Starting a website means starting the search for a web hosting service. For newcomers, choosing the right one can be daunting. Apart from coming across numerous buzzwords, there’s also a lot of new information to digest.
However, finding the perfect hosting service is easier than you may think. All you need is to understand the most important elements you need to consider, and the process will get easier.
If you’re excited about turning your website idea into reality but still haven’t got a web host for it, keep reading. This article will discuss eight factors to look for in a web hosting company to help you decide on the best hosting service for your new website.
Seeing if your selected provider has a good reputation in the industry is one of the most vital steps in determining its reliability.
Reading customer reviews on review websites like Trustpilot helps grasp the overall idea about a web hosting company’s services. They tell you if the provider serves its customer well, as the feedback comes from the people who actually use the service.
Customer reviews also provide information about the strengths and weaknesses of each provider. They let you compare them and help you choose the best hosting environment for your website.
In addition, there are dozens of articles from third-party blogs that discuss the pros and cons of web hosting companies, like BitCatcha and TechRadar. Should you want a more in-depth look at your chosen provider, going to such blogs can be a great idea.
If you don’t know where to begin, consider Hostinger. It’s one of the most renowned web hosting companies that provide great value at an excellent price.
2. Server Response Time and Uptime
Server response time and uptime are among the most critical factors to consider when choosing a web hosting provider.
The former refers to how much time the web host’s server takes to complete a request. The industry benchmark for server response time is below 200 milliseconds. But, the lower the SRT is, the faster your website speed will be.
The latter is about how good the web host’s server is at keeping your website online. Anything above 99.5% is great. However, having a provider that guarantees over 99.9% server uptime ensures a more stable availability of your website online.
3. Security and Backup Policies
A reliable web hosting provider doesn’t take cyber threats lightly. Robust firewalls are arguably the most vital web host server security requirement. They’re the front line that helps protect the nameservers.
An excellent web host will also encourage its users to prioritize website security. Checking if your chosen provider offers a free SSL certificate is one of the best ways to see if your provider cares about your site’s security. However, if your website has multiple first-level subdomains under the main domain, it makes sense to invest in a wildcard SSL certificate. If budget is a concern, we recommend you to invest in a cheap wildcard SSl certificate that offers the same level of security at half the cost! This is a scalable, future-proof option that secures multiple level-one subdomains under the chosen primary domain.
On top of that, data backup is also an essential safety measure to take. Website backup refers to copying a site’s files and storing them in a separate location. This is to ensure users don’t lose all of their data if their website experiences a failure.
Each web host has its own backup policy. They may provide:
- Manual backups.
- Scheduled backups.
- Automated backups.
Weekly or monthly backups may cater well to personal websites. However, automated daily backups are the better choice if you’re building a business site.
Scalability refers to the ability to change web server hosting resources with ease. Choosing a web host that can provide easy scalability ensures you’ll always have the resources your website requires as soon as you put in the request.
With this feature, you don’t need to worry about your site slowing down due to traffic surges. Your provider will help you scale to meet your site’s changing needs.
This also applies to dips. If you feel like your hosting plan is too advanced and you don’t need that many resources for your site, you can simply downgrade with your web host’s help.
Thus, scalability also helps keep you stay within your budget, as it may prevent you from paying for the resources you don’t need.
The scaling process may vary from one provider to another. Therefore, asking how long the process will take helps you determine whether the provider is a good fit for your site. The longer the process, the worse it may affect your site’s uptime.
Web hosting pricing comes with an extensive range. On average, a shared hosting price ranges between $2.49-$15/month. Whereas VPS hosting’s pricing is between $20-$80/month.
However, a higher price doesn’t always mean better features and the environment. What matters the most is getting the best bang for your buck. Therefore, investing in a web hosting service shouldn’t be expensive.
Before deciding on a specific web host, researching the resources helps determine which company offers the most for the lowest price.
Some providers also offer money-back guarantees. This means you can buy and try the service for a certain amount of time and get your money back if you’re not satisfied.
6. Customer Support
If you’re new in website development, you may need some technical assistance to help with the process. This is where customer support comes to the rescue.
Errors happen no matter how much you avoid them. They may arise as a part of your experiments in your web dev process. If you don’t know how to troubleshoot them, the customer support team will be happy to help.
Errors may also come from the web host’s side. In times like these, customer service agents can help communicate what is actually happening. They may also give you guidance to help minimize the effects on your website.
With that in mind, make sure your chosen provider comes with 24/7 customer support. It’s also good to ask through what mediums the provider offers this service, as live chats and phone calls are quicker than email tickets.
7. Content Management System
Content management system refers to the online platform where you’ll build your website. Considering if your chosen web host provides CMS integration is crucial as you may be using it daily.
Most web hosting providers offer a CMS one-click installation. Some also grant their own custom-built platform. If you have your own CMS preference, make sure your provider’s hosting environment is compatible with the platform.
8. Other Relevant Hosting Features
In relation to technical features, there are specific factors to review apart from server uptime and response time.
In this section, let’s look at RAM, storage space, CPU power, and bandwidth.
- RAM. Short for Random Access Memory, its job is to store your running program files in a short period of time for easy retrieval. Typically, 2-GB RAM is sufficient for a small website. The bigger the RAM, the smoother your website will perform.
- Storage space. Hard disk drive and solid-state drive are two popular options for storage solutions. For better performance, opt for the latter. It replaces the HDD’s spinning platter with a microchip, allowing faster data reading/writing.
- CPU power. Determines how well your site can handle multiple requests. For example, dual-core processors can handle requests twice faster than single processors. It’s because each core has its own cache that triggers faster file retrieval.
- Bandwidth. Measures how much data can be transferred by a particular connection in a second. Usually, most web hosts have a monthly bandwidth limit. If your website displays tons of multimedia, you may need more than one terabyte.
Additionally, some hosting providers often offer freebies. These may include free domain names and free domain-based email addresses.
Building a website to support your business is a great way to expand your reach and increase revenue. Throughout this article, you’ve learned eight aspects to consider when choosing a web host.
Here’s a short recap of the tips:
- Reputation. Research in this matter helps ensure you choose a reliable hosting provider.
- Server response time and uptime. Checking these numbers is vital for an excellent website’s performance.
- Security and backup policy. These factors show if your chosen provider takes cybersecurity seriously.
- Scalability. The ability to scale resources with ease is vital to help ensure a more stable website performance.
- Pricing. It’s not about purchasing the most expensive plan but more about getting the best value for the money.
- Customer support. Choosing a web host with a 24/7 helpline through live chats or phone calls eases your overall website development process.
- Content Management System. It’s about confirming if your preferred CMS is compatible with the hosting environment and if the provider has a quick, one-click CMS installation.
- Other Relevant Features. Calculating your site’s resource requirements, including RAM, storage space, CPU power, and bandwidth, help your decision-making process.
There you have them: eight tips you need to know for choosing the right web hosting provider. On one last note, we wish you the best of luck with your new website.