One of the most important decisions you can make for your site is the hosting that will serve it to users every day. This article will help you find and choose the right hosting for your needs. As every site is different, all we can do is provide the tools to empower you to make the best choice possible.
Different scripts will have different requirements. A blog, for example, generally has less needs than a social network site. Since a blog is normally serving static pages, it doesn’t use as many resources as a script that might have feeds, user uploads, music, etc. As such, you need to first see the requirements of the script that you choose for your site.
With requirements in hand (or on screen more likely), now you are charged with the task of wading through all of the hosting options out there. Not an easy task either. Each host has different plans to choose from with different features included with the cheapest normally being “shared” hosting. We recommend steering clear of shared hosting if you plan on having a site other than a simple blog.
If the site you’re making has dynamic content, user interactions, feeds, music, etc, you would want to choose a VPS, Dedicated or Cloud hosting environment for your site. These type of sites need the resources and space that shared hosting just can’t deliver. You may say, “but it says unlimited resources” for the shared hosting. Nothing can be unlimited, not when dealing with technology as there is always a limit to what can be included. The same goes for hosting. Remember, a server is just like your computer at home and you know that didn’t come with unlimited RAM (memory) and hard drive space.
In looking at hosts, you may see many offering Cpanel. Know that Cpanel is a resource consuming feature and is really not necessary. You can do everything you need to do via FTP and Phpmyadmin. Dropping Cpanel can help you recover valuable resources for your website’s operations instead of wasting it on back end fluff. There are many hosts that offer hosting without the heavy file managers.
Security is extremely important these days. Make sure the host you choose has pro-active security monitoring, a piracy/copyright policy (because if they don’t conform to copyright claims, it is possible they host pirate/hacker sites and that’s never good to be neighbors with), backup features, and firewall/antivirus features.
Price should not be your first consideration when choosing website hosting. Because the server is responsible for the operation, or lack thereof, of your website, you’ll want to put price at the bottom of your list of important factors. That may be hard to do if you are on a budget, but if your site keeps crashing, then you are wasting your hard earned money on something that’s just not working. It might be best to save up the money to purchase a better hosting plan by the quarter or annually if possible as many offer discounts for those. BryZar Web Services does have low priced VPS and dedicated cloud plans and that might be in your budget too.
Many scripts offer hosted versions of their software, such as WordPress, Vanilla Forums, and many more. In deciding whether to use self-hosted or use a hosted version, you need to determine how much control you are willing to give up to have the convenience of easier upgrading, and not having to find a host.
Hosted versions all have limits and restrictions for what you can do, how many members you can have (for sites with members), storage space, what you can and can’t do with the site, etc. In many cases, you can’t have your own unique domain with this method, unless you pay much more.
Still, it can be a good option for those that don’t want to deal with anything except the front end stuff. If you won’t want access to the server to load plugins or other things; don’t want to have to deal with upgrades and updates then this could be an option for you.
The cost for a hosted version vs self-hosted is usually higher as you are normally also paying for the script(if it’s a paid script), access to script updates(for paid scripts), script support, and the hosting all combined in one package.
These basic tips should help you on your way to choosing the right hosting option for your site. If not, please feel free to drop us a line at our forum at ScriptTechs (our sister site).