Web hosting is what makes it possible for people to access your website on the World Wide Web. So, when you approach a web hosting company such as ServerMania or Bluehost, basically what they’ll do for you is lease out some space for your web files on a server. Rather than hurry into opting for the first option that comes your way, it is worth researching and comparing different service providers. This can help avoid costly headaches later.
Key Factors to Consider to Make the Right Choice
So how do you make the right choice with several providers vying for your attention by offering a host of benefits? Here are 7 factors to consider whichever be the provider – GoDaddy, ServerMania, HostGator or any other.
1. What Kind of Website you Have
Different hosting providers cater to the needs of different kinds of websites. There are variations in the kind of suitable hosting services if yours is an online store over being a blog. An online resume or portfolio may not need as elaborate solutions as a business website. What’s more, some website features call for more RAM, disk space and processing power than others.
2. Shared, Dedicated or VPS Hosting
You understand the nature of your website. However, that’s not enough. You also need to think over what kind of hosting would be most appropriate for your requirements.
Shared web hosting is affordable and as the name suggests, involves you sharing server space with many other websites. If yours is a small to medium website or a simple blog, this may be a good option as long as you’re prepared for the possibility of performance issues owing to heavily loaded servers. When your website grows, traffic boosting becomes a priority and you feel the need to upgrade, you can consider moving over to a dedicated or VPS plan.
Dedicated hosting is the exact opposite of its shared counterpart. The entire server is dedicated to your website which of course comes at a price – a heavier demand on your finances. At the same time, it is well worth the cost considering:
- The whole architecture is under your control including customizing operating systems and security systems
- Superior grade hardware
- Availability of additional features such as dedicated IP addresses and automatic migrations
VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a hosting option that comes in the middle of shared and dedicated. As a VPS user, you would still have to share a server but there are more server space and control compared to that which comes with shared hosting. Look for VPS hosting that offers storage incorporating high-speed SSDs.
3. Pricing Structure
As far as web hosting goes, there are typically two key costs – the installation expense and the renewal expense. Do make yourself aware of both before choosing.
Have a budget in mind before approaching the prospective service provider. Consider aspects such as domain name registration, themes and any plugins you may require. When comparing pricing, don’t let yourself be tempted by a lower-priced plan at the cost of performance and quality features.
4. Security Functionalities and Features
Internet security is a continuing concernand any website may be caught unawares by hackers, malware or other kinds of attacks. So take your website’s security to be of paramount importance. At the bare minimum, ensure that your web hosting company provides firewalls, malware and antivirus scanning and removal, backups, network monitoring and disaster recovery plans. SSL certificates are another essential particularly if you have to transfer online payments or other sensitive data to the server and from it as well.
Another aspect which comes under the ambit of both security and technical support is management support. This would come in handy when you need assistance with file management, logins, user permissions, software updates, applications and the like.
If your website has a shopping cart or accepts online payments, look for additional security for customer and payment data.
5. User-Friendliness of the Control Panel
Whatever kind of control panel your hosting company offers (whether Plesk or cPanel or some other), make sure it isn’t of a clunky or
user-unfriendly nature. You don’t want to be in a position where you would have to phone customer support for simple things such as setting up email or FTP accounts or to install WordPress.
6. Reliable Customer/Technical Support
glitches may happen at the most unexpected times and so it is really
disappointing when there is no one to reach just when you need urgent
assistance. Make sure the hosting provider offers 24/7 support and also
determine through what channels they offer the support – toll-free, email
Prefer a service provider with in-house support because that amounts to a better comprehension of company operations than an outsourced customer support team would have. Research the company’s reputation for customer support, the speed of response and ability to fix and/or help with customer concerns.
As mentioned earlier, with growing traffic (and also growing database connections), you may consider migrating to a dedicated or VPS server. Will the web hosting company you are going to subscribe to be able to offer you one of those plans when the need arises?
To conclude, give preference to a solution that works for you over one that enjoys the most repute. Ideally, ask the hosting provider if they can give you a trial period that would help you evaluate their services better.
Image Credits: Hosting Service from Dmitriy Rybin /Shutterstock