There are plenty of web hosting providers out there, but it may seem difficult to decipher the good from the bad. So here we’ve put together some tips on how to find the right web hosting provider who will prove the best level of service for your online business.
An easy way to find out about the reputation of a web hosting company is to read reviews and testimonials from their previous customers.
Only go for a host that guarantees a minimum of 99.5% uptime. This is the most important factor as downtime will have a negative impact on your business, sales and income.
3. FAST CONNECTION
A slow-loading website will drive visitors away and reflect badly on your business. A good host provides a fast connection so that your website pages will load quickly and result in a positive user experience for your customers. Check out if the hosts own website and images are loading quickly.
4. CONTROL PANEL
Look for a hosting provider that offers you a user-friendly web based control panel which will allow you to easily manage many aspects of your website from any location yourself.
Cost effectiveness is another important factor and it is worthwhile finding out if there are any hidden extra costs for things like bandwidth, renewals and upgrades. Compare pricing of several hosting packages to find out where you can save the most money.
6. SERVER FEATURES
Figure out your web hosting requirements and then find out what sort of features your web host has to offer, things like how many domains can be hosted on one account and how much storage and bandwidth is available. If you want to sell goods or services online, you will need a host who will let you set up a secure server (SSL), if you are planning to collect credit card payments.
Although many still favour the more traditional methods of customer support via telephone and email, a hosting company that runs a live chat service will give you 24/7 contact with support technicians and engineers to ensure that everything is running optimally and to resolve issues within minutes, instead of hours.
8. SERVER LOCATION
If the location of your hosts data centres is important to you, you can email the company or do a quick online search to find out their physical location.
9. BANDWIDTH & TRAFFIC
Also known as data transfer, which means the amount of bytes downloaded from your site to your visitors. Although some hosting companies may claim to offer unlimited bandwidth, there is actually a limit that can be exceeded and extra charges can be incurred. Definitely one to watch out for if you think your website will bring in a high level of traffic.
A good hosting company will give you the options to upgrade or downsize your hosting package should the need arise. It is best to start off with a shared hosting account and then move on to a dedicated server later on if required. However these days there is quite a reasonable allowance for bandwidth on shared server hosting packages.
11. DATA BACKUP
In case of database and hard disk failures or hackers, some web hosts do regular backups of data so they should be able to restore your website in full, should the worst come to the worst.