When you’re in the market for a hosting provider. You’ll quickly find out that there are numerous options to pick from, not just in terms of standard capabilities like storage size and speed. But also more advanced categories, like server types. It’s very important that you familiarize yourself with these categories in depth if you plan on spending a lot of funds on your project. As picking the wrong kind of hosting can cost you a lot in the long run. And could potentially destroy your project if you’re not careful.
Most hosting providers on the market will be happy to guide you through their different offers. If you contact their support staff, so make use of that if you find yourself confused and unsure about how to proceed. After all, helping you pick the right service is entirely in their interest as well. As it will increase their chances of retaining you as a customer in the long run.
The biggest issue you’ll often face is picking between shared and dedicated servers for your hosting. The names of both services should somewhat imply what you’re getting in each case – with a shared server. Your site will run on the same machine as several others – potentially hundreds or more – and the server’s resources will be balanced equally and fairly among all users. If you end up using a lot of processing power or need other system resources in more advanced capacities – like more RAM dedicated just to you – this might not be an ideal option.
A dedicated server, on the other hand, is a machine just for your own needs. You have it entirely at your disposal, often with full administrative permissions. And you’re free to decide how everything runs on it. If something is running slowly, you can either optimize your scripts or purchase more system resources. In many cases, a hosting provider would be more than happy to discuss special terms like that with you, so as long as you’re aware of what you need, you should have nothing to worry about. HostPresto.com is a great example of a shared web hosting provider.
A VPS is a middle-ground solution between the two we mentioned above. And it’s a more special category of server that’s not fit for everyone’s needs. From your perspective, you’ll have an entire server at your disposal, just like with a dedicated host. But on the backend, it’s actually a virtual instance running on a system that balances the load statically between all users. You’ll still get fair resource usage, and because your resources are capped instead of being constantly reallocated. You will always know exactly how much you have at your disposal.
You’ll also get full administrative privileges on your instance. Just like with a dedicated server, which is another benefit in instances where you need more precise control over your operating system. What you’re installing, how your servers are configured, and more. Not many users need access to these kinds of settings. So if you don’t fall into that category. Getting a VPS might be a waste of money in your specific case.
There are other considerations to make when looking for a host as well. For example, the control panel provided by default is something that many people pay attention to, and for a good reason – it can change your workflow significantly. And if you’re used to e.g. cPanel, you should look for a host that can specifically provide you with that. Sometimes you’ll get to choose which control panel you want to use on your server. So check the company’s offers carefully to see if you can’t configure the package more appropriately for your needs. Also, remember what we mentioned above about consulting their representatives directly. If you know what you’re looking for, and think that it’s a reasonable request (like an alternative control panel provided by default on your instances). You should just get in touch with them and see if they can’t work something out for you.
Beyond that, you’ll want to look for the standard mix of good features – proper storage capabilities, good backup features. And of course, good connection speeds. The last one might be a bit difficult to test properly depending on the kinds of sites you plan on running. But as long as you have good analytics on your backed. You should be able to draw some conclusions pretty fast once you’ve deployed everything. And decide whether you want to continue using that host in the future or switch to something different. On that note, look for deals that allow you to back out early on if you’re not satisfied. As not every hosting provider on the market has such conditions in their offers. And sometimes you’ll be forced to sign up for at least a year’s worth of services with no option of cancelling in advance. Obviously not an ideal situation.