How to Choose The Right Web Host For Your Website: Complete Guide

November 16, 2018
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This article is for anyone who wants to create a website. After reading it, you will be able to choose the ideal web hosting for your project and your budget. Which accommodation to choose for its first website? Which are the reliable hosts? What is the difference between a shared hosting, a dedicated server or a VPS? You will know everything!

1. Creating a Website: How Does it Work?

You need 3 things to create a site:

  • A domain name, such as techdue.com
  • Hosting to store your pages, products, articles, etc.
  • A content management system like WordPress, Blogger, Prestashop, Shopify. This will allow you to create your site easily without any technical knowledge.

The easiest way is to manage your domain at the same company that hosts your website and your email addresses. The link between your site, your emails and your domain name will be done automatically If this is not the case, you will have to manually adjust the DNS zone of your domain so that it points to your Mail and Web hosting. If you are a beginner, avoid this!

Now that you have an overview of what you need to create a site, it’s time to define your needs in order to choose the web hosting service that’s right for you.

2. Define your needs

A. How Will You Create Your Site?

There are two possible scenarios:

  • You know how to code and you want to design your site from A to Z.
  • You want to create a site without any knowledge in PHP, HTML, CSS, etc.

If you are in the second case, I advise you to create your site with WordPress. It is the most used site creation tool in the world and it is perfectly adapted for most projects:

  • Blog with articles, photos, and videos
  • Showcase site for a company
  • Online Store (for online store we strongly recommend Shopify)
  • portfolio
  • CV online
  • Photo Galleries
  • Etc.

If you have a store with many items for sale online, Shopify or PrestaShop could also be a solution to study. As a photographer, Koken could also be a good alternative to WordPress if your priority is to share photo galleries. There are hundreds of web applications that can be used to create sites, forums, quizzes, and so on.

Whatever your choice, the vast majority of content management systems share one thing in common: they require web hosting that supports PHP and MySQL databases. 

B. What Is The Purpose Of Your Site?

Here are three essential questions to ask yourself:

  • What are you talking about on your site?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What value will you bring to your visitors?

Without knowing the purpose of your site, you risk talking about all or nothing and not attract many people. The risk is then to quickly demotivate and abandon your project, which would be a pity?

So really take a few minutes to ask yourself how people will find your site via the search engines and what problems or needs you will answer.

It does not matter if there are already sites that do the same thing that you would like to do. It’s even a good sign because it shows that there is an interest in your niche! but your approach should be as unique as you are.

C. How to Evaluate The Resources You Need?

Like your mobile or your computer, the server that hosts your site will allocate some power so that your site is displayed quickly, regardless of the number of people who visit your site at the same time.

The power of hosting is essentially expressed by these variables:

  • The maximum execution time allocated to your scripts
  • The amount of RAM allocated to your scripts
  • The type of disk used to store files and databases
  • The raw power of the server (processor, RAM)
  • The network infrastructure of the host

Contrary to what one might think, it is not necessary to have ultra-powerful hosting to handle a million visitors a day if your site is well developed and optimized. Two important variables determine the power you need:

  • The traffic of your site (the number of people who connect simultaneously)
  • The number of requests of the most frequented pages and their complexity

If you are new and all this seems to be Chinese, I recommend that you choose a basic shared hosting by checking that the hosting provider that you retain allows it to be easily changed, for example to a VPS or a cloud server.

D. Which Type of Web Hosting to Choose?

If this is your first website, I recommend you choose a shared hosting. This obscure term simply means that the resources of your server (processor and memory) will be shared with hundreds of websites, including yours. Depending on the sites and hosts, this type of hosting is more than enough and you will never need to upgrade to a more powerful solution.

If you already have a website on a shared hosting and your host regularly invites you to optimize your site or you suspend it, it’s time to migrate to more powerful hosting with resources entirely dedicated to your site. site. Two solutions are available to you:

  • The Virtual Private Server (VPS)
  • The cloud server

The big difference between these two solutions is that the VPS is a server whose resources are allocated entirely to a limited number of websites in a virtual way while the cloud server draws its resources in a decentralized way, in the cloud. In other words, the resources of a VPS are limited to a physical server while those of a cloud server can increase without any limit according to the evolution of your needs! To choose, you have better time to opt for a cloud server, especially since this solution is more economical than a VPS or a dedicated server.

Depending on the success and optimization of your site, you may need even more powerful hosting than a VPS or a cloud server. In this case, two solutions are available to you:

  • The dedicated server
  • Very high availability hosting

A dedicated server will allow you to achieve performance still slightly higher than a cloud server, A dedicated service as obvious from the name will dedicate a standalone complete service to your website. You can choose from different server configurations changing the amount of ram, processor, and hard drive.

If even a dedicated server is not enough for your needs you can opt for very high availability hosting or a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution that creates an environment with load balancers and multiple synchronized cloud servers located in data centers. distinct. This type of hosting normally involves a custom SLA contract according to your needs which guarantees a total availability of your infrastructure subject to clearly specified conditions.

3. Choose a Host

Now that you know what kind of web hosting solution you need, it’s time to choose a web host. As the latter will take care of the infrastructure of your hosting and the management of your domain name.

A. What Are The Essential Differentiation Criteria?

There are so many hosts and different prices that choosing your host can become a real headache, especially since it is easy to doubt the objectivity of the reviews and comparisons of the well-established host in the field. This is why I will try to give you the most important indicators so that you can make your own choice without having to blindly follow the recommendations of actors who are often paid to position one host rather than another. Here is a great article explaining why you shouldn’t fell for these fake web hosting reviews websites.

Contrary to what you might think, the following criteria is not decisive, because almost all the hosts include them in their offer or will propose them in the short term:

  • Free SSL Certificates
  • Anti-DDoS protection
  • Size of available disk space
  • SSD technology for files and databases
  • Daily backup of files and databases
  • Support technologies like Node.js, Ruby, Litespeed or MariaDB

On the other hand, the following criteria do not change over time and are decisive:

– The Effectiveness And Availability of Support

You will sooner or later need to contact your host to activate a technology required by a web application, for a technical question or to understand why your site is slow or no longer works. Whatever the reason, it is essential to be able to easily contact your host and receive useful and effective help.

In my opinion, the reputation of the support of a host is the most important point to make your choice! This is why big established hosts like OVH, GoDaddy or 1 & 1 are not necessarily the best choices, because their support is often overwhelmed by the mass of customers to manage. I use a small local host for my website and all I need is to send an SMS to the man in charge of the hosting company and he responds with in minutes.

– The Evolution of Web Hosting

Technology and development languages ​​are evolving more and more quickly, and it is essential to engage with a host which is involved in the research and development of its products. Observe the blog and publications of the host on social networks to ensure that it moves regularly.

For this criterion, large players will tend to benefit from more resources than small hosts for research and innovation, but they will also be hampered by the size of their server farm to maintain and update.

– Resources Allocated to Your Hosting

For shared hosting, the amount of RAM ( memory_limit ) and the execution time ( max_execution_time ) allocated to your scripts reveal the power you will have at your disposal. Unfortunately, this information is rarely highlighted and you will often need to consult the knowledge base or support of the host to obtain it.

As an indication, the following values ​​are excellent:

  • 300 seconds (execution time)
  • 1280 MB of RAM (memory)

– The performance and reliability of the infrastructure

No host is immune to serious breakdowns on its infrastructure, regardless of experience or size. It is moreover extremely difficult to evaluate this criterion, because the hosts do not necessarily highlight the list of their failures in time. On the other hand, a host which suffers breakdowns that affect a large number of repeat customers can not long contain the negative impact on communities like Twitter, Reddit, Quora, where it is very difficult to censor the return of real customers exasperated.

B. How to be sure to choose a good host?

 Try as much as possible to base yourself on objective information:

  • Resources allocated to web hosting (memory and execution time)
  • The web host’s blog
  • The host’s Twitter account (outages, frustrated customers, responsiveness, etc.)
  • Support (try to contact them several times and judge for yourself)
  • Facebook notices (they cannot be censored)
  • Google reviews (they cannot be censored)

C. Which are the leading web hosting companies?

Here are hosts who enjoy an excellent reputation.

The following hosts often offer more competitive rates but manage hundreds of thousands of customers. In case of questions or problems with your site, you will need to arm yourself with patience:

4. Share your choice in the comments

Tell me in the comments:

  • Which host would you choose?
  • Which type of hosting have you chosen (shared, VPS, etc.)
  • How did you make that decision?
  • Are you satisfied with your choice

I really hope this article has helped you. Feel free to share it if you think it can help others choose their web hosting

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