Only 20 years ago, creating a website was a really big deal, and people had to have much more knowledge and skills to wield a website. Back then, web hosting prices were considerably higher than now, and the quality of the service and server maintenance was definitely not that favorable. Server crashes were a regular occurrence and there were not so many tools to make the processes smooth and life easier, such as content management systems, website builders, daily backups, etc.
Unlike the times back then, nowadays we live in the paradise of affordable web hosting packages. The quality of the hosting services is more wholesome than ever before, and creating and maintaining a website is easier and simpler than literally cooking a decent meal for a festive family dinner or organizing a trip abroad for a big family.
In this useful blog article, we would like to help you understand what web hosting is and provide you with all the important information that is necessary for you to select the right plan for your hosting needs. You will know everything important after just reading the following short tips.
Tip #1: Get familiar with the hosting server types
Even though they all provide the same type of service, there is a huge contrast between the hosting types related to the different resources each of them offers. To avoid paying for resources you do not really need or compromising your actual and even immutable necessities, take a look at the purposes of the main 4 hosting types.
- Shared hosting: The physical server shelters multiple websites that are sharing all the resources together. It is the cheapest hosting service that works great for business pages, e-shops, personal blogs, sites of non-profit organizations, etc.
- Dedicated hosting: In this case, the whole physical server is used by only one website. This is the best opportunity for really very popular websites that attract vast international traffic and store plenty of information, images, videos, photos, or other types of media that are rich in data. It is suitable for torrent trackers, video platforms, music libraries, etc.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting: Technically, the server machine here is quite similar to the one of the shared hosting models. But unlike the shared hosting service, with the VPS each website has its individual resources that no one else could use. This is the best choice for websites with huge international traffic, such as news websites (for example, Euronews.net), software libraries, huge e-commerce platforms, international non-government organizations, various agencies such as Unicef.org, ICRC.org, etc.
- Cloud hosting: It is the most innovative option for all kinds of websites with inconsistent traffic necessities. With a cloud-based hosting service, your website will be sheltered on many servers at the same time, so you could use huge resources only when you really need them. This way, you could save yourself the inconvenience of your site not being accessible at some point due to too much server traffic.
Tip #2: Evaluate well your real needs
Once you get familiar with the types of web hosting, you should think about what you really need, your current possibilities, and your future opportunities. Often, website owners do not properly assess their actual needs and capabilities, which can lead them to disappointments at a later stage.
This s the reason why we would like to advise you to carefully evaluate your real necessities, so you could make the best possible selections. If you are confident that you know how to make the right choices at the very beginning of your website’s creation, this will undoubtedly motivate you to better concentrate on your project. Thus, the chance of you achieving considerable success would be even greater.
Tip #3: Never pay for things you do not really need
Hosting packages today are quite tempting as they usually include a lot of extras, such as free site builders, a huge or unlimited number of domain-related emails, an SSL certificate, and so on. Some of them are really quite useful and even mandatory. But our hot piece of advice is to never pay for things you do nоt really need.
For most beginner websites, a cheap shared hosting plan would do a great job and the resources it offers would be more than enough for you to enjoy a decently working website. Of course, extras could help you confirm your choices, but they might also mislead you sometimes and make you pay for unnecessary features, so you should be careful. In case you hesitate about any particular package that seems quite favorable, it is important for you to know that in case someday you realize that you might need more resources, you could easily upgrade your plan at any time.
Tip #4: Avoid free web hosting plans
Remember that nothing is costless, especially when it comes to a competitive industry such as the hosting one. Usually, free hosting providers earn money by implementing tedious ads on your website. Most often, these advertising campaigns are related to products with questionable quality that are promising to result in impossible wonders. It will not be cool if your visitors think that you are actually profiting from these ads. This can affect your reputation quite negatively.
In case you someday decide to change the hosting provider, another problem you may eventually face with free hosting is the inability to transfer your website content to another hosting company. And that might mean that you will have to build your website from the scratch again.
Tip #5: Check the provider’s reputation
Before making your final decision to choose a hosting company and select one of its affordable web hosting packages, we would definitely advise you to check its reputation online in advance. It would be best to check how real users have rated the host’s services on platforms for real customer opinions like Trustpilot and Review.io.
Let’s take for example the popular European hosting company Hostens, which is famous for its affordable web hosting packages. It was rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, which is a really adorable user rating.
Tip #6: Check the availability of automatic backups
Automatic daily backups are a very important feature that you should not miss. As they can restore your website in case of a malicious attack or if you accidentally delete it, we would like to advise you to never agree to purchase a hosting package that does not do daily backups, no matter how cheap it is.
We would suggest you complete one more action, just to make sure that you have your automatic backups activated. Once you have bought a package that has this feature, then it would not hurt to check, just in case, if your host has activated your automatic backups. Sometimes providers forget to do this, so an extra check would never go amiss.
Tip #7: Around-the-clock customer support is a must
Imagine the situation where a server issue occurs with your e-commerce website just before Christmas, but you have no way to report it to your host before New Year’s Eve. This will undoubtedly lead to many unpleasant emotions, material losses, and even reputational damage to your business. It would be no less unpleasant if a regular business site, blog, or non-profit page could not be visited for the same reason. Therefore, it is very important that the provider you choose has 24/7 customer service via chat, email, or phone line, so you could reach them anytime a problem appears.
Tip #8: Check for a site builder
Website builder is a very useful and convenient tool, with which you could build your site in no more than an hour or two. And you could complete this without having to apply any knowledge of coding languages at all! Most hosts offer free site builder versions that have many drag-and-drop options to make them easy to use for everyone.
Once you start creating your website with a site builder, the first thing you need to do is browse the rich palette of templates and choose the most beautiful and suitable one for your purposes. Usually, the templates are themed by groups like blogs, e-commerce, news site, etc. Such a tool can save you funds from:
- Paid content management systems, such as Joomla, Drupal, and Wix.
Tip #9: Be careful with free domains
It is a huge advantage that some hosting companies, such as Hostens, offer domains for free, which could let you save money. Hostens’ free domains, for instance, are the following: .SITE, .WEBSITE, .TECH, .ONLINE, .STORE.
But you should also be careful with some providers that offer free domains because they might let you use a domain for free but prevent you from being the domain’s real owner. This can lead to some unpleasant surprises such as the inability to move your domain to another hosting provider in case someday you decide to change the current one.
Tip #10: Check for the availability of a control panel
Unbelievable, but there are still some web hosting providers that do not provide a control panel. This is a feature you should hold on to. The control panel (the most famous variant of which is cPanel) is a system interface that will help you easily administer your website. It helps with the maintenance of various features, such as the following:
- Domains and subdomains
- Emails (mailing lists, auto-responding, mail forwarding)
- Backing up and restoring your files
- Adding and removing add-ons
Tip #11: Look for plans with a free SSL certificate
SSL certificates are security tools that work like ID cards. The presence of an SSL certificate on a website identifies that the owner of the page is really the one who they claim to be. This useful security instrument also encrypts all the information that your visitors share, which could significantly improve their personal data’s safety.
It is good to have an SSL certificate, even if you do not collect any personal data from your visitors. Google, for example, ranks better the websites that have an SSL certificate. Furthermore, some browsers display messages warning that your site is not safe if it lacks an SSL certificate. There is no doubt that this could decrease your website’s traffic.
Tip #12: Linux-based or Windows-based server?
If you will create your website with the help of a content management system platform or a website builder, it really does not matter if you will shelter your website on a Linux-based or on a Windows-based server machine.
Unless you are going to build your site with code languages and have special requirements, we would recommend you use a Linux-based server for two main reasons: it is a free-to-use system, and it is famous for being secure.
Why Check the Hostens’ Packages?
You already understood what web hosting is and what are the most important things you should consider when selecting a web hosting plan. Now, you just have to make your own research and order the plan that best suits your requirements and necessities.
We would recommend you enjoy the high-quality and affordable web hosting packages by Hostens. It is a part of the Lithuanian “Interneto vizija” company, which was founded in 2003. Currently, Hostens is serving hundreds of thousands of customers over the European continent for the high quality of its services and the low web hosting prices.
The data center of Hostens is based in Vilnius, in the Baltic country of Lithuania, where high-skilled specialists provide 24/7 technical maintenance and support, 365 days a year. Besides their professionalism and proactive approach, they are also famous for their great attitude towards their customers, straightforward information, and pricing lists without hidden fees in the fine print.
With a Hostens’ plan, you could get literally all you might need with a single low-price package: a control panel, site builder, domain, SSL certificate, regular backups, decent resources, and polite and responsive customer support.