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The Ultimate Web Hosting Guide and How to Host Your Website

So you realize you need a website for your business or organization, but have no idea where to begin. We've all been there at some stage, and you've come to the right place.

It all starts with web hosting. Web hosting is the service of providing storage space and access to websites. Every website requires web hosting in one form or another.

At it's core web hosting is a simple concept, but in practice not always straightforward, especially for newcomers. The ultimate web hosting guide will explain what web hosting is and help you find web hosting for your website. Not just any web hosting mind you, but the best web hosting.

I'll guide you through all aspects of web hosting, including registering your domain. I'll give you tips and show you what to look out for and what to avoid. After reading this article you'll be equiped to find and order web hosting for your business or organization.

At Red Hippo we're web hosting specialists. We also run many of our own websites and have learned by long experience the ins and outs of web hosting.

With that experience, I've carefully designed our web hosting to be the very best there is. Our web hosting is designed with real people in mind. It's web hosting created to be simple for novice users yet powerful enough for seasoned developers.

Give our web hosting a try and see for yourself how powerful, fast, reliable and above all user-friendly it is. Without further ado, let's get started.

Table of Contents

1. What is Web Hosting?
1.1 Storage Space for Your Website
1.2 Access to Your Website
1.3 When Unlimited Hosting is no Longer Unlimited

2. The Components of Web Hosting
2.1 Domain Name
2.1.1 What Domain Extension Should I Choose?
2.2 Web Space of Disk Space
2.3 Mailboxes

3. How to Find Good Web Hosting
3.1 What are my Hosting Needs?
3.2 Finding a Good Web Hosting Company
3.3 What You DON'T Want in a Web Hosting Company
3.4 What You DO Want in a Web Hosting Company
3.4.1 Solid Web Hosting Support 24 x 7
3.4.2 Solid Web Hosting Products

4. Our Web Hosting Features
4.1 Easily Create Mailboxes
4.2 Easily Login to Webmail
4.3 Additional Mailbox Functions
4.4 One-click Install Apps Likee WordPress, Joomla Drupal etc.
4.5 Easily Backup & Restore Your Website
4.6 Perform Additional Web Hosting Functions
4.7 Easily Manage Your Domain Name and DNS Settings
4.7.1 What is DNS?
4.7.2 DNS Management Functions

5. How to Order Web Hosting

6. What About a Website?

7. Conclusions on Web Hosting

1. What is Web Hosting?

1.1 Storage Space for Your Website

Web hosting is a service offered by a company to host your website on their web server. Typically this web server is a powerful computer (server) connected to the internet.

You are essentially renting space on their web server to house your website files and your mailboxes.

1.2 Access to Your Website

Your website files need to be visible on the internet, that's where the second part, access comes in. Your web hosting account allows your website files to be visible on the internet. When your website files are visible to the internet, visitors can view your website.

Alongside the storage space your web hosting account will be allocated a quota of bandwidth or traffic. Each time a visitor views a page on your website, some of your traffic quota is consumed. Sending and receiving emails also uses bandwidth and counts towards your quota.

For a few years now companies have been offering "unlimited" web hosting. These unlimited web hosting accounts offer unlimited bandwidth and unlimited web space. Sometimes they also offer unlimited email accounts. The idea is your site bandwidth and disk space is not metered i.e. unlimited.

The concept of unlimited hosting is not strictly accurate as nothing is truly unlimited, but having un-metered bandwidth and quotas that are not strictly enforced is worthwhile.  Having said this, I recommend unlimited hosting. More about this in the section below.

When your website receives a visitor, they view the web page/s stored or hosted on your hosting account. The web server will "serve" the pages to the visitors web browser. The most popular web browsers are Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera.

1.3 When Unlimited Hosting is no Longer Unlimited

There are exceptions to unlimited web hosting, this is true for every  hosting company. Nothing is infinite or truly unlimited. Therefore traffic and space is monitored by every web hosting company.

For ninety eight percent of users unlimited bandwidth and disk space will never be a perfect fit. For the other two percent abuse this unlimited status and it becomes a problem or no longer applies. This two percent use their web hosting account for purposes other than what it's intended for. I know, that sounds like the web hosting companies are moving the goal posts, but it's sometimes necessary. I'll explain below.

Some will say it's misleading to sell something as unlimited if it's not. If you understand a little more about the nature of web hosting the picture becomes clearer. The vast majority of websites in the world are hosted on shared web hosting accounts. This simply means that they share space on a web server with other websites. Thus they are hosted on "shared hosting" or "web hosting" packages.

Even the newer cloud hosting although spread across multiple servers is ultimately constrained by bandwidth and disk space. I repeat, nothing is truly infinite. For the vast majority of websites, shared hosting is more than ample, especially with a reputable web hosting company.

It's this sharing of resources that makes web hosting extremely affordable. Literally anyone can afford to host their website at low cost and expect good results. There are exceptions of course, but let's not digress, back to the two percent.

Shared hosting is not designed for intense resource hungry applications. Examples would be large scale hosting of videos e.g. Youtube or Vimeo or file sharing like DropBox or Box. These IO (Input Output) intensive and resource hungry applications have an arsenal of powerful web servers to keep up with the excruciating demands placed on them.

These services will operate in a large scale enterprise environment. Shared hosting is not designed for these applications. The abusive two percent are thus trying to circumvent the system by using enterprise grade applications on shared hosting.

In other cases there is nothing nefarious going on, but a website has become so buy that it's now consuming an exorbitant amount of server resources. With a servers resources being consumed by a single website, the other websites hosted on the server will start to suffer. The busy website has simply outgrown shared hosting, a good problem to have. Before this happens it's time for the busy website to move to it's own server like a VPS or dedicated server. The busy website then has the entire servers resources to itself.

This brings us back to web hosting. A regular website with perhaps a few videos on it, some audio files and other files and hundreds even thousands of pages will do just fine on regular web hosting, it's the amount of visitors or traffic that will usually determine when and if to upgrade.

There are many solid hosting companies that will provide quality web hosting for your website. There are also many more hosting companies that provide awful web hosting. It pays to do a bit of research before signing up. Continue on with the ultimate web hosting guide and we'll show you how to find good web hosting.

2. The Components of Web Hosting

Commonly web hosting includes three main components:

2.1 Domain name

The domain name is the address of your website e.g. our domain name is redhippo.co.za. Naturally every website has a domain name. A domain literally is your address on the internet. It's how visitors will find you.

A domain is the name you market on business cards, in advertising etc. You can search for and register a domain name using a tool like domain checker.


Your domain name is extremely important.  Here are a few tips will help guide your decision when registering a domain name:

Short domain names are hard (impossible) to come by. The traditional namespaces like .com .net .org etc. are saturated . The reason, they've been around for so long, every good name is already registered.

If your desired domain name is already registered, you can buy one. Domain marketplaces like Sedo, Above, Flippa and many others exist allowing you to purchase quality domain names. The problem, quality domain names come at a (sometimes huge) premium, they're expensive.

There are bargains to be found but for most of us, these high domain prices are not feasible. There was a definite need and ICANN responded. ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the body managing the internet namespace root.

Thanks to ICANN releasing hundreds of new TLD's or Top Level Domains, there is hope. Companies were invited to file submissions to ICANN for new Top Level Domains. ICANN received 1930 submissions from companies. These proposed new Top Level Domains service just about every sector imaginable.

The new TLD's is the biggest thing to happen to the internet since sliced bread. Opportunities abound to find relevant domain names. I recommend taking advantage while there are relatively few domains registered, register your desired domain name. Here is a list of the proposed new TLD's.

The new domains or TLD's include descriptive sector and industry specific names. Examples already available to register include:


That's a short sampling, there are many more already available and many more to come...

2.1.1 What Domain Extension Should I Choose?

In broad terms there are three categories of TLD's or top level domain names to consider. First the original TLD's or Top Level Domains. Second the cc TLD's or Country Code Top Level Domains. The third category are the new TLD's mentioned above.

Original TLD's - These include .com .net .org .int .edu .gov .mil. The first four are excellent extensions to consider with an audience in either the USA or internationally. Search engines will favor audiences in the USA and internationally when using these TLD's.

Country Code TLD's - These include .br .ca .cn .co.uk .de .us etc. Each country having their own TLD. Consider a CC TLD when your audience is country or region specific. Search engines will favor audiences in the specific country or region when using these TLD's.

New TLD's - These include hundreds of brank spanking new domain extensions. A small sampling are listed above. Most of these can be used for any audience or application. It's still early days with respect to how search engines will treat these new TLD's but things look extremely good. There are now more choices then ever. Most of the new domains are open to registration by anyone. The chances of finding a short memorable domain name to match your brand or organisation name have increased tremendously.

Use our domain name checker to search for your dream domain name.

2.2 Web Space or Disk Space

An amount of space will be allocated to your hosting account on the hosting companies web server. Your website files will be stored here, for all intents and purposes your email too.

This is the business end of your web hosting account. If you are planning on using a CMS or content management system for your website, it will be installed here. Content management systems usually require a database, your web hosting account will include a number of databases.

2.3 Mailboxes

Every web hosting account includes mailboxes. These mailboxes are personalized to your domain name. This means you can create personalized mailboxes for your organization e.g. info@your-organization.com, support@your-organization.com etc.

Personalized email is an extremely powerful way to promote your organization. Instantly increase professionalism by using your personalized domain. Using your personalized domain is free marketing for your organization. Each time you send an email to someone, your domain name and business are being promoted.

This is not so when using free email services like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo mail etc. And yes, there are still businesses and organizations out there using free email services.

These services are free and you can't argue with the price. But ultimately your organization is not benefiting when using them. Personalized email trumps these free services hands down in every respect. If your business is not using personalized email, it's time to start, as soon as possible.

3. How to Find Good Web Hosting

3.1 What are my Hosting Needs?

When looking for web hosting, you'll want to know your own needs first. Consider questions like:

Don't worry if you don't know the answers to some of these questions, know a few is still helpful. Once you've answered these questions, it's time to look for web hosting that meets your needs.

In these tough economic times you may be tempted to look for the cheapest solution, or even one of the many free hosting solutions. Please don't, you really do get what you pay for.

That doesn't mean you need to find the most expensive either to get good web hosting. There is some very good web hosting to be found that's affordable, it just takes some looking around.

3.2 Finding a Good Web Hosting Company

Once you know what your needs are, it's time to look for web hosting. There are many web hosting companies out there, ranging from awful to excellent. With the majority being somewhere in-between.

When it comes to your website, trust me, you don't want awful, it will be painful and ultimately could even be costly. Painful because of the headaches you will suffer as a result of poor service, poor support and everything in between. Costly because you'll decide to transfer your website and hosting to another company. Unless you know what you're doing, you will have to pay someone to do this for you.

3.3 What You DON'T Want in a Web Hosting Company

The point I always stress first, don't look for cheapest! When it comes to web hosting, invariably you get what you pay for.

I've noticed many people assume a big company will offer the best service. Somehow because the company is big, it's better. This is more often the exception rather than the rule. This assumption goes against logic, let's consider a few points:

The bigger companies usually discount prices to attract customers. They work on economies of scale to make this work. This means more customers to support staff ratio. This means longer waiting times for customers to get support. Often their resources are also oversold i.e. they have too many websites on a single server. This all is bad news for your website.

Ultimately the customer becomes a mere number and is lost in the mix. Bigger is not automatically better.

Now it's going to sound like I'm contradicting myself. Small is not necessarily better. Some web hosting companies are so small they can't afford to continue doing sustainable business.

Your website may be here one day and gone the next. That is a complete disaster, not to mention the incredible hassle of trying to get everything setup again with another hosting company. Add to that, smaller hosting companies cannot always afford the best infrastructure.

I've seen smaller hosting companies oversell badly to try squeeze higher margins. This again means bad website performance.

Poorly trained staff is another common ailment. Poorly trained is not limited to poor technical skills, included are poor people skills. Poor people skills training reflects almost instantly in the quality of support a web hosting company provides.

Top management's attitude is often reflected by it's staff at grass roots level. If the most important member of the chain, the support person dealing with the client is rude, it doesn't speak well of his or her supervisors. Stay away from companies with rude staff.

3.4 What You DO Want in a Web Hosting Company

I'm not a big fan of using comparison sites to find web hosting companies. These comparisons are almost never unbiased. Usually web hosting comparisons will be either sponsored or will include comparisons between companies with referral links or affiliate ties. These comparisons are often complete nonsense and border on unethical.

When looking for a good web hosting company word of mouth is good. Ask friends and colleagues what experiences they have had with web hosting.

Good or bad, there is useful advice to be had from people around you. Best of all it's free, no expensive painful school fees to be paid. The following are extremely important when looking for a good web hosting company.

3.4.1 Solid Web Hosting Support 24 x 7

Solid web hosting support is always my number one consideration when considering a web hosting company and in this web hosting guide, I want strongly emphasize this point.

After the honeymoon period is over, it's excellent web hosting support that will sustain the loving relationship between you and your hosting company.

The flip-side of that coin is aggravation and grey hairs. Unfortunately problems can arise, when they do you need the best support possible.

Web hosting problems aren't always kind enough to happen on workdays between nine to five. Problems often arise at weird hours of the day. And let's face it, many of us will be working on our websites after hours.

If you run into problems at odd hours, you'll need your web host's support staff ready to help. Choose a web hosting company with 24 x 7 support AND quick support turnaround times. Don't hesitate to ask a potential web hosting company about their response and turnaround time policies.

3.4.2 Solid Web Hosting Products

Know what your web hosting requirements are (see checklist further up this article). Then make sure the web hosting you're considering meets your requirements. Easy product upgrades (or downgrades) can also be very useful. Let's say your website gets really busy, how easily can your hosting be scaled up?

Up-time is another consideration. Up-time is simply the amount of time your website is actually visible and accessible to the internet. Low up-time means your website is down. That means people cannot access your website. Need I say more? 99.9% up-time is thrown around today by most hosting companies but it's not always verifiable. Ask your web hosting company what their up-time policy is. Keep in mind that 100% up-time is not possible with even the best hosting companies. What you want is extremely high up-time and solid support when there are issues.

We've got good news: our web hosting is designed to not only meet but far exceed each of these requirements. Check out our web hosting plans and see for yourself. Our web hosting comes with premium features that are extremely user-friendly. We've carefully crafted our hosting to be the very best web hosting you'll ever use.

4. Our Web Hosting Features

We've designed our web hosting to be fast, reliable, affordable and extremely easy to use. Our web hosting control panel, cPanel is guaranteed the world's most popular control panel. It's also powerful with features seasoned developers love. Everything you need to manage your web hosting is right at your fingertips, ready to go. Here are some of our web hosting features.

4.1 Easily Create Mailboxes

Easily create mailboxes in seconds with the click of a button. Type in the name you want your new mailbox to be e.g. "yourname"@demo-account.co.za and click add.

Web Hosting Guide - Easily Create Mailboxes in cPanel

You've just added a new mailbox. And as we offer unlimited mailboxes, you can give each person in your organization a mailbox.

4.2 Easily Login to Webmail

Each mailbox comes with full webmail access. Access your email account from anywhere easily. Access webmail directly from any browser by visiting webmail.your-domain.com substituting "your-domain.com" with your actual domain name.

Web Hosting Guide - Webmail Login

Webmail can also be accessed through the cPanel control panel. Login to cPanel control panel and click the "Access Webmail" icon.

Web Hosting Guide - Webmail Login from cPanel

4.3 Additional Mailbox Functions

Other cool mailbox functions you can perform from your cPanel control panel are easily accessible. Perform additional mailbox functions like:

Web Hosting Guide - Email Functions

As you can see from the image above, it's point and click easy to control your mailbox.

4.4 One-click Install Apps Iike WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc.

Do you want to build your own website? You can using free applications like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Concrete5 etc. With Red Hippo web hosting there are over three hundred free apps available to one-click install.

You can use these apps to build a website to do just about anything. From simple blogs to business websites to eCommerce websites there's so much more you can do. Installing WordPress is a matter of clicking a link as indicated below. Installing the many other free apps is just as simple.

Web Hosting Guide - 1-Click Install Apps like WordPress

Content Management Systems & Related Apps Available:

eCommerce Apps Available:

Don't forget, there are over seventy free apps available to one-click install.

4.5 Easily Backup & Restore Your Website

Need to backup your website and database? No problem, you can backup your entire website in one-click straight to a zip file.

Need to create partial backups? No problem, backup specific folders and databases with the click of a button. No complicated menus and configurations, just quick and powerful backups.

Web Hosting Guide - Website Backups

4.6 Perform Additional Web Hosting Functions

You can do so much with your Red Hippo web hosting account. Easily perform literally hundreds of powerful functions. Here are a few:

4.7 Easily Manage Your Domain Name and DNS Settings

Most users will never have to worry about managing their domain name or DNS settings. Some power users may need to, our domain management interface allows this. It's powerful but designed to be easy to use. From the "Zone Editor" you can manage every aspect of your domain name and DNS settings.

4.7.1 What is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name Server or Domain Name System. DNS is the process of translating your domain name to an IP number. Each web server and thus website has an IP number.

Remembering these IP numbers for each website would be impossible. We type in a domain name into the web browser and the DNS system will translate the domain name to an IP number. You then view that website in your browser. It's a clever system and happens transparently in the background while surfing the internet. Point and click and DNS takes care of the rest.

4.7.2 DNS Management Functions

Our DNS management interface includes the following powerful tools:

DNS Wizards and Tools

DNS Records

5. How to Order Web Hosting

You'll agree it all sounds good, and you want to get web hosting, but where do you start? It's a simple process to order web hosting. As easy as purchasing an item from online store. I'll demonstrate by walking you through the steps below.

Step 1

Find the web hosting product you want, in this example, our ZA Business Hosting here. Click the "Signup" button or relevant call to action.

Web Hosting Guide - How to Order Web Hosting - Step 1

Step 2

A) "Register a new domain" is selected by default. We'll continue with this option as though we are going to register a brand new domain name. Other options are:

Web Hosting Guide - How to Order Web Hosting - Step 1

B) In the box indicated above, type in your desired domain name and select a domain extension you prefer e.g. .com. Use the dropdown box to view our huge selection of domain names available to register. For our example I've used "order-demo" and selected the .com extension.

Step 3

If the domain you typed in is available, it will be indicated as in the image below. Click the "Continue" button to continue, and/or the additional "Add" buttons for other domains that may also be available. You can add more than one domain to your cart.

Web Hosting Guide - How to Order Web Hosting - Step 3

If the domain name you want is already taken or registered, you'll receive a message saying it's already taken as show below. There will be alternates domains displayed further down for you to consider, or type another domain name to perform another search.

Step 4

A) Select your billing cycle, options are monthly all the way to 3 years and everything in between.
B) Select your desired addons like Dedicated IP
C) Click the "Continue" button to continue.

Web Hosting Guide - How to Order Web Hosting - Step 4

Step 5

Review your order and when you're happy click the "Checkout" button to continue. If you have a promo code (discount code) you can enter it here to apply it.

Web Hosting Guide - How to Order Web Hosting - Step 4

Step 6

If you're a new client, complete the form details, if you're an existing client click the "Already Registered?" button to continue.

Web Hosting Guide - How to Order Web Hosting - Step 6

Step 7

  1. Enter your information in the fields that appear, as seen above.
  2. Select your payment method as seen below:
  3. Once all your information is inserted click "Complete Order" to continue.

You will now be directed to the payment gateway page to complete payment e.g. PayPal. Once payment is completed you'll be redirected back to Red Hippo.

You'll receive emails including a "New Account Info" email. This email includes all the info to get started with your brand new awesome hosting account.

6. What About A Website?

The whole point of web hosting is for a website right? If you want a website you have two options: Build a website yourself or get someone to build it for you.

There are plenty of good web designers out there. Do some careful checking including looking at their portfolio before you choose a web designer. We offer custom website design services and turnkey website packages for business and eCommerce websites. A website like everything else in life needs maintenance and support, we've got you covered there with our website care plans.

Another option is DIY. Building your website yourself is increasingly common. One reason is the rise of (relatively) easy to use free tools like WordPress, Concrete5, Joomla, Drupal and the like. There are hundreds more but these are the most common.

My recommendation is WordPress. WordPress is by far the most popular website building platform. WordPress currently powers around twenty three percent (28%) of all websites on the internet. That's tens of millions of websites. This means there is great support from many quarters.

Although easy to use, WordPress does require a little effort on your part to get acclimatized. A little effort and you'll be able to build a stunning website using WordPress.

WordPress has tens of thousands of plugins to choose from, and most are free to use. Plugins extend the functionality of your website allowing you to do a lot more easily. A great example of a cool WordPress plugin is WooCommerce. By installing WooCommerce on your  website, you add a complete shopping cart to your website. You can literally start selling in minutes. And WooCommerce is completely free to use. Some WooCommerce extensions are paid but out the box you can start selling in minutes.

If you'd like to build your own website we've got you covered there too. We offer the amazing BeaverBuilder PageBuilder and Theme free to use with this package. Join literally millions of people, build your own website and save money.

7. Web Hosting Guide Conclusion

Great job on making it to the end of this web hosting guide. You now have everything you need to choose the right web hosting and domain.

If you need help or advice with your web hosting, we're always happy to help, get in touch.

Tired of awful service from your current web host? How about a free web hosting transfer to Red Hippo?

If you want to move your web hosting account to us and experience the very best web hosting, it's now easier than ever! You don't have to do it, we'll transfer your website and account to Red Hippo for you, free of charge.

Website Migration Can Be Painful

Let's face it, moving your website from one host to another is at best tedious, and can have you pulling your hair out when things go wrong. But never fear, we're now offering free web hosting transfers across the board.

Our Free Web Hosting Transfer Includes:

1) Website Transfer

We'll transfer your website files to our new cloud hosting platform. CMS (Content Management Systems) like WordPress and Joomla are included and of course older static website files.

2) Database Transfer

Most CMS systems like WordPress work off databases like MySQL, we'll transfer these for you too.

3) Email Accounts Setup

We'll setup your email accounts on your new hosting account for you and send you the new setup and log in information.

And If There's More

And if there's anything else you may need and we can do it for you, we'll give it our very best efforts, your success is our success. It's that simple. Just another way for us to help you make your website a roaring success!

How To Transfer To Red Hippo

Want to transfer your website to Red Hippo for Free?

Choose your web hosting plan, and let us transfer your website for you, hassle free!

Everyone loves lists, so here's a list for anyone with a website or with email, or anyone considering a website or hosting.

Here Are My Reasons Our Web Hosting Is Best

1) Price

Our web hosting pricing is extremely competitive and for what we offer, it's downright excellent!

We are not a web hosting discounter selling cheap hosting and trying to rack up as many numbers as possible. We offer quality web hosting but at a price point that is extremely competitive, and sustainable. The last part of that sentence is very important but often goes unnoticed. In any business sustainability can only exist when you are making a profit. You can't sell cheap web hosting and expect to maintain high product quality and high support quality standards. The two are mutually exclusive.

At Red Hippo we attract customers not with cheapest prices, but with our brilliant products at a competitive price. And, on top of that the very best service we can possibly give. (More on service later).

2) Quality

We do not cut corners with it comes to hosting. Across the board we offer only quality in every area of our business.

Latest And Best Hardware

All our web hosting products run on top quality Dell and Intel Servers. Our data-centers have multiple redundant connections to the internet. Our data-centers have highly trained staff managing and monitoring them 24/7.

Bespoke Innovative Software

Our hosting software is also state of the art. Our hosting control panel is the easiest most powerful hosting control panel anywhere. Everyone keeps remarking how easy our hosting control panel us to use. Setting up email accounts is a breeze with even the most novice user getting email setup in seconds.

Just because our hosting control panel is easy to use does not mean it lacks punch. We have over 70 1-click install apps like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart, Prestashop etc. included. You can setup the website platform of your choice with a single click.

You can manage your databases easily and quickly. Lock and unlock your FTP accounts to increase security. Tons of free software included. There are hundreds more premium features packed into our hosting.

How about our newly redesigned Client Area? It's easier than ever to manage your hosting accounts from one convenient place. For more Client Area features view this article.

3) Support

I'm happy to leave the most important reason for last, our customer support.

Our web hosting customer support is second to none! At Red Hippo it's our mission to make your website a roaring success! We truly are invested in your website and making it the very best it can be.

When you do have a problem, we'll do our utmost to sort it out for you immediately. We promise to give you fast, friendly support always.

Have you been disappointed by poor service?

Try our web hosting today and let us surprise you!

View Web Hosting

There is quality web hosting, there is average web hosting and then there is downright awful web hosting.

During normal run of the mill operations you may get away with less than stellar web hosting. But disaster can strike anytime, in any number of ways, and when it does, it's quality web hosting that makes the difference.

Affordable Peace Of Mind?

First time web hosting buyers usually look at price first, and pricing ends up being the deciding factor. After having web hosting for a while pricing is usually not so important anymore.

This change of mind happens when they get burned a few times. No company can discount prices and expect to maintain quality and service. This is what most people end up learning the hard way. These school fees can be painful and definitely unnecessary. Choose quality web hosting to start with, and the most expensive isn't necessarily the best. My article on how to choose a good web hosting company will help with that.

Everyone is on a budget, the only difference being the size of the budget. Having a small web hosting budget is the rule rather than the exception. This doesn't mean you have to skimp, take our web hosting as a prime example. We offer the highest quality web hosting with premium features, but at an affordable price. As this post is about quality web hosting and the peace of mind it offers, let me elaborate.

Red Hippo's hosting offers hundreds of high quality web hosting features, more than most web hosting companies. I wrote an article on what to look for in premium web hosting for more info. Here's a quick list.

Our Quality Web Hosting Includes:

That's an impressive list, and we have most if not all other web hosting companies beat with those alone. But what makes us stand out head and shoulders above all other web hosting companies is in the level of our service. Our client's are our family, their websites are our more than our business, they are our passion. It's our mission to make your website a roaring success!

Quality Web Hosting 24/7

Trust us to take care of your website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

When you're hard at work, we're hard at work looking after your website by providing only quality web hosting every second of the day.

When you're relaxing on the weekend, we're hard at work monitoring your website night and day.

When you're away on holiday, we're carefully managing over your website.

Trust us with your website because we'll treat it like our own!

Browse Premium Web Hosting

As a web hosting company, we are supplying a service and we have customers. That’s a good thing and the way it should be.

But think about it from this perspective: Your web hosting company is more than just the business that hosts your website. Your web hosting company is a partner in your business, in its success or in its failure. Your website is only as good as your web hosting company, their services and their support. That may sound dramatic and I don’t mean to alarm you, but when it’s boiled down to the essence, that’s just the way it is.

Choose A Good Web Hosting Company

I've written a few times about how to choose a good web hosting company; this article will help with that.

When everything is smooth sailing you may get away with a not-so-good web hosting company, but when the storm comes that’s when the ship is either wrecked or completely sinks.

When you need help, make sure your web hosting company can help you quickly, in a friendly manner. Not using too much technical jargon also helps as the average web hosting client is a business person not a technician.

Your web hosting company should provide fast, simple to the point support, if a problem arises. Behind the scenes they should work hard to ensure that everything is running smoothly and will continue to do so. Ample help in the form of easy to use tutorials in an easy to access knowledge base is a must.

Choose your web hosting company wisely as they will have a large part to play in the success of your website.

Take Us For A Ride

If you’re in the market for a web hosting company consider Red Hippo. Try our web hosting and if you're not completely blown away simply cancel within 30 days and we'll give you a full refund, no questions asked!

We are that confident you will love our products and our sterling service.

Try our hosting and see the difference!

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Yesterday I received a request from a very good client. The request was for the possibility of a lower priced, lower spec'ed hosting account for his clients. This hosting account would then be more affordable for people who only require minimal features e.g. no website, emails only.

My first thought was, how about proper web hosting. And I replied with the following:

Dear [name redacted]

Thank you for your mail.

I've looked at that before but decided it’s not feasible as we would have to cut down the features incredibly. There are a few hosting companies doing that but it’s completely misleading and quite frankly a way to fool people into signing up but then they are soon forced to upgrade – let me explain why:

To end off, let’s put this in perspective – a Wimpy Cheese Burger is more expensive than our hosting account. For R49 our Starter Pro hosting account absolutely rox! 😉

My client's reply was "Wow, now that is why I like working with you: fact-based and to the point. :-)"

How About Proper Web Hosting

Don't be fooled by the cheapest hosting. Very often you get what you pay for. Don't take my word for it, this article on the Huff Post of all places outlines the dangers of not choosing the best web hosting for your website.

Need To Change Your Hosting Company?

Try our web hosting, and let us take the best care of you and your website.

Exactly What Is Premium Web Hosting you ask. And what should you be looking for when considering quality web hosting for your website? It's all in the features, but there's more. Let's have a look at the features first.

Premium Web Hosting Features

Standard Features Must Include:

Premium Features Must Include:

General Features

Hosting Features

Email Related

Ecommerce & Website Features

The Cherry On Top

Customer Support Should Be Paramount

We've mentioned all the usual hosting features, but how often is the support aspect overlooked. For many people the first time support is even considered is when there is a problem. That's working back to front - support should be your the FIRST consideration. After all, your website is important, maybe even an integral part of their business. So why on earth would you sign up with someone who offers shoddy support, or maybe not as snappy with service as you may like?

I've seen it a million times (well maybe not a million, but many many times before). Nine out of ten times, everything about a web hosting company can be judged by the support department. Attitudes flow down the pyramid as it were. If the staff are friendly, knowledgeable, don't speak in techogeek to someone who doesn't understand the language, chances are, they are on the ball. After all, you want someone who is as serious as you are about your website, looking after your website, don't you?

Price Should Never Be The Deciding Factor

This seems to be the first port of call for people who are new to web hosting. "Where can I find the cheapest web hosting" - this is a mistake. In web hosting, like most other things in life, you get what you pay for. That doesn't meant that you should look for the most expensive hosting company out there. Definitely not! But I would strongly advise against the cheapest, in fact I would say don't touch them with a barge pole. The reason is simple, you can't offer quality products and quality support while discounting your products and services. Corners have to be cut to offer the cheapest goods - keep that in mind. There is a saying in Afrikaans "goedkoop is duurkoop" which translated means buying cheap ends up costing you more money. I would add that it's also adds frustration and pain in most cases too.

If you're in the market for premium but affordable web hosting try us today.

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It's a simple question but a very important one: Are you backing up your website? If the answer is yes, good for you and keep it up. But if the answer is no, then my second question is why not?

Why Is Backing Up Your Website Important?

There are many reasons why this is not merely important but critical, most important of which is money.

If you lose your website, or your website compromised in some way it's going to cost you money. It will take time and effort to recover your website or fix the affected areas if it wasn't completely lost. Either way that equates to someones time which means money. And if your website is an eCommerce website it's doubly important as one of your revenue generating streams has now been compromised or even shut. It's like closing your shop doors in bricks and mortar terminology.

How A Website Can Be Compromised

Without getting too technical, here are a few scenarios:

 Backing Up Your Website Is The Solution

Well, not backing up alone, let me explain. Always keep your website core files like WordPress up to date, your plugins and theme files too. And use strong passwords for all entry points. I still see people using passwords like "password" and "p@ssword" and "password123". And a favourite is the website name or their name e.g. "john123" etc. Really people?! When it comes to security, prevention is ALWAYS better than cure!

Choose a web host that offers a simple backup solution and even a premium solution like daily backups or there are some that even offer daily "snapshop" backups. Snapshot backups do what they say, a copy if made of your entire website every day and kept safe in case you ever need to recover your website for any reason. With Red Hippo website hosting, we keep snapshot backups for 30 days. And this is on a rolling basis. This means that we can recover your website up to 30 days prior from any point, with the click of a button.

Not many web hosting companies offer snapshot backups. At the very least your web host should provide an easy simple way for you to make backups of your website files including your website database. And then make sure you do those backups at a frequency appropriate to the level of activity of your website. So if you are adding content daily, then daily backups should be considered, if only weekly, then weekly is appropriate and so on.

If your web hosting company doesn't offer either of the above then consider changing web hosts. In the meantime backup your site manually, and backing up your website using FTP is a good way to do that.

If you're in the market for premium web hosting, please checkout Red Hippo's web hosting.

Are You Backing Up Your Website?

That is a resounding yes, and this is how you get email accounts without a website...

The Basics First

A hosting account is space on a server connected to the internet. The hosting account will include a certain amount of space for your website files, a certain number of email accounts and various other features. These features all depend on the particular hosting plan you choose at your hosting company.

A hosting account can be on either the Linux platform or Windows platform. This Linux vs. Windows article on CNET will give more insight. Although the features of each can be very similar there is usually more choice on Linux hosting accounts. Most of the internet runs on Linux, this makes it the natural choice. There is also more support for scripts on Linux than on Windows. In many cases Linux hosting is cheaper than Windows hosting too. But for all intents and purposes, either will do just fine.

For an more in-depth explanation on web hosting read my How Does Website Hosting Work? article

Can I Have Email Without A Website?

I answered a resounding yes, and here it is:

  1. Option 1 - You can get a dedicated email hosting account with only email accounts supported. These accounts don't include web space for your website. These type of accounts work fine and we offer them. They are however sometimes more expensive than a regular hosting account that includes email accounts as part of the plan. And what's more, they usually have far less email accounts than regular hosting.
  2. Option 2 - Regular hosting account with email accounts as part of the plan. These can be had for very cheap and as long as the host is reputable this is the way to go.

How To Get Your Email

  1. Find the best hosting company
  2. Sign-up for their low price hosting plan that includes email accounts - making sure it includes enough email accounts for your needs. Our entry level hosting account comes with 1,000 email accounts. You will also need to register a domain name which is a website address e.g. www.your-business.com or if you already have one transfer it into your new hosting account (something your new host can assist with).
  3. Login to your hosting control panel and create your email accounts - Usually you will be emailed full details and instructions on how to administer your hosting account.
  4. Setup your email account(s) on your email program on your PC or notebook or phone/tablet etc.

You're done! Now you can start using your shiny new email accounts.


How Does Website Hosting Work? It's Quite Simple Really

We get asked this a lot by people new to web hosting who want to start their first website. What better way to explain than write an easy to follow article.

Web Hosting, The Basics

Every website needs web hosting but web hosting doesn’t need a website to work. Let me explain, there are 3 components to hosting:

How Does Web Hosting Work

1) The Actual Hosting Account

The space on a web server where your website and emails reside (are hosted). This server is connected to the internet. Websites are hosted on 3 or 4 ways as follows:

Shared Hosting – A hosting account resides on a server with many other accounts hosted on the server all “sharing” the resources. Shared hosting accounts are suitable for most websites.

VPS - VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a visualized server where the resources are compartmentalized on a server or number of servers in a virtual environment. Basically a VPS is ideal for more resource hungry or busier websites and it a trade-off between price and performance.

Dedicated Servers - Lastly comes a dedicated server, this is a single server and you install as many or as few websites / hosting accounts as you choose. This is the best option for heavy duty websites or websites that receive a large amount of traffic. Everyone would love their website to be hosted on its own dedicated server but this is not feasible due to expense.

Hybrid Servers - Red Hippo offers another option our cutting edge Hybrid Servers. Hybrid Servers are a fusion of VPS and dedicated servers. The Hybrid Server runs in a virtual environment but has dedicated hard drives and RAM. This offers dedicated server like performance but at VPS prices.

2) Your Email Account(s) For Your Hosting Plan

Depending on your hosting plan, it could include anything from one  to unlimited email accounts. Red Hippo has various plans which start with 1,000 email accounts all the way up to our top hosting account which includes unlimited email accounts. A good hosting company should include web mail access along with regular POP / IMAP access to all email accounts.

3) Your Website

This is a collection of files that make up your actual website. As stated previously you can have a hosting account without a website and use it with just the email accounts.

Many clients choose this option. They want to secure their domain name www.your-business.com and want to start using it in their email correspondence immediately, with the plan to get their website up and running at a later stage.

We see this practice changing rapidly. More business owners are beginning to recognize the vital part a website plays in addressing the way clients interact with business. Some figures today indicate that up to 85% of people use the internet to research products before purchase. And this is irrespective of whether that purchase is in a regular bricks and mortar store or at a company’s online store.

Don’t Get Left Behind

If you don’t yet have a website for your business, or you have an old or outdated website, it’s time to act! To illustrate my point, I’m including a reference to an article from 2004 (that’s over 10 years ago) where Entrepreneur.com stated “Even if you're not planning on selling online, a well-crafted site is essential for any business”. 10 years ago it was essential, it's even more so today. I recommend reading the article titled Why You Need a Website.

Considering web hosting for your business?
Take a look at our world-class web hosting plans:

How Does Website Hosting Work

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