In my Dj Khaled voice: “It’s another one”
This right here is your guide to picking a web hosting plan.
And as you should know, web hosting is one of the essentials in online business.
Almost right up there with “an internet connection.”
Well, if you didn’t know, now you do.
But first, what is web hosting?
I’m sure you can get many beautiful definitions if you google that. But for the sake of “sharpness” and being a “sharp guy”, let’s keep it simple.
I’m going to explain this using 2 analogies:
The Landlord-Tenant description of Web hosting
My dad told me this one. Well, a more summarized version. I’m paraphrasing here.
Web hosting is basically like accommodation for domain names.
And of course, if you’re living alone in a three-storey building, you have a lot more space to yourself than if you live in a typical face-me-i-face-you apartment with 3 other tenants.
In the face-me-i-face-you, obviously, you have to share space, toilet and bathrooms with the other tenants.
You can’t run around the house naked (if you want) or just throw your clothes around the house for the hell of it.
And if one of your fellow tenants decides to take up space in the toilet with … well… human waste, let’s just say your access to the toilet is a bit… umm.. encumbered.
On the other hand, if you live in a three storey building, you can afford to run around the house naked (if you want), throw your clothes anywhere, shit and piss how and where you want, and you get way more space to yourself.
This is the basic gist of web hosting.
The web hosting company is the landlord, your domain name is the tenant. Different types of web hosting offer different amounts of space, freedom and “encumbered-ness”.
But if you’re still confused and don’t understand after that, here’s another one.
The Monkey Post And Football Field Description of Web Hosting
Let’s face it.
Most of us played Monkey Post when we were growing up.
Maybe it was called by different names, but Monkey Post is Monkey Post.
It’s basically soccer- the miniature, ghetto, reduced version. There are two teams, just like in soccer. And two small goal posts (usually marked by setting two concrete blocks side by side) with small space between them.
Teams could be made up of 3- 6 players each, and usually the players take turn in manning the goal post.
Now, because the number of players were small, monkey post didn’t really require much space (although sometimes it took up a lot of space).
If the field was really large and it was just one game of Monkey Post going on, there obviously is going to be so much that players could dribble, do that whole “Okocha-taking-the-ball-over-your-head” thing and still retain possession, do back flips after scoring goals, etcetera shmetcetera.
On the flip side, if more than one game of Monkey Post was going on, things would be a bit different. Any attempts to do backflips could be met with collision from other games of Monkey Post happening at the same time.
If your game of Monkey Post was small (that is maybe 3 players per team), you could use whatever space was available, and still have an awesome time. If it was large on the other hand, you’d need more space to enjoy your game.
Now, let’s bring it home.
Each domain name is a separate game of Monkey Post happening. The field is the hosting server.
Now, go back and reread the analogy.
I think we’re beginning to understand each other.
So now, let’s dive into…
The Types of Web Hosting
I have alluded to different types of web hosting in the course of my analogies, and as you read on, you’ll begin to understand.
#1. Shared Hosting:
Here, your site shares a server with other sites.
In our analogies, this is like the game of monkey post, with other games of monkey post going on at the same time and on the same field.
You get a bit of space, and share resources with the other sites on the server. You’ll also need a bit of technical knowledge but for the most part, your hosting provider does most of the work for you.
If you’re just starting out, this is actually a great option because it’s very likely you won’t get a lot of traffic to your site.
If you however expect or anticipate that your site will get a lot of traffic, you might want to consider the following options.
#2. Reseller hosting:
This hosting comes with the option to host other sites underneath one hosting package. You get a lot more space, and with more space comes more responsibility for that space.
You’ll need to ensure that the sites hosting with you comply with the rules set by the hosting company.
Some sharp guys get reseller hosting and only host their own site on that. While it’s not a bad idea, if you’re not too much of a Richy rich to go for the next options.
#3. Virtual Private Server:
Let’s go back to the Landlord-tenant analogy.
Imagine that rather than sharing a one bedroom face-me-i-face-you with other tenants, you rented a whole floor in a three storey building.
You might not own the building, but you sure have a lot more space to walk around naked and shit and piss where you want (which is always a great thing 😀 ).
However, this is a lot pricier than the previous options and requires more technical knowledge. If you’re just starting out, this is not the option for you.
This is the one you pick when you are getting a sizeable amount of traffic, have technical knowledge and can pay for more space, but don’t need too much space like with a ….
#4. Dedicated Server:
This is the Oga at the top of the Hosting Plans.
It is the equivalent of renting the whole 3 storey building for yourself or of renting the whole football field to have a game of monkey post on.
It comes with a great amount of space, and a lot more responsibility. You get to do your backflips and “shangalo” but you also have to make sure the grass is cut properly i.e. you’re responsible for managing the server as well.
This option is the one you go for when you’re absolutely certain that your resource needs are huge and you have the money to pay for the dedicated server.
Also, be sure you have the technical skill to manage a server … all by yourself!
Otherwise, look into managed server options, which, as long as money no be problem, would be fine.
Now, let’s talk small yarns to consider before picking a web hosting plan and company.
#1. What kind of site do you need?
If you’re building a simple WordPress blog, or any site with mainly text, you don’t need too much space.
Shared hosting will do just fine.
If on the other hand, you’re building a site that would require various huge space-occupying-applications, yeah, you should look into the more pricey options.
#2. Does your website require any special features or “senrenre”?
If so, before you pick a web hosting company, make sure to find out if they can support that movement.
#3. “Unlimited” hosting plans = Story for the gods.
The web hosting company is in business to make profit, and if you go with an unlimited hosting plan, you might find get charged extra charge for exceeding the bandwidth, in addition to having your site taken offline when it does.
Always read the fine print and don’t let them “bo-bo” you.
#4. What is bandwidth?
Bandwidth is the amount of data exchange permitted on your site; sometimes used in a manner synonymous with traffic.
Here’s the long and short of it- If your site is relatively new, and not so well known, you’re probably not going to get a huge surge in traffic so you won’t need a huge bandwidth. If your site however gets a lot of traffic, you really should invest in a hosting plan with a greater bandwidth (you know, like VPS, dedicated server.
#5. Customer Care and Support is crucial.
Investigate the hosting company you’re considering with the attention to detail of a seasoned detective.
Message them at odd hours of the night and on weekends, just to ensure their live chat option is not there for fancy.
#6. Also as a follow up to #5, check how long it takes for them to take care of a technical issue on your site when you host with them.
Time is money and online, a simple delay can cost you a lot of money.
You know, like when your customers want to order but due to a small technical error on your site that hasn’t been fixed, they can’t.
#7. Never pay for a long duration of hosting with a new host.
It’s like a relationship. When you first start dating someone, do you just go overboard and commit to a 5 year relationship?
Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t. Take it slow, get to know them, and see if they live up to your expectations.
If they don’t, feel free to break it off and look for another one. I think you get my drift.
There you go- The Sharp Guy Guide to Picking A Web Hosting Plan.
Like I said once, if you’re just starting out in this whole online business space, don’t worry, I got you.
As a Sharp Guy, that’s all you need to know about picking your web hosting.
Keeping it 500,
Author: Tomi Joshua
Tomi is a case.
A bit brash, at first blush. But ultimately, he means well. There are very few things he won’t say or do in the presence of tolerant company (especially when it could make for a good story later).
Tomi is a Doctor, writer, certified inbound marketer (Shout Out to HubSpot), Digital Hustler, and online business addict.
He is most likely to be found dancing to the beat of his own drum, even in accapella.