There are a variety of factors to consider when deciding which web hosting is best. You may be asking, “What does a web host do?” The simplest explanation is that it is the virtual location of a site. How big do you expect your business to grow? Changing web hosts adds stress, so it’s best to do research before deciding upon one. There are a multitude of options available. This list will aid you in making an informed decision.
Types of Hosting
There are different types of web hosting available. VPS hosting acts as it’s own server environment and is a good option when you want more control. It includes a VPS server and runs it’s own copy of an operating system. Shared hosting is best for individuals and smaller businesses. Dedicated hosting allows an entire server to be controlled. Managed hosting is where a company leases dedicated servers and hardware to a client. The costs vary, so choose one that best fits your particular needs at the time.
Uptime of Hosting Service
Milliseconds matter and if a page takes too long to load, a potential customer may not wait. Finding a web host that has strong uptime is essential. Businesses that deal with a large visitor volume will need high performance web sites. Loading time may also be affected by a large amount of data content on your pages. If you find that your website is slow, you may need more bandwidth. While no host provides 100% uptime, there are those that are more reliable and stable than others. A host that guarantees uptime less than 99% of the time should not be considered.
Providing excellent customer service is important. If something bad happens to your website after it’s created, who can you contact? Find a web host with a dedicated and prompt customer support staff. Some may promote their around-the-clock service, so read reviews to confirm this is true. You can personally test customer service by sending an e-mail or calling the company. Their speediness in response will be a good indication of how efficient they are.
Search Engine Optimization Capabilities
SEO capabilities are important for websites, also. Choose a web host that is respected and uses white hat tactics. This means that they comply with all rules of search engine optimization. Ensure that Google can recognize the analytics of your site and add the information to it’s search engine. Craft the words and images of your website so that it’s fully optimized. You want to be on the first page of search engines.
Reputation of Hosting Service
Knowing who is hosting this website and understanding their reputation is essential. To find that information you can visit ICANN, a non-profit organization that compiles domain information. Also do a Google search to see what’s been written in the past about a web host. View all the available information to determine if it’s what fits your needs and can handle your expected growth up to 3 years into the future.
As your business grows, it’s important to be with a host that can grow along with it. Scalability is key. This means being able to access more bandwidth and handle more visitors, or even the opposite. Shared hosting is usually suitable, as a WordPress blog can handle up to 40,000 unique visitors per month. Unlimited hosting potential doesn’t exist, but most businesses don’t need it.
Add On Services and Their Cost
Various other costs are important to consider. If you’re handling a large amount of visitor traffic, it’s okay to pay a little more for good hosting. Some hosting providers offer an affordable initial sign-up, but increase their rates upon renewal. This is standard practice and if you try to avoid renewal fees, you could be sacrificing stability. Another thing to consider is the cancellation policy. A host may charge a steep penalty if you try to opt out of the agreed upon length of service. You can also pay extra for an email with the domain name or for your personal information to be kept private. A custom email and protection of personal information is recommended.
While choosing the right web host for your business may seem daunting, this short list is sure to help you get started. You’re well on your way to completing the first essential step in your website creation.