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4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Web-host Company

CW
4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Web-host Company

When shopping for a web host it is best to know just what you should be looking for in your website hosting company. Most companies will have similar claims, such as unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and email. You also want to be sure that the company also has a high percentage of being up and available (99% or higher), 24-7 support, both site and store builders, and more. Therefore, it is up to you to do your homework before selecting your next website hosting company.

The features you should look when Choosing a Web host

  • Unlimited hosting (Bandwidth + Storage)
  • North American phone support
  • Bonus features
  • Enhanced malware protection
  • Secure site certification
  • Malware and spam protection
  • Free domain
  • Easy site builder
  • Online store and selling tools
  • Money back guarantee
  • Google tools for websites – including Adwords, sitemap, site search, etc.
  • Scalability – so you can customize your site
  • Dependability – your company should have a reputation built over several years for consistent service and staying power
  • Multiple servers to ensure that you and your site are protected
  • Powered by Green energy (many companies are becoming more and more environmentally friendly and obtain most if not all of their power from wind and solar sources)

Factors you need to consider when choosing a Web hosting provider include:

Price–

You want an affordable provider, but you also need reliability. Remember the old adage, you get what you pay for. You need to make sure that their support department is in-house, not out-sourced. In-house support and quality, reliable hardware is expensive. You need to ensure that you are getting the best provider for your money. You should compare the features each provider offers with the fees before making your decision.

Focus Areas or Specialties–

your website will have its own needs and not every hosting provider will be able to meet your needs. Therefore, you need to assess your needs, such as: is your company well established, growing, or just a small blog? Knowing your current and future needs is vital in order to make the right decision in choosing a web host provider. Each provider will have its strengths and weaknesses. If you are not sure, do not hesitate to contact the provider and ask questions. Make a list of your questions and note the answers. As you go through this process, the chances are that you will have more questions to ask. Do not be afraid to contact a provider more than once to ask additional questions. A good provider should be more than willing to take the time to answer all of your questions.

Features and Limitations

what do you want and need you site to do. A simple blog will need fewer features than an e-commerce site. There are site features that require plenty of RAM, ample processing power, and disk space in order to function well for you and your customers. Many inexpensive sites are unable to meet those requirements. Make a list of your requirements and consider your future needs as well. Make sure that any provider you consider meets or exceeds your needs. Keep in mind your needs for additional domains, support, backups, and more. Make sure your provider can grow with you.

Technical Support

this is very important. Your provider should have a good, solid reputation for their support department. You should be able to speak with a real person 24/7 no matter what. Most providers offer multiple levels of support, such as email, toll-free phone, live chat, and more. Make sure that the support department is in-house and hasn’t been out-sourced to another company or country. Make sure that your provider has made customer support a priority.

For example, Hostgator and Bluehost offers live chatting where as there are many webhosting companies, which offer support via Email and support ticket only. If your next hosting company offers support via Twitter and Facebook, it will be added advantage.

There are other things to consider in addition to the four items above. Once you have found providers that meet all of your criteria mentioned above, then the below items will help you to narrow your choices even more.

Features and Add-ons 

Now that you have your list of your main choices, you need to decide what makes one provider stand out from the others. What extras do they offer? Does their site make it easy for the novice to set up a site? Do they offer credits for advertising with Google Ads and Yahoo!? Do they have multiple data centers, use Green energy, and offer regular data backups? Is your domain privacy free or is there a cost for that feature? Sometimes your choice might simply come down to a gut feeling or a recommendation by a friend or business acquaintance.

Hardware

once you have gotten this far, you will want to have some idea of the hardware that your potential provider uses. Your provider should have good quality servers, designed to work together. Many small and new providers use used equipment that they cobbled together. These servers cannot guarantee that your site will always be up and work as expected.

Reputation/Satisfaction/Customer Review –

this is where you will really need to do your homework. Check out each provider you are considering on Twitter or do a Google Blog search. This will give you insight into what their current and former customer really feel about the company. Here is where you will find the information about their customer support department, such as ease of contact for support, average time for a ticket response, and how good are they about following up to ensure that your issues have been resolved. You can use the following websites to obtain more information. Here is a doc  maintained by LifeHacker. It provides a list of sites and shows how many of their readers felt that the site was both reliable and affordable. WebHostingtalk s one of the largest web-hosting communities available. .

Email Features

What email features does your provider offer. Do they provide spam protection? Is your site and email address or addresses protected from viruses and malware? These are important issues to consider. You will most likely have to ask these questions of your potential provider in order to obtain the answers.

Control Panel and User Interface 

 not everyone is tech savvy and the last thing you want is to be constantly contacting customer support in order to do the least little thing. You should be able to easily install WordPress, set up your email and your FTP (File Transfer Protocol) accounts. You should be able to easily update and modify your site without having to take a bottle of aspirin and block out several hours of your time. The best providers use cPanel or Plesk to make updating and modifying your site easy.

Room to Grow –

as mentioned before; you want to be sure that your provider is capable of allowing your site to grow. You need to have the ability to upgrade your account. While many providers offer that ability, many make upgrading easier than others do. While it is possible to transfer your site to another provider, it is often time consuming and requires additional effort from you.

Read:

Well, in most of the cases choosing a web host won’t be that tough and depending upon your hosting requirement, you can select from unlimited web hosting options available online. Personally, I recommend Hostgator, Bluehost for shared hosting, Knownhost, MT and Linode for VPS hosting. Do let us know what points do you consider before selecting your next web hosting company?
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Article by Coryh

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    { 24 comments… add one }

    • Ryan Percy

      Do I need to worry about heartbleed security issue now? I am going to register hosting with Hostgator and I am worried about their downtime! Any recommendation?

      Reply
    • david

      I have found people are most interested in performance over other characteristics of web hosting. That being said, you could set up a free trial with a hosting company and use an uptime monitor to see how good your trial goes. That should give you a good indication of whether or not the host is worth your time.

      Reply
    • Rakesh Narang

      Hostgator is a very nice web host provides great service and upgrade plans. But, I decided to go with WPWebHost because I wanted wordpress support from them.

      Reply
    • Shobhit

      @ Sumant Actually, in my case we are targeting India, so we’ve chosen Hostgator India and as you’ve said you are willing to target US, then no doubt go for Hostgator.com ;)

      Reply
    • wonboard

      Indian hosting company support is sometime unprofessional.It is hard to choose a good hosting company in these days of affiliate marketing

      Reply
    • Deepak Singh

      @Karan Labra, for Indian Traffic you should try India based Web Hosts like Znet India, BigRock etc..

      Reply
    • Daman

      It is actually very difficult to choose a web host for our needs but Hostgator and Dreamhost are still better than other hosts.

      Reply
    • Cory H

      Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. Choosing a hosting company is a pain in the butt, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Hopefully this helps some people to choose a better host than they might have otherwise.

      Cheers!

      Reply
    • Sonal kalra

      Nice one, Cory. However I have been using Hostgator and have always liked for all of its features and after sales service.

      Reply
    • Alok

      Web-hosting market is really very confusing, Every vendor seems to offer the same services almost at the same cost. For a newbie it is quite difficult to decide which one is best. But after reading your article, I think anybody can understand the real facts & take a better decision. Thanks for sharing such an informative article.

      Reply
    • Bharat

      Technical support of some hosting companies really sucks. Know more about their support, when choosing a web hosting company.

      Reply
    • Ross

      Great post! Every hosting company has its pros and cons, you just have to choose whats best fit your needs. So better research first. :)

      Reply
    • Karan Labra

      Do you suggest Hostgator India, I’m worried if they have frequent downtimes as the servers(as per my knowledge) are located in India…:/

      Reply
      • Sumanth

        Even i have same doubt karan..Is it better to buy hosting on hostgator.in or.com ?? and also hostgator provides only one domain support for its hatchling plan..but at the same cost bluehost is providing unlimited domains plan..i think bluehost is better..wat u say??

        Reply
        • Shobhit

          @ Karan @Sumnath my site is recently transferred to Hostgator India and till now they’ve delivered decent uptime of 99.62% in this October with site down time of less than 3 hours. And by far their servers are much reliable and bears good traffic around 5,000+ visitors on my site every day, without any issue and right now my site is on baby plan.

          My shared server is located in Maharashtra, that results into low latency, 120ms and enables faster FTP transfers, really!

          And the best thing i like about Hostgator India is the excellent support staff, so that makes even easier for you to fix any issue on chats, phone calls and email ticket support system.

          Again i repeat, if your website content targets India, than Hostgator India could be best for you, i recommend baby plan and right now they are giving up to 25% discount via coupon code SPARKLES and up to 20% via TWITTER :)

          Reply
          • Sumanth

            thanks for ur reply shobhit..i think even hostgator.com will have 99% uptime..i only difference i noticed was the price..hosting on hostgator india costs more than its US counterpart..And if we target US traffic then as you said indian hosting wont serve the purpose rite??

            Reply
    • Deepak Singh

      Quite a Nice! Article Cory. Would be much useful for US based Web Masters and Blogger while choosing a better Web Host. The Technical factors when choosing a better web host, you mentioned above is really helpful in all the ways.

      Reply
    • TechShouters

      superb, I noticed that every hosting provider company seems to be same featured, but its confusing to choose that, thanks a lot it will help me a lot

      Reply
    • Madhav Tripathi

      The post is very insightful, thanks Cory for posting this. The things you have mentioned are almost ignored by most of us when we go for first time. But I had a good study before making a decision. I was new so I was studying web hosts and compering features. So shared hosting was in my mind and there are some of the most popular shared hosting service providers as Bluehost was the best at that time. The things I had not considered while choosing my web host was hardware section.

      Reply
    • tushar

      i wish i could have stumbled onto this one few days earlier (rather you should have written this a few days ago). i was in dire need of a good web hosting article but was pretty confused.
      anyways, a good effort

      Reply
    • surya

      Hostgator has a all features like a live chat, Free call in toll free number, 24 hour full support and affordable price. If you are from India. Then choose hosting from hostgator.in they give you full support.

      Reply
    • Eric Murphy

      great post on choosing webhost. Its a critical step because we have to choose a webhost that has spam protection, regular back up facility and so on

      Reply
    • Kimi

      Hi Cory,

      I have read your good tips, however I guess I missed, the “how many addons domains we can have”.

      I have recently looked for a good webhosting, and I have checked one of the most recommended webhost , everything looks good, but they don’t offer addon domains, which was sad lol

      Addon domains are important to me

      Thanks Cory, have a good weekend

      Kimi

      Reply
    • Kimya

      for me, must have a reliable hosting provided secure against malware, blogging activity become less comfortable if hosting is not a guarantee of safety

      Reply

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