The necessity for well-designed websites continues to grow nowadays. Many individuals and companies alike are in need of websites, especially since you cannot exist in the online world without them. Still, a good website is nothing without a hosting service.
Someone needs to make sure your website remains online and operational. That’s all well and fine because there are numerous hosting providers you can choose from. However, how to choose the right one? What’s important to understand is that you cannot settle for the first provider you come across.
Of course, you might get lucky and score the best one but then again, you may not get lucky at all. Therefore, some good old research is vital before you make the decision and there are also certain criteria you should look for as well. With that in mind, here are a few things you should look for when buying a web hosting service.
Estimate the incoming traffic
The number of visitors coming to your website is an important factor to consider. This is especially true if your website is also your main point of sale, like an eCommerce platform. If you expect a lot of visitors, you should also expect some servers to overload and even crash on occasions. However, that can be easily resolved, and your hosting provider should be able to take care of that little issue.
As an example, you should look for a hosting service that can ensure that a lot of website traffic can be, indeed, handled efficiently. The first thing you should look for is whether or not your hosting service also uses a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
Understand the hosting server types
There are various hosting server types available to you. You need to research them all so that you can decide which option is most suited for your needs. Here are a few examples to consider.
- Shared Hosting – As its name suggests, shared hosting means yours and a bunch of other websites share the same service and infrastructure. A cheaper option to be sure but sharing a server with others will impact your website’s performance in a negative way.
- Dedicated Hoisting – As the opposite of shared hosting, dedicated hosting means you get a server all to yourself. A more expensive solution but usually comes in with neat features, such as cPanel features for more control over your website.
- VPS Hosting – Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a combination of shared and dedicated hosting or a middle ground between the two if you will. You get your own virtual private server but the main server is shared with others.
- Cloud Hosting – Cloud computing is popular even when it comes to hosting services. Simply put, it works as an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). You basically subscribe to whatever you need to host your website and you can scale up and down as you see fit.
Every hosting provider offers additional features and it’s important that you consider their offers quite well. Aside from that, you must also consider the essentials. For instance, speed is very important. If your pages take too long to load, your visitors will leave and never come back.
Also, uptime and server reliability are crucial. It’s important to understand that there’s no 100% uptime. However, the best you should look for is 99.95% uptime at the very least but some providers offer 99.99% uptime as part of their premium services.
Last but not least, check how secure the hosting service is. This is the most important aspect as you must ensure that no one can breach your website and steal your data, as well as the data regarding your visitors, customers or clients. Here are a few security features your hosting service should provide:
- Security software, such as anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-ransomware, etc.
- Integrated firewall
- DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) protection
- Email filtering and anti-spam features
- TLS/SSL certificates
- Active monitoring
Domain name privacy
While talking about hosting services and security, it’s important to mention domains. As such, every hosting provider should also be able to provide you with the desired domain name. The domain name should be registered to you and you only.
As for the domain security, you will have to choose a proper TLD (Top Level Domain) extension and discuss the options with your hosting provider.
It’s important to note that a TLD with proper domain name security is vital. Extensions, such as .com, .me, .net and so on are properly secured. Moreover, your hosting provider must ensure the privacy of your account information as part of their security features.
Once you researched all the features your hosting provider offers and you’re ready to decide, take some time and do a bit more research. Everything might seem exceptional on the surface but there also might be a catch. Therefore, there are a few things you must additionally check before you make the decision. Here are a few examples:
- Check the price and hidden fees, if any
- Make sure there’s a 24/7 customer service and support option
- A live chat feature is also beneficial
- Make sure there are regular backups
- Check if there are upgrade options
If the hosting provider meets all of your criteria, you can purchase their services carefree.
Choosing the right hosting service can be a major challenge, especially when there are so many providers out there. However, with a bit of research, you can surely find an ideal hosting provider that will meet your needs.