The internet is the great equalizer. Anyone with an idea and a domain name can build a website and reach an audience of millions. But there's a catch. For your website to be accessible to your audience, it needs to be hosted on a server. And not just any server, but one that's reliable, secure, and fast–that's where web hosting comes in.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is like the landlord of the internet. The service provides space to store your website's files and data, so that anyone with an internet connection can access it. And just like how you wouldn't want to rent a rundown apartment, you don't want to choose the wrong web hosting plan for your business website.
But, with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to pick the right one. Do you go with free web hosting or paid hosting? What's the difference between shared hosting and dedicated hosting? And where can you find the best free web hosting provider?
Well, fear not. This guide will help you navigate the complex world of web hosting and give you the tools you need to choose the right plan for your business. And as a bonus, we'll also introduce you to Strikingly, one of the best free website hosting sites out there.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Web Hosting Plan
Now that we've established why choosing the right web hosting plan is important, let's talk about the factors you should consider when making your decision. After all, not all websites are created equal, and neither are the hosting plans that power them.
A. Type Of Website And Its Requirements
The first thing to consider is the type of website you have or plan to build. Is it a small blog or a large e-commerce site? Is it a single-page portfolio or a complex web application? The size and complexity of your website will determine the resources it needs to function properly, which will affect the type of web hosting plan you should choose.
- Size and complexity of the website
If your website is small and doesn't have a lot of media files, you can get away with a basic shared hosting plan or even free server hosting. However, if your website has a lot of multimedia content or requires a lot of server resources, you'll need a plan with more storage space and bandwidth.
Image taken from Strikingly
- Traffic volume and expected growth
The amount of traffic your website receives is another important consideration. If you expect a high traffic volume or anticipate future growth, you'll need a plan to handle the increased load. This may mean upgrading to a more robust hosting plan or even dedicated hosting.
- Required features and functionality
Finally, consider the specific features and functionality that your website requires. Do you need e-commerce functionality, a content management system, or access to a specific programming language? Make sure the hosting plan you choose supports the features and tools you need.
B. Technical Specifications Of The Hosting Plan
Now that you have a better understanding of the type of web hosting plan you need based on your website's requirements, it's time to dive into the technical specifications of those plans.
- Server specifications and configuration
Your website’s performance is directly affected by the server specifications and configuration of your web hosting plan. This includes factors like CPU, RAM, and server location. For instance, if your website targets a specific region, it's best to choose a server located in that region to reduce latency and improve site speed.
- Storage and bandwidth limits
The amount of storage and bandwidth you're allotted will affect the performance of your website, as well as the types of content you can host on it. Make sure you choose a plan with enough storage and bandwidth to support your website's needs.
- Security and backup options
The security and backup options of your hosting plan are crucial to the safety and longevity of your website. This includes features like SSL certificates, firewalls, and automatic backups. Don't skimp on security features because the consequences of a security breach can be devastating for your business.
Image taken from Strikingly
While these technical specifications may seem daunting, most web hosting providers offer plans tailored to specific website types and requirements. And yes, you can even find free web hosting plans that meet some of these requirements.
C. Reliability And Performance Of The Hosting Provider
While the technical specifications of a web hosting plan are important, they're not the only factors that determine the quality of a hosting provider. The reliability and performance of the provider themselves are equally important, and can greatly affect the success of your website.
- Uptime Guarantee And History
One of the most important metrics to consider is the provider's uptime guarantee and history. Uptime refers to the amount of time your website is live and accessible to users. A hosting provider that experiences frequent downtime can significantly impact your website's traffic and credibility.
When evaluating the uptime guarantee and history of a hosting provider, it's essential to check the uptime percentage they promise to deliver. Most providers will offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which translates to a downtime of fewer than 45 minutes per month. However, it's important to note that uptime guarantees are not foolproof, and there's always a chance of occasional downtime.
To get a more accurate idea of a provider's uptime history, you can check third-party monitoring services that track website uptime. You can also read customer reviews to see if any recurring uptime issues are reported. By doing this, you'll get a better understanding of how reliable the hosting provider is and what kind of experience you can expect.
When it comes to Strikingly, they offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee for all of their plans, which is on par with industry standards. They also have a good uptime history, with minimal downtime reported by users.
- Speed And Latency
The speed and latency of your website are also crucial factors that impact user experience and search engine rankings. A hosting provider with fast server speeds and low latency will help your website load quickly and perform well.
Website speed has become an important factor for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Google considers page speed as a ranking factor in its algorithm, so having a fast-loading website can give you an advantage in search engine rankings. Strikingly offers a content delivery network (CDN) that can help improve your website's speed and performance. CDN stores your website's files and delivers them from the server closest to the user, reducing the load time for your website.
Image taken from Strikingly
- Customer Support And Service Level Agreements
Finally, make sure to research the customer support options and service level agreements (SLAs) of potential hosting providers. Having access to reliable support can help quickly resolve any issues that arise, while clear SLAs ensure that you receive the level of service you expect.
It's essential to check the availability and responsiveness of customer support options, including live chat, phone support, and email. Strikingly provides 24/7 customer support through live chat, email, and phone for their paid plans, with priority support for VIP plan users. They also have a comprehensive help center with FAQs, guides, and video tutorials, making it easy for users to find solutions to common issues.
When considering all of these factors, it's important to choose a hosting provider that you can rely on. And one hosting provider that stands out from the rest, especially in the free web hosting space, is Strikingly (and we’ll discuss that later on, we promise!)
Types Of Web Hosting Plans
Now that we've covered the factors to consider when choosing a web hosting plan, let's take a closer look at the types of plans available. These are the five main types of web hosting plans:
A. Shared hosting
Shared hosting is the most basic type of hosting plan, where multiple websites share a single server. This makes it a cost-effective option, but it can also lead to slower website performance and limited resources.
B. VPS hosting
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting involves multiple websites sharing a server, but with dedicated resources allocated to each website. Compared to shared hosting, this type of hosting results in better performance, but at a higher cost.
Dedicated hosting involves having a server dedicated solely to your website, providing maximum control and customization. Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option, but also provides the highest level of performance and security.
D. Cloud hosting
Cloud hosting utilizes multiple servers to host a website, resulting in better reliability and scalability. It’s a flexible option that can accommodate website growth but can also be more expensive than other types of hosting.
E. Managed hosting
Managed hosting involves the hosting provider handling technical maintenance and management of the server, allowing website owners to focus on their business. Managed hosting is a convenient option, but can also be more expensive than self-managed hosting plans.
When considering which type of hosting plan to choose, it's important to evaluate your website's specific needs and budget. And if you're looking for a free web hosting option, Strikingly offers a great solution with its free website hosting plan.
Let's take a closer look at why Strikingly is one of the best free web hosting providers available.
Strikingly Web Hosting Plans
Strikingly is a website builder and hosting provider that offers a free plan with limited features and paid plans with more advanced features and functionality. Their hosting services are known for being reliable and user-friendly, making them a great option for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Strikingly's web hosting plans come with a variety of features and benefits, including:
- Free plan with 500MB of free web space and 5 GB monthly bandwidth per site (did we tell you can create an unlimited free sites with Strikingly?)
- Option to use a custom domain name for paid plans
- Ridiculously easy-to-use website builder with gorgeous, customizable templates
- Highly mobile-responsive design
- Free SSL certificate for added security
- Awesome 24/7 customer support
Strikingly's paid plans also offer additional features such as more web space, unlimited bandwidth, blog, and e-commerce functionality.
How To Choose The Right Strikingly Plan For Your Business Website
You have to evaluate your website requirements first before you can choose the right Strikingly plan for your business website. Consider the following factors
- size and complexity of your site
- your expected traffic volume
- features and functionality you need
Strikingly offers several different hosting plans with varying levels of features and functionality. Their plans include:
- Free plan: 500MB of web space and 5GB monthly bandwidth per site, unlimited website with limited features
- Limited plan: 1GB of web space and 50 GB monthly bandwidth per site, 2 sites with more features and custom domain name
- Pro plan: 20GB of web space and unlimited bandwidth per site, 3 websites with advanced features and e-commerce functionality
- VIP plan: unlimited web space, 5 websites, all Pro plan features, and priority customer support
Image taken from Strikingly
Each plan comes with different pricing, so it's critical to consider your budget as well when choosing a plan. One thing to note though–when you purchase a plan with Strikingly, you’re technically paying for the website because hosting is free.
In addition to the different hosting plans, Strikingly also offers a range of features and benefits that make it a popular choice among businesses. These features include an easy-to-use website builder with drag-and-drop functionality, responsive templates that are optimized for mobile devices, and SEO tools to improve your website's search engine rankings.
Overall, Strikingly's hosting plans and features are designed to meet the needs of different types of businesses, from small startups to large enterprises. Their range of plans and features means that you can choose the one that best suits your needs and budget, without compromising on quality or performance.
Choosing The Best Strikingly Plan Based On Your Needs
To choose the best Strikingly plan for your needs, consider your website requirements and budget. If you're just starting out and have a simple website, the free plan may be a good option. However, you may want to consider the Limited, Pro, or VIP plans if you need more advanced features or have a higher traffic volume.
Of course, before making your decision, consider the factors we discussed earlier in this guide (technical specifications, reliability, and performance, as well as the features and pricing of each plan).
By choosing the right Strikingly plan, you can ensure that your website performs at its best and help your business succeed online. Take some time to analyze your options and choose the plan that's right for you!
Choosing the right web hosting plan for your business website is crucial to ensure its success and growth. From evaluating your website requirements and analyzing technical specifications, to considering reliability and performance of the hosting provider, there are many factors to consider when making your decision.
Strikingly is an excellent option for businesses looking for a reliable and affordable web hosting provider. With its various features and benefits, Strikingly offers competitive pricing for its plans that are tailored to meet different needs. Whether you are a small business owner or a large enterprise, Strikingly has a plan that will suit your website requirements.
When selecting the best web hosting plan for your business website, it is essential to evaluate your website requirements, consider the technical specifications and performance of the hosting provider, and choose a plan that meets your budget and growth objectives.
By following this guide and considering Strikingly as an option, you'll be well on your way to launching a successful website that helps your business thrive.