Discarding free hosting services we have to focus on paid ones if we want something serious. There are many of these services, with one or other characteristics . Some of them focus more on some specific niches, enhancing some of the most demanded characteristics for that niche or offering some additional service, others are more generic but flexible so that you can mold them to your liking. Due to this diversity, I will try to give some recommendations so that you can make a good selection.
It is one of the most important parameters, since it is the hard disk space you will have on the network to store the content of your platform, both for the web, images, videos, downloads, etc. That is why you should choose an accommodation that offers you enough GB so that your entire network fits comfortably. Some services include unlimited capacity in their premium services, therefore it is a guarantee for the future.
For example, in the case of an online store, with WordPress, plugins, images, catalogs and everything that the web may have, about 500MB could be enough, it is always good to have more for future extensions.
It is also important, keep in mind that it depends on the speed with which your clients or users navigate through the web, the speed of the downloads they make, etc. Keep in mind that hiring an insanely high bandwidth doesn’t make much sense if your users’ browsing speed is lower …
Rate on which the amount of transfers supported by your website depends. That is, it will affect the maximum number of users or connections that your website will have. Therefore, if you are going to have a web as many requests, you will be interested in having a good bandwidth, otherwise there will be problems when trying to access the web. That in a business translates into losses, each failed access means a lost or dissatisfied customer …
If for example we have a website whose load is 100KB and we offer 1MB downloads, and the number of users per month is 1000, we should consider a rate of (0.1MB + 1MB) · 1000 = 1100 MB, for example.
High availability (uptime)
It is essential that it has high availability, that is, that the server does not constantly crash and is stable. For the same reason as in the previous section, a fallen website is not productive and customers or users end up getting angry. It should be the ideal, that is, 100%, but that in practice does not exist, so they must guarantee us at least 98% or more.
Technical support is very important, many companies offer telephone, mail or interactive chat support to answer your questions and help you fix the problems your online platform has. In many cases, support is offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. This support is the one you are trying to find, since you never know when problems may happen and you want to have the security of being backed up at any time.
I also encourage you to seek comments and opinions from users, if that support is not fast or is in another language that we do not master, it is of little use …
It interferes with the speed with which the web loads, therefore the more RAM, the more agile the website will be. The more visitors simultaneously, the more RAM is needed, so 256MB of RAM should be sufficient for most websites.
Having a server with powerful processors is always a good idea, even if you do not trust much of the data offered, since sometimes they can be very powerful processors, but be distributed among many websites. So it is better to check how much of that power is dedicated exclusively to our website.
Hard drive type
The storage we talked about at the beginning is not only capacity, but also the speed of reads and writes can make a difference. Although it is not that important, some services offer solid state hard drives SSD instead of the traditional magnetic or HDD. SSDs offer higher speeds.
It is quite important, part of it depends on the uptime rate that the server has. A Linux server (or another Unix) is not the same as a Windows server. Always a Unix-like operating system will offer you more security, less dependency on reboots and maintenance, more stability and robustness, etc. In short, more productivity and even if the system is free, such as GNU / Linux or FreeBSD, the savings in licenses can translate into more adjusted prices in reference to those who pay a registered Windows or UNIX license.
Number of supported domains and other services
If you are only going to register one domain, this is not a priority for you, but it is if you want to register more domains. As with transfers and capacity, some hosts offer from 1 domain or two, to unlimited.
Other services that may interest you is if they offer databases and their capacity, email and capacity, FTP, etc.
It is the panel that is offered for the control and administration of the site. The most popular are Cpanel and Plesk, so if you have one of these, that’s fine.
It is the entire network of additional services or web platforms that they offer. As for example SiteGround we are talking about, which already offers WordPress and WooCommerce already pre-installed. This can sometimes be annoying if your objective is another, but if what you are looking for is that store business, it gives you a good base not to start from scratch.
So it depends on what you need (WordPress, PrestaShop, Magento, Joomla, Drupal,…).
The price is important, but I would say that it is the least important, unless the price is extremely high and you cannot afford it. But they are generally not too expensive and the amounts per year or per month are quite low. This depends on your pocket, the investment you want to make and the profit margin …
However, many companies usually offer several ranges, if they have the option to go from one to another, I recommend that you start with the lowest and if it goes well, try over time to go to a higher one.
Once you have chosen a good hosting service, you can also focus on other additional features that your site should have, one of the most important is security. A customer will not trust their data and will make payments on an unsecured platform. These extras sometimes we have to implement on our own and on other occasions they are already included in the service offered by hosting companies. If they offer it, that means not only convenience, but it will also be included in the technical support they offer.
Let’s see some examples of services that may interest you for your online store or business:
Firewall: The server farm should have a secure network to prevent denial of service attacks and other security problems. Some offer both WAF and physical, and even anti-threats.
Malware prevention: whether it is a Unix or Windows, you should have additional security measures to prevent malware and also bots.
Security updates: all the software that makes up the platform should be constantly updated or patched to cover vulnerabilities that can be exploited for illegal purposes.
SSH: It is important to implement Secure Shell for secure connections. This encrypted communication protocol prevents the information that is transferred from the computer to the website or vice versa from being made in plain text. Instead, it is encrypted and prevents private data from being accessed with certain attacks.
SSL certificates: having an SSL certification is vital for the security of our site, so our HTTP or FTP will become HTTPS or FTPS.
Others: if they offer other additional measures such as antispam for mail services, others offer daily backups, intrusion alerts, etc.
The speed depends in part on the server hardware (RAM, processors, SSD disks,…), on the characteristics of the network, and the software (Linux, Apache, WordPress,…) as we have already said. But regardless of this, some good hosting service offer some technologies that they implement to increase this speed, which is appreciated both from the user/client side and from the administrator/owner of the web.
Versions: having more up-to-date versions of the software or languages used is also a guarantee of speed.
CDN (Content Delivery Network): a network of servers located in various parts of the world to accelerate the loading of the web in different countries if your clients are from various parts of the world. Well, this would be interesting in the case that your business is global.
Cache: web cache system, which basically what it does is load the web on a dedicated server to serve as cache, and when said web is requested it will already be previously loaded on the said server to display it more quickly.
And finally, remind you that all these points that we are talking about good hosting services are offered by the guys at Siteground. And if you take advantage of making the reservation during Black Friday you can save some interesting money.
Do not forget to leave your comments and contributions …