Knowing how to select the best hosting service depends on quite a few factors. Whether you’re an individual looking to get your feet off the ground by starting a new idea or business, or a small/medium sized business that needs a more durable and long-term plan for the technical side of their corporation, choosing the right service and plan is important.
Making the right choice for your hosting service is the difference between getting a server that suits your needs perfectly with some room to grow, or having a server that is struggling to serve everything/has resources that are left unused. Let’s get into the factors that can help you decide on how to select the best hosting service.
Determine Your Needs
If you look for a web host without having a general idea of the things you need, chances are you will not be able to find the right one. Think about what you need and prefer for your website. What type of site are you planning to build? Will this site need applications for Windows or any special kind of software? How many people are you expecting to visit your website? These are questions that you will need to answer before you begin your search for the right web host.
- Check the web host’s server uptime record
You are not signing up for a web hosting service if it will only offer you a server that has an hour of downtime every day. Your website should be up 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. A good web host will have powerful servers and reliable network connections that can provide you the service you need. It is highly recommended that you go for a web hosting service that can offer you at least a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Ideally, the more 9’s in the uptime guarantee, the better the reliability of that hosting service.
- Check if they offer multiple add-on domains.
Domain names are quite cheap, and this means that you can always afford to have more than one domain name. However, for you to have two or more domain names, you need additional space from your web host. Most companies allow single accounts to have 20 to 25 domain names each, but some web hosting services do not allow this. Make sure to check before you sign up for the service.
- Ask about the company’s refund policy.
Let’s say that you have signed up with a web hosting service and were dissatisfied with the kind of service and support they have provided you with. You want to terminate your contract immediately, but then the web host tells you that you will have to pay cancellation charges before you can get out of your contract.
Always check the web hosting service’s refund policy—can they provide you with a full refund on the amount you have paid? Is there a lock-in period, as well as cancellation charges should you decide to terminate the service before the lock-in period is over? Good web hosting services typically offer great refund policies, mostly because they are quite confident with the quality of service they can provide their customers.
- Find out what a basic contract offers.
There are some web hosting companies out there that fail to offer basic hosting features such as auto script installers, cron jobs, .htaccess support, SSI, and FTP access with their entry-level services. If a certain hosting service provider cannot offer such basic features, you might want to take your business somewhere else.
- Check for specialty features.
If you are building a website that does e-commerce, you will need to sign up with a web hosting service that can offer you e-commerce features. Aside from SSL certificates, an e-commerce website will require a dedicated IP address and shopping cart software and support from a hosting service provider. Ideally, the hosting provider should be able to set you up with everything that you need once you give them the information for your e-commerce site.
- Check for the limitations on the hosting accounts.
Some hosting service providers will simply suspend your account and take your website down if you use up a lot of CPU power. Even services that are marketed as “unlimited” are not truly unlimited. Hosting companies will also do the same if you violate certain rules. Ask if the hosting company will issue you a fair warning before completely pulling the plug on your website.
There are additional factors to consider too, such as their support team, their server hardware, network capabilities, migration support, hidden fees, and so on. Each of these can be omitted by the hosting business in fine print, causing you to sign up without knowing just what will or won’t be provided to you.
Having a hosting provider that can provide all of the services that you need without you having to do a thing is a dream-come-true to most. Our fully managed Linux VPS hosting is just that – quality hosting that gives you the ease-of-use that you would expect. We’ll migrate your VPS from a previous provider, install and maintain all of your software, and give you complete control over everything, all included with the VPS.
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