Having the right web host can make or break your business. But what if you don’t know what to look for in a hosting package? How can you be sure that you’re choosing the right provider for the right price? Here are just a few tips for finding a good web host.
1. Know Your Needs
A video-sharing website will require much more bandwidth than a text-based blog. A busy site should probably go on a private server rather than a shared one. Before you start registering domain names, make sure your chosen host has the capacity to support your needs.
2. Look Into Server Uptime
“Uptime” is the amount of time that a website is both functional and accessible. The opposite of this is called “downtime,” and even a small amount of it can result in lost profits or interrupted web traffic. You don’t want to play around when it comes to uptime; if the hosting service can’t guarantee at least 99 percent uptime, choose a host that can.
3. Browse Their Available Domains
If you’re hoping to create a specific URL, you’ll need to check and make sure that it isn’t already taken. Even if a site doesn’t exist at that web address, there might be a domain holder with rights to the name behind the scenes. Some hosts will allow you to search, check and claim domain names, but even if you find one that doesn’t, you can still email them and inquire about your intended URL.
4. Ask About Refunds
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Instead of assuming that everything will work out with your host, go ahead and plan for a future where it doesn’t. Will you receive a full refund if you cancel in the middle of your trial period? If you switch hosts before your next billing cycle, do you still have to pay for the month?
5. Compare and Contrast Their Features
Every host has their perks. Maybe they offer a special price for new customers; maybe they include free emails and storage space in their gold-level packages; maybe they toss in SSL certification for e-commerce sites. These features can be the deciding factor in your hosting decision, so don’t be shy about digging around and seeing what your money can buy.
6. Give Yourself Room to Grow
This is an important consideration for both bloggers and business owners who expect to expand their readership in the coming years. Will you be able to upgrade your hosting package as your site grows? Can you purchase more space, better features and securer servers when the time comes? If you’ll have to move to another host in five years, you might as well sign up with that other host right now.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you cultivate your online brand. Whether you’re looking for ecommerce web hosting services or just a place to create a blog, these tips should be enough to get you started on your journey.