Are you planning to launch a website for your personal purposes any time soon? For this matter, you would definitely want to get yourself a web hosting service. However, you’ll find that choosing a web hosting company is not a cakewalk. Thanks to the vast number of options available along with their promises, promotions, freebies and other sorts of marketing talks. Whatever you do, you can’t just choose the first web host you come across and be done with it. If you are really serious about your online venture, find the best web hosting company that suits your needs.
To help you out, we will provide a guide that will help you make an informed decision regarding which web hosting service to choose based on your requirements and needs.
Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing a Web Host
Most people tend to consider the price when choosing a web host but in reality, while it’s indeed important, it shouldn’t be the main deciding factor. This in no way implies that you should come aboard with the cheapest web hosting that you can find. You need to consider a web-hosting company that can give you the best cost-to-benefit ratio. Things like state-of-the-art equipment, top-notch server specifications and exclusive hosting features cost money. So it’s unlikely that the cheapest web host is able to offer these options. Just remember the old axiom, “you get what you pay for.”
Not all web hosting companies are able to cater to the many different needs of customers. There are companies that would be just right for a personal blog, while there are those that provide hosting solutions for large businesses. So before you sign-up, make sure that you are dealing with a company that best understands your needs as the customer. This will require a little bit of research on your part.
Reliability / Uptime
For a website that generates a lot of traffic, it needs to be up almost at all times. Lengthy downtimes will cost you a LOT, and you can’t afford that. Just don’t be pulled in by companies that claim 100% uptime because they’re not true. It’s a good thing that there are free uptime monitoring tools that you can find online.
If you are launching a small family blog or perhaps a pet fan page, then the most basic hosting plan should suffice. However if you are planning to add a considerable amount of content, then you need to find a hosting plan with enough tech specs to serve your needs. Some of these specs include RAM, disk space, processing power and more. Otherwise, you will find yourself in a lot of headaches due to slow load issues or downtime. And speaking of headaches..
Customer and Technical Support
If a company puts their customer first, then it can always be taken as a good indication. It can’t be helped that there are technical aspects to web hosting, so expect to run into some difficulties. So at some point, you will have to contact the company’s customer and technical support. Can you call them and be attended by a live person? Are they knowledgeable enough to fix your problems? Do they have a support staff on-call 24/7? Find out about the company’s reputation with regards to customer support. Or you can go ahead and call and ask them technical questions regarding your concerns.
Now this is another factor that you should heavily weight when choosing a web hosting service. Basically this is the factor that gives a web hosting company that edge over the competition. Consider these features in accordance with your needs. Do they offer unlimited disk space? Unlimited bandwidth? Do their hosting plans include a site builder? Do they offer money-back guarantees? These are just some of the features that you need to take into consideration.
For this factor, you will have to do a bit of research. Companies that take pride of their hardware will surely turn that fact as a main selling point. For the ones that use sub-par hardware, not so much. The quality of the hardware can significantly affect the company’s server performance as well your website’s.
It’s not uncommon for web hosting companies to entice customers with huge savings if they sign-up for longer termed plans. You should be aware of this sort of marketing strategy. If that web host turned out to be terrible, you will be stuck with them and your only way out is to pay for early termination fees. A good approach is to pay for their monthly rates. This way you can evaluate the provider and see how you like it. If you end up liking their service, you can sign-up with higher payment plans.
Room for Growth
If your website is doing well, at some point your website will grow, and so does your hosting needs. While your current web host fits in with your requirements, this might change once your website grows. Transferring to another web host will take considerable time and effort. So consider a company that has the capacity to handle the growth of your site. See to it that they offer hosting upgrade options such as VPS hosting or dedicated hosting.
Control Panel / User Interface
A control panel is the interface that will enable you to manage different aspects of your web hosting account. Even if you are not the most computer-savvy person out there, you will still have to perform some fairly technical tasks yourself such as email and FTP account setup, installing WordPress. With an easy-to-use control panel, you can easily perform these tasks. The last thing that you would want is to call the support staff for the most basic tasks. Some of the most common control panels are cPanel, Plesk or vDeck.
Data loss is something that you don’t want to happen to your website. The consequences of data loss will surely render you unable to recover. So choose a web hosting company that puts a good deal of significance to their data backup policy. How often do they perform data backups? What are the methods that they’ll be using? Some companies will charge you extra for day-to-day or regular backups while there are those that will provide you the necessary tools so you can do the backup procedures yourself.
One of the most reliable sources of information when it comes to the overall performance of a web hosting company are the customer reviews. Find out what other customers say about a particular web host. And try to steer clear of reviews that are found within the company’s website as they are likely to be paid or fake reviews. For this matter, it is best to stick with external sources for web host reviews. Sources like Web Hosting Jury and Web Hosting Talk are examples of reliable sources for web hosting reviews.
These are just some of the essential factors to consider when choosing a web host. Take this as a guideline to help you choose a web hosting company that best suits your needs. If you find yourself stuck with several web host options, it’s highly recommended that you use a hosting price comparison tool. In this regards, I have found a handy online web host price comparison tool called Besthosting.org.
Besthosting.org’s price comparison tool will let you search through various web hosting providers and plans based on your needs and requirements. You can filter your search according to features, specs and extras that you might want from a web host. The website will then create an easy-to-browse list for your convenience. Besthosting.org also has a blog that contains some very helpful posts such as the 5 Best Hosting For Personal Sites, 5 Best Hosting For Small Business, and more.
Whether you are just starting out or switching to a new provider, Besthosting.org is a great resource for your web hosting needs. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you know what you want in respect to your web hosting needs. That is always the first step in finding a web hosting company that will help you achieve your online goals.