What Sort of Hosting Should I Choose for My Website?

There is a myriad of factors that make a web host compatible to your website. Here we will look at two of the most important factors you should take into account when choosing a host for your site.

What does your site run on?

Most websites use content management systems like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. These are web applications that make adding content and managing your site much easier.

These applications like any other software have system requirements that must be met by your web host which will include;

  • Software to run the scripting language the software is written in
  • Enough storage space to install the software
  • Database software to contain the information for each web page
  • An operating system that supports all of the above

Of all the above, WordPress is the most popular of all these apps. So most hosting options will meet the requirement to run it. The main requirement for a host to run a WordPress site would include;

  • PHP version 7 or greater. Since WordPress is a PHP script, you would need to install PHP on your server in order to run it
  • MySQL version 5.6 or greater. Since your web pages are stored in a database, you need MySQL or compatible software to store and access that data.
  • 15 to 20MB of additional space on which to install WordPress along with your theme plugins

Other web platforms have more specific needs. You will need to do your research on your host of choice to see whether they can meet the requirements of your site.

What additional media will you be serving?

Depending on what media you will want your clients to access, there will need to determine what amount of storage space you will need by checking the space the files occupy on your computer’s hard drive.

Storage bandwidth begins to bloat when you are serving up more than just web pages. For instance

  • Developers may provide download software to their users
  • Companies may provide documentation and user manuals by allowing their customers to download PDF files
  • E-learning sites may integrate multimedia into their lessons
  • Photographers and graphic designers might store extensive portfolios or libraries of high resolution, print ready  photo images

You can determine how much bandwidth space to allow for an estimation of how many files will be downloaded or viewed every month.

Some guidelines to this effect would include;

  • Consider hosting these files elsewhere reducing the impact they will have on your site. For instance, you could host your video files on you tube to avoid slowing down your website
  • Opt for a dedicated space which translates to terabytes of storage space

Adhering to the above aspects will help you run a good website. Web hosting is not rocket science for as long as you pinpoint exactly what your site’s unique hosting needs are. Only after that would you be poised to choose the most suitable web host to work with.