In our last article you have already learned how to choose the right domain name. The next step would be find your right web hosting partner, amongst the thousands companies on the market. Such a vast choice might make this task a little burdensome but by just following some simple pointers you can save a lot of time and effort, which you can otherwize invest in your website. Those guidelines are not sorted by their importance, a proper combination between them is what you are aiming for.
Know what you need!
You will be surprised how many times a business owner can miss on a good web hosting opportunity simply because they are unsure of their requirements and what will fit their needs. This is why you have to gather your website information in advance, space and traffic requirements, server specs if your application needs a specific environment and overall growth you are expecting, should everything runs smoothly. This information is very valuable for the hosting provider to determine the best package and give you an offer.
Servers, datacenters? …Yikes! Sounds way too technical!
Having an idea about server connectivity, location of datacenters and all this scary tech-mambo-jambo actually doesn’t require you to be a valedictorian in MIT. Some simple stats can be retrieved by tools like Alertra or UptimeInspector so you can make a rough comparison between hosts. As for the datacenter location, its not such a significant factor for global ventures, but if your target base is more localized you should consider servers close to that location. You want as much security and monitoring from their side to minimize the risk of long outages. Still, with WebHostFace, our smiling helpers on chat, phone and mail, are always ready to give detailed and easy-to-comprehend information about anything that is just too techy.
Features, Extras and other Goodies!
a.k.a. What am I getting for my money? Here is where all the initial information you should have already gathered about your website requirements, is coming into play. Web hosting providers tend to have many plans and packages so save your time by knowing what you are looking for. A 10-page healthcare website isn’t something that would need a Dedicated Server so why bother looking into those deals, right? Make sure to check as much details about the chosen plans, many companies differ on this level and you might stumble upon good features you haven’t even thought you might need. Having a reliable hosting partner, educated in the products they are offering is definitely helpful for any business and can be a source of valuable advice. Do not jump for packages that perfectly fit your current website status (or expected stats for a new web project), as any ambitious organization you need to think about the future. You want your business to grow so make sure you leave it some room to do so. Still, a hosting partner that can offer you various upgrade options and their seamless execution should be a preferred option.
Why pay at all? There seem to be some free hosts!
Sounds great but the sad reality is that with web hosting you simply can’t compromise with quality. You shouldn’t expect to get a free service and have the quality and capacity of services that fit your online image. In truth, I am very much against the price being a key factor when choosing hosting but cannot deny that many projects run on a tight budget so looking for the cheapest possible deal is somewhat understandable. So I prefer to use the price-product relation. Think not what you are paying, but what are you getting in return for your money. You can find numerous hosts with a slight difference in price but a huge gap of the package features.
A good friend is always there for you!
24/7 Support via various methods is something that all hosts should have. And yet, many still neglect this fact. Forget about them – you never know when assistance would be needed and when you would want them to fix any issues as swiftly as possible so don’t settle for less. There is a very good argument for smaller hosting companies here – they have the ability to add some personal touch. Having thousands of customers to care for every day is what every web hosting business is hoping for, but without this constant traffic you can spend more time with your customers and build more personal relationships. Being on this stage in our development, we are happy to learn more about our loyal clients and their everyday lives and they seem to enjoy getting to know us and see our faces in the WebHostFace live chat and bio profiles. Your best bet is to simply contact any potential host through chat and spend some time with them, asking them the same set of questions. You can easily compare how long does it take them to respond, do they answer with 1-2 words or take their time to give you detailed explanations, are they going the extra mile to make you comfortable and informed, rather than trying to trick you into buying something you don’t really need.
At the end of the day, as a client you need to realize that pretty much everyone uses the same server machines, same locations and even very similar user interface. You cannot get unlimited resources and you won’t get something revolutionary. Have a realistic understanding of the web hosting business and this will help you avoid unreasonable expectations and find that little unique element that will trigger your brain to point – That is your best web hosting choice – go for it!