How To Choose The Right Web Host
Deciding which web hosting provider to go with can be a tough task with most companies seemingly offering the same services, making it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Choosing the right web host for your website is crucial to performance, peace of mind, and of course, value for money.
Whilst researching web hosting companies and their array of services can be time consuming and somewhat dull, it can save you a lot of bother in the future.
Determining the kind of hosting you need
Usually, web hosting companies will offer at least three different types of hosting packages. These will consist of a basic, intermediate and advanced packages and it is important to carefully consider which best suits the needs of your site. The basic package is ideal for new-comers to the subject and those with less demanding websites such as a localised service or an individual’s blog. The advanced option will cater for medium sized and larger businesses with websites that experience high traffic ensuring that any visitors to the site are not waiting ages for pages to load or payments to be made. The intermediate category lies in the middle of these two and will generally have a mixture of features which appeal to small office and home office businesses.
Consider the needs of your website and how much traffic you expect to arrive at your site. Deciding that a lower package “will probably suffice” can be risky and allow you little room for growth whereas going too large will ultimately be a waste of time and money. Also, look at the different types of services available like VPS and Dedicated Server hosting for more demanding websites, cloud storage hosting, or reseller hosting for supplementing your income.
What to look for in a host – ‘How important is price?’
The most important thing when purchasing anything is value for money and web hosting is no different. This isn’t just a case of who’s the cheapest, it’s about making sure that you are happy with what you paid for. An outrageously cheap deal is pointless if your hosting is terrible but, by the same token, you don’t want to be spending a fortune on a really advanced hosting package when you don’t need to, and by no means does expensive guarantee quality. Shop around, ask your peers and make sure you are confident that the web host you choose can help you achieve your goals.
Customer support should also be high on your list of things to consider, as this can potentially pull you out of some deep holes if you get stuck. Choosing a hosting provider with round the clock support, a history of excellent customer service, and a track record of fast and effective problem solving will, ultimately, pay dividends if something goes wrong.
How to find genuine reviews of web hosts
Finding genuine, un-biased reviews of web hosts can be tricky. Review websites are obviously the first port of call as these are, supposedly, un-biased opinions. However, it is a well-known fact that people are far more likely to write a negative review than a positive one so don’t be put off by a few 1/5s amongst a long list of 5/5s. Read the reviews in depth as you may find recurring themes of what is good and bad about the company, this will give you more of an informed decision. Also, if you see a few negative reviews about different things, chances are these are isolated incidents and not a major problem for the majority of customers. It is important to bear in mind though, that some companies pay or persuade people to leave glowing reviews on these sites and so a truly accurate opinion of the web host can’t be fully drawn from these sites.
A good way of researching web hosts is taking to Twitter to see what people are saying about them in general conversation. People won’t hesitate to be brutally honest or to wax lyrical on social networking sites, so true accounts of customer experiences can be gained.
The right web host to choose should be the one which can serve your site in the best way possible. Choosing the most popular or the cheapest provider is often a false economy. All websites are unique, and with that come unique demands. Get to grips with what your site needs, where you want it to go and what you want it to do. Once you know what you want, the choice should be much clearer.
Article written by Jenni Brown content specialist for web hosting providers heartinternet.co.uk
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