The consequences of choosing an unreliable web hosting company when creating a website are way too many:
- Frequent downtime
- Customer frustrations
- Decline in traffic
- Reduced sales
- Higher bounce rates
- A decline in Google rankings
- Frequent hacking
To put this into perspective, Amazon lost $60k+ per minute in August 2013 when their website speed went down for just 30 minutes. This is why it’s so important to choose a reliable web hosting company. If you make a mistake in the selection process, your business will suffer.
How can you avoid all of these frustrations?
It’s simple: by choosing a good web hosting company with powerful features and great customer service. With the right choice, you can prevent many of the above issues from happening on your site.
There are many poor, and great web hosting companies. Some people choose unlimited hosting at SiteGround and other companies. Others choose VPS and dedicated servers. The right decision on the type of hosting plan really depends on your company’s needs. But, you can make an informed decision on a hosting provider, regardless of the type of server you end up with, by reading articles like this.
Now, the question is: how do you choose a reliable web hosting company?
Usually, when choosing a web host, you need to know what factors make a website hosting company the best. Don’t be deceived by company adverts like excellent customer support, 99.99% uptime, and many others. Investigate more before you decide to choose a web host for your site.
What should you look for when choosing a web hosting company?
7 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Web Hosting Company
Here are the seven factors to consider when choosing a web hosting company.
- Reliability, Security, and Uptime Score
- Customer Support
- Domain Addition Abilities
- Email Features
- Your Needs and Requirements
Let’s take a look at each factor.
1. Reliability, Security, and Uptime Score
Unreliable servers will result in a lot of downtime for your website. As seen above, Amazon lost thousands of dollars every minute that their site went down in 2013. You may not be Amazon, but you stand to lose considerable revenue if your website goes down, too.
If you choose a web host with weak servers, you are going to lose more sales. Furthermore, if your pages fall out of Google’s index, you could see a drop in rankings, too. When you select a hosting company, make sure that they provide you with the latest stable server software. This includes the operating system (Linux or Windows), the database (e.g., the latest version of MySQL), and the web scripting software (e.g., the latest stable version of PHP).
You need to choose a reliable hosting company with trusted uptime scores at least 99.5% and higher.
Your webhost should also guarantee security for your website.
2. Customer Support
The last thing you want to see is when your website starts to behave strangely only to find out that you have no one to turn to for help. Technical problems are inevitable on every type of website. And when things go south, you need to get speedy support.
If your provider doesn’t have phone support, make sure you can get immediate support through other means like live chat or emails. A reliable web hosting company will have 24/7/365 customer support in some or all of the customer support channels mentioned above.
It’s extremely likely that someone will try to hack your website. Without strong protection in place, your website is going to be hacked. Start with a good firewall on the server, and consider backing it up with a software firewall on your website. If your site does get hacked, make sure there’s a recent backup to minimize damage. But if your web hosting company doesn’t have backup options then it’s time to migrate to another web host before your website is hit by ransomware.
In the past, hackers often targeted financial institutions. These days, hackers go after everybody, and you can expect your site to be attacked at any time.
Furthermore, if it’s not an attack on your website, you may experience hard disk failures. That’s why it’s important to choose a web hosting company that offers regular data backups. However, that’s not enough. Be sure to check into whether backups are physically stored in the same, or a different facility from your website’s live data. For example, there have been cases in the past where web hosting companies had fires and other damage in their datacenters. Because backups were stored in the same facility as the websites, their clients lost everything.
4. Domain Addition Abilities
Initially, you will start with one domain name. However, as your business starts to grow, you may want to add multiple domains and subdomains to promote your business even more.
If you are considering a web hosting company, find out if they allow the addition of multiple domains and websites. Unlimited hosting accounts are great in this way. With such a web host, you can add as many domains and subdomains as you want. Just keep in mind, if you have a shared, unlimited account, the resources will be shared with other clients on the same server, too. For this reason, you may consider a VPS account or dedicated server, so that other websites hosted on the server don’t slow down your websites.
5. Email Features
Your web hosting company needs to make sure you are protected in everything you do inside or outside your website. One of the ways to stay safe is when sending emails. Does the web host have spam protection? Does the web host provider offer protection for your site and email address against viruses and malware?
You must make sure your website is protected at all times. Otherwise, you will struggle with regular attacks left, right, and center.
You might be asking why the price is the last thing on our list. Price is important, but the quality is more important. If you base your decision entirely on price, you may make the wrong decision. That said, there are plenty of hosting accounts that can be had for less than $10 a month. And for most small businesses, these accounts are sufficient. Just think about what’s important to you. For example, if you’re not a tech guru, then it might be worth a few extra bucks a month to get better customer support.
7. Your Needs and Requirements
Ideally, when designing your site, you have a goal. For example, you may want to launch an ecommerce website to make money online. Alternatively, you may just want to promote your company or your expertise with the world.
Now here is the thing: An eCommerce site will need more features than a simple blog. Some features, like database lookups, take more RAM and disk space than others. So, you want to know your needs and requirements first then choose a web hosting company that will meet those needs.
Generally, choosing a web hosting company isn’t as hard as you may think. You just need to familiarize yourself with the things to consider and you are good to choose your web host.