What To Look For In A Web Hosting Company
When it comes to web hosting, trying to decide which company to use can be overwhelming at times. Especially considering what an important piece of the puzzle a quality web hosting company can be if you are running an online business.
Your site could be down at a crucial time of day, during an important sale, whenever, and it could ruin your business completely. You might get an error when working on your site and without good customer service, you could lose your site or at the very least spend many frustrating hours trying to get things fixed and back to normal.
So what should you be looking for when it comes to quality web hosting?
First, you’ll need to know your hosting needs. This means things such as bandwidth and disk storage size. You’ll need to know what type of site you plan on building. Is it an e-commerce store? Is it a WordPress site? Will it contain mostly text or will it be image or video intensive? Will you be using something like a PHP forum and therefore need a host that can utilize PHP?
You may not know the answer to all these question when you’re first looking for web hosting. And that’s okay. It just means that you’ll need to go with a web hosting plan that allows you to upgrade your plan that you initially purchase.
That means start small. Go with a shared hosting account. These accounts are pretty cheap, easily maintained, and most likely more than sufficient for at least the early stages of your web site’s growth and design. When you are ready, you can upgrade your web hosting account to either a VPS web hosting account or even dedicated hosting.
As mentioned above, reliability, in terms of uptime, is absolutely crucial. With the quality of hosting nowadays, don’t go for any plan that delivers less than 99% uptime. Be sure you get a shared hosting account with a company that allows you to upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting. A shared account should be more than sufficient to handle 40,000 monthly unique visitors to a WordPress site but after that, you’ll most likely want to upgrade your plan. Be sure you can before you sign up to a shared account!
A lot of web hosting companies give you deals to start. Be sure and read the fine print and see what you are paying per month after the deal ends. You can usually find a plan that gives you one month at a discount before going to a regular monthly fee.
Some simple things a shared account must have, but not all do, is Cron jobs (for daily operations), an Auto Script Installer for simple web app installations (for things like WordPress), .htaccess, Server Side Include and FTP access. Look for a simple to use hosting panel like cPanel, Plesk, or vDeck.
Domain Addon is important as well. You not think so now, but domains are cheap, and the ability to addon a domain to your hosting account is crucial.
Finally, be sure to look into the web hosting’s site backup plan. Your web site may crash. You don’t want to lose it all. Check to see of you can set automatic site backup.