Andrew Ayush
Andrew Ayush

How to Choose the Best Hosting Server

Key characteristics to look for when choosing the best hosting server

How to Choose the Best Hosting Server

How do you decide the best hosting server for your website? What type of hosting service would be the best fit for your company? There are hundreds of cloud-based hosting companies that want to sell you their hosting packages.

But there are several questions that need to be answered for you to choose the best hosting server for your website. I have found in choosing servers for different web companies, there are definitive requirements for a server.

What is the best #hostingserver? #AWS and #WpEngine both have characteristics to look for in a hosting service. Click To Tweet

The Essentials
A web hosting account needs to be reviewed based on a few critical components. Every hosting server behaves differently than others based on how these components are configured on the server. The following points will help you decide the type of hosting server required.

Equal Technology
Make sure there is support on the hosting server for the technology the project uses. Always check with your development team to be sure the technology versions match. Ask them to notify you when they plan to update the website technology.

Note: PHP 7 support should be installed on the hosting server if the company’s project is developed with PHP 7. A PHP 5.6 server may not support a PHP 7 website.

Website Traffic
Get an estimate on the number of users accessing the website in the upcoming 3 – 6 months. If you have an idea about the number of visitors on the website, then the website resources can be managed accordingly.

Note: For heavy traffic websites, be sure the hosting company supports scalability and load balancer options. Having these services in place will help when you see high traffic coming to the website.

Server Locations
Server location can decrease latency if it is closer to your users. A website will load faster if located in the same region as your users.

Note: If your website target audience is in the United States, you should choose a server instance within that country. If the target audience is in Canada, then choose the server instance in Canada.

Server Uptime
Nothing is more important than having an operating web host that is available around the clock 365 days out of the year. Your web host should operate on powerful servers that have good network connectivity. Track your web host with server monitor tools. Ask IT Hands for recommendations on what tools can be used to track the connectivity of your server. Server uptime is a crucial component to determine your best hosting server option.

Note: Server monitoring services check for problems caused by overloaded or crashed servers, network connections and other devices. They protect the health and safety of your IT environment, allowing your software and hardware to operate with a reduced risk of problems.You also need to make sure that you have managed support (a helpline to contact) on the server for when you face critical issues.

Webhost Security
Nothing is secure on the web. There are ways to protect your data by applying a number of security tricks.

Note: Make sure your web server has the right setup and necessary tools to secure the website:

  • Firewall installed
  • Correct file permissions
  • Root access disabled
  • Auto-deploy used (Instead of FTP/sFTP)
  • Unneeded ports on server unopened
  • Vulnerability monitoring enabled (via Sucuri or similar tools)

Backups
Be prepared for the worst-case scenario. If your website gets hacked or somehow the data is deleted from the server by one of your developers, you need a recent backup of your website data. If your web host already backs up the website data regularly then there is nothing to worry about when these incidents happen. Your hosting provider should be able to restore the website in almost no time.

Note: Ask your web host these questions about backup:

  • Does the host provide full backups regularly?
  • Can site backups be done easily via the control panel?
  • What operating system can you use to create auto backups?
  • Can you restore your backup files by yourself?

Reliable Hosting Servers
These are the hosting servers we have found to be very reliable:
1. AWS (Amazon Web Server)
2. WP Engine

AWS is easy to use, flexible, cost-effective, scalable, high-performing and secure.

For a WordPress website, we use WP Engine. With this server, we experience less downtime, and the WordPress websites or blogs are more secure. It also provides a free staging environment and daily backups, better site responsiveness and help with SEO.

At IT Hands, we analyze each website and the server options before recommending the best hosting server to our clients. We have a team dedicated to reviewing the website and target audience to provide the best recommendations.