Why Choosing the Right Web Hosting Service is so Important for Your Site?
Most people take a great deal of care before renting or buying a physical location for their business.
The same consideration should be given when you consider web hosting companies to provide website hosting services for your online business.
Even if your website isn’t a business, but is a blog, if you want it published online, it is a good idea to find the best website hosting for any and all of your sites.
In most cases, it’s not like you’re signing a lease. That is, you’re not committed to stay with one hosting company unless, of course, you pay annually for hosting services. Then you may want to stick it out until your year is up.
However, you don’t have to do that. You can change website hosts whenever you are ready. While you may or may not get a refund for the unused time, there is never an obligation for you to stay with any particular web hosting company.
Types of Web Hosting Services You Can Choose From
Most web hosting companies offer a variety of hosting services, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.
Following, are the most common types of hosting along with a short description to help you make the best decision for you.
1. Shared Hosting
A popular plan for new websites because it is so cost-effective. One server hosts a multitude of websites, and the customers share the cost.
2. Dedicated Hosting
Once your online business grows, you may want to change your plan to one with hosting that is dedicated to your account. This means that you essentially rent a server to host only your site or sites.
3. Cloud-Based Web Hosting
One of the newer technologies, many online business owners move from hosting that is shared with other sites to cloud hosting once their business starts to thrive and traffic is heavier. This kind of hosting plan is usually priced based on how much you use.
4. Colocation Web Hosting
This kind of plan is not for beginners. With this type of hosting, you literally rent rack space from a data center and bring in your own server and hardware. If it fails, it is up to you or your employees to fix it. While it’s great for those who need a place to put a server, it is not for the not technically inclined.
5. Website Builders
These are fun hosting plans, as you get to build your own site with tools the hosting company provides. Usually, you don’t need any specialized knowledge to do this. Many of these are template based website builders. Mobile responsive websites are easier to create and host through these website builders. Try Wix.com, Weebly.com, and WordPress.com to build and host fast and responsive websites.
6. VPS Hosting
A Virtual Private Server is a kind of stepping-stone between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. While you are technically sharing a server with other customers, you are allocated a certain amount of it for your websites, thus guaranteeing other sites won’t hog the majority of allocated bandwidth.
The Ultimate 17 Points Checklist You Need to Tick-Off Before Settling for A Website Hosting Service:
1. Purpose and Size of My Website
If you choose a template-based website, you can have it up and running in under an hour in most cases, depending on the hosting package you choose.
These are great websites for beginners to choose, and because there are so many options as far as color, layout, and font, your website can still look unique.
Of course, the things that make it the most unique are the things you supply, such as graphics and text.
2. Hosting Server Security is Top-Notch
You must have full confidence in the security of your hosting company’s server. The way to ensure this is to check for SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), which essentially means that it establishes an encrypted link between the web server and the browser.
Another important security concern is that the hosting company provides a dedicated IP address. This means that your website will have an exclusive IP address, unlike shared accounts, which must share the IP address.
3. The Host Is Reliable with at Least 99.9% Up-time
With numerous online hosting services available, it makes sense to spend a little time researching to ensure you are getting the best value for your money.
Not only that, but you want the assurance that when your customers or potential customers go to your website that they will see your site and not an error message.
When this happens, many people assume the site is no longer live and go elsewhere.
4. The Speed of Host Server Is Fast
Fast response time is a crucial step in choosing your web hosting service.
If visitors to your site have to wait for pages to load, they are likely to go elsewhere to find the product or service they are looking for.
This goes double for mobile sites, as more and more consumers use their phones to look up information and businesses on the go.
You want to ensure that your hosting company supports responsive website design so that the site will load correctly on a mobile device.
5. Bandwidth and the Space Provided Is Good Enough
Knowing the hosting capacity of the potential hosting company is important for many reasons.
While some hosting companies offer unlimited bandwidth, there is often a penalty for going over a certain amount of usage.
It may take some time to figure out how much bandwidth you actually need.
While this may not be a concern in the beginning, as traffic and business increases, it may become a point for concern in the future.
6. E-commerce Functionality Support
Today, more than ever, your customers need to feel comfortable letting go of their financial information online.
Not only does your hosting company need to be compatible with e-commerce software, but they need to provide the level of security that these customers demand.
That means a dedicated IP address as well as SSL certificates.
Before you start selling online, take a close look at the security features that successful e-commerce sites have in place.
7. Host Server is Compatible with Web Designs
Knowing which services you need is half the battle when you begin your research to find the right web host for you.
That is why the very first tip in our list has you define the purpose and size of your website.
For example, if your site is heavy on graphics, you need a hosting company that provides the technology needed to ensure those graphics load quickly.
8. Even if the Website Upgrades, the Host Will Support the Expansion
Just as brick-and-mortar business owners hope their business will grow, online entrepreneurs want the same thing.
You don’t want to have to move your website to another host just when business and your site starts to expand, so this is another thing to check out before you decide which hosting company is the right one for you.
Check if they support mobile compatibility too.
9. Hosting Plan’s Price is Reasonable
It is important to consider the website hosting cost in your budget. A premium web hosting service will likely charge less for a website for small businesses than they do for large ones simply because of the bandwidth usage. Still, make sure you are aware of all the charges and exactly what you are getting for your investment.
In addition, be aware that the type of hosting plan will have a bearing on the cost. Understanding the differences in the plans will help you to make an informed decision as to which plan is best for you.
If all this is new to you, you may want to start out paying monthly instead of annually, so as you learn more about how the hosting plan affects your business, you’ll be able to easily swap plans or even companies if you need to.
10. Full Email Services Are Provided
While all of the mentioned services are important, this one is a huge consideration because your customers must be able to communicate with you and vice versa. Your hosting company should provide unlimited email services, which include IMAP and POP.
With POP mail, the message is moved from the server to your computer, although there is usually an option to leave a copy on the server. With IMAP mail, the message is actually left on the server and your computer receives a copy. This should be no problem with any hosting company using modern servers.
11. Renewable Policies Are Simple
If you like the way things are going with your hosting service, you want to be able to renew seamlessly.
Even if you start out paying monthly, once you figure out that you want to stick with this hosting company, you may want to check into annual payment.
Not only does this free you up to think about other things other than a monthly payment, it is usually less expensive to pay this way.
12. Data Backup Facilities Are Reliable
Your hosting company should explain to their customers what kind of server backup they have in the case of fire, storms, or anything that could take out the facility where their servers are kept.
Of course, you should perform your own backup on a regular basis as well.
With the cloud offering unlimited room for data backup, in most cases, this is a no-brainer.
13. The Host Service Provider Is in Business for at Least Five Years
Find out how long the service provider has been in business before you commit to anything.
While everyone deserves a chance, you need to trust your website to a company that has the expertise to keep it running.
It’s akin to handing the keys to your business to someone else.
Make sure they are the right someone else.
14. Customer Support Is Instant and Easily Accessible
In all likelihood, you will need customer support for your website at one time or another. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to reach someone who can fix what is wrong. Even worse is when you get someone that really doesn’t know how to help you.
Of course, this is hard to figure out before you take the plunge, but this is also where online reviews come in. While you are doing your research, pay attention to the opinions and experiences of other customers, as this will give you an idea of the quality of the hosting company’s customer support.
In addition, look for a service provider that offers support via phone, email, and chat.
15. SSH (Secure Shell) and FTP Access Is Supported
Secure Shell is a security measure that is used to encrypt data so it can be sent over an unsecured network.
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is one of the most common ways you can upload content to your website.
Both of these are pretty standard in most hosting companies, but they are important considerations to check for.
16. Able to Add Multiple Domains If Required
Even though you may only have one website now, you want to be able to add others in the future at no additional charge.
Some hosting companies will let you add up to 100 sites before the fee goes up.
If you have to pay for each domain, you may want to keep looking.
Most hosting companies don’t care how many sites you have.
What they care about is how much bandwidth you use. Check with yours to see how they operate in this regard.
17. Web Administration Is Easy to Use
When you decide to build a website and hire a hosting company to take it live, you have effectively become a web administrator.
Unless you hire someone to take care of it for you, you are responsible for the content, design, and development of your site.
Fortunately, most hosting companies have a user-friendly platform that allows you to do all of these things by literally pointing and clicking.
With most services today, you don’t have to be technically savvy, but you want to make sure this is the case before you choose.