Web hosting is important and to avoid making a mistake that could cost you a lot, make sure you look for the following 7 things:
#1. Reliability, Uptime & Downtime
The first thing you need from your web host is reliability. This is why you have to know the uptime and downtime of the website, which means how long it will be online/up and how long it will be offline.
Downtime is necessary for various reasons and it can be scheduled or it can be unpredictable and unscheduled, with result to causing many problems to you and your business. To be more specific, when your site is down (either for maintenance or for other unforeseen reasons) visitors will not be able to see it and this could mean loss in sales, engagement and SEO rankings.
Most hosts try to offer 99.9% uptime, so as to provide server maintenance when it’s necessary and there are some that offer reimbursements for any time that’s over their guaranteed uptime. You can’t really know if a web host’s actual downtime is more than they claim, but you can definitely do some online research to see if the customers are generally satisfied.
#2. Is e-mail included?
We mentioned in a previous article how important it is to have an email address associated with your domain name. As we said, not only does it look more professional, but it actually is. Think about yourself: don’t you take a company more seriously if their e-mail is associated with their domain name? Well, that’s how it goes for everyone else as well!
So pay attention to this: a good hosting package will also provide you with (at least) an email address related to the domain name of your website. Make sure you get that and be a proper professional.
You hope you won’t need it, but chances are that you will. After all, we’re talking about machines that sometimes fail in doing everything perfectly. So when, suddenly, your website is offline or it’s not responsive and there’s nothing you can do to bring it back online, you will need customer service. The company’s support is essential in these cases and there is not much room for negotiations here.
Ask what kind of support they provide. Do they chat with you? Do they talk to you? Do they work with a ticketing system? Do they have FAQ or a blog to advise you for minor issues? Choose whatever works with you best and make sure you are also cooperative and understanding.
When it comes to customer support, we believe that 24 hours a day is the only way to have it, if your website is not just a landing page. However, even a simple landing page could be of equal importance to an e-shop. So, choose according to your needs and remember: you will definitely need it.
#4. Ability to scale
What you need, is a website that will grow in time. This means more visitors, more interaction, more space, more products, more demands. In other words, more traffic, that will be translated into more clients.
Thus, if you have created a basic website that only serves your basic needs, you will need to upgrade it. This could mean that you might need to move from a shared hosting plan to cloud hosting. Or, that you might only need more space to store your files. Whatever it is that you need, your web host should be able to provide it to you.
Of course you can change your hosting provider, but it is much easier for you to find a web host that you can stay with and cooperate. Consequently, one of the things you should look in a web host, is their ability to scale, or your ability to upgrade to a hosting plan that will be more suitable for your websites’s needs.
Moreover, if your website actually grows and business goes well, you might even need to register more domains or set up subdomains for your existing domain. In this case, your web host will have to be equipped with the suitable tools for domain management and allow you to grow further. Thus, the ability to add multiple domains to a single hosting account is also very important, if it is your priority to grow your business and thrive. domains.
#5. Bandwidth and Storage
Bandwidth is the amount of traffic and number of page views your website can handle every month. Generally web hosts offer unlimited bandwidth, but this is not always the case under specific circumstances. For example, if you put an offer or a sale on your website and there are too many visitors at the same time, your website could go down.
It’s usually on shared hosting plans that unlimited bandwidth is not actually what you get. In this case, a website can usually handle a specific number of visitors per month, as a larger number could mean that your website speed will decrease and that the visitors will leave the page quickly, as it will not be responding fast enough.
If you believe that you should upgrade, then go for it!
Storage means how much you can store at the server that is provided for you. Keep in mind that storage varies across hosting companies and platforms so if you plan to have a website with a lot of videos, you should not get the cheapest option that offers you minimum storage.
In the I.T. world, the word “backup” is a holly word. Whatever you do, you need to have backup of your files, or everything could be gone within seconds.
It is not rare that you might experience an issue with your website and sometimes the safest solution is to roll it back. In this case, you clearly need backups that will help you save as much as possible. Some web hosts offer backup, but some others don’t. Moreover, it is critical to know how often this takes place and how long this backup is being kept. If there is an extra cost for this service, how much is it?
So, if one day a hacker attacks your website and you need to restore it, you will pleasantly remember the day that you picked a web host that offers backup services and saved your website from having to rebuild it.
Cybercrime is not something uncommon and the chances that your website will be infected with malware is very high. However, this is something very common that you can normally control and keep to safe levels, if your web host provides security.
Hackers usually cause issues to websites by creating fake backlinks and spam pages, which results to your website getting blacklisted by search engines and this is the last thing that you want for your business. Company data should be well protected, as well as customer information, especially nowadays.
So, before choosing a web host, make sure they provide security options and are able to scan and detect malware or different kinds of vulnerabilities.
Have Fun and enjoy your time with Solomon Designs!