Making the correct choice of web host is a foundational decision for your business. If you have the right web host, it’ll be smooth sailing. Make the wrong choice, and you’ll be in a world of hurt trying to unsort the mess and move to a good host.
In this article, I’ll discuss some of the most important things to consider when choosing a web host. Let’s dig in, and get off on the right foot.
Server Reliability and Uptime
If your website is going down, you’re losing money, customers, and search engine rankings. Simply put, it’s a disaster of the highest order that you MUST work to prevent.
To make sure this isn’t a problem, make sure your host advertises at least a 99% uptime. There are even some services that offer a 100% uptime! Generally speaking, cloud hosting is the best for uptime since the “server” is actually distributed across a network rather than in one place.
The ability for your web host to provide assistance – technical or otherwise – is absolutely crucial. Is your web host known for their good customer service? Do honest, organic reviews give a good assessment of their customer care?
These are the questions you have to ask when evaluating a web host’s customer service. Better yet, get in contact with their sales team and give them a test run. I remember one time I was evaluating a host and their customer care portal barely worked! A good catch on my part.
Free Trials and Refunds
A free trial coupled with a generous refund policy means the host is confident that you’ll love their service. If a company is stingy with free trials or refunds, they’re saying they’re not super confident and their services. They’re also saying they would rather trap you than charm you.
A free trial lets you actually test out the experience for yourself. When I did the free trial for my current web host, I instantly fell in love and needed no further convincing. It’s the little things that can make a huge difference in web hosting.
I can’t stress this enough: server speed is absolutely critical! When choosing a web host, you need to ensure that they’re going to serve your websites to customers lightning quick.
Way back when I created my first website, I knew something was wrong. I ran some tests on Google Pagespeed Insights, and saw that server response time was a huge issue! I tried making adjustments to my server and to my website, but quickly discovered that there was nothing I could do.
Why? Because the web host was slow. I did my research, and realized I had to switch over to a faster host. When I did, my website instantly became much, much more response. A slow server will cost you both user satisfaction and search engine rankings. You have to get this right.
As your website grows, you’ll likely find your performance bottlenecking just because your current hardware settings can’t keep up. If you’re going to choose a server provider that’s ready to grow with you, they must be able to quickly and easily update your hardware.
This will often come down to exactly what kind of server you have. Shared hosting will generally always be on the lower end of performance, while cloud hosting is instantly upgradable. When choosing a web host and server type, consider your future goals and if you may someday want to upgrade your hardware.
Last – but not least – comes pricing. At the end of the day, you need to make sure you’re getting your website hosted at a fair market price. The money you spend on your best web hosting experience cuts into your bottom line, making it critical that you have a good price plan for your server.
Fortunately, this is a pretty easy topic to research. First, consider the hosting plan you want to purchase, and what you’re getting in return. A shared host will be significantly cheaper than a cloud host, so don’t compare the two in terms of price.
Instead, compare a similar service directly. Match a VPS with a VPS, and a dedicated server with a dedicated server.
I sincerely hope I’ve helped you in your journey of choosing a solid web host.
Just remember, overall you’re searching for hosting that works for you. Does customer support give you what you need? Do you feel you’re getting what you pay for in terms of pricing?
This time, it really is all about you! Your web host will take you places, so don’t spare any expense on the right experience – be it time or money!
Samuel Szuchan is the founder of SamSzu.com, where he’s equipping entrepreneurs with the knowledge they need to succeed in their online ventures. His extensive experience with web hosting derives from his previous ecommerce ventures and current educational pursuits.