A new year is a good time to look at things from the beginning. Let’s do that when it comes to a website. If you want to do something on the web then you have to deal directly with something that can make or break your ultimate goal, the hosting.
Without hosting it is quite difficult to do something unique on the web. So let’s look at what is good hosting for you now!
But what is hosting, what do you have to pay attention to and how do you deal with it?
What is hosting?
Hosting comes down to making available an environment on a web server on which a website or application can be set up and which will be accessible through the internet.
In addition, hosting is often also thought of when it comes to support for this environment. That is because the person who offers the space is called the host.
What falls under the support of the host depends on what kind of conditions (or even SLA (Service Level Agreement)) that are linked to the hosting package that you purchase.
But beyond that, having a good foundation when it comes to your hosting platform is even more important. Your environment must meet the requirements of your website / platform.
It has to support certain programming languages (PHP, ASP etc.) but also has to offer the possibility to for example connect to a database (depending on your platform via MySQL or for example with SQL-lite).
All you need to be able to run your platform. It’s all a little more complicated than some advertising make it look like. Let alone do it yourself platforms like Wix for example. But let’s be realistic too, you’re digging deeper … you want something more than what those platforms can offer.
In addition, we only talked about requirements of your platform, what if we look a step further than these requirements. How about a hosting platform that also has to deal with traffic spikes? Even hosting through an SSD (Solid State Drive) compared to a ‘normal’ SATA HDD (hard drive) can bring a lot of difference.
Nothing is more annoying than if your website / platform starts to get traction with the outside world and your hosting platform simply does not seem fit to handle all the requests and thanks to that makes it so your website is not (easily) accessible.
You often only get one chance to make an impact with visitors so make it good impression. If your website responds slowly due to a peak in traffic. Then the visitor but also potential customer could basically be gone.
It is therefore important if you do not have a good idea of what the hosting platform can actually do for you and what you can expect to make it so you know this. See if the host can properly visualize whether a particular hosting solution is sufficient for your purpose. If that is unclear I would always give the tip to inquire about the possibility to test the platform or to get the necessary explanation from the host.
Be and stay up to date
As an extra addition to the field of possibilities; it is important that your hosting IS and STAYS up-to-date in terms of possibilities and techniques.
PHP is a good example of this;
PHP 7.x is already been available for quite some time. It offers a lot of optimizations compared to the PHP 5.6 branch but also a performance boost. However, it is still not offered by every host.
Let us go one step further; there are parties where customers are still on a PHP 5.3 version which is extremely old. For reference is the last PHP 5.3 version 5.3.29 and this dates from August 14, 2014 (see also https://php.net/releases/#5.3.29). Such a release lacks so many updates that it can pose a security issue.
Apart from keeping existing platform properties up to date, it is just as important that a host also looks at offering new techniques. For example, offering HTTP/2 is something that is not yet a possibility for every host, while this offers several advantages for websites that can make use of it.
And that while the requirement for HTTP/2 really is that high or experimental as it was a year or two ago.
In short, if a hosting platform is standing still in terms of updates, this can be a hindrance for any website.
If you are going to look at a host and the package matches what is needed for your website / platform, it is always good to see what the host supports. You have to be able to work with your website / platform to make it as strong as possible and not with things in the field of hosting. (only if you so desire)
Often this is all covered in the conditions you expect in terms of support from your host regarding your hosting package.
But beware sometimes a cheap host is ultimately a host which turns out to be an expensive one; If you need support you have to be able to reach your host well and you need to get an answer to your question within a timeframe in line with on your website / project. All the time you spend solving are actually costs that you have to count.
This is something that you can usually rely on at a host that is slightly more expensive because they often work with an SLA. It is therefore important in the area of support to look for a host that suits your project and that fits the goal you have in mind.
As you will understand, having a good foundation is crucial for the success of your website / project. I hope that the above helps you to make a suitable choice in terms of host and suitable hosting for your project.
If you have any doubts about your current hosting, are looking for another host or you want me to take a look at whether the hosting is a problem for your website? Then contact me without obligation so that I can see what best fits your website / project.