Buying a cup of coffee at the Starbucks is akin to purchasing a web hosting plan from a web hosting company. One thing you won’t be short on is choice. It’s like someone going into a Starbucks coffee shop for the first time and they see a board containing loads of options with indecipherable names such as Latte, Cappuccino, Espresso, and many more. But it is still all coffee. In addition, the barista will also make your choices becoming simple: big cup or small; sweetened or non-sweetened; almond milk or soy; strong or subtle.
Just like buying a coffee in Starbucks, buying a new web hosting plan is no different. You still need to decide which type of package to purchase. Each hosting plan varies in performance and price but what metrics are important to consider when choosing your ideal hosting plan? And what features and Add-Ons you can ignore? Hence this article is written to explore the important features of a web hosting plan that will greatly assist you in your buying decision.
When it comes to technical specification of a server, you need to focus on 2 important things: the disk space and bandwidth. This applies to all servers including the shared server, virtual private server and dedicated server. If you’re buying a higher end hosting package you will also need to consider RAM.
Simply put: the bigger the number, the better the performance. Bigger numbers also mean a higher price. Disk space is about the size of your website, while bandwidth and RAM are about the amount of traffic that you get. Depending on the size and nature of your business, always ask yourself how much disk space and bandwidth is sufficient for your requirement.
Types of Server
The most basic form of a server is the shared server. Known as the “entry level” type of server, they typically have smaller disk space and bandwidth allocations than other types of server. They are also usually the cheapest option and the most popular choice among students and bloggers.
The next stage up is known as the Virtual Private Server or VPS. On this sort of server, more resources are allocated for your website. Hence, websites hosted in the VPS have higher loading speed compare to shared server. But the values of those resources can vary though, which means you will probably have several VPS options to choose from.
The next stage up is known as the Dedicated Server. With a dedicated server your website gets all the resources, which is why it is also the most expensive option. In short, you will get 100% full control of the server.
Besides these 3 servers, you can also get special web hosting plan tailored for certain uses. Managed WordPress and E-Commerce hosting are some of the popular hosting plans available at Serverfreak. Using “WordPress Hosting”, this makes the job of building and managing a website using WordPress much easier while “E-Commerce Hosting” allows you to develop your online store easily with Drag-&-Drop module without going through any hard coding.
Room to Grow
There is no “One-Size-Fits-All” hosting plan. Your buying decision will depend on the traffic you currently get to your website and the amount of traffic that you’re anticipating. It’s highly advisable to reach out to your hosting provider if you are doubtful about these estimates yourself.
Meanwhile, you can get estimates wrong, particularly if your website is more popular than you anticipate. It is therefore important that you can scale up your hosting to add more resources as your site gets bigger. This will be much cost-effective since you’re only paying for the resources your website gets to use.
This is an important criterion for every clients of shared server. Most modern websites will need FTP access and even more important if you or your developers need a high level of control over the files and configuration of your website.
This is an important criterion if you want your emails formatted like email@example.com . In this case, your hosting provider will need to include email functionality in every hosting package. The biggest consideration with email is the level of security your host has in place to prevent spam.
How You are Going to Build the Website
If you plan to build your website with a site builder then consider the tools included with your hosting plan. Many people use a CMS like WordPress or something similar. If this is your approach, it’s helpful if your hosting provider includes simple installers so you can get up and running quickly.
Technical Support Assistance
Depending on how much you’re paying for your hosting plan, the levels of technical support available for you will vary. This can range from 9 to 5 email support to 24-hour telephone support. At Serverfreak, rest assured that you will have both email and telephone support available to address your concerns.
There is a famous idiom which says “You Get What You Pay For”. For web hosting, this is so true when it comes to allocating budget for your web hosting requirement. This is about finding the sweet spot – cheapest is rarely the best, and the most expensive often contains more power and features than you’ll ever use. Therefore, it’s advisable to weigh your options first before placing the order.
After reading this you’re probably envious of the baffled Starbucks coffee shop visitor mentioned earlier – at least she gets to drink a nice cup of Starbucks coffee once she’s made her choice. So let’s join her – grab a cup and then follow this plan:
- Decide on the type of website you are going to build (platform, size, etc.)
- Think about how much traffic you’re likely to get
- Talk to your website host about your options, focusing on the key points mentioned in this article
So get caffeinated and make sure you buy the right hosting plan from Serverfreak today!