Website hosting is the service that allows individuals like you to make and post a website. Without these hosting services, putting up a website is not possible. These hosting companies provide all technology and tool that site owners need to publish their websites. Server is the name for the special computer that websites are stored or hosted in.
If you will do your research, you will see that there are many companies that offer web hosting services. It might be hard to pick the best one to suit your needs. And there are so many things to consider when it comes to searching for a website hosting company.
The host is a crucial key to the success of your site, so it is important that you choose carefully and you choose the best. It plays an important role in helping people view your website properly. To help you decide, here are eight tips in choosing a suitable website hosting company.
The website hosting company that you will choose will depend on what you need it for. So the first tip is to establish what you really need to do and what your goals are. Here are some questions to help you establish your hosting needs:
- What kind of site are you making? Is it for your business of selling soaps, perfumes and other products? Are you making a commercial site? Is the site the business itself? Do you just want to add a blog to your site? Is it for a non-profit organization?
- Do you already have a domain name? The domain name is one of the first things you need if you want to make a site. If you still do not have this, you can choose a hosting company that can help you purchase your own domain name.
- What will be the content of your site? You should know what the content is, because this is where you will base your bandwidth. A lower bandwidth for text heavy sites, but if you plan to put lots of pictures and graphics then a higher bandwidth might be needed.
- How much visitors do you expect? The number of people that visits a site at a particular time is also needed to know how much bandwidth you need. This might be hard to figure out especially if you are new to the website scene, but you can just make an educated guess here.
The reliability of the servers is all about their uptime and downtime. Uptime means the site is up and functioning, while downtime means the server maybe down or not functioning properly. Of course, you will want the best website hosting companies to offer 100% uptime always. But it’s just not possible, there are too many factors involved. If you consider power, failure of equipment, issues with the software, human errors and networks, there will always be something bound to go wrong. No one can guarantee a 100% uptime.
If you can’t get a 100% uptime, then what should you get? Choose a hosting company that can guarantee 99.9% uptime. The percentage that companies give out is based on per year. So if one hosting company says they can give your 99.9% uptime, then that means close to 9 hours of downtime every year. That is better than 99.8% uptime, which means you will get 17 and a half hours of downtime each year.
Take note that maintenance time will be subtracted from the uptime. So if you think you have 8,751 hours and 15 minutes of uptime every year, that’s not the final number.
If you are just starting out with making websites, using a shared host is the most preferable way to go. Shared hosting means that multiple sites share one server. Because there is only one server, shared web hosting is cheaper than dedicated servers, but it is only best for sites that have less than 200,000 views per day.
If you plan to grow your website in the next years to come, pick a website hosting agency that will give you the option to upgrade your options. That means the ability to transfer to a dedicated server in the future.
Migrating from a shared hosting account to a dedicated server will require a lot of uploading and setting up. So pick a hosting agency that you can upgrade and will help you transition easily. Here are some of the things you need to do when migrating your site to a different server:
- Uploading files.
- Setting up the DNS.
- Registering new nameservers.
- Activating the domain name.
If you are looking for a website hosting firm, here are some of the top features that it should have:
- Enough storage space. The storage space that you need will depend on what you plan to store. Be careful of hosting companies that claim they can offer unlimited data storage, they usually come with specific terms and conditions.
- One of the hosting needs that you have established is the number of bandwidth. Pick a hosting company that can provide you with your needed bandwidth. Again, be wary of companies that offer unlimited bandwidth because you will probably pay for it anyway.
- If you plan to make websites as your business, then you would probably be making more after the first one is up. It would be difficult if you will find a different host for every domain. It would be better if your web host can already accommodate different domains and subdomains.
- Email account. Are you doing email marketing? It would appear more professional and legitimate if your emails are from an address with your domain on it. Using email marketing will also help increase the traffic to your website.
You can read reviews of website hosting companies to know which companies offer the features mentioned above.
According to Executionists, the price for hosting can range from $10 to $100 depending on the amount of traffic a site receives. The features and services you get will also play a part in the pricing of the hosting plan. For newer sites with not much traffic yet, a 10 dollar plan is sufficient. The price might increase over time as your site gains traction.
You should also compare the renewal fees of different hosting companies to get a feel on what the range of renewing is. Some hosting companies will offer a cheap signup price but will charge exorbitant renewal fees. Check those out before you sign up for a web host.
There are different kinds of control panels that web hosting companies use. There is cPanel, Plesk, vDeck and other third party panels. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you can use it. There are panels that are so complicated they are not user friendly especially for first timers. Maybe when you are more experienced with web development and web hosting, you can choose a host with so many buttons and options. But for now, opt for a company that has easy to understand and use control panels.
If you want to know what other users think about a particular company’s control panel, you can check out their reviews of web hosting companies. Look for the detailed reviews which mention the control panel of a web host. This way, you can tell immediately if you will be able to use such control panel rather than signing up and then cancelling because you couldn’t understand them.
Policies and Terms
Conditions, terms and policies of companies usually run very long that you don’t feel like reading all of them. If you don’t want to ready everything, then just focus on these important things that you should be aware of:
- Refund policy. Web hosting companies usually offer free trials to their clients so they can try if they like the web host. But for those that do not offer, you will be forced to pay upfront and if you don’t like it you can cancel. You should know if there is a refund policy in place, so you can get your money back if you don’t like their service. Another thing to know is if there are charges when you decide to cancel your subscription.
- There are limitations to the plan you will be getting. Like the amount of bandwidth that you are allowed every month. Some may claim they offer unlimited bandwidth, but actually you have to stay on your allotted allowance.
- Subscription period. How long are you subscribed to the company? Are you subscribed on a monthly or yearly basis? There are companies that offer 5 year contracts. If you are satisfied with their service then you can choose this, otherwise choose companies that offer shorter term contracts.
The supporting feature is the customer support of a company. It is better to choose a company that will offer 24/7 customer support so whenever something happens like downtime or maintenance you could contact them to know what is going on.
Another supporting feature is the backup. In case that site crashes, is there a backup the web host has in place to save your site? There are many companies that do not offer this and do not even mention it in their spiels, so you should ask about this.
Utilize the tips mentioned above when looking for a website hosting company. Likewise, you could also check out reviews and rankings at CrowdReviews.com to help you choose the best company.
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