Hosting is a service for renting computing resources. A prerequisite for any hosting service is the availability of permanent access to the Internet. As computing resources may be: CPU time (for calculating operations), RAM, disk space and the width of the network connection channel (this may also include obtaining IP-addresses). Hosting may involve rental or access to software: virtualization technologies, control panels, DNS records management services, website builders, etc.
Types of hosting
The following types of hosting are suitable for the placement and operation of sites:
- Shared hosting. Server resources are shared between all account holders, hence the name “shared”. For beginners this is the most convenient format, but it is not suitable for large loads and visited projects.
- Managed hosting. It is often called the CMS-hosting, because it is optimized for a particular CMS-system (content management system). In contrast to the general, this provides an infrastructure of additional services (e.g., there are services caching, included traffic CDN, file integrity monitoring, etc.).
- You get guaranteed resources and the ability to install your own set of software (often you can even download your own version of the operating system). Several virtual servers are based on one hardware platform
- Dedicated server. Provided full hardware server with all its resources. You do not need to worry about wear and tear of components, about the access channel, about power and etc. All this is included in the price.
- It’s when you place your own server in the chosen data center and pay for access to the infrastructure (security system, access channel, power, including backup). Separately, you have to pay for shipping and rack installation (plugging) services. Do not forget about the major costs for the purchase and maintenance/upgrade.
- “Cloud”.A special solution for large sites and web services that need load balancing (distribution) between several servers. Payment is usually made on the basis of consumed resources.
- SaaS and online builders. Niche solutions for quickly creating websites on your own, without involving specialized specialists. An ideal approach for a small business (such as write my paper service for example), since in exchange for a subscription you get not only a website, but also a complex infrastructure – all that remains is to promote and fill it.
In addition to website hosting, you can find game hosting, database servers, mail servers, DNS hosting, etc.
How to check server / hosting specifications
The first criterion for evaluation is Uptime. That is, the work time without stopping (no problems and restarts). Monitor the availability of the chosen hosting yourself is not necessary. Now a huge number of online monitoring services – just look at the statistics of the selected hoster. The higher the uptime, the better.
Download speed / channel quality. It is very simple to check – upload a large file to the hosting, and then download it in your browser. Knowing the size of the file and the download time, calculate the speed is not difficult. The method is suitable for all types of hosting. On VPS and dedicated servers, you can use special tools for comprehensive testing. It is always possible to attract for testing web-services, such as host-tracker.com.
Server load (for shared hosting) can be checked with the top command in the ssh console. Large hosters who have nothing to hide, often offer special systems to monitor their servers in the web-interface.
Disc writing speed. Easily verified by copying / moving large files within one disk. If you have a VPS/dedicated server, you can use console commands: hdparm -t /dev/sda1 (to check the reading speed, the hdparm utility is not always available in the base distribution, you need to install it first) and sync; dd if=dev/zero of=somefilebs=1M count=1024; sync (to check the writing speed).
The quality of the tech support and the time of response to requests can be found out only in working conditions. There are no other options to evaluate the work of the specialists.
Despite the abundance of proposals and technical implementations, hosting services often operate on the basis of standard software and hardware platforms, use the same software configurations, control panels, etc. The vast majority of modern shared hosting is designed for all popular CMS systems: WordPress, Joomla, OpenCart, etc. Therefore, it is difficult to make a mistake with the choice.
How then to choose the best one? First, about the type of hosting. It should depend on the attendance of the site/created load. If you have a new project, or its attendance below 1500-3000 people/day, you are fine with shared hosting. If 3000 and more (cumulatively on all your sites) – it is better to pay attention to the VPS. If you have a large project or a lot of sites (cumulative attendance of more than 10 thousand visitors per day) – you need a dedicated server.
The second point is meeting expectations. This includes the cost of tariff plans and the quality of technical support, as well as other evaluation criteria that are important to you. In order not to go through thousands of existing hosting companies, not to compare their technical parameters and other characteristics, you can listen to our recommendations.
For example, if you have a small business and you need a small-page website (business card, landing page, online catalog), it is best to choose an online builder.
If you have your first site on WordPress – choose Bluehost and you will not regret it. This is confirmed by the reviews of thousands of clients and CMS developers themselves.