How to choose the right web hosting

For just about everything you might want to get done in the universe today, you need a web presence. After registering your domain, one of the first things you’ll need to achieve this presence is web hosting. 

Your hosting is where all of your website files and data are stored, and it’s how your crucial content is made accessible to everyone.

It’s important to remember that web hosting is very different for every user and project — it’s not just “one size fits all”. Factors that may come into play include your website size, traffic needs, technical complexity, and budget.

Always be sure to carefully check your specific requirements before you get started.

The different hosting types

The first thing to look at is which web hosting to choose in terms of the hosting category. The main hosting types are:

  • Shared hosting
  • Virtual private server (VPS) hosting 
  • Dedicated hosting

The different hosting types divide the server in different ways. In the case of dedicated hosting, the user owns the entire server, while with shared hosting, the server is shared among different users.

Other important factors include the amount of control the user has over their server, the physical resources they have, and whether they have root access. It’s possible for a virtual server to have fewer resources but provide root access, which means more control for the user. 
When you’re looking for the best place to host a website, it’s a good idea to compare web hosting types first.

Shared hosting

The most commonly purchased hosting plan, shared hosting is the perfect choice for beginners and those with smaller projects. 

We can compare shared hosting to living in an apartment block — the building and its resources are shared among tenants who each have their own space. With shared hosting, servers are divided between users who are each given a certain amount of CPU, storage space, and web resources. 

Shared Hosting is a great option for blogs, personal websites, and small business websites that don’t have very high traffic or bandwidth requirements that might be caused by video hosting. It’s probably the best hosting for those on a budget, but as the server is shared, bandwidth and traffic capacity could be slightly limited for larger projects. 

Virtual machines (VPS hosting) 

You may be looking for more control over your server than shared hosting has to offer, but you aren’t ready to take on the extra responsibility and price of a dedicated server. In this case, VPS could be the best option. 

This is more like living in a townhouse where you have more control and resources. With VPS hosting, virtualization takes place on the operating system (OS) level, so users can choose their resources and OS. Virtual private servers often come with root access, which gives you the chance to customize your global server settings. 

VPS hosting is suitable for developers, web professionals, webmasters, and those interested in maintaining their servers. It could be a good choice for people with resource-intensive websites, such as high-traffic e-shops. 

With a virtual server, you have more control but this doesn’t include control over hardware. You’re still sharing the hardware server with other users, and you don’t have the same resources as with dedicated hosting. It also usually requires more technical ability than Shared Hosting. 

Dedicated hosting 

If you’re looking for the most in resources and control, dedicated hosting is probably the best option. 

This is more like owning your own house where nothing is shared. You have full control over your server, but you also need to maintain it which can be technically demanding. 

A dedicated server could be the best choice for large, high-traffic, and heavy-content websites and online projects. It could also be a good choice for projects that demand a certain level of data security. 

Depending on the resources used, dedicated hosting is probably the highest-priced hosting type.

Questions to ask before you get hosting

Beyond hosting type, there are various other factors to consider when you choose a web host. These include the technology that provides hosting, the level of management used, and scalability. 

1. Technology for hosting

Traditional hosting

This is when the hosting provider uses just one server, or group of servers, which are kept in one datacenter. As this hosting type usually gives users a fixed level of resources, which means they may need to change or upgrade their plan in the event of future expansion. 

Cloud hosting 

With this hosting technology, users are not dependent on a single server, but a cluster of servers in different locations, which are also called cloud servers. 

Cloud hosting is usually more scalable, reliable, and can offer optimal uptime. When using multiple servers, the hosting service is not affected by issues with any particular server. It’s easier to upgrade or downgrade your resources when you need to, but this can mean higher pricing.

Web hosting automates this process and delivers the hosting service to users. The main advantage of cloud infrastructure is that if one physical server fails, another server will be there as a backup to provide ongoing resource availability (redundancy). This means your files will always be available. 

Mixed cloud and traditional

A combination of the two technology types offers an excellent balance of service and price. With both traditional hosting and cloud storage, you can be sure your site will have optimal uptime and speed.

Cloud storage is often distributed, which means data is stored on nodes in different locations around the world, which means more optimal uptime at an affordable price.

2. Hosting management

Whether your server is physical or virtual, management determines the level of control you have over it. If you have the time and expertise then you may prefer to manage your own server. In this case, you should opt for a dedicated server or a VPS hosting plan. 

What are managed web hosting plans?

There are also managed web hosting services, such as EasyWP, where installation, key settings, and updates are all taken care of. Spaceship’s Cloud WordPress Hosting is a low-maintenance hosting environment, which gives you more time to focus on other tasks.

3. Scalability

In general, cloud hosting plans are much easier to upgrade to and from, and cloud hosting is also the most scalable solution. We can think of this hosting type as a flexible condo, where resources expand and contract as needed. This makes it ideal for sites with fluctuating traffic.

NOTE:

You may notice that many providers offer website builder (hosting) services that are either part of shared hosting or come as standalone services. These are usually aimed at beginners. 

These services can seem like a good option but there are certain points to remember about whether website builders are right for you before you make your purchase decision. 

Choosing a web host

When you’ve decided on your hosting type and technologies, then it’s time to find out how to choose a web hosting provider. There are many different providers you can find, so what are the main factors to consider when making your choice?

Uptime

It’s important to ensure your website is accessible 24/7, so look for hosting providers that can guarantee at least 99% uptime. Cloud storage and cloud hosting options often have a slight advantage here due to the distributed nature of the hosting type across different servers.

Performance

Fast loading speeds are crucial for website visitors, so it’s best to look for hosts that optimize for speed & handle traffic spikes. For many users, shared hosting speeds are adequate, but hosting providers offer various plans with improved performance. It’s also important to budget for extra to account for future growth.

Security

Without a sufficient level of security, your entire project could potentially be destroyed. This is why security measures like firewalls, malware protection, and SSL certificates for safe browsing, must be a high priority. 

Support

Things don’t always go according to plan, which is why a little extra help is sometimes needed. It’s important to have responsive and knowledgeable support on hand, which should ideally include features like live chat. 

Scalability 

You probably expect that your website will grow, so you need to choose hosting with your future growth in mind. You also need to be sure that your hosting plan can grow with your project, and that your project is not limited by plan restrictions. So it’s always best to look for plans that can be easily upgraded or resized.

Why Spaceship makes sense

Whatever your background in web development, we make your experience seamless and convenient so you can concentrate on the core of your business. Hosting on the Spaceship platform is easy to use, intuitive, and user-friendly — even for complete tech beginners.

Spaceship also provides various other web services so you can easily integrate with all our other products, such as domain registration, Spacemail, and CDN. Managing all your web development needs in one place saves a lot of time and makes billing a lot simpler. 

It’s also very easy to change your hosting type or plan customizations with Spaceship. This means you can make changes to the resources you use — and pay for, without any trouble. 

Whatever your budget, there’s a hosting tier and plan that’s just right for your project needs. Spaceship also offers free trials and Shared Hosting plans that start from just $1.66 per month.  

Hosting users often take advantage of the opportunity to keep domains and hosting together, along with other web services. This can mean saving on both time and money.

Learn more about how we’re making ongoing improvements in our Spaceship Hosting updates blog. 

Space and beyond

Many web projects start with domains and hosting only to become something much bigger. Getting the right web space for your project can make all the difference to its continued success, as it develops far beyond all expectations.

There’s so much more to an online presence. Spaceship provides you with the tools to take your web mission in whichever direction works best. This means you’re always ready for any challenges that might come your way.

Frequently asked questions

First, you should look at the resources and technologies you need and which hosting providers support your requirements. Other factors that come into play when you’re asking how to choose hosting include how much traffic you expect to receive, how much content you need your web applications to support, and how much you expect to scale over time. Then you can choose your hosting type and make configurations based on how you plan your web projects to start off and develop.

Finding a hosting provider for your website is an important part of your web development journey. Everyone wants to avoid potential disruptions in their service, which is why it’s always best to pick a reliable hosting provider that offers a seamless service and a reliable uptime guarantee.  

The different types of hosting include shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, and dedicated hosting. For smaller web projects, such as personal websites or small business websites, shared hosting is usually sufficient. 

But for larger operations that receive a lot of traffic and have heavy content requirements, dedicated hosting is more suitable. VPS hosting usually meets the needs of medium-sized web projects. Scalability is another factor to keep in mind. But whatever your needs, you will find hosting that fits the bill with Spaceship.

The location of your datacenter can make a difference to your audiences, depending on where they mainly are in the world. If most of your website visitors are from Europe or Africa, then it’s better to choose an EU datacenter location. For audiences in North or South America, a US datacenter location is the better choice. 

It’s much easier to achieve optimal loading speeds when your datacenter is closer to your audience. 

Some people believe that keeping different web services like hosting and domains separate is a more sensible approach. The reasons for this may be for improved security, cost-effectiveness, freedom, or because every provider has different strengths. 

But this may be a slightly old-fashioned way of looking at things, as it’s increasingly common for hosting and domains providers to offer different web services to a high level. The added benefits of choosing an all-in-one domains and hosting provider is that it’s much easier to manage and integrate your various products, and billing is much simpler.

Web hosting is the space that your website and web services occupy online. This is a server where all of the content files and databases that make up your websites or web applications are stored.

Domain hosting is the service that offers your domain, which is the web address that people can use to find your website. 

Both web hosting and domain hosting are the essentials that everyone needs to get their websites up and running.

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