When it comes to online businesses, many marketers are preoccupied with aspects of site design, content strategy, and internal link structure. Although these factors are critical, a faulty web host can render all your efforts useless.
Remember that your web hosting solution must not be a rushed decision. Sure, any company can offer a 99% uptime guarantee, 24/7 customer support, and “unlimited” hosting. However, you need to dig deep and find the best host that will suit your specific needs.
Without further ado, here are the important factors you need to consider when picking a web host:
As you may already know, looking for the cheapest web hosting solution is asking for trouble. Keep in mind that reliable hosting requires top-notch server infrastructure. Furthermore, you need to consider your options carefully when it comes to hosting prices. Popular hosts do not have a huge discrepancy in the monthly subscription price. However, if you look at the big picture, a few bucks in between can have a substantial impact on your budget for the long-term. Triple-check each web hosting package and make sure you are getting the value you paid for.
Not all web hosts are the same. Some hosts have all the resources for full-fledged online stores, while others are meant solely for blogging purposes. That said, you need to look at a hosting company’s track record and check their experience with particular website types. Aside from checking the host’s main website, a good strategy is to look at customer reviews and identify where they are from.
3. Server Specifications
A straightforward approach in assessing the capabilities of a web host is to check their server specifications. Look for technical details like RAM, CPU, and storage drives; as well as account limitations like additional domains and backups. If you are planning to run a data-intensive site, such as an e-commerce store or cloud-based app website, then you need a hosting solution with high-end infrastructure. You also need to consider the top-tier hosting solutions for sites that accommodate heavy traffic.
4. Customer Support
You can determine the kind of experience you can expect from a host by checking customer reviews and feedback. However, the best way to learn more about a company’s competence in providing support is to test the waters yourself. Go ahead and make a direct inquiry about their solutions and assess whether they do a satisfactory job of providing the information you need. A real question to ask is whether they have a 24/7 in-house staff or if they outsource their support team.
5. Additional Features
At the surface, most—if not all—hosting companies offer the same promises. However, if you look carefully, certain features actually set them apart. For example, one company may use energy-saving facilities to cut monthly costs while another offers a free domain. Just make sure to consider your company’s needs and identify which add-ons are beneficial to you specifically.
6. Email Features
Most hosting platforms should offer a built-in email server. This feature allows you to use your domain name address for sending emails rather than using a third-party email provider such as Gmail or Hotmail. However, you should also check if they have features such as spam filtering and advanced account management.
7. Control Panel Interface
While it is imperative to focus on the experience of your users, you must also consider your experience with a hosting company’s interface. Keep in mind that managing the backend of your website can be stressful, especially if you are faced with a cluttered and disorganized control panel interface. That is why you need a host that makes simple tasks a breeze—from setting up FTP accounts to installing a CMS.
To finalize your decision, make a quick Google search about a hosting company to decide whether they are a reputable brand or not. Keep in mind that you are basically putting the growth of your business on the line by choosing a web host. Looking for in-depth reviews and blog posts about a host should offer you the assurance and peace of mind.
Recommended Hosting Sites
To help you in the selection process, here are the takes of experts on some of the most reputable web hosting services in the industry:
- SiteGround – When it comes to performance and uptime reliability, SiteGround is one of the best options. Perhaps its only downside is the relative costliness of packages as opposed to other alternatives.
- HostGator – One of the most popular hosting companies for bloggers, HostGator offers remarkable customer service as well as an easy-to-use control panel. Their hosting solutions, while not cheap, provide excellent value for stable performance under heavy load.
- BlueHost– BlueHost is scalable, fast, reliable, and comes with economical prices. Despite this, you will rarely experience slowdowns and significant downtimes. The only downside is that live support is not as fast as it needs to be.
- InMotion – While inexpensive, InMotion does not fail to deliver top-quality performance. You can expect minimal downtimes and consistent speeds all year round.
Picking a web host is one of the earliest decisions that can determine the direction of your website. Hopefully, the points above helped you make a decision and establish a sound basis for a highly successful website.