John Kennedy

Who do you recommend for web hosting and how much do you pay?

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2 Answers

Terry Chadban

Hi John,

This is not touting for business, but may give you an idea of what to look for, and what to pay. We run our own website hosting for our clients, exclusively for the Wordpress platform, so our web hosting is specifically optimized for Wordpress.

[1] First decide what platform you are going to use, then find web hosting which specializes in that platform.

[2] Decide whether you want to maintain your website yourself, or whether you want to pay for a fully managed service.

[3] Look for a web hosting service that has a data centre close to you/your customers. For example most of our clients are situated in NSW, so our data centre is located in the Sydney CBD.

[4] Stay away from cheap web hosting like Hostgator and Godaddy, because their data centres are situated in the US, which presents a number of problems like slow page load times, which Google use to assess your search rankings, as well as security issues related to US laws.

[5] Try to find a web host which uses some sort of CDN (Content Delivery Network) like CloudFlare or MaxCDN. This is not a major problem if your data centre is situated close to where your customers are, but can help if you are expecting to attract customers from overseas because the CDN will display your website from the nearest datacentre in their network, which cuts down on page loading times again.

[6] Make sure that some sort of regular backup service is included, and easy for you to access if ever you need to roll back your website for any reason.

[7] Finally, make sure that your web host is using SSD (Solid State Drives) rather than traditional hard disk drives because this improves loading times dramatically. If you compare the loading speed of your mobile phone or tablet with your desktop computer you will see what I mean.

For the record, our web hosting is all SSD-based, situated in a data centre in Sydney, as I mentioned, and we run CloudFlare for our CDN. Our prices start at $20/month for basic websites, and $30/month for ecommerce websites, and that includes basic maintenance and weekly backups. That will give you a ballpark figure to work on, and an idea of what to look for, and what not to go for.

Good luck with your search, a reliable web hosting service is vital to an online business today!

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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

I am in the USA so my perspective needs to be taken with a grain of salt. All of what Terry mentioned above is important.

I've used Godaddy for about 8 years and had very few issues. I pay roughly $100 - $120 a year for the hosting. I have a bundle of 5 SSL certificates which is another $150 a year. However, for me their hosting is convenient because I can host many domains in the same hosting account (currently I have about 15 domains, 8 of which have actual content).

However, Godaddy and most "Traditional" hosting companies are PHP optimized (on the Linux operating system (OS)). They may offer Windows (OS) hosting that supports ".net", "Java" and ".asp" but usually that is a bit more expensive.

Why does this matter? If you are set on using a framework or software built in another language such as Python, Ruby or Node JS - you may need to look at distributed or Cloud hosting providers, such as Amazon AWS, Heroku, Google or others. Typically these services support the other languages but also can handle more capacity (users at a time) because they can scale easily. Keep in mind the cost structures of these services are usually a bit more complicated.

The important thing is you know what is important to you (bandwidth, storage space, scale-ability, cost, etc.) before you make your decision. If you aren't sure, try getting some guidance from vendors by explaining the goals of your hosting needs.

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