Choosing the best web hosting service for your website is essential, as this is a long-term commitment and you need to get the best value for your money. Besides, it is a lot better to make the best decision from the very first time, rather than wasting time switching from one provider to another. The hosting provider has a tremendous impact on your website, and here you will find 15 useful tips that will help you choose the best one:
1. Analyze The Customer Support Beforehand
The customer care services offered by the web hosting provider are essential, so make sure to test them beforehand. What if your website goes down? The provider must be there to help you as soon as possible - if the servers are down for an extended period of time, you risk to lose both visitors and money. Before purchasing, make sure to test the support team's knowledge as well by asking simple key questions related to technical aspects of hosting.
2. Check The Downtime
Another factor that should be taken into account when choosing the hosting company is the maximum server downtime, which should not exceed 0.5%. You can use various free trial programs such as Pingdom to monitor the uptime of your hosting provider - if the downtime is unacceptable, then switch to another web host. When it comes to websites, visitors, and sales, there is no room for compromise!
3. Be Skeptic With The Reviews
Keep in mind that many reviews available on the Internet are paid reviews, meaning that they are written by customers that have been paid to offer positive feedback. This does not mean you should not trust them or that they are all biased - it only means that you should be a bit skeptical and you should not believe everything you read.
4. Opt For Versatile Hosting Services
Choosing a small hosting company is worthless if you want to grow your website in the long run, as they may not be able to offer all the hosting services you need. This is why it is important to choose a solid hosting company that is expandable enough to support your future plans in terms of website or business expansion.
5. Go For Hosting Services That Offer Long Trial Periods
Generally speaking, a 14-day trial period is worthless - nobody can figure out the potential of a hosting company within 14 days! Make sure that the trial period is of at least 30 days, meaning that your hosting provider will give you a full refund after 30 days of signing up if you are not satisfied with the services.
6. Make Sure Your Hosting Provider Updates The Software And Applications Consistently
When it comes to hosting services, there is nothing more unprofessional than a hosting company which simply forgets to update its software and web applications, so make sure your web host uses the latest versions available. After all, if they are unable to update their own applications, how could they possibly take care of your needs?
7. Opt For A Third Party Domain Registrar
This is one of the most important pieces of advice you can get: register your domain name on a third party, as this will allow you to switch your web host whenever you want and with no hassles.
8. Do Not Fall For The Illusion Of Unlimited Hosting
This is a far-fetched claim and you should understand that there is no such thing as truly “unlimited” hosting, especially if it has a ridiculously low price tag. There are companies with powerful servers that should not encounter shortage of hosting capacity - that is true, but this does not mean the hosting is unlimited.
9. Carefully Read The Small Print And Understand The Policy
Another important tip is to always read the small print and so understand the refund policy of your web provider. Are there any circumstances under which you may not receive your money back? Is there a trial period - if yes, how long is it? By reading and understanding these seemingly irrelevant details, you can actually prevent unpleasant situations in the future.
10. Check The Backup Services
I can tell you from personal experiences in the past that backup services are absolutely essential, especially if your website deals with valuable data. Does the hosting provider also offer backup services? If so, then you should carefully read the backup policy to see whether the services are truly reliable and worthy of your time and money. Also, make sure to ask your provider a series of vital questions before making the payment, such as how often they backup their servers or how many incoming lines the data center has.
11. Jot Down The Features And Functions You Want From Your Web Hosting Service
Web hosting is a complex service and it comes with a plethora of features - you must identify the most relevant ones for your website and your business, and see whether a particular provider is able to offer them. A popular CMS, a private SSL, or a dedicated IP are three of the most commonly requested features, so make sure to keep them in mind!
12. Choose Short-Term Contracts
If you have recently changed your hosting provider, then do not choose a long-term contract - instead of doing that, opt for a short-term one to see whether the provider can truly rise to your expectations. Having said that, choose hosting services for 12 months and if you are satisfied with the quality of the services, you can extent the contract to 24 or 36 months. Do not choose subscriptions longer than 12 months at first and never fall for promises and low prices. Just because there is a discount for buying a longer subscription doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea!
13. Check To See Whether Your Web Host Has Black Holed IP
Some providers have what is known as a "Black Holed IP", and you can check to see whether your provider comes with such an IP by simply using the Spamhaus Block List, a handy tool that analyzes the IP address and gives you detailed information about it.
14. Have a Paypal Account To Pay For The Hosting Services
This is an easy way to prevent the provider from charging you for the hosting services after you have cancelled your account. Occasionally, the web host's automated software continues to charge your account even after you terminate your collaboration - to avoid that, it is better to pay with your Paypal account and simply cancel the subscription via Paypal.
15. Keep An Eye On The Price
Do not fall for cheap prices, as the chances are that the hosting company hides something. On the other hand, a ridiculously expensive price tag does not necessarily guarantee top-notch services either. If a web hosting company offers services that seem too good to be true, then they most likely are. Opt for medium prices between $3 and $8 per month. That should keep you out of trouble!
In conclusion, there are many web hosting service providers on the Internet, and not all of them are suitable for your website. This is why it is recommended to read the terms of service and user reviews and testimonials, as well as to carefully analyze their products and services. The more in-depth the research, the better it will be for your website and for your pocket.