Would you build a giant skyscraper on a foundation meant for a small home? Of course not, and neither should you build a high traffic website on a hosting plan that can’t probably support it. Sure, there’re plenty of global web hosting companies in the market today. And each of these hosting services has its uniqueness. However, before you make any move, you need to understand your web hosting needs. Understanding your web hosting needs is necessary before choosing a web host that you may use for years to come. Here are some of the most important considerations you need to address before choosing a web host.
Be Aware of Your Budget
Web hosting is often seen as an unnecessary expense, especially when starting up a website, which makes it tempting to grab the first free or low cost offer. Unfortunately, with most of these hosts you get terrible service and you can limit or prevent your success altogether.
If you’re spending hundreds or thousands of dollars developing a website or product, don’t cheap out on the hosting, you need reliable and quality hosting to make sure your efforts don’t go to waste. Hiring a good web design company in the US is important because hosting won’t be your only problem if your site is not high quality. While price typically comes first in your mind, it should be your last consideration when looking at hosts. Find the features and performance you want, and then compare prices after and find one that fits your budget.
Fortunately, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get good hosting. You might not have to pay anything at all. There are a lot of good free hosting options that are worth looking into.
Type of Hosting
It should be obvious that not all types of websites need the same level of hosting performance. Consider the nature of your website before you begin looking at the different types of hosting.
In general there are three types of servers for hosting:
- Shared servers: The cheapest type of hosting due to many sites being put on the server. You will have limited resources, but if you’re just putting up a small blog or personal website shared hosting may be sufficient.
- Dedicated servers: As the name implies, a dedicated server means that only your site will run on that specific server. This is the most reliable option, but does not come without a higher cost. Depending on the size of the server and other hosting features, dedicated servers can cost you from less than a hundred a month up to thousands.
- Virtual servers: Not quite a shared server or a dedicated server, and the price reflects that as it is usually in between the other two options. You don’t have full resources like a dedicated server, but your site won’t be interfered with if other sites on the server are trying to hog resources. It’s a good option for professional websites that aren’t too large or complex.
If you expect that your website traffic will grow considerably over time, talk with potential hosts and make sure that your hosting is easily scalable.
There are many different levels of tech support these days. If your website is responsible for income, you’ll want to ensure that any problems you have are solved as soon as possible, look for 24/7 support. If you just have a small personal blog, this probably isn’t as big of a deal, but check for support with technical things like setting up a website if this is your first project. Finally, hosting companies typically offer support primarily through one channel. Whether you prefer email, phone, or online ticket-based systems, find a host that offers it. Having managed IT services is something to look for in a company because they have people on the clock all the time unlike other companies who handle their own IT.
Companies can claim all sorts of things, but you won’t know if they deliver until you actually hear from existing customers. Try to find reviews online, or even better talk to someone you know that has hosting with a particular company. Beware of reviews that have affiliate links and may not be genuine. Use intricate, data-gathering tools to check out the uptime and downtime analysis for web hosts to confirm if hosts actual deliver what they promise.
If you don’t have a lot of experience working with websites, you will definitely want to pick a host that offers a control panel. Popular control panels like cPanel or Plesk are simple user interfaces that lets you easily modify your website. Some even contain plugins that allow you to install popular software like WordPress onto your domain name with one click.
Now that you know what you need to consider before purchasing hosting for your website, spend some time comparing your options and find one that is in your price range. Hosting can make your experience simple or very difficult, so choose right.