When it comes to getting a new website, you will no doubt have a specific vision in mind for how you wish to attract your target audience. You’ll also have some idea of the content you want on your site, and how you wish to interact with your visitors.
For the most part, people either design their new websites themselves or they hire a professional to do the work for them. But, what many new site owners often forget about is a consideration for their website hosting requirements.
Any website needs to get hosted on an Internet-connected Web server somewhere so that it can be publicly accessible. Do a quick search online, and you’ll come across thousands of hosting providers. So, finding one isn’t a problem; you just need to pick the right one for your needs! With that in mind, this practical cheat sheet will tell you all you need to know about Web hosting.
Why it matters to choose the right host
Like with most things in life, there are reputable and dependable hosting companies, and there are the scam ones that offer a sub-standard service. As you can appreciate, it’s in your interests to select a good host for your website!
You may not know it, but there are many reasons why it pays to choose a hosting company that offers a superior service:
- Fast access speed - search engines like Google will lower your rank (standing) on their indices if your website is slow to connect to;
- Help when you need it - if you accidentally break something on your website, a reputable host will assist you by restoring your site data from a previous backup. Many will also diagnose the reason why something isn’t working on your website;
- Value for money - you don’t want to pay money for a sub-standard service;
- Flexibility - if you need to increase your disk space or bandwidth, or install new software on your site, a good host can easily accommodate those needs for you.
How to choose the right host for your needs
Now you know the importance of selecting a reputable hosting provider, you now need to find one! But, how do you do that? It turns out that searching for a good host is easier than you think.
You just need to ask yourself a few questions to know what type of hosting package you need:
- What type of website am I hosting? If you plan to use something like WordPress, you’ll need a host that offers database connectivity;
- Where is my target audience? If your site is aimed at a domestic audience, choose a host that is based in the same country as you;
- What server facilities do I need? Examples include email mailboxes, FTP access, and provision for CRON jobs;
- How much do I want to pay? It’s important to set yourself a budget and find a best-of-class hosting provider for your budget.
Now it’s possible to shortlist a selection of prospective Web hosts for your website. Once you’ve done that, review all feedback for each provider using sites like Reevoo. Afterward, do a Google search for any discount offers for the host you wish to use.
For instance, if you want to select GoDaddy as your future website host, search for GoDaddy promo codes that you can enter online when you order your hosting package.
Hosting glossary of terms
Last, but not least, you will come across all kinds of terms and acronyms for Web hosting. But, what do they all mean, and are they relevant to you? Here’s a list of the most common ones that you should know:
- PHP - scripting language that most hosts offer on their servers. A plethora of online software packages are written in PHP;
- MySQL - a commonly offered database system by hosting companies. Is quite similar to Microsoft SQL Server;
- Apache - the brand name of the Web server software that allows you to operate a website and “serve” content such as pages and multimedia to your visitors;
- Bandwidth - the data sent and received by your host, measured in megabytes or gigabytes.
I hope this article has been useful for you today. See you soon!