There are many options out there for hosting your website. A ‘host’ is the server where your website physically lives and you need to have a website host in order to launch your site and have it be view-able by others on the Internet.
It can feel confusing to begin researching all your choices and not understand the different terms and benefits. How can you decide which option is the best for you?
Before you evaluate your hosting options, you will need to register your domain name.
Registering Your Domain Name
So, you’ve finally generated ideas for a domain name. Maybe you even have it registered, but if not, in order to have your site visible on the web, you need to register your domain name. To do this, you can use a number of registrars, including GoDaddy.com, which we recommend as a good place to register your domain name.
Registering your domain name with a registrar allows you to ensure nobody already has your domain name and to properly chronicle it on the web—in other words, it routes your domain name to the server where your website is hosted when people type in your web address. This allows you to own your domain name for the amount of time you’ve paid for and also allows people to find your website.
Once registered, the real work begins. You have a vision for what your site will look like. You imagine getting it set up and having people see it. But there is probably one detail you haven’t thought about too much.
Evaluating Your Website Hosting Options
Having a secure place to host your website is imperative for security, ease of use, and your web design success. The right platform won’t necessarily be the same for every website, so picking a hosting option that fits your needs will serve you well.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at some of your best options when it comes to choosing a hosting plan that’s right for your website.
Shared Website Hosting
Shared hosting is one of the simplest options for your site hosting.
It’s also the cheapest and the one with the most faults. Many people start with shared hosting just to establish their domain name, but also because they’re not sure about the difference between this and all their different hosting options.
Since shared hosting takes place on a shared server, there are limitations to what you can do. Shared hosting is called shared hosting for a reason—you’re sharing this platform with other sites, sometimes as many as thousands!
This means that since you’re effectively sharing resources, your performance won’t be optimal. Every site on the server uses the same CPU and RAM. You also have limited options when it comes to customizing your performance or security settings.
There are benefits to shared hosting, however. The cost is low, your maintenance is typically handled by your host, and you don’t have to have any experience managing a server to get started with your site.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Although this is still considered shared hosting, it has more benefits than the hosting platform we just discussed.
There aren’t as many limitations with VPS hosting because you aren’t sharing your platform with as many sites. There are significantly less sites on a VPS platform, usually no more than 15.
Each site has its own set amount of resources to use, so not every site is pulling from the same ones. So you have some degree of power over your specific slice of server. This gives you the freedom to add or delete programs, but also comes with a certain amount of risk, especially if you have no experience managing a server.
Although not a dedicated server, VPS is the next best thing. It allows you some freedom and control over your resources, but remains more cost-friendly than dedicated hosting.
You should ask your provider how much of each resource will be allowed (including storage, RAM, CPU, and bandwidth) with your VPS hosting. With Web Symphonies, you also get the benefits of employing a managed VPS with DreamHost to include:
- Scalable RAM to fully accommodate your site up to 8GB.
- Unlimited bandwidth to adjust to any amount of traffic as needed.
- Solid state drive (SSD) storage; these high-performance drives are 20% faster than standard disk drives.
- Separate MySQL server for speed.
- Reliability with a trusted provider.
When you want a step up from shared hosting with more resources but without the cost of a dedicated server, VPS is an attractive option.
WordPress Optimized Hosting
For those who use WordPress to create their site, WordPress Optimized Hosting offers more features to completely customize your hosting plan.
When you choose hosting on another platform, these servers are hosting all different kinds of websites, not just WordPress ones. This means they aren’t designed to optimize WordPress performance because they need to be able to support other sites too.
With WordPress Optimized Hosting, your server is designed to make your WordPress site the best it can be. Everything is WordPress specific, not just generalized for all sites—the tools you use, the support you receive, and your options for customization will be just for WordPress.
As a result of this, WordPress Optimized Hosting enables your WordPress site to run faster, be more secure, and has long been considered one of the best environments for WordPress hosting available.
When choosing WordPress Optimized Hosting, you can get more than 5x the speed of shared hosting when you host with Web Symphonies. In addition, you’ll get Jetpack Premium, which allows you to have advanced backup and security protection for your WordPress site.
Web Symphonies also enables you to scale your site in order to handle any traffic spikes with no bandwidth caps. This means you won’t have to pay extra just because one month you saw more traffic than the other to accommodate the bandwidth of your site.
When you want a hosting platform in which you alone exist and have access to resources, dedicated hosting could be the choice for you.
With dedicated hosting, you’re the only site on the server, so you have all the control. All of the resources are in your corner. This hosting option is ideal for websites that receive a large amount of traffic because other hosting plans won’t have the resources needed to accommodate these sites.
If you opt for dedicated hosting, you’ll need to manage your own server or hire an administrator to manage it if you don’t know how. Your host should be able to offer both of these options so you can choose.
Benefits of a dedicated server include unmatched speed, maximum site uptime, and the ability to customize tight security settings. Basically, you’re able to do whatever you’d like with your site without worrying about what other sites on your server are doing, because there won’t be any other sites.
Dedicated hosting is one of the pricier options for your web hosting, but it’s often a must for large businesses and sites that get a great deal of traffic. It’s absolutely an investment for websites that need it.
Choosing a Hosting Company
Equally as important as choosing the right type of web hosting is choosing the right company to host with.
Oh no, more decisions? Just bear with us.
The prices and support you receive for your service can be different every place you go. Choose an affordable hosting company that not only understands your needs, but works with you to meet them.
Your hosting company should have a lightning fast server, stress-free maintenance, and security measures to protect your site. If you decide to host your website with Web Symphonies, we take care of this decision for you.
So, what hosting plan is looking like the best option for you?
Since every website has unique needs, it’s really up to you decide which one will meet all of yours. If you’re new to web hosting, it’s easy to feel uncertain about which option is right for you. Fortunately, we can help you decide.
Choosing the right hosting platform can help your website remain secure and functional. It’ll boost performance, be cost-effective for your needs, and provide you with the right tools you need to succeed.
Have questions about web hosting? We’ve got the answers. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you create and manage your best website.