Web hosting is an insanely cut-throat world with fierce levels of competitions and ever thinning margins.
As such, hosting companies employ many tricks to excite and attract customers.
The clueless, unwittingly fall through the cracks and end up paying more than anticipated or getting a service less than ideal.
In this post we’re going to talk about technical specifications you must know to make a wise decision.
1. Free Domain
The big question with the freebies doled out is— do you really need it? Especially when what’s free at the moment comes at double the usual cost a year later?
In most cases you don’t considering how easy it is to link the domain name from one place to other. You can register the domain at Godaddy and very well host it at Bluehost for no additional cost. The nameservers are transfer in 60 seconds. Is a free domain with additional liabilities revealed later going to help you?
The long-term commitment ensures that even if the hosting expires you still own the domain name.
With Bluehost a free .com domain will be $16. If you have domain privacy that will be nearly $12 more. On Godaddy the cost is half.
Cost for .com renewal for remaining years is $14.99 and domain privacy costs $7 on Godaddy as compared to Bluehost.
With coupons for domain renewal the cost comes even lower on Godaddy, but that’s not the case for Bluehost.
2. Unlimited Storage Space
Every shared hosting service in the world promises unlimited bandwidth and storage. In every case, the claim is false and comes with dozens of other conditions none of which let you have those two features for the tiny sum you’re paying. If that were true you could have hosted YouTube with its billions in traffic and views on a shared hosting server.
It’s important to understand the technicality behind these statements.
If your site or any site exceeds CPU or RAM usage all sites will get impacted. In order to avoid this happening the host will suspend your site until the issue is resolved.
This can happen either due to high traffic or due to other issues like using a simple caching plugin.
email on policy violation. W3TC caching plugin while useful, can wreak havoc on a shared hosting server. Why?
Because it automatically creates hundreds of directories, browser cache, page cache and database chance. The number of folders dramatically goes up putting a huge taxing load on the system resources. Very soon, you will receive a warning email informing you about policy violations.
3. Hosting and Page Load times
Shared server hosting doesn’t get you too much for the money you’re spending on it. If you pay peanuts, monkeying around is what you’re going to get.
Despite the long hours you spend optimizing your site and cranking on every screw, nut and bolt to improve site speed and page response time using insights gleaned from PageSpeed isn’t going to bring huge improvements.
As you add plugins for site performance, for social sharing, for sliders and images the resource use and plugin calls go up and site speed goes down. The case is different if you are on a VPS.
4. Solid state drives versus HDDs
Solid State Drives are expensive whether they’re implement at hosting centers or they’re used inside computers. Standard rotating disk drives are an older technology that’s comparatively slower to SSDs. SSDs on the flipside don’t emit as much heat as there are no heating components. They are reliable and they use less power as well. All of the above features indicate that your data is much safer on a SSD. There’s also the fact that the data transfer rate is magnified many times over on a SSD drive compared to a HDD.
They’re silent and energy efficient. As HDDs move out of the storage centers people will come to rely on SSDs more and their cost would go down significantly. However if you’re serious about your business and want an efficient hosting solution consider SSD support rather than HDD.
Bandwidth is nothing but the amount of traffic that can be transferred between your site and the users accessing it via the internet.
Hosting companies offer different plans for different amounts of bandwidth. But regularly it’s advertised as unlimited bandwidth.
Which hosting company has the best networks, connections and system.
Bandwidth isn’t generally an issue for sites with relatively small traffic. But it’s easy to exceed that limit since your site not only gets human visitors but a lot of automated bot traffic as well. There’s not much difference in how the two access your site and can easily result in bandwidth capping. The ideal way to allocate bandwidth is to move to a VPS or dedicated host after your site begins to cross a certain monthly threshold in traffic.
Without this there will be downtimes every now and then.
It’s important to note that even if your site experiences ups and downs in traffic due to yours being a seasonal business you may want a much better solution.
For example, Amazon.com experiences up to 5 times its usual traffic during Black Friday, Cyber Monday. None of the extant hosting solutions were enough for this traffic and that’s how it started building a hosting infrastructure to service the extra needs. For the rest of the year the extra bandwidth is sold to private entities.
Even an entity as large as Amazon understands the value of living up to customer expectations. So should you.
You need a lot of scalability with these traffic fluctuations. Ensure you choose a host that offers the opportunity to upgrade to VPS.
Many hosts limit the access you have in your hosting account. Often the amount of access provided is limited in varying amounts. Some are lenient and provide access on request. A control panel is standard. However there may not be root access. Check and see if that’s the case. If you need a host with root access it’s better to do some asking around first.
Also, see if there is FTP access. FTP is essential to transfer files from your system to your host.
Most hosting providers additionally set an upper limit on the file upload size thus making it difficult to upload large files at one go.
Look for ones that offer a lot of convenience letting you upload even from your own mobile phone.
Analyze hosting plans and read reviews prior to taking an action. There will be dozen free things, most of which can be had for free even elsewhere. Others are free for only a certain period and take you task when the time comes.
Be mindful of your needs first and then search for something that will fulfill those needs.
Author bio: George writes about things that help people save money on his blog. Start reading his posts today.