It seems everybody has a website these days. From large corporations and small businesses to individual bloggers, setting up a digital presence has never been easier. Part of what has fuelled this trend is the prevalence of web hosting services that provide webmasters with a litany of benefits, features and tools to host proper websites.
While some may think their hosting service selection matters little, there is actually much to consider before picking a provider. In particular, there are 5 vital considerations that webmasters should make before taking the plunge and deciding on an individual web hosting service. Let’s examine each of these considerations and explain why they’re important.
Obviously, pricing for any web hosting service is a worthwhile consideration. One quick search for the best web hosting services 2020 has to offer will show hosting services that range from just a few pounds per month to thousands of pounds per month. Yet as with most things in life, the price is often indicative of the quality and service received.
For basic hosting needs, a cheap plan may be suitable. However, websites that are being built with growth in mind – or existing webmasters seeking a more reliable option to migrate to – will likely want to invest in something with a bit more oomph (a hosting plan in the £15 to £50 range). For true large-scale endeavours, a more expensive hosting service is worth considering.
How often a web hosting service is online matters in the grand scheme of things. While most hosting providers brag that their servers have >99% uptime, this is a metric that needs to be researched and corroborated through reviews and testimonies.
If your website is offline or otherwise unusable even just 1% of the time, that could pose tangible problems for your brand; the effects of website downtime on business is immense. Nobody wants to miss out on potential traffic, subscriptions and sales, which is why uptime is such a meaningful consideration.
How fast are a particular web hosting service’s server? This is a prime question that must be asked before committing to any web hosting service. Ultimately, it may seem obvious why server speeds matter, but there are two key reasons behind this vital consideration.
First and foremost, slow server speeds means slow websites. A website that is slow to load will result in fewer visitors clicking on fewer pages and links, or outright leaving the website in search of an alternative.
Secondly, server speeds actually impact search engine perceptions. For those seeking to maximise their reach in search engines via SEO initiatives, a slow website can actually reduce rankings in targeted search results. Because of this, server speeds truly matter beyond what is obvious.
Whether or not you can access customer service and technical support in the event of a web hosting problem is crucial. As with most metrics in web hosting, not all providers have equal footing. Unfortunately, some entry-level hosting services offer very little in terms of technical support, leaving you to figure out everything and sort through whatever problems arise.
Depending on your exact level of expertise with website and server maintenance, having technical support services available may be a prime consideration.
Security & Backup Availability
Perhaps most importantly, the security of a website matters more than practically anything else.
Last year, we wrote about the need for secure websites. If your data, pages and information in general aren’t secure, then there could be big consequences. From allowing sensitive user data to be stolen to having malware and malicious code installed on your website, a web hosting service that provides a variety of security measures and features is worth considering.
Additionally, ensuring that your data is secure not just from thieves and criminals – but also from loss – is paramount. Some web hosting providers offer guaranteed backup services, some offer voluntary backup options, and some offer no backup solution at all. Keeping your data backed up so that it can be easily restored in the event of natural disasters, mistakes or other mishaps will ensure that you can quickly restore your website to its original state.