Choosing the right web host can be a difficult task, especially if it’s your first website. There is a lot of ground to cover before you have enough information and knowledge to make the right choice. The most important thing on your journey of finding the right web hosting company is to know what questions to ask. After that, a simple pros and cons table will do the trick.
1. Hosting type
Before you start looking for a hosting provider, it is very important to know that there are a couple of web hosting types (configurations) that are suited for different usage types.
If you own a small to medium website, with light traffic Shared hosting might be the ideal solution for you. With shared server resources, this is the ideal type for your first website. A downside can be limited potential for growth. If you plan to have a high growth rate, maybe you should consider a VPS hosting.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting represents a solution between Shared hosting and Dedicated servers. Being an advanced type of shared hosting, there is an option to add or remove additional resources, which is why VPS allows more flexibility.
Dedicated server hosting is the solution-oriented towards high bandwidth and high traffic websites. With all of the server resources at your disposal, you have additional control over the architecture, security, OS…
2. Website type
With different types of websites – blog, online store or resume/work showcase you should look for a different type of hosting. While WordPress is an ideal CMS for blog and publishing websites, if your plan is to open an online store or eCommerce, you should seek for an eCommerce hosting services. While eCommerce needs some advanced features, website builders are perfect for projects like your resume, work showcase, or even a wedding invitation.
3. Web hosting reviews
Renowned hosting providers got famous because they have great service and satisfied users. Take some time to read through users’ and experts’ reviews so you can see the practical side of the advertised hosting plans. Users’ comments will show you the good and the bad of every business, and hosting is no different.
4. Features and resources
Hosting providers often have various plans for different users’ needs. Make a list of things you want for your website and look for a next-to-ideal plan. Don’t worry if your plan does not include unlimited storage space and bandwidth. Feature-rich hosting providers like Hostinger offer different plans that can match most of users’ needs, without limitations regarding performance, support and ease of use. Don’t forget to read all the hosting plans very carefully, because you need to understand what are the limitations, and if they are acceptable for you.
5. Security or no security?
Have no doubt about this, whatever website you have, SSL security is a must. You need encrypted data flow between your website and visitors. Don’t forget, SSL certificate means higher Google rank on their search engine. In short – don’t consider hosting providers that don’t offer SSL certificate as a standard option.
6. Tech support
Depending on the type of your website, great tech support might be a very important aspect. For a blog or a resume website, fast problem solving must not be a top priority, but if you run an online store, this can be a deal-breaker. Very high uptime and well-trained tech support are very important for websites with high visitor number. No one likes to wait, so if a website is down for any reason, your visitors will simply leave, and no one can allow that to happen.
7. Website growth and plan upgrades
Every website owner wants more visitors, so should you. Hosting providers that are budget-driven often have only shared hosting and does not allow you to upgrade to VPS or dedicated server. Try to look for hosts that have various options and scaling possibilities. As your business grows you might want to expand your current website, and maybe start a new one. Whatever your reason is, look for a hosting provider that has a simple way of acquiring and managing more than one domain.
Hosting providers with flexible hardware and software options, good support and a lot of additional features make a good choice. They can follow you step by step: from a basic website on shared hosting, through more powerful VPS, towards high bandwidth dedicated server.
Right or left?
Choosing the right hosting provider can be a handful of work. You need to consider a lot of factors that might have a crucial part in your website’s success or failure. To make it easy for yourself, you should outline your needs and look for the best match. Do your homework, ask the right questions, and the best choice will simply emerge from the list.