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How to choose a hosting provider?

The success of your project on the Internet largely depends on the right choice of hosting. Speed, availability, resource limits and many other nuances can suddenly create problems in the process of promoting your site.

When choosing a hosting, pay attention to next important points:

  • The amount of disk space;
  • A set of technical functions and tools; 
  • The level of technical support;
  • Price/quality ratio

The amount of disk space

Users who first time ordering a hosting service, it is difficult to calculate the amount of disk space required for the future project. Note that in most cases for small sites (landing page, business card site, etc.) could be enough even 50MB. If you plan to use graphics and databases in the future, it is better to take up disk space at least 500MB. 

In most cases 2GB of disk space is enough.

It is more difficult to calculate the necessary resources for a site where users can post their content, such as videos and images. In this case, the amount of disk space should be determined based on the popularity of the resource, the number of visits per day and the average volume of posted materials. In this case it is desirable to introduce restrictions for downloading data by individual users.

Set of technical functions and tools

Most often paid hosting plans offer the ability to connect databases and use scripts. Note that such functionality is required not for all sites. Examples of that are easy-to-use web-sites, small business card or a landing page, created without the use of administration systems. 

Below are the main technical features of hosting, which you should pay attention to, depending on your needs:

  • unlimited traffic;
  • support the technologies and scripts you need, such as: PHP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin, Zend Optimizer, Python, PERL, Parser, SSH access. Scripting support on your hosting depends on whether or not your site will function properly. Also, pay attention to support for MySQL databases, especially if you create a site not on pure HTML, but on an engine such as WordPress;
  • support popular CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart and others);
  • user-friendly control panel: allows you to work with the web server and sites hosted on it via a graphical interface. The most popular: ISPmanager, Cpanel, Plesk Panel;
  • 24x7 technical support;
  • access to the site via FTP: this is needed to copy, edit and delete folders and files on the server;
  • server monitoring (twenty-four-hour server monitoring and troubleshooting);
  • protection of servers from DDoS-attacks;
  • checking for viruses and spam;
  • web-interface for mail: necessary for the management of the mail server;
  • money-back guarantee;
  • everyday or at least weekly backups.

Level of technical support

The performance of a resource depends largely on the quality of technical support. Practice shows that sometimes there is no escape from the failures, and qualified specialists from the hosting provider will help to fix them. So make sure that the support service works around the clock and every day. 

Price / quality ratio

Price is an important criterion for choosing a hosting service. Choosing the cheapest hosting, you run the risk of stumbling upon low-quality service and wasting your money. 

Profitable hosting is not distinguished by low cost, but a combination of a relatively low price and good service.

To make users feel confident in the quality of service, many hosting providers give customers a free test period of a few days or guarantee a refund for the unused period. Here are a few criteria by which you can determine the level of reliability of the provider:

  • information about the company on the site;
  • the possibility of free transfer of the site from third-party hosting;
  • the period of operation of the company on the market (shows the experience of providing hosting services);
  • availability of their own data center or contracts with leading data centers in the relevant regions;
  • the license to provide the service.
  • many companies resell services from other hosting providers and are called resellers. Keep in mind that these providers may not have as good technical support as a full hosting provider, but they may offer lower prices.

Some hosting providers give bonuses: a free domain, SSL certificate, or other additional services. 

Conclusions

For sites with a small amount of content and a small audience, shared hosting is fine. The alternative is cloud hosting, because you only pay for the resources you've used.

If you manage a specific site that requires specific server settings, order a VPS-hosting service. And for serious resource-intensive web projects, it is better to rent a physical server or colocation.

To easily choose a specific hosting provider, we have compiled a comparison table.