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You build a business.
It has a killer website.
But then you need to host that site.
How do you know you’re finding the right web host?
What’s the most important when you’re shopping for a host – Price? Location? Services?
All are important, but there are more things to consider when finding the perfect web host.
Ultimately the right web host is the one that checks the right boxes for you, your website and your company’s needs.
Mobile is absolutely essential for companies with an online presence, especially for those who are just building their websites. More than 1.2 billion consumers access websites through their mobile devices according to UK Web Hosting Reviews, which make mobile access a significant consideration for those looking for both website development and hosting.
As you consider a web hosting platform, be sure you understand what optimization features they include for mobile. Some hosts are including built-in features to make mobile optimization more effective than ever.
Don’t shortchange your website when it comes to media. Effective websites utilize images, videos and gifs, and that media can be cumbersome. If you’re just including a few images, the barebones of hosting should be adequate for your purposes.
But if you’re considering a more serious media site with videos, images and reader uploads, your hosting must be scaled up to accept this level of access and demand. Not only do you want to be sure you have adequate bandwidth for your media, but don’t overlook the hosting company’s features that support media as well to be sure you’re covered in every area.
If you’re looking to save money on your webhosting, reseller hosting may be an option. You’ll want plenty of bandwidth for your own sites and their included media, but if you have a surplus, you may be able to sell it to a third party.
There are hosting sites that handle reseller hosting, and if you are able to sell your excess, you may be able to cover some, or even all, of your hosting costs each month. Just be sure that you’re within the contractual obligations of your hosting company before you consider reselling.
Many web hosting companies offer package deals to their customers. In many ways, these packages provide all of the services you need and then some. It’s the excess service that you’ll want to consider cutting. If you are only using 15 percent or even 50 percent of your package deal, why are you paying for everything else?
Granted if it’s included at no additional price, the additional features may be nice to have – just in case. But if you’re paying for a premium package and using an economy one, drop the excess and look at ala carte pricing options. This way you’ll be paying for what you use and nothing else.
Some web hosting companies offer ala carte items and others don’t appear to sell anything but packages. Until you push them on it, that is. There are many web hosting companies available, and you’re under no obligation to go with one who doesn’t provide what you need or want.
Be clear upfront about what you need from your web hosting company and if they won’t provide what you need at a reasonable price, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere. Don’t pay for things you don’t need and don’t let yourself be steered or even bullied into thinking you need something you don’t. Before you even pick up the phone or pull up a hosting website, organize your thoughts on what you are actually, specifically shopping for.
Even the best hosting company experiences a bit of trouble occasionally. Hopefully the trouble is very occasional indeed, but there is an expectation that it will occur and you should be ready for it. You will need customer support at some point in your hosting journey and you want to be sure that the company you have selected to work with is prepared to offer you the support you need.
Check to see how the technical support is included in your hosting plan. Is it an included cost or are there additional costs required to actually speak with a person and get help when the need arises? How often is that technical service team available? If you can’t get help when you need it the most, you’re with the wrong company.
If you’re new at the website game, you don’t need to blaze a new trail, necessarily. Hosting companies have reputations, and if you do enough digging you can find those reputations quickly enough. Hang out where other webmasters do, forums, LinkedIn Groups or the like and just read. Search the old threads and topics to see what information you can gather.
Alternatively you can also just ask those experienced webmasters what they know about particular companies and see what you turn up. If you don’t feel like you have the time to immerse yourself in an online community, you may still be able to learn about some big names in the business with a clever Google search.
Companies that have been around for a bit will have plenty of reviews online. While every review is important in terms of selecting a web hosting company, the most important reviews are the technical support ones.
If a customer is going to become frustrated with a tech company, it’s almost always because of a technical support issue. You will often find more negative reviews than great ones, but look for both. A company that inspires online praise (on a neutral website, not the company’s) is impressive in its own right.
While you certainly don’t want to pay for any services you don’t need, you should also keep an open mind about what sort of services you’ll need down the road. You may have no idea what you’ll need if you’re new to website development and hosting, or you may have a pretty good idea of your future plans and the services those will require.
As you consider web hosts, keep in mind those future plans, both known and unknown, so that you can position yourself strategically. Set yourself up with a company now that includes features you’ll possibly or definitely need in the future. Just don’t pay for them until you actually need them!
Finally, you should be doing a fair amount of reading and reviewing what web hosting companies offer, but they should be doing the majority of the work selling themselves to you. If you can’t seem to get enough information about a company to feel satisfied, scratch them from the list.
Companies that are seeking customers understand that those customers have questions and need answers and specifics. If you can’t get the information you need from a website or company representative, consider the experience a preview of what is to come and run away as quickly as you can.
While at the most technical level, web hosting is the same across the board, companies strive to differentiate themselves. Special pricing, features, customer service and their reputation for success are all considerations as you commit to a web hosting company. But most importantly, remember that you’re not marrying the company. If you have a concern down the road, simply switch to a different company that is a better fit for you and yours.