Web hosting service is a foundational part of any website. Choosing the web hosting company and plan that are right for your site can take some careful consideration. Not all hosts are created equal, and you’ll want to make sure you’re getting all the features you’ll need.
Once you understand precisely what you’re looking for, you’ll be perfectly positioned to start your new website off on the right foot.
1. Know What Your Website’s Needs Are
To get started, it’s a good idea to sit down and make a list of your needs. After that, you can more easily prioritize them as you compare your list to what each potential host is offering.
If your website has a specific niche, for example, you’ll want to take that into consideration. If you’re building a photography website, you might need to prioritize speed and storage features. Additionally, some hosts also offer Content Delivery Network (CDN) options for content-heavy sites.
E-commerce websites, on the other hand, may want to focus on bandwidth and security. In fact, some hosts offer plans specific to e-commerce. Also, don’t forget to consider what kind of (and how much) support you might need.
2. Confirm the Subscription Period for Hosting Contracts
Many web hosting service offer a flexible set of options when it comes to contract lengths. You’re likely to find monthly and yearly plans, as well as discounted rates for multiple-year contracts.
This means you’ll want to think about how long you’re willing to commit upfront. Often, it’s smart to try out a new host for a few months to get firsthand experience with it. On the other hand, if you’re confident enough to sign up for a longer term, you can save a lot of money.
Besides contract length, it’s also a good idea to double-check a plan’s terms before signing up for it. Some hosts also allow you to move fluidly between contract lengths and plans but be sure to ask about any relevant fees and/or penalties.
3. Check for Server Reliability and Uptime Guarantees
Another vital service you’ll want to investigate is what your potential host provides in terms of uptime guarantees. This affects how reliable you can expect the hosting service to be.
“Uptime” refers to the percentage of time that your website is online and available to internet users without any issues. Naturally, you should want your site to be live as much as possible, and your host should guarantee something very close to 100% uptime.
Of course, not every web hosting provider defines uptime in exactly the same way. Therefore, you’ll have to review your potential hosting company’s policy carefully to see what it’s actually guaranteeing.
If there are a lot of bottlenecks slowing down your website, but it’s technically still available, your host may consider that “uptime,” even if you don’t.
You might also want to find out how the host handles any downtime. Having your site frequently unavailable is obviously not optimal when you’re trying to build an online following.
To know what you’re getting into, it’s a good idea to look for reviews that indicate how reliable the host has historically been.
4. Confirm the Host’s Refund Policy and Guarantees
You never know what might happen once you start building your website. With that being said, it’s wise to thoroughly review your potential web host’s refund policy.
If you’re not happy with your host or change your mind about the site altogether, it’s necessary to have options.
In addition to making sure you can cancel your plan and get a refund, it’s smart to understand what the host guarantees and what it does not take responsibility for.
This might include looking at its uptime guarantee (as we discussed earlier) along with its terms of service documents.
5. Understand What Your Upgrade Options Are
“Reading the fine print” is a smart move whenever you’re signing a contract. This applies doubly to online services. Before you sign on with a hosting plan, it’s important to make certain you won’t be penalized for upgrading it later on.
After all, at times your new blog or podcast might go viral, and you’ll need to scale up quickly to provide your site with additional resources and space. That’s a good thing!
However, you’ll need to make sure your hosting plan can move up with you, instead of holding you back.
6. Verify the Host’s Primary Features
We mentioned before that there are a lot of different kinds of hosting. If you’ve already determined what you need from your web host, you’ll be better able to navigate this particular step.
Some hosts offer very general services, while others may provide specific features that can make your life a lot easier.
7. Determine Whether the Host Supports E-commerce
If you’re building an e-commerce website, it’s vital to make sure your chosen web host has everything you need to run an online store.
This might include built-in e-commerce tools, one-click installations of useful applications, and even extra security measures for online transactions.
8. Make Sure You’ll Get the Support You Need
Finally, along with site backups and restoration services, it’s worth emphasizing the value of reliable technical support. If you have in-house programmers and tech staff, you might not need this level of service.
If not, however, comprehensive support from your hosting service can be invaluable. Many small businesses don’t have the resources or know-how to deal with unexpected problems, attacks, and so on.
So it’s vital to review the customer support options each hosting provider offers. These can often differ between individual plans. Lower-level plans tend to be more “hands-off” in terms of support, while managed plans and more expensive options often offer premium support.
How To Choose The Right Web Hosting Service For Your Website: Conclusion
If you follow these factors, you’ll be much more confident when deciding which web hosting company is appropriate for you.
Even so, it’s always vital to keep in mind that there is a variety of website hosting services and that in order to choose the one that best suits your needs, you must have a thorough understanding of your requirements.
The good news is that suppliers themselves are increasingly becoming more and more aware of this, and as a result, they now sell packages tailored to various market sectors.
Nevertheless, conduct thorough research, keep in mind all the points we made in this article, and begin developing your content!
Ali is a passionate and experienced blogger with a mission to teach others how to start their own blog, monetize it, and become successful in the process. He shares the lessons he’s learned on his own journey through personal anecdotes and factual examples.