You have a plethora of options available just if you type the word “webhosting company” into the Google search bar. You can see almost 215,000 results (though not all will be companies) but the number of companies you will get to choose from is so huge that you will get overwhelmed.
So, in order to choose the right hosting company for your business, you need to know your business well and the requirements of your website and you exact needs from a hosting company.
Before I tell you the things to consider before selecting a hosting company, let me tell you how your business can be affected using the wrong hosting.
Loss of Revenue – Suppose you are hosting your website on a host that frequently suffers from downtime issues. What would happen? People won’t be able to access your site sue to the downtime and thus people visiting your site won’t be able to purchase your products. What’s worse is that you’ll lose out your potential customers to your competitors.
Slow page loading speed – The lesser your loading time is, the greater number of visitors you will lose to your competitors. A study shows that a 1 second increase in page loading time can drop your conversion rate by 7%.
To do this, you need to ask yourself few questions and seek for the answers in your head. Once you get them, jot them down in a piece of paper and then start searching for companies that meet your requirements.
Figuring out your needs for the website is the first and foremost thing you need to work on. Is my site using a lot of media or is it a simple text based site? How much of traffic is likely to come or I am targeting in the first 6 months to one year? If your site consumes a lot of bandwidth, you might have to go for a VPS or Dedicated plan. However, if your website doesn’t consume lots of bandwidth and disk space, you can consider going for shared hosting plans.
If your site is based on WordPress and doesn’t consume much bandwidth, you can easily start out with shared hosting, and then upgrade to higher plans if the future demands, according to the growth of your website.
It is very important to see the features your host is offering. If you have a basic website, your host must at least support FTP, MySQL, PHP, Perl and Cron Tabs. If you’re a beginner, it will be best to use the cPanel interface. So check if your host supports all these features.
Let’s be frank here. Most hosting companies claim to provide you with 100% uptime guarantee. And this is absolutely false!
Everything needs its own maintenance. Take your example. You are a human. You need to eat, sleep, and maintain yourself in order to work well. Similarly, machines too need maintenance.
Hosting companies use servers which they need to upgrade to the latest technology, maintain them and then only, they will be able to provide you with the best services.
So, find a host that does not claim false uptime guarantees but truly does what they say. For example, some say they provide 99.5% uptime, so that means the remaining 0.5%, they allot to maintaining their servers.
I don’t mean to say that the lower the uptime guarantee that better the host is. That’s of course not good!
The thing is that the faster they can upgrade and maintain their servers along with providing you a greater uptime guarantee is the best for you. A 99.9% uptime guarantee is acceptable.
Many hosting companies offer a sign up price at a discounted rate but when the renewal time comes, you will see a much higher price. So, ask them upfront what the renewal price is.
Many companies don’t provide a precise refund policy though they often claim to make 15 days or 30 days or 45 days money back guarantee. Ask if they have some terms and conditions along with the money-back policy and read through the fine prints several times to understand them clearly.
Often you’ll see many hosting companies providing you with unlimited disk space or unlimited bandwidth. Are they truly unlimited?
There is nothing called truly unlimited. The unlimited they provide too has a limit but it is quite huge that’ll suffice your needs. These companies have already done the market research and know very well the basic needs of a purchaser looking for shared hosting.
So, don’t be put away with the marketing gimmick called “Unlimited”. Ask them upfront what exactly the disk space and bandwidth they are offering with the package you choose.
The real myth behind “Unlimited Hosting”
When choosing a host, it is very possible that you will need to contact them for support, be it related to tech issues, or sales support or any other. So, check out the various support options they provide.
Do they provide email, phone and live support? If not, then will it be enough for you to go with the support options they provide. Say you’re having a technical issue in the middle of the night and they don’t have any phone support. Will it be okay for you if they provide support via email or live chat?
So, ask them upfront the kind of support they provide and if they are available for 24/7/365 a year or not. If your requirement matches with them, you can choose them.
Any time a website might crash, so having a backup copy restores it and helps you from facing the worst scenario. Ask your host if they provide any backups and at what frequency.
Researching and asking the above questions should help you find the right hosting company for your website. If you still have doubts or questions, you can check out the reviews of the host left by past and current clients, join support forums for discussions and then take your dive to find a host.
If you still have any other questions in mind that you feel should be asked when selecting a host, leave it in the comments below. Let’s do it like a discussion so that ever one reading this article finds the right host for their business with a series of questions.