What Type of Hosting Should I Be Using For My Website?

— 5 minutes, 27 seconds read —
data center

Deciding how & where to host your website can be tricky at best and at worst a mine field! With so many options out there, how the heck are you supposed to decide where to give your site a ‘forever home’! To help you answer this question we’ve put together a quick-start, non-technical guide to the main options available to you; the webmaster!

 1. Shared Hosting

So we might as well start from the bottom and work our way up, beginning with shared hosting. You have most likely heard the term, but perhaps don’t quite understand what it actually means!

So what is shared hosting? Well. Just that! It is hosting that your website shares with other websites.

With shared hosting, your website lives on a server with many other websites all using the same IP address. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this type of hosting service, as a site owner, you need to be aware if this option is right for you. Generally shared hosting is great for personal sites and small businesses with low traffic volumes where performance isn’t a top priority.

The Ups

  • Cheap as chips, if that’s what you want!
  • No technical knowledge or server experience required
  • No requirement to install any software / set anything up

The Downs

  • Limited Resources
    • Because multiple websites will be utilising the same hard drive, memory and CPU, server resources are often stretched resulting in poor performance – especially if one of your neighbours on the same server suddenly receives a spike in traffic!
  • Security
    • Sharing a server with other websites can be a security risk. You have no idea how security conscious the other website owners are. There have been instances where hackers who have exploited a security vulnerability on one site, have been then able to access sites on that same server.
  • Blacklisted IP addresses
    • You have no idea of what kind of websites are residing alongside yours on a shared server. If your neighbouring website is engaged in unethical or email spamming, the address of the offending server may well black listed by ISPs. If your email shares that same IP address you may find them being blocked or ending up in spam/junk through no fault of your own. Not great for business!

Not all shared hosting is made equal. As with all hosting, you get what you pay for. Even if you have a small business it really is best to avoid services like 123-reg and Namesco. Your website deserves better!

2. WordPress Optimised Hosting

WordPress is the worlds most popular Content Management System and the CMS we specialise in here at DBD. Around 23% of all websites are powered by WordPress, so it’s hardly surprising that many WordPress-focused hosting companies have popped up in the past decade. Here’s a couple of our favourites:

34SP.com | www.34sp.com

34sp logo

Our hosting company of choice, Manchester-based 34SP.com are located just round the corner from Design By Day HQ. 34SP.com offer specialised WordPress hosting in addition to a number of other hosting services. Their pricing is competitive and their customer service is second-to-none, via phone or ticketing.

With 34SP.com’s zero click installation, the latest version of WordPress is installed upon purchase. If you are a developer this is a nice little productivity win. If you have a minimal knowledge of WordPress and just need to get your site live, then you are off to a flying start!

34SP.com are also big on security and so it goes without saying that SFTP is the only protocol found around these parts sheriff! Their easy one click install of Let’s Encrypt means you can have a free SSL certificate on your site in less than one hour.

Other great features include staging, daily backups and of course a genuine passion for all things WordPress! The guys at 34SP.com are highly involved in the WordPress community and can be seen sharing their knowledge at many WordCamps across the country. (You can also catch Team DBD attending both Manchester & London WordCamps).

Our yet-to-be-released (shhh) in-house project, Print is Dead – a showcase the best in print design, is proudly hosted with our favourite hosting company.

WPEngine | wpengine.com

wpengine logo

The only non-UK / Manchester based service to make it’s way into this post is WPEngine and are very worthy of a mention. Prior to discovering the 34SP, WPEngine were our WordPress hosing service of choice. They have a similar offering to 34SP and also offer great service. We have always been extremely impressed by the hosting and customer service of WPEngine – we just prefer to keep things locally sourced!

WPEngine are solely dedicated to WordPress hosting and offer 5 tiers of hosting – so they’ve got you covered whether you have a local business, large eCommerce outfit or internationally renowned magazine site / blog!

  • Personal
  • Professional
  • Business
  • Premium
  • Enterprise Grade

Although based in the US, they do have a UK data-centre.

 3. Dedicated Servers & Virtual Hosting

If you have a high traffic, business critical website that demands a bespoke / specific setup then a dedicated server or virtual hosting is a no-brainer.

The Ups

  • Freedom
    • With most dedicated and virtual severs you have the freedom to install and customise whatever software you want.
  • Performance
    • You are also the master of your server spec and can configure it according to your requirements and decide how much memory, storage space, CPU you allocate to your site or sites hosted there.
  • Scalable
    • Virtual servers are generally very flexible and scalable, meaning that spikes in traffic can be easily handled and the spec increased as your business and website needs increase.

The Downs

  • Cost
    • Managed dedicated servers cost more that non-managed servers due to the human resource involved – although unless you have your own server technician in house you’ll likely want an expert to set up and maintain both the hardware and software.

If your thinking about switching to a dedicated server or virtual hosting we’d recommend talking to either of the following Manchester-based data centres:

UKFast | www.ukfast.co.uk

uk fast logo

UKFast is an award-winning managed hosting provider. They offer dedicated servers, cloud hosting, and colocation services in highly secure UK data centres and provide managed hosting and colocation services to some of Britain’s best-loved brands.

UKFast have two obsessions; speed and people. Which basically translates to technical awesomeness and first class customer service!

Melbourne | www.melbourne.co.uk

melbourne logo

As part of the iomart group Melbourne has data centres all over the UK. In addition to dedicated servers and virtual hosting.

Whilst we don’t have any direct experience of their services, many of our colleagues, clients and competitors have been long term customers – we’re recommending by proxy!

4. Serverless Technology

Ok so the name is a bit of an oxymoron – but watch this space for the low down on serverless technology for web and mobile apps from our very own Parham Majdabadi.

If you have any questions about hosting or are scratching your head over something not covered in this post. Just drop us a line!

Tell me more about hosting >