What is web hosting ?
Web hosting starts with a website, A website is like car, we develop all the functions and design how it looks to our client’s satisfaction. When your car is completed in this instance : “your website” , we need somewhere to park it. That parking space is called Web hosting. Web hosting is space that you rent on the Internet to store your website and email accounts.
1. What are your needs?
This is probably your most important factor. Web hosting companies have a variety of options when it comes to hosting.What type of website are you building ?
If your a web developer building a website, one thing to consider is probably the size of the files and what type of environment you need to run it on. If its a standard basic website for a company to display information then shared hosting will suffice. However if it’s a custom application you may need a windows platform to run it which most hosting companies provide.
Shared hosting vs VPS hosting
- What is Shared hosting? :
This is the most widely used of web hosting. The best way to describe is : imagine you have an apartment building and inside you have about 100 apartments. Then you lease out those apartments to 100 people, that’s how shared hosting works. Each apartment is a web hosting account, and your all allocated a set number file space and bandwidth to consume every month. This would be likened to electricity and water.
- What is VPS hosting ?: (virtual private sever)
Let’s say hypothetically you start consuming large quantities of water and electricity more than your apartment requires. Then you need to more space and bandwidth, in that case you would get a VPS hosting. This would be equivalent to renting out an entire floor of the building or renting the entire building. When you have VPS you can utilize all the resources for your website or application without having to share.
- A website with 10,000 – 50,000 visitors a month may consider shared hosting.
- A website with 50,000 visitors a month or more may consider VPS hosting.
2.Widely used Content Management Systems (CMS’s)
If your having a website built for company without any complex functionality there’s a high likelihood you’ll’ be using a CMS like WORDPRESS , JOOMLA or DRUPAL. These CMS’s come standard with shared as well as VPS hosting with a simple one click install.
3.Importance of a CPANEL (Control panel)
If your a web developer or just ordering web hosting, having CPANEL as part of your hosting is perhaps the most crucial factor. As a digital agency we have a rule that if a client wants us to revamp their website we don’t proceed if their web hosting doesn’t have CPANEL. It is Very Very important. In every instance where we proceeded to with a website without it we encountered numerous issues that could only be resolved by moving to CPANEL which can take 2-3 days. Without it your left to the mercy of their technical support.
The reason CPANEL is important is because it is user friendly and it is the most popular hosting control panel for that exact reason. A simple task that would take 3mins like installing WordPress on CPANEL can end up taking up to 30 mins in other hosting control panels. CPANEL is a world standard applicable internationally.
4. Uptime and reliability.
A good website hosting company needs to be operating a powerful sever. With almost zero downtime. A web host needs to have a 99% uptime guarantee. Anything lower than 99% is unacceptable. In our experience we have seen instances where hosting companies have downtime during “server upgrades”. This is unacceptable, a good host will never inform you stating there will be downtime under any circumstances. These server upgrades should occur without any downtime. But if does occur it should be possibly once every 3 years, once a year is to much.
This is relative matter. What do I mean?
As digital agency we develop websites and due to the nature of the Internet there’s been instances where our client’s websites have been targeted. At times it’s been very specific and other times it’s been at random.
As a digital agency there’s certain procedures, methodologies and process we follow when building websites. Meaning all our sites are identical in terms of structure and database etc… However when we placed our website on certain hosts there website is attacked frequently, whereas when we place the exact same website on a different hosting company we find that it’s not attacked. We have tested this out several times and found that some hosts offer better security and firewalls than others. If your website keeps going down especially wordpress try moving to another host for several months and see the results.
As a digital agency we can’t stress the importance of this. In the dynamic digital age where the Internet makes things extremely unpredictable having website backups is a necessity.
A good host will make backups of your files and database every week at the very least. There are several hosts that make backups every 24hours. The downside of this is that some Hosting companies charge you an additional fee for these backups. We believe it should be freely available.
Recommended web hosting Companies:
- JCW Hosting – www.jcwhosting.co.za
- Afrihost –www.afrihost.com
- Gridhost – www.gridhost.co.za
- Web Africa – www.webfrica.co.za