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Wednesday 19 June 2019

The Unconventional Guide to Web Hosting

Guess how many people surf the Internet everyday?

Any ideas?

Google alone has 63,000 searches per second. That means 630,000 searches would have already been done, while you were reading these words.

Why should this matter to you? The increasing demand for the Internet - 4.39 billion users - creates opportunities on the web and in tandem the need to deliver these web solutions.

And, in all likelihood, you know web hosting helps you to deliver these web solutions. You are reading this guide to learn which option is best suited for you.

For those who are new, to deliver web solutions, web hosting is required. Simply, your web hosting acts as a storage place for your website, web application, and anything you need to deliver through the web.

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to web hosting because of the options available in the market.

In this guide, you will learn where web hosting differs, how to work around a fixed budget, and ultimately which web hosting option is best suited for you.

Below we will be digging deep into web hosting and to deal with the complexities to follow, systematically. Feel free to skim through to sections which interests you most.


Before choosing a web hosting option, you first need to know the 6 common options for web hosting you will commonly come across:

Shared hosting Web hosting you share with other users.
Virtual private server hosting (VPS hosting) Private web hosting, where you share the infrastructure with other users.
Dedicated server hosting Exclusive web hosting rented by you.
Cloud hosting Flexible web hosting allowing you to scale when required.
Managed hosting Web hosting which provides technical services such as hardware and software setup and configuration, maintenance, hardware replacement, technical support, patching, updating and monitoring.
Colocation hosting Space you can rent to fully manage your web hosting (hardware, software and services).

To systematically identify which option suits you best, we recommend a framework that you can use to analyze, prepare for, and narrow down almost any situation you may encounter.

To better understand our framework, we've simplified it into 3-steps.

Step 1: Distinguish your needs
Step 2: Narrow down your options (through elimination)
Step 3: Discover your true goal

Step 1: Distinguish your needs

To start, consider the following. What are your core needs?

An analysis of your needs is crucial, because it allows you to define what is the lowest acceptable service you would accept and your highest best option.

Consider the following questions you should be critically assessing:

  1. Is your business relatively new?
  2. Do you depend on the web solely / partially to carry out its business model?
  3. How much speed do you need? How can you determine the amount?
  4. How much space do you need? Will you need to push this in the near future?
  5. Would you require technical assistance?

Depending on how you assess the above questions, you can frame a needs profile that will form a sheet for you to compare which options to narrow to.

A great read on determining how much speed you need is covered by Jonathan at WhoIsHostingThis.

In summary, estimate the average page site using Pingdom's Load Time test, multiply this value by the average number of visitors, and multiply the result of this with the average number of page views per visitor.

Space largely depends on the nature of business you plan to carry out on the web. Hosting Manual has a great guide on space required here.

Step 2: Narrow down your options

Industry jargon:

  • Space = Amount of # GB HDD
  • Speed = Amount of # Mbps (also known as bandwidth)

Shared hosting► Great for new entrants to the worldwide web.
► If your business is relatively new, and only partially depends on the web to carry out your business model.
► There is not much need for space and speed can be at a minimal because of small number of page views.
Virtual private server hosting (VPS hosting)► The environment for this mimics a Dedicated Server, but shares the features of a Shared Hosting.
► What this means is, the Web Hosting is divided into virtual partitions, however, you still share the physical server with other users.
► Great, if you have been in business for some time and actively using but need more control.
► If you require technical assistance.
► Budget limits or just not willing to pay for the high price of a Dedicated Server Hosting.
Dedicated server hosting► For you if your business is very matured on the web.
► You expect / continue to see an increase in page views.
► You don't need technical assistance.
► Require full control.
► Enhanced security.
Cloud hosting► Great for you if you expect your business to scale in space and speed requirements in a short period of time.
► Pay only for what you need (some providers have a base package you can start from).
► You can scale without having to build and maintain your own computing infrastructure.
Managed hosting► Most web hosting options will likely be managed.
► You should always opt for this if you require technical services such as, hardware setup, software installations, maintenance, hardware replacements, technical support and more.
Colocation hosting► When you need a large amounts of speed at a lower cost.
► The major disadvantage is you will be left to your own devices (your web hosting is not managed).


The choice of which web hosting option relies on your current situation. This post has provided to you the required framework to choosing a suitable web host.

Where web hosting differs is, in the amount storage space, the level of control, requirements for technical assistance, speed, and reliability.

In the end, which web hosting option did you choose?

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