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The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Right Website Host

Where to host a business website is one of the last things business owners take into consideration when running a business. However, it is essential to understand since it relates to your company’s and your customer’s security.

Unfortunately, many hosting providers tend to cut corners on speed & security to reduce costs. This article will answer the following questions: What exactly is web hosting? Why is hosting essential? What various website hosting platforms are there? What platform is best for your business website? What criteria distinguish a top-notch web host?

What Is Web Hosting?

Hosting is the storage of website files on a computer that is dedicated to being able to be accessible via the Internet. Each website hosted on a web server has a domain name that functions like a digital house address. Website files are accessed on a web server when the server receives visitors’ requests for information by entering or searching for that web address. Then the server sends the desired page (address) to the user’s browser. AKA a web page.

Why Is Hosting Essential?

Once you have a website, you must store your website’s files somewhere for people to access. However, it is more than that. Website hosting can be complicated, but what is most important is security and speed. You want people to visit your website but not steal from it, and you need it to be fast because, let’s face it, we don’t have much time to wait for a page to load. In addition, Google and other search engines use speed as a ranking factor.

When considering the company you want to host with that will provide you with a secure and speedy platform, you will need to consider the hosting environment and the platforms you will be using. Each company may have different plans depending on what your business needs. Remember, the cheaper is not always better.

Let’s start with hosting environments. Next, we will discuss four platforms. Then we will put the two together. It is good to remember that the hosting environment can normally be used for whatever platform you choose.

3 Hosting Environments

There are different types of website hosting providers to address business website needs. All have advantages and disadvantages.

1. Physical Server

This includes all the hardware that runs the computer. They are generally stored in a data center or a dedicated room for the business.

Disadvantages- expansive, there is no guarantee, there is a chance of data loss, and more room & internal assistance are required.

Advantages– Physical control, no third-party access, security, and fewer compliance concerns

Ideal for

-Businesses that run heavy-duty applications and programs. 

-They are ideal for businesses that store confidential information requiring high data security levels. 

Examples of hosting providers: Your business has the server and staff to run it

2. Cloud Hosting

It is a physical server, often in a warehouse of servers virtually accessed and operates in the digital realm. It is composed of other singular web servers. 

Disadvantages– a large amount of storage space & bandwidth is needed, Internet disruptions, security risks, and high cost of data recovery. 

Advantages- cost, scalability, reliability, enhanced security, compliance, ease of backing up and restoring. If one web server malfunctions, another can step in, which minimizes downtime.

Ideal for: almost all companies. Most companies are using cloud-based hosting. 

Examples of hosting providers: AWS, Google, IBM, Microsoft Azure, Gem Website Designs

3. Colocation Hosting

Is advanced hosting -where you own the hardware, but you rent out space in another company’s data center to maintain it for you. Usually, the space is shared with multiple businesses. Disadvantages– you need more flexibility to control your servers easily, and you don’t have control over security and access to your servers whenever you need it. Advantages-you physically owns the hosting hardware. As a result, it is cheaper long term, saves time, can quickly scale, reduces the overall cost of IT management, and avoids power capacity challenges.  Colocation Hosting can be accessed physically or cloud-based. Depending on what you need.  Ideal for:  -Healthcare -Manufacturing -Any business Examples of hosting providers: AWS, Google, AZURE

4 Hosting Platforms

1. Shared Hosting Server

Shared hosting is the most common type. It is where multiple websites share a single server. It can be physical or cloud-based. 

Disadvantage- Often slow and unreliable. Has a limit on the total amount of server resources they can use. Additionally, a hacker who gains access to one website can access all the websites hosted on that server.

Advantage- usually the cheapest and easiest to use.

Ideal for: 

-Small business sites with not a lot of traffic & not planning on growing 

-A business that doesn’t have or collect any important data.

Examples of hosting providers: GoDaddy, Bluehost, TMDHosting

2. Dedicated Server

It is a server you rent or own that is dedicated to your website. It can be physical or cloud-based. 

Disadvantage- it can be expensive and requires technical knowledge to manage the server properly. 

Advantage- greater security, leverage, and control

Ideal for: 

-Businesses with significant traffic coming to the website or needing extra security. 

– A business that’s planning on expanding or needing more customizations.

– Midsize to large companies with large amounts of data or e-commerce sites. 

-It can be great for sizeable medical provider companies. 

Examples of hosting providers: Microsoft, AWS, Google, Gem Website Designs

3. Virtual Private Server (VPS)

A virtual server provides virtual server resources on a physical server that is shared with other users. It is cloud-based. 

Disadvantage- it is more expensive than shared hosting

Advantage- Offers more control, reliability, customization, and security than shared hosting. Has generous storage, RAM & bandwidth. 

Ideal for: 

-Businesses with medium-level traffic and or needs extra security. 

-It is often great for Saas, programming, and gaming companies. 

-It can be great for medical providers. 

Examples of hosting companies: GoDaddy, HostGator, Bluehost, Gem Website Designs

4. Managed WordPress Hosting

This is unique to WordPress. You can host WordPress sites on other hosting methods, but WordPress hosting can only host WordPress sites. It can be physical or cloud-based.

Disadvantage– Price, and you can not install your self-hosted analytic tools.

Advantage– Saves time when maintaining your site-automatic daily backups, WordPress staging, WordPress updates, expert support, faster load times, and minimal downtime. Hosting providers have a thorough knowledge of word press.

Ideal for:

– Any WordPress website, e-commerce & freelancers 

-WordPress is used by 43..2% of all websites on the internet in 2022. That means that two of every five websites use WordPress- according to data from W3Techs.

Examples of hosting companies: Flywheel, Bluehost, and Gem Website Designs

To put it all together, here is an illustration:

shared server is like an apartment building with multiple residences with only one key. If you have the key, you can enter any apartment you want. A virtual private server (VPS) is an apartment building with multiple residences but with keys to each apartment. So it is harder to access each room. The dedicated server is your own, or you rent the whole apartment building, and no one else lives there but you with only one key. Cloud hosting is you own or rent an apartment building in another state with multiple residences (VPS or shared server) or just one residence (dedicated server). Still, a leasing agent is taking care of it for you and managing all the key(s) virtually. A physical server is you own or rent the apartment, but in your town, you go or pay someone to check on the residences and manage all the key(s) physically. Colocation hosting is paying someone to take care of a room you rent in an apartment building, but everything in that room is yours. Then WordPress Hosting is a high-end apartment building that will only allow those with special VIPs to rent or own, but you can live alone (dedicated server) or share your apartment building with other VIPs (VPS or shared server). You do also have the option to pay someone to upkeep the building virtually or physically (cloud or physical hosting)

How To Choose The Right Hosting Service

It is essential to understand the needs of your business. Every business is different. For example, It is necessary to consider how much traffic your website will get and if you want to expand. Also, will you have any confidential information? If you said yes to any or all of these questions, shared hosting would be horrible since it is limited and less secure. A cloud-based dedicated server or VPS is better since it is more secure and will allow your business to grow. 

We recommend that you talk to a hosting professional when you are starting to make sure you are choosing the right hosting package for you.

Also, you can build and manage your servers if you want to. It takes a lot of time, energy, and knowledge. But for most business owners, it may be best to call a hosting provider to direct you on the right path. But how do you find the right hosting provider for you?

Hosting Providers

There is a plethora of hosting providers. Here are some key factors to keep in mind.

1. Don't Get Stuck On The Price

The lowest price might mean slow servers, poor customer services, shared hosting, constant downtime, no maintenance package, or even not secure.

2. Do They Maintain Your Website

Maintaining your website is part of security. There are often updates in the software and plugins that need to be done. If left unchecked, this is a way for hackers to infiltrate. Also, search engines consider how your website is being taken care of. They will not send customers to you if there is a security risk or no activity on the website.

3. Technical Support

For whatever reason, something happens to the website. Do they have services to help you keep your website going?

4. Provide Backups

It is essential always to have a backup of your files for your website.

In Conclusion

This is a lot of information to take into consideration. But don’t worry; here at Gem Website Designs would love to help. We provide hosting that is both affordable, secure, and fast.

If you want to discuss a hosting package with us, please get in touch with us. 


Website links for more information and where this information was taken from.  

“How to Host a Website: 3 Types of Web Hosting” By MasterClass

“How to Find The Best Web Host For Your Business” By Yucatan Times

“The Pros and Cons of a Cloud Provider vs. a Physical Server” By Chad Lauterbach

“The 5 Different Types of Website Hosting Explained” By Matan Naveh

“The Pros and Cons of Colocation” By CRSC Data Centre Experts

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