Choosing a web host for a blog or site that is about to launch is not an easy task! There are few factors to consider when choosing a web hosting company.
Price is obviously an important factors to consider but there are more other features that you should also factor in.
Here are 10 Important Factors To Consider When Choosing A Web Hosting Company
1. Server Reliability & Uptime Guarantee
This is one of the most important areas you should never overlook in a web hosting company. If you’re a business owner, you never want your website to be down for a second.
Even a second server downtime could cost you hundreds of Naira lost in possible revenue. There are lots of server testing tools that offer free trial account you can take advantage of to check your preferred web hosting company to rate their uptime scores.
You need a web hosting company that operates on a powerful server and very stable network connection. The industry standard recommended uptime score is 99.9% anything less than that is reg flag. You’ll need to think through on the choice of web host you’re making.
However, don’t be mistaken, having a hosting provider that guarantees uptime is much better than one that doesn’t.
But don’t assume that if a provider guarantees 99.9999999999999999999999% uptime that your site will never go down.
What it more likely means is that if your site does go down you’ll be reimbursed for the cost of the hosting during the down time.
2. 24/7 Customer Support
24×7 customer assistance is one of the most vital web hosting features to look for, especially, if you are new to web hosting, as support plays the role of the oxygen.
It doesn’t matter who you are or how much you know, at some point in time everyone will need technical support. As you build and operate websites, questions will arise that need to be answered immediately. When these situations come up, you need to have technical support available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Good and wanting to be best web hosting companies will have multiple ways to get support.
They usually offer a toll free number, email support, a ticket system, and live chat. They also have knowledge database you can search to see if there is a tutorial on how to solve your problem.
3. Refund Policy
Check out the money back guarantee the hosting company offers. Be sure you clearly understand when the trial period ends. Find out what happens if you cancel within the trial period. Will you receive a full refund or is there a cancellation fee?
Find out what happens after the trial period ends. Does the host offers a prorated refund or do they charge a cancellation fee?
Try to find a hosting company that offers a 100% money back guarantee during the trial period with no cancellation fee.
If you can find a company that offers a pro-rated refund after the trial period that is a big bonus.
4. Ability To Add Multiple Domains
While you may be starting with a single website and domain name, you will soon realize the need for multiple websites, domains and subdomains in popularizing your site.
Therefore, before signing up with a particular service provider, ensure you consider their different hosting packages.
Many companies allow for unlimited domains. Some companies, will limit the number of domains and addons.
5. Server Upgrade Options
No matter what the advertising says about having unlimited space and bandwidth for your websites, don’t believe it.
With shared hosting, you are sharing bandwidth with other sites. If any of these websites start getting a lot of traffic, they will take up more bandwidth. The result is you will have less bandwidth and this can negatively affect your site.
Shared hosting is pretty good and you can build a big website and get a good amount of traffic with no problem.
However, when your website grows too big for shared hosting you will want to need to upgrade to a cloud, VPS or dedicated server.
These upgrades provide more memory, storage, and power. Before choosing a web host, check to see if they offer upgrades. If they don’t have other hosting types apart from shared, keep shopping and find another company that does.
If you find a hosting company that upgrade for free, that is a plus.
6. CPanel Control Panel
One of the most crucial features to consider especially when you are just starting online is the control panel.
You will control your websites from here.
There are certain things you need to be able to do yourself like setting up an email account, installing WordPress, backing up your sites, and more. In order to do these easily, even if you don’t have a technical bone in your body, you need an easy to understand and easy to use control panel and one of the best is, cPanel.
It is very easy to use cPanel. Being able to handle most of the maintenance of your website needs yourself instead of waiting for technical support will save you time and allow you to concentrate in growing your website.
Think about it. Do you really want to wait 24 hours for a new email account to be set up, when you can set it up yourself in less than 5 minutes? Your web hosting company needs to provide a simple and easy to use control panel, like cPanel. It lets all the routine maintenance your website needs to be performed quickly and efficiently.
cPanel is therefore a must factors to consider when choosing a web hosting company.
7. Storage Space And Bandwidth
Primarily, what you need to consider while choosing a web host is the amount of disk/storage space that will be required to store databases, different files and media. The smaller your website is, the lesser is the disk space that you need and vice versa.
A few gigabytes of storage space is enough for small to medium websites and thus, the size of your website decides the importance of this feature.
So, make sure that you have more than the space that your website needs when choosing a web host.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that your host will let you and your visitors upload and download (cumulatively) in a given month.
Say your website is 1 megabyte of data and your monthly bandwidth is 10 MB. At the beginning of the month, you upload the entire site; now you’ve used up one MB of bandwidth.
If a visitor to your site views every page, they will have downloaded 1MB of data. That means you can have up to 9 visitors in that month (assuming each views your whole site).
After that, your web host will either not allow any more visitors, or (more likely) charge you extra per MB.
Of course, your bandwidth is something you’ll want to keep an eye on, especially if you run a fairly popular site or do something media intensive (like host your own video, or high-res photos). Just like storage, some hosts offer “unlimited” bandwidth; again, if you think you’ll be in a grey area, find out the limits or choose a host that sets the bar where all can see it.
Unlike storage space, which can easily be controlled by deleting or offloading content as needed, bandwidth requires flexibility and subtle calculation. You don’t want to pay for more than you need, but you also don’t want to turn customers away or deal with the sometimes significant penalties for going over your allotted amount.
8. Affordable Price
This is usually the first to consider. You want an affordable provider, but you also need best and reliability one.
You need to ensure that you are getting the best provider for your money by comparing the features each provider offers with the fees before making your decision.
Best bet usually is to look up review or comparison chart, this way, you will ensure you are getting the best.
9. Data Backup Options
It only takes one time for your website to crash without being backed up to open your eyes to how important backing up your website is.
One hacker can take out years of work. Backing up your data is not optional, it is a necessity.
Most best web hosting companies offer some form of backup.
Check to see if the hosting company runs a full backup of your sites on a regular basis. This will let you restore your site if the unthinkable happens.
Make sure you can back up your site easily through the control panel. Also check to make sure the backups can be easily restored yourself without having to wait for the support staff to do it for you.
10. Renewal Charges
The web hosting industry ordinarily offers attractive hosting deals during signup and even for your first payment.
However, the renewal charges often more than triple. Are they avoidable?
Only if you hope to jump from one hosting service provider with discounted sign-up rates to another after every two years.
To avoid the surprise bill effect at the end of the discount period, check the renewal charges for your preferred hosting package.
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- What is Cloud Hosting? – How It Can Help Scale Small Businesses In Nigeria
- Web Hosting Glossary
When you begin shopping for web hosting companies in Nigeria or abroad, keep these 10 important features into consideration .
Putting a little time into shopping for the best web hosting that best fits your needs now will save you time and frustration later on down the road.
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