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Choose the best hosting server for your business

In this article I talk about the different types of hosting and help you decide which one you should choose for your business

For over 8 years creating websites in different ways such as e-commerce, personal and business websites for clients and for me, I have always been concerned about the quality of hosting.

As I'm in Brazil, and especially my clients, it made more sense for me to host on hosting services here in Brazil.

I started using the UOL host to which I had registered some domains. I had some problems with the pages loading slowly and, even worse, some errors that were from the hosting and that the support insisted that it was with my site.

As I had experience with Linux and installation and configuration of services such as Web server, DNS, E-mail etc. I decided to simulate a web server environment in a virtual machine on my PC with the help of VirtualBox to test the site locally and see if the error persisted.

As I already suspected, the site worked perfectly in my local environment, thus discarding the hypothesis of UOL's support saying that the error was on my site. This made me cancel the service with them and host elsewhere.

I tested some more hosting services in Brazil and the performance was poor in all of them. A lot of slowness, which for me was unacceptable because at that time there was already data saying that the person didn't spend more than 7 seconds waiting for the page to load before leaving your site, never to return - today it is much smaller and is in the range of 3s and each time Google gives more weight to this factor.

Frustrating! So I had to look outside.

Just to get you started, today I use the hosted VPS from Vultr, more specifically a High Frequency Compute that I tested in parallel with 4 other big ones that were Digital Ocean, Closte (Uses Google servers) and Linode.

For a better understanding I will make a brief explanation of the different types of website hosting here and what criteria I use before choosing a solution. If you already know about the different types of hosting, you can skip this part and continue your reading here:

Criteria for selecting your hosting

Among the main criteria I use to select a server to host my websites and client sites are:

  • Speed - This criterion basically has to do with the speed at which your site will load.
  • Support - An important criterion that has to do when your site has some error or strange behavior and a support team will help you solve the problem for you or direct you to solve it. For me this is a very important factor because Sh#%t always happens 🙂
  • Security - If the hosting offers a free SSL certificate, which nowadays is a basic requirement. Another side of security is whether the hosting offers any kind of proactive protection against brute force attacks, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service Attacks), vulnerability scanning and even malware removal if your site has any exploited vulnerabilities.
  • Differentials - If the hosting offers any kind of advantages such as staging areas, automatic backup, intuitive panel, automatic scaling (increase server capacity such as CPU, HD, memory) etc.

The different types of hosting

As for the type of accommodation, the best known are:

  • Shared Hosting.
    It is the simplest and cheapest type of hosting that many start here. This type of hosting doesn't have a lot of features and usually it only offers WordPress website hosting with limited support and usually very slow.
  • Shared hosting with cPanel
    This type of hosting is a little more advanced in terms of features and performance. You can manage your own websites, create email accounts, access file systems, manage DNS among other features. In summary, I can say that you will have more freedom and control of your websites and possible improvement in performance.
  • Cloud hosting
    Cloud Hosting can be summarized as a dedicated resource container, with no control panel and no support type. If anything happens, you're on your own.

    I can say that in this type of hosting you will have access to greater hardware resources, and often better performance, for the lowest price. All this and even with the possibility of practically unlimited expansion, being able to host sites with numerous simultaneous accesses without it going down.

    This type of hosting is not suitable for those with little technical knowledge. You need to know how to install and configure web services, Linux terminal, ssh, know how to read system logs to find out about errors and bad behavior, besides many other things that require some expertise.

    The truth is that this type of accommodation is fascinating from the standpoint of possibilities but as I said, it's not for everyone.

    You need to have good technical knowledge or hire someone to take care of it for you.

    There are some ways to make the management of servers much easier using tools such as Plesk, SpinupWP, BunnyShell among others.

    I started using them myself and highly recommend them. I will make a post dedicated to these tools if I have enough interest from people.

  • Managed cloud hosting
    This new category has emerged more recently which is managed cloud hosting.

    Essentially what they do is use Cloud Hosting like Digital Ocean, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Linode, StackPath and VULTR as hosting and provide a control panel that makes administration much simpler.

    Want to install WordPress, E-commerce, PHP or other web service? Take a few mouse clicks and you're done. Your website will be up and running in a few seconds.

    Want to implement caching? In a few mouse clicks and you're done.

    Want to implement CDN (Content Delivery Network)? A few clicks and you're done.

    Support? No doubt! The good ones still. If need be, they will investigate your website files to see if they can find what might be the cause of the error.

    Automatic scaling of server/hardware resources? Can count.

    All of this you pay a fixed amount more than the VPS option. You basically pay for the hardware features you choose from the cloud hosting you choose plus support.

    This one I used for a long time and I confess I was very satisfied. I just didn't keep using it because I have enough technical knowledge to use a VPS with tools that help management, which considerably reduces hosting costs.

    Some good examples are Kinsta, Cloudways, WP Engine etc.

  • Managed Cloud Hosting (On-demand)
    This hosting is very new. Basically, your website is hosted on GCC (Google Cloud Computing) and you pay for what you use, as if it were a bill for water, energy, gas, etc.

    What is very interesting about this is that they have an auto-scaling system, that, if your traffic increases suddenly, the server will free up more bandwidth and computational resources to adapt to this change and as soon as the demand decreases, the server it reduces its resources and adapts to the new reality.

    This is great for many info-producers, as they usually have a large flow of traffic on launches and in the first days of the course opening and then the traffic drops sharply, not having to pay for a super expensive server continuously.

    In addition, it has other differentials that allow the construction of an automated WaaS (Website As A Service) with auto-generation of SSL certificates, Auto insertion of domains, among others.

  • VPS
    This hosting is very similar to cloud hosting, but you will have a cPanel that makes it easy for you to add email accounts, create multiple websites, separate your sites from customer sites and also offer some kind of support.
  • Dedicated server
    In summary, the dedicated server can have all the features of cloud and VPS hosting with the difference that you will have hardware completely dedicated to you.

Currently, I do not know any other type of hosting and I believe that I have spoken in general about all the options available on the market.

Now what, which hosting to choose?

Now that you have a general idea of ​​the different types of hosting, you have more security to be able to choose the one that best meets your business needs.

To make it easier, answer these questions:

  1. Do you have technical knowledge of how to install/manage servers?
  2. Do you have the time/skill to manage the server or someone to do it for you?

If you answered no to both questions, go for shared hosting or managed cloud hosting.

If you answered yes to both questions, go VPS.

If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second, you can use Plesk, SpinupWP and similar.

Final considerations

The choice of hosting doesn't have to be something that takes you a lot of time as you will most likely end up switching over time, either because better alternatives have emerged or because of the need for an upgrade.

The important thing is to keep in mind what each of the options can offer you so that later you don't waste time and even money for a poorly made choice.

If you found value, don't forget to share.

I hope it was helpfull.

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Written by Fernando Arbex
Fernando is a web designer, digital consultant and coach passionate about technology and human development. Working for years with I.T. he believes that the path to a more harmonious and just society will be through the use of technology in an intelligent and conscious way.

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