These requirements will be different across all user segments, and even within your own vertical niche. Your hosting needs will be dependent on the type of site you require. For example, hosting a personal website will require different capabilities and technologies when compared to hosting a small business site, a software development site, an e-commerce shop or any high traffic data-intensive site. And dont forget your organizational needs for functionality for instance, email, messaging, storage, and back-up and disaster recovery all add different layers of complexity. A quick search on Google for hosting provider or hosting company results in literally millions and millions of hits; and perusing the websites for these companies is enough to boggle the mind. After all, dont they seem to all look and sound the same? According toPhilbert Shih, Managing Directorof Structure Research : Internet infrastructure is a highly fragmented market with pureplay hosters, MSPs, systems integrators, resellers and telcos all competing for the IT outsourcing dollar. The majority of providers decide to focus on a narrower set of services and capabilities rather than trying to be everything to everyone. This leads to technology specialization, local market reach and vertical focus. The end result is literally tens of thousands of providers. If you count all the companies in the business of IT outsourcing there could be more than 40,000 such providers around the world. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Few, if any hosting providers are capable of doing everything for everyone. There is just too much complexity and diversity in IT infrastructure for this to be possible. Providers inevitably zero in on certain use cases and leave the rest for competitors. The same is true from the customers perspective. No customer is alike and finding the right provider is about matching needs with requirements. Sifting through all of this can be very challenging. But the good news is that finding order within this complexity is a relatively simple task if you know where and what to look for and most importantly, the key questions to ask. The fact is hosting providers are anything but alike. They have contrasting strengths and weaknesses and offer up drastically different value propositions. It is a matter of comparing them on the right terms and asking the right questions. Below we take you on a mini-road trip that will hopefully answer most questions and allow you to get a better understanding of the landscape. Finding The Hosting Provider Thats Right for You
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shared hosting To find a web hosting service that your organization can be happy with, experts suggest that you start by determining which type of hosting plan your firm needs. Customers cant see each one anothers data or files; the contents are kept separate and secure. The advantage of shared hosting is that its inexpensive and easy to set up. For small businesses, this is often the best route to take; however, larger organizations might find this type of set-up insufficient for their needs. Load times tend to be slower, and resources are spread more thin. Dedicated hosting plans allow a single website to be hosted on a single server. These servers are generally much more powerful, have more dedicated resources, and allow for a greater amount of storage space, which can be essential for larger companies. The downside is that dedicated hosting is much more expensive than shared hosting plans, and requires more maintenance activity on the part of the customer. The best of both worlds Theres a hybrid that operates between the two, though: the virtual private server hosting plan, in which each customer runs its own virtual private server. In this plan, many customers will share the same physical server, but specialized virtualization software makes it look as if each hosted customer is on its own separate server. Some plans offer flexible pricing, where customers can choose how much space and processing power they need and can even have the option to scale this as their company grows. WordPress-specific hosting is becoming much more popular as well , due to the rise in popularity of WordPress as a CMS for company websites. Personally, I highly recommend WordPress as a CMS, and many other experts do, too . Hosting thats specifically designed for WordPress can further improve speed, response time, and uptime. Other considerations Once youve made a decision about what kind of server you need, its time to start looking at other elements. How the provider handles security is always of concern , especially for companies who are looking to handle credit card transactions over their website. Another consideration should be the uptime guarantee. Customers often assume that their website will always be up and running; however, most providers offer a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. In most cases, theres no reason why clients should expect anything less than that, but its important to find out what youre entitled to if your server uptime falls below the guaranteed level. Customer Support Finally, one of the most overlooked aspects of choosing a hosting provider is the customers ability to interact with the provider itself. Can you pick up the phone and call support, or is everything handled via support tickets? Does your host charge for support calls?
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