Fifteen years ago, if anybody ever asked you how to get your site hosted, the answer would have been much simpler to figure out. But in the past five years or so, things started changing very quickly.
I wrote this article five years ago, and I’m proud of it, because it was great advice at the time. Now, it’s looking a little long in the tooth due to so many changes in such a short time. It’s time for an update. So here we go!
No Clear Winner
The big difference between now and then is that now the waters are a lot murkier. There are no clear winners for web hosting. You generally want to do a whole lot of research before making a commitment. This Hostinger VPS review gives you a good general idea if what you want a good web hosting service to look like. But there are so many other criteria to consider as well.
Different Hosts for Different Sites
This is the first thing you have to ask yourself: What type of website do you want to host? In 2020, some providers specialize in e-commerce. Others are good with blogs. Others are good with really media-heavy content. And the list goes on and on.
Also, you need to be realistic about the amount of bandwidth you need, and always over-estimate, of course! These days, bandwidth is exponentially more important than it was even a few short years ago.
Be Secure, to Be Sure
It’s also really important these days, in my humble opinion, to be able to be certified with an SSL certificate. These of course have been around for a long time, but in the past couple years, if people don’t see the https in the URL, they tend to lose confidence.
In general, the world in the past few years has gotten a lot more paranoid, and with good reason! Cyber security is a major issue more than ever. Any little thing you can do to help assure your users that you are legit and above-board is a huge positive, even for a site that has absolutely no e-commerce or similar components to it.
Different Types of Hosting
Corollary to all of the above, but not exactly the same as any of it, there are many different possibilities on the server side for web hosting. You have to be sure which is right/affordable for you and your particular circumstances.
Shared hosting is the cheapest option, and may be adequate for you, depending on the specifics of the situation. The problem is that you may wind up sharing IP’s with people who are doing things that causes the IP’s to be flagged in a negative way. Also, bandwidth can be limited.
Dedicated hosting is the most expensive, but it allows for a lot of options the other types of hosting don’t. This is because since you are paying for the whole server, you can customize it as much as you want.
VPS is a Virtual Private Server. It’s kind of a middle option between the first two.
Cloud hosting is the newest option. The big advantage of cloud hosting is that it’s the least prone to downtime. Often there are no options for customization, however.