Web hosting is an often neglected topic. Many bloggers and website owners are not aware of the fact that choosing the right web host plays a significant role in your website or blog’s performance.  There are a number of web hosting providers in the industry today and selecting the right match for your site can get a little confusing task. One needs to invest a good amount of time in researching about all the web hosting providers before deciding your pick. This article will help you in selecting the right we host for your site.

If you are running a business website, it becomes equally important for you to invest in a good company that will ensure the success if your business. Here is the list of the basic criteria that you need to keep in mind before making the final decision.

What is Web Hosting and why do you need it ?

Before proceeding ahead, we have listed out some of the pointers that you need to check.

  1. What kind of website you want to build?
  2. What are your web hosting needs?
  3. Which one do you need-Windows or Linux?
  4. What is the traffic volume you plan to target?
  5. Does your website website require higher versions of software like PHP, MySQL etc?
  6. Do you need a WordPress site?

These are a few questions you need to ask yourself before proceeding.

Things to consider while selecting a web hosting providers

Hosting Price

If you are just a beginner or any business owner for that matter, then first and the foremost thing you would check is the price. But keep in mind that this necessarily shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Users tend to hastily choose the cheapest web host and later on end up in total mess. Always check the features that are offered by the hosting company. It is advisable to go by user reviews to make sure the reputation of the hosting company. Also you need to check the renewal cost of the hosting plans as many a time the initial sign up cost is cheap but you end up paying more during renewal. Also check if a host is offering money back guarantee to safeguard your money. A 60 days money back guarantee is good enough.

But not all web hosting providers offering cheap hosting plans will be harmful to your business website. Web host like Arvixe, SiteGround etc offer shared plans at as low as $4 per month and are known to fit your budget without compromising on quality. You can get a SiteGround voucher to avail discount on their hosting plans.

Features

Now it totally depends on your needs and may vary from person to person. One needs to check if the web host is suiting its requirements of features. Look for the securing features like antivirus and spamware are provided, regular virus scan and backups, automatic upgrades, CDN etc. For e.g. if you are running an e-commerce website than having a SSL certificate, dedicated IP, shopping cart software are a must thing you need to see in a web host.

The other add on features to check on are 1-click software installation, FTP and SSH access, free website maintenance and site transfer facility, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited storage. For now you can ignore the disk space if you are a newbie. Many of the shared hosting providers try to lure customers by offering 100GB or unlimited storage but don’t get fooled. Even a 20-50GB of a space should be more than enough for you. Even check if the web host is providing a free domain for lifetime use and the number of subdomains and parked domains that is offered Check here for how you can buy a domain that is already registered.

Technical Support

tech-support

While looking for the right web hosting partner, always make sure that they are supported by technically strong and efficient technical support team.  If your get stuck in a critical situation related to your website, the tech team should be easily reached out to. Look out if a company is providing 24×7 customer support that is made available through different mediums like email support, phone support, live chat and ticket system. The response should be quick without making you wait for a long time.

Remember some web host may claim of providing 24×7 support but their phone support is available only for a specific duration.

Speed

There is no point in wasting money in a host that fails to offer you desired speed and gives slow page loading time. To the growth of any website, be it a business or individual website, it is necessary for the site to load quickly or else you may lose out on your traffic.  Web hosts like SiteGround, Arvixe, HostGator etc invest in good servers and have datacenters across the globe so that their users don’t face connectivity issues. Their datacenters are supported by DELL servers and have full proof security, power and water backup and are equipped to handle any issues. Always go for a web host that offers at least 99.95% guaranteed uptime.

Email Features

You need to check whether the host allows you to set up email address as per your choice on your domain. Also check if you are offered email features like POP3, mail forwarding and autoresponder, Spam filtering etc.

Control Panel

Different web hosts have different names for their control panel. The control panel should be easy to understand and operate even by a newcomer or a non-technically person. Some things that you should be easily able to do on your control panel are-installing WordPress, setting up email and FTP accounts, add or delete software or applications, change passwords and take backup of files whenever you want. It doesn’t matter if you get a cPanel or a Plesk, you should be able to do all the above tasks with ease.

Conclusion

We have given the summary on how you should select a web hosting provider for your blog or a website. Make sure you check all the pointers mentioned in this article before making the purchase and if you still have doubt, always go by user reviews. Take time and do thorough research as a web host may make or break your website’s future.