Web hosting – what to look for?

Web hosting in a data center

The decision for the right web hosting solution depends heavily on the end product.

What content should be offered to whom, for how long, from where, for what purpose, with what effect and where. Even more important is the question of budget size and effort in terms of design and maintenance.

If one is aware of these points, a prototype can be created to determine the choice of suitable web hosting solutions.

The prototype can be anything from an HTML business card website of a craftsman, to the site of a guest house with interfaces to bookings portals, to a global e-commerce provider.

This should be discussed with a consultant.

A qualified decision making

It is recommended that all services be rented from one provider under a common SLA (service level agreement).

The value of availability in this SLA is an important criterion when choosing a web hosting plan. For most websites, 99.9% uptime is sufficient.

If this is guaranteed, all offers should be checked to see if phone and emergency services are included. The best way here is to listen to the opinions of other customers, as an example here is the DomainFactory web hosting experience.

The real thing

The real core of the matter, however, is the web hosting and its features.

How much storage is available, how accessible, with what features, on what kind of server, in what location is offered?

Storage space is cheap, rarely you get an offer below 25 GB.

Storage varies: is storage held on SSD disks or on less expensive disks?

How is the storage addressed? Is the webhosting accessible via IPv4 or IPv6 protocol?

Other exclusion factors are limited traffic and additional payments for outgoing data transfer. An offer with traffic flat rate is recommended.

Can access the web hosting space? Is it possible to transfer data via FTP or SFTP?? Is shell access via SSH possible, and can so-called cronjobs be set up?? If FTP/SFTP is offered, more than one access should be included.

Due to the European data protection regulation, the location of the server is equally important. Are Germany, EU or Privacy-Shield locations offered here as locations?

The content

For content: what is run on the website?

HTML/CSS and Javascript only? Do you need a specific PHP version, Perl, Python and/or TCL for dynamic content?? Can pre-built content management or blog systems be used? Here applies: More features, more complexity, more possible errors, more maintenance.

For example, if you want to run a full cloud ERP solution, your requirements are different than for a static web presence.

If the web offer to be created requires one or more databases, this should also be included in the decision and agreed with the same provider. In most offers this is the case, and the default is the sufficient MySQL. If this is not the case, a simple web hosting solution might not be enough.

The features

Domain registration and renewal should also be ordered to the web hosting provider. This should allow to create subdomains and customize all nameserver settings (A, CNAME, NS, AAAA, SPF, SRV, TXT and MX records).

Here, the MX record (mail exchanger record) is especially important if you are using Gsuite or Office365 and want to run the mail domain with it.

If not, the web hosting plan should also include email hosting with sufficient storage (min 5 GB) for enough mailboxes and be connectable via IMAP over SSL encryption.

The domain includes the certificate to be able to offer the offered website via Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). Again, the creation and maintenance should be left to the web hosting provider. This should offer standard certificates and certificates with extended validation (extended validation SSL certificates).

Even though a regular backup is one of the duties of every web administrator, there are offers from web hosting providers which take care of this task. This is not necessary, but it reduces the cost of running a website.


There are few key points that need to be clarified with a web hosting provider. The remaining priorities depend on the content to be hosted.

The service and support of the provider as well as the guaranteed availability must be guaranteed.

Then a scheme must be developed in consultation with the web hosting provider.

Some providers even offer consultations as part of their managed hosting packages.

The complexity should be kept low, the tasks should be distributed only over a few providers.

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