Quality website hosting is extremely important. Your website needs to be continuously available to your customers 24 hours a day. That’s 1440 minutes every single day! Unfortunately, it only takes a few minutes for a lousy hosting provider to wreak havoc on your business.
In this article, I’ll cover some important aspects of what makes a quality website hosting provider, along with some interesting facts that may surprise you.
Every website is different and therefore, the resources that it needs to run will be different. Most small to medium sized websites will run fine on a standard “Shared” server. Shared hosting is the entry-level solution for most website owners because it’s budget friendly.
What is Shared Hosting?
Running your website on a Shared server simply means that you’re sharing a server and the resources it has with other websites. The number of websites that you’re sharing a server with can vary from less than a hundred all the way up to thousands, depending on the server capacity and the hosting provider you choose.
There are some issues with Shared Hosting that you need to be aware of before choosing a provider.
Some larger hosts like BlueHost, iPage, HostGator, Arvixe and 1&1 (1 of the worst) will often times overcrowd their Shared servers with thousands of websites. That’s how these large companies can offer such ridiculous deals on hosting. The problem is, running that many websites on one server will cause server performance issues. If one or more websites suddenly have a spike in traffic, the rest of the websites will struggle as the server tries to keep up with demand. Beyond spikes in traffic, it’s likely that a fair percentage of those 1000+ websites will not be built properly. A website that is not built properly can cause excessive resource usage of the server. If this happens, ALL websites on the server are affected. You may experience slow load times, partial page loads, or even full blown timeouts where your pages don’t load at all.
In the very worst scenarios, even your website security is at stake.
You don’t know who your neighbors are on a shared server, so it helps when the hosting provider you choose knows who they’re giving accounts to. Usually when you sign up for hosting at any large hosting provider, your account is setup instantly. Since customers don’t have to be screened or deemed “trustworthy”, anyone with malicious (bad) intentions can sign up. Now let’s pretend that a person with bad intent signs up for a shared hosting account and is randomly placed on the same server that your website is on. If he/she installs any type of malicious script onto the account or in one way or another tries to gain complete control of the server, your website security is now at high risk.
Another very common scenario, an email spammer can sign up for a hosting account at any large provider with the intention of sending mass spam emails to the world. Eventually, the IP address for the server will be blacklisted because of the spammer. Since your website is on that server, you share that same IP address, therefore your website IP address is also blacklisted. This can prevent you from sending and receiving email.
Here’s what you can do to limit your risks.
As I mentioned, Shared hosting is the entry-level solution for most websites. There’s some very good upsides of shared hosting (cheap & easy), but there are also some very bad downsides (noted above). Your website will be vulnerable on a shared server, so keep these important notes in mind to reduce your risks.
Avoid large companies that offer massive discounts off their regular pricing. This is where everyone else will go, so it’s the first place you’ll run into all these issues. Some of these companies purposely promote massive discounts simply to gain hundreds of thousands of new customers very quickly. They know that they’re going to make a lot of people mad that will ultimately end up leaving, so they constantly need new customers. I’ve personally witnessed HostGator remove their support phone number from the top of their website because they over-extended their staff with the onslaught of new customers from huge discount promotions. Why would you want to give you money to a company like this? If you’re lucky enough to avoid issues, your price will go up eventually anyway.
I recommend looking out of the spotlight and trying a smaller, independently owned company. Often times, the little guys will provide much better service than the large corporate bullies.
I offer fast and secure hosting that is much better than your average provider. I also provide ALL of my hosting clients with a FREE SSL Certificate and FREE SiteLock Security Suite! Check out my website hosting page for more information.