Whether you are a blogger, a small business, a software development team or a large multi-national corporation, your requirements for finding a hosting provider for your site or application will vary greatly. These requirements will be different across all user segments, and even within your own vertical niche.
Your hosting needs will be dependent on the type of site you require. For example, hosting a personal website will require different capabilities and technologies when compared to hosting a small business site, a software development site, an e-commerce shop or any high traffic data-intensive site. And don’t forget your organizational needs for functionality – for instance, email, messaging, storage, and back-up and disaster recovery all add different layers of complexity.
A quick search on Google for “hosting provider” or “hosting company” results in literally millions and millions of hits; and perusing the websites for these companies is enough to boggle the mind. After all, don’t they seem to all look and sound the same?
According to Philbert Shih, Managing Director of Structure Research:
“Internet infrastructure is a highly fragmented market with pureplay hosters, MSPs, systems integrators, resellers and telcos all competing for the IT outsourcing dollar. The majority of providers decide to focus on a narrower set of services and capabilities rather than trying to be everything to everyone. This leads to technology specialization, local market reach and vertical focus. The end result is literally tens of thousands of providers. If you count all the companies in the business of IT outsourcing there could be more than 40,000 such providers around the world.”
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution.
Few, if any hosting providers are capable of doing everything for everyone. There is just too much complexity and diversity in IT infrastructure for this to be possible. Providers inevitably zero in on certain use cases and leave the rest for competitors. The same is true from the customer’s perspective. No customer is alike and finding the right provider is about matching needs with requirements.
Sifting through all of this can be very challenging. But the good news is that finding order within this complexity is a relatively simple task if you know where and what to look for and most importantly, the key questions to ask.
The fact is hosting providers are anything but alike. They have contrasting strengths and weaknesses and offer up drastically different value propositions. It is a matter of comparing them on the right terms and asking the right questions.
Below we take you on a mini-road trip that will hopefully answer most questions and allow you to get a better understanding of the landscape and get you going in the right direction to finding the hosting provider that’s just right for you.