When you have a website, you need a good web host to ensure your website reaches the target audience without any downtime or speed issues. The biggest mistake one makes when it comes to choosing a web host is to select one at random, without much research or thought.
When you are looking out for a web host, you realize there are a large number of hosts available, offering similar or competing services. The services offered will be the same with marginal differences and perhaps a difference in cost, thus adding to the confusion.
So, how do you select the perfect host for your website? How do you know which provider to go to? It is not an easy task so we have compiled a list of selection criteria and a few good hosts.
There are a number of technical specifications to be considered while selecting a web host. Of them, the most important specifications to be considered are:
Bandwidth and disk space offered
The bandwidth is very important because if your website has high-level of graphics with thousands of pages, the bandwidth required to support them will be high. However, if your site is a small one with little graphics and lesser traffic, the disk space and bandwidth need not be high. In that case, basic package offered by most web hosts will be sufficient.
Different web hosts support different operating systems. Ensure that the one you hire supports the OS you are using, and/or plan to use in the future. Switching operating systems mid-way is not an easy task.
Reliability and Availability
Your website must be available all the time. Referred to as the “up-time”, this is the time your website is accessible by others. This rate should not be less than 99-98%, else you may stand to lose your business. The main reason for having a website is for people to access it and get to know your business better. If this access is cut down, the purpose is lost.
How secure is your web host? There are a number of firewalls that can be installed to keep your website free from bugs and hackers. Keeping your website safe at all times with timely updates and effective firewalls is very important. This should also include- receiving notifications when any change is made to the website, daily backup and user authentication. This will ensure your website is safe and limits the access to it, thus reducing the chances of a security breach.
Though it is not advisable to choose a web host based only on the cost or the price charged, this should be taken into consideration as well. Every business has a budget and the best web host providers, give enough options to suit different budgets. They will be able to customize their offerings based on your budget.
Sign up with a provider who has the bandwidth to let you grow. Though the current provider may be enough for your website needs at present, what will happen once the site grows? Will you change providers? It is not an easy task to change hosts hence you should choose accordingly. Many providers have various plans in place which allows you to upgrade based on your growing needs.
Another factor to be considered is the Email accounts. Find out how many accounts will be offered and if it suits your needs. Some businesses require more while some don’t require them at all.
A good customer service is required to ensure all your hosting issues are handled immediately. If the website has a problem that is not fixed immediately, it may affect your business dearly. Websites can run into trouble very often and can become inaccessible; there is no use in having a website that cannot be accessed. Hence look for a company that has a good customer care service, which will respond immediately.
Check for customer reviews online. These are first-hand experiences and can shed some much-needed light on the company. One can get to know how other customers and their problems are handled and how effective the web host is. This will enable you to make a wise choice.
The company should also provide for customer freedom. If you are not happy with the services, you should be able to discontinue the services without losing anything. For this, a money back guarantee should be provided, which allows you to try their product for a few days and decide if it is the right one for you.
Apart from all the above, a good web host will provide some extras too. Look for providers who offer more than just good bandwidth and disk space, search online and come up with a list of web hosts.
Look for hosts who provide other services like content management, e-commerce solutions, etc. this will enable you to expand tomorrow without having to change hosts. As a company grows, the website needs will grow too, your web host must be able to provide for this growth, as changing a host in the middle is definitely not an easy task.
Choosing the right web host for your website needs is very important. Finding one that can be used as your business grows, is very important and convenient too.