There is a lot of confusion regarding all of the complex terminology and lingo that flows across the Internet on a constant basis; web hosting is one of those terms that has been lost to the confusion. Web hosting isn’t about the design of your site, but the quality and reliance of the servers you choose to support it.
These tips can help guide your decision a little better.
If you’re just building your first website, opt for shared hosting. There are two main types of hosting on offer: shared, which is cheap, but has fewer options, and dedicated, in which you get the works and lots of customizability, but you pay for the privilege. Good shared hosting plans can be had for just a few dollars a month.
When choosing your web hosting service, do not rely on someone’s recommendation, or only on the info you’ve read online. Most services have affiliate programs and the people recommending the service may not have any direct experience with it. You should take more than recommendations into consideration when choosing your web host.
If you have been used to the same web host for several months, look at the availability of your website. An availability of 99% or more means your website is accessible all the time. If you notice a lower availability rate, look for a web host that does not encounter as many outages.
If at all possible, choose a web host that has 24-hour customer service via telephone. The larger hosting services often provide this valuable service. You do not want to be working late at night and find that are experiencing technical difficulties. Call them before you sign up, and test the level of expertise of the agents, and whether or not they can give simple instructions that are easy to understand.
Choose a host that will allow your growth. While a single HTML page takes up almost no space at all, adding media like photos and videos will quickly eat up your available space. For hosting files alone, around 100MB – 1 GB should offer a good starting platform for your domain.
The best web hosts offer you many different tools to help you improve your website. Some services allow you to build your site from scratch on an easy to use click and drag software or to use one of their templates, for instance. Look for a service that comes with the kind of tools you need.
All things considered, the cheapest web hosting company is not the wisest choice. Sure, you don’t want to incur astronomical charges for hosting, but you do not want downtime, lost customers, and many more problems based on choosing a web hosting company whose standards are anything but professional. Make sure you select a web hosting company that you can trust, and not the cheapest company.
A key factor for choosing a web host is available tech support. Should your site go down for any reason, you do not want to have to wait for tech support to be available during specified business hours. If a company is offering less than a full 24-hour support, 7 days a week, year-round, they should not fall under consideration. You need to know that someone besides yourself is concerned with keeping your site up.
Think about your long-term budget before you commit to a web hosting company. Some companies offer discounts if you commit to a 1-year, 2-year or longer contract. Choose a company that offers a low fee for long-term hosting, but make sure the company you choose offers all the options you need.
Uploading new content to your site should be easy. To be successful, you will have to add more content regularly and fix mistakes quickly: choose a web hosting service that allows you to make changes easily and to upload your content to their servers quickly. A good host should also make new content available within a few hours.
Now you understand what it really means to host a website, so you can pay attention to these small details that you may have overlooked normally. It’s always great to know what goes on behind the curtain.
One day, you may even decide to handle your hosting needs yourself and that’s when things will become really interesting!