It can be confusing to determine what kind of hosting plan is right for your website. If you choose a plan that’s too basic, then it might not have the features you need. And, if you choose a plan that’s too big, you’ll end up wasting money that you could invest elsewhere in your business. It’s not easy to determine what kind of hosting you need for your business. But, if you follow a few basic steps, you can increase the likelihood that you will make a good decision in the short-term, and in the long-term.
What is the Long Term Vision of Your Website?
The answers to some basic questions will help you to determine how many resources you’ll need to run your website.
How do you plan to drive traffic to your website?
If you don’t depend on SEO for traffic, then you can often get a fast start by utilizing a hosted service like Shopify. This is a simple way to launch an ecommerce website. However, it is not as flexible as installing WordPress (and Woocommerce) or some other software package onto a web hosting account. This means that you’ll have less control over URL structures and other SEO elements. If you do utilize SEO, then you’ll likely want as much flexibility as possible.
Is it an ecommerce website, a content site, or something else?
Generally, ecommerce websites are more resource-intensive than content websites. You’ll need to utilize lots of database queries and processing power to handle pages, order processing, and integrations. If on the other hand you have a content website, then you can often get away with less processing and database power. In either case, you can think about utilizing a CDN to serve static pages instead of database-driven pages that are constructed on the fly. A good first step would be to use a free service like Cloudflare.
How much traffic do you reasonably expect to get on a daily basis?
If you have a local business, then you can probably get away with using a small website hosting plan. On the other hand, if you have a national, or international business, and your website gets a lot of traffic, then you might need a VPS or dedicated server.
Will you serve heavy video files or other content that requires a lot of bandwidth?
Are you streaming videos, or running a chat service? If so, then you will likely need a dedicated server for these services. You can then decide whether you want to serve all of your content from this server, or if you want to serve your webpages from a smaller hosting account.
Will you require heavy database queries?
Think about how much database use you’ll require. If you’ve got an ecommerce website with a lot of products or customers, then this is a likely case. If you’ve got a content site with 1000s of pages, then this may be true as well. On the other hand, if you’ve got a small website, or static content, then a simple shared hosting account may be the right decision.
So, What Kind of Hosting Do I Need?
Once you’ve got some answers to these questions, you can begin to think about the different types of website hosting. Check out some of the different types of hosting in our reviews, and then make an educated decision. You’ll want to compare these three options:
- Shared Web Hosting – simplest, cheapest option
- VPS Web Hosting – requires a bit more configuration, relatively inexpensive and scalable
- Dedicated Server – a robust hosting option that gives you a great deal of customizability, but which also requires a degree of technical knowledge