Narrowing Down Your List: Deciding Factors on Picking a Web Host
If you have a website or are planning to develop one, the chances are that you have or will shortly need, web hosting. Alternatively, you might be having a website built for you by either a family member or friend, and you’ll need to get it uploaded somewhere. Whatever the situation, you will need to spend a little bit of time researching different web hosting companies so that you can select one to work with.
Once you’ve done your research, and you’ve got a short list of about 5 different web hosts that you are considering to use, you will now need to narrow that list down again to a single one. So, what do you need to compare between the five hosts to make your decision? There are a number of things to look at when comparing web hosts.
What Kind of Hosting they offer
This of course will depend on what your requirements are. Do you have a single small website that you are looking to host or is your website a large and complex one? If you are running a basic website consisting of about 5-10 pages, then any standard shared hosting package will probably be more than suitable for the website.
If your website is a large one for your business, such as an E-shop or maybe one with a large number of members, then you are going to need a hosting specific for your website. This could be cloud hosting, a VPS (virtual private server) or maybe even a dedicated server. It all depends on your usage, but you will want to work with a web host that offers a multitude of solutions for all types of web hosting.
If you manage a lot of websites for clients, or are a web designer who wants to also provide hosting, then you might want to consider picking up a reseller account to host the sites on. With a reseller account, you will be able to create your own individual hosting packages for your clients and be able to provide them with their login details to the hosting account.
A lot of businesses will request this, especially if they are working with an SEO company who are working on optimizing their websites. If you have a number of client websites all in the same hosting account, then it wouldn’t be possible or safe to hand over access.
If you are moving from one web host to another, then you’ll want the move to be one that is as smooth as possible and which will cause as little disruption to your website. Some websites, such as static HTML sites, are a lot easier to move from one to another than others sites that make use of databases, such as WordPress or Joomla.
There are lots of helpful sites online such as fortunelords.com, where you can find lots of helpful reviews about different web hosting companies all over the world. These websites are great for providing you with lots of detailed information about the different services that web hosts offer and can make it much easier when deciding which host to switch over to.
Though it is relatively easy to make a clone of a WordPress website and move it from one server to another, there are a lot of people who may not feel confident in doing so.
There are many hosts who offer website migration as part of their hosting packages, so if you are going to be moving a website to your new hosts, then it’s worth checking with them if that can help with the migration. Most will do this at no charge at all.
Web Host Features
When it comes to web hosting packages, most of them will offer the same features, such as a fixed or unlimited amount of web space and bandwidth, email account creation, and various software that can be installed easily such as WordPress, Drupal or Magento.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of features that you won’t need to use at all. The main ones to be aware of are the amount of web space you are allowed, how many domains you can add to the hosting account, and the ability to create email accounts.
One other popular feature is software called “Let’s Encrypt”, which allows you to generate SSL certificates for all of your domain names, at no cost at all. Web security and encryption is essential these days, and it’s very important to have your websites running securely under the https protocol.
If you have a lot of websites to host, then it can get very expensive purchasing SSL certificates for all of them. Some hosts will not have “Let’s Encrypt” installed with their web hosting, as they would prefer to sell you their SSL certificates, so it’s a good idea to check that your host does have this software installed and allows you to use it.
One of the most important factors of deciding on a web host is their customer support. In a dream world, you’ll never have any problems with your website or emails, so you would never need to contact support. However, in the real world, problems and issues do occur, and in the event of having a major problem with your website or email accounts, you will want to know that the host offers 24/7 support for whatever problems you might encounter.
Live support is a must, so it might be worthwhile finding a host based in your country, rather than on the other side of the world. When problems arise, you will want them resolved as quickly as possible, and not hanging around waiting 5 hours for someone to answer your support ticket.
When it comes to comparing web hosts in order to make a final decision, it’s a good idea to list them side by side and go through the important factors such as performance, price and support. Also spend some time checking out various reviews and feedback online, as these are the best way to get some genuine insight into the quality of a host’s servers and the support that they provide to their clients.