In this guide, you are going to learn about web hosting in South Africa.
In fact, by the end, you will have a deeper understanding of what to do to get the best and most reliable hosting.
But, why is this important?
Well, there is a lot of noise out there, making it even harder to get that ultimate company to help house your website. As such, you should pay attention because if you get any step wrong, you may end up regretting later.
Here is what you are going to learn:
- What is web hosting and types
- How to pick the best hosting company/package
- Best companies to consider
- Many more
If you are looking for answers to any of these questions, consider sticking around because there is so much you don’t know.
What is web hosting in South Africa? (Why does it matter?)
Web hosting comes from two words: website and hosting.
Website, according to Wikipedia:
A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server.
Hosting on the other hand is the process of allocating your website to the webserver.
Think of it as finding a ‘home’ to your website. And the ‘home’ in this case is a server, which is a special computer set aside to handle such special tasks as web hosting, calculations, storage, etc.
Hosting is a tedious job. You need money to run these servers and that includes maintaining them, updating, and keeping them secure. For this reason, no one individual can host their own website without the help of web hosting providers.
These providers are the ones responsible for everything hosting, all you have to do is pay a small fee and sit tight.
Now, web hosting comes in several sizes. To learn more about it, continue reading.
Types of web hosting in South Africa
Shared hosting is the most popular web hosting in South Africa. This is because it is cheap.
Ideally, you are sharing a server with other users and that includes resources such as RAM, CPU, and disk space.
And this is where problems come.
Since you are sharing a server, you are sharing all the problems too. Things like security threats, when one of your neighbors is exposed, you will be too. Also, if one of the users is experiencing a spike in traffic, he will bite a huge chunk of hosting resources, and hence affecting the others negatively.
For this reason, it is advisable for those starting to use this type of hosting simply because their websites aren’t yet grown. But once it does, consider other options. Continue reading to find other better hosting options.
It is the complete opposite of shared hosting.
With dedicated hosting, you are the only one on the server. You aren’t sharing anything with anyone. All the RAM, CPU, and disk space are yours to use.
As you can already guess, it is much expensive as compared to shared hosting. And that is why it is only for special cases.
Who needs dedicated hosting?
- If your website is receiving a high volume of traffic
- Wish to run custom software and application
- Your website or company handles thousands of transactions per day
- You are looking for top-notch security
Well, dedicated servers cost a little bit higher. But there is a middle ground and you are going to love it.
In fact, what you are about to see gives you a chance to enjoy all the dedicated server features at the cost of shared hosting.
You can call it a middle ground.
VPS – virtual private server is a type of hosting where you are in the same server with other users, but instead of sharing resources, you have own (private).
Let me explain.
A server is subdivided into virtual department, thanks to virtualization. These sections are capable of running your own OS, which means you can install independent RAM, CPU, and have disk space.
VPS hosting is perfect for:
- Those who want to upgrade their shared hosting accounts
- Experiencing increased traffic
- Looking to install custom applications
- Enjoy dedicated server benefits at a cheaper cost.
While these are the most common terms you will find as far as web hosting in South Africa is concerned, there are others.
Cloud is a network of servers located in data centers around the world used to host websites.
This is the new technology in this industry. Has made it even more secure to build a website.
Here is how it works:
When you host a website on the cloud, a copy of the files will be also made available in all of the servers under the network. So, in case one server goes down, you do not lose anything because the other servers kick-in and take over.
Isn’t that so cool?
Additionally, cloud hosting is more secure than physical servers. And you can access your files from anywhere using any device, as long as you have access to the internet.
Enough for the types of web hosting in South Africa.
Now, as you can see, there are so many decisions to make. For example, what plan should you choose? Which one is perfect for your business?
Continue reading to learn how to pick the best web hosting plan.
How to choose the best hosting plan (tips and tricks)
I will get right into it.
There are three categories of website owners:
Category 1: Those starting out (the beginners)
You fall under this category if you’ve never owned a website before. This is your first website. Even if your website if older but doesn’t receive at least 2K unique visitors per month, you fall under this category.
For beginners, your websites are generally considered ‘young’ and thus doesn’t consume a lot of server resources such as RAM and disk space.
As such, it is advisable to start small, with a shared hosting plan, for one reason.
It is cheap and hence doesn’t put unnecessary stress on your budget.
As you grow, you move to the next category.
Category 2: Growing websites (intermediaries)
You fall here if your website is experiencing increased traffic, at least 3K and above per month consistently.
Because your website is growing, you’ve started experiencing things like slow-loading pages. When you see that, it is a sign you need to upgrade.
Here is why:
You’ve outgrown the shared hosting environment. Technically, websites with higher traffic do not belong on a shared server.
Then where should you go?
VPS servers of course.
In there, you will have your own room and resources to support the growing ‘baby.’ More importantly, you are paying a fraction of less than what you’d have paid for a dedicated server.
Category 3: Big organizations (unique needs)
For big companies with:
- Thousands of readerships per month
- Want to run custom OS, applications
- Receiving thousands of transactions per day
- Ecommerce websites
And any other person with special needs that a shared hosting nor VPS can solve, a dedicated server is your choice.
With it, you have complete control of the server. Do all the customizations you want.
Take note of this:
It is recommended to start small and move up as you go, and as the need arises.
What you need to host a website
To host a website, you need:
Domain name registration
This an address people will use to access your website.
It should be short, memorable, and have a connection with your business. Once you’ve decided on the name, find a provider to handle the registration.
Importantly, you can get a domain for free. Continue reading to find out how.
Web host provider
You need a company to handle everything from registration to hosting. Luckily, a dozen host companies are offering different packages. All you have to do is choose the one you need.
Here are some of the best web hosting companies in South Africa:
- Truehost – offering affordable hosting, cheap domain names, email hosting, among other services
- Afrihost – offers dedicated servers, Linux, Windows, reseller hosting, etc.
- Host Africa – gives you affordable web hosting plans
Make no mistake, these aren’t the whole list. But these are the ones you can trust and check out now.
How much does it cost to host a website?
The cost of hosting a website ranges from R7 to R229.
Generally, it depends on your needs and the company you chose. Different companies have different pricing plans.
Truehost allows you to host a website from as low as R7 per month. You get a free .co.za domain name if you order a hosting plan.
Also, we have all the tools you need to supercharge your website, ranging from WordPress tools such as SEO resources, online marketing tools, and email resources among others.