What To Look For In A Web Hosting Provider

For you to get the full benefits of your whichever web hosting you choose to purchase, you need to know what you are purchasing when registering for a web hosting company.

In this article, I am going to explain

  1. What you buy when you purchase a hosting plan
  1. Features to look for in a web hosting provider
  1. The consequence you get when you choose the wrong provider.

To know what web hosting is, click here then proceed to read this article.

Servers

The biggest expense of web hosting is the servers themselves. This is because they are very fast and powerful computers.

One of the qualities that premium web hosting companies should have is to constantly improve and maintain their server equipment.

Faster servers provide faster website load times which is beneficial for you and your audience.

Data centers

A data center is a dedicated space within a building used to house computer systems. Since web hosting companies host millions and millions of websites, they have to have a building to accommodate their servers.

These buildings and equipment have to be cooled, maintained, and guarded.

Data centers use a lot of electricity and they have to be located at a location that has very high speed, high bandwidth Internet access available.

Software

Even though most of the software used in web hosting is open source( definition). Not all of it is.

The most popular control available for web hosting accounting management is proprietary software that must be licensed and paid for (cPanel)

If you want a windows hosting plan, most of the software on the server is propriety. That is why windows hosting is usually much more expensive than Linux hosting.

This is why you should only use windows hosting if you have a very specific need for that platform.

Support

If you want to make inquires on any question you have or want a solution to a problem, you’re going to have to use a hosting company that provides at least some level of support.

 Support comes in many forms like:

  •  FAQ
  • Knowledgebase articles
  • Detailed guides
  • Phone support
  • Help desk ticketing system

Good things never come cheap. You are going to put in more coins if you want a hosting plan that comes with a great support plan.

The expenses are quite overwhelming for web hosting companies that offer quality service but are worth it.

It is a basic instinct to go for things that are quite cheap, then when it’s too late! The term that cheap is expensive suddenly resonates.

 It is easy to browse for available hosting plans that immediately go for the cheapest assuming that you will get the same service. And some of us go for the expensive package assuming we will get the best service.

Both of those decisions are wrong when looking for a web hosting plan. What you should take into consideration when looking for a hosting plan is:

 Ignore the Price

Think about what you want and need and see if the company offers it to you.

What to always keep in mind is:

  1. What type of web hosting plan is suitable for your business
  1. Compare several plans that fit your minimal requirements
  1. Read customer reviews

Now if you have read my previous article — and halfway through this one, you will never be fooled by marketers who bombarded you with a hosting company, while they themselves don’t even know much of what web hosting entails.

There are certain features that you need to assess to get the best out of your hosting provider. These are:

1. Speed – you don’t need to be a genius to understand that speed is the most important factor. A slow website will hurt the customers’ experience and they might never come back.

Google includes speed as part of their overall score! And a slow loading page can kill your SEO achievements in a fraction of a second.

Additionally, Google now includes speed as part of their overall score of the quality of a site, so slow loading can kill your other SEO efforts. Many factors affect the speed of a website but the most common one is the company.

Most of them advertise speed to draw you in but some indications can help you determine if one company is faster than the other.

These indications are:

Detailed Server Hardware Stats: If the hosting company is advertising their server setup, you can trust them because it means their service isn’t running their service on top of someones else’s equipment.

SSD

Location: the closer a datacenter is to your visitors, the faster the page loading will be. If your visitors will all be in one area, choose a host with a datacenter near there.

CDN( Content Delivery Network): Most hosting companies offer a built-in partnership with a Content Delivery Network. This dramatically increases the speed of the site as it offloads images and other resources to faster servers. 

Consistency goes hand in hand with speed. A good way to tell is by reading reviews of people who have had experiences with their sites.

2. Cost of Bandwidth –  bandwidth is a measure of the amount of data flowing from your website to visitors in some specific period, usually per month.

Most shared hosting accounts offer ‘unlimited’ bandwidth, but this is because they assume that you won’t use very much.

If you are ever running a personal blog or a site for a small business, and don’t foresee traffic to exceed a few hundred visitors each day then shared hosting unlimited bandwidth is going to work out for you.

From the get-go, if you are building a larger site that is going to eventually need to handle thousands or hundreds of thousands of visitors every day, then paying for bandwidth is going to become an issue.

Either way, if you are starting a new project and have a vision of what you’ll end up needing or how fast you’ll achieve your goals, you are better off getting a plan where hosting costs vary according to traffic.

Be wary of hosting plans that have penalties for going over your given bandwidth amount. This can cost you greatly and is a good reason to look for plans where you pay for what you use.

3. Storage

4. Support

5. Measurable  – The most important factor to consider when getting a hosting plan is how easy it’ll be to upgrade.

If you choose to buy a shared hosting plan and if your traffic starts increasing and you need to upgrade to a VPS plan, will your web hosting company be able to do that for you effortlessly without creating discrepancies in service?

And if you ever upgrade to a VPS hosting plan, will you pay as your usage increases or there will be a limit followed by massive charges? Will your hosting company be able to keep up if your site makes it the first page of Reddit?

With VPS hosting, do you pay by the penny as usage goes up, or is there a hard limit followed by massive overage charges? Will your host be able to keep up if your site makes it to the first page of Reddit?

Your web hosting account must be able to handle both slow and steady growth through a reasonable upgrade path, and also sudden surges in traffic.

6. Easy Access – Most web hosting companies provide a control panel for managing your hosting account, but many of them don’t make it easy for you to access your account.

You should always make sure that you can have FTP access to your files.  An SSH (secure shell) access, which gives you a command-line interface to the server.

You must always find out if you can install additional programs on your server, and the complexity around it.

Consequences Of Choosing a Wrong Web Hosting Provider

1. If your website is ever down, potential customers will not be able to read your blog post or buy a product or service that you are offering. This means that you will lose a lot of revenue. Potential customers will cease to visit your website if they repeatedly find that your website is down because the quality is always what matters the most

2. You risk having limited security and service. If you choose a terrible hosting provider that cannot be able to encrypt personal or business data, your website can be at risk of being attacked and damaged. If you have a web hosting provider that takes about 2-4 business days to respond to your security problem and doesn’t respond immediately to solve your problem. This will cost you so much.

3. You will have a lower SEO ranking because whenever a web crawler of a search engine like Google visits your website, it always collects sufficient data to rank your website compared to yours. If your website is repeatedly down when the web crawler comes to your website, then this will decrease your  SEO ranking. The result of this consequence is that you will get fewer free visitors from search engines.

Summary

You should know that price doesn’t equate to quality at all. There are several reputable, low priced web hosting companies. But if you want better, you will have to pay more.

Premium web hosting companies that offer fast processors, better connectivity, and higher-level support costs more to provide and cost more.

You can check out some of the best web hosting companies:

  1. Bluehost
  2. HostGator
  3. A2 Hosting

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