Choosing a Hosting Package

Seven Factors to Consider When Choosing a Reliable Web Hosting Company

      1.       Server Reliability, Uptime Scores and Security

Weak servers and unstable network connections can often push your site offline. This not only denies you possible viewership or sales for an e-commerce store but also leads to low rankings on search engines like Google and Yahoo. Banking on a hosting company with reputable uptime scores, preferably above 99.5 percent is, therefore, key to your site’s success. Avoid companies that report an annual uptime score below 99 percent. In addition to making sure your site and data are accessible at all times, it’s also important to make sure you have a trusted and secure hosting solution as well.

      2.       Customer Service

How effective and speedy is the company in providing support for technical problems? Try to choose a host that offers live support to their clients, 24/7. Also look for those who offer chat support, as well as social media visibility as opposed to email and support tickets. Give priority to companies with an in-house customer support department. They have a better grasp of the company operation compared to outsourced customer support service.

      3.       Availability of Site Backups

The current wave of cyber threats like ransomware is no longer solely directed to finance websites. It has seen an increased number of general websites being targeted by these online extortionists. Such acts often result in irreparable damages like the destruction or replacement of your site’s index.php file. Similarly, you might also experience severe server or local hard disk failures. It, therefore, becomes important that you only engage a host service provider that offers regular web data backup.

4.       Registration and Maintenance Costs

The web hosting industry ordinarily offers attractive hosting deals during signup and even for your first payment. However, the renewal charges often more than triple. Are they avoidable? Only if you hope to jump from one hosting service provider with discounted sign-up rates to another after every two years. To avoid the surprise bill effect at the end of the discount period, check the renewal charges for your preferred package.

Your shared hosting plan likely won’t last forever, and you may find your site soon grow and demand a VPS or dedicated hosting service. Consider such costs for upgrades and host changes when choosing your provider.

5.       Ability to Add Domains

With growth comes diversification. While you may be starting with a single website and domain name, you will soon realize the need for multiple websites, domains and subdomains in popularizing your site. Therefore, before signing up with a particular service provider, consider their different packages, paying keen attention to whether they allow for running of multiple websites on a single web hosting account.

Find out the cost of the unlimited website and subdomain packages and compare it to the rest of industry players. In short, take the time to choose a web host that provides different service plans that allows you to add new domains that allow you to scale over time.

6.       Account Limitations

Every hosting company has a set of terms of engagement whose violation results in extra charges, temporal or permanent discontinuation of your hosting service. For instance, did you know that some hosting providers prohibit the use of excessive amounts of CPU to run computationally intensive and scripts exceeding two seconds on their servers?

Either of these actions can see you charged extra or your site pulled down indefinitely and without a refund. Take time to go through these terms and only sign up for the service if you intend to abide by their dictates. Most importantly, avoid companies without clear terms of engagement arguing that account limitation and suspension decisions are at the discretion of the company’s management.

7.       E-Commerce and Email Options

You stand to receive more feedback and even subscriber conversions if you have your email linked to your websites domain name. In this case, when looking for the right web hosting company, chose one that provides email hosting for your website’s primary email.

In the past, most individuals identified the right hosting company with the amount of disk space and bandwidth that it provided. The perception of what is more important has now shifted to affordability. However, if you seek to run and continuously grow your site into the foreseeable future, consider adopting a comprehensive approach to identifying a suitable web host provider by looking at all the factors acting upon the optimal functionality of your website.



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