What Is Web Hosting ?
Hosting is one of the invisible components of your site – when it is good it is imperceptible, but if it is inappropriate it can spoil the whole impression of your site.
Hosting is the “site placement” service – the place where your site is physically hosted. We will look at the most commonly used type of hosting – the so-called. shared hosting that hosts dozens of sites on a single physical server. This allows for the best value for money.
How To Choose The Right One ?
What do all the parameters that hosting companies mean to us? Generally, the parameters of a hosting are the following:
- Operating system (Linux / Windows)
- Disk Space
- Monthly traffic
- Continuity of service (uptime)
- CPU time
- Number of mailboxes
- Number of databases
- Number of FTP Users
- Availability of backup system is a very important
- Availability of good support
- Number of domains parked
- Number of additional domains (addon domains)
- Programming language support (PHP, Ruby on Rails, ASP,…)
- Control Panel
Most hosting companies offer approximately the same parameters to their plans according to the price range. Parameters seem like a lot, but in reality, few of them are a limited resource that you can use up. Most parameters, such as disk space, monthly traffic, number of databases, number of FTP users, are high enough to be a constraint on your site.
Let’s take a closer look at them:
Operating System (Linux / Windows Hosting)
Unlike PCs, where Windows is the most popular operating system, Linux is the preferred server for servers because of its stability, efficient resource management, and cost.
Most open source applications that you can use on your site as content management systems, such as (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart, and more) are more likely to have problems under Windows than under Linux configurations.
Unless you have an application that specifically requires Windows hosting, choose Linux – this is the most common and recommended choice.
This is the space you have to place your site. If we consider the site of a pool, it is its capacity. It usually runs between 5 and 15 GB for an average hosting plan that is sufficient for almost any site. Exception may be made by sites that contain many pictures or videos, but even then they would rarely reach this limit. Especially given the fact that photos and videos can be hosted on an external server such as YouTube, Vimeo (for video) or Flickr, Picasa (for photos) so that they do not ‘load’ your own hosting.
If we use the pool analogy again, this is the “allowed monthly flow” for your site. The situation here is the same as with disk space – if your site does not host a huge volume of videos or photos (which, as we said, can be published through the servers of any of the popular services), this parameter is rarely relevant. Another option to reach the limit is to have a highly visited site – but then there is always the option of going higher.
Service continuity (uptime)
Here, all good vendors/hostingsquote a single number, very close to 100% – 99.99% for example – this is the time your site will be available. There is always a risk that the site may be temporarily unavailable at some small intervals. There are no major discrepancies here with the suppliers cited.
This is one of the more hidden parameters of hosting plans. Usually, they are not announced as explicitly as the other parameters, but are posted on a provider’s terms of service page. This is the processing resource that applications installed on your site can use.
By limiting this resource, hosting companies ensure that their customers will not use applications that use the processor very intensively, thus overloading the entire server and degrading the quality of service for other users of the same server.
For guidance, an average site visitor with a content management system (such as WordPress) or an online store (eg OpenCart) needs 50-100 minutes a day.
This is the RAM that your applications have at runtime. There is usually no problem with this restriction unless your site has CPU and memory intensive scripts – such as large image processing (for example, users upload images that need to be resized to smaller sizes).
Number of mailboxes
This is the limit on the number of mailboxes you can create for your site. For example, if your site is www.mysite.com, you can create mailboxes that look like this: [email protected], [email protected] Unless you have a large team (over 50 people) and you want to have individual mailboxes for each of them, you will have no problems with restrictions here.
Number of emails sent per hour
This is also a less obvious parameter. To prevent spamming through their mail servers, hosting providers put limits on the number of emails sent per hour from a single hosting account. This number can range between 100 and 1000, and it doesn’t matter to most users because they fit into that box.
However, if you have a large email list of your subscribers to whom you send newlsetter, or you organize email marketing campaigns, this can be of great importance – for example, for the 10’000 email addresses to which you must send an advertising message, one restriction of 100 mails an hour would mean 100 hours of time to send to everyone.
Number of additional domains (addon domains)
One of the interesting options you have is that you can host (host) more than one site on the same hosting account. In other words, if you have, for example, 3 sites, you can buy them one shared hosting service.
For 3 sites you need hosting that can have 2 additional domains – your primary + two more = 3 sites. Often, lower-cost hosting plans are limited to 1 additional domain, but standard ones usually have the option of 6 or more.
Number of domains parked
You have the ability to target more than one domain to the same site. For example, your site can be accessed under the name www.mysite.com, under www.my-site.com and www.my-wonderful-site.com. One way to achieve this is by adding www.my-site.com and www.my-wonderful-site.com as parked domains to www.mysite.com.
Number Of Databases
You are also not expected to have any restrictions issues here. Databases are required when you install an application on your site (store, content management system, etc.). Technically, all the applications you use can use a common database, so even if you only have one, it will be sufficient for you.
Number Of FTP Users
Not critical as a constraint. FTP is the protocol through which the files that make up your site are uploaded. We can liken it to the pipe through which the pool is filled. You can technically “fill your pool” with just one pipe. More FTP users will only be needed if you want to limit some of their rights to a specific folder on your site.
Support for programming languages
You are also not expected to have problems here unless you choose some free hosting plan from some low-end provider. You don’t need programming language support unless you have dynamic scripts on your site (content management systems, feedback forms, etc.)
All content management systems require some programming language support from hosting so they can be used. The most popular one is PHP. All serious hosting providers offer support for PHP and other languages on their servers.
Serious hosting providers offer a control panel through which you can manage a variety of account settings. The most commonly used features are:
- create and manage mailboxes
- creation and management of databases
- create and manage FTP accounts
- domain and subdomain management
- See statistics for visits to your site
Control panel features are far from limited, but they are the most commonly used ones.
The most commonly used control panel is cPanel, which has all sorts of options, which can make it more difficult to use by a non-technical person.
Some vendors (such as Host.bg for example) have decided to make a cleaner version of a control panel that contains only the most commonly used features. Of course, this does not mean that you cannot ask for support promptly for anything else.
Available Archive System(Back up)
All serious hosting providers offer daily backup of information on your site in case something happens and an archive restore is needed.
Good visibility from all over the world
Good hosting providers have excellent connectivity to the world so that your site loads as fast as possible from anywhere in the world. Of course, there are some additional options here (see Extras)
All serious hosting companies offer 24/7 support through a variety of channels – phone, chat, e-mail.
CDN (e.g. CloudFlare)
Some hosting companies, offer free CloudFlare support. This is a CDN (Content Delivery Network) – a service that has multiple servers around the world and copies the static content of your site (images, CSS, JS files – 80% of the volume on a single site) to all these servers. Thus, when a user from a remote location in the world opens your site, the largest volume of your site will load from the geographically nearest server. The result is faster access to your site.
Next Step ( Cloud Hosting )
If your site has grown to the extent that shared hosting is no longer working (for example, traffic is very high and despite your site optimizations you cannot fit into the features of a shared hosting plan), there are the following levels:
- dedicated server
- virtual private server (VPS)
- (cloud hosting)
You get the best value for money with the cloud. Here, multiple servers connect and operate as one large virtual server whose resources (processor, memory, disk space) are the sum of the resources of the individual servers. Your site is hosted on this virtual server. So, even if a physical server goes down temporarily, the shared virtual server continues to run, with just a little less resources.
Another benefit is that you can request more resources at any time and be immediately available – for example, more memory, more disk space, etc.
The price here is about ten times that of shared hosting.
Whichever one of the best hosting providers you choose, you will be able to choose from different hosting plans according to the needs of your site.
If you are interested, which web hostings to use, I ‘d recommend you to look at Bluehost Review or A2 Hosting Review