Planning to start a new site? Then you need 2 things for it: domain name provider company and hosting company.
Domain name provider is pretty easy to understand. You can buy and secure a domain name through that company. For example, if you want to build a site and name it www.petshop.com, you need to go to a domain name company and check if that names still exists. An example of a domain name provided company is GoDaddy and Namecheap.
Hosting company is a bit different. It’s where you can put your files for your visitor to see. And it can be different from your domain name provider company.
There are numerous web hosting company that you can choose from and sometimes it can be hard to pick which one suits your online business plan well.
In this article, I will show you how to select the best hosting companies that suit your business and weed out the one that doesn’t. Selecting the one that is best aligned with your site’s business practices and established domain name will give you good reputation in front of the search engine’s eye.
Alright, let’s start with things that you should look for an check before signing up with a hosting company.
1. Don’t choose a free hosting plan. A good hosting company will charge you a fee (usually monthly) that ranges from $10 to $20 per month. Sometimes they can go as expensive as $50 per month. You should plan to pay at least $300 to $500 per year for your hosting plan.
Never choose a free or cheap hosting plan. It might save you cost but you’ll more likely encounter server downtime (which results in your website not being displayed), lack of storage, limited number of email address, FTP upload and many more.
2. Check their features. A good hosting company will be able to accomodate you e-commerce storefronts, blogs, forums and chatroom capability to your site. And all of them should be included on their plan.
Make sure they can accomodate your business as it grows from time to time. You don’t need to pick the most expensive one, but one that gives you ample room for growth. The last thing that you’d want to happen is switching hosting company.
3. Bandwidth Allowance. Check how many GB or TB of bandwidth your web hosting company limitation has. If your traffic grows rapidly, there will be more information transferred in and out of your site. If your hosting has low bandwidth allowance, then your customer might experience downtime on your site.
4. Check Their Customer Support. There are so many hosting companies that have poor customer support. Most of them outsource the customer support to third world countries such as India or Philippines. Not to bash third world country workers as they can certainly accomodate customer support request.
However, make sure that the quality of the customer support is good. Make sure that they give you 24/7 access for customer support. See if they offer chatroom. Ask them how long it usually takes them to respond to your problem.
A good way to test and check their customer support is by reading their feedback at a forum and see what comments they get from forum members. Also, you can call them to test their responsiveness at the middle of the night and see what kind of support you get.
5. Check Their Infrastructure. This can be a technical thing to check but check if they offer a multi home network powered by multiple bandwidth providers to ensure redundancy.
See if they offer a 100% guarantee on their network availability or network uptime. If they do, they’re the one that you should consider.
6. Check their financial stability. There are so many web hosting companies that come and go as time goes on. You can’t afford to put your business at risk with a hosting company that’s only has been around for a few months.
Check how long they’ve been in business. See their customer number or subscribers. A good way to test a hosting company’s performance to go to a site that use that hosting company and test its performance.
Those 6 checkmarks should help you evaluate a hosting company better.
A hosting company is an essential part of your online business and you don’t want to leave that to the wrong hand. Always perform the 6 checks, ask for feedback from the community and put your business at the best hand possible.