You will probably know of a website that looks great but does not give a good user experience. Either it’s almost always experiencing downtime or it takes an eternity to respond.
You can avoid such problems by ensuring that you choose a good web hosting service. The web host’s sole responsibility is to ensure that your website stays online. How they make sure this happens is for them to figure out, but you can judge whether they are able to do a good job of this or not even before you sign up for their service.
As you begin to think about choosing a web host service, you should also have a clear understanding of what your needs are, in relation to the type of website you’re running.
This is what helps you identify what is a deal-breaker for you and what is not.
How do you determine the best web host for your website?
Here are some questions to ask before choosing a web host:
The web host should guarantee at least 99.95% uptime.
There are plenty of web hosting services who promise impressive uptime scores but end up being a letdown. This is a very important aspect of the service as it determines whether you’re accessible to your clients or not.
An uptime score that’s below 99.95% is likely to give your visitors a bad experience. Worse of all, they may never be able to access your site since every time they try to open your pages, it proves impossible.
A simple way to confirm the web host’s uptime score is by tracking them using server monitoring tools. These are readily available online. They may seem like too much trouble but they will save you tough headaches down the line. If the scores are satisfactory, you may go ahead and sign up with the web host.
Another way to find out how reliable the web host is by reading what other users’ experiences have been. If there are any red flags, you’ll be able to identify them from what others say about the provider.
Is it a shared server or a dedicated server?
Modern-day shared web hosts perform well, even with many domains sharing the same servers. However, some websites are better off hosted on a dedicated server due to the nature of activity and features they support. Websites that purely stream video, for instance, or those who get millions of visitors need a dedicated server.
If your website receives a low volume of visitors and doesn’t have as many heavy features, it can survive on a shared server.
Does your host allow add-on domains?
You want to have the freedom to add domains to your main website. A good web host should allow between 25 and 50 additional domains. The add-on domain is a distinct website complete with an own domain but which you choose to host on the same web host as the original website.
Your website is not always going to stay the same size. Ensure that should you need to move to a hosting plan with a greater bandwidth, it will be easy to do so. Some hosts may lock you in on a plan and make moving a nightmare.
Do they have back up?
Nothing could be worse than losing your website data. Especially, not after entrusting your website to the one person who promised you this would not happen.
So, let them explain their back up plan in advance. They should have a solution in place to ensure that should anything happen to your data, it would be easily recovered.
If they don’t have this, don’t sign up with them.
Don’t choose them for the low price alone
Often when we’re looking for a bargain, the lowest price offer blinds us and we end up stuck with poor services just because we wanted so much to save that $20.
Since the content of your website is of great importance, do not make any compromises here. If you notice any tell-tale signs of weaknesses and instability, choose another web host.
How user-friendly is the control panel?
This is what you’ll use to access crucial features and functions for your website. It should be easy to use and pretty straight-forward. It does not matter the type of control panel used, as long as it is easy to use.
What features does the web host have?
The best web hosts have all the features that matter. Things like DNS management, file manager, and a one-click installer are important to have. They are what make your experience running the website smoothly.
Does the host offer e-commerce features?
E-commerce is the central component for a lot of websites today. If yours is an e-commerce website, or you have a shopping cart on your site, or you will be processing transactions, you require a web host who offers the necessary support for such e-commerce features.
Is the web host easily accessible?
Can you easily reach them at all times? This is important because it determines how they respond when issues are raised. It would be a disaster if your website suddenly went offline and you couldn’t reach the web host customer support for assistance.
Trusting your choice of web host
Once you’ve gone through all the checkpoints and evaluated the web host on each, you’re ready to make a decision. Go with the web host who offers value for your money, and one who is genuinely interested in seeing your website become a success.
A lot of companies do this only for profits but there is a good number who are passionate about providing web hosting solutions. These are the guys you ought to look for as you evaluate different providers.
Remember that you won’t be tied to your web host forever. If the service isn’t offering you value, wait for renewal time and switch to a different host. Or simply terminate the contract and find a different web host who will meet your expectations.