There are thousands of hosting companies online and they all offer different hosting packages at different prices.If you are hosting a website for the first time, choosing a website host can be difficult because it is not clear what to look for.
Do you simply buy the cheapest? How much RAM do you need? Do you really need telephone support?
These kinds of questions can make selecting a website host a difficult task, though they are important to answer.
In this article, I would like to speak about five things that you should look for in a website host.
A hosting plan has to meet all of your requirements. It is worth choosing a hosting package that does not have any restrictions on the number of websites you host; but you should be wary of companies that promise unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space. No such thing exists. If you use too much CPU time or RAM, your account will be deactivated.
Pay attention to other features too, such as number of IP addresses, backup functionality, and the control panel that is offered. If you need any specific software to be installed on your server, make sure the hosting company supports it.
The quality of a web host can influence the time it takes for your pages to load. If your website is using more CPU and RAM than you have been allocated, your website performance will suffer (it may even go offline). The server response time from your hosting company will contribute to your page loading time too.
Once your website has grown to a certain level, you will need to upgrade from a basic shared hosting plan to a VPS or dedicated hosting plan. At this point, ask your hosting company to provide a report of the disk space you use, the CPU load, and the amount of RAM your websites uses. This will help you choose a plan that suits your requirements.
I recommend installing P3 Plugin Performance Profiler to help you see what WordPress plugins are causing load on your website.
Most website hosting companies promise 99.99% uptime. Some even make the outrageous claim of having 100% uptime.
The reality is that all hosting companies experience downtime; whether it be due to DDOS attacks, software updates, software problems, or hardware issues.
You can use a service such as HyperSpin to monitor the uptime of most major hosting companies. And once you have chosen a host, services such as Uptime Robot and Pingdom can be used to alert you when your website has gone offline.
Support can make the difference between a good hosting company and a great hosting company. Pay attention to the level of support a company provides. A good way to get an indication of the kind of support you will receive as a customer is to contact them beforehand and ask them questions regarding your website. If the hosting company takes a few days to respond, it could be an indication that support is slow.
The most common methods of support are online chat, support ticket or help desk system, discussion forum, email, or telephone. Ideally, a company should provide telephone support during working hours and a 24/7 help desk with fast response times.
In an ideal world, we would all be hosting our websites on top of the range dedicated servers with great support and lightning fast response times. Sadly, for the majority of us, cost will be a huge factor in what hosting package we choose.
Look at the features and performance that you need from a hosting plan and then review your options. You should not be afraid to pay a little more if a hosting company delivers a great product and great service. However, bear in mind that a more expensive hosting package is no guarantee of it being better than a cheaper competitor.
I hope you have enjoyed this look at choosing a website host. If so, I encourage you to subscribe to WPEka.