Knowing what matters when it comes to web hosting is key to choosing the right web hosting. Unfortunately, identifying what exactly is essential and what to overlook is a muddlesome task. More often than not, people think that only the 4S’s- scalability, support, security, and speed matter. To be frank, that is not all. Sure the 4S’s go a long way to narrow your choices, but they aren’t enough to help you identify the best choice among the options available in.
To help you understand the key aspects below, we look at some of the factors that will make it easy for you to determine the best web hosting for your needs. Read on.
01Know the Price Range You Can Comfortably Afford
With web hosting, you get what you pay for, well, mostly. Hosting price is the first thing most people consider. Chances are it was among the factors that crossed your mind first, too. Price is a critical factor when it comes to making a decision on the web host you need. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the sole factor. A cheaper option, such as shared hosting, is perfect for small sites.
Withal, it is not always the case. If the traffic on your site is continually growing, you will need to switch to an expensive hosting option such as VPS. You may also spend more to ensure that the web hosting you settle on is stable. When considering the price, you need to factor both signup and renewal fees for each of the hosting options. Don’t be swayed by a low renewal price for the first month or year without confirming what is in for you in the coming month or year.
Some host providers may set low sign up fees and charge ridiculously high renewal fees for the coming years. Nonetheless, don’t be mean when it comes to price. While hosting options with the lowest price can be tempting, they are often associated with slow speeds and unreliable customer support.
If you run a large website, you can opt for affordable VPS hosting even though the dedicated server option would, too, work well. If you are starting your website running journey, price matters just as much as efficiency and speed. If you are a client who switch hosts after a certain period, say yearly, renewal price should not be a factor.
02Ensure You Get the Right Bandwidth
Bandwidth refers to the data range (bytes) you and other internet users can upload and download, respectively, for a specified period. You must keep this in mind when deciding on the perfect web host. Most beginners go for limited bandwidth. While this may sound judicious, they end up forgetting to set aside room for growth. No one establishes a site without hoping that someday it grows and attracts massive traffic.
You should check and ensure that the provider doesn’t limit you to a specific bandwidth for the hosting option you choose. If they do, chances are you will be asked to pay some extra fee to update your plan. Remember, bandwidth directly affects the viewership your site gets at the same time. For that reason, don’t restrict yourself or go for much more bandwidth than you need.
03If You Have Plans to Add Domains, Consider a Hosting Option That Allows It
Today, domain names are so cheap that you can own more than 5. With other domains, you will require extra hosting space to ensure they are accommodated. Keeping this in mind, you must choose a web hosting option that supports multiple domains.
The right web hosting option should allow you to add the number of domains you want to. For instance, most budget-friendly shared hosting options typically support about 25 domains. You will need to confirm the supported number of domains for the option you select. Be in no rush to acquire a domain name before hosting either. This is because some hosting providers may offer a free period of domain name registration along with the hosting. It can be a period of a few months or years but typically 12 months.
04Think Ahead and Settle with a Host That Can Serve for a Long-term
The goal of almost every beginner, starting a website is to build the site. And no, there is absolutely nothing wrong with planning for a busy future. In fact, it is recommended that you do. Some people choose to switch from shared hosting to a VPS or dedicated server hosting when the necessity arises. However, it is preferable to stick with a host option that can serve your needs for a considerable haul, say five or so years.
05How Comprehensive is the Hosting Control Panel?
The hosting control panel allows you to control your site being hosted on the server. cPanel is the popular and most used software when it comes to powering control panels. This is why most people use the terms cPanel and hosting control panel interchangeably. Before settling on a web hosting option, you should check and test the cPanel. Most host companies provide you with a demo of their hosting control panel. Remember, the demo doesn’t capture everything. It is only meant to help you know what you will be settling for, be it cPanel or Plesk. A good web hosting option should feature a user-friendly, easy-to-use control panel with extensive functionalities. It should also have a link that directs to customer support in case of any issues.
06Where is the Hosting Server Located?
The location of the hosting server matters a lot. If your work station or business is in Germany and your site gets frequently visited by internet users in Germany, it follows that the right hosting server should be in German. So is the case for the USA as well as other countries. The loading time of the website at the visitor’s level sometimes hinges on the distance of the server from the visitor. Visitors generally walk away from sites that take time to load, so before picking your host, keep the server location in mind.
The primary customer support services include reaching via email, live chat and telephone. However, other factors, such as turnaround time on requests, widely vary. It is advisable to go with a hosting option that 24/7 customer support. You should also test the availability of customer support using all methods provided to determine the reliability. The last thing you want is to pick a web hosting only to find out you can’t reach customer support when you urgently need to. Customer support also extends to both managed and unmanaged plans. With unmanaged plans, even though you will get a response from the customer service team, it may not suffice. This is because the team is not your systems management team. Customer support may not know precisely what the issue with your configuration is. For managed plans, your system’s issues are handled by a team in place.
08Go Through the Past Reviews of the Web Host
As a precautionary step, it is good to read unbiased reviews of the web host options you have in mind prior to making your choice. Consider reading through reputable websites. You will learn more about the web host from previous and current clients. This way, you will get insight and discover the cons and pros of the web host. Web hosting providers make an effort of replying to dissatisfied clients on these reviews. The way the provider responds to the client will definitely give you an idea of who you will be dealing with. In addition to customer reviews, you should also read the terms of service of the host.
Bonus Features to Help You Make the Right Choice
In addition to the aforementioned and discussed features, there are a few other things you should check. They include the storage size your site requires, uptime score & downtime policy, the server responsiveness, and availability of a back-up system. Other perks you should carefully watch out for are e-Commerce offerings, advertising credits, as well as a website builder. This can be particularly useful for the case of shared hosting.
Finding the right web hosting for your particular needs may not be as challenging when you know what to look for. With this guide, we hope you are an inch closer to making the right choice. You can also check our Hosting Finder Tool, it will help you in choosing the best hosting solution out there.