Being a business owner and juggling day-to-day tasks with your business can be hard on its own. It’s even more difficult to focus on things like picking the best website hosting plan for your website. Not only can it be hard to find the time in your busy schedule, all the tech jargon surrounding hosting can be daunting as a whole. More and more, websites are becoming vital to your business’ success online and offline, so having a reliable hosting service to ensure your website performs is crucial. Whether you’re creating your first website or have one online already, the role hosting plays is vital to your website’s performance and growth. Your website users expect your website to be up and running — and quickly at that — so having a reliable hosting service is immensely important.
If you already have or plan on creating a website, you absolutely need hosting and your website to be online. This post is for you.
We’ll be going through the 6 things you need to consider before picking the best website hosting plan and why they matter. We’ll be outlining only the most crucial points you as a business owner need to know in order to communicate effectively with your developer and make sure you get the hosting plan that works best for your website and business needs.
Why Is Understanding Hosting Plans Important?
Choosing the best website hosting plan can be the difference between having your website online with decent uptime or having your website down and unreachable. The fear is your users could get to your website and see the dreaded white screen of death, or see the “This page cannot be reached” message. This can be the difference between a user choosing your business, or your competitor. Maybe you’re overspending on your hosting or not spending enough, but regardless, knowing what to look for in a hosting plan can be a great asset to your online presence.
6 Things To Look For In Your Hosting Plan
1. Shared vs. VPS vs. Dedicated
Think of your hosting plan as living accomodations. Imagine you are the domain, yourawesomedomain.com, and you need a place to rent and live (your hosting space). In order to live comfortably and have guests over, you need a place that you can call home and show off.
You have choices here: you can get a unit in a small apartment (shared hosting), a penthouse in a nice condo (VPS hosting), or a standalone house (dedicated hosting) off the grid in the wilderness.
Each of these options varies in price, space, and responsibilities. If you’re in an apartment (shared hosting), you’ll be on a floor with many other tenants using the same space. Their problems are somewhat your problems; a leak or a flood could affect your living space. In a penthouse, you have a bigger space — a nicer space at that — and less to worry about. Maintenance on the condo is handled by the landlord and issues are dealt with relatively easily and quickly. When you’re living on your own in a standalone house, you have to maintain everything. You have to cut the grass, fix issues, and simply put, you’re responsible for managing the space.
These are your typical hosting plan options. For those of you reading, I usually recommend a Shared Hosting or VPS Hosting plan, so there is less to worry about.
2. The Hardware
Having a hosting service that provides SSD (Solid State Drives) is vital to the performance of your website. Most hosts — Shared, VPS, and Dedicated — offer this, and you should look for SSD in your hosting plan. It’s simply faster. The technology is readily available, so you should take advantage of it.
Most hosts will claim to have unlimited bandwidth, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is always rate limiting on servers, and knowing how much bandwidth you need is important. Depending on your traffic, most sites don’t use more than 10 GB of bandwidth at a time, so anything more than that is just to ensure users don’t wait a long time or have a problem reaching the site.
4. Storage Space
How much space do you actually need? Typically, a small to medium-sized website doesn’t normally need more than 1 GB of space, but having a host that can upgrade your space easily as your business grows is important.
Having a host that allows access to your server from something called SHELL access and having a CPanel is very important for a developer to be able to edit specific settings as they see fit. You want to be able to create FTP (File Transfer Protocol) accounts so you can allow developers remote access to upload your website to the server and make edits.
6. PHP Configurability
For sites that run a CMS — a Content Management System, like WordPress — having the ability for a developer to go in and edit PHP settings is crucial to ensuring the website performs at it’s best. You want to be able to update your various PHP limits and configure your server to match your needs.
You made it! You’re more informed on how to communicate with a developer when picking a hosting plan for your business and what to look for in each plan. Looking into these 6 things when picking the best website hosting plan is crucial so you can save time, money, and avoid unnecessary downtime. All of these things work hand-in-hand to make sure your website performs at its best from a server standpoint, so don’t overlook it.