For the past few months, you have been designing and developing your new website, and it is finally complete. Everything is over now, right? Not quite. You need to select the proper host for your website so it can be found on the internet and will load efficiently and securely.
While you are looking for the proper hosting for your new website, there are a few things to keep in consideration. You’ll need to evaluate server responsiveness and reliability, available security features, and technical support. Below are a few different options to help choose the correct host for your website.
Managed WordPress Hosting
While managed hosting is the least customizable option available, it does provide the most built-in support and security for your website. Your hosting provider will be responsible for managing any hardware and software configurations, security patches, server maintenance, and additional tech support.
Because they control the entire server configuration, it’s common for these providers to deploy an extra level of security like regular data backups as an extra benefit.
There are many managed hosting options out there, but at WTM Digital we typically recommend WPEngine or Kinsta. Both provide excellent customer support and a highly desirable hosting architecture.
Shared hosting is the least expensive option, but you will sacrifice reliability and speed. With shared hosting, your site will be added to the same server as hundreds, or possibly thousands, of other sites. Because of this, the speed and reliability of the server may suffer if one site uses too many of the server’s resources.
Security can also be an issue with shared hosting. If not handled properly, one site being hacked can affect all the other sites on the server. Should you choose to move ahead with shared hosting, it is generally best practice to have your site as secure as possible before adding it to the server.
The tech support offered by shared hosts will be helpful but definitely less technical compared to managed hosting providers. However, these providers are still typically responsible for keeping the server software up to date and adding security patches.
As a rule of thumb, shared hosting is only a good option if your site doesn’t see a lot of traffic and/or do not have the budget for a higher end host.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
Similar to shared hosting, your VPS will share server space with other VPS servers. One of the main differences, however, is that all private servers are limited to the amount of resources they can take from the main server. This allows the main server to be more responsive and reliable than shared hosts.
Like the previous options, server updates and security patches will still be maintained by the hosting company. You may face difficulties with website maintenance, though. Typically VPS support teams will help with any server issues, but website setup or any subsequent website issues will not be supported.
A VPS is a good option if you would like more customization than what’s offered by a managed or shared hosting plan but can’t take on a fully dedicated server.
A dedicated server is exactly what the name suggests: a private server dedicated to nothing but your website. Because all threats from outside servers are eliminated, they won’t affect your website’s performance — typically making this your fastest, most reliable option.
You will, however, need to manage the server yourself or have someone to manage the server for you. It’s true that this provides more customization on the server side, but it also increases the chances of you misconfiguring something.
Since you are tech support, outside help isn’t readily available, but you do have full control over the level of security you install.
Because dedicated servers are usually the most expensive option, they are usually only a good solution for very large sites that require the extra dedicated resources.
Cloud hosting is made up of a large network of servers connected through the internet and is the most scalable hosting option. Should your website exceed its allocated amount of resources, more space is readily available on another server within the network.
Due to this large network of servers, cloud hosting is also one of your most reliable options. If one server was to go down, your site will remain unaffected by using another server’s resources until the original server can be fixed. Depending on the platform, cloud hosting keeps your site running faster, too.
The hosting provider will usually manage any security patches, server hardware and software updates, and website security. As mentioned above with shared hosting, you’ll still want your site as secure as possible before adding it to the server.
Cloud hosting is becoming one of the most popular options because of the scalability and reliability provided. If you are looking for some customization and are expecting your website traffic to grow, this may be a good option for you.
Choosing the correct hosting solution can be a complicated process, but it’s made easier when you understand the amount of traffic visiting your site and the level of customization you desire. Once you figure out which type of hosting you need, it becomes a personal preference for which company you decide to work with.