New to web hosting? Start Here
In layman’s term, web hosting (aka web host, hosting, web servers) is where people store their websites. If you ever wondered “where is the Internet”? Well, now you have the answer. The Internet is merely these interconnected servers (millions of them!) in data centers that spread across our globe.
Type of Web Hosting
Usually when we talk about hosting, it simply means the companies that manage and rent out web servers for profit. There are four major types of web hosting services nowadays, namely Shared, Virtual Private Server, Dedicated, and Cloud Hosting.
Shared Hosting is the most popular hosting options for beginners and owners of small-to-mid websites due to its affordable pricing and user friendliness. As the name implies, your websites are hosted on a server that also hosts other sites. We call sites hosted on the same servers “neighbors”. Your sites will be sharing server resources and IP address (generally speaking) with their neighbors.
VPS Hosting is also known as Virtual Dedicated Hosting. This hosting option is one step above shared hosting but one step below dedicated hosting. From the outside, VPS works just like shared hosting – a large server is divided into smaller pieces and distributed to different users. But from the inside, everything is different – VPS hosting users will have full access to the server root (this means better server controls and security) and better hosting quality (as VPS is normally shared by less number of users).
Dedicated Hosting offers maximum control and server power as the users own the entire server – the server is yours and yours alone. There are generally two options when it comes to dedicate hosting – managed dedicated hosting and unmanaged dedicated hosting. For managed dedicated hosting, the hosting companies will help manage the servers on behalf of their users; managed dedicated hosting, on the other hand, requires the users to configure and manage everything by themselves.
Cloud Hosting is “hosting on demand” – you only pay for the hosting resources you need (or use). It’s a type of web hosting that spreads the load of hosting across multiple physical servers. Cloud hosting eliminates single point of failure (as there are always another server ready to backup the failed ones) and it’s very suitable for websites that have a lot of traffics on certain days but low traffics on the other.
How to choose the right web host? 15 questions to ask
Choosing a new web host is never an easy job. A bad web hosting server can be a nightmare for website owners. Server outages, lost of data, slow websites, and poor customer supports are what you get when you are stuck with a bad web host.
Fortunately, there are some key questions you can ask to narrow down your choices and filter out some of the bad web hosts. Alternatively, you can simply make use of our hosting reviews and comparison charts – we asked the same questions too when we did our reviews
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What are my hosting needs?
- How much I can afford yearly for a hosting service?
- Do I need hand-to-hand help or I can learn stuffs independently online?
Questions to Ask Your Web Host
- How long has the hosting company been in business?
- How server upgrade is done?
- Are there any setup fees? (Most companies waive setup fees for 1 year subscription)
- What are the recovery procedures when a site is hacked?
- How does the web host handles hackers?
- Is customer support 24/7/365?
- Is the tech support outsourced?
- How many users are there on each shared server?
- Does the web host offer 1-click installation for popular web scripts (softaculous, Fantastico, Simple Scripts, etc)?
- What is the average monthly uptime? (Never tolerate with anything lower than 99.9%)
- Does the hosting company offer full refund trial period?
- How does the hosting company handle cancellation?