The fact that there are a large number of options available can make it challenging to find the best hosting provider. To make matters even more difficult, many hosting companies use complex technical terms to sell their services. If you want to educate yourself in order to make the right decision, you will have to ignore marketing jargon and focus on the most important factors. Keep the following in mind when making your decision:
1. How Much it Costs
As with most other things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to hosting. Choosing the cheapest hosting provider that you can find can cost you, especially if you are using your website to make money. What happens if you get hacked? Good support services are not cheap, neither is quality hardware. A cheap host is going to cut corners somewhere, possibly in those two areas. Also, beware of low signup prices. Many providers offer low prices for signing up but increase the prices when it is time to renew. To avoid the high renewal prices, you will have to go through the hassle of switching your host.
2. Cloud or Dedicated
One major benefit of cloud hosting is that you only pay for what you use. There is also no need to invest in hardware and you have unlimited scaling. The downside is that you scaling up is often expensive. Dedicated networks do have better performance; though will have to pay for performance and power even when you are not using it at its peak potential.
You will want to take the amount of time that the hosting server has been up into account; many providers will advertise high percentages like 99.99 percent uptime. While you want to ensure that your server is up most of the time, bear in mind that even a huge percentage like 99.999 percent uptime still means that it is down for eight hours per year.
4. Hosting Specialties
Hosting providers differ in the services they provide. Some may be perfect for a small personal blog but not for a commercial website. Before you decide to pay for hosting, look carefully at a hosting provider’s specialty areas. The best hosting provider for you is the one that is able to meet your needs. One of the factors that you should consider here is the platform that you will be using for your website. Look for a hosting provider that specializes in the content management system that you use. For example, there are providers that specialize in hosting Drupal sites and others that specialize in hosting WordPress sites. If having a virtual private server or dedicated server is important to you, opt for one of the providers that specialize in providing those features. If a company specializes in a particular type of hosting, they will be more knowledgeable about it and are more likely to have invested heavily in resources for that type of hosting.
5. Support Services
No company’s services are perfect. At some point, something will go wrong; when it does, you will need to contact their technical support team. You will need tech support whether you are a new webmaster or have been doing it for years. This means that the quality of technical support is one of the things that should be foremost in your mind when evaluating a hosting provider. When you have a problem, you want to know that there are competent people working on it. Find out if they outsource their tech support and if you will be able to reach them 24/7. Make sure that the provider you choose can be reached by both phone and email. If your site does down for long periods, it can cancel out the time and money that you have invested into marketing. You can wind up losing money in the present and on into the future.
How easy is it to use the service? This is especially important if you are an inexperienced webmaster without a lot of technical knowledge. It is also important if you want the ability to perform major customizations.
Naturally, you will want your website to be successful and to grow. Your website will need the right resources in order to facilitate that growth. Once your website outgrows its services, your hosting provider should make it easy to scale up. If it costs too much to upgrade with a particular host, this may be an indication that your site will not be able to grow.
This is where you will need to spend some time researching and comparing. Investigate the providers that you are considering. A search of their blog and on Twitter will tell you how their present and past customers feel about their services.