The best way to learn how you will be treated by a person is to look at how they treat others. It is the same for business. Before you choose to go with a particular web hosting service, look at the way they treated the customers before you, listen to what their customers are saying about them. This tactic will help you avoid some unpleasant situations.
Below are markers of a poor web host
- Constant downtimes
- Lackadaisical customer service
- Poor or non-existent security measures.
- Poor bandwidth
- Exorbitant renewal fees
- Scant storage space
- Poor returns for your subscription prize
These are simple markers that a particular web host may not be good for you, ensure you read customer reviews about a web host before making your choice.
Here are things to look out for in a web host before buying in
There are certain things that set certain Web hosts apart from their competition, you may have no idea about this now but we will take your hand and walk you through several key factors that will help you choose the best host.
What is the reputation of your Web Host?
The internet offers you a good avenue to find out all you can about the Web Host provider you are thinking of joining. Go ahead and read what others are saying about your intended host. When you have read all of the host’s reviews, you can make an informed decision to avoid regrets and questions. A web provider with genuine positive reviews is your best bet. I say genuine because many companies pay for flowery reviews, you can weed out the genuine from the fake by paying attention to the reviews across several platforms. If you can, conduct a word of mouth assessment, find people who have worked with your intended host and have a chat with them, nothing beats interpersonal interaction.
Positive recognition also goes a long way to show the quality of service provided by a Web host. A web host awarded in the past for quality service is likely to perform better than one without recognition.
Longevity is also very important. A web host who has been in the business longer must be doing something right because it is nearly impossible for a web host with a poor track record to remain in business for long no matter how affordable their service may be.
Will you get a minimum of 99% uptime?
The probability of losing business because your website is down is high. When Amazon’s Web Services had issues for four hours in 2017, it resulted in a $150 million loss for a lot of businesses. Now imagine a situation where your website goes down frequently, worse, right? Every minute is important to an entrepreneur. You must ensure that your web host can keep your website running at least 99% of the time. The best web hosts will offer 99-100% uptime. While start-ups can make do with 99%, it is often better to go for 99.9% or an outright 100% uptime.
Can you get support anytime you need it?
You may not be able to resolve all your issues by yourself at all times, no matter how savvy you are. You need to be able to reach out to your web host for tech. support at all times. This is why it is paramount that you get a web host who is available 24/7, this allows you the freedom to review every technical aspect of your website at any point during the day with the confidence that your provider will be available to support you. Apart from being available at all times, a good web host is expected to provide resources and DIY manuals for their clients.
Although the future is unknown, every business begins with an eye towards future expansion. This is why you should pay heed to the plans your host may have for your future expansions if any. At the onset, shared hosting may be your best bet as a start-up but as you grow, you may find that you have a need for a dedicated hosting plan to help manage the increased traffic of your growing business. This is why you must be sure that the provider you chose can accommodate your future expansion plans.
Some businesses have particular times during the year when they are on high demand, these seasons are another reason you need to choose a web host provider with the wherewithal to handle the upgrades you might need during your hot streak. A provider that can offer easy upgrades will help remove any future downtime caused by too much traffic during seasonal rush. Imagine a gift box retailer on Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc. Overwhelming requests for your products might come in at these times, what do you do if you had chosen a host that cannot offer easy upgrades?
Simple and Natural Interface
Your web host manages most of the hosting infrastructure involved in web hosting, in spite of that, a particular control area is assigned specifically to you for the management of your personal account. When you make the choice of a host, go for a web host provider who offers an easy to manage interface. If you choose a provider whose system allows clients to manage their files online and grants access to the personal control panel on the go, you can access the UI of the control panel through mobile devices.
You must make sure that the file transfer protocol is large enough to move media files from your computer to your host. The size of the FTP is paramount because the larger it is, the better your experience will be. The best control panels available in the market are cPanel and Plesk. The major thing to keep in mind is the fact that you must not have to run to your host each time you need to access your panel.
Do you have Migration support from your Host?
Migration is important to clients moving from a poor web host to a supposedly better one. What support does the new host have for you? Can they smoothen your process by making sure you migrate quickly without losing time and some pertinent aspects of your website? This is called migration support, a good provider would help reduce your downtime to the barest minimum possible. You must also ensure that your new host has a favourable exit plan perchance you need to migrate to another plan in the future.
All in one Domain Name Management
While it is possible to host your domain name and your website with different host providers, it is often more practical to have both under the same host. If you have both domiciled with the same host, you can manage them better than when they are scattered abroad, sometimes, you can manage them from the same dashboard.
An added advantage will accrue to you if the web host allows for the parking of multiple domain names, this enables you to register different related business domains under the same web host.
Adequate Security and back-up Features are Important
Good web hosts have security measure in place to safeguard their client’s businesses. Firewalls, SSL certificates and other strong measures are put in place for better security which must not be compromised for whatever reason. Because the internet is prime ground for firewall breaches and hackers, you cannot have a 100% safety net in place but you can aim for the closest thing by opting for a web host with good security apparatus.
With the possibility of a breach always looming in the horizon, you must make sure that your service provider has adequate recovery measures in place for those times when a breach occurs. Your host’s disaster-recovery plans should include automatic back-up of all website files and database so that if the worst occurs and you lose website data, you can rest in the knowledge that recovery is sure.
How much Storage and Ram can you get now and in future?
For a start-up, some of the storage plans touted as unlimited will serve your humble beginning. Yet, the beginning is not the focus, the future is. Most unlimited storage plans are handled with hard disk drives due to their ability to handle large capacity files, but as you step out of the shadow of your beginnings and expand, you may want more storage space. This is why it is important that you find a provider who uses SSDs – Solid-State Drives- SSDs are not just reliable, they are also fast and offers seamless processing of large traffic.
Be wary of the promise of unlimited space hosts, their pitch is often marketing “gimmicks” where you are held down later by additional rules and impositions on what you can actually store in your unlimited space.
The number of people that can gain access to your website is determined by bandwidth. This is not very important to start-ups and small scale businesses as they are not able to use up their allotted bandwidth, irrespective of the plans they use. Nevertheless, you should choose a hosting provider who can ensure that the growth of your bandwidth grows as your business grows.
If your host provider is closer to your target customers, your webpage loading speed becomes. This is why you should try to use a host closer to the same geographical location as your customers. This is not always possible, the next best option is to opt for a provider offering Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Keys to Web Host Pricing
The key is never to assume that an expensive host is better just because it is pricy. You must analyze available offers to ensure that the price matches the value of service. A rule of the thumb is to start small and work your way up, never pay for more than you need.
It is imperative that you choose a web host provider that is both affordable while providing all you need to stay afloat. Cheap is not always bad, but quality is a commodity you must not compromise on.