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Nowadays having an internet presence, more than a luxury, has become a necessity.
The internet is a global community with many benefits for you, and to have a website and be part of this community you will need a hosting: a web hosting service that allows you to maintain your website and the files you need to be functional.
But choosing the right hosting is not a matter of going for the first offer, but of considering your needs in depth, and from this perspective, studying the characteristics of each one and thus determining which one will cover them.
It may sound complex, but don’t worry, we tell you what you need to know to make the best decision.
- 1 The most important
- 2 The best hosting providers in Latin America: our recommendations
- 3 Contracting guide: What you should know about hosting
- 3.1 What is hosting and what is it for?
- 3.2 What is the difference between hosting and domain?
- 3.3 Is the free hosting worth it?
- 3.4 How much does a hosting cost?
- 3.5 How to contract a hosting?
- 3.6 Is there a hosting for each country?
- 3.7 What types of hosting are there?
- 3.8 Hosting WordPress
- 3.9 E-Mail Hosting
- 3.10 Is it worth hiring a specialized hosting?
- 3.11 Are spaces like Wix, Squarespace or WordPress.com good?
- 4 Contracting criteria
- 5 Summary
The most important
Hosting, or web hosting, is a rental service that represents the essential link between you and your website.
It is provided by companies with servers where your web page information is hosted, and which provide a higher bandwidth than home networks.
One of the particularities of hosting is that it always has many options to offer you.
There are several types of hosting that have different characteristics, including shared hosting, dedicated server, VPS and cloud hosting.
To choose a good hosting it is essential to be informed and understand your own needs.
So there are certain criteria that, if you evaluate them carefully, can help you in that choice.
These include aspects such as security, performance, technical support, server location and others.
We tell you in detail about these
The best hosting providers in Latin America: our recommendations
Hosting providers are numerous and varied, with offers and plans that differ considerably from each other.
In general, when you buy a product, variety is good news, but in these cases it can complicate your decision.
So to give you a clearer picture we tell you about the best hosting providers.
This is a web hosting company that offers this service with great efficiency and quality.
A company that was founded in 2004 by a group of friends from the university, and that began its ascent to success quite quickly.
This is an option to be seriously considered, mainly because the packages and services it offers can be adapted to practically any user need.
It currently has servers in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Singapore, and backs up information on fast, robust solid-state disks.
GoDaddy defines itself as a company that offers both web storage and domain sales worldwide, to the point where it is considered the largest domain management company today.
It was founded in 1997 and its growth has been exponential.
A company with such prestige is undoubtedly a good option to keep your information safe.
Besides, it offers a wide bandwidth to make surfing on your site as smooth as silk.
It is considered one of the 20 largest web hosts in the world today, which also positions it as one of the most used.
BlueHost’s prestige is supported by its 16 years in the market, and its field has been diversified.
With them you can get web host, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers and many other offers that someone with expanding websites will know how to take advantage of.
It is a company that offers high security and services of the best category.
Hostinger is a major media company that focuses on offering two services: web domain sales and web storage services.
It has servers in 6 different countries: United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Singapore, Brazil and Indonesia.
Their prices, compared to other service providers, are quite competitive.
The company guarantees a high availability of the servers, as well as ensures to have advanced technology that provides greater speed.
If you are not satisfied with the service, you will have a 30-day guarantee to request a refund.
This web storage provider is one of the most promising in the Dominican Republic.
Among its eye-catching offers, Starfish provides packages adapted to the stage of development in which the business is.
Thus, the user can choose the profile that is most convenient for him.
This company offers 24-hour customer support, always ready to solve any problem.
Their data centers are located in the United States and Canada, so they manage to have 10/10 connectivity.
Starfish is a very good option with great built-in utilities.
Contracting guide: What you should know about hosting
Before deciding on an option it is essential that you know in depth what you are buying, hence they say that “the best purchase is the one you make well-informed”.
It is necessary that you have everything clear, so we tell you the details about the hosting and all the aspects involved in your decision.
What is hosting and what is it for?
The hosting, also known as storage or web hosting, is the place that will be occupying your site on the network.
It incorporates a physical space that you will rent in a server, which is where your information is actually hosted, and which will provide you with different resources so that you can have your site visible to any internet user.
If you are planning to have a blog or to build the page for your company, this service will be indispensable to achieve your goal.
With this service you will be able to store all your information, such as images, emails, videos, etc., and make your site available 24/7 anywhere in the world.
It works like a computer: if you want to have files, whether they are text documents, presentations, or any other, you need a place to create and save them.
What is the difference between hosting and domain?
The world of the Internet is shaped by tools that are constantly being updated, so it is sometimes difficult to keep up with the times.
That’s why there is confusion between terms, such as hosting and domain.
However, they are completely different tools that you have to know how to differentiate.
Basically, the difference is that the domain is only and exclusively the name your website receives, while the hosting is a set of services that allow you to have your site active and visible to any Internet user.
The hosting: it is a physical space in a server that is rented to a company.
This is where all the data that is part of your website is stored, and it is indispensable to be able to build, design and modify your website.
The domain: it is the name that your site will receive, for example: hostalpaca.com.
It is the way in which it will be identified from the rest, and the easiest way in which users will be able to locate you in a sea of content.
What a domain gives you is identity.
Here are some examples:
Is the free hosting worth it?
If you are looking for a simple answer, here it is: Yes. Free hosting does work, however, it will not be useful in all cases.
It is necessary that you know when and/or in what type of situations it is advisable to make use of this service.
- Advantages: The free hosting, as its name says, does not entail any economic cost at the moment of hiring it. It is ideal for and very popular among people who are getting into the web world.
- Disadvantages: Due to its free category, what you get when you hire it is a service with limited benefits. These restrictions in many cases prevent the possibility of growing your website and projecting a professional image.
In addition, by accepting the terms and conditions of the service, you are authorizing the provider to insert advertising on your website, which sometimes causes certain inconveniences.
In addition, these free web storage services do not give you priority attention in technical support, so if you have any problems or questions they will take a while to respond.
The reality is that a paid service can offer you better benefits at a minimal cost.
If you are entering the web world, a free hosting can be very useful as a learning experience.
However, if you want to project a professional image, paying for the hosting service should be seen as a long-term investment.
How much does a hosting cost?
The costs of hosting are usually entirely related to the quality of the service they offer: the higher the capacity and speed, the higher the cost.
However, there are numerous offers that you can take advantage of to hire packages that represent discounts.
This is a relatively small space, but it can work for small websites. There are also 3 month offers that cost around 7 USD.
Annual contracts range from 50 USD to 150 USD
The price will depend a lot on the profile of the hosting service, so the costs vary considerably.
In order to determine in detail the budget you will need, it is necessary first to know the details you need to cover.
How to contract a hosting?
Hiring a hosting is really not too complex, since it is a tool that you can acquire through the Internet.
The complexity in this decision lies in choosing the right hosting, once you identify the one that will be able to cover your needs the process of acquisition is quite simple.
You can go to the hosting site web page, or use websites that are providers, and follow the purchase instructions.
Online purchases can be charged by credit or debit cards, and some platforms accept online payment methods (such as PayPal) and even crypto-currencies.
Is there a hosting for each country?
Yes, there are ways to contract a web storage service that is in a specific geographical area.
However, one of the great advantages of the internet is that there are no borders to stop you, so it should not be a problem if the hosting is not in your country.
It is recommended to use a hosting that is in the same country as you if your page is only intended to have a local reach.
Otherwise, the server location should not be an impediment.
Although it is not superfluous to look for the site where the servers are located to be a region with a stable electrical system.
What types of hosting are there?
Like other types of services, web storage has different modalities that meet needs of all kinds.
You can find the most basic service for personal or small projects, to professional services that provide as many benefits as you can imagine.
The important thing is that you know what you can expect from each of them.
Shared web storage is characteristic for being a service that provides all the benefits of hosting spread over several users.
It is a way of leasing both space and resources (from CPU to RAM) within a server. It is a service whose physical storage and media are shared with other users and other websites.
- Benefits? The main one is definitely the accessible costs. For small websites of limited time or little scope, this can be a good option, since it will require few resources.
- Disadvantages? Unfortunately, when sharing resources there may be neighboring sites and/or applications that try to use more than their share, causing you to have performance issues with your site.
- When NOT to hire shared hosting? Larger websites should not consider this type of hosting, as it will certainly be insufficient. Besides, although having a shared server does not imply a direct risk to your data, it should be considered as a risk factor.
These are computers that are only used to host the data of a user/website.
They have higher costs, however, all server resources are used exclusively; that is, you should not share CPU, RAM, bandwidth, or anything else.
Companies and large projects use dedicated servers, mainly because they need to increase their RAM or CPU capacity, and in certain cases, storage space.
But it also has the advantage of giving you complete autonomy over the server, allowing you to make use of the space completely according to your convenience.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) is another option for those exploring their hosting options.
It is a sort of combination of shared hosting and dedicated server, as it consists of virtually dividing a physical server so that it can be used as multiple servers.
In this way, the user has a private server and the advantages of having independence in their server, but without having to pay for a physical server.
Of course, with this one there are still storage limitations, but other limitations that do exist with a shared hosting, disappear.
Cloud hosting is a type of hosting that stores your website data in the cloud.
To clarify the picture, the cloud is a storage technique that uses a system of several centralized servers to store information, so if one server fails there is no problem because there are others that come into action.
It’s a great advantage and there are a lot of companies that offer this service, plus it’s a good way to keep your site well-supported.
Cloud Hosting gives you the advantage of accessing information a little faster and keeping your data isolated.
WordPress has become one of the most popular platforms for managing web content on the market, due to several reasons including its ease of use and versatility.
Thanks to this growing popularity, dedicated storage systems have been developed exclusively for these platforms.
They offer services designed exclusively for this format and bandwidth configurations designed for these sites.
This hosting is ideal for those who have projects related to websites whose content will be mostly articles and text.
Our personal email accounts are usually with providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, iCloud and even Yahoo, and they are responsible for the operation of their platforms.
However, when our interests are a little more inclined to business, we can opt for another service.
Mail hosting: the service is ideal for creating business accounts. These project seriousness and make your business look like it has its own identity.
- Advantages: allows you to take your business email to another level, establishing particular authentication schemes. In addition, you can register a domain name, so your email will be completely personalized.
- Disadvantages: the service does not include the possibility of having an active website, so you will only have access to your email accounts. In addition, there are also certain restrictions on the number of email accounts and their storage capacity.
Is it worth hiring a specialized hosting?
In short: yes.
As new tools emerge, everything speeds up, and it is necessary to take advantage of those tools so as not to be left behind.
The particularities that, for example, a WordPress hosting can offer to a website on this platform are greater than those offered by a generic hosting.
Are spaces like Wix, Squarespace or WordPress.com good?
These platforms are sites that function as a base from which you can design and manage a website.
They are known as Website Building Platform and are really useful for users who do not know about programming.
Usually small or time limited projects are managed from these, as they do not require too many resources and will not be online for long.
Making your website from them has many disadvantages, which are worrying about long term projects.
We know that choosing the “best” hosting option is a complicated task.
Even more so because there is no one ideal for everyone, since the suitability of the service can only be determined by each client, depending on whether it covers their basic needs.
What is a fact, is that there are certain factors that you must analyze carefully:
- Control Panel
- Technical support
- Server location
- SSH Console
- IOPS and Inodes
Have you ever tried to enter a page and instead of being able to navigate you see a legend that says “site not available”?
We hope not, but in case you have experienced it, you will understand why considering uptime will be crucial in your decision making.
This concept goes hand in hand with the amount of time the site is “online”, that is, visible to any user. In theory, a serious company should offer you at least 99% uptime.
There will be those that guarantee more and those that guarantee less.
There are times when, due to maintenance issues or problems with the servers, our site is no longer visible on the Internet.
This brings serious repercussions, especially as your site grows, as it can mean a significant economic or reputation loss.
The control panel of a hosting service is a control system that is managed with a certain operating system and provides access to the hosting functions.
Its main mission is to give the user the ability to manage certain aspects of the server, such as databases, access statistics and web and mail services.
There are several control panels available for the user to choose from, which offer a variety of services and functionalities.
Some have a user-friendly interface that is easy to digest, while others focus on making it easy for the user to get the most out of their hosting service.
Below, we tell you a little about two very popular panels:
This is undoubtedly the most popular control panel, mainly because it has a very friendly interface.
Its ease of use allows novice users to be able to effectively manage their servers.
For example, it automatically includes the standard installation of the minimum functions needed.
On the other hand, it also allows making configurations to the web service driver from its interface, while in other control panels this can only be done by writing commands.
Unfortunately, it is not effective working with multi-servers
This is one of the most effective control panels on the market, its main benefit is that it is capable of working with multi-servers.
This implies that you can manage the functions of several servers from the same software, which is especially useful in businesses with diverse platforms.
It is compatible with Linux and Windows (2000-2003), so there are options for those who prefer both paid and free software.
In addition, the interface is simple to use while offering advanced configuration options.
But it has limitations, so novice users won’t be able to get the most out of it.
Over the past few years there has been a considerable increase in the theft of personal data.
There have even been some pretty big scandals around the most well known companies such as Facebook.
In order to prevent any kind of cyberattack and guarantee the security of users, most companies that offer hosting services are integrating an SSL certificate into their packages.
- What is it? It is a tool used to encode the information exchanged between computers, so that if it is intercepted by a third party, it will be impossible to decode it.
- How do you know that? We recommend that you make sure that the packages of your choice integrate a SSL before contracting. In the description of the package it should be indicated and in case there is not much information, it would be good to communicate with a sales consultant either by chat, phone or mail.
What if you start seeing faults in your service and you have no one to help you fix them?
To tell you the truth, although this factor may seem irrelevant at first glance, as time goes by you will appreciate having considered it before hiring.
Technical support does not only refer to whether or not the company has any means of communication with experts in the field.
Also, it is important to know if the communication is in English, through which media, and for which countries.
We recommend that you look for those companies that also have a specific phone line for your country, or that have the chat service.
How does the location of the servers influence my hosting service?
Easy: on your upload speed.
Although there are tools that can help you speed up, the main factor that will determine how fast or slow your site will load is your server location.
This is mainly due to the distance that the transmitted data must travel.
For example, if you are in Peru, you upload speed will be better if your provider has servers in Peru or in the US (which is more common).
Our recommendation is that you should choose a provider that has servers as close as possible to your location.
Comparing the quantity and quality of resources offered in the different packages offered by providers can be easier if you have a point of comparison.
The resources included are almost always broken down in the package description.
For a shared hosting (which is the most contracted), this is required:
- Space. This factor refers to the amount of data we will be able to store on our site. Although all are measured in GB, the market offer is so wide that you can find those who give from 500MB to “unlimited” space.
- How much do you need? Well, to tell the truth it is difficult to make an accurate calculation, however, our recommendation is that you hire a provider that offers at least 1GB with the option of an upgrade, so that, if your project grows, you are not limited in this resource.
- RAM memory. Surely you have heard about it and it is fundamental for the good performance of your hosting. One of its main functions is to help your website load quickly. Usually the providers omit this information. Our recommendation is that you choose a service that offers at least 500 MB of RAM.
CPU. The CPU is basically the processor of the server, and as such it is in charge of executing all the actions indicated by the programming. Due to the important work it performs, it is essential to have a powerful CPU, capable, among other things, of handling a good traffic of visitors.
- What should I pay attention to? In the case of shared servers, some processor cores are usually assigned to each user. This usually means that there are CPU usage limitations, so you should watch that the scripts run well and avoid uploading elements that consume a lot of resources.
- Bandwidth. This is also known as bandwidth transfer, and in short it is the total amount of internet data you can consume on your website for a specific period of time. Generally these are monthly terms, and you have to consider the details of this to structure your website.
- How much do you need? The most basic hosting services are approximately 10 GB wide, which may seem a lot but if you consider that a series of images can easily weigh 1 GB, then the result is that only 10 people will be able to see them. This is certainly a limited audience.
But don’t worry, you can also get larger data transfer volumes, ranging from 20 GB to 150 GB.
You should choose this option wisely, considering the size and amount of files you plan to upload, and the traffic you will have on your website.
The great importance of having a good bandwidth is that a reduced plan implies a limitation to the potential of your site.
The recommendation is not to acquire the one that offers the most, but the one that provides what you need to cover your needs, leaving a good margin for growth.
Storage (SSD or HDD).
The information is virtual, but it needs a physical hosting to be protected, that’s why hosting services use storage devices to save the data.
There are two types of devices, which are the most common and effective.
- The most widely used are Hard Disks (HDD): HDDs are storage units consisting of several overlapping disks that spin at high speeds and use magnetism to record information. They provide high capacity (up to 10T) at low costs, but the data transfer speed is not the best.
- Solid State Disks (SSD): SSDs (Solid-State Disks) store information on microchips with interconnected memories. This provides higher transfer speed and better stability in the information structure. But in return they have less storage capacity (up to 4 T) and are more expensive. Our recommendation is that you choose an SSD, these represent an investment that gives results in security and performance.
- Databases: This is undoubtedly one of the aspects that must condition your decision, since it represents the foundations of the information on which the website is built. And the more complex and elaborate the website is, the more databases it will need to feed on.
- And how much do you need? There are hosting services that offer small businesses a single database, or even none at all. Acquiring a service with this profile would represent a limitation that you cannot escape. So by acquiring the databases you will get the potential for expansion that your business offers.
Secure Shell (SSH) is a security protocol that provides a secure and effective communication bridge between two different systems.
Its security strength lies in the fact that it makes it impossible for an outsider to access unencrypted passwords during the connection, since it encrypts the connection session.
This protocol provides 128-bit encrypted authentication, as well as all data shared during the session, and verification of connection to the correct server through digital signatures.
This allows you to prevent third parties from interfering with your connection.
IOPS and Inodes
These are aspects that intervene directly in the performance of the hosting, and consequently that of your website.
Both are related to the storage and structure of files and data, so special attention must be paid to them.
- Input/Output Operations per second (IOPS) is the unit by which the performance of a storage unit such as HDD or SSD is measured. The indicators used to determine the transmission rate are: random read, random write, sequential read, and sequential write.
- The IOPS determines the speed of the storage unit and is measured by the same manufacturers of the devices. The ranges and the results of the measurements are indicated on the packaging or labels of the storage units.
- Inodes are the indexes that drive the data and file structures within a disk (either HDD or SSD). They hold regular files and directories, so they are a tool to turn to when you are in the process of recovering data.
- How much do you need? In hosting there is a limit of inodes that each user can use for their website. This determines the amount of emails you have, the variety and the amount of files you can host. So you should look for a service that gives you a wide enough margin so that your site does not get stuck.
The right amount will depend on your initial planned expansion and future expansion.
While your business is growing you can choose a few inodes, (some use only 4).
But keep in mind that you should be constantly watching to eliminate outdated directories.
Being on the Internet implies being part of the world and its absence is the new way to go unnoticed.
But if you are an entrepreneur, have a brand or need promotion, you are not looking to go under the table, so a website is like getting a fence on the world’s biggest highways.
And there is no website without hosting.
With this perspective it is possible to understand the importance of hiring a hosting service that is suitable for your needs.
The main thing when you are considering a service is to define what your requirements are and be on the lookout for offers.
Remember that buying a hosting is not an expense, but an investment.
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