With all the different web hosts available to support your website, you might be wondering how to determine whether certain hosts are better or worse for you. It can sometimes even seem like all hosts are essentially the same, providing the same services with only negligible differences. This couldn’t be further from the truth though.
The web host you choose will be the backbone of your website, and so making the right choice is imperative. You have to take it seriously, making sure that whichever web hosting service you end up with provides your website the greatest performance and overall value.
But first, you need to know how to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck, and you need to know exactly what to look for and how to evaluate a web hosting provider once you come closer to making your final decision.
Below, I’ll be going over some of the services and tools that web hosts offer. I’ll be explaining what they are, and hopefully, you’ll come away with more knowledge to help you make an informed decision.
Without further adieu, let’s get started!
1. Storage and Bandwidth
Storage is typically included in most VPS hosts, and often with high-speed SSDs, or solid-state drives. Along for the ride comes managed services that provide software updates and patches.
The type of storage a web host offers affects a website’s page loading speed. Your website’s content might include videos and images, HTML files, and flash files, so having enough storage space makes it easier for you to manage and distribute the content to your audience.
Bandwidth accounts for the amount of data downloaded or uploaded from a website. The higher the bandwidth, the quicker visitors will be able to access your website’s information, thereby increasing your website’s web traffic and not losing out on its performance.
To generate a website’s pages, in addition to your website’s page views and file sizes, the amount of bandwidth you acquire is essential.
101domain offers a business pro website hosting plan for $25.99 monthly, $269.99 annually, or $699.99 every three years which promises unlimited website storage and unlimited bandwidth, making it a great option for your growing online business.
2. Reliability, Security, and Speed
Although a website is a digital entity, the nitty-gritty mechanical aspects are handled by servers. These pieces of hardware are where your website’s data is stored, as well as handling web traffic from your visitors. Because of this, supporting your website on a powerful server is essential for ensuring that you and your visitors have an ideal experience.
The server type is essential here. The right server makes it easier for people around the world to access your website. There are three different types of web hosting servers available and each three offer different advantages.
Shared hosting is the cheapest hosting solution and typically a good option for blogging or corporate websites with moderate traffic. Little technical knowhow is required to use it, so it’s a great option for entry-level people to get started in the online world.
Cloud hosting is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. It is based on several servers and virtual resources which are shared by a few server computers working hand in hand to create a large virtual network, otherwise known as the cloud. It’s a great option for large websites receiving a high volume of traffic.
Dedicated hosting means you have a full server belonging entirely to you, whether you rent it or purchase it. It’s suitable for everyone but is ideal for websites with heavy web traffic that require a lot of resources like eCommerce and social networks. Not only does it give you greater website performance overall, but it’s also a good option for resource-intensive and high-traffic websites. That being said, it is the most expensive option.
The world moves fast, so your website’s load time should follow suit. Most people expect professional websites to be fast and perform smoothly. A web hosting provider must be able to optimize your website for the best possible performance.
You should also ensure that you have complete control over the architecture, which allows you to customize security systems, operating systems, load balancers, and the like.
Downtime is the term for when a website is not able to load at all or is loading too slowly to be usable. This can happen because of unusually high traffic, server problems, or other things. Downtime is something you want to avoid as much as possible. Find and choose a provider who is reliable and also offers good performance.
The type of Internet connection the web hosting service uses is also important. If they use multiple ISPs (Internet Service Providers—the companies which allow you access to the Internet), this will reduce the chances of your website experiencing downtime. For instance, when your ISP has a malfunction, whether it be a power outage or application problems, having multiple ISPs allow you to have back-ups and redundancies in place. In other words, by having multiple ISPs, if one goes down, the others still work.
Additionally, it’s important to know how sensitive data is secured on the servers and if they use around-the-clock network security teams and scanning software. Don’t be afraid to ask your potential web hosting provider a few questions, such as “How will my website be secured?”, “How will you respond if my website is exploited or defaced?”, “Do you offer DOS (Denial of Service) protection and an uptime guarantee?”, “What about backups? Do you handle them? If so, what’s your policy? How easy are they to restore?”
The power of a web host’s hardware is important in that it will affect the quality of downtime your site experiences. The hardware’s age is important, too. The older it is, the less it’ll be able to keep up with more modern hardware.
3. Customer Service
A web hosting provider should be effective and speedy when helping you and your website sort out any technical issues you encounter. When choosing a provider, look for one that offers live support to their clients through live chat, so if you have an issue with your web hosting, they can help you resolve the problem within minutes.
Also, look for web hosting providers that care about their public visibility, such as their ratings on review sites, whether or not they have responded to complaints on the Better Business Bureau, and their activity on social media. These are usually good indicators of the level of care companies show their clients.
In order to draw in customers, a service provider is going to beef up their advertising and make it all the more attractive to any potential clients. Signup deals can sound super appealing.
However, not all web hosting providers are upfront about their costs. They often forget to mention that in order to get a low monthly hosting rate, you have to buy a year’s worth of hosting, so this can be a little tricky.
When it comes to pricing, there are two variables to look out for: registration (most often, there are startup fees and/or requirements) and maintenance costs. In order to maintain and keep your website running, you need to pay the maintenance costs, which is basically the monthly rate and billing cycle.
To break down an example, 101domain offers business website hosting for $14.99 monthly, $159.99 annually, or $429.99 for three years. You’re given a free domain name in addition to domain privacy, 100 gigabytes of online storage, and unlimited bandwidth. For a .COM domain name extension, looking at a 1 year period, registration costs $10.99. To renew every year, there’s a fee of $13.49.
To get the best pricing options available, do your research, and make sure to check the renewal charges for your designated package, but also look at upgrade costs and host changes in case you’re not thrilled with your final decision.
5. Availability of Backup Servers
With the ever-growing threat of cyber attacks and threats, more and more websites are being targeted and hurt. The issues that result can be detrimental to you and your online business, and sometimes irreparable.
It’s essential when determining your web hosting provider that they offer regular web data backup.
GoDaddy offers its own form of website backup. It backs up your website’s data automatically and daily, with a one-click restore, making it nice and easy to know your website’s information and reputation is safe and hackers can’t harm it. Their rates start at $2.99 monthly with a $2.99 monthly renewal fee.
Hopefully, now you understand some things to look out for when choosing your website’s web hosting provider. The 5 variables explained in this article show just how comprehensive your analysis has to be. But the end results of making the right choice are worth it.
If you want to build and cultivate the website of your dreams, consider adopting this comprehensive approach to find the best possible web hosting provider for you.