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2 Months ago | 5.3 mins read

INTRODUCTION TO WEB HOSTING

by Karen Webs

Wednesday, 21st Aug 2019 | 11:35:09 AM

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The more visitors your website is going to have, the more the bandwidth your hosting plan is going to require lest you end up with a website that ‘hangs’ or is too slow that it frustrates your visitors

What is web hosting? How do you choose the right web hosting? How much does it cost? Which web hosting provider do I prefer in Kenya and why? – When I develop websites for my clients, hosting those websites is always the final step; as such – clients often rely on my insight to guide them in picking the best hosting plan for their websites. The goal of this article is to share my web hosting insights with you so as to empower you with the information you need when making web hosting choices.


What is web hosting?


I will use the example of renting a house to explain. When you rent a house to stay in, you get a space to live in with your household items. Web hosting is the space you rent for your website to be stored so that it can be available on the World Wide Web. To be more precise, your website is hosted on a server that is connected to the internet network, thus making it accessible to anyone that is connected to the internet network.


Going back to the example of a house to rent, a server is like the house – if you have many household items, you will need a bigger space and the rent you pay will be more than when you rent a place with a tiny space. Websites are made up of files that occupy virtual space – so if for example your website has a size of 50GB, a hosting plan of less than 50GB will not be sufficient for you.


How do you choose the right web hosting?


The first thing to look at is space – how much space does your website need now and how much space will it need as time goes by? If you will be uploading videos or other large files to your website’s storage space, it is then essential that you choose a hosting plan with sufficient space just as you would get a flash disk with sufficient space to store all your movies and music.


The next thing to look at is how many people will be visiting your website per day. The higher the traffic your website will receive at any given time, the more the bandwidth your website is going to need. I will use the example of a highway to elaborate – traffic jams on the highway are usually caused by high traffic and the width of the highway makes the traffic jam worse when it is not wide enough. Similarly, the more visitors your website is going to have, the more the bandwidth your hosting plan is going to require lest you end up with a website that ‘hangs’ or is too slow that it frustrates your visitors.


The third thing you need is a very efficient hosting provider in terms of quality and customer care support. Quality in this sense means that your hosting provider does not have technical problems on their side that leads to your website being unavailable (downtime) while they sort out their technical issues. This is why competent hosting providers usually guarantee a 99% uptime meaning that your website will very rarely experience a downtime if ever.


As for the customer care support – when you get to utilizing your website actively to achieve your business goals, chances are that your web developer will need to contact your hosting provider to assist with some technical bits and that is where you will truly value the quality of your hosting provider’s after-sales support. The list of what to look out for when choosing the right web hosting can get quite long, but the few discussed tips above will get you started in the right direction.


How much does it cost?


The cost of web hosting depends on what you need – the more the space and bandwidth your website needs – the more the cost. Web hosting packages usually have the following 3 categories – shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, and dedicated hosting. I will be sure to write a blog comparing the three packages in an upcoming article but summarily – shared hosting is the most affordable of the three (From KES 3,500 per year on average) and dedicated hosting is the costliest of the three (From KES 20,000 per year on average).


Which web hosting provider do I prefer in Kenya and why?


At the time of writing this article, I must say I am personally a happy customer of Sasahost limited – and this is not a paid endorsement. As a web developer, I can tell you for sure that web development is a very fast paced industry and you need a web hosting provider who is able to keep up with the fast-paced technology just as much as you need a web developer who is not left behind in matters tech.


Sasahost have so far been very reliable in keeping up with the technology aspects, and then there is their customer care support that is simply outstanding. All I can say is that for the 3 years that I have been their customer, they have not let me down. Last but not least, I just happen to believe in buying Kenyan to build Kenya as long as the Kenyan businesses can offer as much value as their foreign counterparts if not better.


Interested in getting an efficient website for your business or project? Please contact me on 0717 266 129 or email me at info@karenwebs.com and we will engage productively from there. Till the next article, be well.


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