After pouring your heart and soul into building a website, you want to choose a hosting solution which is going to do it justice. Whether you are building a website purely for your own enjoyment, as a digital storefront for your business, or as a self-contained e-commerce venture, if you don’t take the time to properly examine your hosting options then you are setting yourself up for failure. An unreliable webhost can sink an otherwise perfectly fine website.
Choosing a web host might seem like a daunting task at first, especially if you’ve never had to do it before. The good news is that while the various hosting services like to throw an endless stream of facts and figures over you, there are actually only a handful of metrics you need to look out for. Once you know what the hallmarks of a good or bad deal are, your intuition will take over. Until then, this guide should help you to get started with choosing your first web host.
Reliability and Uptime
This is the most important thing to look out for. Every web host will quote you a figure, usually a percentage, for the amount of uptime your server is guaranteed. This number tells you what percentage of the time your website will be available. A website with 99% uptime will be visible 99% of the time. You shouldn’t go near any web host that quotes less than 99%, but as long as that threshold is met, everything else is a bonus.
Most websites represent long term investments for their creators. Few people will go to the trouble of designing, building and hosting a website if they are going to neglect it. If your website is going to be up for some time and you are expecting it to grow, then you are going to want to know what your upgrade options are for the future.
Shared Vs Dedicated
When a website is just starting out, it can cope with only the most basic available infrastructure. Shared web hosting means that, as you might have guessed, you will be sharing space on the web server with a number of other websites. This kind of shared hosting is cheaper than dedicated hosting, but the performance isn’t as good. For a website that is just starting out, shared hosting is fine. As the number of simultaneous connections to your site increases then you will want to switch to more advanced dedicated hosting from a service such as Hosting Foundry.
Refunds and Free Trials
Before you sign up to any hosting service, have a look and see if they offer a free trial. If they do, great! That means you can test it out and make sure everything is to your liking before you part with your cash. If there is no free trial available, then investigate what their refund policy is as you want to make sure that you have recourse if you encounter any issues.
These are the main things you need to consider when choosing a web host. Also, be sure to look online for user reviews and experiences with the web hosting service you are considering.