It’s much, much more than bandwidth and disk space when choosing the right web hosting service
Gone are the days when website developers had to pay attention only to bandwidth and disk space when choosing the right web hosting service. Nowadays, the issue is much more complicated, and they need to comprehensively analyse the provider and its services.
At the same time, web developers should keep in mind that hosting providers vary in their suitability for hosting a particular website. Nevertheless, they should consider some general but essential factors before choosing a provider.
#1 Uptime Scores
There are several ways to find an efficient and reliable hosting provider. The first step is always to search for reviews related to web hosting in your country. This will give you a complete overview of which services to consider and which ones to avoid.
Nothing is more stupid in the internet world than when you click on a link and the target page does not open. This problem annoys not only the user but also Google, which gives less value to organic search results for the given address. So, you need to make sure that your website hosting service provides the best quality of uptime.
This parameter can be measured with a numerical indicator – the closer to 100%, the better. So, when choosing a reliable hosting provider, pay attention to this indicator and select the options that offer uptime above 99%.
We all know that websites are critical to the success of any digital business in an increasingly tech-driven world. Moreover, flexible websites are the most efficient way to communicate and make your voice heard when spreading ideas.
Unstable network connections and weak web hosting servers can cause your website to go offline. This incident can lead to a drastic drop in traffic or sales if you run an e-commerce store or poor search engine (e.g. Google) rankings. The success of your website depends critically on choosing a hosting company whose uptime is reliable, for example, over 99%.
Finding a trustworthy company to host your website and content is not always easy. Therefore, you need to make sure that the chosen provider can fully protect its clients by offering constant backups. That way, your website will always be online and fully functional, even in natural or unforeseen problems.
#2 Customer Service
How quickly and effectively does the company provide support for technical issues? Look for a reliable hosting provider that offers 24/7 live support to its customers. Choose companies that offer chat support and social media visibility instead of emails and support tickets.
Also, look for providers with their own customer service department, as they’re more committed to their task and therefore do it better than outsourced customer service centres.
A hosting web service should, of course, provide all the requirements for your website’s success. Moreover, it must help you achieve your short- and long-term goals.
Content Management System
Look for a service that offers an efficient content management system (CMS) or the easy installation of an open-source system like WordPress. Choose the CMS carefully, especially if you create content frequently. These platforms play an essential role in your daily routine of handling your website.
Depending on the purpose of your website, you may need a lot or a little storage space for the files you add – hire the service that best suits your needs.
If you need a lot of storage space, ensure that the hosting company provides the necessary amount. The memory and disk space of the local or host facilities should not be exhausted. If you do not need a lot of storage space, opt for cheaper rates and save money.
However, if your provider offers unlimited storage, do not worry about this factor and move on to the next tip!
#3 Security & Site Backups
Did you know that the current wave of cyber threats, e.g., ransomware, is no longer just targeting financial websites? We’ve recently observed that these online extortionists are targeting more and more available websites.
Such actions often cause irreparable damage to your website; for example, they may destroy or replace its index.php file. Moreover, they can cause serious server or local hard drive failures. That’s why you must hire only a reliable hosting provider that offers regular backups of your web data.
Some website hosts have a monthly traffic limit, which means that after a certain number of hits, the host will charge extra for “extra visitors” or not display your website at all. So, pay attention to what the companies say and use those with unlimited traffic to avoid the risk that your website will stop working.
If you already know a bit about search engine optimisation (SEO), you know that Google prefers pages that load faster to provide the best experience to its users.
So, check if your hosting service offers a good loading speed. And remember that in theory, the difference may seem insignificant. However, in practice, it’s the difference between a user who actively views your content and one who gets annoyed with the delay and leaves your website.
#4 Registration & Maintenance Costs
The web hosting industry usually offers attractive hosting deals when signing up and paying for a service for the first time. However, renewal fees can be as much as three times the original price.
So be careful and check the renewal fees for your preferred package if you don’t want to receive surprise bills at the end of the discount period. Your shared hosting package won’t last forever, and you may soon find that your website grows and needs a dedicated hosting service or VPS.
#5 Ability To Add Domains
With growth comes diversification. Even if you start with a single website and domain name, you’ll soon find that you need multiple websites, domains, and subdomains to get your brand(s) noticed.
Therefore, before signing up with a particular web hosting provider, check out the different packages, paying close attention to whether you can run multiple websites with a single web hosting account.
Inquire about the cost of a package with unlimited websites and subdomains and compare it with other providers in the industry. Take your time and choose a web hosting provider that offers different service packages that allow you to add new domains to scale over time.
#6 Account Limitations
Hosting companies usually have a set of terms and conditions, the violation of which would result in additional fees and temporary or permanent suspension of your hosting service. For instance, some hosting providers prohibit excessive amounts of CPU computationally intensive code running on their servers for more than two seconds!
If you require more computing time, this may result in additional charges or your website being shut down indefinitely without a refund. Therefore, read the terms carefully and sign up for the service only if you agree with them.
Above all, avoid companies that aren’t transparent and don’t have clear terms and conditions. Stay away from companies that claim that the decision to restrict and suspend an account is at the discretion of the company’s management.
#7 E-Commerce & Email Options
You will get more conversions and feedback if your primary email is linked to your website’s domain name. In this case, you should choose a provider that offers email hosting for your website’s emails.
#8 Discover Extra Benefits
Since this is a highly competitive market, keep in mind that many companies offer website hosting services. As a rule, they tend to boast of additional benefits that give them an edge over the competition and make them stand out.
Find out everything you’re entitled to in each plan and find unique benefits that could be tailored to your exact needs.
#9 Payment methods
If a service is cheaper, it is not a guarantee of lower quality, just as a more expensive service does not indicate a reliable hosting provider. Determine your demands and requirements and look for a plan that balances your needs with your wants while also taking your wallet into the account.
Keep in mind that many hosting services offer discounts depending on the period you choose. Usually, the longer the usage period is, the lower the final price you’ll have to pay.
#10 A Free Trial
Many web hosting services offer free usage periods so the user can get to know the provider and check if it has everything they need. This period is vital to find out if a particular service is worth choosing and identify possible obstacles you did not think of before implementing your idea. Then, if the provider does not meet your expectations, you can cancel it for free.
Finding a Reliable Hosting Provider: Now & Then
In the past, most people chose the right hosting company based on the storage space and bandwidth provided. Today, the perception of what is more important has shifted to affordability.
However, let’s assume you plan to run your website for the foreseeable future and continually expand it. Then you should develop a comprehensive approach to finding and hiring a reliable hosting provider by checking all the factors necessary for your website’s optimal functionality and affordability.
There are too many hosting services, and you need to understand your needs precisely to select the plan that best suits your requirements. Providers are aware of this and therefore offer packages targeted at different segments. Do your research and consider all the factors mentioned in this post. It may seem difficult to review them all individually; the process is time-consuming, and you might end up choosing a bad provider. What’s the solution? Use the opinion of experts.