On what criteria should hosting be chosen for a website? Let’s discuss the management, security, and email features to consider before you buy.
Choosing the web hosting that best suits your project is essential for any type of online business. A personal blog or a display site for an activity that operates mainly offline does not require configurations comparable to those that would allow the operation of an e-commerce store or an audio / video streaming platform.
Are there general criteria by which to identify the best hosting for the activity that you want to do on the Internet? Here are some of the features to consider before purchasing.
The domain name
The domain name, or more simply the “ domain ” that will be associated with a website, gives an identity to a project, transforming it into a brand. Professionals and companies often also use it for their own email addresses, and the chosen extension allows you to specify the type of activity carried out (.com, .org) or the geographical area from which you operate (. it, .eu).
Therefore, before choosing hosting, it is good to check that the service also offers domain registration, preferably included in the price, and that the desired extension is included among those supported.
Web space and bandwidth
How much space is needed for a website? If a platform needs to manage large volumes of images, video, and audio files internally, storage can be a significant expense and a critical choice.
It should be noted that hosting space is usually also used for email and information stored in databases, which is why the need for an upgrade often quickly arises .
If the basic hosting offers 1 GB of space , how much would it cost to purchase an additional GB? Finding out about the rates charged by different providers before choosing could maximize the effectiveness of the investment.
Another element to take into account is the available bandwidth, which gives us a measure of the traffic that a hosting is capable of managing without slowdowns or malfunctions. Some providers offer unlimited traffic, others offer increasing amounts depending on the price range of the requested service.
What is the operating system installed on the hosting server that we want to acquire? Is there a DBMS ( Database Manager System ) for data management and if so, what type? What are the supported development and programming languages? What is the web server that manages the request and response system between the browser and the server?
To understand the importance of these questions, it is enough to refer to the most used Open Source CMS ( Content Manager System ) in the world for the creation of websites: WordPress .
To work in the best way, the latter needs an optimized environment, similar to the one used by its developers to implement its functionalities. So, if for example you want to build or migrate a site based on WordPress, it is advisable to buy a hosting based on Linux, and not on Windows, with support for the PHP language that provides a MySQL DBMS and offers the Apache or NGINX web server.
The same requirements are provided by other widely used CMS, such as Joomla and Drupal, as well as popular e-commerce platforms such as Magento and PrestaShop .
A world of integrations: whatever your system is, we can integrate it into MailUp.
The possibility of uploading pages and files from the Internet to the hosting might not be enough to manage a website, it is often necessary to use more advanced functions, such as creating databases , defining new DNS records , creating FTP accounts , configuring antivirus or antispam and much more.
For this reason it is recommendable to guide the choice to services that provide a control panel for hosting management . From this point of view, the most popular solutions today are two: cPanel and Plesk , both characterized by intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces. Some providers provide their own dashboard instead, so it’s good to check that all the useful tools for managing your project are available.
Likewise, it’s a good idea to opt for those offerings that have a visual database management interface, such as PhpMyAdmin , with which to perform operations in visual mode that would otherwise require complex command line instructions.
Security: HTTPS and SSL
The issue of security is essential, even when it comes to hosting; In this sense, it should be remembered that at this point all the main web browsers have been implemented to report as secure connections to Internet sites in HTTPS ( HyperText Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer ) and as insecure those in HTTP.
The difference between these two standards lies in the fact that HTTPS allows encrypted connections between the browser and the server, whereas HTTP, on the other hand, only allows the exchange of data “in the clear” and, therefore, does not offer guarantees in terms of confidentiality and integrity. of communications. In HTTPS, encryption is possible thanks to the availability of an SSL ( Secure Socket Layer ) certificate issued by an accredited CA ( Certification Authority ).
Many providers provide a free SSL certificate installed by default at the server level, so today there is no valid reason to give up the possibility of creating a site in HTTPS or having to purchase an SSL certificate separately and then integrate it. in a hosting that does not have it.
As noted when introducing the domain name topic, the domain name is often used to create branded email boxes. Therefore, before buying a hosting, it is advisable to check what functionalities are available for email .
For this purpose, it can be useful to ask yourself some questions, for example: how many emails will we need? How much mail do we expect to have to handle? From what devices will we check the mail? Will messages be handled through a client (such as Outlook) or through a browser?
Even a small business might need an email for each employee and others for the back office, customer service, vendor contact, website feedback, etc., so it’s a good idea to have a not too limited number. of boxes that can be activated.
As your business grows and your business processes multiply, you may not have enough web space, so focus on services that allow for easy upgrades when the need arises.
There should also be the possibility of managing mail directly from the browser, through a Webmail that allows messages to be read and sent regardless of the geographical area in which it operates and the device used to access the account.
The price cannot be the only relevant factor to choose a web hosting, there are several criteria to take into account before buying, such as the features offered by providers for both management and security.
It is difficult to identify the best hosting in an absolute sense, but it is most likely that you will be able to find the most suitable hosting for the project that you intend to develop.