How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Service

Choose the best web hosting service that suits your website needs can be very challenging task, especially when you are a beginner setting up your first website. In other words, if you have no knowledge about domain name, web hosting and all those hosting related jargon, then all the web hosting plans out there will surely make you a hard time!

Selecting the best web hosting service that caters to your needs is among the most crucial decisions that you must do for the benefit of your website in the long term. Make no mistake, as choosing the wrong web hosting service provider can set you back a lot of money, not to mention a massive amount of time wasted.

Choosing the Best Web Hosting

From our years of experience, we have compiled the following main requirements in choosing the best web hosting service:

Determine Your Needs

The type of site you are building will determine what type of hosting you need. Is best to sit down and make a list of the requirements that your site will have, so that you can easily compare hosting options to find the best fit. Quality such as performance, features, flexibility, root access, expected traffic, upgradability, the software you will be running, your database needs, the bandwidth you will need, and the amount of storage space you will need will all play a role in determining the type of hosting that you need.

Here is a quick list of the different types of hosting, and what sites they can be used for:

  • Shared Hosting: Best suited for smaller websites with a minimal online presence, light traffic, and websites without dynamic aspects that need optimal speed. Some examples of sites that can benefit from Shared Hosting include small or local businesses that don’t require and online store, personal blogs and websites, and early-stage startups.
  • WordPress Hosting: WordPress plans are similar to Shared Hosting, but with additional features and performance that enhance WordPress sites. WordPress allows uses of all skill levels to build and maintain an ecommerce site, and provides extensive scalability to keep up with growth. Some examples of sites that can benefit from WordPress Hosting include blogs, general businesses, online or brick-and-mortar boutiques that need an ecommerce site, sites that need to show a portfolio of images or videos, Amazon affiliate stores, and online magazines.
  • Web Hosting Plus: Access the extra performance of a Virtual Private Server (VPS), but with an easy control panel that doesn’t require extensive expertise to operate. Enjoy dedicated performance resources and bandwidth for sites like ecommerce sites with high demands, high-traffic sites, and media intensive sites.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS):  A VPS dedicates a portion of the server resources to your site only, preventing other sites from affecting the performance of your site. It is a great option for sites that require demanding performance, expect high-growth, and see heavy traffic spikes.
  • Dedicated Hosting Server: Lease an actual physical server that will be dedicated to your own needs. Sites that require the highest level of performance and storage, and medium to large businesses can benefit from Dedicated Hosting.

Can’t decide on which option will be best? Find the options that offer easy upgrades so that you can step up your performance as you need. This way, you can start where you see fit, and add more resources as needed.

For more help, visit Choosing the Right hosting for You.

Compare Pricing, Subscriptions, and Renewals

The price of a web hosting service plan is certainly the most influential factor of all. Always remember that the most expensive web hosting service package does not equal the best, top-notch or the cream-of-the-crop. Instead of getting the priciest web hosting service package, it’s totally recommendable that you look out for any available promotions and good deals being offered as they may vary.

Find the answers to these questions when comparing:

  • Is the advertised price a promotion? Some sites advertise low prices, but increase the price substantially after the promotional period, resulting in more expense over the long term.
  • Does the price increase after the first year? Some companies increase the price after the first year. Look for options with stable pricing.
  • Are there any long-term discounts? Some companies offer discounted rates depending on long you purchase the service for. Longer terms typically equal bigger discounts.
  • What will be the expense over the long-term? Think about how long you plan to have your site, and factor in variable such as promotional pricing and long-term discounts to find your total expense in the long run.

Compare Performance and Technology

A study by Pingdom found the 38% of site users will leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. In a world where the attention span of users is continually shrinking, it becomes obvious that page load speed is very important. Google considers page load speed to be a ranking factor when deciding how high to rank your site. That means, slower sites will not perform as well in the Google search engine. Therefore, the performance capabilities of your hosting is very important. This can be determined by the hosting company and the technologies that they employ, and the hosting packages that you choose for your site.

Be sure to consider the type of hosting that you are comparing, and find the answers to these questions when comparing:

  • Ensure Upgradability: When you need more performance, make sure that you will have the option to upgrade your plan.
  • Storage Type: Opt for Solid State Drives (SSD) for sites that need better performance since they are up to 20x faster when recovering and storing information. Traditional Hard disc drives (HDD) can be used for sites that need more storage and don’t need faster load times.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) and Dedicated Hosting: Compare CPUs, the number of CPU cores, the number of CPU threads, the amount of RAM, the Storage amount, and the storage type.

Ensure Reliability and Security

For the success of your website or blog, the speed, security and reliability of the web hosting service are the most important aspects that you should always consider. When you’re dealing with your business site, make sure that the site is regularly updated, as a site that’s not properly updated shall lose a lot of online visitors, and their interest in your site might diminish from time to time if the site is left for too long (which also gives them the impression of your business being somewhat “unstable”). Of course, if your site is down, you’ll lose out on a lot of visitors and potential customers (even if your site is properly listed on the top search engines).

Find the Best Customer Service and Technical Support

Arguably the most important factors that will determine your satisfaction with your chosen hosting company, is the quality of the customer service that you receive. Poor customer service can quickly and easily ruin your day, especially if there is a problem with your site and your customers are getting anxious. Nobody likes to lose money because of a website problem, and reliable customer support is the key to solving those problems quickly before too much damage is done. A good and reliable web hosting service should offer you around the clock technical and customer support. The ideal kind of support is a direct call line which is ready at your service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some companies have lower customer service ratings because they export their customer support to other countries where the agents are not trained as well or are difficult to understand.

See if Website Builders with Templates are Offered

Some, if not all, web hosting companies will offer website builders as part of their web hosting service package. The website builders can bring you a lot of advantages in which you can benefit from, both in short and long term. Not only is the website builder easy to use, it also has hundreds of designs and templates that you can choose from which you can easily match with your business’ theme. In addition, some website builder even have ready made modules such as voting systems, news publishing and photo galleries. WordPress is the most common and most supported Website Builder.

Find out How Much Disk Space You Will Have

The storage capacity offered by a good and reliable web hosting service provider should be more than enough for most users. Solid State Drives (SSD) are best for sites that need better performance since they are up to 20x faster when recovering and storing information. Traditional Hard disc drives (HDD) can be used for sites that need more storage and don’t need faster load times.

Review Data Transfer (Bandwidth) Limitations

A good and reliable provider should offer you sufficient bandwidth for efficient data transfer. If your website grows too rapidly or has a sudden traffic spike, you might use up all the allocated bandwidth. When this happens, your website might be suspended due to over-usage of resources! Therefore, it is advisable to use a web hosting service provider who offers you unlimited data transfer!

Compare Upgrade and Add-on Options

If you have a growing business, it is vital that you’re hosting provider offers the flexibility to upgrade your hosting plan and add features as you need. Without this, upgrades can be very tedious and can slow down your company’s growth. Some upgrade and add-on options to consider may include:

  • Increased CPU, RAM and Storage
  • Templates and themes
  • Applications
  • Extra security
  • Backup options
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email Accounts

Determine your Email Hosting Options

Some hosting services and packages include email accounts that you can set up to match your domain names. These customizable email addresses can improve the appearance of your business to make it look more organized and professional. The number of email addresses included with your package is typically related to the level of your hosting package. Virtual Private Servers and Dedicated Servers often include an unlimited amount of email addresses.

Review the Backup and Restore Options

In the rare event of data loss or accidental data deletion, it’s great to have the peace of mind to know that all of your data is backed up and can easily be recovered. Many hosting packages include automatic backups with easy recovery, some hosting companies offer this as a separate option, and some more advanced hosting options allow you to customize your backups and settings.

In Conclusion

Last but not least, our advise to you is that you should research, research, and research! Since there are so many web hosting services available, it’s really challenging to find the right one for your needs. Use the main requirements above as your guide and you’re mostly good to go. If you feel like the web hosting service that you’re dealing with appears somewhat shady and unreliable, chances are it probably is!

You can never be too careful these days. To avoid your website from experiencing problems, it’s extremely important that you do your research properly before you make your final decision on a web hosting service.

Why Choose SleekHost?

  • Hosting packages to fit any site
  • High performance options with industry leading page load times
  • Award winning customer support
  • Discount prices without tricky promotions
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • All the options and features you need
  • Unlimited bandwidth available
  • All-in-one platform