Irrespective of whether you run a company website, a personal blog, or an e-commerce website, it is crucial that you pay a ton of attention while choosing your web hosting plan. Your website hosting forms its very foundation, and a shaky foundation cannot hold a building upright.
Your website host serves multiple purposes for your website which include providing a safe and secure server, ensuring data storage, and optimizing website speed. Hence, the decision of choosing your web hosting plan shouldn’t be taken in haste. Given below are four things you should take into consideration before choosing a web hosting plan for your website:
1. Understand the differences between types of hosting.
Most small businesses tend to instinctively choose a shared hosting plan for their website when doing so for the first time. Many e-commerce websites instinctively choose WooCommerce hosting. With many options, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all the different types which are explained briefly below:
Shared Web Hosting
Under shared web hosting, your website is stored on a server that is shared by other websites. Multiple websites being shared over the same server reduce the usage of hosting resources, and hence allows your host to quote you a highly affordable hosting plan. This is a great choice for small businesses with little traffic on a day-to-day basis.
Virtual Private Servers
These are similar to shared hosting in the sense that you would be sharing your server with other websites under a VPS plan, with the only difference being that your website receives a separate portion or “virtual compartment” on the server. This essentially makes your website much safer than that on a shared server but requires some technical knowledge on your part for maintenance and day-to-day operations.
This is similar to VPS but is more cost-effective and efficient in terms that if one of the “compartments” on a shared server is facing issues in its server, the remaining servers would pick up the slack in a way take over the responsibilities of the malfunctioning server. However, this can be troublesome for other websites on the server when one website is experiencing a lot of traffic and the server by default forwards all bandwidth to that particular website.
Out of all the above-explained hosting plans, this is by far the most expensive one and is suitable for larger websites that either experience a lot of traffic and transactions daily, or are part of a company that wishes to host multiple websites on its own private and dedicated hosting plan.
2. Understand the bandwidth and disk space you would be getting.
Small business owners often assume that their websites wouldn’t be receiving much traffic and tend to ignore the bandwidth and disk space that their web hosting plan promises them. However, once the traffic starts rolling and your business starts growing, bandwidth and disk space are going to be important points of concern.
While most small websites initially can exist with 6 GB of disk space, growing websites with an average of 500 web pages and approximately 500 daily visitors would need anywhere between 25-35 GB bandwidth.
3. Ensure that your shortlisted host is flexible.
Your website host needs to be flexible in terms of the applications it supports. This is especially crucial for dedicated hosting plans where it is likely that the applications your website needs and uses aren’t a part of the initial server setup. Companies that choose a dedicated plan should pay good attention to detail and choose a web host that supports a variety of different applications and hence would be able to support you through your endeavors and offer expertise.
Your website may need dedicated hosting and customized servers to run resource-intensive applications, customized software, API supporting applications, SaaS, or content management systems. You should ensure that your web host supports your extra needs and demands.
4. Ensure that the hosting company has good customer service.
Your website could start malfunctioning in the middle of the day or at the crack of dawn for absolutely no describe-able reason. It could be experiencing issues due to page loading, downtime, or extremely slow server speed. In such cases, your web hosting platform must have impeccable customer service to guide and help you through such times. Your hosting company should have robust customer service that can be contacted through email, chat, or call anytime during the day or night.
You should be sure to check the customer reviews of your hosting service and survey the other websites that your hosting company serves to assess how good or bad their customer service is.
By taking the time in choosing your website host and hosting plan now, you would be saving yourself from a lot of trouble in the future. Your web hosting plan either serves as the reason that everything on your website runs smoothly or in contrast could be the reason you find yourself constantly exasperated and pulling at your hair – choose a web host that causes more of the former and less of the latter in your life.