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A Beginners Guide To Web Hosting

  • 17th June 2017
  • Ian Austin
  • 4 minutes
Engineer working on web hosting servers

Web hosting is probably one of the more daunting purchases any business can make. People unsure of what RAM is, or what a CPU does and the difference between Linux and Windows are most likely to either overspend or under-resource on their hosting.

So what does web hosting do?

Web hosting refers to the server than your website is hosted on; where your files, images and styling bits live. Your hosting also provides extra software like MySQL (for your database needs) as well as frameworks needed to run your website such as PHP.

Web hosting suppliers normally operate on a minimum 12-month contract, so do your research early on. You must scrutinise everything, in particular the uptime, reliability and availability of each hosting provider.

What’s the difference between Linux and Windows?

For most SME organisations, they’re both much of a muchness and will get you from A to B. Linux supports applications like WordPress straight out of the box, whereas Windows hosting requires additional support to be able to run things like PHP, which are needed to enable applications WordPress to run.

Windows and Linux are both equally capable of hosting high performance websites and are both completely agnostic of your personal computer set up at home or in the office. For example, just because you have a Windows computer, doesn’t mean you need to or have to have Windows hosting, and vice-versa for Linux.

RAM, CPU, SSD – too many TLAs!

And now you’re asking, what on earth is a TLA? TLA’s are Three Letter Acronyms, and if you haven’t guessed already, the IT world love them.

Youre probably more familiar with RAM (Random Access Memory) and CPU (Central Processing Unit) as you hear them talked about on TV when advertising a new laptop. It’s exactly the same stuff but for web hosting servers instead of the 12″ laptop on your lap.

The more RAM and CPU you have the fast your website will perform, it’s as simple as that. RAM takes data, instructions and from your server and stores these processes because most of the processes repeated numerous times. This information is stored in a way that allows the RAM to make your website as fast as possible.

The CPU on the other hand is the piece that provides your computer its power to handle the information and request passed onto it from the RAM. CPUs with more cores and greater size will of course be able to handle more information with less effort.

Study for the best results

It’s an age old principle that was drummed into us all at school, college and university. Businesses who study themselves and their needs the hardest will get their hosting right. The better you understand what you need the more informed you are when it comes to making a decision.

You need databases, sure, but how many? You own multiple domains so is there additional costs to pay? You’ve spotted an attractive introductory price, but what’s it looking like after year one? Emails are important – can your provider using Office 365 or Gmail to host your business emails?

Think hard about what you want and accept nothing less than what you feel you deserve and is right for you. Of course, ask your prospective provider what they think. After all, they may always have insight on other services that you might have missed.

Remember your A, B, C…

Assume nothing, Believe nobody and Challenge everything. This follows on nicely from the last point, because studying your business means you’re not assuming anything any more. The final two are more basic business – don’t let yourself get caught up in the confusion of acronyms and being told “this is definitely what you need”.

Believe nobody is maybe a little extreme. The digital world isn’t filled with people topping up engines with sawdust to make things run smoother, but if you feel that somebody is being overly pushy and dragging you in a direction you don’t want to go in, then trust your gut. You should be aware is our point; aware and tuned in to what’s being said and going on.

Similarly, challenge everything. You should negotiate the best deal for you because if you’ve got a budget, stick to it. Everybody is in business to make something but relationship are worth more than any bottom line figure. Work on the best deal to forge sensible and long-term partnerships with the right people and organisations.

Web hosting with HGA Digital

We’re proud to offer industry-leading web hosting to our clients. Customers benefit from our enterprise-grade infrastructure that guarantees peace of mind. Our hosting comes as standard with Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems and visualised machines to logically separate projects, databases and business information on our infrastructure. We’ve made to our job to deliver a state-of-the-art solution for a fraction of the cost. If you’re unsure about what hosting deal is right for you, contact us today, we’d be more than happy to help!

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