So you’re looking for a web hosting company to host your website for the first time and you just don’t know that much about it. Well, it can be a fairly daunting task due to the overwhelming number of people and companies out there claiming to be the best. Not to mention the endless options and vast array of pricing plans. Finding cheap, dedicated servers may be your best bet or maybe a big name hosting site is the way to go. It can be rather confusing at first, but read the following paragraphs and find out what to look for when choosing a hosting provider for the first time.
The Best Value for Money Web Hosting
For first-time buyers of web hosting, going with a large web hosting company seems like the best thing to do. You want the reliability and service that typically come with a big name provider. While this might seem like a good plan, and is probably the most hassle-free and quickest approach, it may not be the way you want to go since you might end up paying more than you need to. Check with some online sources that provide this information. These review sites provide information on website hosting companies, both large and small. Look for specific, in-depth reviews and customer testimonials. In this case, size may not matter. Quality of service, reliability, overall cost and ease of use may be more important to you.
Don’t Buy more than you Need
First-time buyers of web hosting usually depend on other sources to tell them what is best for them. Remember that any web hosting company is going to tell you that their service is the best for your particular needs. After all, it’s their job to sell services for their company. Some web hosting companies may sell you a package with 5GB of web space for a “great price.” While they may indeed have a great price, you may never use 5GB for your website. Make sure you know beforehand what services you will need for your website. Alternatively, some web hosting providers may give you unlimited space and bandwidth. But in this case, the shared server is so overloaded and outdated that the response time is very poor and the web hosting plan is next to useless. You need more information than just the specifications that the web hosting provider gives you.
A Control Panel that you can use
Getting a deal from one of the top hosting sites, or finding a cheap dedicated server for a great price isn’t going to mean much if you can’t understand and use the website control panel. If you’re new to web hosting, try and find a hosting provider that uses cPanel for their website configuration. It’s one of the best and most popular web server configuration / management interfaces for shared hosting. Also look for tools like automatic script installers and website building tools. Programs like Fantastico make installing and uninstalling application (such as WordPress etc) on your server very quick and easy.
Server Size and Speed might be Important
If your website is going to be used for personal use, the amount of time it takes to upload and download files may not be that important. If your website is used for business, server speed is going to be a huge factor. Be certain to check with each individual website hosting company and find out their load times. If you’re in business, a slow download or upload time is going to lose customers quicker than anything. If you’re going to host videos on your website, make sure the website hosting company can handle uploading large files. Some website hosting companies limit the size of files you can upload. Be sure to check with each individual website host, and get all the details before you commit. Try and pay by the month initially so you can test out the web server you are allocated. You don’t want to pay for a whole years hosting to find out that the web server is dead slow. The location of the web server is also important. Where is most of your traffic coming from? Consider locating your web server on the west or east of the US or in Europe. Some providers give you the option of web server location.
Check Web Hosting Site Downtime
One of the worst things to happen to any website is downtime. Even the biggest, top hosting sites can experience downtime. If you’re running a business website, downtime can cost serious money in lost profits, and loss of customers for the long-term. Make sure the website hosting provider you have selected has properly configured firewalls and uses SSL data encryption for all of your website information. SSL data encryption changes sensitive data from plain text into a code that will make it difficult for hackers to access and steal. Most top hosting sites offer these security features. If you don’t see this included in the website hosting, ask the company specifically about these important features.
The best thing you can do before committing to a service contract with any website hosting provider is to arm yourself with information. It’s going to take some time and effort to learn a few basic bits of information before you make a decision. But that time and effort could literally save you a lot of money and headaches over the next few years. Whether you do business with one of the top hosting sites or with a company that has a great deal using a cheap, dedicated server, you’re going to want to work with a company you can rely on. Take some time, and spend some do some research before you decide which web hosting service is right for your specific needs.