Long gone are the days when all you looked for in a web hosting provider were the allocated bandwidth and disk space. Today, many other factors come into play if you are to host your online business with a reliable provider that cares about your success.
In this post, we take a look at crucial features to consider before you can commit to a host. Just recently, MangoMatter Media compared two of the most popular providers on the market – be sure to check who the best host here is.
No one wants to work with a poorly managed web host whose servers crash at will with no contingency plans in place. At the minimum, only host your site using providers with annual uptime scores above 99.5%. This means their servers and network connections are almost always online throughout the year – some even commit to paying for losses should they fail to hit their target. If you can find such a host, then you’re sure they will do everything in their capacity to maintain high uptime rates to avoid inconveniencing their users and also to cut down losses. A win for both parties!
The internet never sleeps, and this means your preferred hosting provider should be available all around the clock to provide support whenever needed. This is particularly important when your site receives visitors from all parts of the world and needs to be online at all times.
A 24/7 customer service helps to ensure that any problem or hitch occurring on your website is sorted out as quickly as possible. Take, for example, a case where your site gets hacked in the middle of the night, and your host’s support team is offline. The damage could be too much by the time they are getting back online in the morning.
Additionally, try to work with companies whose support can be reached using multiple channels. Phone support is the best and fastest, especially when you’re dealing with an urgent issue. However, live chat, email, and social media should also work fine.
With the web getting more dangerous with every passing day, it pays to have a hosting provider that takes the right security measures and also responds quickly when called to assist. The past decade has seen the number of cyberattacks and malware infections grow several folds, with some even having the power to bring down websites and steal customer data.
When choosing a web host, ensure that the company has the capacity and the right tools to withstand hacking attempts and other related attacks. For starters, the provider needs to have an encryption technology to safeguard any communication between your business and its servers. The aim is to deter any fraudsters looking to steal crucial data from your business by exploiting existing loopholes in your hosting or website.
On the same issue of security, be sure to get a host that offers regular data backups. This will guarantee a quick restoration of your site if the worst happens and you’re hacked or injected with malware.
Like any other business, your website is bound to grow if everything goes according to plan. You obviously want to expand your reach and attract as many visitors and customers as possible. But with this growth comes increasing demands for resources like bandwidth, memory, and more powerful servers. If your hosting service doesn’t offer a flexible room for growth, you’ll probably be forced to switch hosts which is never the easiest of tasks.
So, if you just started on a shared plan, you might want to move to a higher plan later as your business grows. Using a host that offers VPS or dedicated plans, therefore, makes a lot of sense to avoid the hassles involved in site migration.
Most hosting services offer very attractive deals to new signups in an attempt to attract as many customers as possible. However, these fees can double or even triple when that initial term ends. An easy way to avoid getting charged higher is by hopping to a new provider. But we already mentioned that site migration is never an easy process.
So, to be safe and for the stability of your business, get a provider whose fees, both signup and renewal charges, are within your budget. Take time to make your decision and don’t forget into consideration the prices for higher plans in the event you want to move up after your business grows.
What other factors do you consider when looking for a new hosting company? We’d love to hear your feedback.