Can you answer the following questions?
Are you using the right web host for your website, is it secure, helping decrease your bounce rate, can you get immediate hosting support if it goes down, do you even know how to contact support? If you can’t answer some, or worse still, any of those questions, your website, and your business, could be heading for a bumpy, and potentially, profit losing ride.
So, how do you choose the right web host?
As most web hosting companies offer the same essential features, such as unlimited disk space, bandwidth, email, uptime, and support, it is sometimes difficult to separate them. But there is a way of finding an answer. By knowing what key features your website requires to run smoothly, you can help yourself make an informed decision as to which web host is best for you.
The following five features are some to consider.
1. Can You Afford for Your Website to go Down?
Consider the following scenario. Your online sales drive your income, suddenly your website is down, you’re losing visitors, and even worse, you’re losing sales.
While this is purely fictional, it can happen, and if your uptime isn’t 100% guaranteed, it can cost you dearly!
Therefore, reliability should be the first thing you consider when choosing a web host. You can check this out by contacting them directly and asking do they guarantee 100% uptime, odds are they will say yes. However, you can find this information elsewhere by taking a few steps.
- Google the name of the host, along with “reliability and uptime.”
- Search for unbiased customer reviews regarding uptime
2. You Can Decrease Visitors Bounce Rates by Increasing?
Speed. Two seconds, yep, that’s the amount of time your website has to load before your prospective customers bounce.
Think about all of the effort attracting visitors, marketing campaigns, SEO, adds! Only to lose them because of slow loading times, it makes no sense, and it’s terrible for rankings and business.
Avoid this by asking your web host what services they provide and if they can support your website. There are six different types of web hosting options available, which one is best for your website will depend upon its needs.
- Shared hosting
- Virtual private server (VPS) hosting
- Dedicated server hosting
- Cloud hosting
- Managed hosting
3. Trust is a must!
Would you give your card details over to an untrustworthy website? Of course not. And the same thought must be applied when it comes to your web hosts’ security, especially if you will be processing customer information and payments.
Some security features you should consider when choosing your web host are:
- Secure Server Capabilities
- Malware Scanning
- DDoS Prevention and CDN Support
- Manual Reboots
- Backup and Restore
Don’t forget to run daily backups in case you lose your website’s content because if you don’t and it goes, it’s could be gone for good.
4. Great Support Can Make all the Difference
Your website goes down! What’s your next move?
Customer service, and it must be both available and accessible when you need it.
It should be a 24/7 service, so your web-host is there when you need them, most top-rated host providers are.
This is where web host providers can differ; you want one that provides the following channels of communication and, of course, self-help solutions.
- Live Chat
- Support videos
- Online community forums
- Commonly asked Q&A’s
You can review a company’s hosting support by running a google search and checking out independent reviews.
5. Can you afford to compromise?
It’s best to invest in a web host that you know you can rely on.
Fortunately, high-quality hosting is affordable, so you don’t have to compromise on features just because of price.
As with speed, the features provided will vary from host to host, ensure they have what you need before making a decision.
Consider the following:
- In house support (this one is non-negotiable)
- Reliable hardware
- Unique software solutions (in case your website requires one)
- And, of course, everything mentioned from numbers 1 – 4
Another point that requires some thought is the source of your website template. If you are using a WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla template, they will have been written in PHP (this is a universal code used for login pages, shopping carts, and viewable on all types of devices), then you will need a server with a PHP processor module. Most web hosts do but check.
If you are using one of these content managing systems (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla), and can’t afford to pay for hosting, there are free PHP hosting platforms available that could provide the support you need.