Like many other business-related services, finding a reliable web host can be a herculean task. With the market awash with service providers who promise to deliver 99 percent uptime, knowledgeable customer support, and unlimited resources, you need to be keen so that you can choose a provider who addresses your specific web hosting needs. Below are five crucial ideas on how to choose a web host.
1. Figure Out Your Hosting Needs
Finding a web host can be grueling if you do not know exactly what you need. Put everything aside and write down what your needs are. Some of the questions you need to ask include, the kind of website you intend to build, whether you need Windows applications, whether you need a special version of PHP software or you will require inbuilt scripts in your website. Similarly, you need to know the extent to which the web traffic volume goes. These basic considerations will give you a clear picture of the type of service provider you require.
2. The Cost of Hosting
Cheapest offers may not necessarily be a brilliant idea, especially if you are hosting an e-commerce site, blog or a website with rich content and high definition videos. Some of the key features such as quality hardware and non-outsourced support cost bucks and a hosting company that charges cheaply will most likely lack this. In a nutshell, consider the features that each hosting company offers and then compare their prices. Also, make sure you are comfortable with the renewal cost and that there are no hidden charges.
3. Technical Support
Your website, for varying reasons, may go down and at this juncture, you need to get in touch the hosting company’s support team. Do your research and know the quality of customer support you are likely to get from the host in the event of a technical glitch. Additionally, before you choose a web host, probe whether they have a live team 24/7 that can guide you through to get your site back on track. You will find that there are some providers who really put emphasis on quality customer support and others who are not so keen to address their customer’s needs promptly. As a rule of thumb, never ignore customer reviews because they can help you get an idea about the kind of services you are likely to expect.
4. Uptime Scores
There is nothing more crucial than having a web hosting provider that operates round the clock. Ensure that your new hosting company runs a powerful server with stable network connections. Ideally, the uptime score should be at around 99.5 percent; scores below 99% are not impressive and you should steer clear from such. There are several ways that you can access a web host’s uptime info. One of this is to read hosting reviews that contain uptime records. Alternatively, you can use free server monitor tools available online to track the web host so as to get a clear picture of its uptime scores.
5. Web Hosting’s Scalability
Any business enterprise is bound to grow, provided everything is running as required. Your preferred host should be in a position to accommodate your growth in future. Simply put, what you may consider as sufficient hosting now might not address your needs in years to come, especially if your business grows and your site begins to attract substantial traffic. If a web hosting company cannot accommodate your growth, then it could pose a challenge for you in future. In this regard, check if the hosting company has Dedicated Server solutions or VPS. Also, inquire if they are able to upgrade your account to incorporate your growing hosting needs. It really takes lots of time and effort to transfer from one host to another but this is something you can eschew if you enlist a company that has the capacity to put up with growth.
6. Refund Policy
Read and understand the hosting company’s refund policy. Check if the company provides full money return in the event that you want to cancel your host at the expiry of the trial period. It is also important that you check if cancellation charges apply. There are several basic considerations to ponder on before signing up with a hosting company: learn how the company handles customer refunds so that you do not end up losing a lot of money in case things don’t turn out well. Some companies charge exorbitant cancellation fees when clients cancel their account during the trial period. By the same token, there are those that provide anytime money back guarantee where users can request a pro-rated refund once the trial period has expired.
By taking into consideration the above aspects on how to choose a web host, you will be in a position to pick a service provider that will adequately address your hosting needs. You will be able to enhance your site’s visibility and accessibility, and achieve the bottom line: traffic.