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25 FAQs about Choosing a Web Host

Posted by admin in Blog
06
Apr
2015
25 FAQs about Choosing a Web Host

Have questions about choosing a web host? If you're like most on the hunt for an ideal host for your website, you probably have both general and specific questions about hosting that you'll want answers to before making a decision. That's why at Pickuphost, we're here to answer your most frequently asked questions about hosting.

1.) What is shared web hosting?

Shared web hosting is one of the most basic, and most common forms of web hosting. With shared hosting, customers pay for using just a section of a server for often a relatively low monthly rate. Though many customers will access the same server, each customer's site will be housed separately and privately. Server resources like bandwidth, storage, and RAM will be divided among customers of shared hosting; while there are some limits as to the quantity of resources a single shared hosting customer can use, most websites that find this level of hosting suitable won't come close to exceeding these limits.

2.) What is the cloud?

In layman's terms, the cloud allows multiple users to access the same files from remote locations. While the cloud is comprised of physical servers, it's often thought of as intangible because it operates on a virtual, internet platform. Cloud hosting therefore allows things like databases on a website to be accessed by a number of the website's authorized users, which for many companies, serves as a way to foster collaboration among a workforce.

3.) What is VPS hosting?

VPS hosting is hosting that's conducted over a virtual private server as an internet as a service approach. A VPS can be considered a collaboration of shared hosting and dedicated hosting, as it divides a server among customers, but in a way that affords some of the advantages of dedicated hosting. Customers of VPS hosting will have access to their own operating system and can upload any software that this operating system supports, which customers don't have access to with shared hosting.

4.) What is a dedicated server?

A dedicated server is a server that's accessed and used exclusively by a single customer. Unlike shared web hosting, hosting with a dedicated server allows an individual customer to leverage all of a server's resources, power, and privacy. Dedicated server packages will cost more than most others, but are found to be highly advantageous to large websites or big businesses.

5.) What does good ecommerce hosting look like?

A good eCommerce hosting package is one that is PCI compliant to protect the personal information of site shoppers, has a Secure Socket Layers (SSL), offers shopping carts, a dedicated IP address, a suitable payment system, conversion tools, and SSD drives for fast performance.

6.) When should I consider free web hosting?

Free hosting is a suitable option for smaller websites that aren't used for e-commerce. Small bloggers and start-up sites, or those simply interested in trying out website ownership for the first time will usually find that free hosting offers just the right amount of resources they need; however, some free hosting sites will run banner ads on your site to make up for the free cost.

7.) What is a CDN?

A CDN is a content delivery network that many hosting companies leverage to provide faster load times for websites. A CDN is comprised of end servers in numerous international locations that significantly eliminate the distance between a website's servers and the users that attempt to load content from its web pages. CDNs are valuable to e-commerce sites or any sites that draw heavy traffic from around the world.

8.) What makes for the best Joomla hosting?

Joomla is the type of content management system that can be used for a wide variety of purposes, but regardless of what you intend to use Joomla for, you'll want to purchase from a hosting provider that, at minimum, can accommodate with PHP, MySQL, Apache (version 2.2), phpMyAdmin, mod_rewrite, XML, GD
and .htaccess.

9.) What is reseller hosting?

Reseller is a unique type of hosting in which customers can divide the resources and "space" they've purchased to sell to others. In this way, a reseller becomes an intermediary between a hosting company and additional customers using the reseller's resources. Many resellers see this approach as a way to operate a business and turn a profit. While many hosting companies will offer specific packages for resellers, they often do ask that resellers manage payment and communicate with their customers themselves, without the involvement of the hosting company.

10.) What's the difference between CMS hosting and the shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting levels?

CMS stands for "Content Management System," which refers to applications like WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Drupal, Moodle and many others that are used to organize and manage the content found on a website. Searching for CMS hosting providers is a more expedient and effective way of finding the right host for your site that uses a CMS because these providers will be specifically equipped to support these systems. However, a CMS hosting package will be a level of either shared, VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting.

11.) What should I look for from a top WordPress host?

If you're looking for company to host your WordPress blog, you're probably wise to select a hosting plan that's specifically designed for WordPress hosting. A plan specific to WordPress will offer additional themes, extensions, and will usually include management from the hosting provider itself.

12.) Can I migrate my website to a new hosting provider?

Absolutely. Not only will most web hosting providers be able to easily accommodate for a site migration, they'll usually offer to do it for you free of charge.

13.) What should I ask of VPS providers?

One of the most important things you'll want to find out from your VPS provider is whether or not they offer the level of hosting management you're looking for, as VPS hosting can be fully, partially, or unmanaged. Fully-managed VPS hosting means that the hosting company will oversee server and system maintenance, while an unmanaged VPS will afford customers full root access and place full responsibility on individual customers.

14.) What happens when my site needs more bandwidth, memory, and other resources?

Should your website experience a spike in traffic or should its content expand to the extent that it requires more bandwidth, data transfers, or memory, you will have opportunities to acquire more resources. If you're on a VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting plan, your plan will likely already have measures in place for scaling resources without increasing costs; however, if you exceed resources on a shared hosting plan, you may be asked to pay more or will need to upgrade to VPS hosting.

15.) What type of customer service should I expect from a hosting company?

Ensuring that your website is up and running at all times, free of technical glitches, is crucial. Even for the experienced site owner with extensive technical expertise, you'll want to be able to call on the help of your hosting company as soon as you run into a problem. Look for hosting companies that offer 24/7 technical support via live calls or live chats, and read up on what other customers are saying about their experience with a company's support team.

16.) What are some important security features to look for in a hosting package?

Different levels of hosting will usually have different levels of security, but as a general guideline, look for packages that guarantee SSL certificates, firewalls, daily backups, DDoS protection and malware. RAID 10 storage and PCI compliance will also help ensure a site is properly secured for e-commerce websites.

17.) What are the benefits of email hosting?

Setting up email through a web hosting company serves as a way for businesses to streamline operations and save money while doing so, as it eliminates the need for a business to manage a separate email infrastructure. Most email hosting will allow for the setup of unlimited email accounts under a customized address (usually the website's domain name), and each individual email address will come with an abundance of storage space as well.

18.) What are Moodle hosting services used for?

Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is an open source platform intended for educational organizations, while thousands of schools and universities rely on around the world. Because Moodle is such an expansive content management system, it requires hosting from providers that offer the scripts and resources it needs. Specifically, ensure that a host accommodates Moodle's standard Linux, MySQL, PHP, Apache (LAMP infrastructures), and that it will allow for the customization of MySQL and PHP configurations.

19.) How important is the control panel a hosting company offers?

A control panel is a website owner's window into managing their site, and the extent to which a control panel is navigable, easy to use, and feature-rich can significantly impact the success of your site. The cPanel control panel is one of the most popular control panels offered by hosting companies because of its user-friendliness; if you're new to web hosting, cPanel may be a good choice. However, if you have a little more experience and need something that's more powerful/feature-rich, the Web Host Manager control panel might be a better choice. While there are many factors that account for a hosting selection, having a control panel that suits your needs and experience will be key.

20.) What does an ideal Drupal web hosting plan look like?

A strong Drupal web hosting plan will be one with optimized servers to support its feature-rich environment, enabled Apache_mod rewrite, the most recent versions of PHP and MySQL, high grade hardware, and speed accelerators.

21.) What's the difference between a Linux and Windows operating system?

Linux and Windows operating systems are used for different types of website objectives; for example, if your site will rely on PHP, MySQL, or Perl, you're best suited with a hosting company that supports a Linux operating system. Or, if you plan on incorporating a database, Windows would be a good OS choice. Additionally, because Linux is an open source platform, it's actually free to download, unlike Windows.

22.) Why should I care about data center location?

Data center location is important because a server's distance can affect a site's overall speed and performance. If most of your site's traffic comes from the West Coast, choosing a hosting company with a data center in Los Angeles would be more advantageous than a company with data centers on the East Coast. A number of hosting providers will allow customers to choose among their multiple data center locations.

23.) What is uptime?

Uptime refers to the amount of time that a website is "up" or online and operating without any problems; in other words, when a website is available to visitors. Hosting companies will talk about uptimes in terms of percentage; if a company has a 99% uptime that means the sites they host are, on average, available 99% of the time. Most hosting companies have uptimes of between 99% and 99.99%.

24.) What makes for the best forum hosting?

If you're seeking a hosting provider to support a forum website, look for free, automatic software installations for running and operating a forum, as well as appropriate versions of PHP and the most recent versions of MySQL for optimized speed.

25.) How can I find the best web hosting?

By stopping by Pickuphost, you're already most of the way there to finding the best web hosting for your site! Use our comparison chart, read authentic customer reviews, test the speed of a hosting company in real time, and explore hosting company websites to make a more informed decision. Simply put, finding the best web hosting involves a commitment to strategic research and knowing what to look for, and our resources can help you accomplish just that.

Pickuphost Recommendations

While there are a number of exceptional web hosting providers currently available, each with their own specific advantages, there are three that we here at Pickuphost have observed to be consistently reliable, affordable, and satisfactory to users: InMotion, iPage, and WebHostingHub.

InMotion can accommodate all levels of hosting, offers SSD hosting, maintains one of the highest uptimes of any hosting company on the market, and provides exceptional customer service.

iPage is a hosting company known for its affordability, its user-friendliness, its generosity with free add-ons and software downloads, and its expedient customer services.

WebHostingHub is an ideal choice for those interested in CMS hosting and ensures optimal speed with exceptionally powerful servers. WebHostingHub also specializes in shared hosting, and offers a unique 90-day money-back guarantee to all customers.

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