Selecting a web host can be a long and painful process, especially if it’s not something that you specialist in or even if you do know the ins and outs of web hosting but you’re not sure which web host will suit your long-term requirements.
Your decision needs to be based on a number of key factors and we have rounded up the top 5 that you should always take into account.
1.What will your website be used for?
If you want a small, basic website that you want to set up as part of a hobby, then your web hosting requirements will be very different to that of a multinational business that makes millions of online sales each month. Think about how you will be using the site – do you need the increased levels of security that Dedicated hosting provides? You need to ensure that any web host you select will be able to provide the right support for the way that you want to use the website. You can find out some top tips on how to use a website to grow your business in this article.
Like a lot of decisions we make in all areas of life, the cost is always a significant factor. If you are looking to keep costs to a minimal, then you will probably want to look at the free hosting options that WordPress and Wix (amongst others) provide or some of the hosts that are at the lower end of the monthly fees scale.
- Reliability of the Web Host
The performance of your website can have a major impact on the user experience. If your website is continually offline because the host is performing maintenance or through unexpected issues, then your online customers are not going to remain customers for very long. If they visit your site and it is down in peak hours, then they are most likely to jump onto your competitors website. This is obviously not going to be a good for your business and it looks unprofessional. Do a bit of research on the reliability – a lot of web hosts provide Uptime guarantees.
Also See: Is Cheap Web Hosting a False Economy?
- Customer Support
This can end up being a very important factor, particularly if you select a web host that isn’t available in the hours that you need to speak to them. Different hosts offer different levels of support and the more established hosts will generally offer 24/7 support through a number of communication channels; telephone, online chat, email etc.
- Storage Space and Bandwidth
If you have a large site and expect it to expand even further then you want to make sure you have enough space for this. A number of hosts offer unlimited space so check this out as part of the decision process. Bandwidth is also important (find out more about Bandwidth) and could again impact the user experience if it slows the site right down. You can also find a number of performance test tools to check things like page loading speed, another thing that can drive your customers away if it performs poorly in this area.