What is a web hosting? In layman’s terms, a web hosting simply defined as a service that makes your website viewable on the Internet. On a deeper level, the right web hosting choice will ensure that your website is capable to reach out to wider audience, increase your online business revenue, and gives you the help you need to ensure that you’re making the most of your online presence.
If you are new to web hosting and not sure how to choose the right hosting provider, then this article will assist you greatly because we will help you to separate the facts from the myths. In this article, we are going to expose the 10 biggest myths regarding web hosting.
Myth #1: You Need to Be an IT Expert to Use a Web Hosting
This statement may have been true when websites were built decades ago, but now it’s far from the case.
The truth is that many hosting providers now offer a huge benefit of a user-friendly interface with an easy-to-use hosting control panel such as cPanel and while graphic design prowess can certainly help to give you a one-of-a-kind high end site, there are several sites that make creating your own custom website or blog a piece of cake.
For instance, Joomla And WordPress are two of the most popular sites due to their ease-of-use, free guides, and support articles from users that are pretty much everywhere you look online.
Nowadays, you don’t even need to know how to code in order to create a dynamic site that runs on databases. In essence, there are so many features already built in on existing platforms with graphic user interfaces that anyone even non-technical people can create a great looking custom site with just a few clicks.
Myth #2: If You Use a Windows Computer You Need Windows Hosting
This is the most common misconception among first time web hosting user. For your information, majority web hosting service providers offer both Linux and Windows servers. There are pros and cons to each, but this has nothing to do with the kind of computer or operating system you are using. The majority of web hosting plans actually use Linux, which is generally cheaper and commonly used among web hosting user. This is also perfectly compatible with a Windows based computer. So do not think that a Windows based computer will require a Windows server.
Myth #3: Every Web Hosting Provider Are the Same
If you have performed research on web hosting companies on Google before, you might have realized that majority of the ads from various web hosting companies almost offer the same hosting plans with similar prices. So why bother to shop for the best ones? Well, there is a significant difference among these companies which is the uptime factor.
What is an Uptime? Uptime is referring to the amount of time your website is online – a number ideally close to 100%. Many of these hosting companies promote 99% uptime but there are some which do not mention about uptime at all. You should realize that a small difference in uptime percentage will affect your website negatively. Here’s a sample calculation between a 99.9% uptime with a 98% uptime.
98% = 28.8 mins/day – 3.4 hours/week – 14.4 hours/month – 7.3 days/year
99% = 14.4 mins/day – 1.7 hours/week – 7.2 hours/month – 3.65 days/year
99.5% = 7.2 mins/day – 0.84 hours/week – 3.6 hours/month – 1.83 days/year
99.9% = 1.44 mins/day – 0.17 hours/week – 0.72 hours/month – 8.8 hours/year
From the calculation above, you can see that your website will be offline for nearly 30 minutes per day or nearly 3.5 hours per week (for 98% uptime) compare to a short downtime period of nearly 2 minute/day or 0.17 hours/week (for 99.9% uptime).
Myth #4: Free Web Hosting is the Way to Go!
Reliability is a big difference between paid and free web hosting. When an issue arises, you would definitely need the comfort of a support team to get your problem solved. If you go with free hosting, you are essentially alone in your battle against inevitable complications. More disadvantages, like limited amount of hard drive space, should convince you not to pinch pennies with hosting. Therefore, always choose a high quality & reliable hosting provider and spend some money!
Myth #5: Good Web Hosting Should Be Expensive!
While free hosting is not the bargain it may seem to be as discussed previously in Myth #4, that doesn’t mean you have to pay a lot for hosting. Some of the best web hosts, in fact, charge less than RM20 per month. For example, you can sign up for a top quality cPanel web hosting plan from ServerFreak for only RM190/year which works out for less than RM16/month ! In fact, you can save even more money if you sign up for their web hosting plan during special promotional period. While you should always look at the big picture, such as all of the features offered by the company and its overall reputation, you don’t have to pay top dollar to get the best service.
Myth #6: Find Web Hosting Provider with Zero Negative Reviews
As they say “haters gonna hate”. The truth is that every hosting company no matter how great they may be – will have negative reviews.
For web hosting beginners searching for hosting, they may see a bad review, and move on to the next company’s reviews. If you finally find a hosting company with zero negative reviews, odds are they are just starting out.
On the other hand, large hosting companies with tens of thousands of customers, are bound to have a few negative comments. Don’t dismiss these comments, rather see how the company responds to them. If the majority of comments are positive, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Myth #7: Need Some Hosting Experience to Manage a Website
This is far from the truth because managing a website has become effortless thanks to the expansive control panel that improve website functionality. For instance, the control panel cPanel allows you to create and manage your email accounts, FTP accounts, MySQL database, password reset, setup error pages, perform domain redirection and many more. As you can see, it does not require any technical experience at all to manage your website – even if you’re beginner.
Myth #8: Host Both Your Domain Name and Hosting with the Same Company
Some web hosting companies like ServerFreak offer a free domain name with their web hosting plans. There are also domain registrars, such as Godaddy.com and Namecheap.com that offer hosting. While it can be convenient to get these two services from the same company, you shouldn’t make your decision on this basis. Domain name registration is not complicated therefore do not simply sign up for a web hosting with the same domain registrar because of convenience or laziness. Always seek the web hosting company that offers the most value. If they happen to offer a domain as part of the package, that’s fine. But this shouldn’t be the sole reason you choose a web host.
Myth #9: Many Hosting Companies Have Their Own Dedicated Datacenter
This is something that you might assume, but it’s not always the case. There is a good chance they are outsourcing this unless they state it explicitly that they have their own datacenters. It is common nowadays for web hosting companies to use third party datacenters. However, outsourcing datacenters does not mean that the company is offering poor service. Meanwhile, there are definite advantages dealing with company that manage everything in-house. A hosting provider that has command over their datacenter, hardware, and support is better equipped to provide you with exceptional help.
Myth #10: Outsource Web Hosting
Some things are best done by yourself even though the idea of outsourcing everything is getting a lot of attention nowadays. As discussed in myth#7, it’s now even easier to build and manage your website by leveraging the tools provided by the hosting company.
If you outsource this, you are setting yourself up for potential problems and unnecessary expenses. You will have to contact or call the person you’ve hired each time you need to perform simple changes – such as typo or misspelling fix. It’s much easier to get comfortable with logging into your own control panel and making the changes yourself.
Regardless of whether or not you consider yourself to be an expert on web hosting, it’s a good idea to refresh your knowledge from time to time to make sure that you fully understand just how valuable website hosting can really be. Hopefully, this article has given you the insight you need to separate the facts from the myths in web hosting.