Deciding on a reliable web host to start your online business is an important decision that significantly impacts your business success. Commitment and dedication to a single web hosting provider would determine the overall performance of your business. Moving your business to another web host can be significant damage and create issues, so if you face any problems with your current hosting provider, you can ask them to fix your server issues or upgrade your plan. However, if you still face any issues, then you have to choose a reliable service provider. In this guide, I will discuss all the essential things to help you evaluate web hosting for your website.
When a person builds a website, he needs a quality web hosting service to avoid future problems and always keep his website online. But what are the essential criteria to assess the quality of this type of service?
One primary option is to evaluate the company’s track record. It should have a good SLA uptime, 24/7/365 technical support, and the assurance that your data is secure – check what guarantees are offered in this regard, as many only represent web hosting companies.
Before getting a server of your choice from a web hosting provider, check the following factors:
#1 – Talk to those who have used the hosting service
Getting information from friends and professionals in the field of web development is undoubtedly a good start. Word of mouth is still a popular form of marketing. Of course, a service can be good in one case and not in another. But knowing the opinion of other users counts for a lot.
#2 – Stability and emergency service
There are even different ways to analyze the quality of your hosting service. Specialists guarantee that stability is one of the determining factors for the service, but it is not the only one. The quality of the hosting service will only be good if, in addition to being stable, it manages to meet other technical aspects and guarantee good service when the user has an emergency – and this will happen to everyone someday.
#3 – SLA Measurement Or Server Uptime
You can also measure the SLA or server uptime time, which measures how much of the month (week or year) you will access your website. People are confused because every hosting provider claims that they are offering 99.9% uptime, but you have to consider many things before purchasing a server. You can check their review on third-party websites, client testimonials, and 25 excellent tips on how to choose web hosting.
If you observe only 1% of downtime, it means you were down 7.2 hours a month, and it is a considerable downtime. Remember, if it occurs during business peak hours, then it means you’re losing the clients equal to a trading day.
The SLA calculation must be following the market standard and following the specifications of the service contracted by the customer. The SLA starts at 100% to give you an idea, and each unscheduled outage reduces the time and percentage. The SLA varies depending on the services you have purchased. You always need to evaluate the cost-benefit of your plan, as a higher capacity SLA suggests a more significant investment.
There are plenty of third-party tools available, and they will provide you with the most detailed report on your uptime: uptimerobot.com, pingdom.com, site24x7.com, siteuptime.com, internetseer.com, 100pulse.com, serviceuptime.com.
#4 – Speed and Latency
This is another standard that has a more significant impact on the quality of your hosting service. However, it is a two-way street since those who access the website need faster loading times. And for those who host the website, the update time of the content made available on your website matters. The location of your server also matters, and it is recommended to choose a server from the location where your potential or targeted audience resides. Latency is the distance between the server and the user. So, you have to choose a server with the lowest latency rate.
Consider the followings things:
Firstly, conduct several tests from different locations at different times to check the speed of your web host with the help of Google page speed insights, GTMetricx, WebpageTest and many other tools to get a true picture of your website speed.
Secondly, check the speed of elements on your website hosted on external servers (such as YouTube Videos) and check the DNS Response Time. It will help you check the total time it takes for your website’s nameservers to return the IP address to the visitors’ browser.
Finally, check your SSL metric and check the time it takes to perform an SSL handshake with incoming potential clients or website visitors.
#5 – Hosting Analysis Tools
To compare information about hosting companies, there is the Host Review website, where you can access reviews of hosting companies, news and updates on hosting companies, articles and recommendations.
SEO analysis tools can detect errors, for example, excessive time to open pages, such as WooRank, HubSpot, among others.
The DNS Network Tools website allows you to discover possible issues on the website and in the linked email. It also has DNS vulnerability analysis, domain registration, website IP information, etc.
#6 – Security Features
Security is one of the basic and important features that every business owner looks for when choosing a good and reliable web host. So, it should be the initial thing to evaluable before making a purchase. All reliable hosting providers understand it and offer free SSL certificates that encrypt the data exchanged with the users and visitors.
After installing an SSL certificate, it is recommended to check the time it takes for the SSL handshake process that initiates the encrypted connection. Moreover, it is also necessary to get email protection using different authentication technologies against phishing attempts such as DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), Sender Policy Framework (SPF), etc.
#7 – Customer Service
It is compulsory to check the customer service because if you experience any issues related to your hosting, then they are the first responders and fix your issue as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there are plenty of hosting providers claiming that they are offering 24/7/365 support.
#8 – Threats
Finally, you have checked all the given points, but the most important one is ensuring website security and monitoring the number of attacks against your website. As you know, the number of hackers and attacks are increasing day by day, so you have to be proactive and choose a web hosting provider who informs you when an intrusion attempt is made and how many they have defeated. If you didn’t put enough protection, it can be harmful to you or your well-reputed business brand. So, you have to be strict about using unused WordPress plugins and themes.