How to Choose a Web Hosting Package
Finding a web host service provider that suits YOUR needs can be like searching for a:
- perfect wedding dress …
- pair of running shoes …
- bottle of wine or whiskey …
It takes time, effort and serious consideration!
There is a lot you need to think about … reliability, support, security, upgrade policy … Start with understanding which types of web hosting service are offered.
In a previous article we explored this:
- Shared Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
There are more options available so don’t forget to do your research!
Along with choosing the type of web hosting you will need, consider the type of website you are creating:
Here are important QUESTIONS to ask, when talking to your prospective web hosts.
Reliability and Upgrades
Reliability is non-negotiable. The guaranteed UPTIME should definitely not be less than 99%! Time is money! Hassles are frustrating! Downtime may damage your brand or cost you sales.
As your business grows you may need to upgrade your web hosting package. Flexible software options and increased storage size are some of the features you want when migrating to a bigger, better hosting package.
Costs, Renewal and Refund Policy
The first decision you will need to make is PAID-FOR vs. FREE web hosting. Be careful when considering free web hosting as often you will be sacrificing important features such as bandwidth, storage space or support. Also, budget for growth!
Find out if there is an annual renewal increase and how much it is? Will you receive a reminder or is it automatic?
Most web hosts offer a refund policy. Make sure you understand the details, for which features it is available, and what steps you need to follow.
CMS and Control Panels
There are so many great CMS (Content Management Systems) available! You may already have chosen one that suits you best! Remember that even open source CMS solutions needs to be hosted, so make sure that the web host you have in mind, supports the CMS you want!
Choose a control panel (web-based graphical interface) that allows you to manage the back-end of your website. Complicated interfaces will take time (and time is money!) and possibly frustrate you! You are looking for a simple but effective control panel. Different web host providers may use different control panels. Take it for a test drive! Make sure it works for YOU!
Adding Domains, Plugins and E-commerce
As your business grows your website will undoubtedly grow as well. If you have chosen the right web host and the right CMS, this should simply be a matter of an additional fee to upgrade or add-on, and you are done!
So ask these questions: Can I add more domains? Is there a cost? How do I go about doing it?
The same questions go for plugins. You may want to add new features or components to improve the user experience on our website. Which plugins are supported? How do you install it?
This is very important to consider: Should my online store be a part of my business website or separate? The answer is important for future growth and budgeting purposes!
What is Included – SSL certificate, Back-up, Security, Support
An SSL Certificate ensures private, secure connections by encrypting information. A web host who is serious about YOUR website’s security, will automatically offer you this must-have feature!
Most web hosting service providers will offer website back-up, discuss their policy and costs so you may manage this proactively. Back-ups are as important as great security! It should be non-negotiable!
Often your website security will be dependent on the web hosting plan you choose. Discuss this in detail with the web host you are considering to make sure you have peace of mind.
Throughout your journey with your chosen web host service provider, you will need SUPPORT! Whether it is answers you are looking for when first engaging them or technical support down the line. Find out what their turn-around time is. What contact options you have to log a query – helpline, chat-bots, email?
These are by no means the only questions you need to ask. Research is important. Talk to other business owners about what their web host pitfalls were when they started out.
Get your domain, email and website TODAY!