The web hosting services global market is predicted to grow to $154 billion by 2022. This can tell you that choosing the best web hosting provider will become an uphill task. In addition to the existing companies, more will come into play making competition stiffer.
Choosing the best web hosting service provider is more than just about speed. There’s a myriad of factors to consider when shopping around for the services. Failure to do your research before buying could lead to feeling misled, trapped, or extorted.
You have to shop around before you can get the best web hosting service. As you do so, here are some things to consider.
1. Estimate the Amount of Traffic You’ll Handle
Here, you’ll have to be very honest with yourself. Service providers will charge you depending on your storage and bandwidth usage. Bandwidth refers to the number of bytes you serve over a given time frame.
If you only expect a few visitors to your site, the bandwidth measurement will be low.
Websites featured on Google or whose products go viral can expect more bandwidth usage. The important thing is to be honest with yourself. If you’re not sure how much bandwidth you need, let an expert guide you through the process.
2. Understanding Server Types
One crucial thing to understand is the type of server your website will use. There are several options you can choose depending on your specific needs. Basically, the plans are differentiated by their memory size, bandwidth, and the number of users.
Shared hosting also comes with some limits on your access to the server’s capabilities. For example, it can prevent shell access and limit you to FTP or SFTP files. It also restricts the programs you can run on the service and amount of database access.
Shared hosting is ideal for small to medium sites without many visitors. If you’re a first-time hosting user, go for the shared package. Then you can upgrade to VPS as your needs increase.
Unfortunately, shared resource splits resources among many users, hence it has slower performance. However, if you can find a shared server that isn’t so congested, there’s no harm in using it. Remember to also check the e-commerce offerings like advertising credits, upgraded hardware, and website builder.
Another type is the Virtual Private Server (VPS). It’s a representation of a full virtual machine running on a box. Service providers may run several VPS instances on one box. However, the performance is better than that of shared servers.
If you go for VPS, familiarize yourself with basic server management and maintenance.
Alternatively, you can go for a dedicated server. This is a physical box rented to you by the service provider. You’ll have your server sitting in your office, although the service will be from the provider’s data center.
The other category of servers is the cloud servers, which may offer you a better option. They are commonly used by giant public clouds like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Service. The provider will build the best configuration that adequately meets your business needs.
One benefit of cloud servers is the ease of scaling. To be able to handle a surge in traffic, you’ll only need to pay more money to your provider. No new configurations will be required.
3. Server Reliability, Security, and Uptime Scores
One thing that can quickly push your site offline is a weak server and unstable network connection. Poor connection denies you viewership and consequently makes you lose out on sales. It can also lead to low rankings on search engines like Yahoo and Google.
When looking for a reliable server, it’s recommendable to go for one with an uptime of 99.5% and above. Avoid providers with an uptime score below 99%.
Cybersecurity is very crucial for any small business. More businesses are becoming targets for cybercriminals. When you’re targeted, your first line of defense is usually your web hosting company.
If the host hasn’t implemented any security measures, there are high chances that you’ll be attacked. The better the storage capacity and traffic volumes of your hosting companies, the better the service you get.
4. Customer Service
Your server will experience problems at one time or another. In such a moment, you want the issue to be quickly resolved so that you can resume operations soonest possible. This is where customer service quality comes in.
A company is only as good as its customer service. How effective and speedy it is in resolving technical problems tells you how reliable the company is. The ideal type of server is one that offers 24/7 live support to their clients.
Companies that offer chat support, social media visibility, and phone support are more recommendable. Give more consideration to companies with an in-house customer support department. Outsources customer support services may not have a good grasp of company operations.
5. Site Backup Availability
With the increasing cyber threats like ransomware, every website must think about backup. An increased number of general websites have become targets for online extortionists. Once your site has been attacked, you can incur irreparable damages like the loss of your sites original index.php file.
In other cases, you’ll experience local hard disk failures, leading to the loss of your site. You can now see the importance of having a backup. A hosting service that regularly backs up your data will protect you in case of such incidents.
Some of the significant expenses you’ll incur with the best hosting service are registration and maintenance costs. Various companies offer attractive hosting deals, with some of them not charging you anything. However, most free-version hosting companies don’t have reliable speeds.
You’ll also find that some companies that don’t charge upon sign up have very exorbitant renewal prices. To avoid surprise charges, it’s best to check with your provider before you sign up. Choose from among the packages they offer and ensure you’re getting value or your money.
7. Domain Addition
When starting, you might have a single website and domain name. With time, you’ll diversify and realize the need for multiple domains, websites, and subdomains. These help in making your site more popular.
Before signing up with a provider, check their packages. Do they allow you to run multiple websites on a single hosting account? Next, find out the cost of the unlimited website package.
Compare this to other providers and choose the best web hosting service depending on what you can afford.
8. Account Limitations
Each hosting company has a set of conditions for engagement. Violation of the terms leads to temporary or permanent discontinuation of the services. Other providers will charge you an extra cost instead.
For example, with some providers, you can’t use excessive amounts of CPU to run scripts exceeding two seconds. In short, don’t sign up blindly. Go through the terms and conditions and sign up only if you can abide.
Avoid signing up with companies that don’t disclose their terms of engagement. Such argue that suspension decisions are at their discretion.
Some of the Best Web Hosting Providers
“Do you have a list of recommendable web hosting service providers?”, you might ask. Here, we’ll outline a few of the tried and tested companies you can sign up with.
1. Cloud East
Cloud East offers you a fixed monthly pricing amount. Moving your site to the host upon registration is easy. You’ll also benefit from full website management.
There are several other services you can choose from, including website management and maintenance. The more you shop, the better your chances are of getting an excellent deal.
The company offers affordable plans and comes with a variety of helpful features. It provides your business with room to grow and expand as you can add domains and subdomains. The hosting plan has a free domain name, unmetered bandwidth, and advanced security and email options.
DreamHost is among the best web hosting services because it has excellent customer support and security options. DreamHost’s WordPress plans feature free SSL certificates, site backups, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
4. InMotion Hosting
The features of this service are what every small business needs in web hosting. Besides the excellent customer service, it also comes with affordable plans. It also features unlimited email addresses, a free domain name, and SSL security certificates.
Best Web Hosting: Take Away
The web hosting service you choose plays a role in growing your website. Finding the best web hosting provider can be easy or difficult depending on your site’s website. Besides getting steady speed, there are essential factors to consider when looking for hosting services.
Security, uptime scores, terms and conditions, and customer service are some of the factors to consider. Don’t forget to check the various hosting plans and charges. You’ll realize that different companies charge differently for similar plan components.
Some of the reliable companies you can sign up with are Cloud East, DreamHost, and BlueHost. They’re not only affordable but also come with excellent features to help your website grow.