If you're not sure of the type of hosting your business needs, you might want to start small, with shared Web hosting. You can always graduate to a more robust, feature-rich package of, say, VPS hosting or even dedicated hosting in the future. Unfortunately, some hosts don't offer all hosting types. Consider how much you expect to grow your website, and how soon, before you commit to anything longer than a one-year plan. It's worth spending the time up front to make sure that the host you select with is able to provide the growth you envision for your site, as switching web hosting providers midstream is not a trivial undertaking.
In order to choose a hosting package that will fit your needs, begin by thinking about the goals of your business. The biggest differentiators between hosting packages are the size of disk space, monthly data transfer, number of emailboxes and tools such as open source applications and programming languages. After you determine how you plan to use your site and the amount of traffic you expect on your site, you'll be able to identify which package is best for your business.
A customer needs to evaluate the requirements of the application to choose what kind of hosting to use. Such considerations include database server software, scripting software, and operating system. Most hosting providers provide Linux-based web hosting which offers a wide range of different software. A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. The web hosting client may want to have other services, such as email for their business domain, databases or multimedia services. A customer may also choose Windows as the hosting platform. The customer still can choose from Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby, but the customer may also use ASP.NET or ASP Classic. Web hosting packages often include a web content management system, so the end-user does not have to worry about the more technical aspects.
If you aim to have a web presence, you've got to have email. It's a convenient way for potential customers and clients to send you a message, Word document, or other files. Thankfully, most web hosts include email in the price of their hosting plans. Some web hosts offer unlimited email account creation (which is great for future growth), while others offer a finite amount. You, naturally, should want unlimited email.
You want your web host to proactively monitor and apply security updates to your Content Management System (CMS), themes, and plug-ins. If you have to contact your web host to trigger these kinds of updates, the health of your site could be in jeopardy. No matter what, you should follow your web hosting company on Twitter to see if they send out any maintenance announcements.
The company doesn't list a virtual private server offering, but they bill their Elastic Sites service as a VPS alternative, offering the ease of use of a simple shared hosting plan and the performance and scalability of a VPS. GlowHost also offers a number of different cloud hosting plans, with special attention to providing enterprise-grade services.
I’d advise against managing through your account as that leaves you as a middle man that could prohibit your clients from accessing their accounts should something ever happen to you. I see what you mean about credit cards and have run into that before with international clients. The problem is that G Suite wants you to keep a credit card on file (they’ll alternatively work with bank transfers, so maybe Paypal could work?).
But, again, operationally they're quite strong. 24/7/365 customer support is available not only by live chat and email, but by phone. They offer free site migrations with some dedicated attention paid to making a transfer as smooth as possible. And, if you're willing to go for one of the higher-end plans, the company has put some serious attention into performance and caching.
Shared hosting is web hosting in which the provider houses multiple sites on a single server. For example, Site A shares the same server with Site B, Site C, Site D, and Site E. The upside is that the multiple sites share the server cost, so shared web hosting is generally very inexpensive. In fact, you can find an option for less than $10 per month.
GlowHost earned our kudos for their 91-day money-back guarantee. They were six days short of DreamHost's 97-day guarantee, but with these numbers, who's quibbling over a few days? The company also offers 24/7/365 phone support option and free cPanel offering for most plans. The company operates 18 datacenters worldwide. Finally, the company garnered extra kudos by driving all its hosting services with wind power.
All of this infrastructure has been built out to support the a wide range of hosting services. The family-owned company gains points for understanding the importance of transaction security by offering free AutoSSL and Let's Encrypt SSL encryption for its plans. While the company offers sophisticated services for technically strong clients, it also has a Weebly web builder option to get you up and running quickly.
In order to publish your website online, your business website requires a web hosting service. However, a web host gives business owners more than just web hosting services! For example, web hosting firms typically employ in-house technicians to make sure their clients' websites are up and running 24/7. Plus, when website owners are in need of help or troubleshooting (e.g. script debutting, email not able to send/receive, domain name renewal, and more), the web host's in-house support are the go-to people. A professional web hosting service ensures a hassle-free experience for business owners, so they can efficiently focus their time and effort on their businesses.
One's website is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few sites to hundreds of websites. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. The features available with this type of service can be quite basic and not flexible in terms of software and updates. Resellers often sell shared web hosting and web companies often have reseller accounts to provide hosting for clients.
The availability of a website is measured by the percentage of a year in which the website is publicly accessible and reachable via the Internet. This is different from measuring the uptime of a system. Uptime refers to the system itself being online. Uptime does not take into account being able to reach it as in the event of a network outage. A hosting provider's Service Level Agreement (SLA) may include a certain amount of scheduled downtime per year in order to perform maintenance on the systems. This scheduled downtime is often excluded from the SLA timeframe, and needs to be subtracted from the Total Time when availability is calculated. Depending on the wording of an SLA, if the availability of a system drops below that in the signed SLA, a hosting provider often will provide a partial refund for time lost. How downtime is determined changes from provider to provider, therefore reading the SLA is imperative. Not all providers release uptime statistics. Most hosting providers will guarantee at least 99.9% uptime which will allow for 43m of downtime per month, or 8h 45m of downtime per year.
Everything seemed well on day 1. On day 2, things deteriorated. Beth, my wife, couldn’t send emails to contacts at UNT and a few other institutions from her new Hover account. Heck – I couldn’t send an email to Beth, who now had an account at Hover and was sitting next to me. All attempts to send email garnered a popup telling us the email we were sending was spam or a virus. WTH?
Find out what security measures are taken by the hosting provider to secure data. If you are interested in shared hosting then the hosting provider’s policies should address it and same implies to cloud hosting as well as dedicated hosting. Also, ask how often they conduct malware/virus scans? The hosting provider you choose should have proper security processes in place (SSL certificates etc.) to protect any sensitive data.
We liked how Web Hosting Hub describes its new customer process. They tell new customers, "We walk you through setting up your account in a personal on-boarding call." The company has a few other wins as well. They offer an all-SSD infrastructure, automatic vulnerability patches and a custom firewall, SSH access for certain plans, free site migration and an excellent 90-day money-back guarantee.
I have been using Mandrill (from MailChimp folks) and have mostly liked it, however have seen some performance issues from the wpMandrill plugin and have recently started playing with the MailGun service (from Rackspace) for transactional emails… so far, MailGun seems to perform a bit better overall, lacks a few easy config options in the plugin options…
One irritation to note about Hover: You have to also host your domain with them. For me, that’s not a big deal since I’m already using them as my domain registrar. However, if you’ve pre-paid for many years of domain registration elsewhere, that’s cash down the toilet if you transfer it to Hover (Thank you, reader Y, for showing me either a new policy or one I hadn’t noticed before).
The flip side of that coin is specialization. Many operators believe that hosted email services are useful mainly to companies interested only in general-purpose email use and that any specialized application requires an in-house deployment. This might be true depending on the app but it might not depending on the capabilities offered by the hosted email provider. Email marketing is a great example. Some hosted email providers have special service suites aimed specifically at email marketers, many of whom can send out thousands of emails per month, focused not so much on communication as they are on marketing. These service providers deliver more than just volume, too, as they also offer custom email creation tools and sophisticated marketing and tracking metrics.
Here are some of the reasons the company gets a top rating. They offer an all-SSD infrastructure. They have 24/7 telephone customer support in addition to the ticket, email and live chat support options. They offer a basic site migration, in that they'll unpack a site saved from another cPanel instance. They offer free SSL and free malware detection.
I’d suggest calling (or emailing) Hover and explaining your situation and see what they suggest. As I recall, they don’t allow multi-account access (i.e. you manage client accounts via your login), but we can always cross our fingers that it’s on the roadmap. Alternatively, you could set up accounts in their name/email and just use their logins (don’t tell anyone I said that). 😉
+1 for Google Apps. I am using it with my domain registered through Hover. I couldn’t agree more about messing with DNS zones. Since I don’t do that everyday – it is something I am bound to get wrong the first time. Just yesterday I learned that it is better to edit the A record to point to your new web host vs changing the Nameservers. Doing that will definitely mess up your existing email settings.
At FatCow, we understand that it takes more than impressive technology to be a top host; it takes a great team of people. Over the years, the Moo Crew, FatCow's customer support team, has developed a reputation in the industry for going the extra mile for customers. The Moo Crew is available 24x7, 365 days a year and can be reached via phone, email or online chat.