If you are planning to launch a new website then naturally you would want a place to host it right? This is the time when you start scratching your head wondering which hosting provider suits your needs better among the many you see being advertised around the web. If you are in this sort of dilemma, then we will be dissecting some of the key factors you need to keep abreast if you are to pick the right hosting provider for your business. Let’s jump into the cool stuff.
Why Choosing the Right Hosting Provider Is Important?
For starters, why do you need to pick the right hosting provider? Well, it’s simple. Your success depends on your host’s ability to keep your business workflow well oiled. It’s a digital world, remember. Everything is done online these days thus your website should always be up and running if you are to maintain the digital interaction with your consumers and potential clients. Long story short, picking the right hosting provider is every bit as important as creating a compelling website and churning out the right content. After all, it is more or less the same as picking a business partner! Now, what are the factors to consider when picking a hosting provider?
Selecting the Right Hosting Provider
- Speed and Performance
The first place to start would be to look at the speed and performance aspects of your hosting provider. Of course, this depends on the needs of your business and it’s even more vital if your business relies a lot on the speed and performance metrics of your server. Be warned though, being a large business doesn’t directly mean that you will be consuming too much space and bandwidth thus you don’t have to go for unlimited plans if you don’t need to.
In fact, hosting providers will charge you on the basis of bandwidth and storage. Bandwidth is the amount of data transfer that occurs when users use your site thus it is vital that you estimate the amount of traffic you will be getting to get a clear picture of your performance needs.
Before making a choice, it is important that you understand the server types available. The cheapest and the most common server type is what is known as shared hosting. This is when a web hosting provider delivers many websites from a single server with each website bearing its IP address or rather, domain name. This is cheaper but certainly not tailored to you if you are receiving too much traffic. It is marvelous for hosting small websites.
The next option is known as Virtual Private Server (VPS), which is a virtual computer running in a box. Hosting providers will usually run many of these on the same box but the performance is much better than shared hosting option.
The other option comes in the shape of a dedicated server. This one is a server owned by a business except that it isn’t located in-house. It has marvelous speeds and performance metrics but you will need some skill to handle it.
Cloud servers are also fast growing in popularity around. These are servers run on large public clouds like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, and the best part is that it is possible to scale easily without moving anything around. In other words, if your traffic is growing, then all you need to do is pay the service provider more and you are good to go!
- Security and Reliability
We all hate downtimes, and this is why you be wary of having your business website down frequently. It’s not good for your revenue generation stream keeping in mind that it may drive consumers away. But what’s even worse is if there is a hack which may lead to a data breach from your server side. To avoid such a scenario, pick a hosting provider known to keep their systems patched and secured via SSL encryption. Many hosting providers offer SSL Certificate to their customer, although those are bit expensive. A customer can also purchase SSL Certificate from other vendors at a much cheaper price. Like Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL to secure multiple primary domains and its unlimited subdomains. This certificate is the best option for vendors and eCommerce site development & hosting company. A Comodo Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL certificate protects upto 100 domains and its unlimited subdomains with a single certificate. It will also secure the website if the multiple domains and their subdomains hosted on different servers.
The hosting company should be running on the latest server software while keeping an eye on any vulnerabilities. They should also offer automatic updates to content management software like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. Moreover, they should have techniques to detect and prevent common attacks, e.g. brute force attacks. They should have a way of studying traffic and finding malicious ones like if a person is trying to guess your website’s password. The hosting provider should also have Web Application Firewall (WAF) with the rules kept up to date.
In matters reliability, you can look into the actual uptime percentage for the company as a whole coupled with the specific server where your website will reside in-web hosts should have this data availed. Ideally, a good web host will pick maintenance times during off-peak hours while also scheduling them well in advance.
- Automatic backups and one-click restore
This is one very vital feature particularly if you run into an issue with your website, be it a programming issue or a breach. You want to be able to get virtually all the information retrieved and fast. A good host should be able to do frequent automatic backups and let you restore these backups through a one-click restore process. You should, however, know how much it will cost you to get your site back up and running.
- Customer Support
What happens if you run into a glitch that’s beyond control? Can you rely on your host to bail you out? Many hosts have lots communication channels but you should pick a host that has a good combination of support channels and with the ability to offer support 24/7. In fact, a good host ought to have a combination of telephone support, email support, Knowledge Base, Live chat and community networking, blogs, social media channels, etc.
Features and Limitation should top priority when picking your web host but the pricing should be a factor as well. Of course, cheap isn’t necessarily the better option but you could research to find a hosting provider that offers value for money. Be careful when looking at the price though. Some companies tend to advertise lower prices for hosting plans that are limited. Moreover, some will offer cheap starting prices but higher renewal options. So, be sure to keep an eye on these and the refund policy of the hosting provider.
It’s time to do some digging now that you know a thing or two about what to look for in a hosting provider. Just take your time, pick a hosting provider that suits your needs and you are bound to reap the benefits of having the right partner to fine-tune your business.