Like any important decision, choosing a web hosting service is not easy. They all promise that they are the best hosting provider on the market, but who is telling the truth? Here are 5 things to consider that will help you determine what web hosting service is right for you.
1. What do You Need?
Each website has different goals and needs, so no web hosting service can be right for every business. Consider what you want the web hosting provider to do for you.
Are you actively looking to expand your business, or are you going to be running a blog about plants? Do you need a website or just a domain? As a business owner you will have a few options, and each of them works best for a different set of needs.
Shared Hosting: This is a popular method because it is often the cheapest option available. With shared hosting, you will share the server with several other websites. Because there are several different people or groups on the server, the price drops significantly.
There is a trade off with performance, but many small businesses or blogs do not need the highest performance standards.
Dedicated Hosting: In this setup, you will have an entire server to yourself. While this is more costly, it comes with far greater options in terms of customization; with things like the operating system, various programs, etc.
For this reason, many businesses choose this option. It costs more, but the server is then yours to do with as you please.
Virtual Private Server, or VPS: VPS is a kind of virtual machine that runs its own version of an operating system. Because it is private, you will be able to do virtually anything with the server, and this includes customizing it with whatever hardware or programs that the operating system allows.
If you need absolute control over the server, this will be your best option.
2. Is it User-Friendly?
This is especially important if you are new to web hosting or the more technical aspects of the Internet in general. Look at the programs that the web hosting service provides; are they suited to beginners?
The best hosting provider will not be worth anything if the user can’t operate anything, so watch out for a few programs. These include cPanel, ISPConfig and Plesk.
These programs will offer you a lot of customization options for your website and are easy to master. This is a matter of looking out for what your specific needs are.
3. How is the Customer Service?
No matter what your competence level, there will come a time when you need tech support to help you with an issue. It just comes with the territory. That said, you can plan ahead by choosing a provider with helpful customer service representatives.
You do not want to just take a provider’s word on this, however, because they will all claim to have great customer service. Read customer reviews and see what real people’s experiences with customer service was.
There are also a few questions to ask yourself as you consider options. How often is their technical support line open? Do they have a live chat technical support, or will I have to call? What is their success rate with resolving issues? By looking at these important factors, you will choose a web hosting provider that will not leave you high and dry when there is an issue.
4. Do they Offer Additions?
For business owners, this is a huge thing to consider. Additional services will cost you more when you’re paying the bill, but they can also contribute to your legitimacy.
For example, if your provider offers email services, you will be able to make an email like businessname@businessname, which makes you seem much more professional. Look at what additions a potential provider offers and consider if they are what you need.
On the flip side, do not pay for additional services that you will never use. If you plan on selling products from your website, investing in security is important. If you’re just advertising your business, however, then that will be a waste of your money.
Think carefully about what you need and do not buy into just any additional service; you’ll be paying for it, whether you use it or not!
5. What is their Reputation?
This is arguably the most important factor to consider. This is not an issue of elitism, but an issue of service. If half of their customer reviews are people saying that they regret choosing this provider, take their word for it.
The beauty of customer reviews is that individual consumers gain nothing by lying, unlike hosting providers that exaggerate their benefits. Read reviews and see what real-life people thought. This will be your most accurate source of information of what using this hosting service will be like.
By considering these 5 points, you will be sure to make a decision that is right for you. Your content offers something unique, so do not just blindly hire a web hosting site that may not work for you.
Think carefully about what you need, and even the least tech-savvy individual can make the right choice.