There are a number of hosting providers in India. Deciding the right one is like choosing a fruit in the market. It can be good or bad. There are multiple points on which you can decide which hosting provider is suitable for your requirements. Before you decide, you need to make sure to clarify your requirements first.
There are multiple types of hosting available in the market, such as Dedicated, VPS, Cloud, Shared and much more.
Explaining these types are not in the scope of this note. However, below is an overview of major hosting types:
– Shared hosting: In this type of hosting, multiple websites will be hosted on a single IP. There is no root and shell access. The provider will manage underlying operating system (OS). It is the most cost effective option.
– VPS/Cloud hosting: In VPS/ cloud hosting, you will get a virtual set of resources from physical resources. In this you will be having root and shell access to control the underlying OS. It is a bit costlier than shared hosting.
– Dedicated Hosting: In dedicated hosting, you will have a dedicated hardware for hosting.There will be root and shell access to manage underlying OS. It is a costlier hosting option.
There is a chance that some hosting providers are better in one hosting type and some in other hosting types. So it will be always useful to study hosting types and choose the suitable one according to your requirements and budget. Later you can choose the hosting provider accordingly.
Here are the basic pointers to study, before choosing right hosting provider for your business:
This is an important factor while deciding any IT setup. Before opting any hosting solution, you first need to have a budget before you spend on the hosting solution and what would be your ROI. So if your budget is for shared hosting services then it will be a waste of time evaluating dedicated hosting. You can compare multiple shared hosting solution providers. However the cheaper solution is not always the right solution. Also, it is very important to compare renewal pricing and refund policies.
2. Technical specifications:
While comparing prices, it is also important to compare technical specifications from the provider as well. It is not always recommended to opt for the cheaper solution. To decide better, you need to decide your own technical requirements. For eg; if you want to host a static website or small personal blog or portfolio page, then you can opt for shared hosting solution. However, if you want to host a simple e-commerce portal or blog with more number of hits or reselling then you must opt for cloud or VPS solution.
After deciding your technical requirements, you can compare the different hosting solutions by various providers on the basis of technical ground. When you are comparing technical specs, don’t forget to compare data transfer limitations as well.
After shortlisting few solution providers as per pricing and technical specifications, you can now check their uptime record. Before that, you need to first decide how much downtime is acceptable and if it fits your budget. If your application requires ‘high availability’ with zero downtime then you need to accordingly. You can ask the service provider their uptime record for last one year if required. Note that many a times uptime is provided from a system point of view and not the network. So if internet service from a carrier is down then it will not be covered in SLA.
4. Technical support:
This is a crucial point for deciding the service provider. As all providers will tell you that they will provide best support. But you need to check whether they are technically capable engineers. How much email response time from them? Many service providers have their support outside the country so they respond after 12 hours, which can affect your business.
You can go to their office to meet the technical support team if possible. This will give you a better idea about their technical infrastructure as well. You can also check if they provide support on weekends. Many a times you find 8hrs. support for 5 days only. So it is always advisable to compare their support timing.
5. Customer reviews:
There are a number of sites or forums where you can get the customer reviews posted. You can study them. There are chances of false reviews in forums. So it is necessary to be cautious while reading.
6. Server upgrade or scalability:
If you are planning to host an e-commerce website or any other web application, then you need think about future scalability. The solution provider you select, must be able provide you server upgradability. Your solution must be scalable in case of such applications.
7. Control panel & features support:
Many a times the user requires control panels such as Cpanel, Plesk, zpanel. Check if the service provider is providing the panel in same cost.
It is always preferable that the solution provider office is easily accessible. So that you can go to their office for any support related issues or for discussing future solution requirements.
9. Experience in hosting:
Before deciding hosting providers it is recommended that you to check their inception in the hosting industry. This is because there are many newcomers who just start off and then shut shop due to financial or any other issues.
As per the above points, it is very important to have a brainstorming session to finalize your requirements before choosing the hosting provider. Compare prices of solutions you are looking for from different vendors. Instead of just comparing prices, compare the actual features they are providing against their pricing. And always remember that “the cheaper option is not always the right one.”
-Written by Neelesh Gurjar, Senior System Admin, QualiSpace