Purchasing a web hosting plan is no small task—it is the foundation for the face of your online self, company or organization. Without a good web host, your website will not be good, no matter how hard you try or how talented your web designers are. It’s just that simple.
7 Things you Need to Factor in When Searching for the Best Web Hosting Plan
So before you even get started, take this first step towards building your website very seriously as it will dictate your future endeavors on the Internet.
- How much does the Plan Cost?
- What does the Web Hosting Company Specialize in?
- How Dated is the Hardware?
- What Stands Out about the Hosting Company?
- What Kind of Technical Support do they Offer?
- What Kind of User Interface do they Provide?
- Do they Provide Room for Growth?
Since this is what most people will look at first, we’ll address it first. The bottom line here is that you don’t want to base your decision on price. Remember, you get what you pay for so when you choose a cheap plan, you’re getting cheap service. It’s more important to have support that is not outsourced available to you 24/7 than to save $1 per month. Look at the features of each plan first and then the price—you’ll likely see why it’s more for the better plans. Also, keep in mind that by choosing a top plan and locking in for years rather than months, you’ll get some heavy discounts.
Most—but not all—web hosting companies specialize in one or two categories of websites. Some companies offer great plans for bloggers and first time webmasters that would tank a business in a heartbeat while others are perfect for big companies, but are overkill for a blogger. Turn to the customer review sites for this one and really look into who is using the companies and why.
While this one might take a bit more research (you might have to even flat out ask the representatives), it’s important. The hardware the company uses should be new and up-to-date. Most good companies will come right out and say what type of servers they are using, or at the very least make it easy for you to obtain that information.
By this, we mean two things: the add-ons and the features. If they aren’t offering anything special, why would you choose them over their competition? You might not notice it right away, but the better companies will advertise it. It might be free domain privacy, multiple data centers, free multiple domain names, etc. The extra features are typically going to be an excellent indicator of whether or not the company is a good fit for your website needs.
This is a huge factor. If your site goes down, can you get someone on the phone, email or chat right away? Or are you “in a queue” forever, venting your frustrations to cheesy music or a blank screen? What about if you can’t figure something out? Is the support that you need there 24/7? It should be. And it shouldn’t be outsourced if you don’t want to speak to people halfway around the globe who you can’t understand. Contact the company a few times and see how they respond each time.
This is particularly important for those who might not be the most tech-savvy, but it’s an important factor for everyone to at least know since this is how you (or your website team) will interact with the site. Most user interfaces should have some type of “easy to use” control panel such as cPanel or Plesk. This makes it simple for you to toss up WordPress and use “drag and drop” template builders to design your website. It should be easy enough for you so that you don’t have to call support every time you want to update or change your site.
Finally, it’s important to know that as your business grows, your web hosting provider’s plan can grow with you. This is called scalability and it’s a huge factor for websites dealing with sales, increases in traffic and eCommerce in general. What is a good fit now might not be a good fit in a year’s time—does the web hosting provider make it easy to accommodate your growth?
As you can see, there are a ton of things to consider before purchasing a web hosting plan. Still, finding the right one for you really isn’t that hard when you know where to look.
Author Bio – James Markinson, the author of this article writes occasionally on behalf of WebsiteHostCritic.com, an independent web hosting review site famous for Greengeeks web hosting review. If you wish to know more about the latest FatCow ratings, do check out websitehostcritic.com today.