Choosing a web hosting provider can feel daunting. For many people, the idea of getting started with a website or blog often starts with the registering of a domain name. However, this is only half of the process. With a domain name you also need a quality hosting service.
To help with the process of choosing from the thousands of hosting solutions on the internet today, we give you five things to consider or at least be aware of when it comes to choosing your provider. This includes everything from online hosting reviews, the costs associated with web hosting, making sure your site is fast and running at all times, knowing customer support is always there to answer your questions and also the ability to create an email account for your domain name and site.
Some of these factors might seem simple or obvious at first, however, they should all be considered before signing up for your hosting company.
Other people’s opinions aren’t always helpful, but they often give you some sort of guidance to what a web-hosting provider is lacking in or good at. Look for techy sites who have carried out a review as well as the reviews on the company website. PC Mag is a good place to look as it usually covers most bases with unbiased reviews.
You don’t necessarily want the cheapest, but expensive doesn’t always mean better. Keep a clear plan in your head of what you need from your web-hosting provider and check those off before you start comparing prices. Also, take into account that once the standard 12-month deal runs out, are you in an affordable plan? It can be expensive and difficult changing your web host provider so pick well the first time.
Many web hosting companies will offer a discount when hosting is paid for in advance (usually 12, 24 or 36 months). Other incentives might include a free domain name registration. However, not all incentives might be worth your time or money in the long run. This is why it’s important to make sure you explore your options with domain name transfers and always keeping the ownership of your domains at your favorite registrar.
Fast websites have lower bounce rates because they load faster, keeping the attention of people who don’t have the time or patience to wait. So, you need a website that loads extremely fast. Speed and space come hand in hand, if you’re offered unlimited space and the web host is also boasting super fast loading pages, you’re in for a winner because it means their servers aren’t too crowded.
For individual bloggers and site owners, more often than not, a shared hosting plan will be more than enough for what you need. “Unlimited” space and storage is something commonly offered by quality web hosts. What you also need to keep an eye out for it how many domains or websites you are allowed to set up on each hosting package.
There’s no use in having customer support if it’s only available between 9am – 5pm and you’re working in a different job during those hours. Look for support that works for you, whether that’s 24/7, over instant messenger, email, phone or some other medium. For example, UK2 who are a web-hosting provider, offer 24/7 expert support across all of their hosting options so you’ll never be left in the dark.
With so many different options to connect with a customer support team on the internet today, it’s important to go with a hosting provider that offers email, telephone, chat, ticket system and knowledge-base types of support and user testimonials. Everyone has their own preference on how they would like to be contacted or learn about web hosting, so the more support options available, the better.
Lifehack reminds us of the importance of email features. “Regardless of what you may have heard/read about social media having replaced the purpose of web email, trust me, email is still going you be a big part of your web presence.” So make sure the email service is up to scratch with the option for multiple addresses, spam control and time travel features.
While email might seem like one of the most basic and easy things to set up and create, some hosting providers either don’t provide support for third-party emails, or simply don’t make it something that’s easy to setup. The option is always there to create a free Gmail or Hotmail account, but it looks a lot more professional to have an email address with your own domain name in it.
Top Web Hosting Solutions in 2017
After looking through the list of things to consider when choosing a web host, you can understand how it might become an overwhelming process for anyone looking to start a website or blog for the first time. The most important thing to remember is that most web hosting solutions are the same in what they offer, and many of them will have similar pricing and hosting plans at the end of the day.
Scan through the list above to see the most important factors when choosing a hosting solution, then narrow down your list to just a few different companies. Once you have this in place, perform a few ‘review’ related searches through Google to see what other site owners and bloggers are saying about their web hosts.