Let’s face it — there are so many choices when it comes to website hosting, it’s hard to decide who is best
There are hundreds, if not thousands of web hosting companies ready to help you get your website online. Each boasting top level uptime guarantees, 24/7 support, unlimited (far use) storage, terabytes of bandwidth, and more. All for amazingly low prices.
Well not all lights shine the brightest. For many, there is a catch. Web hosting companies that deliver amazing value on the surface are only able to do so because you’re buying into a shared environment – a digital slum, for lack of a better term. Thousands of websites, just like yours, shoehorned into a antiquated hard drive in an antiquated rack. Don’t be drawn into trap. Do your homework ahead of time and select the best provider for your needs.
1. The first question to ask yourself – what do I actually need?
Answer these few little bullet points:
- How much space do I need? (Don’t know? Its probably a good idea to find out – factor in the size of your website, how many media files you plan on attaching to your site, and whether you plan on using your web host as a virtual drive).
- How much bandwidth do I need? (The last thing you want is to be slashdotted at the moment of an important marketing effort).
- How much computing power do I need? (Web hosting is run on computers believe it or not, and just like yours it sometimes chugs along during processes – jack up the RAM and CPU power and your web property will be running better).
- How critical is uptime? (If your site goes down, even momentarily, how crippling will it be to your business?).
- How important is live tech support? (Are you fine with email or ticket support? Or do you much prefer raising your voice to a real human?).
2. Next, determine your budget – and to do this you don’t first start looking for the cheapest offering in a Google Search.
Think about it this way. If your business relies on its website to generate revenue, then you must feed it properly. Determine an appropriate budget to allocate to your website infrastructure based on your true needs.
3. Ask a lot of questions, do a lot of research
Information is plentiful on this topic. Do your homework and get the answers you need. Most reputable hosting companies will be able to give you straight, no bullshit answers to your real business concerns – and they should be able to walk you through any setups or onboarding requirements you might have.
4. Don’t go it alone
If your website is mission critical, don’t fly solo. Soliciting the assistance of a professional to aide in the decision making can prove to be more than valuable should any technical assistance needs arise in the future.
5. Read the Reviews
Before selecting a hosting provider, read, read, read… There are plenty of reviews online so do your ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth) and pre-decide by listening to what others have to say. Skip this step and you may find yourself entrapped in a contract with a company that others have been warning about.
6. Take a Tour
User experience is king when it comes to converting tire kickers into customers. Use this to your advantage and speak directly with a sales agent. Let them show you under the hood. Ask about service backup frequency, load balancing for traffic fluctuations, and ask to see their control panel to make sure its easy and intuitive to use.
Debunking the Myth of the Perfect Host
There is no best solution, no best provider, no best price. Hosting solutions should be considered tailored, custom services fit to the needs of each individual business. Service fees can range from $5/month up to tens of thousands, so don’t shop solely on price alone.
Looking for a hosting partner for your next website venture? We can help point you in the right direction, all you have to do is ask.