eCommerce revenue in Australia increased by nearly 10 percent this year compared to the previous year. Much like the rest of the world, more and more business is moving online in Australia.
If you’re looking for web hosting in Australia, whether for an eCommerce site or any other type of website, there are a lot of options to choose from. Let’s look at what you need to consider when choosing a web host.
Types of Web Hosting
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when choosing your web hosting is the type of hosting account. There are three main types of hosting:
- Shared hosting
- Virtual private servers (VPS)
- Dedicated servers
Each of the three types of hosting has its advantages and disadvantages. Which one is right for you depends on the size of your website, how much traffic you expect to get, what type of content you’ll be delivering to your visitors, and how much you expect your site to grow.
Shared hosting is the most cost-effective web hosting option. If your website is not getting a large amount of traffic and it’s mostly made up of text content, not multimedia and video, shared hosting is a good choice.
With shared hosting, the web server gets shared between more than one website. The accounts are all independent from one another so you don’t need to worry about anyone else having access to your site but the server resources like RAM, storage, and bandwidth get split between several websites.
You’ll get a certain percentage of the total resources in the server that’s hosting your website. For example, with WebHostFace’s shared hosting plans, you’ll get from 15GB to 30GB of web space for your website’s content, depending on the plan you choose.
Because shared hosting plans are sharing the server’s resources between several users, you may not get access to the root level of the server. If you need a custom configuration for some reason, this could be a limitation but if you don’t need any special settings it can be a benefit since you don’t need to worry about anything too technical.
Pros and Cons of Shared Hosting
– Least expensive
– Minimal technical skills required
– Resources can scale as your website grows
– The hosting company handles server updates
– Less control over server settings
– Resources get shared between sites so if one site is using more than their share, it can impact your site’s performance. This is only an issue with hosts that oversell their shared servers, putting dozens of sites on a single server.
A dedicated server is the opposite of a shared server. With a dedicated server, you’re the only user on the server and you have access to all its resources. You can also configure a dedicated server however you like, including things such as:
- Choose the operating system and version you want
- Install custom scripts and applications
- Deliver any type of content – text, multimedia, video, etc.
Running a dedicated server is similar to running your own PC. It’s up to you to make sure it’s kept up-to-date and things like security patches and operating system updates are maintained.
You can do this yourself, you can hire someone to do it for you, or you can choose a managed hosting plan and have the hosting company look after it. WebHostFace includes fully managed hardware support in our dedicated server plans so we’ll take care of many of these technical tasks for you.
Pros and Cons of Dedicated Servers
– Complete control over the server
– More resources and higher performance
– No chance of another website using more than its share of the server’s resources
– Higher cost
– More technical skills are required, whether from you or someone you’re working with
– Updates and server maintenance are your responsibility
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
A VPS hosting plan falls between shared and dedicated hosting. The server’s resources get shared between several users but it’s done with a system that creates several “virtual” servers running on a single physical server.
Each VPS gets a fixed percentage of the server’s resources and is treated as a self-contained server. This gives you all the control and manageability of a dedicated server at a much lower cost. If your website doesn’t need the full resources of a dedicated server but you still want the flexibility of dedicated hosting, a VPS is a good middle-ground.
While VPS hosting is still sharing the physical server’s resources, these accounts generally have fewer users on a single server so you’ll get a larger share of the total resources available.
Pros and Cons of VPS Hosting
– More flexibility in configuring the hosting
– Lower cost than dedicated hosting with many of the benefits
– Fixed share of resources gives you more consistency
– Higher cost than shared hosting
– Other sites sharing the server can still impact your site’s performance in some cases
Managed vs Unmanaged Hosting Plans
We mentioned managed hosting above. That term means the hosting company “manages” the server or hosting account for you. They’ll handle things like operating system updates, installing some server software, fixing some problems, and other common tasks.
With an unmanaged server, those things are all your responsibility. If you have the technical skills to do it yourself or you have an in-house staff that can take care of it, you may not need a managed hosting plan. But if you don’t have the skills or the staff, letting the hosting company handle it makes it a lot quicker and easier to deal with any problem that might pop up.
Managed WordPress Hosting
WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms in the world, powering over 35 percent of the web. If you plan to use WordPress for your website, it’s a good idea to choose a managed WordPress hosting plan.
With a WordPress hosting plan, the server is set up to provide the best performance and security for the WordPress system. You’ll get maximum uptime and reliability so your site’s visitors won’t have any trouble reaching it.
You’ll also get dedicated WordPress customer support so you can get help with WordPress-related questions as well as hosting-related.
Features to Consider for Your Hosting
Choosing a hosting plan is a bit like choosing what type of personal computer to buy. You’ll have different options with different amounts of memory, storage, and processing power. How many of these options you’ll have to choose from depends on which type of hosting account you’re looking at.
With shared hosting, you don’t get as many hardware choices. Since you’re not configuring your own server, you don’t need to worry about the CPU and memory. You have options for the amount of storage space you get. If you have a lot of images or a lot of pages on your site, more storage may be necessary. The same applies if you expect your site to grow.
With VPS hosting, you’ll still have options for the amount of storage space but you’ll also see different amounts of RAM as you move up to higher-level plans. A web server is no different than your PC – the more applications you run on it, the more memory (RAM) it needs. In the server world, the number of users also has a bearing so the more visitors your website gets, the more RAM it takes to deliver a good performance.
With dedicated hosting, you’ll have most of the same options you would have when buying a PC:
- Network connection speed
- Storage type (SSD or HDD)
All these things work together to determine the performance of your website for its visitors. If you get a lot of simultaneous visitors and you’re delivering high-bandwidth content, like streaming video, you’ll need a more powerful server to keep up.
Bandwidth and Traffic
Bandwidth is an important factor to consider when you’re looking at VPS or dedicated hosting. There are two aspects to bandwidth, the total amount of data you can transfer per month and the amount of data your server can deliver at once (the port size).
Think of the total data transfer as being similar to the data limits on most cellular plans. If you go over your limit, you pay overage fees. Bandwidth caps on your server work the same way – exceeding the limit means you’ll pay extra.
The port size determines how much data your server can deliver at one time. This is similar to the number of lanes on a highway. More lanes mean more cars can move at once. The same number of cars can get through with fewer lanes but the traffic moves slower.
Ports work similarly for website traffic. A larger port means more data can be delivered to your website’s visitors without affecting the site’s performance. A smaller port will still deliver the content to your visitors but if there’s a big spike in traffic, it will slow down.
Where to Find the Best Web Hosting in Australia
If you’re looking for the best web hosting in Australia, WebHostFace has you covered. We offer a full range of plans starting at less than $2 per month for shared hosting right up to powerful dedicated servers if your website needs that level of resources.
If you’re not sure what type of plan is right for you, get in touch with us today. We’ll help you choose a plan that meets your needs today as well as giving you room to grow as your website traffic increases.