Choosing a web hosting provider can be crucial for your website. You want it to be up and running all the time.
With the proliferation of web hosting providers in the market, how do you know which is the right one for your business or online needs? Here is a short guide on the criteria for choosing a web hosting provider.
First Things First
In general, choosing the right web hosting service will depend on your hosting needs. It is impossible to choose the right provider without determining what you want. Certain criteria such as the kind of website you are building, budget, special kind of software, and others will affect your choice. However, if you are just starting, the best thing to do is start small.
You need a provider that would be up and running 24/7. You do not want your website to be down at the most crucial time. In addition, the hosting provider should provide a powerful server and stable network connection. You should also consider the uptime record of the provider, such as Hostgator with a promise of 99.9% uptime.
You can look at website hosting reviews or server monitoring tools to help you in choosing a web hosting provider that is right for you.
Your web hosting needs may change from time to time so choosing a provider that offers upgrade options is a must. If you are on a shared hosting plan and expect your website to grow in the future, upgrading features will be essential. This is true if you expect more processing power, memory capacity, disk storage, and similar features.
Multiple Add-on Domains
With cheap domain names proliferating in the market, owning several domains can be easy. According to a recent survey conducted by Web Hosting Talk, 80% of respondents own more than 5 domains and 20% own over 50.
In order to accommodate additional domains, you will require additional hosting space. Thus, you need to look for a provider that allows multiple domains. However, you need to check the domain capacity before buying a hosting plan.
Signup vs. Renewal Cost
Although it is possible to find cheap hosting deals, the cost for renewing web hosting can be a little bit pricey. Unless you are willing to change providers every couple of years, it is unlikely that you will be able to avoid the expensive renewal fees.
To have an idea of the renewal fees, you can check the terms of services and make sure that you agree with the renewal cost before registering. Likewise, make sure that your hosting provider is no longer handling customer refunds.
In cases when there is a trial period, some providers charge an absurdly high cancellation fee when users cancel their account during this period so make sure you stay away from these companies. Likewise, there are companies that provide money back guarantee where you can ask for a refund at the end of the trial period.
Forget About Disk Space and Data Transfer Capacity
These days when cloud technology has become popular, who needs disk storage and bandwidth? If you are just an average website owner, storage and data capacity will hardly matter.
For files and folders, you can save them on Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, and other file storage programs. Images and photos can be stored in programs such as Flickr, Tumblr, Rackspace, and others. Through these online tools, your website can manage to survive with less disk space and data transfer capacity.
If you are running an e-commerce website, perhaps you will need a hosting provider that will provide you with shopping cart software or one that will let you process business transactions. In addition, it should be able to offer after-sales support, SSL certification, and dedicated IP.
User-Friendly Hosting Control Panel
Whether it’s cPanel, Plesk, or any other third party control panel, the important thing is that the website management tool should be functional and easy to use. Otherwise, you could end up paying for tech support even if you only need fairly basic server modifications.
Account Suspension Limits
There are some things that you may not know about your hosting provider’s rules, and one of these may include suspending your account if you are using too much storage or violating some contract stipulations.
Before clicking the Purchase button for a new hosting plan, make sure that you fully understand the rules. Having an understanding of your account limitations can go a long way in choosing the right provider for your company or business.
Some webmasters prefer an eco-friendly website. Scientific studies revealed that web servers generate over 630 kg of carbon dioxide and consume roughly 1,000 kilowatt hours of energy on a yearly basis. Choosing a green hosting provider, on the other hand, consumes zero carbon dioxide. This marks the difference between an environment friendly and a non-eco-friendly hosting provider.
If you advocate environment friendliness and would like to reduce your carbon footprint, it is best to choose a hosting provider that relies on renewable energy or compensates for its energy consumption via green certificates.
A sudden site crash could mean disaster for any website owner. It could translate to lost business or more customer turnovers. When choosing a hosting provider, you would want one that offers site backup.
The website hosting provider can help free you from worrying about any potential site crashes. If you have a site backup, your web hosting provider can have your site up and about in no time. When choosing a provider for site backup, they should be able to address the following issues:
- Do they have the ability to fully back up your site on a regular basis?
- Can they easily back up your site using the provided control panel?
- Can the host auto-backup your site using cron or other programs?
- Can you easily restore backup files on your own without the help of the support staff especially during times of disaster?
Choosing the right web hosting provider can be crucial for the operations of your website. With these tips, you should be able to make the right decision on the hosting provider that will put your website in the online world.