Web hosting is important for many people, whether they are business owners that need a commercial website or independent hostees that just want a place to put their online portfolio. However, finding the right web host is an extremely important part of the hosting process and something that can take a while to get used to.
There is not such a thing as a perfect web host. Some will offer better services than others in particular ways, but the kind of host you choose depends on your needs, budgetary limits, and other factors relating to why you need a host. So, how do you find the best options for your needs?
Cost and pricing are always going to be two of the most important factors in web hosting since they can be one of the most direct roadblocks you will encounter when choosing which hosting platform to use. The more a host costs, the fewer people will be able to afford it, so you need to consider your own budget limits before committing to a host.
There are generally three types of hosts: free hosts, hosts you can afford, and hosts you cannot. In general, hosts will offer more features and tools as their average costs increase – it is up to you to decide if you need any of those features or if a cheaper/free host would be more practical, thanks to the money you will save.
Internet speed is always going to be a huge concern in quality web hosting. Expect free web hosting to have the worst speed on average, with more expensive services offering increasingly higher speeds. Of course, this speed is only an estimate – there will always be days where the connection is weaker than others.
Not all situations call for higher speed, either. You do not need an extremely fast connection if you are just hosting a portfolio or a personal site, whereas a business with a lot of online services may want a higher average speed to deal with the influx of visitors they might get.
Some website domain hosting services only provide you with so much disk space, meaning that the overall scope of your website can be limited unless you pay for more space. Like speed, you should choose the amount of space that is relative to your needs since aiming too high can cost you extra money for no real benefit.
Unfortunately, reliable free web hosts are rare. You want a host that has as close to 100% uptime as possible, as well as guarantees against unexpected downtime or other problems that might result in your site being taken offline. This is especially important for businesses, where even an hour of downtime could be dozens of lost sales.
High reliability is always the best thing to aim for, whether you are a business owner or not. There is no point paying for a site. If it is down 20% of the time, it should be operational – high speeds and large storage limits will not matter if the site is not functional.