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    Super User III
    Super User III

    Advice on choosing a hosting platform for your website

    This is a pretty common question for people who are looking into building a website for their business, especially if they’ve never done this kind of thing before. Hopefully, this post will help you make the best choice.


    First things first, before you start shelling out money for stuff you need to do some research. 


    You first need to determine what type of site you’re building.


    Informational: This is a simple website that you would use as your online business card.


    eCommerce: This is a platform you would use to sell products to others. It will generally have a website portion and an online store portion.


    Portal: This is a one-stop-shop type site that gathers news, allows you to check email, maybe it has calendar features or forums. 


    Typically, most businesses will need an informational or eCommerce website. There’s a good possibility that you may need to mix elements of the two. 


    Businesses will sometimes use a portal site for intranet pages or paid communities.


    Make a budget


    A budget is perhaps the most crucial step. If you’re doing a blog about your interests, you can probably get started with $20 or less.


    If you’re looking to do an online business, you should look at it as an investment. You will get out as much as you put in. Be sure to invest in your site. You should plan at least $250 on the conservative side and $1,000+ on the more extravagant builds.


    Usually, it’s going to be somewhere in between. Do not go outside of your budget. 


    What are the different types of platforms out there?


    There are quite a few. So many that I’m not going to be able to cover it all in one single post, so I will be using very generalized descriptions. 


    Website Builders (Price Range: $ - $$)


    A Website Builder platform is great in many ways, but you should know that if you have particular customizations you’d like to have on your site, this type of product is not for you. They are usually proprietary, which means they’re owned by the company that provides it. You can’t migrate away from these easily.


    Website Builders are suitable for everything from Personal sites to lite eCommerce platforms. It’s an excellent platform for artists, entertainers, designers, and local businesses. It includes pretty much everything you’ll need depending on the package you buy. 


    I liked GoDaddy’s GoCentral Website Builder so much that I moved my primary site to it. 


    Great for: Personal sites, portfolios, basic business sites, some eCommerce



    • Inexpensive and easy to maintain
    • Each package comes with everything you need to promote your site
    • Usually includes upgrade options


    • Not as customizable as other platforms
    • Proprietary and owned by company that provides platform


    Shared Hosting (Price Range: $ - $$)


    Many hosting companies, including GoDaddy which I use, offers both Linux (cPanel) and Windows (Plesk) based hosting on their shared platforms. You can install hundreds of different CMS (content management systems), including popular staples like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.


    Shared hosting is great if you’re just getting started, learning how to build a site, or don’t expect to have a lot of traffic. Shared hosting means that you’re sharing resources with others who have accounts on the same hosting server, which can sometimes lead to performance issues.


    You can usually host several informational landing pages on this hosting; however, if you’re operating a business with an eCommerce platform or a community, I would steer clear of this hosting as you will continuously face issues. 


    What kind of issues? Here are some common ones on shared hosting:


    • Someone is using more than their allowed resources. 
      • This usually means they’re breaking Terms of Service and the hosting company usually has something that notifies them of these people and they address it. It can still cause crucial downtimes.
    • You are usually responsible for securing your site.
      • While the hosting company will do everything it can to protect the core of their server, many people fail to realize that it’s up to them to protect their site. This makes shared hosting platforms prime targets for hackers.
    • Using PHP email and SMTP email can be problematic.
      • Shared IP addresses are frequently banned due to being used by hackers to spread malware. You’ll find that your email will probably get blocked quite often.


    Great for: Personal sites, blogs with a small following, small business sites or portals, small eCommerce platforms



    • Inexpensive, reliable hosting
    • Updated to latest industry standards
    • Lots of website building options


    • Not quite as easy to maintain
    • Resources may be an issue


    WordPress Hosting (Price Range: $ - $$)


    Managed WordPress offerings are great for those just dipping their toes into the WordPress world. They will almost always have intuitive interfaces to manage your site and they will usually offer a host of features that make it easy to secure and backup your site as well.


    Additionally, there are usually tweaks on the backend that make the platform much more secure and harder to compromise — a great overall option for smaller WordPress sites. You will find that you do face a few limitations, however, as most hosting companies will have plugin/theme restrictions of some sort. 


    Note that I would still stay away from eCommerce on these platforms unless you purchase a package on the upper end of the spectrum. They can be made to work well if they’re not too large. You should also be aware that this is technically a shared hosting platform, as well. 


    Great for: WordPress newcomers, small eCommerce platforms, small business sites or portals



    • Easy to set up and maintain
    • Lots of cool features to help you out
    • Great for someone just learning WordPress


    • The secured backend does limit some options for plugins/themes
    • May run into some issues using a few popular plugins


    Business Hosting (Price Range: $$ - $$$)


    Business hosting is something I’ve only really seen at GoDaddy. It is a hosting platform with all the power of a Virtual Private Server (VPS) but none of the need to understand how to admin a server. 


    Admin tasks can consume an inordinate amount of time if you have to handle them yourself. This option operates with the same simplicity of shared hosting but with resources allocated specifically to your needs like a private server. No more sharing those resources. No need to spend hours learning how to operate a server.


    This is the hosting I use for my WordPress sites and for several others. It’s fast and can handle pretty much anything thrown at it. In my opinion, it’s the best bang for your buck in the hosting arena.


    Great for: Larger sites, Communities, Large business sites or portals, eCommerce sites



    • Easy to set up and maintain
    • Resources of a VPS and no sharing
    • Reliable, fast cloud-based hosting


    • Money is a factor with this hosting
    • No custom setup of server
    • No Windows-based platform


    VPS (Price Range: $$ - $$$$)


    A Virtual Private Server is another cloud-based virtualized server that offers exceptional reliability and speed.


    Additionally, it also allows you to control your server setup. You also need to know how to run a server if you want to save some money. This is an investment that you will need to maintain or hire someone that knows how to admin a server to help.


    As far as speed and reliability, these types of hosting platforms are hard to beat. Many hosting companies are moving towards these with a pay by traffic model, among others.


    Great for: pretty much anything depending on the resources you purchase



    • Great speed and reliability
    • You can make whatever customizations you want
    • You control everything on the hosting environment with convenient installers


    • Need to know at least a little about server administration to keep costs low
    • Support is much more hands-off 


    Dedicated Server (Price Range: $$$ - $$$$$)


    Dedicated Servers are the cream of the crop. You have complete and total control of your hosting environment, and you can pretty much do what you want. 


    You’re going to find that being a reasonably experienced server administrator is vital on this platform. Even with the Fully Managed plan, you’ll do a lot more on your own. That or the type of money you’ll be paying, you likely make more than enough to cover the costs.


    Great for: pretty much anything depending on the resources you purchase



    • The entire environment is up to you to install/develop
    • Superb performance specs
    • Can handle pretty much anything you throw at it


    • A much more DIY product with a high cost
    • You need an experienced server admin with this product


    A Final Breakdown

    You have a lot of hosting options but, as always, you should do your research. I’ve worked with a lot of hosting companies, and I’ve dealt with pretty much anything you can imagine in the hosting realm. My preference is hosting through GoDaddy, as they’ve never let me down, and I don’t expect they will anytime soon.

    I am a GoDaddy End User - Just Like You
    Check out my site! | I drink and I know things. Especially about websites and web hosting.
    * Please note that I offer free advice on this forum. If you would like personalized help, please contact me. Otherwise, please ask your question in the proper forum so the answer can assist EVERYONE in the community and not just you. Thanks! *

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    3 REPLIES 3
    Community Manager
    Community Manager

    Re: Advice on choosing a hosting platform for your website

    Fantastic post @MrVapor!! Thank you. 


    Re: Advice on choosing a hosting platform for your website

    Hi 🙂 @MrVapor,


    I will be very honest !

    I am very new to creating a website of my own. I created one (www.macoben.com) with another Hosting provider and not with www.godaddy.com . Now I want to improve my website with the Better hosting site like godaddy. I have a question here - will my website data be preserved  while transferring to godaddy.

    If You find this question funny I apolizise.

    However I will be really glad if I get this answered.



    Re: Advice on choosing a hosting platform for your website

    Thanks for your post, it sounds great!

    I have a shared hosting with Godaddy. My site was going slow when I was connected to the database with some processing. Hence, I recently upgraded the plan to 2 shared CPUs and 1GB RAM as suggested by their hosting support. It was working perfectly fine for a month but has gone again very slow after a month with same level of processing. Can you suggest what to do in this case? I am not sure if going for a business plan will help or not as there is no option to test it before taking up. Moreover it was working perfectly fine for a month, hence not sure what has gone wrong now.