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There are a myriad of different web hosts to choose from, with varying degrees of prices and services. This is why it is important to get to know the basics of web hosting before picking a provider. Being able to identify the crucial points will help you make an informed decision – and avoid disappointment.
In real life, your house or flat is what you call home – in the virtual realm, this role is delegated to the webspace. Instead of a landlord, you will be dealing with a web host who provides you with a web server for your projects. In short, web hosting stands for the technical provision of content on the internet.
The main prerequisite? A server with a 24/7 connection to the internet. This web server ensures that any websites are accessible at all times, from anywhere in the world. In principle, a website is just a collection of interconnected computer files such as texts, pictures and videos. The web host’s server ensures a high-speed connection between the website and the internet, thus enabling the necessary flow of files.
When it comes to web hosting, we distinguish between four main options:
Shared hosting can be seen as the standard room of web hosting packages – it's the most common choice for smaller and middle-sized online projects. Because a web presence is hosted on a server along with many other web sites, the capacities are split between different users. This leads to lower prices but only negligible risk of a decrease in performance, as trustworthy web hosts make sure that the load is spread out evenly.
If we stick with room comparisons, cloud hosting is considered a definite upgrade. As several servers are used simultaneously, an overloaded server can access the other servers’ capacities when there is a spike in web traffic. This expansion of resources allows consistently smooth functioning, even at peak times.
A virtual private server is equivalent to the junior suite of hosting plans. As with other options, several web masters share a single server – however, the user is granted a definite amount of computing power through a sort of isolation. Because this split into separate parts happens very quickly, there is no sudden loss of performance. It won’t come as a surprise that a higher price and more technical responsibility go hand in hand with the added independence of this option.
When it comes to luxury, a so-called dedicated server is top-notch. As you will be renting your very own server, a single website can be hosted on it. Maximal control and optimal server performance are its perks, a high price an obvious disadvantage. In addition, extensive technical knowledge is necessary.
It's helpful to watch out for these crucial points:
The basics of every hosting plan consist of an own domain, sufficient webspace and corresponding email addresses. Apart from these elementary services, there can be major discrepancies in the packages offered by different providers. The necessary size and specific services of your chosen hosting plan depend mostly on your individual requirements. For instance, it's important to know whether your project (and its success) would benefit from a homepage construction kit or an encryption via an SSL certificate.
Before ordering your hosting plan, it's worth checking several offers in more detail. When it comes to domains, knowing how many domains are included in the package, as well as the maximum you can book at your chosen rate, can be crucial information. Furthermore, don’t forget to inquire about the featured domain extensions. A traffic flat rate, fair prices, competent support and technical reliability are additional details to consider.
Because of the high number of web hosts, newcomers can be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of choices, making it hard to find a package which meets their specific needs. Reading customer reviews, test reports and web host comparisons can help shine a light on the intricacies of web hosting. Keep in mind, however, that every user requires different services, depending on the focus of their website. In general, there are three main criteria: services, technology and price.
The following factors come into play when referring to the content of web hosting packages:
Many users struggle when it comes to technology, which is why being faced with so many options might leave them scratching heir heads - especially concerning the last point. Dealing with safety and privacy issues is, however, becoming more and more relevant, so it does deserve further investigation – but don't worry, a little time and effort for research can go a long way. Luckily, checkdomain customers can expect these security measures in every single hosting plan, so they can rest assured that their data is safe. What’s more, we rely on so-called geo-redundant storage in order to increase data protection: data is securely stored in two separate servers in different locations.
Another aspect worth noting is the guaranteed minimum bandwidth which determines the quality and speed of the website’s internet connection. The more photos, videos and downloads are available on the website, the higher the minimum bandwidth needs to be to enable optimal performance. A minimum bandwidth of 10 Mb/s should be guaranteed at all times. For this to work, the host must have access to the right network infrastructure as well as high-performance hardware, making sure to keep the amount of customers per server beneath the limit.
Last but not least, the price is also a decisive factor. As a customer, you should keep in mind that superior quality comes with a price and be cautious when a price seems too good to be true – it probably is. Concerning the price, ask yourself the following questions:
When comparing different hosts, be sure to focus on the relation between price and service - only then can you get a real overview and make an informed decision about the right hosting for your specific needs.
When comparing different providers on the internet, you will inevitably run into a slew of providers offering hosting plans and domains for free. The thought of saving money on a web project will seem especially enticing to newcomers, but beware: while these offers might be free, you will end up paying the price in the long run. There might be more than one little snag which could easily be avoided by paying for the desired service.
One of the possible disadvantages is the presence of unmodifiable advertising banners on your site, completely beyond your control. Another common practice is the use of pop-up windows, perceived as particularly disturbing by many users. At the same time, publishing your own adverts on the site - such as via Google AdWords - is not permitted. Furthermore, storage space can be insufficient and direct uploads without FTP access lead to time-consuming content uploads onto your site.
No advertising, more storage, additional services - this might be available from free providers, but it comes at an extra cost. This is why users need to compare available options and make sure that the free offer really is a good deal. In many cases, the smarter - and cheaper - option is to use a service which is subject to a charge from the get-go.
Compared to many other countries, web hosting services in Germany are often reasonably priced. This is due to a highly competitive market, especially in the lower price ranges - the number of providers seems to be increasing every day. At first glace, this could be seen as a positive development for the end user: services which used to be limited to professional hosting plans are now often available in basic packages. Consumers get a good deal, paying little for webspace and additional services.
However, these prices also have a downside, as extremely low rates can have a negative impact on the overall quality. This may affect technical capacity, data protection and quality of service. Anyone who values quality and competent service would be well advised to avoid cutting corners - investing a little more will certainly pay off in the long run.
In general, a cheap web hosting offer doesn't have to be lacking in quality. The easiest way to find out is to compare different offers, making sure that their services meet your requirements. Low-priced offers are bound to compromise on certain aspects, so be alert and pay attention to the details.
The following are common disadvantages of cheap web hosting offers:
To avoid disappointment, it's crucial to get informed about any advantages and disadvantages before settling for a provider. In general, high-quality, reliable hosting is just as important for a great web presence as the website itself. Keep this in mind when faced with the decision of how much - or how little - money to spend.
A content management system (CMS), as its name indicates, manages the content of a website, including texts, pictures and navigation. If CMS (WordPress and Joomla are two well-known examples) is used, the website content is usually stored in a database such as MySQL. In order to design the website, users need additional templates and style sheets made up of HTML and placeholders. When the website is viewed, the placeholders are automatically replaced by content and navigation. By now, CMS have become an integral part of hosting plans, easily installed for free. If, for instance, you opt for checkdomain's hosting plan Start Plus 4.0 or above, additional software is only a click away with its easy App installer. A selection of popular, tried and tested software is included, such as WordPress, Drupal, PrestaShop and Website Baker - easy installation guaranteed, no technical knowledge necessary.
The basis for the creation of a website - be it a private homepage or the web presence of a company - consists of a domain and sufficient webspace, i.e. the available storage for website data. This data is stored on the server, ready to be retrieved online at all times. Among other things, a so-called content management system (CMS) is also required for the creation of a website. This includes well-known applications such as Joomla and Typo 3, as well as WordPress for blogs. These individual elements form part of web hosting, or rather they belong to the services offered by a web host. *In general, users book these services as part of a hosting plan.** Apart from the standard services, many current plans include a wide selection of additional features. This includes practical software like our easy software installer - thanks to this, many apps are just a few clicks away and can be easily installed on your website. checkdomain's service is called App Installer and it is included in the hosting plan Start Plus 4.0 and above.
The abbreviation SSL is important to any website owner concerned about sensitive data - data needed for online shopping or booking a hotel room, for instance. SSL stands for "Secure Sockets Layer" and website owners can book an SSL certificate in addition to their hosting plan. This certificate ensures the encryption of data in delicate areas and safeguards it from unauthorized persons. The presence of an SSL certificate signals a high level of security, instilling trust in the users of a website - faced with the anonymity of the internet, web shop owners see this as a major selling point. Providers like checkdomain offer SSL as an added service with their hosting plans. Analogous to hosting plans, SSL solutions are staggered according to extent and price, with the basic option available for a small monthly fee. While the premium variety is more costly, the price includes several additional features such as the green address bar and a higher insurance sum - just in case problems occurred despite added security.
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