If you are new to website designing and hosting, this blog post is for you. Through this blog post, I’ll guide you to choose the type of web hosting plan you should opt for your business.

Some of the questions you should ask before purchasing a web hosting?

Before deciding the type of hosting plan, you should ask yourself the following questions and then search for the hosting provider and the hosting plan that suits your requirement.

  1. How many websites am I going to host in the server – 1 / 3 / 5 or much more?
  2. Should I need a Dedicated Server or a Virtual Private Server (VPS)? Or, can I opt Shared Server for my web hosting?
  3. Where my server should be located – in my country or anywhere is acceptable?
  4. How much of storage capacity do I need on the server for my website?
  5. How much of bandwidth should I need for my website? Or, what will be the traffic load to my website?
  6. Am I going to code the website or going to use 1-click installation software like WordPress or Joomla or Drupal?
  7. If I’m going to use 1-click installation software for web development, am I going to use WordPress or some other 1-click installation software?
  8. What is the uptime guarantee mentioned by hosting provider – Is it 99.9% or lower?
  9. How many email accounts do I need for my business – 1 / 5 / 10 / 25 or much more?

How to calculate bandwidth requirement for a website?

Minimum monthly bandwidth requirement = Number of monthly visitors to a website X average page views per visitor X average page size

Say, for example, if there are 5000 visitors a month and each visitor does three (3) page views on an average whose average page size is 200 kB, then monthly bandwidth required = 5000 * 3 * 200 kB = 3 GB.

So, how much bandwidth to purchase?

You should always purchase for some excess bandwidth to accommodate for some peak traffic load on your website. If you are confident of traffic load in a month, then you can purchase 20% excess bandwidth on a safer side.

However, most businesses do have fluctuating unpredictable traffic to a website – peak load can exist for a few hours in a day or for a few days in a month or a few months in a year (seasonal effect). Festive occasions also bring-in some unpredictability to web traffic. When bandwidth exceeds, website crashes and you lose your business. And if your website crashes on a regular basis, your audience will stop returning to your website unless you sell something unique that is not replicated in the market.

So, which hosting plan to buy – Starter Plan or Business Plan?

If you are an agency rendering web designing, web hosting, and digital marketing activities for multiple clients, you opt for a hosting plan that allows hosting of multiple domains with unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited business emails. You don’t have to buy hosting space for all your clients. This way you’ll be able to serve your clients at much competitive rates.

If your website is fully loaded with content and consumes a lot of bandwidth, it is best advised to go for hosting plans with unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth.

What are the types of Server?

Hosting is like renting a space in an apartment. Imagine, a multi-storey building as a server.

  1. If you are owning or constructing an apartment of your own and residing in it, you call such an arrangement as own server hosting.
  2. If you are renting all apartments in a multi-storey building and residing in it, you call such an arrangement as dedicated server hosting.
  3. If you are renting one apartment in a multi-storey building and residing in it, you call such an arrangement as shared server hosting.

a guide to choosing a web hosting plan

Maintaining an own server is a costly affair for a business. You need to have infrastructure in-place with a backup arrangement and technical workforce to keep your website up and running all-the-time. If your traffic is from different countries, having your server in one country may slow your website loading in other countries and thus, a probable loss of business. So, businesses opt for hosting space from hosting providers, who are experts in maintaining servers.

Which type of server you need to opt for – Shared / Dedicated / VPS?

If your business is large and traffic is from different countries, you should opt for a dedicated server. If your business is small, you can opt for a shared server. So, what is the best option if you are neither a large website to afford a dedicated server nor a small business to hope against the risk of the server crashing. For such businesses, hosting providers have come up with Virtual Private Servers (VPS).

How is Virtual Private Server (VPS) different from Dedicated / Shared Server Hosting?

Even though hosting providers provide business plans with unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth, they are always constrained by server capacity. Imagine you are in a rented apartment in a multi-storey building and there is a festive occasion for most of the residents in the multi-storey building. The server will be overloaded with visitors. It may even lead to crashing of your server due to excessive collective demand, thus you lose your business on an important occasion.

In such hosting plan, hosting provider reserves a part of server capacity for your business. To make you understand, it is like your apartment is given with a separate staircase for your visitors to enter your apartment. So, your visitor entry is not chocked by visitor traffic to other apartments in the building.

Which one to buy – Regular Shared Hosting or Managed WordPress Hosting?

If you are planning for shared hosting and if you have some technical skills, you can either opt for a Linux shared hosting or a Windows shared hosting.

If you do not have technical skills but want to build a website using WordPress, you can opt for managed WordPress hosting. Your hosting provider optimizes your website or a blog for speed, security, daily backups, and automatic updates. There would be hardly any downtime and hence, such managed WordPress hosting plans are costlier than  regular shared hosting plans.

If you are planning for managed WordPress hosting, WordPress recommends Bluehost as one of the official WordPress hosting providers.

However, one major drawback of managed WordPress hosting is that you’ll not be able to move your website from your hosting provider to other hosting providers, in case you are not satisfied with your hosting provider. Also, not all plugins work in managed WordPress hosting. The plugins that either slow down or compromises the security of the website are not supported in managed WordPress hosting.

Hope you would’ve got insight into web hosting options. Check out special offers page for more exciting offers for the domain name and web hosting plans.

I am a Google AdWords certified Sales & Marketing professional, with a penchant for digital and futuristic marketing, from Chennai, India. I have in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in marketing along with running a results-oriented marketing campaign. Blogging and Mentoring are my passion.

A guide to choosing a web hosting plan
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