It can be a little daunting to compare different web hosting companies. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when you select a provider, along with ways that the wrong service can be detrimental.
- Getting Started with Your Search
- Track Record
- Equipment & Uptime
- Customer Support
- Why Poor Hosting Choices are Problematic
Getting Started with Your Search
Especially with the rise of CMS options such as WordPress and other site-building systems, creating your own site has become much more manageable for novices. One challenge for business owners, though, is figuring out which web hosting service is the right choice.
There are currently more than a billion websites online globally. Every one of those sites is hosted, whether through the company’s own data center or an outside provider.
Web hosts tend to sell their plans with a huge amount of attention toward price. Of course affordability is a critical factor, but there are other considerations as well. Here are some of the top strengths you want to see from a web host, as well as ways that the wrong hosting can hurt you.
It’s important to understand how credible and established the company is, explains Zac Johnson of Tech.Co. “The best and most reliable hosting companies are ones that have their own data centers, a support team and also thousands of customers who can vouch for their service,” he says. For instance, in the case of Superb Internet, we have been in business since 1996 and have customers from more than 150 different countries worldwide.
Equipment & Uptime
It’s not enough for a company to have a staff offering strong support and technical acumen. The servers that are used to power your site are of course fundamental to the quality of hosting. Beyond the servers themselves, you want to make sure that the Web connection is reliable and that there are built-in redudancies so that you are unlikely to ever experience unscheduled downtime when your site is unavailable.
Another piece that you want to make sure is in place when you work with a web host is backup storage and disaster recovery. It may seem unnecessary to have all your site’s files backed up, but if you don’t, you could end up in a nightmare. At Superb, for instance, we back up all our clients’ sites every single day.
Cost is a critical aspect of web hosting, but you want to be certain you’ve explored the specifics of your particular solution. For instance, there is a vast difference between two different types of hosting that involve multi-tenancy, or different users leveraging the same hardware: shared and cloud. Research the specifics of your service’s plans as much as you can before proceeding.
You may think that you can typically figure out whatever you need from forums and that support is optional, but that is not the case with web hosting. You want a service that will respond to any requests you might have within 30 minutes. There should be extensive experience within the support department too. In 2014, for instance, Superb provided more than 34,000 replies to almost 18,000 support tickets.
This feature is crucial because you are accessing a system at a distance, as are all users visiting your site. “The best hosting providers will have full connectivity at the highest speeds, while also having backup servers and full connectivity at all times,” notes Johnson.
You also want to know how committed your host is to keeping all software updated. If software is not kept up to date, you end up with gaps in security that can result in your site being hacked and injected with malware.
Why Poor Hosting Choices are Problematic
You want to look for hosting companies with the attributes listed above because a bad hosting service can do damage to your business, in the following ways:
- You’re put at risk for attack. You want to be certain that your hosting provider invests in strong security measures. For instance, when a company uses SSAE-16-audited data centers, you know stringent data safety measures are in place.
- It can hurt your Google standings. The worst hosting companies have frequent downtime, when your site isn’t available. Any performance issues such as downtime or slow loading will make it difficult for you to maintain search prominence. Search engines check on uptime data and will penalize you even if it’s really an issue with the hosting service.
- Users leave your site. On average, an Internet user is only willing to wait 6 seconds for any page to load before backing out and going elsewhere. Pages with more images and video take the longest to populate, notes Debra Carpenter of The Hosting News. “The very pages designed to funnel users toward making a purchase could be the barrier that stops them from buying if you’re using the wrong web hosting,” she says.
Are you in need of web hosting for your company? Make sure that you look for the above strengths so that your company doesn’t suffer the negative consequences of poor hosting.