Are you choosing web hosting? This infographic will help you to work out which web hosting types are the right fit for your organisation.Posted on 24 March 2017 -
Starting to think about buying web hosting services is not easy. There are so many different web hosting types available and countless variations within each type that it can be a bit of a headache trying to work out which service is right for your organisation.
With that in mind, we've put together this infographic that will help to guide you towards working out which web hosting types are suitable for your requirements. We have considered some of the main factors and usage requirements that impact on the choice of web hosting technology made by our clients and have turned that into an easy-to-follow graphic that helps to narrow down the options.
Simply follow the flow chart questions, which are based on how your website is currently used by customers, to find the web hosting service that is best matched to your website.
The information contained in the infographic is based on our advice on How To Choose Web Hosting, so that's a good starting point if you are looking for some further reading. We will summarise some of the information from that article here to give you more ideas on how to narrow down your search for the right web hosting types.
Firstly, you need to determine what sort of audience you need your web hosting to cater for. Different web hosting types are suited to different customer bases. At its most basic level this means understanding how many people are using your website. By digging into Google Analytics to determine how many unique users, sessions, pageviews and object downloads your website attracts, you can get an insight into what technologies are best suited to the quantity of visitors to the site. The basic ruled of thumb is that websites with relatively small visitor numbers need less complex web hosting types, such as VPS or an entry level dedicated bare metal server. High traffic websites will need a larger scale dedicated bare metal server or a private cloud.
The next stage is to estimate the scale. There is no point choosing the type of web hosting based on today's figures if you are expecting rapid growth in the coming months. We can draw on our experience to help you forecast the need for scalability based on what we have seen happen with the hundreds of websites and web applications we have previously worked on.
Now you need to assess how the audience you've identified will interact with the site. This involves hunting in historical analytics data for patterns in traffic numbers that can be observed on a daily or seasonal basis. For instance, a newspaper or blog website might see busy periods after publishing a new story when its traffic spikes. They will need a type of web hosting that offers rapid and flexible scalability, such as a private cloud with a content delivery network. By contrast, an e-commerce website might have a smaller, steadier flow of traffic, but visitors are likely to spend longer on the site and put more strain on the database by browsing an array of products, using filters, checking out product variations and viewing lots of photos. In that case, a private cloud with a dedicated bare metal database server is likely to be the best option.
Another factor is the technologies that you are already using, particularly if you intend to continue using them. For instance, different content management systems have different requirements and work better with different web hosting types. E-commerce CMS Magento tends to use a lot of RAM and a CMS that is designed for Apache web servers will need careful management of the maximum sessions.
While not strictly related to the type of web hosting - in terms of the technology you choose - there will be various other considerations that might play a part in your decision-making process. This includes the location of the server you choose, which can have an impact on user experience for your customers. In short, the closer the server is to your audience, the better your website will perform for them. There is also data sovereignty to consider. The location of your server - and therefore your data - might impact the jurisdiction under which any legal issues are dealt with.
Another of these factors is security. Whichever web hosting types you deem to be most suitable for your requirements, they will be rendered useless if the right security measures are not in place to protect your data. While this will largely be down to choosing the right web hosting company rather than the right technology, it is worth bearing in mind that shared hosting options are inherently harder to secure than dedicated or private hosting types.
You might also consider the backup and disaster recovery provisions put in place by a prospective web host, as well as the level of availability they offer in relation to what your organisation can tolerate in terms of outages and downtime.
If you've got any questions about the infographic or you would like more information on any of the web hosting types you have read about, feel free to get in touch