Like most things, choosing a web hosting company is not easy. With all the web host provider out there promising unlimited resources, excellent support service and 99% uptime score, it’s not easy to separate the grain from the chaff. But with extensive research and treading carefully, you can cut through the jargon. In this article, we tell you the most important things to consider when choosing a web hosting company.
1. Understand Your Needs
Before you consider anything else, the first thing that you need to do is to understand your needs. There is no way you are going to get a good web host without first knowing what your needs are. Therefore, before you take any step, think thoroughly on your needs. Ask yourself the following questions:
• What type of a website do you have?• Do you require Windows applications?• Does your site need website require special software?• Do you need something common?
If you are just starting out, the obvious thing is to start small with a shared hosting account.
Shared hosting accounts are easy to maintain, cheap and will do fairly well for majority of new sites. In addition, you can always upgrade to dedicated or VPS hosting later when your website grows bigger.
2. Uptime Scores/ Server Reliability
In online business community, few things can be more critical than having a website that operates 24 hours. The web host provider that you choose needs to operate a full server and also have stable network connections. The recommended uptime score is 99.5% or more. Don’t settle for anything less.
There are many ways to get information on web host’s uptime info. You can read reviews or even track your web hosting company server monitor tools. Most of these tools are available online for free.
Most people look to price when selecting a web host provider. But the price should not be the deciding factor. Choosing the cheapest offer isn’t a great idea when it comes to web hosting.
If you are looking to host an e-commerce site, blog or rich content, you should not choose the cheapest option available. There are great chances that a cheap hosting plan will not have processing power, RAM and disk space for your needs. You are likely to spend majority of your time dealing with load or downtime issues.
4. Area of focus
Not all hosting providers are suited to all kinds of customers. While some may be offering great shared plans, they may not have solutions that are great for growing businesses. On the other hand, others have great enterprise solutions but aren’t necessarily great for you if you have a small recipe blog.
Before you choose any company, it is worth looking into the area of expertise of your hosting provider.
5. Server Upgrading Options
These days, shared hosting plans are quite powerful. A shared plan should sufficiently support a well-optimized blog with roughly 30,000-40,000 monthly visitors.
However, if you expect your site to grow big in the near future, then the best option for you is to choose a web host that offers room for growth. Your host should allow you to upgrade your hosting plan from your current hosting plan to dedicated or VPS server. These offer more processing power, better security features, and disk storage and memory capacity.
6. Hosting Control Panel that’s easy to control
The importance of a functional and user-friendly control panel cannot be overemphasized.
It matters little if it’s a Plesk or cPanel or even third-party control panels. It is okay as long as the control panel is user-friendly and features necessary functions. In the absence of adequate control panel, chances are that you will be left at the mercy of hosting tech support staff.
For you to get the answer to this, it is important that you do a bit of research first. What types of machines does your web host use? Are the machines top-of-the-line? Or are they cobbled up from old spares?
If your host isn’t comfortable revealing the kind of servers they are using, you must ask. This is because the type of hardware they use can greatly affect the performance of their servers and consequently your site.
Security is very important especially if you will be getting to your customer information through your website. Here are some of the security features you need to look out for.
• Daily Backups: They should offer daily backups so that in case anything happens, you will still be able to get your content.
• SSLs: If you want to design an ecommerce related site, and you don’t want to use a third-party service for handling the payment data of your customers, you want a hosting service that can offer SSL.
• SiteLock: Performing malware scans helps in preventing your website from being blacklisted. In addition, a SiteLock badge on your website shows protection and also inspires the trust of your customers.
There are many important things that you need to consider before you choose a web host provider. While price is definitely an important consideration, it is not the deciding factor on whether you choose a web host or not. More importantly, consider things like security, download speeds and uptime scores among other things.