How Much Should Web Hosting Cost?
May 18th, 2018
Web hosting has come a long way over the years and that’s affected its pricing, too. And while there are many things a website owner needs to consider when choosing a web hosting package, there are very few that don’t have to worry at all about the cost. So, how much should web hosting cost in 2017?
The cost for the most inexpensive web hosting packages is still that – inexpensive. Websites that are stored on a shared server, meaning that many other websites are stored on the same server, can still be found for less than $10 a month. And website owners that don’t need their own separate domain name and don’t need a lot of support can still even find them for free.
But free web hosting doesn’t usually work for businesses that need a more professional look and customer support when their website goes down. Because of this, the cheapest and most appropriate web hosting will typically start at around $10.
WordPress hosting has become much more popular in the past ten years, namely because the platform is so easy to use and powerful enough to run just about any website. Due to that popularity and improved features, WordPress hosting typically starts anywhere from $19 to $47 a month, but it can go as high as $400 a month. The price will depend on any additional services that are ordered such as backups, security, and increased speed.
For most small businesses, there’s a good chance that this is all they will need. But if the website is going to be very large, such as an e-commerce site, or one that’s going to attract a lot of traffic, a shared server may not be a viable option. In these cases, a VPS or dedicated server may be necessary. While these hosting packages will provide many more options, they are also some of the most expensive choices.
A dedicated server can cost a business hundreds of dollars a month. And while VPS packages are less than that, they can still cost between $50 and $100 a month or more, depending on the services and upgrades that are chosen.
Today, there are still a number of options available to website owners, or business owners that want to get an online presence for their business. For those that are just getting started, or don’t expect a huge influx of traffic to their website, shared hosting plans typically cost anywhere from $90 - $150 a year. Of course, if the business or website is very large and needs a much higher capacity, web hosting can be much more expensive, with an annual cost of $300 to $10,000.
All website owners like to dream big, and having end goals is very admirable. But it’s important to keep those goals realistic in order to save money which can be invested in other areas of the site or the business. A good web host will always have options available in case the website expands and requires more resources in the future. And while some things have changed over the years when it comes to web hosting, the idea of starting small and working your way up hasn’t.
Traffic, Engagement, Profitability: Your Web Hosts Affects More than You Think
Apr 11th, 2018
When choosing a web host, many people base the decision on what type of server they want to use, and how much the price of any one hosting package is. But there’s far more to it than that. The fact of the matter is that a web host can greatly affect many things pertaining to a website including the amount of traffic it receives, how engaged people are with the website, and at the end of the day, how profitable it really is. Here are five factors to consider when choosing a web host and how they can have an impact on your website.
Speed: There are a lot of things a website owner can do to ensure their website is loading as quickly as possible. They can make sure the website is fully optimized, ensuring that images aren’t too large and that there isn’t a lot of flash video that pops up as soon as someone lands on the site. But the speed of a website also rests largely with a web host. For instance, if a web host oversold space on a shared server that could cause websites to load slower or not load at all. And if the infrastructure of the server isn’t properly maintained, this could also greatly slow a site down.
While many think that a web host’s speed can’t be determined until that host has hosted a website, that’s not true. Reading reviews online and searching for speed tests on that web host can give a great deal of insight into a web host’s speed, helping website owners make a better choice.
Uptime: Uptime is simply the amount of time a website is up and running online. For every minute of downtime, or every minute the website can’t be reached by visitors it can lose new traffic, regular visitors and even sales. Downtime can happen for a number of reasons including a failure of the server or other network devices, human error on the part of system administrators, power outages, hacking attacks, and configuration changes that were not implemented properly.
No web host can guarantee 100% uptime, but the reputable ones will work very hard to get as close as possible to it.
Support: Support is one thing that many website owners just give a quick glance when looking for a new web host, but it shouldn’t be. This is a very important part of web hosting and you need to make sure yours is offering the best and quickest support possible. Imagine if your website does go down. You email your web host to ask what the problem is and two days later, after checking and rechecking only to find that your site is still down, you get an answer.
A short two days is a lifetime in the online world and if you use your website to run a business, it could mean the loss of a great deal of profit. Always pay close attention to the support a web host receives, and testimonials and reviews that speak to that support. If others have had problems getting a web host to take them seriously and respond to questions quickly, the chances are you will, too. And you and your website may pay the price for it.
Security: Unfortunately, there’s very little a website owner can do about the security of their own site unless they’re hosting it on their own web server; in which case, they’re not looking for a web host anyway. But the simple fact remains that if a web host gets hacked in any way, there’s a very real possibility that all the websites on that server will get hacked, too. That means losing valuable files, dealing with a website that’s offline and possibly even losing passwords, which could possibly turn the website into something else or have it deleted altogether.
The sad truth is that like with so many things controlled by the web host, there’s little a website owner can do about the security of their web host except familiarize themselves with a particular host’s security before signing on with them. This can also only be done by reading as many reviews as possible and getting the inside scoop from real people who have already used that host.
Scalability: Your website may be small now, but what if it grows in the future? Or what if you put up such a knock-out post that it goes viral and you suddenly have a huge influx of traffic? All of this sounds good, but it can work against you if your web host isn’t prepared for it. All website owners should have growth as one of their main goals and they need to make sure their web host is prepared for it with a variety of options the website can be moved to if it’s ever needed. As a bonus, the web host should also let you know when you’re nearing the limit on any resource and suggest that it’s time to invest in more resources.
Website owners always feel as though they have the world on their shoulders and that the entire responsibility of their website rests with them. But while it’s true that there are a lot of things a website owner can, and should, do in order to make sure their website is running at full efficiency and effectiveness, there’s also a lot a web host needs to do to contribute to that and support the website owner as best as possible. Before signing up with a host, read as many reviews and as much information as you can to ensure you and your site will not suffer for it.
Things to Look Out for when Searching for a Web Host
Mar 21st, 2018
Just as there are many things to look for when searching for a web host, there are also many things to look out for. New web hosting companies are popping up every single day, and they all need to make the best claims to potential customers in order to attract their business. Sometimes those claims or promises are simply good deals on web hosting, but too often they’re tied to conditions that the web host isn’t always so forthcoming about. Here are some of the most common claims and promises made by web hosts, and what you should be looking out for.
Promise: Setup fees will be waived
Look out for: Setup fees will be waived on longer contracts
“Contact us today for web hosting – we’ll waive your setup fee!” This, or something like this, is often splashed across web hosting websites to give potential customers the feeling that this particular web host has a leg up on the competition because by using them, you won’t have to pay the setup fee (which is usually around $30). But look out for setup fees that are only waived on longer contracts. While many web hosts will in fact waive the setup fees on contracts of 6 months, a year, or longer, usually a monthly contract will still include setup fees. Make sure you ask before signing up, and never sign on for this reason alone.
Promise: Unlimited bandwidth
Look out for: Contract clauses regarding CUP cycles or time
Unlimited bandwidth is something the majority of web hosts offer and on its own, it’s nothing to be cautious of. Web hosts offer the unlimited option to all of their customers knowing that only a few will ever use significant amounts. However, when those few in the minority do start to use several gigabytes of bandwidth in a month’s time, some web hosts start to panic and will send notices to those customers stating that they’ve nearly reached their capacity.
But how can that be when the contract was signed for use of unlimited bandwidth?
When this is the case, the web host has typically tucked a clause in the contract regarding CUP cycles or time, so that they could fall back on it when needed. Always read the contract very carefully and make sure that unlimited means the same thing to the web host as it does to you. If it doesn’t, you need to look for a different web host.
Promise: Unlimited MySQL or MSSQL databases
Look out for: Limits on database size
Some web hosts will try to draw customers in with the promise of unlimited MySQL or MSSQL databases, leaving customers to think they’re possibilities are endless. However, web hosts get out of this by putting a limit on the size of either an individual database, or the total size of all databases combined, essentially nullifying the original claim.
Promise: 24/7 customer support
Look out for: No actual person available 24/7
Of course your server or your website is going to crash in the middle of the night. And of course you’re going to want to talk to your web host about it. Luckily they offer 24/7 support so that shouldn’t be a problem, right? It’s unfortunately at this moment that website owners sometimes find out that the “24/7 customer support” that was promised is really just an email address generating an automated response. Look out for web hosts that don’t have an actual phone number or at least live chat available on their website.
Look out for these biggest claims, and the truth behind them, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the right web host for you and your website!
Things to Consider when Buying a Server
Feb 12th, 2018
Buying your own server can give you complete control over it, including what you put on it and how you configure it during its lifespan. Storage options will also open for you, as you can choose to collocate your server, or even become a reseller. Yes, your server can even make you money! That could come in handy, as servers are major pieces of equipment that cost thousands of dollars. And because servers can come at such a high price, there are several things you need to consider before buying one.
Drivers: Drivers are relatively easy to find if you’re using a Windows-based operating system, but they get much more difficult to track down if you plan on using Linux. Make sure you can get the drivers you need before you purchase a server with the wrong drivers.
Redundancy: Redundancy is critical for any server. It ensures that even if the server goes offline in case of power failure or other emergency, it will still have a power supply connected to it. Redundancy can be as simple as two power supplies on the server, or you can install a complete set of redundant memory or a spare memory module. You’ll need to determine which one you want to use before you buy your server.
Space: In the complex world of servers, it can be easy to forget the simple things such as determining how much space you have before you buy one. Make sure you have rack space left if you’re buying a rack mount server, and also remember that while 1U servers are relatively small, 2U and 4U servers take up much more space. If it’s a blade server you want to buy, always make sure you have room available in your blade server chassis. Also, if you’re planning to use collocation and you have a specific provider in mind, remember to ask them what type of space they use so your server can be easily integrated.
Processor support: Nothing’s more infuriating than buying a server to only later find out that it doesn’t have sockets for the CPUs you want to use. Manufacturers today have solved this problem by incorporating different sockets for a number of different processors, but not all of them do. For this reason, you need to make sure that your server will be able to work with any processor that you want to use and that you can upgrade the CPU support farther down the line.
Memory: Anytime you buy a piece of computing equipment, memory is going to be one of the biggest factors you take into consideration. However, you have to give it special consideration when buying a server, especially if you’re going to be partitioning it into a virtual server environment. This is because each of those virtual servers will have their own operating system, and you need to make sure the server can handle it.
There’s a lot to take into consideration when you’re buying a server, especially if this is your first one. But while there’s a lot to think about and a lot of research to do, having your own server is definitely worth it and will give you back the control you’ve been searching for!