There are dozens of web hosting service providers out there.
Here are some, just to name a few:
- A2 Hosting
The big question is: what should you choose?
It is too confusing to make that decision. So, I will show you seven things to consider when choosing a web hosting service provider. By the end of this tutorial, you should have a list that will guide you to choose the best provider so you can get the best value out of your money.
1. Bandwidth and storage
These two things are critical. Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that your website can transfer to the people browsing your site. Some web hosting services put a limit on the bandwidth.
What does this mean? It means that your website is going to crash if there are many users. The typical measurement of bandwidth is in terms of gigabytes or GB.
Storage is the amount of data you can store on your server. Examples of these are text, colors, HTML codes, pictures, videos, and sounds.
Understandably, web hosting services will put a limit on storage. However, choose one that does not put a limit on bandwidth. The last thing you want is to have unhappy users if your website is down. It is alright to pay for extra storage, but not for extra bandwidth.
2. Possibility of upgrade
Some web hosting services make it difficult to upgrade servers. But why do you need to upgrade?
Servers are machines. As such, they are not created equal. Some have better processors than others, and thus, they perform better.
There may come a time when your business really grows, and you will need a better server. Most web hosting services offer shared servers. What this means is that you are sharing the machine with other users.
Once your business gets big, you have to change servers and get dedicated to yourself. The upgrade must have a reasonable price, and the company must charge a reasonable amount for transferring your files.
Also, make sure that they will transfer your files from one server seamlessly. If they cannot commit to this, do not get their services. Lastly, they should be the ones to do the transfer, not you.
3. Number of sites you can create
The web hosting service provider you should choose allows you to create an unlimited number of websites.
Many services are offered in packages. Naturally, the first package only allows you to create one website. This is alright—the price you pay is just enough for one site.
However, by the time you upgrade your plan into the next one, you should be able to create an unlimited number of websites. If the web hosting company’s plans do not allow you to do this, you should choose another one.
There are hosting companies that offer five plans, and you could only get an unlimited number of sites if you buy the most expensive plan. I do not recommend these companies.
The number of sites you create does not really affect the finances of the web host company—what affects them, and what they should charge you for, is traffic and storage.
4. SSL and site security
All secure websites have what is called an SSL certificate. It allows browsers to recognize that the site has been verified. A site with SSL has HTTPS in its URL, not just HTTP—the letter S stands for secure.
Your SSL certificate should be free. If the web hosting service is charging for SSL, you have to choose another one.
Another issue that you have to look into is security. Your host must have the right security infrastructure to prevent your site from being hacked.
How does this work?
The web hosting company must automatically install its security features on your site. You should not have to spend money on this.
5. WordPress compatibility
WordPress is the biggest content management system in the world. It is also likely that you want to build your website based on this CMS.
Beware of web hosting companies that charge money just for you to be able to use WordPress. WordPress is free software that allows you to make your website.
Ideally, the web host must also have a one-click WordPress installation. You should not have to configure your FTP and servers.
WordPress is a powerful tool, and it is open-source free software. There really is no reason for a web hosting service provider to ask you for more money just to use it.
6. Customer service
Building a website is tough. While organizations and companies made site-building easier, there are still kinks and bugs that can happen from time to time.
This is where customer service matters. It is not likely that you can fix the problems on your own unless you are really that tech-savvy or have employees who are well-versed in tech.
Choose a company that has live support. It could be chat or voice calls—any of these two will do.
Why is this important?
If you have a problem, the customer service reps could easily fix it while talking to them in real-time. Some companies only offer email, and this is problematic, to say the least. It takes a while for them to respond, and you will just go back and forth with the rep with no real resolution.
7. Back up services
My last piece of advice is that you choose a company that offers free backups. Ideally, the web hosting service provider must back up your website’s files every day.
And this should be free.
What is not free is back-up on demand—this I understand. But at the very least, the host must save copies of your files daily.
Why is this important?
Web crashes happen. If your files are not backed up, you will start from scratch. All the hard work you put in in the past years is all gone.
But with a daily backup, you can restore your content and only have to re-work on content that wasn’t backed up on the actual day of the crash.
Back-ups, by the way, do not include site restoration. You will have to rebuild your website, but all the content is already there.
Summary: Things to Consider When Choosing A Web Hosting Service
Put this list on a notepad on your phone or computer. Use it as a basis when choosing a web host provider, and it will spare you the agony of bad website performance.
I have been blogging for a long while now, and I have moved from one service provider to another. I know that there is no perfect company, but I also know that things matter to me as a consumer. These are the things that I’ve listed in this article.
If these seven things are not met, you must not subscribe to the web hosting company’s services. You will only end up with a website that underperforms or a website where you pay a lot of money for a clunky service at best.
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