How To Choose The Right Web Host

How To Choose The Right Web Host

If you’re researching web hosting, you’re probably looking to start a website for the first time (congratulations!), or need to change your current host to one that meets your needs. And feeling a little overwhelmed by the process of it all. Suddenly, you’re realizing how much work went into one of those websites whose aesthetic, speed, and layout you like.  Well, worry not; in this article and subsequent ones to follow we will simplify all of that for you. If you need professional assistance, Charleson Group is a leading web development and digital marketing agency and you can reach us anytime to get a quote or book an appointment with our team.

When you’re setting up a business in the real world, say a clothing store or gaming lounge, you need a physical location, with enough space to store and sell your products/services. Web hosting works the same way, it serves as the storage and location that people can find you on the internet. Web hosting is the piece of real estate that your website resides and it is where you store all of your files be it pictures, videos, the website source code, and other files that make up your website. So when you are looking for a web host you are pretty much looking for who will charge you a fair amount of “rent” with sufficient space for your business.

Here are the key features to look for when picking a web hosting company:

Plenty of space

Space, measured in gigabytes, guarantees you ample space to store as many videos, images, texts, and other website resources as possible. While most small websites only use up less than half of the allocated resources, it is important to select a package that has more than 3GB of space to ensure you do not deplete your resources before you even get started. For e-commerce websites or medium to large enterprises, more disk space is recommended.

Secure disc space 

You can have all the possible space but how secure is it? Take your time to find out what different providers have to offer when it comes to security. Lest your site is easily prone to hacks. Find out what security measures your hosting company takes to eliminate attacks.

Unlimited Bandwidth/data transfer 

Data transfer refers to how much data is transferred to and from your website, it is influenced by how many people access your site and view or download an image, video, or graphics.  In most cases, if the data runs out before the end of your agreed time frame (before the end of the month) then it means you have to repurchase. So ensure that you purchase data that’s a bit on the higher side of what you will actually need. Data is measured in Mbs.

You can do so by calculating a rough estimate of your website viewership: (Average number of visitors per month) X (Average page/file size) X (Average page/file views) = Average Data Transfer usage per month

Bandwidth on the other hand determines how much data can be transferred at a time. This is what determines speed, the less the bandwidth, the slower the loading speed of the website. Doesn’t matter if a user is using 4G connectivity. According to statistics, 90% of web users will give up on loading a website if it takes longer than 5 seconds to open. If your speed is slow, people are likely to log off, out of impatience. Speed is therefore a big factor in driving as well as converting traffic on your site. High speed/high traffic consequently influences your SEO rankings as well as the conversion rate on your website. 

Free SSL / TLS Certificate 

SSL- Secure Sockets Layer or TLS-Transport Layer Security 

The main function is to encrypt the web to HTTPS, which is the most widely used extension on the internet. Its main purpose is to guarantee security and privacy in terms of protecting the confidentiality of a web owner and their communication with their client/user. Including keeping web history and private information private. In most cases, you have to renew the free certificate every 90 days. However, a company like Hostpoa will give you a free SSL certificate on every purchase. Do check them out here.

WordPress Support 

WordPress is probably the most popular CMS out there. This owing to the fact that it is free, easy to use without the need for technical experience, offers a wide range of customizable themes whether you are opening a personal blog, online store, or a business website. This is why it is convenient to get a web hosting company that supports WordPress installation. 

Unlimited Emails

Let’s say you need 100 emails for your team or the departments in your organization, being limited to only a couple of email accounts is a bummer for most people. Make sure the hosting company you choose to work with doesn’t limit you on the number of email accounts you can create.

24/7/365 support

Nothing beats reliability; you need to choose a provider that is available to answer and sort all your Web hosting-related issues on the spot. And good customer service/support is a big part of that. Most web hosting companies only offer the bare minimum but a company like HostPoa offers all the above-listed features together with a 24/7 top-notch customer service. Be sure to check them out here for a discount. 

Types of website hosting

Lastly, let’s consider the types of web hosting services offered.

Shared hosting 

As the name suggests, you will be sharing storage space with several other clients of the said web host under one server. Think of it as moving into a building where you get lots of personal space, nice ambiance, 24/7 amenities such as security, but the catch is, you have to share certain amenities with other tenants, for instance, a common kitchen. Get it? 

It gives small scale businesses and personal blogs an easy way to afford web hosting. Making this the most popular hosting package.

The main advantage being, it is super affordable compared to the other packages and gets the job done in terms of giving you adequate space. And minimal creative control over the hardware and software. 

Disadvantage; security in terms of attacks from hackers. This is likely to happen even with the other hosting options, but it’s a major disadvantage of this because someone could be hacking one of the other websites that’s on the same server as you and consequently have access to your site as well. 

HostPoa is the best provider for shared hosting with packages as low as Kshs. 1,500 together with a free domain. Today we negotiated a good deal for all our readers. Do check them out here.

Dedicated hosting 

The opposite of the latter, in that, you get a server all to yourself without having to share it with anyone else. This is a lot like buying your own land, putting a fence around it in whatever way feels most secure to you, building a house, and furnishing it however you desire because you have full creative control. Plus you can play the music as loud as you want and move things around whenever you want! It’s your house after all! 

Main advantage – Full control, in terms of resource allocation as well as hands-on control when it comes to performance and security measures. 

As great as this sounds, the main disadvantage is that it is expensive to rent out an entire server. In addition, you also have to pay for the hardware installed and unlike shared hosting where the provider takes care of maintenance including security, dedicated hosting, it requires the technical knowhow of how to run the server on a day to day basis which means you will probably need to hire an IT expert which is another added cost. 

DeepAfrica is the best provider for dedicated hosting. For as low as Kshs. 20,520 you get 2GB Ram, 1TB bandwidth, 30 GB HDD, and all the other things we’ve mentioned as key features of a good web host, such as free SSL. Do check them out on this link.

VPS – Virtual Private Server hosting 

In simple terms, it is the midpoint of both shared and dedicated server hosting.  This is because it is pretty much an upgrade to the shared hosting. While shared hosting serves multiple users at a go. VPS is limited to just a few users. At the same time, users get the benefits of dedicated hosting but at a cheaper rate. 

Can be compared to an everyday situation like transportation, public transport = shared hosting. Where you have no choice but to go with the flow because you have no creative control, but it’s pocket-friendly.

Or you could choose to move on to buying your own car and leave all of those annoying shared transportation issues behind = dedicated hosting.

But if you still can’t afford the car (dedicated hosting) then the middle point can be a shared Uber carpool (VPS) 

Just like a shared Uber carpool, you get more freedom yet at an affordable rate. The best of both worlds, don’t you think? 

Cloud hosting 

This is the more advanced and effective of them all. Unlike the other 3 that rely on a single server. Cloud hosting uses cloud resources to store and avail applications.  We’d recommend Google cloud, which is one of the most secure and also free for a limited amount of time to new users, take advantage of that. Another great option is Digital Ocean, for just 40 dollars a month you get 4GB RAM and 25GB SSD. 

We hope the tips shared in this article are helpful to you. Remember to check out DeepAfrica and Hostpoa. The upside to using a Kenyan Web Hosting company is that you get personalized support and an option to make your payments through mobile money transfer, an option you don’t get with international hosting companies. Making it affordable and overall convenient for you. Ask them all your web hosting-related questions. Once you have that sorted, Charleson Group is happy to help you build a website that caters to your business or e-commerce needs as well as that of your customers.

Talk soon!

Gladys Wairimu
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