Whether you’re launching an eCommerce store or a lifestyle blog, you’re going to need web hosting. Choosing the right web hosting provider is a big decision. It helps if you have a web hosting provider that’s easy to work with and grows with your business. In this post, we’ll look at five things to consider when selecting your hosting provider.
1. What type of web hosting is right for you?
When you’re first starting, your hosting needs are different from someone that’s running a successful business and looking to expand. Knowing the types of hosting can help you save on costs when starting.
Shared Hosting – You share the web hosting server and resources with other websites. If other websites are draining resources, your site may run slower. This strategy keeps your costs low while you get going.
Virtual Private Server – A VPS is a block on a physical server that’s yours, so the resources allotted to you are not shared with others, they are only for your site, regardless of how much you use or don’t use.
Managed Dedicated Hosting – You lease a server from the web hosting provider, with full management and support included in your service level agreement. This strategy is suitable for large eCommerce businesses and online companies.
Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting – You lease the server from the host and must manage it yourself. This requires a system administrator or someone with knowledge of how to manage a server and is for more advanced needs.
2. Does the Host Offer a User-Friendly Control Panel?
If you’re new to website management, the control panel must have a user-friendly design. If you’re not a tech-savvy person, a cluttered control panel might have plenty of functionality. However, learning to use it can be a frustrating experience.
Look for hosts that offer simple to navigate control panels with the basic functionality you need to manage your account. Installing an SSL certificate or setting up email domains can be a daunting task if you don’t know what you’re doing.
One of the most popular backends is actually called cPanel and it’s one of the easiest and most intuitive control panels to use.
3. What Is the Reliability, Uptime, and Speed of the Website Hosting?
If you want to attract more traffic to your site, that’s great. However, you can pull all the traffic you like, but the visitors will bounce if your website loads slowly. It’ senseless spending money on marketing if your website is loading slow.
The type of hosting you opt for determines the speed of your website. Typically, shared hosting offers slower response times than a VPS or dedicated hosting. However, you’ll end up paying a lot more for the dedicated service.
When starting, shared hosting might suffice your needs. However, as your business grows, you’ll need to ensure your hosting option can handle the traffic.
4. Where Are Data Centers Located
If you’re a Canadian business its imperative to understand where the hosting provider is headquartered and where their data centers are located.
The last thing you want is for your data as a Canadian business to be hosted in a different country.
Look for hosts that are Canadian based and have data centers in Canada to keep everything local.
Understand whether your host is actually a hosting provider or if they are reselling someone else’s service.
There are a number of large players in the hosting space that own many of the smaller brands, so you may want to consider a privately owned company.
5. Can You Scale Your Business with the Host?
When your traffic starts increasing, you’ll need a web hosting partner that scales alongside your business. If you’re experiencing huge increases in traffic volumes, it’s time to think about migrating from that shared solution to possibly a virtual private server or even a dedicated server.
When signing up with a hosting service, think about the future of your business. If you’re expecting to grow your small website into a fully functional eCommerce website over the next year, what will that look like?You’re going to need a hosting partner that can grow with the needs of your company. Trying to migrate from your existing provider to another host is a pain. It’s a better option to go with a host that lets you migrate through hosting packages as your business grows.
Avoid using the cheapest option. Sometimes, cheaper is not always better. We understand you are trying to save money by bootstrapping your business. However, you need to ensure you’re getting the best service offering possible.
6. Does the host focus on website security?
With cybercrime on the rise, and hackers penetrating systems worldwide, your new website needs security.
Choose a host offering encrypted services and secure networks. Your host should have all the required security precautions around its internet security. Firewalls and security monitoring is critical to ensuring there are no data breaches.
Make sure that your host offers good levels of access control to your account. Some hosts provide security packages included with the hosting option. You can select security add-ons like SSL certificates, anti-virus programs, and malware protection for your site.
The best hosting companies run dedicated security teams that monitor all connections around the clock. Your new website needs the best security you can find. Make sure you choose a provider that values the security of your site.
7. How is their customer service?
You may encounter some roadblocks when starting your online adventure. If things start going wrong, you need professional assistance you can rely on. Check out the hosting companies’ customer support options.
Look for phone support channels, email, text, and live chat options. Before signing up with the host, test its response time to your queries. Log a query on the live chat, and see how long it takes the customer service rep to respond. Check if the host offers 24/7 customer support, and research forums to see what other website owners say about the host.
Some hosts also offer knowledge centers where you can find information to do your own troubleshooting, so take a look to see the depth of information available.
Before you choose a hosting provider, ensure that all of your business needs will be met. Trying to change things later down the line will end up causing you an expensive migration you can avoid.
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