Choosing the right web host is the foundation of a successful website. This is mainly due to the fact that web hosts keep your site up and running on the internet. A host’s failure to provide good service can harm your website and business, so choosing a web host is not only a wise but critical decision. Many people consider hosting companies just because of its popularity or low-cost plan. Cost and reputation of a service provider are things to ponder, but you should not base your decision entirely on these factors. Though there are many things to consider while choosing a web host there are some that are extremely essential. Here is a list of eight important things to keep in mind while selecting the right web host.
Assess Your Needs – The first step towards finding the right web host is to assess your needs accurately. There are various types of hosting services such as shared, dedicated, cloud and more. Each of them has different features and specifications catering to needs of various websites, for instance shared web hosting is best suited to small businesses and personal websites due to its cost effectiveness whereas large organizations prefer dedicated hosting because they operate on a large scale. Similarly, a pick between Windows and Linux, both of which are popular platforms. If your website is built using Microsoft software and applications, you will need them in future, windows is the best and more popular choice for you, and LInux is also a good option.
Cost Factor – Cost is a major factor which affects our purchasing behavior. Many people put so much emphasis on cost that they almost forget about quality. On the Web hosting front, a compromise with the quality can be fatal for your website. Choose a competitively priced hosting plan instead of a cheap or free one. The cost of hosting varies as per the features and quality of a hosting plan. Choose only those features which are useful for your website, this way you can cut down the cost without compromising on the quality of a service.
Customer Support - Even if you have a good technical hand, you may require the help of customer support anytime. Though every hosting company provides customer support, but their mode of communication and availability differs. Email service, online chatting, help over the phone are the prime medium of customer support. They can be available during working days and hours or 24*7. You should be aware and comfortable with the customer support option. An all time available customer service option is a better option because you never know when something might go wrong and you require help.
Rating & Reviews – It is imperative that you choose a web host which has a good market reputation. The reputation is the positive image of a company or a person because of good services provided. How do you know that a web host has a good reputation? Research is the answer of this question. Alexa ranking and Google PageRank are the two widely accepted metrics which show the popularity and worth of a website. Further, you can read customer reviews and ratings of hosting companies on the Internet. These things will help in choosing a good web host.
Server UP Time - These days every hosting company claims to offer 99% uptime but in reality very few of them keep this promise. Instead of blindly trusting their tall claims, you should look up the server uptime records. Any downtime may cause you serious damage if you have a business website. The most important thing is to have a stable and 24*7 running server which ensures the all time availability of your business on the internet. All your effort such as content, SEO, marketing and more go waste if your website goes down frequently.
Space and Storage – This is again very subjective based on the needs of your website. Big sized and high traffic websites need larger bandwidth and storage space as compared to smaller websites. An unlimited hosting plan can fulfill the needs of big websites, however, unlimited plans also have a limit which you should know before striking a deal with a hosting company. Remember the requirements of your website will grow over the time with an ever increasing amount of content and traffic so always keep some extra space to avoid your website from crashing. Your web host should offer an affordable upgradation option in case your website grows larger in the future.
Security Features - With so many kind of viruses and hackers out there you would not want to leave your website unprotected. Some serious damage may happen to your site in the eventuality of some crucial security features not being installed. Choose a web host which provides reliable security features, you may have to spend some extra amount, but it will ensure the safety of your website. Make sure your potential host has a daily backup plan for your website, it is helpful in the event of any website crisis.
Domain-Based Email - Hosting providers often give domain-based email addresses by default, but the number of emails varies from company to company. You will need the professional email for your employees and vendors. It helps you create a unique identity of your company and promote your services. Many hosting companies provide unlimited numbers of email while some put a restriction on them, choose whatever best suits your need. There are many other useful email options such as email filter, auto response and more based on the service provider.
Choosing a good website is necessary for the success of your website, but it is not an easy task. It takes lots of research and hard work. An accurate analysis of your needs and comparison of various web host enables you to develop the understanding of the hosting industry. Many web host offer discount coupons, extra features, and other free stuff. Based on your research and needs you can shortlist the top service providers and negotiate with them and choose the best one for you.