There are numerous web hosting companies running today, with each and every one vying to host your website. You have a number of things to consider when choosing a company to host your website. You have to make sure that the hosting company is the right fit for your website and would accommodate all the needs that your website may have- very smoothly and doesn’t cause you any snags in the future.
Know what you need
You can’t know what would work for you if you don’t know what you need, so the first step is to identify and understand what your domain and hosting needs are. List out your website details and what they would require like the kind of website you’re building, the amount of audience you are planning for, the applications to be run on the site and so on. When you have this, you can proceed to finding a provider that matches your goals. A good tips is to go with a provider that allows domain registration and web hosting in one place such as Umbrellar. You can start your website registration and hosting on Umbrellar by choosing a name here https://www.umbrellar.nz/our-solutions/domain-names/.
Reliability of the server
Your hosting service provider must be one that you can bank on and trust to keep your website running, so you need a web host that operates 24/7. The server of your host should be powerful and have reliable network connections. Make sure you check the uptime of the server. It must have an uptime of at least 99%- anything below this would be a terrible choice and it is recommended to pick a server with an uptime of 99.5% and above. You can track your web host with server monitor tools online.
The first thing most people look at when hiring a hosting service provider is the price. The prices offered by a hosting service should not be your deciding factor when picking a service- the cheapest hosting service providers might not provide a great service, so before you jump for joy when you see cheap rates, make sure you check out what else the service provider has to offer. Check out their features, get services that offer what you want, then you can start to compare prices and pick the host that offers the best at great rates.
This is very important when choosing a hosting service provider- whether you’re a beginner or more experienced website owner, you need to be able to count on the support of your web host whenever you need it. Things do go wrong sometimes on a website’s backend and you need to be able to count on a technical support team to help you get back on track as soon as possible. Look for hosting service providers with 24/7 phone support, email support and live chat support, and make sure to test out all of the channels before securing a plan.
It goes without saying that you should pick a web host with a package that gives your website enough web space, but you also have to consider future expansion. Are your web space needs likely to increase substantially in the future? Then you want to make sure you pick a web host that can accommodate those future needs. Make sure you know the amount of space your website would need.
It is also good to be aware of the hardware your hosting company uses. You want to able to rely on your hosting company, so it is important that you do your homework. Check out the specifications of the servers they use. Is it good enough for the services they claim to provide? If the company does not state clearly the hardware they use, make sure you ask.
The type of website you plan on running would decide the amount of bandwidth you would need. If your website is an e-commerce platform or a site that is rich in large sized content and video, you shouldn’t go for the cheapest package you find, make sure you know how much bandwidth you would need. More web hosts nowadays offer unlimited bandwidth but most of these “unlimited” bandwidths are just marketing techniques and are actually limited in some way. These days, you can store your files elsewhere and call or link them to your webpage so you don’t need a whole lot of bandwidth as you would have in past times.
It is important to be sure that your hosting service provider can provide you with whatever your future needs may be, especially if your website is your business. A hosting service might meet your current needs, but that doesn’t mean that the service would satisfy your needs a few years along the line. You need to be sure that your web host would have no difficulty accommodating your future growth- they should have dedicated server solutions and be able to offer you an easy upgrade. Transferring from one hosting service to another takes considerable time and effort, and that could have been better utilised if your initial hosting service had you covered.
Your hosting service provider should regularly back-up your site in case of any incident. It is possible for a server to have a major hard disk failure, and without regular back up, you can lose important data. But if your web host backs up your site regularly, it can be restored in little or no time.
Secure Socket Layers (SSL)
If you are planning on opening an e-commerce website, or you are planningto sell some merchandise on the side, along with whatever else you do, you need to make sure that your hosting service provider allows you to set up a secure server using SSL. This refers to the websites that have “https://” instead of the more typical http://. Doing this usually requires an additional payment or a higher package, and it is necessary to keep your website secure.
FTP,Cron, .htaccess, SSI, SSH, Auto script Installer etc.
You should choose a web host that allows you to access these. Some hosting service providers do not offer even the basic hosting features. You need FTP for easy file transfer, Cron for scheduling programs and running day to day operations, .htaccess for customising error pages, redirects and for your site security, Server Side Include (SSI) for easy site maintenance, SSH for testing certain scripts and maintaining databases, Auto Script Installer for easy web application installations and updates.
These are basic features and they are a ‘must have’ for a good hosting service provider, so do not go with any web host that does not provide these.
If after checking out all of these, you’re still not sure of which hosting service provider to go with, you can always check for customer reviews and reviews made by websites of the hosting contenders you have listed. This should help you to make a good informed decision based on the experiences of others.