the slack.
This option is great for website owners that want to grow their site and traffic, but aren’t sure what storage capacity or bandwidth they’ll need over time. Cloud hosting is easily scalable and can adjust to your needs on-demand.
Final Thoughts: Choosing the Best Web Hosting Company
The best web hosting company is one that will help you make the best choice for your business – and has the resources to scale with you. Check customer reviews and have a list of questions prepared when interviewing a potential hosting provider. Once you’ve found the web hosting company that meets your needs, you’ll be one step closer to launching your website.
Next Horizon provides holistic technology solutions for businesses looking to improve sales, increase agility and optimize productivity. From deploying dedicated development teams to building bespoke business applications, Next Horizon uses its 40+ years of experience and award-winning talent to provide technical business solutions for its clients.