When it comes to starting your own online business, blog, or personal website, there are a ton of options. Just deciding what you want your website to be and look like is a monumental task in it of itself. Once you have that figured out you will have to then begin the search for a web-hosting platform that can provide you with reliable service. The options may appear to be limitless at first, but if you know what you are looking for and what you need, you can narrow your choices down to a web hosting platform that is right for you.
Let’s start with the nitty gritty. First of all, you want to make sure the web-host platform you are spending your hard-earned money on is going to go out in the middle of the night. Check their server reliability by looking at the Uptime Score. What’s that you might ask? An Uptime Score is a percentage of the time that a server is working. For example, if a server was working 18 hours out of the entire 24-hour day then it would have an Uptime Score of 75%. If it was up and running 24 hours a day, its Uptime Score would be 100%. Makes sense? Good.
Now anything lower than 99% is unacceptable for your website. You want the servers to be as close to 100% as possible. Every minute that a server is not working is a minute in which visitors can’t reach your webpage (time you are still paying for btw). Make sure you have a dependable web host platform to build your website off of before you hit the “purchase” button.
Another important part of the equation is the capability of the servers that will be hosting your website. What I mean is that you can’t expect your basic shared hosting platform to handle a site that is getting traffic upwards of a million hits a day. If you think your website is basically the next Facebook, you’re probably going to need some serious web hosting power behind that. Something like a dedicated server or a VPS (virtual private server) would be your best bet. Conversely, if you are trying the whole “online” thing for the first time, then a managed shared hosting platform is probably right for you. Do your research, and find out what makes the most sense for you and your website.
We all want things that we can’t have. You know those artisanal servers that your roommates brother makes in his garage and sells to Google? Yeah, you probably can’t afford those. You are going to have to look for something a bit more realistic than that.
Finding the right balance between affordability and performance is a key part of any business decision. Web hosting platforms are no different. Obviously the more performance you get from a platform, generally the more expensive it will be. But another, sometimes hidden, aspect of choosing a web hosting platform is the Signup versus the Renewal price.
Many companies offer low Signup prices, designed to entice unsuspecting internet newbies into plans that end up costing more than originally advertised. Some companies charge more upfront but also keep the same price for Renewal. Refund policies also change from company to company so make sure to check your business plan (you know, the crumpled up bar napkin you have taped to your mirror) to see what makes the most sense for you.
Whatever type of website you are aiming for, whether it’s a fully immersive, 360 degrees, journey into the life of a tapeworm, or just a blog to rant about how the kids don’t seem to appreciate anything anymore, you are going to pick your web hosting platform based off specific features it can support and provide. For example, if you want to make your tapeworm journey website a success, you will need a web hosting platform that can not only support live streaming video, but 3D video as well. Your average blog website will probably utilize a web host platform that is optimized for software like WordPress. Some web hosts don’t work with certain plug-ins. Others might allow for all types of software, but run painfully slow when they are implemented. Knowing what you want your website to be, and what specific features it will need, will allow you to then pick and choose the right type of web hosting platforms.
Go on and get out there. The internet is waiting to see what you have to offer it. Just do your research beforehand so you can pick the right web hosting platform based off of its technical standards, your price point and the specific features your website needs.