Choosing a website hosting provider is not easy given the large number of options available and the complicated jargon that many companies use to sell their services. In order to make an informed decision, you will need to ignore the hype and focus on the most important factors. What are those factors? Consider the following:
This is the main factor for most of us; however, it should not be the most important one. Note that with hosting as with many other things in life, you get what you pay for. Opting for the cheapest hosting provider you can find is definitely not a good idea if you are using your website to make money. Your income depends on your site having a reliable platform. Ask yourself what your site’s reputation is worth. What will happen if you get hacked or face a DDOS attack? You will need a solid hosting provider to keep your website up. The reality is that quality support services and hardware are not cheap. Providers that offer hosting at extremely low prices probably do not have those features. When looking at the cost of good hosting, do not forget about renewal prices. In many cases, providers (especially those that sell shared hosting) offer low signup prices; however, the prices get much higher when it is time to renew. The only way to avoid this is to switch hosting. Before signing up, look at the provider’s TOS to find out about their renewal prices.
2. Areas of Specialization
Not all hosting providers are the same, just as not all customers are the same. A provider may offer services that are perfect for customers with small blogs but inappropriate for a business, or vice versa. Before signing up, look carefully at the provider’s specialty area. You should opt for a company that understands your needs. Think about the platform that you are using; there are hosting providers that specialize in hosting WordPress sites, for example. Look at providers that focus on hosting whichever platform you intend to use. If you want a VPS or dedicated server, you should consider companies that have made providing those their specialty area. Providers that specialize in a particular type of hosting usually have a better understanding of their specialty area. They also tend to have more invested in resources for their specialty when compared to providers that do not specialize.
3. Specs and Limitations
What kind of content do you plan to have on your site? If you opt for the cheapest hosting plan available and want to host videos and rich content, you probably will not have access to the RAM and processing power that you will need. You most will likely face a significant amount of downtime and slow loading times along with other issues. Make sure to note the services and features that your provider offers with your plan.
Whether you are a new webmaster or have years of experience in online business, you will need reliable support. The questions to ask when evaluating support include: will you be able to get a live person on the phone if you call them? Have they outsourced their tech support? Will you be able to reach them 24/7? Before choosing a hosting provider, you should find out how easy it is to get in touch with them if you have a problem. Look at what options they provide for communication. Ideally, you should be able to reach them via a toll-free phone number and chat. Read reviews carefully so that you can see if they have a good reputation for customer support. Do not settle for sites that only provide support via forum posts or email as you will likely have to wait hours to days for a response.
5. How Many Accounts Per Server?
If you are going with a shared server, it is a good idea to find out the number of other sites on that server. If the number is high, then there is a greater chance of your site loading more slowly or going down. Compare the number of sites on other companies’ servers and use that to help with making the decision. If you want a dedicated server, find out about upgrading the CPU as well as the memory and hard drive. Ask about the downtime for your site during the upgrade.
6. Resources for Growth
You want your website to be successful and to grow right? In order to facilitate your growth, your website hosting provider will need to have adequate resources. They should be able to implement an easy transition process once your website outgrows its services. If the cost of upgrading at a company is too high, this just might be an indication that your site will not have room to grow.