A step-by-step guide to creating a website for your real estate agency: choosing accommodation
In the first stage of their existence, real estate agencies use classifieds sites, like Avito. As the business grows, the idea arises of creating your own website to directly attract leads. The creation of the website consists of several steps:
- Develop the idea
- Design development
- Accommodation selection
- Model layout
- Functional programming
- Test and review
Hosting will already be required at the stage of the layout of the graphic site template. Real estate agencies choose between two types of sites:
Business card site: just a nice presentation of an internet business with phones for communication
Catalog of objects: kind of analogue of an advertising site + business card
Simple agency hosting
A business card site is the simplest type of site, it is done quickly and has no hosting requirements ie almost any hosting will do. But there are still some nuances:
- Free hosting is not suitable
- Accommodation in America and other remote locations is not suitable
- Unreliable hosting is not suitable
Free hosting with PHP support and database will in principle keep the site running, but there will be no guarantee of downtime. A real estate agency can still afford paid accommodation.
Accommodation in distant countries is slowly loading in Russia and countries of the former USSR. The data flow goes through many routers and intermediary servers, as a result, the speed drops considerably. It is recommended to use accommodation located as close as possible to the target audience, no more than 3 thousand kilometers.
Unreliable hosting cannot provide a long-term stable connection, therefore downtime often occurs. When the site is not available, it will not open in the browser and search engines cannot index the pages. Reliable hosting is not easy to determine with an inexperienced eye, so it is best to use a ready-made list, you can find more specific information about these services on this page. By choosing a reliable supplier once, you free your mind from a lot of unnecessary work in the future.
Agency hosting with catalog
Real estate agency websites with a built-in catalog are much more difficult to implement. The usual model is not suitable, you need to organize the storage, entry, exit and search of object cards. It also creates an increased burden on hosting.
Two types of accommodation are suitable for these purposes:
Shared hosting (shared)
Virtual Dedicated Hosting (VPS)
In the case of shared hosting, the site is hosted on a shared server with over 100 other sites installed. They can be resources from very different directions: blogs, shops, galleries, etc. All the sites operate under the same IP address. Server resources are shared among all accounts.
This last circumstance reduces the load capacity of each site. For example, if some sites generate the maximum load, the remaining capacity will not be sufficient for normal operation of other sites. In other words, not all sites on shared hosting can use the full capacity of the plan at the same time. This does not happen often and is more typical of unscrupulous web hosts who sell too many services on a server.
Shared hosting has a big advantage in that you are purchasing an all-inclusive service. The servers are maintained by a 24 hour technical support team. For you as the site owner just upload the files and database through the site control panel and it will work.
Sometimes there are errors related to the PHP interpreter, communication with the database, .access errors. To resolve the problem, it is usually sufficient to write a ticket to the help desk. Companies that value their reputation provide fast, high-quality support. If not, this is a good reason to look for other accommodation. Fortunately, there are thousands of offers on the internet, and there’s a hosting rating too.
When choosing a shared hosting plan, you should pay attention to the following features:
- Number of sites / databases: one or more
- Disk space: 5 GB or more
- RAM: from 256 MB
- Traffic: 100 GB and more
- Support for PHP and DB
- Virus protection
- DDoS protection
- Support for SSL certificates
It is important that the hosting service is protected against malicious code. Many people think that their site is not interesting for hackers because there is no credit card data and other valuable information. On the one hand, the hacker will not pay attention to the agency’s new website. But there are botnets, that is, networks of computers and sites that are already infected with viruses.
Botnets automatically scan other computers and websites for known vulnerabilities without the owner’s knowledge. They don’t need your data, they need resources to expand the botnet and send spam and DDoS attacks. It is now the most common problem on the Internet. The hosting service’s real-time antivirus software instantly responds to malicious code.
The further development of the situation may develop in different ways:
You will receive an email about the threat. you will have to decide what to do: delete it or fix it
Antivirus software will remove the code itself
Antivirus software will correct the vulnerability on the site
For example, Patchman hosting software can find and fix vulnerabilities in CMS and known plugins without your intervention and by reloading the site.
If the site is developed by more than one person, you will need hosting with GIT support. GIT is a version control system that simplifies team development of a project, like on GitHub. Each programmer works with his own local version of the site and does not make corrections to the hosting itself. Programmers make changes, called “commits”, to the remote repository. At the end of each development stage, a deployment is carried out. The improvements of each programmer are grouped in one place, that is to say on a hosting site.
The biggest bottleneck in shared hosting is the CPU time limit. This manifests as slow loading of the site with a large influx of visitors. For some users, the site may not load at all. It is difficult to determine in advance whether there is sufficient power at the chosen tariff. The actual functioning of the site largely depends on the optimization of the project, that is, the number of unnecessary calculations. The issue is resolved by using a test period on the hosting service.
Dedicated hosting service
Virtual dedicated hosting is used when guaranteed processor resources are needed. When renting a VPS hosting service, you get full access to a virtual processor with a given frequency and number of cores. It could be a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Xeon processor, for example. On a dedicated virtual server, you don’t have to worry that at some point the server will be so loaded that it will no longer be able to respond to requests from your agency’s site.
The second advantage is the possibility of installing your own software on the server. At your disposal is a Linux or Windows operating system, depending on the hosting service you choose. You can install any program, but you cannot change the operating system to a different version, except for the preinstalled options.
VPS hosting does not perform as well as shared hosting. This is a bare-bones operating system on which you need to install software to start the site and configure it. There are operating system images with a preinstalled set of boot SOFTWARE, but it must be updated. To properly set up a VPS, you need to involve a system administrator or paid tech support for hosting.