Western Code

Choosing a Good Website Host

Matt Steele | Resources

Web hosting is a funny thing. I’ve seen countless instances where businesses spend thousands of dollars on a brand new website...and then put it on a low-end host. It’s quite perplexing to a developer who sees websites in multiple environments everyday. But to the average business owner, if their website works, then it just works.

Bottom Line: You Get What You Pay For

Here's an analogy: why buy a custom luxury car, only to park it unlocked on the street in a bad neighborhood? I believe the answer is that most people don’t realize they’re parked in a bad neighborhood.

So, the question is ‘How can I tell a bad hosting plan from a good one?’

Shared vs Managed Hosts

Are you on a ‘shared’ host? If you are, you’re essentially sharing a server with hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of other websites. If your neighbors house gets burglarized, is yours next? Most likely. If you’re serious about keeping yourself secure, one of the first steps in doing so is keeping your site away from other sites. For many smaller companies the cost of going to a managed host isn't worth the cost, but if you find yourself getting hacked a lot a new host will be the first places to start.

Managed hosts are a little bit pricier than shared hosts, but they offer the benefit of taking care of all the files and database for you. It's 'managed' in the sense that they'll take care of updates and monitor it for any problems that may come up.

Do You Have Access?

You should have 100% access to all your files and database at all times. Without exception. This is your business after all. Why would you allow anyone to ever put a wall between you and your business? If you're on a shared host while you grow, you should have C-panel access (or something similar). If you’re on a ‘managed host’, access to all your files and database should be a phone call away at any hour.

There are many other factors that go into determining if you're on a good host or a bad host of course. But, these are good indicators that you may want to move.

If you're looking for a hands-off 'it just works' managed solution, we offer hosting here at Western Code. You'll get amazing speeds from a reliable server that will be able to scale with your business.

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