As you step in the world of websites, the first and the foremost thing you would need is a web host. Often, it so happens that website owners prioritize the long-term requirements, neglecting the primary needs. For instance, having a host that extends support to your database and scripting issues does not come to picture, until and unless the website has recorded decent traffic, let alone a deluge.
When starting with a website, it is important that you outline your requirements, set priorities and order them so that you can have a clear idea on which things first. This definitely makes your task easy, but the game isn’t over. Once you are done with ranking your business needs, it’s time to do in-depth research, find the top Web hosting service provider and then make your choice. It is desirable that you have extensive knowledge of the idea of webspace before you actually invest in any one of the hosting services.
Web Space – Prerequisite of Web Hosting
When you opt for hosting services, you are given a website server to store files and all your data. Webspace is this disk space as allocated by a service provider when you buy a specific hosting service. It is this space that determines which of the available hosting services would map your interest best.
Now, the minimum webspace that you would require to ensure the seamless functioning of your website depends on multiple factors. Of all the different elements that add up to space, the size of your website is at the top. Where a basic website stuffed with texts, no flash display, no high-fi images, a space of 50-100 MB works fine.
However, if you have planned to design your website with images and flash, you would need a hosting service with higher disk space. In case, you try to work with the 50MB or 100MB space, you would experience page breaks or in most cases, witness a higher page load time. This would be fatal as websites that take more than 6-8 seconds to load are often bounced and do not witness visitor engagement.
It is important that you estimate the total visitors as expected to visit your site and then, choose a plan that offers a bandwidth somewhere near your calculated figure. Always ensure that your website is of size 60KB or less. Since users are large, still use dial-up connections, a page of size greater than 60kb would load slowly, compelling visitors to leave your website and switch to a better one. Of course, you wouldn’t want this to happen.
Once you are done with determining the webspace, there lie additional factors which are as important as the above, in choosing a particular web hosting service provider.
Factors That Help Identify Your Web Hosting Requirements
- FTP Access
When it comes to running and maintaining a website, FTP and SFTP are two important tools. Depending upon whether or not, you require using either of them, you can choose a web hosting service provider. Where some provide restricted access to the FTP, others might extend support and provide credentials to use the two tools. This helps in managing your content and customize your website. In case security is an important aspect for your website, always choose the service provider that offers access to FTP.
- Access to Control Panel
Hosting a control panel is another important factor that determines the web hosting requirement. For owners that seek the need to navigate through the account and customize their panel, it is important that the chosen service provider gives you access to the same. A customized panel gives you the ease to easily locate information on the site, edit them and contact the support team, in case of a query, which reduces your dependency on the service provider.
- Need to Include SSL Certificates
As a website owner, it is your responsibility to keep your customer’s data secured and safe. And when you are dealing with sensitive information, safeguarding them is a must. Assess the working of your website, and in case, it involves engaging with the customer, getting hold of their information, add an SSL certificate to your website. It might be expensive but would be beneficial in the long run.
- Data Backup
Website crashes are common and in no time, can this take down your entire website. While for you, this might be an option, but it isn’t. As a website owner, you would have spent years working and getting the website running. Losing all in a single strike would be fatal. Hence, try emphasizing on the provider that performs a full back-up of your content and can restore the same, if anything goes wrong.
Apart from the above, the basic requirements include:
- Subscription plans
- The email address along with the plan for your domain
- Ease to add a domain
- Need to upgrade the plan
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is pricing. While this is the most important aspect, the reason why I introduced it at the end, was to mention Shared Hosting. For website owners, that are looking for an economical option and do not want to invest much, Shared Hosting is a reliable option.
As the name suggests, Shared Hosting allows multiple websites to reside on a single server. And it is not just the monetary side of the hosting service, but also the features that come along, that makes it one of the best. For smaller websites, where webspace is not an issue, Shared Hosting might be the best fit. And for bigger websites with huge and fluctuating traffic, hosting types like Cloud Hosting and VPS Web Hosting might be a perfect fit.
The Final Word
All of the above sum up to the features you need to look when deciding on a particular Web hosting service provider. You would definitely be overwhelmed by seeing the number of service providers available in the industry; however, not all would map all your requirements. So, before you make a decision, be sure about your requirements and the same as offered by the provider.