Choosing the right web hosting company for your needs is going to be a very important factor when it comes to the success of your online business, or your business website. There are many options to choose from and you may not be familiar with all the technical terms when it comes to hosting packages.
If you are at a loss when it comes to hosting, here’s what you need to know to choose the right hosting options:
Uptime is referring to the availability. You want to choose a web hosting company that can guarantee your website will be online. If your website is down a lot due to server errors or maintenance this will have a negative impact on your business.
Most hosting companies offer 99.5% uptime which means your website could be down for about 3 hours each month. Some hosting companies can offer 100% uptime if you go for a dedicated server and depending on the package and company that you choose.
If you are planning on having a very busy money making website with high traffic you will need to consider going with a hosting company that can provide you with 100% uptime.
If you have an offline business that has a company website you may be able to get away with shared hosting that has 99.5% uptime which will not be such a huge expense to your company.
It is important to also note that your uptime can affect your website ranking and in turn have a negative impact on your business, so it is not just your company reputation at stake and the fact that you could lose income while your website is down that is at stake.
Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that is sent from your server to your visitor’s browser. Every time someone accesses your website it uses up bandwidth.
Your bandwidth needs will be determined by how heavy your content is. If you have a lot of large media files (video, images and music) then you will require a lot of bandwidth.
The amount of traffic you have to your website will also play a part in how much bandwidth you require. The more visitors you have the more bandwidth you will require.
While you want to ensure that you have sufficient bandwidth for your website you also don’t want to be paying for bandwidth that you will never use.
Hosting packages usually come with a bandwidth allocation and if you go over that monthly limit you will either find your website crashing (not being displayed) or you will be billed for the extra amount of bandwidth used.
It would be worth your while to research what the bandwidth options are just in case you one day have a spike in traffic so you know what you can expect.
The amount of disk space you need will depend on what you are doing with your website. If you are going to have a small company website you won’t need a lot of disk space. If you are going to be having a large website with lots of data and running lots of applications you will need more disk space.
Once again different hosting services will have different disk space options. You don’t want to be limited when it comes to your disk space but you also don’t want to be paying for disk space that you will never be using.
No matter what type of hosting package you go for ensure that the hosting company that you choose offers technical support at all times. If your website goes down at any time you need to be able to contact their technical support to get your website back online as fast as possible. You don’t want to be stuck waiting for help.
You need to be able to install an SSL certificate on your website. If your website that takes payment from customers or any personal information you are required to have a security certificate. An SSL certificate encrypts the data sent to your website. If you don’t have SSL then Google will give your customers a warning that your website is not secure.
Websites that have SSL start with https and have a green padlock showing that they are secure. Having SSL is also one of the Google ranking signals even though it is a lightweight ranking signal.
It is very important to note that some web host servers are not compatible to enable SSL. You will need to check this before choosing a hosting company.
Access To Control Panel
Ensure that you have full access to your control panel so you can manage your website and server yourself rather than have limitations forcing you to contact support to do things for you.
You will want to be able to make changes to your own site, add new emails, add new features and install updates and software.
Look for a hosting company that gives you access to cPanel or Plesk as this will give you all you need.
Some hosting companies use outdated servers with poor maintenance. Ensure that your web hosting company provides up to date and top notch security that has strong firewalls, monitoring and intrusion protection. It is also important to make sure that your hosting company offers a backup system for your website.
Make sure that your hosting company lets you use PHP, FTP, .htaccess, cron jobs and MySQL. This will enable you to access a range of technical functions should you need them in the future.
Some web hosting companies restrict your ability to use these services, particularly with the shared hosting packages.
Check that you have an email service so that you able to add email addresses with your own domain name which you can access via POP3 and IMAP as well as online. You must be able to set up forwarding and autoresponders.
It is also important that your email comes with security that filters spam and monitors for malware and viruses.
Make sure that the correct operating system is available from your hosting company. You will need to know what software you will be building your website with. Most hosts offer a Windows or Linux operating system. If you have a WordPress website you will need a Linux operating system.