When you buy pizza, let’s say a pizza with everything, you get a pizza dough, pineapple, tomato sauce, lots of cheese, ham, bell pepper, chorizo, pepperoni and olives baked and wrapped in neat little box. When you buy a pizza or other products you know what you are getting.
Web hosting, on the contrary, is an intangible product. If you are familiar with the web development process you might know what hosting is. If not, all you might know about web hosting services is that you get a server. Not like a waiter, but a device or computer program that provides help for other devices or programs. In a way, they are like waiters.
But web hosting is not just about providing its clients with a server, there are also other commodities that you will you get when you subscribe to a web hosting company. Here are six things that you get when you get hosting services.
In your computer, you can make, edit and save files. The place where you save your files is called the hard disk. Similarly, when making a web site, there are also files that need to be saved. But instead of a hard disk, you save them in a server. When you subscribe to web hosting agencies, you will get a server.
There are four different kinds of servers that a hosting company can offer you. They also differ in prices.
- The cheapest kind of server is shared web hosting. This means that multiple sites are hosted in only one server. It is cheap because there are many users that will divide the cost of maintaining the server. There could be up to a thousand users in a single server. This is good for users with only a simple site, one that do not take too much space. This is also good for beginners who are still feeling their way in the world of web development. The downside to this though, is that there is a possibility that your site will load poorly and will have a lot more downtimes.
- Or Virtual Private Server. This is like a shared server but the users are only at 10-20 sites. And unlike the shared hosting, in VPS, there is thing called hypervisor that will ensure that each user will have an equal number of memory space in the server. This means that even if other users have bad code, it won’t affect the performance of the other sites on the VPS. VPS can cost around $20-50$ a month depending on the memory space you need.
- This kind of server is all yours; you wouldn’t have to share with anyone. That is why it is also kind of expensive. This is recommended for users who reach up to a hundred thousand visits per month. If you don’t get that much views, then VPS or shared hosting is the way to go for you. You can read this article to know if dedicated website hosting is what you need.
- Cloud Based. Cloud based web hosting is much like VPS but more powerful. With cloud storage, you have multiple servers so if one breaks down; you have others to save your site. It is also more secured than other forms of servers because you have a system of networks that can withstand attacks if ever there are. Check out this article to know if cloud based website hosting is what is good for your business.
Although the entirety of web hosting is an intangible product, there are still physical places where the server is located and that is called the data center. A data center contains equipment that help maintain the servers that the top web hosting agencies own. Maintenance includes keeping the servers cool and guarded.
So one thing that you get when you pay for web hosting services is the data center. Data centers use a lot of electricity because they need to keep the servers up at all times. That expense is possibly added to the monthly subscription fee of the clients.
The first three kind of servers mentioned above all have data centers. Because they are physical servers, they need a place to be stored. On the other hand websites that use cloud storage, stores their data on the internet. This is probably why cloud based web hosting can be cheaper than dedicated servers.
But some cloud based web hosting firms also invest in data centers, so they have a backup plan in case there are outages or failures with the storage.
The advantage of cloud hosting is that it can be scalable. No matter how big the storage space you need, it can accommodate you. While for data centers, new materials and equipment are needed to increase the amount of storage space which will be expensive. Scaling with data centers is a bit more difficult.
Many other software used in web hosting is usually open source, meaning the source code for the software is available to anyone. That also means that it is free. But the most of the control panels that web hosting firms use are proprietary software, meaning a person or a company owns them. That means that you have to pay for them.
When you get a web hosting agency, you wouldn’t have to pay a different control panel because this service is already included in the package you will get.
It doesn’t matter if a control panel is free or paid; the important thing is that it is easy to use. Because you wouldn’t want to be paying for something you barely understand how to use.
Here are some of most common features of a control panel:
- Management of domain names. This includes domain and subdomain names of your websites.
- Management of email system. This includes email addresses, if the web host provides it.
- Management of FTP. FTP stands for file transfer protocol which deals with uploading documents or files on the server. This includes the management of user accounts, passwords and file systems.
- Management of data base.
- Management of backup.
- Access and report of log file.
- Management of SSH key.
- Management of ticketing system, if there is one.
Web hosting agencies do not provide internet connection. So why is it included here? Hosting agencies use internet connection to run their servers. That means that you are also paying for the company’s internet connection. For hosting companies, their internet connection is very expensive because they run a lot of servers and that means they consume a lot of bandwidth and net speed.
With all the expenses a hosting company incurs, you should be wary of companies that offer low packages. This is because they might have fees hidden in the recesses of their terms and conditions. It might be too much work but you should read the fine print before signing up with any web hosting agency. To make sure that a company is trustworthy, you can check out web hosting agency reviews that can be found online in review sites.
Not all companies will have a customer support. So when choosing top web hosting agencies, you should make sure that they offer top notch customer support. When you are just starting out with web development, you might have a lot of questions for your host. How do you get answers to these questions? By contacting their customer support. Whether it is by email or phone call, they should have a stable customer support in place.
Most hosting companies will have support if the form of Frequently Asked Questions of FAQs but sometimes this is not enough. They still should have a help desk available for questions not frequently asked. Though, a better customer support might mean that you are paying more because these are also expenses for the company.
If you would like to know companies with exceptional customer support, you should read reviews of web hosting companies. Most users will be honest about their opinions when asked and would tell you how the customer service of one company is.
Business overhead is the expenses of the web hosting company. This is the office space that they have to rent for their employees and the data center. This is the salary that the company has to pay their staff. This is all the bills that are need to be paid every month. It’s the security for the office and data center and any expenses that they might have during work.
You don’t get a business overhead when you subscribe to a hosting company’s package and plans, but you pay for it. This means that part of what you are paying for is for the expenses of the company. This doesn’t mean, though, that companies offering cheap plans don’t pay for these overhead expenses, they are just better at managing their business.
When looking for a web hosting service, you might sometimes look at the price first. But mostly, it should be what you would get that you should look at. It would be good for your website if the host you will get is what your site needs. Then after everything is suitable, that’s when you should look at the price. It might not be ideal if you do not have the budget, but the better the web host, the better your site will be in the long run.
Looking for a web hosting company? Visit CrowdReviews.com for company reviews and rankings.
Latest posts by Floyd Oleary (see all)
- Applicant Tracking Software: What to Look for When Buying This Tool - January 13, 2017
- Legal Case Management Software: What Products Are for Small Firms? - January 12, 2017
- Learn How Auto Dealer Software Manages Inventory and Financing - January 11, 2017