It is not an easy task to choose the suitable web hosting company but it is vital for your business’s online presence that you make the right decision. Everyone does understand the importance of the content that will be on your website, but its availability is also extremely important. And for ensuring availability of your website, you need to be hosting it with a reliable web host. Given below are some of the most important things to keep in mind before you enter into contract with a hosting services company:
1. Know Your Requirements
The first and foremost thing to ensure is that your hosting provider will be able to meet the exact requirements of your website related to bandwidth, hosting space, SSL, dedicated IP etc. If you consider that your website will be having a very high traffic load, then it should be ensured that your host is connected to a high speed upstream links. Most of the websites that are starting out would not need more than 20 MB space, therefore, a host offering unlimited disk space should not influence your decision of choosing a web host.
2. Quality of Support
The hosting company that you will select should be able to offer you 24/7 support to address to your issues. Most of one man hosting companies provide only email support. But this is not you should settle for because if the hosting company also offers phone support, then you can be sure that the issues will be resolved in a fraction of the time taken via email. It is a good tip to gain an idea of the time taken by both sales and tech support of the host. The time taken and the quality of response should be on the top of any criteria for choosing the hosting partner.
3. How Many Businesses
If the hosting company operates in many other business areas as well alongside hosting, then it might indicate that they will not be too much motivated to keep you as a hosting client because they also have other businesses too. It is generally advisable to steer away from such hosting companies.
4. Scalability and Flexibility
Try to get an idea of the technologies and platforms the host supports because it is possible that you might not need Nginx web server but in future a need might arise to use that and you should not be held back by the limitations of your host.
5. Proactive Approach
The web hosting company should be proactive in communicating with their users and inform them of all the scheduled maintenance, downtime and other services being added so that their customers are not caught off guard.
6. Easy Control Panel
A simple and easy to use web hosting control panel has become a defacto standard requirement from a web hosting service provider. In the absence of a graphical control panel, your reliance on the tech support of the host will be too much, even for simple tasks like adding new domains etc.
While choosing web host, make sure that you do not pay premium for just the brand of a web host. The price you pay for hosting should be matching the services being offered and not just the brand image. Also ensure that you are fully satisfied with the host before you enter into a long term payment plan because otherwise you might be locked into it.
Try to research the host’s reputation and reviews on the internet and the quality of service of the web host. The best publicity and judge of a business are its customers, therefore, their reviews are of high importance.
9. Up-time and Reliability
The web host you choose should have a 99.5 percent up-time guarantee at the minimum. It should also be fast at the same time. Read between the lines of the terms and conditions to find how the host compensates if the downtime is more than the committed. Good hosts always refund for more downtime than advertised.
With ever increasing number of sites being hacked every day, it is important that your host takes the security of the server seriously. It is important that it offers SSL support. The price might be a little higher in that case but it is vital for security of your data especially if you will be selling things on your website.
Good hosts always give you the feature of email addresses @yourdomain and you can forward the email to your choice email address or to inbox of the email account you get with hosting your domain. Autoresponder and other such features are also desirable.
12. Linux or Windows Webserver
It might be of little interest to you that which webserver or OS (operating system) the web host uses but you might find yourself ina situation where you will be required to use a particular technology which might be supported by a typical web server be it Windows or Linux. Most of today’s powerful websites makes use of Apache Web Server which must be offered by your web host too.
11. Reseller or Ownership
Most of the hosting service providers in the market do not own any hardware or web servers. In most of the case they lease services from another bigger hosting provider. Avoid these hosting resellers. It is always advisable to select an original hosting services company because that offers many advantages compared with reseller hosting.
In short, do not select your web hosting just by comparing number. Have clear requirements and then select that hosting service which meets these requirements. The hosting providers should have a good reputation in the market with many happy customers who have shared their experiences in reviews. The hosting provider you select should be capable of offering you fast hosting which should also be reliable and scalable. It is also essential that you do not have to contact tech support of the hosting for your day to day requirements. A good hosting platform will help you remain independent of day to day tech support.
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