If you’ve ever went through the process of trying to start a web site or blog, then you already know about the frustrations and complexities with trying to figure out web hosting.
The funny thing about web hosting, is that after you sign up for it, you really won’t need to mess with 90% of what you were so cautious about in the first place. At the end of the day, choose a web hosting provider that has history in the industry, a good reputation and quality uptime and you should be good to go.
In this web hosting startup guide, we are going to look at seven quick tips to help you find the right web hosting provider for your website, blog, brand or business.
- Price isn’t the Most Important Thing
While you might think the price of your hosting is going to make or break whether you signup for your hosting, it shouldn’t. Most hosting providers are pretty cheap and only range within a few dollars of each other when you put them all side by side. You can see a full listing of the top web hosting providers here. If you absolutely can’t afford to pay for hosting at all, be sure to consider this list of best free hosting solutions.
- Save Money with Pre-Paid Hosting
If money is still one of the main concerns when setting up your hosting, be sure to look at pre-paid options. In most cases you can save upwards of 25-50% just for paying for 12, 24 or 36 months in advance. Some hosting provider prices will actually go below $5 per month for shared hosting when pre-paying for months in advance.
In addition to prepaying for your hosting, you can also save money by finding web hosting coupons. Nearly all hosting providers have them, and finding them could be as simple as simply doing a Google search for “host name + coupons”.
- Customer Reviews are Key
Wouldn’t it be great if you could hear from actual customers and users of a service before you sign on the dotted line? Good news, you can! All it takes is a simple search in Google for “hosting name + reviews” and you will find a whole world of testimonials, customers ratings and hosting reviews. Hostingfacts.com is a great site for seeing a collection of reviews.
- Go with a Host that Keeps Your Site Online
It’s easy to get lost in the mix of different things to look at when joining a host, but one of the most important things is to look at uptime charts. This will allow you to see how often a host goes does, while also keeping all of their hosting clients online as well. Having your site down for just 1% of the year is over 3 days of downtime! If you would like to monitor your own site’s uptime, you can use any of the tools listed in this article.
- Web Hosting History and Experience is Key
The sad truth about web hosting as a business is that anyone can get setup with their own hosting service in just a few short hours. This can be done by ordering reseller services from another service and simply calling it your own. Should you go with a “fly by night” service, your site could be in jeopardy and there is also a chance all of the customer services and features listed on their site could just be false promises.
With all of that being said, put in the time and research to make sure you are going with a hosting company that has solid reviews, a good history and lots of experience in the online space. Some of the most well known and trusted names in the hosting industry are GoDaddy, NetworkSolutions and HostGator.
- Customer Service and Support is Always Important
While you might not need it every second of the day, you will at some point. Should your web site ever go down or if you have a question about how to set something up, you will want to be able to get a hold of someone at your hosting provider. Choose a web host that offer 24/7 support 365 days per year and also offers email, chat, phone and knowledge base support.
Here’s a great article on 7 services all web hosting providers should offer.
- Backups, Backups and more Backups
When was the last time you had to backup your computer, laptop or mobile device? Probably recently… and while it likely was a pain, think about the last time you didn’t backup, and lost everything!
It’s a big pain to constantly backup your data, but in the world of web hosting, it’s much easier. A good web hosting company will provide monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly backups depending on the hosting plan you go with. Make sure you go with a hosting provider that has at least daily backups, and if not — use any of these backup tools to do it yourself.
The world of web hosting is massive and growing on a daily basis. The good news is that you don’t need to become a web hosting expert to try and figure it out. The game has completely changed and now it’s as simple as clicking one button to install WordPress and going live with your site in just a few minutes time.
At the end of the day, run through the list above of key points to look for in a hosting company, choose one and get your site live!