What Should You Look For When Choosing A Web Host?
There are a lot of web hosting companies out there, and their prices for hosting services can range anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds per month. In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the most important things to look for in a web host.
Probably the single most important factor is technical support. If your websites aren’t working for some reason, whether it’s a server problem or some kind of setting problem or some other glitch, you’re losing visitors and revenue. When this happens then your web host’s technical support is probably going to be where you will turn to for a solution, so you’ll need them to be reliable and fast to respond.
24/7 Support & Ticket Platform?
Is their support available 24/7? Do they have a support ticket platform where you can submit support tickets any time of the day or night? What is their response time for responding to support tickets? (…our hosting service, for example, is available for support 24/7 and has a 15-minute response time guarantee for tickets posted via the support system).
Is It Quality Support?
Another thing is the quality of support. You want a hosting company that puts customer support as one of their top priorities and ensures that the support team are helpful and knowledgeable. Some of the biggest names in hosting have the biggest complaints for falling short on their support and making customers wait for assistance, sometimes for hours or even days.
If possible, it’s a good idea to contact their tech. support before you sign up with a hosting company, to test how quickly they respond and how easy it is to get an answer from them (…that’s if you can – however some hosting companies will only allow their customers to submit support tickets) . Most hosting companies have a link to their technical support on their home page, so click through on it and give them a “trial run”.
Another good idea is to ask friends or for recommendations, or if you are hiring a web developer to create your site then they will often provide hosting services (or if not they should be able to suggest a good one).
Are The Servers Overloaded?
Another important factor is how loaded their web servers are. This is particularly true for shared hosting accounts, since multiple websites will be sharing the same server as you. Some hosts will put hundreds of sites on a single server, which can lead to some serious problems, such as:
1. Your website’s performance can take a significant hit.
2. Your site can wind up being affected by other sites on the server that might be doing something shady and wind up getting blacklisted by Google or other services.
What Type of Web Hosting?
You’ll also need to decide on the type of hosting you need, such as shared, VPS or dedicated server. Some hosting companies might only offer shared hosting, while others have a full range of plans to choose from. Choosing a host with multiple levels and types of hosting services available is a good idea because then you can upgrade your hosting account as your needs grow, without having to move your sites to a new host.
What Specifications Do You Need?
Finally, you’ll want to check the specifications of the hosting account. This includes storage space, bandwidth, control panels and various other technical features. Your budget will probably dictate the type of hosting plan you end up buying – shared hosting is the cheapest option and for many small businesses starting out it is fine to begin with, as long as you get a decent plan with enough resources, then when your online business grows you can upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting.
Features like bandwidth and storage are important, but when it come down to it they’re probably the least important of everything we’ve discussed for most businesses just starting out. Most hosting companies have similar plans to one another, so these things shouldn’t be a worry until you’ve checked off all the other things in this article.