Whether you want to launch a brand new website or want to move your site to a new host, choosing a web hosting company can be a tricky process because there are so many firms that offer cheap or free hosting. It is tempting to sign up for free hosting, but there are a lot of factors to keep in mind, and you will usually find that paid hosting is more beneficial in the end. Here are guidelines as recommended by Greengeeks web hosting to help you choose the right web hosting company for your site.
Most people will look at the price aspect first when choosing a web hosting provider. However, cost should not be the deciding factor. When looking at the price difference, remember the maxim that you get what you pay for. It is not recommended to jump on the cheapest offer you see, especially if you rely on your website to make money. Top-notch hardware and maintaining optimal support are costly, so, a host that charges close to nothing may not be capable of providing you with superb features. So, before you compare the prices of different hosting providers, check out the kind of features they provide.
- Specialization and uniqueness
Not all web hosting providers are right for different kinds of customers. Some web hosts have great shared plans, but they don’t offer solutions for the growth of your business. Others provide great enterprise solutions, but they may not be the right fit for an individual with a small recipe blog. So, before you buy any hosting plan, look into the company’s area of expertise or specialty, and choose a host that can satisfy your particular needs as a client. Check out reviews and recommendations on the Internet as many of them will talk about the strengths and weaknesses of different service providers.
- Technical specifications and inadequacies
Be honest and take a good look at your site and what you intend it to do.
If your aim is to host a blog, rich content, videos, and an e-commerce site, don’t choose the cheapest hosting you come across. A cheap hosting plan may not have the disk space, RAM, and the processing power to serve all your needs. Thus, you may end up wasting precious time dealing with loading issues and downtime. So, first of all, find out what you will get from a cheap hosting provider and the features that are available with the cost. Also, find out if they charge for backups, support, additional domains, etc. Call them to ask questions. You can also share with them your long-term goals for your site. Don’t assume that they take your site as seriously as you do.
- Technical support
Technical support is probably the most crucial aspect of a web host. When your site goes down for some unknown reason, can you call them and get support from a real person on the phone? Can they find out the error and fix it for you? Or at least, tell you what you can do to get your site back online? Before choosing a web hosting company, look at their reputation for providing technical support. Find out the different ways you can contact them when you need support such as through chat, toll-free phone, email, etc. Ask them the following questions; is their support staff available 24/7? Do they outsource support? All hosting companies are not equal in their technical aspects. Some hang their hat on their support staff while others consider support as an afterthought; avoid the latter.
- Features and add-ons
Features and add-ons boil down to what makes a hosting company special. What incentive do they offer to make hosting your site with them more attractive? Check for features such as multiple data centers, regular data backup, energy-saving practices, free domain privacy, etc. Most often, hosting companies provide more than just servers. When you see a host that provides something you need or consider vital, it is a good indicator that you should consider using that company.
Knowing about their hardware will require you to ask a lot of questions. What kind of machines do they use? Are they top-notch machines, or are they assembled from spare parts and chicken wire? If they don’t say the types of servers they use, you may need to ask them because their hardware will affect the performance of their servers and your website.
- Customer satisfaction and reputation
You have to be very creative to get the truth about their customer satisfaction and reputation. So, do a Google Blog search for the hosting company or check them out on Twitter, or do any other thing you might find necessary to determine what their past and current customers are saying about them. Is it easy to contact them for support? How long do they take to respond to a support ticket? And when they discover a problem with a website, what actions do they take? The advantage of social media is that whenever you ask a question about a particular hosting company, most likely you will get a few answers.
- Email features
Most people don’t remember to ask their host for help regarding this matter. If there are spam problems, probably the hosting provider doesn’t take the necessary measures to stop it. So, inquire about the hosting provider’s email enhancement practices and spam protection solutions.
- User interfaces or control panels
Even if you are not a tech savvy person, there are some things such as setting up email, FTP accounts and installing WordPress that you can do without asking for help from you web host. Find out if the provider uses Plesk or cPanel to make modifications and updates easier. You will most likely be the one using it, and if they provide a clunky interface that you cannot figure out, you will encounter problems.
If you are a blog or website owner, finding a reliable hosting provider is vital to the success and operation of your site. Most people depend on their websites to make money. And, if you get a lousy host, you will fail in business. Thus, when considering a hosting provider, find reputable companies such as Greengeeks web hosting that provide high-quality services to their clients.