Arvada, CO USA

Web Hosting 101

Web Hosting 101

Web Hosting can be very confusing although it is a necessity for anyone wanting to run a personal or business website. Each and every hosting company has their own unique spin on the types of hosting services offered and they’ve even gone to the extreme of advertising Unlimited Hosting* (note the asterisk). This is very tricky because their are stipulations to the ‘unlimited’ offer which usually caps the disk space at 15 - 20GB and the reality is that most sites are less than 5GB. Based on our experience, the ‘unlimited’ hosting plans have been detrimental to users. Users will typically leave old and outdated site files on the server ‘just because they can’ and often times, the outdated scripts are exploited by hackers. As soon as this happens, everything within your account is compromised (files, passwords, databases, etc).

It is our goal to clarify common mis conceptions and to help you narrow down what you really need to run your website in a more secure and reliable environment.

Web Hosting

What is it and why is it so important to choose a great hosting company?

Web Hosting is vital to anyone looking to have a website presence out on the Internet. A hosting company will provide you with space on their servers for a fee and will usually help you out with any technical support issues. While there are hundreds, if not thousands of companies to choose from, not all are equal! We’re sure you’ve heard of companies like Godaddy, RackSpace or web.com due to their large advertising budgets. What you may not know is that these are not always the best solutions for your company and you may even be dealing with tech support that is outsourced.

Here are the key factors to consider when choosing a hosting company:

  1. Reputation
  2. Support response time and the ability to solve your issues
  3. Uptime - How often are their servers crashing?
  4. Plan Details
  5. Server Location

Reputation

With hundreds, if not thousands of companies offering hosting, there are a few ways to quickly rule them out:

  1. Do they have what is called an AUP (Acceptable Usage Policy) and a TOS (Terms of Service?
  2. Do they have real reviews from actual clients?
  3. Do they show proof of their server uptime or only tell you what they guarantee?
  4. Do they have a money back guarantee? If not, it’s probably not worth signing up with them.

AUP and TOS

These two policies are important because they tell you about any money back guarantee, how you will be invoiced and if they don’t have an AUP, they will generally host any type of site which includes email relay sites from hackers which could bring the entire server down.

Support

Support is a huge part of the plan. What type of support options do they offer and how fast do they respond? Evolve Web Hosting prefers to use Support Tickets to handle matters efficiently and to have a record in the future if issues need to be referred to at a later date.

How can you figure out how fast a company responds? Contact their sales department a few times before signing up. If they take more than 6-8 hours to respond (during regular office hours), they most likely have a poor support department as well. It’s also important to pay attention to how thorough they are when responding to your inquiries. Do they sound professional and give you the right responses to the questions you’re asking them?

You can also search on Google to get an idea about their support. Many clients are very vocal and you’ll find the answers through search.

Uptime

Uptime is very important. You are creating a web presence to have it visible to your current and potential clients 24/7/365. If the servers are crashing, your site is not accessible and this is a huge problem.

What causes the servers to crash?

Servers can crash for many reasons. A few of the most common are: Overloaded, Lack of Security, poor datacenter locations and outdated hardware. Many companies will not take the necessary steps to patch security flaws and they will also over load servers when you choose a shared hosting plan.

Plan Details

Plans can vary from company to company. Many companies will offer ‘Unlimited Storage’ and ‘Unlimited Bandwidth’ with an *. These plans are not truly unlimited and they will usually include the fine print within their Terms of Service documentation. Does the plan offer you enough space and the features you’re looking for and are their other plans that you can upgrade to as you grow over time?

Types of Hosting Plans

Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting is an environment where your site is placed on a large server capable of storing thousands of websites. Shared web hosting is generally seen as a very attractive option due to the incredibly low monthly fee. If you’re just starting out with a smaller site for a new business, this is a great option. Keep in mind that you can always change your plan at any time as your business needs grow.

Who should use shared hosting?

If you’re running a site that is not effected by slow downs or even a few possible periods of downtime, shared hosting can be a great option. If you’re running an commerce website where your income depends on the performance of your website, it’s best to look into an E-Commerce Hosting Plan or maybe even a Managed VPS plan (depending on the size of the store and traffic volume).

View Shared Hosting Plans: Shared Web Hosting Plans

Ecommerce Hosting

E-commerce Hosting plans from Evolve Web Hosting are PCI Compliant and each server is restricted to include less than 10 accounts. What does this mean for you? A few things:

  1. You’re hosting your site on a server with other like minded individuals who want a stable server to conduct business. You escape a lot of other accounts that may not be maintained properly or they may drain resources from the server, causing your site to load slower.
  2. These servers are PCI-Compliant. This means that you will have a much easier time passing any required PCI Compliance tests from your merchant processing company and the security levels are much higher.

Who is it designed for?

We suggest using this type of hosting plan if you’re running an Opencart website or any other E-Commerce software. Uptime and speed are important so that your shoppers are not frustrated so make sure you’re giving them the best experience possible while browsing your website.

View E-Commerce Hosting Plans: Ecommerce Web Hosting Plans

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is a unique way to configure servers and if it’s done properly, it can be a great benefit. The resources required for maintaining your website are spread across more than one web server, and are rendered as per need basis. While this sounds great, it is not always necessary and it can just add un needed hosting fees for you throughout the year.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller Web Hosting is very popular with small companies looking to start their own hosting company and for website designers that want more control over their clients websites. Reseller hosting gives you limited access to WHM which will allow you to setup cPanel accounts for your clients but there are a lot of features in WHM that are not available to you.

We recommend skipping the reseller hosting option and moving directly to Managed VPS Hosting which gives you full root access and full access to every feature in WHM including backups, cPanel transfers, more space, more server resources and the list goes on.

Managed VPS hosting is explained in more detail in terms of managing the server and assistance with these additional WHM features.

Managed VPS Hosting

Managed VPS Hosting is designed to isolate resources within a partition of the web server. When you look at the plan details for a VPS account, you are guaranteed the resources listed along with a fully setup, optimized and secure server. Evolve Web Hosting hardens the server and applies all patches and updates for you. When you purchase a Managed VPS Server, you are given full root access, full WHM access and you can create unlimited cPanel accounts (as long as you don’t exceed your disk space quota).

Who is it designed for?

Managed VPS hosting is perfect for users who want more stability and flexibility. It is also great for website designers looking to host their clients websites in a secure and managed environment.

View Managed VPS Hosting Plans: Managed VPS Hosting Plans

Control Panels

cPanel

cPanel is arguably the most popular web hosting control panel. Many providers use this software, although few of them keep it up to date to provide you with the latest and greatest features and security. This interface is very familiar looking and easy to use when managing your hosting account.

DirectAdmin, Interworx and Plesk

These 3 hosting control panels serve more of a niche market and they can be a bit more cumbersome to manage. If you’re unfamiliar with them, it’s probably best to stay away from them and stick with cPanel for the ease of use and the ability to easily backup and change hosting companies if you need to.

Custom Control Panels

Certain companies choose to develop their own unique control panel. For many users, this isn’t a big deal until they become frustrated with a providers service and they start looking to move to another provider. You will find that you do not have the flexibility to pick up and easily move your content to a new provider and you may even be charged to move the data or you’ll be left in the dark to try to figure out how to move it all by yourself.
A few of the providers offering custom control panels include GoDaddy and 1&1


To find out more about web hosting, domain registration and website design, visit https://www.evolvewebhost.com and/or the Evolve Web Hosting Facebook Page