BEGINNERS GUIDE TO WEB HOSTING
Find your domain
Finding the right domain name is obviously a very important step in launching your new website. While not directly tied to hosting, there is an obvious connection people make between your website and your domain name.
Use our tool below to make sure your domain is available to be purchased:
What type of website do you need hosting for?
Shared Hosting: These shared hosting plans range from $2.95/mo to $8.95/ mo and are ideal for beginners and websites with less than 30,000 monthly unique visitors.
VPS Hosting: These VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting plans range from $29/ mo to $99/mo and are ideal for websites with 30,000 – 250,000 monthly unique visitors.
Dedicated Hosting: These cloud & dedicated hosting plans range upwards from $100/mo and are ideal for organizations with complex hosting needs, such as maximum security or custom server configuration.
One of these should be sufficient for any size of website you are interested in hosting. Usually, it will be pretty clear to you which one you will need.
What type of website do you need hosting for?
Do you require a CMS (content management system)? If so, which? Majority of web hosts will be able to run the most popular CMS’. CMS’ come in all shapes and sizes, some more complex and more powerful than others, some of the more popular ones are Wordpress, Drupal, Magento, and Perch.
We recommend Wordpress to get started. It offers a lot of flexibility and will enable you to get started straight away.
Moving to a new and better hosting
Moving your domain
So you have noticed or you think there probably is a better host to move to or that there is a better deal to be had, this is in most cases true.
To get started find out what where your domain is registered and make sure you don’t miss a payment when the contract comes around to renew it. Most domain hosts will allow you to auto-renew your contract, this is great so your site never goes offline because of expired contracts, but keep an eye on the costs as they can be increased especially after the first year or two.
You will also need to update your DNS names with your domain host, these control what host your domain needs to point at when someone tries to navigate to your website. Knowing where your DNS names are and where to update them is important and will be required when moving to your new hosting.
What does your website need?
Now you need to take note of what your requirements are at the moment and what they might be 1-2 years down the line. Moving to a new host will normally require you to enter a contract of around 1 or 2 years to get the best deals. What wouldn't be ideal is if halfway through the contract you find that you need to move again, or pay out on an expensive upgrade.
With this in mind, consider the following:
What is your budget? Consider longer contracts to reduce costs. Remember lower prices doesn’t always equal great customer experience.
How much space do you require to store all your data? Make sure you have enough space for a couple of years or more of growth.
Do you get lots of traffic? Will you require large or unlimited amount of bandwidth?
Hosting do sometimes go offline for all kinds of reasons, if this might be a problem you should look at a uptime closest to 100%.
Is technical support something you will rely upon? If so, make sure its 24/7 so you can make sure your website is running at all hours and weekends.
Compare and transfer
Now you know what you require for your new hosting you can start comparing what different host offer by using our comparison tool.
Here are also some of our most popular comparisons:
- 1. Bluehost vs Dreamhost
- 2. Bluehost vs Dreamhost
- 3. Bluehost vs Dreamhost
- 4. Bluehost vs Dreamhost
- 5. Bluehost vs Dreamhost
Once you have chosen the right hosting for your website, you will need to transfer your site to the new hosting.
Enterprise and complex hosting
Complex hosting is for the big players of the web. With prices normally in excess of $100 a month, this kind of hosting is for the professionals and well experienced website developers. When you are hosting at this level, the requirements naturally are much higher also. Some of the requirements you would be looking at would be CPU, RAM, Storage, Uptime, Security, and all this being very customisable to the smallest detail.
Other information you might want to look at is what companies the hosts are hosting, this is a good indicators of quality and give you some reassurance.
When comparing complex hosting, the smaller savings make the biggest difference of long periods of time, this said cutting cost at the expense on your users experience is something to consider when Amazons research showed that 1 second extra load time for their users could cost them $1.6billion over a year.
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