When creating your website or during a complete overhaul, the question of web hosting is essential. This choice is indeed far from trivial, because it will depend on the efficiency of your website, especially with regard to its display speed and general performance. The choice of web hosting can however be compared to a real obstacle course, given the multitude of players present on the market. To overcome this dilemma, it is essential to take into account objective and relevant criteria, in order to choose a reliable provider.
Useful resources for choosing a web host
There are several questions to ask yourself choose your web hosting platform, in order to determine the technical needs of your future website. While it can be quite tempting to direct you to providers who offer you many features at reduced prices, it is however best to opt for a provider who offers services tailored to your needs. A developer, for example, is probably more interested in opting for hosting that focuses on the security aspect and that offers high bandwidth rates. Likewise, the email functionality can be an essential criterion for companies.
In general, it is important to determine in advance:
- the type of website you want to set up,
- your expected daily traffic,
- the storage capacity you need,
- the integration,
- the different domain names that you want to buy.
Storage is arguably one of the easiest options to understand. Many providers offer unlimited storage, but that may not be relevant if you just have a small blog. When it comes to storage, the most important thing to consider is the presence of an SSD drive. This storage technology is much faster and more reliable than conventional hard drives.
As for bandwidth, it indicates how quickly Internet users can access your website. This metric is particularly important since it determines the number of people who can simultaneously connect to your website.
Integration side, hosts usually include the option of installing a CMS (Content Management System). Depending on the content of the site you want to create (WordPress for a blog for example), this feature can be crucial.
The type of accommodation
One of the first things to do in selecting your web host is to understand the different types of hosting that are out there. Depending on your website, some hosts will indeed be more suitable than others. There are mainly four types of web hosting: shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, and cloud hosting.
This type of accommodation is shared between several clients and websites. This can come in handy if you are entering the hosting world for the first time. You can then take advantage of a shared plan and decide later to migrate to a VPS or a more suitable solution.
In addition, shared hosting helps lower costs when your business does not require significant storage. This is the case, for example, if you have a showcase site or a blog. However, performance can be affected by the growth of your site, due to the allocation of resources.
A sort of happy medium between shared hosting and dedicated server, VPS (virtual private server) hosting provides you with a server divided into virtual machines. These act as true independent dedicated servers and offer less restrictive development possibilities than in the case of a dedicated server. Likewise, they make it possible to achieve substantial savings on the cost of hosting since the resources are shared. VPS hosts also include SSD storage and other software update services. They are well suited to businesses that are going to experience rapid growth.
This type of accommodation allows you to benefit from a reserved server for your business with its own operating system. You thus benefit from a maximum of resources with the added bonus of better security of your sensitive data. Opt for this hosting if your website is known nationally, regionally or globally and receives high traffic as a result.
In addition, only a dedicated server can efficiently meet your configuration and customization needs. You will indeed have full control over the architecture of your server. This level of performance, and the luxury features that come with this premium accommodation, however, comes at a cost that can be quite high.
Hosting in the cloud is somewhat similar to the shared server. It does not however depend on a single server, but many virtual servers. It has the advantage of adapting in real time to your needs by modulating the bandwidth that it allocates to you according to your traffic.
The availability and speed of the servers
The availability and speed of servers are prime criteria for choosing your web hosting solution on the market. These are indeed key elements in determining the performance of the hosts offered by a service provider. These performances depend on the quality and reliability of the host's Datacenter. We can cite the sad example ofOVH Datacenter fire in the spring 2021.
This fire completely destroyed several server rooms. It made millions of websites unavailable for several days, some of which had permanent data loss. Indeed; the backups, were in the same Datacenter. Fortunately such an accident which destroys all of several server rooms is extremely rare!
Usually expressed as a percentage, server availability is a guarantee of the reliability of the hosting. It is often between 99% and 100%. This difference may seem small in absolute terms, but in practice, 1% of unavailability per year already represents more than three days. This can be problematic depending on the type of website you have. In the case of an e-commerce site for example, this is simply not acceptable. Every second that your site is inaccessible, you are indeed missing out on many sales opportunities, not to mention the damage done to your brand image. To do this, it is recommended that you refer to providers whose network offers an availability of 99,9% or more.
Likewise, do not hesitate to compare the server connection speed of the different hosting platforms available. This data is closely linked to the display speed of your pages, which is a key element in the performance of your website. It can even affect its web referencing. The speed of loading a page is indeed one of the key criteria of SEM for Google and for most other search engines.
Hosting comes at a cost, and depending on your budget, it can make all the difference. While it is true that the hosting solutions offered by many providers can be quite similar in pricing, the disparities become more evident when you move away from their basic offer. Compare different offers more efficiently and be sure to factor in the additional costs. Likewise, be sure to budget for certain services likedomain name registration.
The hosting itself does not exceed a few euros per month, not to mention that most providers will offer you a discount if you take out a minimum subscription of one year.
The location and scalability of your hosting
It is generally recommended that companies use hosting companies that have physical servers in the country of the website that will be hosted. And for good reason, this will allow this site to be better positioned in the SERPs. This is a real SEO criterion, even if it is not the most important in your SEO strategy. In order to put the odds on your side, for example opt for a web host in France if it is your target country.
Likewise, we recommend that you opt for platforms that can support you as your site grows. This is often the case with those that offer different types of accommodation, which gives you more flexibility.
The level of security offered by the web host
If there is one criterion that you cannot ignore, it is the security level offered by hosting platforms. It is estimated that in more than 40% of cases, compromised websites are due to a vulnerability of the host. Do not hesitate to compare the tools and security options offered by them. Trust more providers who include SSL certificates, firewalls, IP blocking and two-factor authentication which can be very helpful in preventing possible hacker attacks.
Likewise, a platform with TIER III, ISO 9001: 2008, ISO50001: 2011, ISAE3402 or PCI-DSS certified facilities is an excellent choice. The regularity of automatic backups is also an important option to ensure the protection of your data in the event of accidents.
The availability of technical support from the host
What is the quality of customer service from your web host? This is an important question to consider before making your decision. Preferably choose a host that offers ultra-fast customer service, available 24/24, on a variety of channels: phone, chat, SMS. This can make the difference in the event of technical problems which are, more often than not, unforeseeable. Sending an email response within 7 hours is also a positive point for providers who offer it.
To convince yourself of the reliability of customer service, don't just rely on the often overdone assertions in sales pitches. Feel free to test it yourself to get an idea of its quality.
Reviews of hosts left by customers
Has a particular provider caught your attention after multiple technical comparisons? Before taking action, we strongly recommend that you review customer reviews and testimonials. All web hosts have their drawbacks, but none will like to mention them. This is the importance of genuine and unbiased customer reviews. They allow you to draw the true from the false and take a step back before making your choice.