Category Archives: Web Hosting For Beginners

Three Mistakes People Make When Shopping for Web Hosting

When you decide to create a website, one of the biggest decisions you will make is who will host your site. If you aren’t up on the latest web hosting lingo, you may feel like you’re in over your head. While you sort through all the information out there, keep in mind the three most common mistakes people make when shopping for web hosting.

Tunnel vision – purchasing based on price only

One of the biggest mistakes you could make when shopping for a web hosting service is to only focus on getting a low price. There are several free options for web hosting, however, these free options come with limitations. They might limit bandwidth, they might place advertisements on your website, they might have poor reliability or poor customer service.

mistakes when shopping for web hosting

Tunnel vision for price can be harmful.

You may see web hosts offering “unlimited” something or other. There is no such thing as unlimited – everything has a price and you nor your host can go to the electronics store and buy an unlimited hard drive. If you don’t have to pay for something, you will have to trade for it. This might mean you have to offer ad space to the web host’s affiliates, or that you have to share server space with so many other clients that your website runs slower than a more expensive hosting solution.  At GlowHost the trade-off with the entry-level unlimited plans is that you are only permitted to store files necessary for the web site to display properly compared to the traditional plans we offer which allow you to use your space for whatever you wish, like backups of your personal music collection or enormous photo and video archives.  Don’t fall victim to the ads that boast free or ultra-cheap web hosting service without checking them out in detail, and check the FAQ or Terms of Service as to what exactly “unlimited” means as each host treats these plans differently.

Bypassing client reviews

With any product or service, it is a good idea to check the reviews. Anyone can create a flashy ad, but a customer review will tell the truth. There are several sites that offer safe and honest reviews. WebHosting Talk is an excellent place to read web hosting reviews, and to ask any questions you might have. You can also run a search like “GlowHost Review” on google to get a good idea of a host’s performance.

Another mistake you could make is searching for “Top Web Hosting Companies.” Many of these lists are created by companies that get a kickback from the web hosting companies. For example, the person or company creating the list often awards the top spots to web hosts that give the most money to that particular “Top Site.” Try to find reviews from real people who aren’t getting anything out of leaving a good review.

Forgetting to test customer service

While you hope to choose a web hosting company that can offer you perfect web hosting, you will most likely need to contact customer service eventually. Whether your website crashed because you didn’t anticipate a rush to your site and didn’t get enough bandwidth, or because a plug-in you use isn’t working properly, you need to be able to reach a web host’s customer service.

mistakes made when shopping for web hosting

Make sure customer service is efficient and effective.

If you sell product on your site, having customer service that only works 9-5, Monday-Friday could cost you lots of money if your site crashes during non-business hours. You also want a company that offers customer service you can understand. Language barriers can cause a major disaster in trying to fix or update your website. At GlowHost we provide knowledgeable customer support 23/7/365 via phone, live chat, email and ticketing.

Before ordering from any host, be sure to contact customer service so that you can get a feel for what it will be like working with them.

These three things could be the difference between a wonderful web hosting experience and one that you can’t even laugh about ten years from now. Do your due diligence and don’t make these all too common mistakes!

The Difference Between Shared, Dedicated, VPS and Cloud Hosting

So, you know you need a web host provider for your business website, but you’ve just realized there are a lot of different options. Or maybe you’ve had a web host, but you’ve just discovered that there may be a better fit for your website. Let’s discuss the difference between shared, dedicated, VPS and cloud hosting

Shared web hosting

Shared web hosting is exactly what it sounds like. Several different users share space on one web server. This option can usually be considered the cheap web hosting option because all the users sharing the server help with maintenance costs. Shared web hosting includes a sysadmin, or systems administrator, to maintain the server – which is great if you’re looking for something cheap, but it can be a big drawback for those who want to have control over their website. If your website requires intricate software beyond the standard options, or if you consider yourself a power user, this is probably not the best option for you.

Dedicated web hosting

A dedicated hosting service is one where a user rents an entire server for his or her own use. It’s a wonderful option for the user who wants to be in full control – everything can be customized to your website’s needs. With dedicated hosting, sysadmins can and generally should be added on. At GlowHost this is called a “Managed Dedicated Server.”  The are others who use dedicated web hosting that prefer to do their own server maintenance. Usually, clients who select more expensive dedicated web hosting options like a dedicated server do so because their websites draw a large amount of traffic, or their business depends on the reliability of their web site and email service. If you expect to have an extremely popular website, or your web site is critical to how you earn your income, and want the ability to add customizations beyond the basics, then dedicated web hosting is one of the best ways to go.

Also, a major bonus that comes with dedicated web hosting is extreme security. Because you’re the only client on your server, you can make it as secure as you want. On the other hand, if you do not know what you are doing, it is often better to opt for a managed server where securing and ongoing maintenance of the server is handled for you. New hacks come out every day and one of a good web host’s primary job functions is to know about and patch the server for these potential issues before they become issues.  GlowHost’s managed dedicated server service handles all aspects of security for you from installation security tweaks, kernel updates, managed firewall configuration, and ongoing patching.

VPS web hosting

VPS stands for virtual private server and runs its own copy of an operating system within the main server’s operating system. This means one physical machine (or “node”) can have many virtual machines all running the same, or different operating systems than the physical server that houses them. One huge benefit of VPS hosting is that the user gets administrator or root access to that operating system. Typically, a VPS has little, to no redundancy and can be a very inexpensive way to have your own private server on the Internet. VPS can easily be scaled up or down in regards to resources like CPU, RAM and disk space. Usually, VPS hosting is offered in addition to shared or dedicated hosting. VPS hosting can add a layer of security because individual servers are kept separate from one another, and each can run its own operating system. On the other hand, VPS can suffer the same security issues as an unmanaged dedicated server.  If you are not a talented sysadmin and not making regular security checks, it is highly likely that your VPS will become compromised at some stage in it’s life.  You may want to consider a managed VPS if playing sysadmin is not your thing.

Cloud web hosting

The newest form of hosting is known as cloud hosting.  While the word ‘cloud’ is thrown around in many circles to simply mean ‘The Internet’ that is not really what a cloud is. True cloud servers are groups of dedicated servers (or “nodes”) which have been connected to each other so that they can share resources from a common resource pool.  Once the cloud is communicating with itself, then it can begin creating Virtual Machines, or VM for short.  Virtual Machines are similar to VPS in the sense that you have administrator or root access and are easy to scale, but they primary difference is redundancy.  When you have a traditional VPS, if the primary node goes down, so do all the VPS! With a true cloud server, if one of the dedicated nodes goes down, all the other nodes in the cloud will carry it’s weight until it can be repaired and put back into service again. This means the Virtual Machines will keep on running just as if nothing ever happened. Another benefit is that resources like RAM, CPU and disk space can often be added or removed from a Virtual Machine without the need for a reboot, further increasing overall uptime.  Virtual Machines are the same as VPS and dedicated servers when it comes to security; it’s best to go with a managed solution if you are not a sysadmin, but need the power and flexibility offered by a cloud-based VM.

Ultimately, you have to decide how much power, stability and control you want over your website and data in order to decide which type of web hosting is right for you. There is a lot of difference between shared, dedicated, VPS and cloud hosting, and with that, the capability to customize the type of hosting you need.