One of the biggest confusions that many online businesses face while planning to develop a website is choosing a good web hosting plan. Whether it is for blogging purpose, selling goods at an online store, or a company website, it is crucial to have a reliable and high-performing hosting service for your site.
To avoid disaster you must consider a few factors to avoid disappointment
1. Analyze Your Hosting Needs
It is impossible to get the right web host without having the knowledge about your specific requirements. For that, you need to have a clear idea about
- What will be the type of the website?
- What CMS do you choose?
- Does it require Windows applications?
- How much web traffic you expect in the next 12 months?
These basic factors are important to choose your suitable web hosting plan. In case you are running a small to medium traffic website, there is no urgency for a VPS hosting plan.
But if you are running a large online store, it is more likely your business server is carrying out a lot of e-Commerce activities. In such a scenario a VPS or dedicated server will be more suitable to manage a larger volume of web traffic. It is also good for extra reliability.
2. Server Reliability / Uptime Guarantees
The best part of an online store over its brick and mortar counterpart is it is open seven days a week for 365 days while the brick-and-mortar maybe only 9-to-5 hours of operation. You must ensure none of your visitors return disappointed during your server downtime. For that, you must choose a stable web host. Generally, 99.95% uptime is pretty standard these days, even if you get a shared hosting account. But make it sure it never gets below 99%. If you choose a Premium account then you can boast better uptimes.
3. Server Upgrading Options
Even if you start with a shared web hosting, it must offer you upgrading options as these shared web hosts are just enough to support a properly optimized WordPress blog which has 30,000 to 40,000 monthly unique visitors.But if it grows over the next few years then you must consider upgrading it from shared hosting plan to a virtual private or dedicated server. Otherwise, your site performance will suffer. Upon upgrading you will enjoy greater processing power, disk storage, memory capacity, and perhaps better security features.
4. Multiple Add-on Domains
Many online businesses prefer to own more than one domain names. To accommodate those extra domains you need extra hosting space. If you can add multiple domain names on a single hosting account it is surely an added advantage.
5. Signup vs. Renewal Price
Several Hosting providers offer cheap hosting deals, especially when you sign up for shared hosting. But later they charge much higher renewal price. So you must check their renewal price before you get lured by their cheap 80% discount on Sign up a price.
You must check their Terms and Conditions and compare various Hosting providers Sign up and Renewal charges before choosing any particular package.
6. E-Commerce Features
If you are running an e-commerce website or already using any particular shopping cart software make sure your hosting provider offers the same. It should incorporate all the necessary e-commerce features along with dedicated IP, SSL Certification and special technical support and so on.
7. A User-friendly Hosting Control Panel
A control panel is the most important part of any hosting account. If it is easy to use and comes with all the required functionality it will become much simpler for you to manage the website along with all data files, email accounts and more.
8. Essential Features in a Web Host
When you choose any hosting plan make sure you get access to some important features in the control panel. Features like ftp / sftp, one-click installer, or DNS management should be there so that you can manage your FTP accounts or install your own site using one-click installer without depending on hosting provider.
9. Refund Policy & Free Trial Period
Ask your hosting provider if you decide to cancel the hosting plan within the trial period, does the company give you a full money-back guarantee? What is their refund policy once the trial period is over? Or do they charge any cancellation fees? It is important to have clear knowledge about their Refund policy before choosing to buy a hosting plan.