Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Lazar Bošković, creative director, AgitPROP
What do you need to have in mind when choosing a web hosting provider? In short: the space requirement, package deals, flow, platform, panel, support, reliability … And more.
For those less acquainted with internet terms, let’s first explain what is internet hosting. Imagine your website as a virtual building on the Internet, then hosting is the virtual land on which the site was built. According to this analogy with the real world, an internet domain is a virtual address that tells the street and house number of your site.
If the e-mail addresses are on the same domain as the site, they can be understood as the individual names of those who live in the virtual building (their letterbox is located in the building). For example, e-mail address “firstname.lastname@example.org” would mean that Veboljub Domenović lives in Domenska street, in Serbia. Therefore, “email@example.com” would give a completely false picture of our virtual character, because he does not live in some Gmail’s street in some undefined country. Therefore, it is essential to have an e-mail on your own domain.
Hosting – the place where sites and e-mails live
Internet hosting is a service that, among other things, includes web hosting and email hosting, and because of the obvious connection between the site address and e-mail addresses described above, common offerings of web hosting providers include solutions for both needs.
Internet domain and the website are connected to each other through web hosting, as a service that allows storing, servicing and maintaining files and databases of internet sites, as well as ensuring their connection to the internet. While web servers store sites, mail servers receive and send electronic mail.
Which type of web hosting do you actually need?
As for many other internet needs, there are also free hosting platforms, which however are not recommended for any serious appearance on the internet, because the paid hosting services are relatively cheap, and with free services – logically – there is no guarantee of the quality and level of service. Today there are three types of hosting offer in general: shared, dedicated and cloud.
Shared hosting means sharing resources of one web server for multiple users, meaning a number of websites. This is an economical, decent and normal choice for most users who don’t have excessively demanding or very frequently visited sites. A disadvantage of this solution is that the load on one site may affect other sites that are on the same server.
Dedicated hosting is the allocation of a web server for a single website and its associated services, specifically for the needs of a single user. This service is intended for those who have a need for high performance of their sites, related to large flow rate, high level of security and guaranteed availability. Today, dedicated web servers are usually virtual machines (VPS – Virtual Private Server), which share the resources of a strong server, so that each of them acts as a separate machine with its operating system and its own resources.
Cloud hosting is a service that provides a completely virtualized infrastructure including servers, network, storage space and management system, which make the computer “cloud”. Cloud enables easy scalability and leasing of resources according to the needs, as well as the work of applications of high availability.
What should you pay attention to in hosting offers?
Lots of services offered by hosting providers are very different and, sometimes, hardly comparable. Before using hosting, consult with the creator of your web site, so as not to consult your doctor or pharmacist later on, because here is where the most sources of headaches of all site owners are found. In fact, often the cheap hosting deals contain hidden traps in terms of resources, poor support or security holes, which can certainly ruin all the effort that you have invested in the creation of the site. First, analyze your real needs: what is it without which your website cannot work, and what are its specific needs that hosting should provide for?
If the provider does not offer the option of unlimited space for hosting in their basic package of services, you should find out how much disk space on the web server you need to accommodate your site. There always has to be a contingency plan, because sites are “living organisms”, in which the amount of content is constantly increasing, raising the need for space. In order for visitors to see all that content, you need to lease the appropriate flow of Internet traffic (GB per month), because you don’t want your visitor to receive the message that the flow for the day has been exceeded. A similar situation is with the time of server availability, because almost all providers swear that their web servers are available 99.99% of the time, but it’s not always so. Keep in mind that even a small drop in availability, of only a few parts of a single percentage, to 99.5% for example, in practice would mean that your website would be invisible on the internet for 43 hours in a year.
Storing of data on the site is something that everyone should be mindful on their own, but it is very convenient if the provider offers daily or weekly backups of data. In this case, the site is much safer, even in the case of hacker attacks. For the safety of the site also important are software solutions on the server and user authentication on the site, and it is recommended that transactions with the server are run through HTTPS protocols, especially for those engaged in e-commerce. For daily administration of the site also important is the control panel that provider has to offer, because some of them are sufficiently simple and intuitive even for beginners. The hosting platform is also important, meaning the supported operating systems (Linux or Windows), as well as methods for uploading data to the server via FTP access. Some hosting providers offer bundled CMS for making sites, such as WordPress or the so called site builders for easy creation of simple websites for beginners. Important for your internet identity is also the possibility of opening a large number of e-mail addresses under your own internet domain.
And your hosting provider is…
We recommend using hosting providers that have 24/7 technical support via email, phone or chat, because you never know at what time of the day or night you will need support of professionals. Also check if their websites include detailed instructions and frequently asked questions and answers. Some of the Serbian hosting providers, who are also accredited registrars of national internet domains, you can find at domen.rs/registri, along with a detailed overview of the services. The recommended sequence of steps is to register a domain, go into the development of the site which is developed on a temporary working address (usually a subdomain of the manufacturer’s site), and when you know all the necessary parameters of the final site – only then lease hosting, connect the domain to it and transfer the site.
Redirecting the domain before you have a site
Even if you currently have no opportunity or time to create your own web site, there is a way to use your own internet domains. In fact, some hosting providers offer a service called domain parking, so if you register with them one of the names of the national internet domains, you get a totally free or for a very small fee, access to the control panel and adjusting the parameters, which enables you to set the forwarding of domain to any of your internet sites (ie your blog on some blogging platform) or any of your profiles on social networks. In a similar way you can also set up an e-mail on your domain, even though you still don’t have a site.