Shared Hosting is like when you are young and live with your siblings in the same room and in the same house.
All of you share the same room but have different beds. You all share the facilities like bathroom, if light is switched on, it is switched on for all. If fan is switched off, it is switched off for everyone.
In shared hosting, all hosting accounts reside on the same server and share the available resources like CPU time, memory and disk space with each other.
If you have a low traffic web site and do not need intense processing or high volume of mail sending, shared hosting is the ideal choice.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting
VPS Hosting is like when you grow up a little and your parents decide to give you a separate room.
You have your own room, your own bed and you can switch the lights on and off with your own will. But still, you live in the same house.
In VPS hosting, several virtual machines are created on a physical server.
CPU time and memory are shared among all accounts on the machine, but some of the other resources are dedicated to each account.
VPS hosting is ideal when you want to have control over the hosting account, want to send high volume of emails but do not mind sharing CPU time and memory with others.
Dedicated Hosting is like when you grow up and have your own separate house. You have nothing to share and everything is done at your own wish. No one else resides with you.
In dedicated hosting, the entire physical server machine belongs to you. You have access to all resources available on the machine. No one else has an account on the same server so the resources do not need to be shared.
Dedicated hosting is ideal when you want to have full control over the hosting account, manage installations, adjust the resources at your own command and want to do heavy mailing.
When you want to get a web site built, web companies confuse you with the terms domain, hosting and web site. Let us see what actually is domain, hosting and web site.
Consider you want to have a house constructed. What you need is a piece of land, that piece of land will have an address and then you will construct a house on that land.
Having a web site built is similar. The domain name is the address or your house. The land is hosting of your web site and the house’s construction is the design and content of your web site that you will host on a web server.
Hosting can also be said as placing your web site content on a web server computer machine, connected to high-speed internet, round the clock.
Domain is issued by one authority, web hosting is provided by another company and web design is done by a third entity.
Going to three different places for three different things can be quite inconvenient, so some companies can provide you all these three services under one roof. If they themselves are not providing a particular service, they get it done for you.
Godaddy.com registers the domain for you and also provides hosting as a value added services.
Hostgator.com hosts your web site but at the same time can get you domain name through a domain registrar.
Sulata.com is a professional web design and development company but can get a domain registered for you and arrange hosting.
It is ideal to get domain and hosting done by yourself to save cost but no harm in getting it done under one roof. Just remember, your domain name is your property so it should be registered in your name with your correct contact information.
Same is the case with hosting. You should know where your site is hosted and you should have access to the code of your web site.
Just in case your web design company closes its business, you will always have access to your domain and hosting.
In one of our previous blog posts, we shared with you a few tips for choosing great domain names. Now is the time to discuss what is important for choosing the right web site hosting company
Most of us will consider price as the most important factor, but bear in mind, price should be an important factor but not the deciding one. A good hosting company may charge a bit higher, depending on what it is offering.
The best way is to list down your required features and then compare prices.
Uptime is the time a server remains online without going down.
See what is your host’s uptime. 99% uptime may look good, but if you calculate, the 1% downtime per year is 29 hours.
Some hosting companies write incorrect uptime on their web sites. It is recommended to Google for something like “my hosting company ’s down”, where “my hosting company” is the name of your hosting company.
If your hosting company has been down in the past, you will have quite a bit of idea about it by doing so.
Also check that company’s Twitter account. If their servers have gone down in the past, the Twitter followers must have discussed about it.
3. Your Requirement and a Control Panel
See if the company is offering what you require. Like if you want to host a PHP web site, see if it has the required PHP features plus the correct PHP and MySQL versions. If features like GDLib, CuRL, etc. are required, also check for them.
Similar is the suggestion for Windows ASP.Net hosting.
It is also important to make sure that you are getting a control panel to manage your hosting account. Cpanel, Plesk, Ensim, Webmin are just a few to name here. Without a control panel, it is almost impossible to manage the hosting unless you are a terminal expert.
4. Disk space
See how much disk space you need and how much the hosting company has to offer.
Nowadays, good hosting companies offer unlimited disk space and you can easily find one such host.
Bandwidth is the amount of data transferred from and to your server. Estimate the required bandwidth for your web site and select the right host. There are several good companies offering unlimited bandwidth.
6. Multiple Domain Hosting
You may or may not want to host multiple domains on your hosting account, but nowadays many hosting companies offer this as a standard feature. If you can find this feature in your hosting account, this would be an added benefit.
7. Daily Backups
This feature is very important. Make sure your hosting company takes daily backs, even if you have to pay a little extra for this feature, pay for it.
Your web site may never crash and your data may never get corrupt, but if this happens, this is very painful and immensely tense. You can then not do anything.
Some companies write this as a standard feature but when you need to restore your site, the hosting company does not have a backup copy.
So when getting a hosting account, verify from different sources if the company really does practice daily backups.
Different hosting companies have different policies regarding charging the customers for restoring the site from backup. Some do it free of cost, while others charge for it. Both policies are correct, but if you can find a free restoration deal, it would be a nice catch.
8. Email Sending Quota
Sometimes your company or your web site requires to send high volume of emails. When it comes to sending high volume of emails, whether solicited of unsolicited, hosting companies are very strict about it. This is because any such act from your side which falls under the definition of the word ‘spam’ can even lead to the closure of the hosting company.
If you require to send several hundred emails per hour, check with your hosting company first. Usually the allowed quota is 200 to 500 outgoing emails per hour but it varies from company to company.
If you want to send higher volume of emails, you will need to purchase a VPS (Virtual Private Server) or a dedicated hosting account. Using VPS and dedicated hosting accounts, you can send high volume of emails but under a shared hosting account you cannot.
Understanding the difference between shared, VPS and dedicated hosting account can be a bit complex, but to give you a flavor, each one is shortly described below.
A shared hosting account is a physical machine hosting multiple domains for various customers.
A VPS or Virtual Private Server is a dedicated virtual machine created and configured only for you on a physical server. One physical server can have multiple VPS accounts.
A dedicated hosting account is a physical machine, fully dedicated to you.
The hosting company of your choice must also offer 24/7 support. If it offers a live chat, try to find out the wait time for chat. You can afford to have delayed response from the sales team but once you get started, instant 24/7 support tech support becomes very important. 24/7 live chat should be your first preference.
10. Contribution to Environment
This may or may not matter to you but there are some hosting companies offering environment friendly data centers with very small carbon footprint. Play your part as well and go for a certified green hosting company.
Many visitors will arrive at your site by typing your web address therefore keep it short so that people can remember it and there is least possibility of any typo errors.
2. Be simple and clear
Your domain should be easy to remember and easy to spell.
3. Avoid numbers and hyphens
If possible, your domain should not have numbers and hyphens to avoid confusing it with other similar domains without numbers and hyphens, which may lead to loss in traffic.
4. Think keywords
If your required domain is not available, try adding a keyword to it.
5. Buy singular and plural versions
Sometimes we buy domains which are singular or plural in word. Since domains are no more expensive now, try buying the same domain in singular and plural versions. As an example, if you want a domain like www.happydomains.com, also buy www.happydomain.com. One with the letter ‘s’ at the end and the other without it and point one of them to the other. Do not physically host the same site on two or more domains, this will lead to Duplicate Content Penalty by search engines.