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What is Hosting? How to Choose the Best Hosting

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05/25/2023

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What is hosting? What are the types of hosting and what makes a good-quality hosting? How does the importance of hosting affect business outcomes, user experience, and SEO scores? With over 7 years of experience working with the WordPress platform and based on practical experiences using various hosting services, Bii will share personal experiences about hosting in this article.

What is Hosting?

Hosting is simply understood as the storage space for a website’s data on the internet. Hosting will store all of the website’s files, including images, text, video files, and code files. Hosting can be seen as a computer with specifications such as CPU, RAM, and SSD storage capacity.

Hosting services are provided by companies that offer basic to advanced hosting packages for customers. Essentially, you are renting hosting services from these providers as a place to store your website data, and the hosting provider is responsible for maintaining continuous and stable operating conditions for the website system 24/7/365.

Currently, hosting is divided into four different types: Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Server (also known as VPS), Dedicated Hosting (private storage server), and Cloud Hosting (essentially the same as Shared Hosting but with distributed data storage on the cloud, this is a higher-end form of Shared Hosting). Each type of hosting has its own characteristics, configuration specifications, and management methods according to the needs of users.

In summary, hosting is the storage space for a website system on the internet that helps keep your website running continuously. Hosting services refer to companies or organizations that invest in infrastructure equipment to operate a business by renting out hosting services.

See more: How did Bii build this website?

What is hosting? The hosting service includes many features and integrated utilities

The hosting service includes many features and integrated utilities

What types of hosting are there?

As mentioned above, there are currently four main types of hosting: Shared Hosting, VPS (Virtual Private Server), Dedicated Hosting, and Cloud Hosting. Let’s explore detailed information about each type of hosting with Bii right below.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is essentially a resource that is divided into smaller parts on a main server, so you will have to share resources like CPU, RAM, etc. with other Shared hosting packages. Because of this, Shared hosting is usually the cheapest type of hosting among the four types and also the least stable. This is currently the most popular hosting type and the largest in all types of hosting, which is suitable for basic websites like blogs, information pages, and new websites with not much data.

In addition, Shared hosting is often limited by traffic. When your website reaches a certain limit (50,000, 70,000…visitors/month depending on the service provider), it will encounter problems such as crashes, and network congestion, and at this point, you need to upgrade to a higher hosting service like VPS or dedicated servers.

One issue with Shared hosting is its relatively low security. Because it uses the same resources on the same server, when one website is attacked or infected by a virus, it will affect other websites on the server, causing negative impacts for all websites.

However, due to its affordability and integration with many user-friendly features such as cPanel interface, one-click WordPress installation, automatic data backup, etc., Shared hosting is still the number one choice for beginners or small websites that want to save costs.

See more: Top 5 best hosting for WordPress websites

The pros of Shared hosting are its affordability and a wide range of features suitable for beginners

The pros of Shared hosting are its affordability and a wide range of features suitable for beginners

VPS (Virtual Private Server)

This is a higher-end form than Shared Hosting, VPS is an independent virtual server created from 1 physical server, the difference is that each VPS is assigned a separate resource such as CPU, RAM, bandwidth, and SSD… which helps your website to achieve better performance than using Shared Hosting (many websites share the same resources).

Because of its independent resources, VPS has better security than Shared Hosting, with a significantly reduced risk of being attacked, hacked, or DDoS. And of course, the cost of VPS is higher than Shared Hosting, VPS is suitable for websites with relatively high traffic (from 100,000 traffic/month and above) and websites with high requirements for speed and performance.

From Bii’s personal point of view, if you are just starting to build a website or your website does not have much traffic, you should consider using Shared Hosting to save costs, and importantly, Shared Hosting comes with many additional utilities. With VPS, you will need more advanced management and configuration knowledge than with Shared Hosting, not suitable for beginners.

See more: 5 reasons why you should choose WordPress to build a website

VPS is a type of hosting that sits between Shared hosting and Dedicated hosting

VPS is a type of hosting that sits between Shared hosting and Dedicated hosting

Dedicated Hosting

This is the highest form of storage currently applied to large corporate conglomerates (Amazon, Facebook, Google…). With a huge amount of traffic coming from all over the world, using shared hosting and VPS will not be able to handle it, so using physical servers is necessary.

This is a premium hosting type as you will own an independent server, with full access and control over 100% of the server’s configuration, including CPU, unlimited bandwidth, RAM, etc. In addition, the cost of Dedicated Hosting is much more expensive than Shared hosting and VPS.

For basic website building and low traffic per month, using physical servers is very expensive and not suitable for most websites in the world. When your website reaches millions of traffic per month, consider using Dedicated Hosting. In most cases, Shared hosting and VPS are sufficient for the needs of most current websites on the internet.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is a more advanced form of Shared hosting, where your data is distributed to cloud storage by a cluster of virtual servers, which helps minimize risks compared to other forms of storage because, in Shared hosting, data will be concentrated in one place, which may affect the website in case of server failure causing downtime and lag…

Overall, Cloud hosting is a breakthrough in data storage compared to the above 3 types because of its flexibility in distributing risks to multiple virtual servers. In addition, by distributing resources flexibly, you can register to use according to your needs and expand your website over time without being constrained as in Dedicated Hosting.

Currently, Cloud Hosting is becoming increasingly popular, gradually replacing traditional Shared hosting. The only drawback of Cloud Hosting compared to Shared hosting is that the operating cost is higher and it is more difficult to access for users who do not want to spend a lot of money on hosting services.

See more: Easily boost website speed to 100/100 with the Accelerator plugin

The web host is a combination of various integrated technologies within a service package

The web host is a combination of various integrated technologies within a service package

Criteria for evaluating good hosting

To evaluate the quality of a good or bad hosting service, there are many different factors to consider. However, Bii will summarize the shortest based on 4 main criteria to evaluate whether the hosting quality is good enough and worth buying. The 4 main criteria to evaluate the quality of hosting are:

  1. Performance speed
  2. Customer support service
  3. Extra utility
  4. Price

That’s 4 main ways to help you identify whether the hosting service is reliable so that we can trust and use their hosting services or not. Go into detail on each criterion so that you can understand more clearly.

Performance speed

This is the most important criterion when you decide to use hosting services because the speed performance of hosting directly affects the customer experience on your website, thereby affecting your pocketbook revenue.

Furthermore, another important point is that performance also affects the SEO ranking of search engines like Google, and Bing. As of 2023, search engines prioritize page loading speed even more. Therefore, high-speed hosting is an extremely important criterion to help you increase your ranking on search engines.

A high-speed hosting service includes the following conditions:

  1. At least 99% uptime: Up to 100% with reputable hosting services such as Dreamhost, which is a recommended WordPress hosting provider.
  2. The actual page loading speed must be <1 second: to achieve this, many requirements are needed such as:
    • The powerful hardware configuration of the hosting is equipped with the latest technology such as NVMe drives, new-generation EPYC CPUs, and specialized RAM…
    • The Data Center is located near the national area that you are targeting. For example, if Bii’s website is targeting customers in Singapore, you need to choose a hosting service with a Data Center located in Singapore to optimize the speed and reduce latency for customers accessing the website.
    • A stable and high-load capacity network connection will help the hosting avoid downtime and retain customers on the website.
    • Efficient resource management: Most Shared hosting packages are cramming Users to save costs, affecting the speed and quality of the website as they have to share resources. HostArmada provides high-quality hosting services while committing to the lowest number of Users per server in the market.

Due to the reasons mentioned above, Bii would not use InterServer hosting services if they want to build a website for the Singapore market, even though InterServer is a very high-quality and affordable hosting provider in the United States. The main reason is that they do not have a Data Center located in Singapore, so instead, Bii will use HostArmada or Hostinger.

Low-quality hosting is the main cause of slow website performance

Low-quality hosting is the main cause of slow website performance

Customer support service

Here is another important factor that you need to consider before using hosting services. During the hosting operation, there are often incidents such as malfunctions, cable breaks, DDoS attacks, bandwidth congestion… These could cause your website to experience lagging, and longer loading times, and make it inaccessible to users. In more severe cases, downtime could result in loss of traffic and revenue.

During such times, the customer support department will work to solve the issue. Lower-quality hosting providers typically have longer response times, and you may have to wait over a day to get your ticket resolved (during that day, your website’s traffic could be affected, and if you’re running ads, you’ll still be spending money without any returns – that’s terrible).

Some hosting providers respond very quickly, but their technical team may not be sufficiently experienced, and may not be able to help you fix the issue completely, leading to recurring problems. There are certain standards for good customer service that a hosting service should meet, such as:

  1. Response time for Ticket submission is < 10 minutes
  2. Live chat support and message response time is < 30 seconds
  3. The highly specialized team can handle technical errors if there is an issue with hosting in one single instance
  4. The support team operates 24/7/365, including holidays

Meeting all the above criteria, you can rest assured that it is a hosting provider with excellent customer support services. However, it should be noted that only a few hosting providers support native languages ​​like Hostinger, which helps customers to easily interact. While most hosting services only choose English as the supported language.

See more: user-friendly and SEO-friendly website

Customer support is a quality factor evaluated alongside performance and speed for web hosting

Customer support is a quality factor evaluated alongside performance and speed for web hosting

Extra utility

Good hosting will be equipped with many important features to increase performance and website security, as well as maintain website stability for a long period of time. When purchasing hosting, you should consider the additional features that the provider integrates into their service package. Some important and necessary features include:

  1. Automatic daily and weekly data backups help protect your data in the event of a crash, such as a website hack. In addition, automatic data backup support helps you avoid the need to use an extra backup plugin, thereby improving your website’s speed.
  2. Support for DDoS protection, firewall, and website security against cyber attacks is almost a mandatory requirement when using hosting. A low-quality hosting provider will not equip these security features and make your website vulnerable to attacks.
  3. Free integration of SSL security certificates helps you save a considerable amount of money. Currently, SSL security certificates are a mandatory requirement for websites on the internet.
  4. Additional utility services such as one-click WordPress installation, free data migration, free Themes and Plugins, and easy upgrade to a higher premium hosting package if you plan to expand your services in the future.

Generally, if a hosting provider offers more additional features, it will help you easily build a website and save quite a bit of cost. Therefore, when using hosting services, you should consider the features that they integrate into their service package.

See more: RankMath plugin – Comprehensive SEO for WordPress

Price

And finally, there is the pricing factor. This is a factor to consider when evaluating the quality of the product before using hosting services. A high-quality hosting service, in addition to strong performance and excellent service support, must come with a good price that is affordable for most people.

For example, Kinsta is a premium hosting provider with excellent speed that is almost at the top of the current hosting market. However, the cost is too expensive for most users’ financial capabilities. Therefore, Bii evaluates Kinsta as a provider of very good quality hosting but with an unfavorable price.

HostArmada offers high-quality hosting services at an affordable price

HostArmada offers high-quality hosting services at an affordable price

Good hosting service providers

Based on the information above, Bii would like to introduce to you some reliable hosting service providers that are trusted by the WordPress community, including the one that Bii uses.

  1. DreamHost: Recommended by WordPress for its optimized and perfect operation with WordPress open source, very affordable cost of only $2.95/month (currently offering a 79% discount), and unlimited hosting package with storage, bandwidth, and domain name. This is one of the few hosting services that achieve 100% uptime.
  2. HostAramada: Bii hosting service used since 2020. This is a typical hosting provider, appearing on the market since 2019 but with excellent service quality. They offer a 70% discount program for first-time customers.
  3. InterServer: A reputable hosting provider with good quality from the United States. In addition to stable quality, the cost is very cheap, currently offering a 65% discount for only $2.50/month. If you are planning to build a website for the North American or European market, this is an excellent choice.
  4. Kinsta: Premium hosting with over 275+ POP storage locations worldwide, ensuring your website achieves the highest speed everywhere in the world. If your financial ability is strong enough, Kinsta is a top choice for speed, with uptime of up to 99.99%.
  5. Hostinger: The cheapest and most popular hosting provider currently in the world. Their native language customer support is a rare advantage that few hosting services have. You will be supported quickly and easily compared to other hosting providers.

Above are 5 quality international hosting providers verified by the WordPress community. As for the domestic hosting market in Vietnam, there are currently 3 most prominent units:

  1. Azdigi: The number 1 hosting service in Vietnam with strong advantages thanks to well-invested infrastructure. In addition, there is a promotion program of up to 40% off hosting services and doubling SSD storage capacity.
  2. Tinohost: A provider of cheap and quality hosting services that many Vietnamese website designers trust and rate well.
  3. VietNix: The hosting service that Bii is currently using for website operation in the Vietnamese market. This is a stable hosting provider with uptime of up to 99.7%.

Frequently asked questions about hosting

Which hosting should be used for the WordPress website?

Depending on the need and current situation of the website, if your website is just starting to build or has little traffic, you should start with Shared Hosting packages to save costs

What are the similarities and differences between Shared Hosting and VPS?

Shared Hosting and VPS are both forms of renting storage space for websites. VPS is an upgraded form of Shared Hosting where you get to use dedicated resources, unlike Shared Hosting. VPS has better pricing, security, and speed compared to Shared Hosting.

When do you need to upgrade your current hosting package?

You should consider the possibility of upgrading from Shared Hosting to VPS or Dedicated Hosting when the number of traffic increases significantly (at least > 100,000 traffic/month). If you do not upgrade in case the traffic exceeds the loading capacity of Shared Hosting, it will cause the website to slow down and experience downtime.

So through the article on Bii, we hope to have provided sufficient information about hosting and how to help you find the most suitable hosting service to build your own website!

Bii Nguyen

Hello everyone, I’m Bii Nguyen – the founder of this website. The website was created with the desire to spread useful knowledge to everyone.

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With over 7 years of experience in the field of Digital Marketing, Biiviet.com is a blog that shares knowledge on building a personal brand and making money through websites and social media. All the knowledge provided is free and based on real-life experiences.

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