A base for any good and trustworthy business is a good website. However, a base for a good website is a reliable web host. That is why you need to make sure that yours fits the bill, and that you are getting the maximum out of your deal.
If your current service is not as satisfying as you wish them to be, you can always change the host. However, you want to solve a problem, and not just give it a different name. That is why you need to carefully consider which web host will you turn to now. They need to pass up to 7 different tests in order for you to know that they are trustworthy.
You will have to ask a lot of questions at first, but if your new host can answer, and you are satisfied with that answer, you can then start building a better future for your business. So here is what you must find out first.
#1 Does the host have an adequate infrastructure?
But what does that actually mean? Well, it means that you will have to ask a lot of questions. Gathering information before the final choice is the most important part. Here is what you should know for start.
- How many users/customers does the host have?
- For how long is the company in business?
- Where are their servers at?
- What is their offer concerning bandwidth and disk space?
- Do they offer backup policy?
- What is the plan for coping with peaks in demand?
- How does the network react to DDoS and similar attacks?
- Can another company’s problems affect the way your website works?
- How fast will the alert come if there is an issue? Also, are servers under monitoring?
If your new host can answer these questions, and you are satisfied with their answers, then it is one down, six more to go. If not, keep searching for the one that can. Do not drop your standards, since it might reflect badly on your business if you start having trouble.
#2 How fast is the customer support?
A lot of web hosts would be quick to take your money, like any other service. However, the question that remains is – are they equally as fast to help when you need it?
Web hosting services have a lot of customers, and many are beginners who need help to start off. And that is what tech support is there for. However, they must have priorities when it comes to providing assistance. The majority of users demand speed, but they are fine with waiting for a few hours. As long as they know that their issue is being dealt with, that is.
A good support should recognize your problem right away. They don’t have to fix it immediately, but they should at least notify you that you are on the waiting list. If they could provide a ticketing system that will show your progress in the waiting line, that would help too.
Also, if you are not using a host from your own time zone, you can expect delays, naturally. For example, if your host is from the other side of the world, you can expect that someone will probably still work. However, you can’t expect a service as fast as the one during working hours.
#3 Does the host support the technologies you require?
You must research and discover what do the host’s plans offering. Also, if there are more of them, find out what each of them carries. The majority of basic ones should provide you with email accounts, MySQL, as well as PHP.
Maybe you don’t need more than that. However, are you sure that some essential features and extensions are included as well? Another important thing to keep in mind is that shared hosting plans can pretty often disable some of the dangerous problems. This can include problematic facilities, like MySQL stored producers. for example. Other examples include emailing extensions, as well as PHP image processing.
The host should also provide you with compatible database and language. Compatibility is important because a PHP 7.1 app probably won’t run properly, if at all, on a PHO 5.3 server.
#4 Are technologies easy to enable and configure?
You pretty much have two options when it comes to configuring a system. You can use a cPanel, or you can configure servers yourself. Whatever suits you best, you should choose it. Depending on your preference, you should also choose a host.
Many find using cPanel and similar control panels much more practical than doing everything manually. The user interface is simple, and it allows you to basically effortlessly do whatever you want. This even includes the creation of MySQL database, for things like WordPress. Eventually, the choice is yours. We simply advise you not to neglect the possibility of taking the easier way.
#5 Will your host allow you to use other technologies if you need them?
There will probably come a time when you will have the need to upgrade to new technologies. Your business will probably grow, and with it, your requirements as well. Which means, that you will probably need SSL, SSH, Git, or HTTP/2. You might even need further databases, languages, and other things.
Since the web development is pretty complex as it is, and it is only becoming more and more challenging, the change is necessary. You might want to build PHP application assets. To do so, you will need to run Gulp.js on the server you use. If it is not a part of the plan you currently use, will the host allow you to migrate to the one that does have it? This is important to know and it will mean a lot to you down the road.
#6 How reliable is your host?
When you make a website, you will want it to stay up. For that, you will need a reliable host. Most of them offer from 99.5% to 99.999% reliability. The more it is offered, the better for you. That is why you should not neglect the numbers. Also, if you are not sure about it, you can always ask other users for their experience.
Forums and social media are ideal for this kind of research, as well as for getting the impressions, and raw data from users. You will hear the worst things about this host on places like that, which are often a bit exaggerated. But if you think that you can deal with things like that, then the host will probably work for you.
And once again, remember the time zone issues for when it comes to maintenance and software/server updates.
#7 Is the price reasonable?
Of course, another thing that you have to worry about is money. You will need some of it for the start, and the amount you have will be the most limiting thing when it comes to choosing a host. The monthly price might even change, depending on how your website is doing.
If your traffic rises, you will probably need more bandwidth (if you have a limit on it), or maybe even some additional disk space.
Web hosting has moved to a utility-like pricing. This is especially true when it comes to services that are cloud-based. Depending on the services, processing capability, bandwidth, disk space, RAM, and similar features, your price might go up or down. As you can see, the pricing might end up being very complex, and you should do your calculations carefully.
Fixed price plan might be the best option for you if you are on a strict budget.
Starting off with your new website is challenging as it is, and you do not need additional problems. That is why you must do whatever you can to deal with them before they even appear. A good start means a lot, and in order to have a good start, you need a good host. We have tried multiple web hosts and to date, our favorites are Hostgator, A2 Hosting, Bluehost and Siteground–in that order.
Ali is a freelance journalist with 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications like Best10VPN. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.