Things you need to know about web hosting and how to choose a web host

Web HostingCategory
9 min read
Rochella Caguin

If you are just starting out your journey in e-commerce, or simply want to create your own website, read on to learn all about web hosting and how you can choose a web host. 

Having a good website is one of the factors for your digital business to thrive. During the pandemic, many businesses realized the need to change their business model, making the shift to e-commerce so that they can continue to thrive in the new normal. 

As of January 2, 2021, there were 1.83 billion websites on the internet.

As we start to search in Google, we see websites that catch our attention because of their look, or their functionalities, or because of the value they give. But what we see is just a façade. With tons of information on the internet right now, do you wonder how the information is kept and organized? Or how a website keeps its information ready as you click?

What is website hosting?

One key factor is web hosting. A web host provider provides you with a service to store all the pages and files of your website, and making them available to computers connected to the world wide web.

It is important to note that in creating a website, it is not just about design. No matter how excellent the design and functionalities are, if the web host will not perform its function, then a website is as good as none.

Whether you plan to build a website for a business or for your personal blog, you need to know which web host will serve your needs. And this now tells us that we must also learn how to choose the best web hosting. Fortunately, this is what this post is all about.

Organizing a cluster of different files is necessary when building a website. Such files need to be stored online so that they are easy to access on the web. 

Hiring the right hosting provider to host such files on one of their servers is a must. However, you need to pay the monthly fee to the web hosting firm for the service they provide. 

Most people can’t afford to own their own server, so they “rent” space on someone else’s server.

Nowadays, hosting firms have a compilation of servers called “data centers.” Besides the servers, most hosts also provide:

  • Security measures
  • Backup power supplies
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Network connection equipment

When you host your files on a hosting firm’s web server, they become accessible 24/7, making it possible for your site’s guests to access your contents anytime. Without web hosting, you are the only one who could ever see your web pages.

Your web host is also accountable for factors like keeping the hardware and software updated, server maintenance, troubleshooting, and so on.

Factors to look at when selecting a web host

If you’re wondering how to choose a web host, make sure that you carefully check out the following:

  1. Data Security

Blue digital lock

Security is an important foundation of a website, and should never be compromised under any circumstances. 

From constant network monitoring to more than one power supply coming into the data center, a reputable website hosting service must be capable of fully protecting its clients from outage or downtime (i.e. time when your website is down). 

Other aspects to consider is whether they provide tools to prevent malware, cyber attacks or hacking. 

This is to guarantee that your website will be protected from cyber threats, available and easy to access on the web.

Related: 10 eCommerce website security steps to protect against cyber threats

  1. Tech Support

A good web hosting firm’s IT team can work on various tasks such as providing backup, upgrading the system, etc. They are professionals that perform the majority of their work behind the scenes.

If you experience some issues, you can refer to the IT support team for assistance. They are willing and capable to help you resolve various issues. Take note that charges may vary depending on the additional level of support you request.

  1. Uptime 

Uptime is the amount of time the hosting can reliably be expected to work. Surely, online users get annoyed when the link they click is unavailable. Every minute of downtime of your website is an added cost to your business. You must ensure that the web hosting service you choose can offer the highest quality of availability. 

Many providers would provide a guarantee of uptime, which means that your website must be accessible online for the stated guaranteed uptime. Otherwise, these providers should have to provide you with a refund. 

Carefully check if the web hosting provider you choose is reliable in terms of ensuring their guaranteed uptime. Most providers are able to provide a minimum of 99%. 

Editor’s Note: GoDaddy’s web hosting has a 99.9% service uptime guarantee. Explore your options today!

  1. Traffic & Loading Speed
Loading bar on green background

In general, Google highly favors pages with the fastest loading speed, as it is an indicator of excellent user experience. 

This is why it is crucial to determine if the web hosting service you are considering offers an exceptional loading speed. Keep in mind that your loading speed can either make your guest remain active in consuming your content or be bothered by the delay and decide to leave your page.

Another thing that you need to think about is the potential traffic that you are expecting for your website. Based on your forecast, there are different hosting options and each has its own pros and cons. In this case, it is important not to pick the cheapest one, but one that would suit your needs in terms of traffic and loading speed. Check out this comprehensive guide on various types of web hosting options.

  1. Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data your website can transfer to your users within an amount of time. This is usually measured on a per-second basis, and web hosting providers typically sell this by the Gigabyte (GB). 

A great way to visualise this is to equate bandwidth with the width of a water pipe, and data transfer as water flow. 

The wider the width of a water pipe, the faster water can flow. Switch water pipe and water with bandwidth and data transfer, and you can visualise how bandwidth can affect many aspects of your website.

Bandwidth is also a good indicator of the web host provider’s capabilities, because good providers are generally able to provide higher bandwidth, which results in higher speed and connectivity. 

  1. Reviews and Ratings

The ratings and reviews of a website hosting firm are largely created by the current customers. Ideally, they could help you have an idea of how the website hosting firm is functioning, and if it is a trustworthy provider or not. 

You can use rating and reviews as added deciding factors but don’t solely depend on them. Try to peek on web designers or web developers online groups and see what they are saying. You may also try to dig deeper by reading articles online.

Regardless, the honest response of users is a great instrument to obtain an idea about the web hosting firm’s overall credibility.

  1. Budget 

It is essential to precisely understand your web hosting needs and search for a plan that could balance your needs with your budget. 

A lot of web hosting services also offer discounts based on the period of your subscription and may also run seasonal offers that you can leverage on. 

Typically, the longer the usage period, the less expensive the final price you will pay. However, you need to weigh the long-term benefits that you could get rather than merely focusing on the price of the service. 

Cheaper web hosting services do not necessarily mean that their service is subpar. The same goes for pricey web hosting services, costly services do not necessarily mean outstanding service. So, if you want to be sure, consider conducting comprehensive research. 

If you are a small business owner, here is a quick guide to help you get started on business plans and budgeting for web hosting.

  1. Available Storage

3 Hosting Servers on a grey background

Also known as disk space, your web host provides you with a specific amount of space to house your data and information. Besides publicly available items like images, blog content and links, you will need to buffer space for files and scripts (eg: CSS and Javascripts or any backend code) that operate your website and determine how it is being displayed. 

The storage space you need for your files can vary, depending on the primary objectives of your website. This is why it is vital to choose the web hosting service that perfectly fits your requirements.

Depending on types of web hosting, there are various ways in which a web host can provide storage services, ranging from the amount of space available to the types of files stored on different servers. 

Choose the web hosting firm that can provide you sufficient storage space you need to avoid running out of memory, specifically if you need more space. On the other hand, if you only need a little storage space, there are less expensive plans available. 

Final Thoughts

Web hosting image on iPad

The decision to work with a web hosting provider matters more than you might imagine. Ultimately, a premium web hosting service will ensure better connectivity, quick processors, an outstanding level of support, and lower downtime.  

So, rather than choosing a web hosting provider based on the price, it is strongly suggested to start by searching for which vital features you need, and finding hosting firms that can exactly provide them.

You can compare various options well if you research profiles and reviews of website hosting services available today. This way, you can come up with a smart and confident decision. When in doubt, reach out to their customer services team to get your questions answered.

Need help getting started on web hosting for your website? Head on to our website to find out more or speak to a GoDaddy Guide on Facebook Messenger now! Our Care team is on standby to assist you with your queries.

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