Finding the right web host for your business is a very crucial decision and choice to make. Your business will rely on the host for their efficiency and reliability in order to keep things going on in order. The process of this decision making can get very confusing and stressful as those who do it will be info-dumped with bunches of terms and words that don’t make sense.
Often, there is confusion as to what outweighs the other or what is more important to the company to make an investment. The jargon used will enough cause enough mix-ups, and sometimes these may cost the company precious time, money and resources. Therefore, it is important to know a few important keywords to look for in general to make sure you don’t make the wrong decisions while choosing a web host. The few really important ones that needed to be kept in mind regardless of whatever business is in question are listed below.
1. Storage and Space
Storage and space aren’t a relatively new problem, and now, several businesses do not treat it as big of an issue. However, when looking for the right web host, it is crucial to have a look at how much storage capacity is offered. By knowing this, one can evaluate if it suits the needs and budget of the company. Several hosting plans will try to rope prospective buyers in by promising unlimited disk space and storage capacity, but it has to be noted that this is usually not the case and most of these plans will come with restrictions. If your website has a lot of media elements such as music and video streaming, you might want to consider having more than 1 GB of space, however, for most cases, this space is enough, and it is rare that many companies would want to invest in a plan that offers more. If you want to host files, it is better to invest in a cloud storage service.
2. About server reliability
When running a website for a business, you want to be sure that it does not go offline abruptly and cause inconveniences for those who are trying to access it. A site that goes offline often is often pulled out or ranked very low on search engine results- this means that when you search for your business site that has been going offline, the chances are that it won’t show up for a good few pages of the search results. Therefore, it is important to choose a host that is reliable, increases uptime and keeps the site running.
3. Maintenance and related costs
Surely, when looking for hosts, maintenance costs is often one of the first things that are looked for. Often, those who are host shopping do not really know what prices equate to what, and how much to pay for their sort of businesses. It should be understood that a personal interest/hobby-based site is the starting rage and will cost around 5 US Dollars. This can keep increasing based on the items, elements, and customization. Costs may go up to as much as 2,000 USD for a web application that is custom-built and packs custom features that will be having larger audiences. Therefore, whilst looking for the right web hosting packages, the nature of the business and their website along with their budgets should be critically taken into account. Sometimes, the costs that you pay at a discounted rated may grow to a double or triple. To avoid a nasty surprise in the near future, make sure you check the renewal rates of the packages. These packages are not meant to be lifetime ones so as the website grows, make sure to invest accordingly.
4. Traffic and Bandwidth
Bandwidth is another important feature to look for whilst host searching. Bandwidth refers to the kind of traffic and information that will be allowed to transfer between your business’ website and the users who access it and the internet space where this happens. Again, this has to be evaluated based on the business’ scales and needs. If the business website is estimated to have around 5,000 or lesser visitors, bandwidth should not be a big issue. If you put some time into browsing these packages, the bandwidth is a good indicator of the host’s systems and connections, and you can easily figure out which ones are the best and the right fit for your business. Make sure to take into account the budget requirements and general targeted traffic of your business beforehand.
5. Customer Support
Suppose in the off chance that you run into problems on your website, be it an outage, or other issues, supportive and helpful customer service is an absolute necessity. The support needs to be swift and strong. The ones that you need should be able to provide their services 24/7 as we do not know when problems may arise. Make sure that they are easily accessible (telephone, e-mail or even text chat). Another feature to take notice of is the SLA. The SLA stands for Service Level Agreement. Make sure to check the agreement, and if a 99% uptime is provided, it means that the site may be down for 3.5 days per year. The more expensive the package is, the more percentages it will be. Expensive options may have up to 5 nines. That is, 99.999%. This means the site will be offline for far lesser times.
6. Safety and Security
Safety and security is a very big concern for all businesses. Good and tight security is paramount when the business requires information that is personal or important to users. A case of a leak or a hack jeopardizes the security, loses the users and potential customers’ trusts and spells certain doom for the business undoubtedly. If you are confused as to what to look for when it comes to security here are a few options:
Look up if the host and provider monitor their networks and systems for any unusual logins, activities or other problems like intrusions or suspicious activity. Furthermore, make sure you know how the support teams deal with these issues. There are several good procedures and policies that need to be maintained to achieve and prevent any problems through monitoring.
• Prevention from DDoSing and SSL
Make sure to check if the host provides an SSL certificate. If they do, you are obligated to implement it, and it is the business’ responsibility for the same. However, if an SSL is not provided, you can not implement it. DDoSing renders the site unusable and inaccessible, especially if there is a large amount of traffic coming in. So when trying to look for good security measures, be on the lookout to what security measures are in place for instances such as these.
• Back Up and Data restoration
If you can, ask the company how often they back up data on the sites they host. This is a good security measure as the data that is backed up is stored in a location that is not in the main servers. In case of a move or attack, this data can be restored a cleaner and secure server. When thinking along these lines, make sure to take a look at how often the hosts perform backups and in what intervals. Make sure also to observe if the data is backed up for only the host’s purposes. These backups need to be secure, and process involved also need a good amount of security.
If your website is intending to not have a lot of important data especially from the user-end, you may neglect this area. However, it is paramount to think of this intensely as the host, or the business’ data may also be compromised. Just like the other features, make sure to run it by business needs and budgets to figure out what to choose and employ and what security features you might need the most over the others. If an SSL certificate is not provided, make sure to make an inquiry before proceeding further.
7. About Account Limits
All hosts have a set of limits that their customers should agree too. When exceeding these limits, extra costs are incurred, or sometimes the website is shut down and discontinued permanently, sometimes the company may no longer provide you services from that point on as well. For each host or package, these limits are different. Some are more relaxed than others. If you exceed these limitations and your site is suspended, bear in mind that you might not even get a refund for the amount you paid. This means that you have to carefully and slowly read through all of their terms and use their services only when you are fully and completely in accordance with them. If these terms seem unclear or not as detailed as they should be, avoid their services. These limits and suspension details are not the company management’s discretion. They should run this by you first and only then, you should sign up and use their provided services. Before going through these agreements, make sure that you also have the needs of your business and interests in mind. If a clause can not be fulfilled or promised by either side, find another package or host. Failing to do this may cause problems in the future and waste precious time, money and resources.
You need a host that will host a website that should be able to take in sudden surges of traffic and a service that can grow alongside your business, as it does. Make sure to look at options for upgrading your website as your business scales so as to accommodate more traffic. If your business is catering towards seasonal services, then have a look at whether or not the provider offers opportunities to upgrade the package. Check the incurred costs and also have a look at the possible side effects such as downtime if needed and make sure that these are passable for your business or whether it will affect it negatively during the update.
9. Data Centre Locations
It is important to note that the location of data centers plays a very big role in the growing and success of your business and website. If the data center is closer to the user base, the pages, and website load faster. Therefore, if you have an idea as to where your highest density user base is located, you can invest in a package that offers a data center there. If this is not possible, find a package that offers a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This provision will be able to produce a static of the contents of the website if there is no close data center for a user’s location. Most commonly, users might see this as a cached page.
With the above nine tips, you can know what to specifically and exactly look for when browsing through web hosting services. Make sure to create a checklist before you start looking. Therefore you would not have to make a bad investment. As discussed, a bad host might cost you a lot of potential customers, users and a lot of time and money. Finding the right one will ensure that your businesses and services are always accessible and favorable to the general public. Having basic requirements and the business’ budgets in mind beforehand can narrow down your options and, in the end, you can shortlist the hosts that you think will best serve to your business’s needs. A calm and thought-out decision will always prove to be a right choice when it comes to picking a web hosting service as rushed decisions may not always be right and you might end up paying more for very fewer features than what you were promised and you might end up exceeding limitations that you didn’t really know were there.