Choosing The Right Hosting Provider For An Agency or Freelancer
All websites need a webserver to deliver their content from, yet this is something that is often an afterthought, and it shouldn’t be.
Without a server, you have no website accessible to the world, and some could argue caching will still serve the site. Still, it isn’t something you want to be relying on and should be used to serve a site visitor the content in a quicker time based on their geolocation or a returning visitor.
Whether you’re just starting as a freelancer or you’ve been running a digital agency for many years, web hosting isn’t something on the top of your mind which is understandable as often you’re not a managed service provider.
While there are a lot of offers on the market today when it comes to hosting, it can be at time overwhelming and just plain confusing with miss leading reviews, claims and deals.
Choosing the right hosting provider and the correct type of service is crucial to the success of a project and business.
Consider the scenario: Your client is getting 100,000 visitors on a website hosted with you, and suddenly it crashes.
What will you do?
- Call the hosting company and blam them?
- Plead them to fix the server.
- Ask them to move the website to a new server or bring it to live again ASAP?
- Or, you’ve just had enough and ask them to help move you to a VPS server instead?
While it’s not going to be the end of the world, it’s going to cause you a whole lot of time and explaining to your client, that could be understandably upset as they’re losing business (money) this can be true for any website regardless of size.
Now think: What if you had more than one client on this shared hosting account, this starts to add up for both parties.
The time you have to spend fixing the problem, and then your clients losing business and calling for estimated times to when the issue will be resolved. Then there is the trust you’ve lost with your clients.
For those who don’t know what shared hosting, please don’t feel alone many of us do, it can be confusing with all that technobabble, a simple way to explain it is.
It’s kind of like if you had a broken tap filling up a container of water, the tap is broken, so you have no control over the flow of the water.
This is the same as how shared hosting works, and it’s a single server (container) that more than 1 person uses, you share this server with multiple people.
Now you can imagine each one of those users has just 1 website on it (the broken tap) and site visitors flowing to it (the water) you can’t control the flow of traffic hitting the server.
This is fine for a handful of websites, but think the container size hasn’t changed one bit, now think how many sites you have on this server? 10, 20, 50, 100 they might be small, but they start to have a high volume of traffic coming to them.
Then think how many more people you are sharing this one container with?
You can start to see how easy it is to fill (a container) beyond capacity and cause it to overflow, in this case, it is a server, and it will crash.
Often there is unfair allocation of server resources on a shared host, so you have no control over this.
How to decide on the most appropriate hosting solution for my freelancing or agency needs
It’s easy to spend the better part of a week diving down rabbit holes around, searching all over the globe looking for the right answer.
You would have come across this review, that review and even this post. You had to land here somehow I don’t run ads to it. While there is are lots of useful and trustworthy reviews out there, there is also a lot of non-genuine thoughts or bias opinions.
There are many different options out there, and people require other things—the most important things you want from a web hosting service provider.
Manage the servers, so you get a straight forward user interface that allows you to deploy your choice of CMS whether that is WordPress, Drupal or any of the 100’s of one out there.
Something that easies to scalable without interrupting the service
NOT shared and offers an isolated VPS typically they will say they run on (Digital Ocean, Google Cloud, AWS, Azure, Vultr) and there are many more. These often included in the hosting or ran in conjunction with the hosting provider but set up through them.
Store your data on an SSD drive (Solid State Drive)
They have good live support to help troubleshoot any issues you could encounter and not a ticket system.
Market competitive pricing for the same offering in terms of server performance, for example, storage, bandwidth, CPU, Uptime and most importantly, backups. (You need to watch out some charge additional for this.)
What I’m Not Going To Do Is…
List The 27+ Best Web Hosting Services of 2020
However, below are the top three providers I would recommend using that will fit most use cases, pricing and viability.
For running your clients website, hassle-free so you can enjoy time with your family, catching up with friends or while you travel around the world without having to worry about your client’s sites and franticly trying to fix them after the server crashed.