The two most important characteristics of good web space by far is the accessibility and average loading time of the offer. As described in our article, I have uploaded a typical website from various providers and measure every minute whether this page can be reached and what the loading time of the page was. The results below show you the big difference between the providers.
I have only tested providers with a good reputation, which are known for good web hosting and which I can more or less recommend all. I have not tested providers with bad reputation as well as low-cost providers in the first place and can only advise against them. A good comparison can be found at Bestwebhoster.NET.
There are also differences among the high-quality providers: While the best provider, webgo, has an availability of 99.98%, the worst provider, ONE.com, has an availability of only 98.69%. The difference doesn’t sound like much, but it means that with the best provider the site is only offline for 8 minutes on average, while with the worst provider the site can’t be reached for 567 minutes a month.
Shared hosting, vServer, dedicated server? – The Basics
The provider runs a PHP-enabled server and provides you as a customer with a certain amount of storage space and resources. This server is used by several customers (with different domains) and the resources are shared.
The necessary software is already installed and managed by the operator.
Virtual servers (vServer)
A virtual operating system (mostly Linux) runs on the server and you can install any software on it. Here you have to install a web server and PHP yourself.
Here you get your own server in the data center and can install any software. The computing power of the server belongs to you alone.
Similar to Dedicated Server you will get your own server. However, the system administrators of the provider take over the management of the server and ensure that the server runs smoothly. Such offers often cost several hundred euro per month and is only recommended for very visitor-strong sides (starting from 250,000 side calls in the month).
I can only strongly recommend everyone to rely on shared hosting offers or, with sufficient budget, on their own managed server (). The administration of virtual and dedicated servers is very complex and this should be left to full-time system administrators.
The big advantage of shared hosting offers is that the complete software is already installed and configured. The vendor also takes care of software updates and monitors the server for vulnerabilities and attacks. Thus the offers are absolutely beginner-friendly and actually do no work. Since several customers use the server, the prices start from a few euros per month. Even after more than 10 years of professional web development, I myself mainly use shared hosting offers. PHP-Einfach also runs on a shared hoster with around 150,000 page views per month. If you want to connect to your server via VPN pick one with no logfiles (you can find one at http://www.VPNnologs.com/pl/vpn-bez-logow/ )!
The most important properties of a Web space are never mentioned:
Due to failures and overloads your website may not be accessible. This is of course very annoying for your visitors if your site is regularly not available. Some providers are extremely good at this point and have an availability of almost 100%. However, other providers, especially in the low-cost segment, are experiencing extremely frequent downtimes, some of which can last several hours.
In the case of shared hosting offers, several customers share a server, so the computing capacity (CPU&RAM) must be shared accordingly. If there are too many customers on a server or if the hardware is too old, the execution times of your scripts may be very slow, resulting in a slow page layout.
- The network connection of the data centers to the central Internet nodes in Germany is very different. Some providers have many good and fast connections, some only a few or even only one.
- If the data center connection is too poor, this leads to slow transmission times. Especially with larger amounts of data such as pictures, videos or files, this can be very disturbing.
- Large providers often advertise with large numbers of data connections, e.g. 1&1 with 360 GBit/s. However, this figure is not very meaningful, since large data centers naturally require a larger data connection than smaller ones.