If you start searching online for a web host right around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’ll be flooded with offers from a myriad of companies offering excellent packages, additional disk space, and more. If you’re a new webmaster, you’ll soon be confused by the many options offered to you.
Dedicated or Shared Hosting?
Among the first decisions, you have to choose between a dedicated web host or a shared host.
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A shared host is a web server that houses thousands of sites from dozens to hundreds of different customers. Thus the term, “shared web host” used to describe it.
A dedicated web host is an exact opposite, i.e., it is dedicated to hosting the website of one customer (or sometimes, a limited number of clients) only.
Hostgator has them both.
The benefits of a dedicated web host against a shared web host are evident. Since your files reside independently on a single server, you have much more control over your websites, the kind of software, programs you can install on the web server, its configuration, and more.
If you’re looking to build a large project or host a website with heavy traffic, you must seriously consider a dedicated web host.
Managed or Unmanaged?
The second thing you must consider is choosing between a managed or unmanaged dedicated web host.
With an unmanaged web host, you’ll have to be responsible for software updates, bug fixes, etc.
With a managed web host, all these tasks will be done by the hosting company itself, thereby leaving you free to handle your site. Luckily on Black Friday, you can find deals for all types of web hosting.
Again, the benefits of a managed web host are evident. It’ll save you a lot of time and stress if you let the web hosting company manage the affairs of updating and maintaining the server.
However, if you do have employees who are well versed in running a server, an unmanaged web host might be a better option.
Reliability Beats Everything Else
When it comes to choosing a dedicated host, your number one consideration must be reliability. A web host that has uptime of less than 99.9% is not worth your time. If your site is down even for half an hour in a day, you can end up losing some valuable customers and eyeballs.
Another critical thing to consider is the customer support. Managing a website can be a daunting task, and web servers can be complicated to understand and handle. Sooner or later you’re going to end up needing help from your web host. Thus, choose a web hosting service that boasts quick response time and phone as well as email support.
Finally, you must consider the cost. More often than not, in the web hosting industry, you get what you paid for. A cheap host, therefore, is not recommended. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to choosing your hosting company. Pick from some of the established players with a proven track record (Hostgator, Media Temple, etc.) rather than some unheard of company that has lower prices.