Choosing a good website hosting companyJuly 18th, 2016
You’ve had your website designed and built, now its time to get it online. In most cases, you might have been suggested a good web host through a recommendation but if you are starting from scratch there are a number of things to consider.
What are your requirements?
Firstly, what does your website do? If it is a relatively small website or new business then it is likely that shared cloud based hosting will be perfect to begin with. If you are launching an eCommerce shop with lots of potential visitors then you may need to look to a more dedicated solution from the outset. In most cases, starting on shared platform is the best plan and then scale up when the demand is there.
What to look for in a good web host?
Reliability and Uptime
Probably the most important factor is to do some research and read reviews, you will want to make sure your web host maintains a good level of uptime.
Customer support and service
A lot of cheaper hosting packages may only offer online support only, try and find a host that you can pick up the phone to. In addition, a good host should have a 24/7 support ticket system meaning that if there is a problem out of ours this can be addressed immediately.
Decent storage and bandwidth provision
Check the packages to see what amount of storage and bandwidth you get allocated, it is worth taking package that allows for unlimited bandwidth or at least will give you adequate warning if you are about to go over your allowed limits.
A good number of domains and subdomains
It is worth getting an account that will allow you to run a few websites and subdomains, as your business expands you may wish to launch more than one website.
An easy to use control panel
A good user-friendly control panel is vital for easy management of the website even if you are getting someone else to manage those aspects of your business. Make sure you have enough control over your domains and services to avoid getting charged for simple admin tasks.
Good service provision
Make sure you check their key services, do they provide adequate email spam protection for example? Do they allow IMAP and Google App integration? Do they allow Cron jobs on the server?
Regular backup service
Whilst you or your developer should maintain regular backups, you should ensure your web host takes regular snapshots of your website data and files.
Up to date hardware
These days speed is vital to the success of website so it is important to check that your websites will be hosted on an up to date platform.
A flexible contract
Check the contract that you might sign, does it allow you to transfer out for free?
Scalable business model
Check with the web host that you can easily scale up your web hosting service when your business grows.
One of the most important factors in deciding a web host but it is worth noting that cheapest quite often isn’t best. It is worth shopping around, reading reviews and going with the company that best fits your requirements even if it means paying an extra £5 per month.
Contacting your hosting company
Once you have chosen your web host, at some point you are likely to have an issue with your website or email. Before you contact your host, make sure you have all the information available about the problem. Make a note of when the issue occurred, what platform / browser (if website issue), provide screenshots and any error messages if need be. It is always a good idea to raise a support ticket online first if you can, this way you can get your issue recorded. By all means, follow up with a call if the host has not responded in timely fashion. A lot of hosting companies also provide 24/7 online chat which is another way of getting your issue reported.
One other tip is to sign up to your hosting companies Twitter feed, this is a good way to get updated if there are any technical issues with the web host.
Make sure you do some research and find the best fit for your company, don’t be led by cheap prices, read reviews and go with a company that can scale with your business. We are always happy to recommend our hosting partners should you need some advice.