Top 10 Things To Look For When Purchasing Website Hosting
So, you’ve decided to take the step of building a website. It could be for a number of reasons. A new business venture, a personal blog, or an online resume are among the more popular choices, but regardless of your reason, you will eventually come to one of the most important decisions you have to make: purchasing website hosting.
Making sure you buy the correct website hosting for your needs is a crucial part of the process, and will make other factors easier to deal with down the line.
1. Identify What Your Hosting Needs Are
This is the first step you should be taking. You have to understand what your hosting requirements are before you make any kind of decision.
Some questions you may want to ask yourself include:
What kind of website are you building? What platform are you using? Do you have a rough idea of the level of traffic you’re going to be getting? Are you looking to build and then scale within the next year?
Write the answer to these questions down and you’ll have a clearer picture moving forward of which website hosting is right for you.
2. Are You Using WordPress?
WordPress websites now account for 30% of all websites in existence, so to say it’s a popular choice would be a large understatement.
Most start-up company tips that involve information about building a website will touch on WordPress, and with good reason.
When it comes to hosting though, you should look at what WordPress-specific services they offer if you’re choosing to go down the WordPress route. Many offer “one-click” setup these days. This is a great option for those who aren’t as tech-savvy and want to get their site up and running as quickly as possible.
3. Look For Reliability And Server Up-time
Before choosing a website hosting provider you have to make sure that the provider has a great record when it comes to reliability and server uptime.
You want your website to spend as little amount of time offline as possible - as a rule of thumb, anything below 99% is not considered reliable - so working with a hosting company which offers a stable network connection and uses high-quality hardware is crucial.
Our WordPress server auto-scaling service https://designboxhosting.co.uk/wordpress-hosting-platform/ is load-balanced, ensuring your hosting reacts to your user demand and doesn't experience sudden downtime due to unexpected traffic.
4. Initial Cost And Renewal Cost
Many website hosting companies will try to draw you in with very attractive signup costs, but what some of them will do is increase the renewal costs.
It is pretty standard for a hosting company to offer a discounted price when you sign up, but look out for companies who increase the cost of renewal by a sizeable amount.
You’ll have to make a judgement call when it comes to the cost of renewing, and remember to take other factors into account when weighing up this decision. Don’t go for the cheap option if the company providing the service isn’t up to scratch in other ways.
5. Upgrade Options
When you first get started you’ll find that shared web hosting will suffice; unless you’re anticipating high levels of traffic from the get-go.
For most new sites, shared hosting is the sensible option, allowing you to grow your site while paying web hosting costs that won’t break the bank.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a web hosting provider is how well they can accommodate your future needs. I
f you plan on running out of space for all those photo galleries and video uploads in the near future, it would be wise to find an affordable website host that can provide enough storage for your site's growth before anything bad happens!
You’ll want to check the upgrading options of your chosen web hosting company to make sure that you can upgrade easily if and when your site starts to grow to the extent that a dedicated server may be required.
6. Number Of Websites
An important factor to consider if you plan on running more than one website on your hosting plan.
You may initially see web hosting available at a low introductory price, but be sure to check the number of websites you’re permitted to have.
Many of the lowest-cost options only allow for one site, and this is fine if you’re only planning on creating a single website, but if you think that there’s even a small chance you may decide to increase that number then you’d be better going for an option that provides some flexibility. Usually, the next pricing tier will offer this option.
7. Customer Service
A non-technical factor in your decision, and for that reason, it’s often ignored.
You’ll want to make sure that if you run into problems you’ve got access to a good level of customer service.
Do they offer email support? Or do they provide a live chat feature? How long do they take to respond? Are they available 24/7? Or only during business hours?
A good host should provide 24/7 monitoring and support. This way, if anything goes wrong you will be able to get help quickly from your hosting provider without having to wait for someone's availability or worrying about what time it is there.
If this kind of support cannot be guaranteed by your hosting provider then you should seriously consider other options. When it comes to hosting, there are many opportunities for things to go wrong and if you're struggling to get in touch, everyone loses.
8. Migration Services
In the near future, you may find yourself needing to make significant changes to your website, whether that's in terms of the structure, the content or the underlying coding itself.
A poorly-handled site migration can result in a costly drop in search engine traffic which can take a long time to resolve, so when looking for a website hosting provider, you want to make sure that they can handle a full site migration in a planned and professional manner.
We offer free migration services for both websites and emails.
9. E-Commerce Compatibility
Depending on the type of business or site you’re looking to create, e-commerce website options will be an important factor in your decision.
Look for e-commerce specific factors, such as SSL certificates, dedicated IPs and data centre location. It may also be worth checking that your hosting is PCI-DSS compliant – this is a necessary certification to have if you handle customer credit or debit card information.
E-commerce web design is a huge factor for any website owner who has plans to provide their visitors with any kind of online store.
10. Site Backups
A website crash is every website owner's worst nightmare.
Website backups allow you to restore your website to a point where it was working perfectly, so it’s the safety net that all website owners require.
Website backups are often included in the hosting plan, but it's important to ask when you're signing up. Backups will usually be taken off your website daily automatically and kept for seven days, enabling you to restore your site if need arises.
Make sure to check that your web hosting company backs up their sites regularly, and also look for other options such as assistance in restoring your site, especially if you’re not all that tech-savvy.
At Design Box Media, we can help you address all of the above 10 points with our specialist WordPress hosting service. To find out more about how we can help you with our hosting, please get in touch with us today.