What To Look For In A Website Hosting Service (Part 2)

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Posted by luke on

Here is part 2 of our guide to finding the right website hosting service.

In case you missed it, here is What To Look For In A Website Hosting Service (Part 1)

The Uptime

The “uptime” of a site is the amount of time that it stays online (i.e. doesn’t crash). It is usually given as a percentage (e.g. 99% uptime).

In general, anything above 99.5% is considered the standard uptime that is recommended. Anything below 99% is unacceptable and should not even be considered.

Another point about uptime: It can be difficult to judge a web host purely on its uptime score because there is no way to independently verify it. The only way to get further clarification is to look up online reviews for the web host.

Shared vs Dedicated Servers

In part 1 of this blog, we talked about the different kinds of servers that are provided by web hosting services. Let’s have a look at their pros and cons.

Shared

Pros:

  • More cost effective
  • Provided by almost every web hosting service
  • Good for basic Wordpress sites

Cons:

  • Shared server space means that there is more risk of crashing if something happens to the other sites.
  • Advanced CMS sites tend to run slower
  • Become slower as more sites are added to the server

Dedicated

Pros:

  • Less chance of crashing
  • Faster
  • Can handle more traffic
  • Great for data-intense websites
  • Less risk in general
  • Generally works for all kinds of CMS platforms

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • Some companies will tell you that you are on a dedicated server, but in reality you are actually on a shared one

Ultimately, the kind of server that you end up going with is going to come down to what you specifically need for your site.

The Usability

Beyond the specs of your web hosting service, another thing you need to look at is how user-friendly the site is in the back end. If the web host doesn’t have an adequate control panel, you will need to contact their staff every time you need to make some changes. This gets old real fast.

A good control panel is incredibly important.

Here is what a great control panel (such as cPanel) should be able to:

  • Host multiple websites
  • Create and manage multiple email accounts
  • Manage data
  • Provide performance metrics
  • Be stable and secure
  • Provide ongoing support

The Backup

Unfortunately, there will be times where your site will crash. In these situations, it makes life a hell of a lot easier if your website hosting service consistently backs up your site.

Before choosing your host, you should get answers to the following questions:

  • Do they provide regular backups?
  • Can the control panel do the backup?
  • Do they have capabilities to provide external backups through third party services?
  • Can you restore your backups yourself? (this will save you time by not having to ask the support staff to do it for you in the event of a crash).

There you have it, our guide to what to look for in a website hosting service!

Check out our other blog posts on Website Design:

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