Selecting a good web hosting provider is a tough task until you know the important aspects to consider while you choose a Web Host. Today, a huge number of providers offer you lucrative hosting packages that meet all your website requirements. However, one must still recognize what makes a hosting provider the best otherwise he would have to face a lot of problems in future and change his web hosting frequently to get better service.
With all the companies out there each promising to have 99% uptime, unlimited resources, and knowledgeable support, there has to be a way to cut through the jargon and make an informed decision.
Here we will guide you how to choose a web host for your website. This guide will help you make that decision by showing you how to compare apples to apples. By understanding what hosting companies mean by what they say, you’ll be able to decide which hosting company and package best suits your needs.
Tips for how to Choose a Web Host
This is the aspect most of us will look at first when choosing a hosting provider; however, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. When you see price differences it’s helpful to remember the old maxim that we get what we pay for. Jumping on the cheapest offer you see isn’t necessarily the best idea, especially if you rely on your site to make money. Things like non-outsourced support and quality hardware cost money, and a hosting company that charges $1.99 per month likely won’t offer these features. Take a closer look at the features that each host provides, and THEN compare prices.
2. Installing Applications
Ensure that your service provider supports several CMS applications. These days WordPress has become one of the prime content management systems. It helps the novice bloggers and marketers to set up their websites within minutes and start blogging the next moment. Today, most web hosting service providers offer you single click installation option from their control panel. However, it’s safe to check previously if your provider supports installing these applications.
3. Tech Support
In most people’s opinions, this is the big one. When my site, for some unknown reason, goes down, can I call up and get a real, live person on the phone? And, more than that, can they find out what’s wrong and fix it, or at least tell me what I need to do to get my site back online?
Before going with a host look into their reputation for customer support. See what kinds of different ways you can contact them when you need support – email, toll-free phone, chat, and so on. Are they staffed 24/7? Do they outsource support?
4. Tech Specs / Limitations
Take a good, honest look at your site and figure out what you want it to do. If you’re hoping to host a blog, an e-commerce site, rich content, and videos, then you shouldn’t go with the cheapest hosting package you can find. A cheap hosting plan probably won’t have the RAM, processing power, and disk space to serve all these needs, and you’ll spend more time dealing with downtime or load issues than you would like.
Look to see what you are getting with the cheap host and what features are included in the cost. Do they charge for additional domains, support, backups, etc. Call them. Ask questions. Tell them what you envision your site’s needs to be. Just don’t take it for granted that they take your site as seriously as you do.
5. Features / Add-Ons
This area of consideration comes down to the following question – What makes this hosting company special? What extra incentive do they provide to make hosting your site with them just a touch more attractive? Whether it’s multiple data centers, energy-saving practices, or additional features such as regular data backups or free domain privacy, hosting companies often offer more than just servers. If you see one that offers something you need or finds important, that can be a good indicator that you should look into using that company.
The kind of hardware used can greatly affect the power and efficiency of the server, and the websites it hosts. When purchasing vendor-built servers, as in the case of dedicated hosting options, you need to find out if you will be getting top-of-the-line and new components. If you intend to use shared and VPS hosting plans, be sure to check the hardware used by the hosting company before making any commitments. When the server bogs down often because of poor quality hardware, your website and business will be negatively affected. (Check: How To Speed Up Your Website Loading Time)
7. Customer Reviews / Satisfaction / Reputation
This is one of those factors that you’ll have to get before you choose a web host. Do a Google Blog search for a particular hosting company, or look them up on Twitter – whatever you have to do to see what their current (or former) customers are saying about them. Are they easy to contact for support? What’s the average time it takes to respond to a ticket? When they find a problem with a site, what’s their course of action?
This is one of the great things about social media – ask a question about a company, and you’re more likely than not to get a few answers.
8. Email Features
This is one of those areas where you might not have considered asking your host for help. If you have a spam problem, then it may be because your hosting company doesn’t provide an adequate solution to stop it. Look into or ask about your provider’s spam solutions and general email practices. No matter what they say, email isn’t dead quite yet.
9. Control Panel / User Interface
Even if you’re the least tech-savvy person in the world, there are some things – installing WordPress, setting up email, setting up FTP accounts – you should be able to do without calling your hosting company’s support line. Does your provider use cPanel or Plesk to make updates and modifications easier, or do they use some clunky interface that no one can figure out? You’ll most likely be the one working with it, so if you can’t figure it out, then that’s going to be a problem.
10. Security and Backup
Security is one of the essential factors when it comes to picking up the best web hosting provider for your website. One must check what security factors do their provider offers in order to ensure the safety of their website. Often, you will find details about the provider’s data centers, precautions taken and more on their website. Moreover, you can check for the SSLcertificate of the provider and also opt for the same for your website.
Backup is yet another important factor and one must confirm that their provider allows them to take backup of their data. Usually, everyone is allowed to take data backup however certain service providers put the restriction on accessing the servers. Hence, it’s better to check before you choose a web host service for your site.
11. Scalability / Room to Grow
Finally, an important thing to consider about your hosting provider (and the plan you choose a web host service) is whether or not they fit into your plans for the future. In other words, what you consider adequate hosting now might not meet your needs two years from now, once you start selling your wares online and getting some good traffic to your site.
Any web-based enterprise should have its eye on growth, so if a hosting company might have difficulty accommodating that growth it could pose an issue. Does the host have VPS or Dedicated Server solutions? Will they be able to easily upgrade your account?
12. Money Back Guarantee
Every service provider boasts of being the best. However, what if you face certain problems after opting for the service from a particular provider? Hence, one must ensure that their web hosting service providers offer them money back guarantee in case they do not like the services provided.
The above information covers all the essential aspects one must check while you choose a Web Host. These points together will help you in picking up the best web hosting provider for your website.