There are currently more than 1.94 billion websites hosted on the internet. Are you looking to launch a website of your own? If so, then one of the first things you’ll need to do is choose a provider to help you host your website.
Unless you want to deal with all the hurdles that come with hosting a website yourself (not recommended, especially for beginners), a good hosting service provider is a must.
Not sure how to tell if you’re working with the right host? Read on to learn some of the most important questions you ought to ask when choosing a web hosting service provider for your website.
What is a Web Host?
Website hosting is a service that involves a company (known as a hosting service provider) providing an individual or another business with the tools and technologies they need to publish a website online.
Web hosting service providers give you access to a server, which you need to house your website, as well as other features, such as an email account and access to platforms like WordPress for blogging and content management.
Website Hosting Options
There are several different types of website hosting you can choose from. The following are some of the most popular options:
With shared hosting, as the name suggests, you’re sharing your server with several other websites. This is the most affordable hosting option and is a good fit for those who are just getting started and aren’t expecting to get a lot of traffic to their website right away.
The downside, though, is that issues with other websites on the server could end up affecting your site. For example, if one website experiences a surge in traffic, that could cause your site to slow down.
Virtual Private Server
A step up from shared hosting is a virtual private server (VPS for short) hosting. VPS hosting is sort of like a combination between shared hosting and dedicated hosting (more on that in a minute).
With VPS hosting, you’re sharing a server with several websites. However, each website has a dedicated portion of that server’s resources. This, in turn, helps to eliminate a lot of the obstacles associated with shared hosting.
VPS hosting costs more money than shared hosting. But, it is still less expensive than dedicated hosting.
As you can probably guess, with dedicated server hosting, you have an entire server to yourself. Your website is the only site hosted on that server and, as a result, you don’t have to worry about sharing resources or your site getting slowed down.
Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option. It can be worth it, though, if you expect a ton of website traffic.
Choosing a Web Hosting Service Provider
Whether you want to use shared hosting, a dedicated server, or anything in between, you’ll need to do some research before you get started. The following are some questions you ought to ask to ensure you’re working with the right hosting service provider:
How Much Support Do You Offer?
This is one of the first questions you ought to ask when considering a particular provider. Do they offer 24-7 support? In what forms? Email? Chat? Phone calls?
Ask yourself, too, how much support you think you’ll need. Will you need a lot of hand-holding, or are you tech-savvy enough to figure out basic issues on your own?
How Much Traffic Will My Website Get?
You should also ask yourself how much traffic you anticipate your website receiving. Be honest with yourself when answering this question, too.
Do you expect enough traffic that you’ll need a dedicated server, or will shared hosting do just fine for now? Answering this question honestly can help you save money and avoid biting off more than you can chew.
What Features Are Included?
Find out what kinds of features each hosting service provider offers.
Do they give you your own email address, for example? How much storage and bandwidth are available to you? You will have access to platforms like WordPress?
Think about the specific features your business will need and ensure you have access to everything without having to pay a bunch of extra fees.
Where Are Your Servers Located?
Always ask where the service provider’s servers are located? The closer you are to the server, the better your website speed and performance may be.
You may want to find out, too, if the service provider collects personal information from the websites stored on its servers.
Do You Specialize in Specific Platforms?
Depending on the type of website you’re getting ready to publish, you may want to find out if the service provider specializes in any specific platform.
For example, they may offer plans dedicated to customers who plan on using WordPress. This could come in very handy if you intend to have a blog as part of your website.
How Secure Are Your Servers?
Make sure your basic security needs (and the security needs of your website visitors) are met before you sign up to work with a particular service provider. Find out what protocols they have in place to protect your information and your website users’ information.
What Do You Charge?
Finally, don’t forget to ask about the price of the provider’s services. Most providers offer plans at a variety of prices to meet different customers’ needs.
You may want to ask if they offer you a chance to pay annually instead of monthly, too. This can help you save more money while still getting all the perks and features you need.
Pick Your Provider Today
As you can see, there’s a lot you need to keep in mind when choosing a web hosting service provider.
If you remember this information, including the list of questions to ask, though, it’ll be much easier for you to sort through all your options and ensure you’re making the best decision for your website.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll have a host for your website in no time at all!