One of the most important decisions you will ever make for your website is choosing the right web host. This should not be taken lightly. Else you might just end up on the losing side with loss of uptime to loss of sales and customers to loss of reputation!
What today’s article aims to do is to share with you tips on choosing the right web host for your website. Whether you are a beginner to web hosting or are looking for another web host that is more reliable than your current one, you will find some information on how to find the perfect web hosting company that fits your bill.
Free Vs Paid Web Hosting Plan
If you want to create a website, you will need a web hosting provider. There are free hosting plans and there are paid hosting plans. Free hosting are those companies who allow you to create a blog or a web page or even an entire website at absolutely no cost at all. Example of a free yet dependable web hosting provider is Weebly.
Paid plans are those hosting services that you need to pay a certain amount. Fees range from a couple of dollars to a few hundred dollars a month. Some leading hosting providers are Bluehost, HostGator and WebhostingHub.
So, should you go for free hosting or should you part with a few dollars a month for paid hosting? It really depends on what kind of website you are building. If you are going to have a personal blog for families and close friends to read, then a free hosting will be adequate. But if you plan to monetize your blog (either online business or through ad banners), then it’s advisable that you choose a paid hosting plan.
Type of Website
Let’s discuss this tip with some popular website types as examples:
- Blog, e-commerce or forum
Are you going to create a WordPress blog? Or do you plan build an e-commerce website? Or is a forum your aim? The type of website you are going to build generally affects your choice of web host and hosting plans. That’s because some web host may have more supporting features for your type of website.
- WordPress vs Joomla or others
Take for example. If you wish to create a WordPress blog, then you might want to consider Bluehost and InMotion, while Joomla website owners can take advantage of SiteGround’s great Joomla hosting.
- Linux vs Windows
One of the basic decisions that you would encounter is which platforms to host on (Linux vs Windows). Linux is open source and thus, is cheaper and has more open source applications available. If it’s the Linux platform that you prefer, then you may want to check out Bluehost, who has very affordable PHP hosting plans. And if you plan to use tools like ASP.net or classic ASP, then you should be looking for hosts who provide Windows hosting like HostGator.
- Blog, e-commerce or forum
How wonderful a web host’s website look does not reflect their level of service. Do make an effort to go to forums to read what other customers say about the web host. The good and the bad. Granted there are some planted reviews from the web host to praise their own hosting and also from competitive web hosts out to tarnish their reputation. So do take the reviews with a pinch of salt.
Alternatively, you can read unbiased reviews from review sites like 100Webhosting.com. Though I do receive some compensation from web hosting providers, my reviews are not prejudiced and are based on my experiences.
How big your website is going to be can affect which hosting provider you choose. Webmasters usually start with shared hosting and then as their traffic or files increase, upgrade to VPS or Dedicated Server hosting.
It’s true that you can’t tell the future. And there’s no way you can predict how popular (or not) your website is going to be. In this case, you may want to consider a web hosting provider who has a range of upgradable plans eg HostGator. This is desirable as it eases your website being shifted to a higher resources compared to migrating to a totally different host.
Support and Security
Support is very important because you don’t want to be caught in a situation where you are stuck with no help from the web hosting company!
I find Bluehost and HostGator’s 24/7/365 support the best I have encountered so far. They not only have phone and email support but also live chat which is very convenient for customers on the other end of the world.
I would suggest that you give them or your hosting provider choice a call or a chat before signing up. Talk to their technical support and gauge for yourself. Generally, the sales team is very professional and response fast for obvious reasons. What you want is to get the same speedy service from the technical support team!
Security is another crucial matter, especially if yours is doing online transactions. Hackers and those with ill intentions will target your website for credit card details and login information. Therefore, you need to ensure that your web host is equipped with state-of-art technology and is secure against malicious tools.
I admit there are other key elements that you need to think about when searching for the right web host like locations of data centers and servers, whether they offer free domains and free website templates, how user-friendly are the control panels and whether there’s an anytime money back guarantee.
Of course, there’s the all-time favorite question of price. Don’t worry, all the above mentioned web hosts are world leaders and offer reliable hosting plans with great features at very affordable pricing. So feel free to give them a try.
Check out the number 1 web hosting company on our top 10 list – Bluehost!