Web Hosting refers to the service offered by a company commonly referred to as the web hosting provider, which stores your website on its servers and connects it to the internet. If you are setting up a new website, selecting the best hosting company can be an uphill task.
This is because thousands of companies are all over the internet, and each of them will promise you the sun, moon, and stars, but not all of them will live to fulfill their promises. Nevertheless, you need to know how to find a reliable provider to ensure your website’s success. You can use the following techniques to identify the best company.
1. High Speed and Uptime Guarantee
Even if you are offering the best service or product on your website, you are going to lose visitors in droves if your website takes forever to load. People are impatient, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll wait for that long to access your site when there are possibly thousands of similar sites to yours.
The web host’s service should make it incredibly fast to load your site whether it’s being accessed from search engines, mobile, social media, or browser. The uptime (that time when the servers are fully functional) should not be less than 99.9%. This is the percent guaranteed by top-class hosting providers. Many companies give refunds or free hosting for any downtime.
2. Reasonable Disc Space
Most of the host companies claim to offer unlimited disk space to their clients. However, the truth is many new websites, particularly those that do not host music or video, do not need more than 20 MB of disc space. So, even if a host attempts to entice you with 100 GB or even unlimited space, know that you may not use all of that space. Therefore, don’t let the unlimited space be a huge factor when comparing different hosting providers.
3. Great Control Panel
This panel is important as it allows you to manage various aspects of your website account on your own. Usually, it should enable you to carry out tasks such as adding, deleting, or managing your email addresses, changing your account passwords, and more. Do not sign up with a host that requires you to contact their technical support every time you want to do something simple such as adding/deleting an email account or changing a password. Every webmaster performs such tasks from time to time, and it will take longer if you’d to wait for support to do it for you.
4. Competent Technical Support
Does the company’s technical support function 27/7, throughout the year? You should hesitate to accept a hosting provider whose technical team is away on weekends or public holidays. Most companies advertise that they offer 24/7 support, but this is not always the case. You may want to test them by sending over an email at midnight, possibly on a Saturday. Find out how long it will take them to reply. In addition to the response speed, find out whether they are technically competent. Do they give relevant and satisfactory answers to your specific issue?
5. Secure Server (SSL)
If you intend to sell services or goods on your website, you should find out if your potential host allows you to set up a secure server (SSL). You might have seen this on some websites whose web addresses start with “https” rather than “http.” To set this up, you may be charged more or be required to take a costly package.
Most importantly, you need to check out whether they’re available before committing to the host. If you are planning to collect payments through credit cards on your own, you will definitely need a secure server. On the other hand, if you’ll rely on payment gateways such as PayPal, and are therefore not obliged to collect private or sensitive information from your clients, you may not require this facility.
Once you have considered the above factors, you will need to compare what different companies have to offer before you buy the service. Ultimately, the amount they charge may depend on disc space and other special requirements like the secure server. It’s worth noting that the most costly host is not necessarily the best.