Setting up a blog or any other type of website requires you to think about a lot of important things, such as the site’s niche, the type of content you are going to post, your target audience, and your site’s domain (although you can easily use a domain name generator like the one you can find here).
However, from a technical standpoint, we think there is nothing more important than choosing your web hosting provider.
Firstly, it is important to note that all hosting providers will promote their main features and claim that they are the best, or at the very least state that the features are better than their competitors.
In this article, we would like to share some important pointers on how to choose web hosting and what exact important features you need to pay attention to as a potential customer.
To put it simply, hosting is a place that you rent to accommodate the data needed by your website. It is both the physical and digital space of your website. If your hosting provider performs badly, your site will perform badly in return, and vice versa.
Choosing a hosting provider plays a crucial part in the development of your site.
However, you must note that determining good and bad web hosting is often a matter of personal preference. However, an educated pick cam be accomplished, if we base everything on universally useful features.
Let’s discuss these features up next.
So, what makes a web host good for your startup? In general, there are at least five factors to highlight when choosing a web host, regardless of experience with sites, these being:
Uptime measures how often the servers of your web host go down, using a percentage based system.
A good web host should have at least 99% uptime every month (the higher, the better!). In fact, a lot of web host providers already have a 99% server uptime with a money-back guarantee, which is nice.
To put it into perspective, we will give you the illustration on how the uptime percentage affects your website performance:
- 99% uptime per month means that in one month the server cannot be accessed for 7 hours and 12 minutes.
- 99.90% uptime per month means that in one month the server cannot be accessed for 43 minutes and 12 seconds.
- 99.99% uptime per month means that in one month the server cannot be accessed for 4 minutes 19 seconds.
As you can see, even a 0.99% margin could result in a quite big time difference. Therefore, you should not take even the slightest margin lightly since it will affect the availability of your website. Pick the highest one!
The web host with full-time support should absolutely be the one you check out first.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert website developer, it is always nice to have a hosting provider that provides 24/7 support, especially if there’s little to no wait time.
However, you need to notice that the quality of customer support from each web host is different. For instance, while some free web hostings like Googiehost or Byethost offers free support, you cannot compare its quality to paid providers.
Just because a hosting plan costs more, it does not necessarily mean that it's automatically better than the more affordable ones.
In fact, you should start comparingf hosting plans side by side, from various price ranges and hosting providers, to see which one has the best price-to-feature ratio.
Do the servers use HDD or SSD? Does it provide unlimited bandwidth? How much disk space will you get? Do you need to pay extra to get a domain? Does it provide an auto-installer for WordPress?
Asking yourself a lot of questions will stop you from making an impulsive purchase.
A $3 subscription per month for a hosting plan that gives you 10 GB of disk space looks like a bargain. But when you find out that there is a hosting provider that gives the same feature for less than half of the price, it suddenly looks way too expensive.
Website security has become one of the most important aspects that should never be overlooked, and since hosting is a foundation of your site, you must make sure that the security of your host is of the highest standard.
A good web host should provide an SSL certificate, antivirus, and antimalware protection. In addition, you should also pay attention to the hosting provider’s reputation.
However, note that better security options often come at a higher price. If you are looking for the maximum level of security, you might want to use VPS or Dedicated hosting.
Choosing a web host is not simple. Luckily, following these pointers above will definitely make your task much easier.
However, it is important to understand that there is no such thing as perfect hosting. Each of them surely has one or two flaws. The key lies within your own needs and expectations. We recommend you to choose the one with the most tolerable flaw.
Of course, you can migrate your site to a different hosting provider if you are not satisfied with your current provider performance.
However, the migration process does have its own risks, so it might be better not to rush into choosing the hosting for your site before you are already 100% sure that the particular web host is the one you are looking for.
Lastly, some of the web hosts also provide free hosting equipped with a lot of nice features (although you should not compare them to the paid ones, it is not fair).
Using free hosting might be a great way to actually know the overall performance of the web host provider you choose. If it works great, you can proceed to upgrade the hosting for more resources and better features.