In the modern age, the majority of customers are drawn to your business not primarily through flyers or promotional materials but through your website. Having an online presence is essential to helping customers to discover your business, and ensuring good connectivity and uptime is essential to maintaining those customers. Analytics show that having even a small lag in web page loading can cause some customers to leave your site and visit a competitor’s site. In light of this, it is very important to choose a capable web hosting provider to house your website for you.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting refers to the service of storing a web page on a computer connected to the internet, where it will be accessible to the world wide web. While it is possible to host a web page on your computer, many business owners and private individuals elect to pay a professional hosting service a small monthly or yearly rental fee to store and serve their web pages. These companies, known as web hosts, ensure that the computers holding your web page remain turned on and connected to the internet day and night so that customers can find your site. Web hosts often use data centers with dedicated IT staff to maintain maximum connectivity which small business may not be able to provide.
Finding the Right Hosting Service
There are many factors to consider when choosing a web host, including server uptime, network latency, rental price, and customer support availability. Uptime refers to the amount of time your server is turned on and connected to the internet, while latency determines how quickly viewers from different regions can access your page. Latency increases with the distance of the site viewers from the hosting server, and higher latency leads to slower page loading times. Different companies have different pricing ranges for different services, so it is up to you to find the services and technical support which you need. Web hosts with 24/7 phone or live chat support are useful in the event of unplanned downtime or service interruption.
Depending on the traffic that your website attracts, many web hosts offer different options to meet hosting needs. The three basic options for website hosting are shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), and dedicated hosting.
1. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is the cheapest option, and stores your website data on a server that shares RAM and CPU resources with other users. Depending on the capabilities of the server and the web demands of the other sites stored on that server, your data transfer and traffic may fluctuate or be limited. For websites without a great deal of traffic, this is an acceptable tradeoff for the low costs of shared hosting. There are many popular web hosting companies which offer shared hosting as the default plan, including GoDaddy, HostGator, DreamHost, Bluehost, Hostwinds, and others. You can find an excellent comparison of some of the better-known web hosts at PCMag.
2. VPS Hosting
For some websites with heavy traffic, the fluctuation and limitations in service of shared hosting are not acceptable. A virtual private server (VPS) is the next level of dedicated services. Virtual private servers set aside a certain quota of dedicated RAM and CPU cycles to ensure that your web service is uninterrupted regardless of other activity which may be happening on the same server. While other virtual machines may reside on the same physical server, the demands on CPU, RAM, and network throughput on those machines should not affect the performance of your private VPS. Sometimes multiple virtual machines will share the same physical CPU cores, and sometimes in servers with multiple processors (such as MPP or cluster systems), each VPS will receive a dedicated CPU core.
VPS setups lend site owners more control over their hosting service, including what programs are installed on their virtual computer, root server access, and even control over what operating system is installed. While many VPS systems use Linux as a default, Windows Server operating systems can also be installed for web environments which require.NET or other services. Virtual machines also offer many helpful advantages, including cloning entire server setups on the level of the operating system, either for backup purposes or to migrate the virtual machine to a separate data center. Many of the above-mentioned popular web hosting companies offer VPS setups, and there are other well-known providers who specialize in easy-to-use VPS systems. DigitalOcean, CloudSigma, and VPScheap are some examples. DigitalOcean VPS servers start as low as $5/ month, can be deployed in under five minutes, and come with many helpful online tutorials. CloudSigma, on the other hand, provides 24/7 online chat support. VPS systems are the middle ground in both power and price between shared and dedicated server hosting.
3. Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting, also known as bare metal server hosting, is the top tier of dedicated services. In this setup, you have an entire physical server or server blade which is dedicated to no other function than hosting your site. This can naturally be quite expensive and is for websites with an extremely large number of visitors each day and websites which must run intensive applications like databases. Some data centers have whole rooms filled with racks of servers providing top-quality CPU, RAM, and network throughput power to their dedicated customers.
4. Other Factors: Overcoming Latency
Of course, the raw computing power of the host server is not the final determiner of website reliability and performance. A website is only as fast as the wires it travels over, and the further a website user is from the web host data center, the more latency (lag) they will experience. Latency does not equate to speed, although they go hand in hand. Latency is the measure of how long a single packet takes to travel to a server and back. Rise in latency due to physical distance is unavoidable, but certain internet pathways and internet service providers are better than others. It is common for major data centers to have access to multiple internet service providers and try to serve web pages and other data to customers by using the best provider and route possible. This is traditionally done using the Border Gateway Patrol (BGP) protocol, which determines the best route based on lowest number of server transfers or “hops.” While it is a good rule of thumb that the more direct the route which your web traffic takes (fewer hops), the better, this is not always true. Internap is an example of a hosting provider which focuses on providing ultra-low latency web and network traffic using route optimization, especially their proprietary Managed Internet Route Optimizer (MIRO) technology. MIRO tests not only network hops but also packet loss and latency in real time to optimize the route from server to site user every 40 seconds. Internap’s destination test shows visually the various routes which traffic can take from a server to end user. Internap offers VPS and bare metal servers, all of which are optimized to use the MIRO routing technology.
Find the Service That Is Right For You
Whatever your server and web traffic needs are, there is a multitude of a provider who will readily meet those needs with optimized networks, dedicated server hardware, and high-bandwidth data centers.
Hosting Offers & Deals
Every business – from a small shop to enterprises needs a website. So, if you are planning to build a website and are looking for a reliable web hosting company, you are at the right place. There are enormous options to choose from and finding that one cheap and reliable hosting option can really be a mammoth task. So, to help you out I have brought together good web hosting options with affordable prices.
Bluehost is one of the leading web solutions providers, providing a special offer for WordPress users starting from a mere of $3.95 / month. Bluehost’s features like free domain and site builder, 24/7 in-house support, Industry-leading hardware and uptime makes it a desirable web hosting option.
Flywheel provides hosting options for WordPress, Enterprise, Reseller and with coupon code “FLYJULY17” you get 3 months free on all new annual plans. Tuned for WordPress, with server-side caching, an amazing interface, free migrations, etc.all gives a thumbs-up to Flywheel.
WPengine makes managed WordPress hosting a snap with plans starting from $29 / month.WP Engine was created to offer excellent customer service and reliability. Security is a given a very high priority, with an equal importance to unique features and plug-ins.