Most business owners understand the value of creating quality web content and they’re finally beginning to understand the importance of developing a web site that is responsive.
But, that very important process of selecting a reliable web hosting company is often ignored.
When business owners take the time to select a reliable web hosting company, they ensure their website remains accessible and safe at all times.
Haphazardly choosing a web host, based on something like pricing alone, can produce disastrous results.
What is Web Hosting?
When you set out hunting for the best hosting plan, you’re quickly bombarded with some of the most confusing marketing in the tech industry. You’ll find boastful lines promising you 99.99% uptime (which comes to roughly an hour of downtime a year) and advanced features like a “game changing” control panel. What you should know is that these details are usually pretty standard across the board.
One thing holds true no matter how you break down Web hosting: there is a computer in a datacenter that is serving the files and data of your website to visitors and their Web browsers over the Web. What separates the different types of hosting is how they’re configured and function in relation to you and the internet.
Relationships between you and your hosting service provider can also vary. Some choose to manage their own accounts and hire professional help when needed while others go through an agency to help maintain their hosting from the top down.
What Should I Know About Choosing a Web Host?
In order to be successful in the long term, a business must choose the best web hosting service for their particular set of circumstances. There are many criteria to consider when choosing a web hosting service; some are obvious and measurable (e.g., cost and guaranteed uptime), while other criteria (e.g., customer support) is more subtle and subjective.
Advanced features like scripting support, shopping cart processing infrastructure, and guaranteed uptime will vary depending on the web hosting company. These additional and advanced features are what separate one web hosting service from another and will be the factors that determine which service is right for your business needs.
What Factors Should I Look For?
The six main considerations for choosing a website hosting option are:
- Speed – Users expect your website to load within 2 seconds. If it takes longer, they are very likely to leave.
- Security – Keeping your website secure should be of the utmost importance to your web hosting company. Website hosting servers should be equipped with powerful firewalls and should be constantly monitored by the hosting company for unusual activity or unauthorized intrusions.
- Support – If you want your host to provide support, make sure they offer 24/7 monitoring and support and are readily accessible in case of an outage or other problem.
- Scalability – Take a look at your current website traffic and content. Do you expect to need significantly more resources over time as a result of higher visitor traffic or additional content like photo or video galleries? If so, it’s better to find a web hosting provider that can accommodate that expansion rather than one you’ll soon outgrow.
- Price – As with everything, you get what you pay for. “Free” hosting is usually offered in exchange for the hosting company running ads on your site, or as an add-on to a larger service package. A cheap web hosting deal probably means you’ll have limited flexibility and access to resources, which could lead to performance issues.
- Web Hosting Environment – Would shared hosting work for you? Or, would you need Cloud hosting, a dedicated VPS or dedicated server?
Shared hosting is the cheapest option, and should work for most standard websites/blogs.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What type of site will I be creating?
- What are the technical requirements of my site?
- What level of security do I require?
- Do I need email hosting?
- Will I be setting up more than one site?
- What volume of traffic do I initially expect?
- What is my monthly hosting budget?
Answering the above questions can give you an inside look ahead of time, on which hosting would be best for you.
The Top 10 Hosting Companies of 2020
Some of the most popular hosting companies for WordPress can be found below, listed in no particular order:
- Siteground – Starting at $6.99/month
- Inmotion – Starting at $6.99/month
- Interserver – Starting at $5.00/month
- Hostgator – Starting at $2.95/month
- BlueHost – Starting at $3.95/month
- Dreamhost – Starting at $2.59/month
- Cloudways – Starting at $10.00/month
- Hostinger – Starting at $0.99/month
- Greengeeks – Starting at $2.95/month
- WPX Hosting – Starting at $24.99/month (Fastest hosting award)
When it comes to choosing a web host, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. There are many factors to consider, and your decision could ultimately determine your website’s success or failure.
However, if you go into your web hosting search with your needs clearly outlined, you’ll eventually find the best provider for you. Asking careful questions about the quality of the host’s services and equipment, the additional features it offers, and its pricing will steer you in the right direction.