Picking a good web host is essential for several reasons. This company will provide the infrastructure that keeps your website up and running. You also need to consider price, features, performance, and support. For example, does the host support industry-standard features like WordPress web hosting?
Switching hosts can be difficult and expensive if you get locked into a bad contract. You should do your research before signing up for any web hosting service. Exploring the world of web hosting will help you make an informed decision about which company is right for you.
A good web host will have fast servers that can handle high traffic volumes without issue. When it comes to servers, you have several choices. You can choose a shared server, a virtual private server (VPS), or a dedicated server. Each option has its pros and cons.
Shared servers are the least expensive option but offer the least amount of control. You’ll be sharing resources with other sites on the same server, so your site may be affected by traffic spikes on other sites.
Virtual private servers (VPS) offer more control than shared servers, but they still don’t give you the full power of a dedicated server. A VPS is a good option if you need custom configurations or increased security.
Dedicated servers tend to be the most expensive but also provide the greatest control. You’ll have your own server, so you won’t have to share resources with other sites. A dedicated server is a good choice if you have a high-traffic site or need unique configurations.
Make sure the host you choose has fast servers. If your site is slow, it frustrates your visitors and hurts your business. Ensure your host has fast servers so your site can load quickly.
The quality of tech support is essential when choosing a web host. If you have a problem with your site, you’ll want to be able to reach someone who can help you fix it. Make sure the host you select offers 24/7 tech support. Or at least confirm that their hours of availability work for you based on your timezone, hours of operation, etc.
Even the best web host can’t control everything all the time. Issues will occur. The real test of a good host is how it handles problems when they arise.
Where is the support team located? How many options do you have to connect with the team? Can you access support instantly through chat? Are phone calls an option or is everything strictly via email or a ticketing system? When something goes wrong, a more immediate option like a chat or phone call can be a lifesaver. Does the host own and operate a data center? These are all critical questions to ask upfront.
The frequency of website backups is one of the first things you should examine. If something goes wrong with your site, you’ll want to be able to restore it from a backup. Some hosts only backup your site weekly, while others do it daily. Verify that the company can restore backups quickly. Or if you have to do it, make sure you understand how to find the backups and use one if needed. An added tip, can you make a manual backup? Sometimes you might be making a serious enough change to your website that you want to take a backup up at that moment and then proceed with the big change.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) support is another important consideration. If you’re accepting payments on your site, you’ll need an SSL certificate to ensure that your customers’ information is safe. Make sure the host you choose offers SSL support. Some hosts charge extra for their SSL certificates. I think that’s pretty lame these days, so shop around if there are extra costs for something like this.
Look for a web host offering guaranteed uptime, which usually ensures that your website will be up 99.999% of the time (AKA “five nines reliability” — the same reliability as a telephone line). Nothing involving technology works 100% of the time.
Ask companies about how they deal with malware. You don’t want your site infected with a virus, so ensure the host you choose offers adequate protection. Most malware issues are not on the server side, so individual computers need protection. Still, they should actively be protecting the sites they host. And, even better, is if they offer to help, to some degree, if there is an issue.
A good web host should be able to prevent most Dedicated Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS attacks occur when multiple computers flood a server with requests, overwhelming it and causing it to slow down or crash. Dealing with DDoS issues once an attack has started is challenging, so prevention is key to avoiding downtime.
Access control is something to consider when choosing a web host. How many people have access to the servers hosting your content? Does the web host have control of the data center storing the servers?
Be aware of teaser rates. Many companies offer a very low rate in the first year that jumps up in year two. Read online reviews, look at Better Business Bureau reports, and ensure you understand the terms of service before signing up. You want to choose a company that provides clear and concise information and the best website pricing.
Finding a Great Web Host Is Worth the Effort
Choosing a web host can be daunting and involves considering many factors. However, if you keep the above notions in mind, you’ll find a great host that will keep your website running perfectly for years.
If you have questions about finding quality web hosting, please contact us to set up a short call.