04 Mar The 7 Qualities Your Next Web Host Company Must Have
A website creates great exposure for your business. It not only gives your business that much needed professional look, but also helps expand its reach and offers a proper avenue of income. To maintain this kind of professionalism, it is crucial that you host your website with a provider who can guarantee your website is available to customers at all times.
That is easier said than done considering how hard it can be to pick the right web hosting company for your business amongst the pool of options. The web hosting market is over saturated and with so many different options to choose from, you might get confused if you lack the proper guidelines on where to go or what to look out for.
The last thing you want to do at this point is make a hasty decision on your next web host then end up learning the hard way. In this article, you can find 10 of the most important factors to consider when choosing a web host plus one of my many popular picks that are suited for most hosting needs.
When choosing a hosting provider for your website, only consider a hosting company that that can prioritize your business and return value.
This means they must be affordable, can guarantee accessibility, security, speed and technical support amongst other factors you will learn below.
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This can all be made easier when you take the time to analyze these factors and doing your homework well in advance.
To avoid the regrets and the tussle of having to migrate your website after a bad hosting decision, make sure your next option ticks all the following boxes.
They are in no particular order as they are all equally important.
Your web host must work extra hard to ensure that your website is accessible 24/7. When working with any web host, be very keen on their uptime record. It does not matter what anyone promises, demand to see uptime charts for the web host you are considering.
Having a website for your online business means anyone can visit the site at any time and at any location worldwide and interact with it. Suffering downtime for any amount of time means you risk losing potential customers and future visitors. Your web host needs to operate on powerful servers and stable network connections. Only approve a 99.9% uptime percentage and nothing less. Sign up for trials if you must or track your web host with server monitoring tools that are readily available.
Affordability and Value
Price is an important factor to look at especially when you are just getting started out or you want an option that fits a specific budget. By affordable, it means a price that is not too high or ridiculously low either.
You need a company that charges a reasonable price and offers a reliable service in return.
Like any other market, quality may differ with price but that does not mean paying exorbitant fees for services that you can acquire at lower prices. In web hosting, expensive does not always translate to quality, but with a flexible company, you can easily pay for only what you need.
As for free web hosts and those who charge next to $1, there is always the concern that they will give you less than what you deserve. In real sense, the kind of hardware and operation costs needed by hosting companies is not always cheap so paying on the lower side is almost always a compromise on facilities. The rates for any quality hosting should be anywhere between $2-9 for basic plans, not more or less.
Whether you are a tech-savvy person or not, you should be able to maneuver simple procedures like setting up emails, FTP accounts and installing WordPress without calling for support from your hosting provider. If your provider uses any of Plesk or cPanel, this might make work easier for you. These two user interfaces allow you to make modifications and complete updates much easier than if you are working with a more complicated user interface that makes it even harder to figure out the simplest processes. If you have a long standing relationship with a hosting provider who has a bad user interface, that becomes your long term problem.
For many, this is one of the important areas to look at. As a customer, you must always have ready support on the other end to assist you in the eventuality of a technical issue that you will definitely come up against either as a onetime thing or for some web hosts, as a recurring problem.
In the event that your email system collapses, you should be able to have a live person on the line to assist you, and more importantly show you how to fix the problem or go around it. Before hosting with any company, look into their reputation when it comes to handling support. Make sure you are comfortable with their methods be it live chat, phone calls, email etc and remember the sole purpose of any support should be getting a satisfactory response.
Avoid companies that outsource customer support to third parties when and if they get overwhelmed. A quality host will always put your concerns first and should not in any way treat you as an afterthought.
Hardware and infrastructure
You may have to ask a few questions or do your own research to determine the kind of hardware your web host is using and how this can affect your website. Ideally, you want a web host that uses newly unboxed, top-of-the-line machines.
If the company uses outdated machines and infrastructure that looks glued together, you should run for it.
Make it your habit of asking and finding out some of the information yourself in advance before you commit to any particular host. If they are not transparent about what type of servers and hardware they use, you will want to stay on the safe side and avoid risking the speed and performance of your website.
This is the forgotten one sometimes but equally important to many. Emails are far away from extinction and they represent a crucial part of communication. Your web host should provide adequate solutions for your emails for problems like spam threats. Spam is a common enemy for email accounts and knowing how your web host has a solution helps. The web host should also be flexible enough to let you host your email accounts as well. Most hosting providers give you the ability to host emails, but be warned, it is not obvious for all providers so a background check can give you a better clue of what to expect.
Flexibility and Room to Grow
This is also a vital factor to consider with your potential web host. Flexibility in web hosting translates to whether or not the plans on offer by a certain web host fit into your current plans and a scalable for the future. This means that your current hosting package that you might consider adequate may not might meet your needs in the coming future say 1-3 years when your online business hits new milestones and you start welcoming more traffic to your site. Every online business should have one eye out for growth and the hosting company you choose should be capable of accommodating your rising need for resource. The more your website grows, the more demands it carries with it. Some scalable plans in any web host provider should include dedicated server technology and or VPS.
Since website migration may take unnecessary time and effort, take your time to research, analyze and get important opinions on the scalable nature of your potential web host.
In a market that has millions of hosting companies all promising to offer the best of services, look for a unique host that puts your priorities first by using this as a guide to help you make the best possible choice. Until recently, some household names were carrying the lion’s share of the hosting market.
EIG (Endurance International Group) is an example of one parent company owning over 70+ household hosting companies. Recent outages where EIG-affiliated hosting companies suffered incredibly record downtimes show you just how risky it can be to entrust your online ventures on a third party.
This causes a problem in the event that an issue occurs on one company and you unknowingly switch to the nearest alternative not realizing they are under same servers and with equal chances of sharing the same root problem.
IF you’ve experienced this and grown frustrated, I recommend you give an independent hosting company a try. One great example of this type of hosting provider is TD Web Services.
TD Web Services is a relatively unknown, but one of the few convenient, independently owned user friendly hosts out there offering quality and affordable hosting services. You want a host that ticks all the boxes above and TD Web Services satisfies this criteria.
They have a range of business and shared hosting plans that suit beginners and large websites alike. With these guys, you enjoy fast and robust servers running on high end infrastructure.
My recommendations are based on experience and you can use it as a guide to pick a quality web host for your business.