How to Choose the Right Web Hosting
How to Choose the Right Web Hosting
Hosting is the foundation of the website. If it is weak, your website will fall like a tower of cards once a small wind blows. So let’s find out how to select the right web hosting for your upcoming website. How do we decide if a web host is good? Do bandwidth and disk storage features still matter these days? Which type of hosting service should you go with?
Most site owners know the value of making quality web content and they’re finally beginning to understand the rank of developing a web site that is responsive.
But, that very vital process of selecting a reliable web hosting company is often ignored. Randomly choosing a web host, based on something like pricing alone, can produce disastrous results.
Here are some tips that will help site owners choose the right web host.
A Know Which Type of Hosting You Need
Before you start looking for a Web hosting, take a moment to think about the needs of your Website can help narrow your web hosting options. Your needs will affect your compatibility with certain hosting providers and services.
If you plan to build a website that features video blogging, 24-hour live streaming and the ability for visitors to register and upload their own videos, your website would require more features than someone who just uses their website as a virtual resume. Websites that receive a lot of daily traffic will likely not function well on a shared server because these servers are designed to accommodate a lot of small websites that have limited demands.
A personal portfolio website doesn’t need a dedicated server, just like a high-traffic, a high-volume online store shouldn’t cut corners with the cheapest shared hosting plan.
Choose the Right Hosting Package
You can never get the right web host without knowing what you need.
So before you go any further – put everything aside (including this guide you are reading) and think about what you really need.
- What kind of website are you building?
- Do you want something common (a WordPress blog, perhaps)?
- Do you need Windows applications?
- Do you need support for a specific script (e.g. ASP.net, PHP)?
- Does your website need special software?
- How big (or small) can your web traffic volume go?
- Shared Hosting is great for Small to Medium Sites
In shared hosting, several websites share the same server. Most first-time hosting customers should turn to a shared package when entering the web hosting world, then choose when it’s time to upgrade to a VPS or dedicated plan to meet your increasing needs.
Price, support, storage, and performance are all vital features to consider when buying a shared hosting service. Other differentiators include eCommerce offerings and free domain options, along with perks like advertising credits, a website builder, and upgraded hardware.
- VPS Hosting Offers More Flexibility for Fast-Growing Sites
Many businesses sites turn to shared hosting as a way to save money, but with the smaller price tag comes a bigger risk of slow website response times. Slow websites turn customers away. An option like a Virtual Private Server (VPS) is slightly more expensive, but it provides a faster, higher quality web performance and delivers a better customer experience.
VPS hosts usually include storage with high-speed SSDs, or solid-state drives, along with managed services for software updates and patches. Depending on your comfort level with the technical side of things, you’ll want to look for a free cPanel license or full root access. You will also see top VPS hosts include monitoring, security, and CDN services to keep you around.
- Dedicated Hosting Offers Maximum Server Resources and Security
High-performing sites need dedicated hosting, which entails using an entire server to power your website or applications. Customers have whole control over the doting architecture, meaning they can customize security systems, operating systems, load balancers, and more.
The dedicated kind of love doesn’t come cheaply, however. Dedicated hosting plans are among the most expensive, given the top-notch hardware, managed services, and around-the-clock support. High-end hosting, however, comes with a number of luxury features, including automatic migrations and backups, dedicated IP addresses, and choice of the operating system.
Choose Right Server Resources
The technical features of web hosting might be confusing to beginners, and hosts sometimes use confusing lingo to market their services. You don’t need to be wary of mythical plans offering unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email accounts, but you should understand the various hosting components and limitations providers might impose.
Right Amount of Bandwidth
While most new websites don’t use a lot of bandwidths, it is important to leave room for growth. Make sure the web hosting company you choose doesn’t lock you into a certain amount bandwidth and then charge you additional fees if you need to revise your hosting plan later.
Storage and RAM
Storage, or disk space, is probably the easiest hosting feature to understand, as well as the component you probably have to worry about the least. Many shared hosting providers offer unlimited storage; while that might not be technically possible, most personal or small business site owners won’t come close to reaching the limits. As you move to VPS and dedicated plans, storage can be configured as you go.
Domain names and Email
Need a Domain name with hosting for your website. Please do not hurry to buy a domain name ahead of hosting. Why not? Because lots of companies offer hosting together with one year of free domain name registration, also free email IDs.
Server Reliability / Uptime Scores
Nothing is more vital than having a 24×7 operating web host, after all, your visitors may come to your site from time zones all over the world. You need a web host which is stable, both in terms of their servers as well as network connections. 99.95% is considered a norm these days, even for shared hosting accounts; anything below 99% is unacceptable. Premium accounts often boast of 99.99% or better uptimes.
You can simply track your web host with server monitoring tools – many of these tools are available either for free or at the very least offer a trial period. They are efficient and very easy to use.
Security and Support
Make sure your web hosting company can provide Secure Sockets Layer to safeguard your customer’s private information. This is an essential feature in providing customers with safe transactions and it should be a feature that’s provided by the web hosting company.
More than 40% of websites are compromised because of a host’s vulnerability, so be sure to look for the providers that include firewalls, monitoring services, and other security add-ons. Bonus points for automatic backups and hands-free WordPress updates.
Technical Support and Documentation
Well, that’s a vital feature. If a hosting company does not have technical support, then run, Forrest, run! If technical support is available, check how you can contact its representatives. Email only? Not the best option. Chat + Email? Not bad. Phone + Chat + Email? That’s the way to go!
However, dig deeper, make a test call. You will probably be connected with the Sales department, but you’ll definitely see what kind of support you are getting. Long response time, lots of redirections – not a good sign.
Technical support is like a football defender who has to step into the game if something goes wrong. Do you need a weak player? Definitely not. Get the strongest one!
Don’t forget about documentation. Good documentation can save you hours of waiting and frazzled nerves.
An Easy-to-use Hosting Control Panel
A user-friendly control panel with extensive functionality is very important since it’s the brain of your hosting account.
It doesn’t matter if it’s cPanel or Plesk or even a third-party control panel (like what GoDaddy offers), as long as it is user-friendly and comes with all the necessary functions. Without an adequate control panel, you will be left at the mercy of the hosting tech support staff – even if all you need is some basic service.
I once had an account with IX Web Hosting, and although it’s not a bad host – multiple dedicated IPs at a very reasonable price, plus great tech support – I had to cancel my account because it’s custom control panel was very user-unfriendly.
Know the Backup Plan
It doesn’t really matter why your website is down or why you have lost your website’s data. You need to know if the web hosting company you choose has a backup plan to help you recover just in case. Ask them, “What’s the plan, Stan?” If you’re not comfortable with the answer, you know what you need to do.
Signup vs Renewal Price
Hosting deals, particularly for shared hosting, are typically cheapest during signup. Be alert though that these often come with a much higher renewal price, so be careful before clicking ‘buy’ on that plan that is offering you a sign-up the price at 80% discount!
Unless you are willing to hop between two or three web hosts every two years, there is no way to avoid pricey renewal costs.
Refund Policy & Free Trial Period
Should you choose to cancel your hosting plan within the trial period, does the company provide a full money-back guarantee?
What is the hosting company’s refund policy after the trial period has ended? Are there any cancellation charges or extra fees?
These are some basic questions you should get the answers to before signing up.
It’s important to know how your hosting provider handles customer refunds so that you don’t lose too much money if things go wrong.
Read the Terms of Service
No, really. Read the Terms of Service. Don’t just skim through them. Read them. Most people accept the Terms of Service without bothering to read exactly what they’re signing. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. Stop doing it. The Terms of Service usually includes the refund policy, which might be good to know later.
Live Chat or Telephone Support
Personally, I prefer live chat over phone and web hosting companies with comprehensive documentation (so I can just read and solve the problems myself).
But that’s just me. You might prefer email or telephone support instead.
Ultimately, we want someone who can throw us a life preserver instantly once we press that S.O.S. button.
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