You need to get a website online and there are literally hundreds and thousands of web hosting providers out there. Independent hosting companies, hosting resellers, domain registrar are all able to provide your assistance to get your website online. Furthermore, there are technical jargon to overcome, gigabyte, SSD, disk space, metered and unmetered bandwidth, subdomains, linux, cpanel, etc. It can all begin to get a bit too much and you can become overwhelmed with the idea and place it in the too hard basket. Let’s help break it down to something not only a robot understands.
It is generally one of the first things you’ll be exploring, the price of web hosting. Like anything in the economy, web hosting can vary in pricing from free web hosting to hundreds of dollars per month to keep you website online. Although price is one of the factors that affect our decision making, it should not be the only factor to base your decision on. Picture this for example, you want to move your car from Perth to Sydney, so the next step is to compare car transport quotations, you jump online and get 7 different prices from professional car carrying companies, 6 of them are similar in pricing whilst the final quotation comes in significant lower. Do you go with Transport Company that provided the lowest quote? Maybe you will or maybe you won’t, but before you make your decision you will question why the costs are lower? You’ll look at other factors before making your decision; perhaps there is better support, higher customer satisfaction, quality of service, etc.
Getting a Domain Name
Starting a website is always and exciting time, whether for a personal blog or a new business venture, a domain name is essential and will become part of your brand or identity. If you are not great with technology, a novice user or a Luddite, there are plenty of websites that are able to offer hosting together with domain registration with simple to use website builders, Go Daddy, Netregisty, Crazy Domains all offer this at no extra cost. For the more technological advanced, separating domain registration and web hosting can provide more flexibility, be more cost effective and give a higher level of customization.
Specifications vary between hosting providers no matter if they are independent, resellers or companies that combine domain registration. Disk space, email accounts, RAM and bandwidth all determine the quality of web hosting provided. Determine what is important to you, how much data you website will require and whether you have room to grow. It is also important to understand which operating system is installed on hosting servers, Linux or Windows. Most providers offer Linux servers as this is more cost effective as hosting companies do not have to pay expensive Microsoft licenses.
Web Hosting cPanel
Upon having an active hosting service you will have access to the hosting control panel such as cPanel. It is a user interface to allow you to control the settings of your hosting service. Upload website files, perform backups, create databases or install content management software such as WordPress. The control panel allows you to take control of hosting your domain, so it makes sense to be comfortable with it and test the cPanel before committing to a hosting plan. Much like a car, you wouldn’t purchase a car without first test driving it, so find a reputable hosting company that offers free demos of their cPanel.
Hosting providers may have multiple servers in multiple locations interstate or around the world. It is important to note that the speed in which your website loads is determined by the location of the server. If your business is based in Australia, ideally you should be looking for hosting services in Australia. You may find cheaper hosting services with servers located in the USA, Germany, India or somewhere aboard but please understand that the further your hosting is from your visitors, the longer your website will take to load at their end, which ultimately affects your brand.
So, when it comes to choosing the right web hosting, there are a variety of factors to take into consideration. Free web hosting may be a place to start a new idea or venture you are unsure of but as you grow your website and brand, it is never more important to understand how a great hosting company can provide the foundations to becoming successful.