There are several hosting platforms in the market and each one has its own pros and cons if you want to know about them click here. It is important to know which plaform suits your business best as it can make or break it! I compiled the most important factors to know for you:
1. Amount of Resources
A higher price doesn’t really equate to a higher amount in this case. There are many web hosts who provide large amounts of data storage at affordable price points. Hosting platforms built on shared servers provide unlimited bandwidth, websites, storage and email accounts thus it is important to consider which platform suits your needs and budget at the same time.
2. Website Speed
Having a fast website speed is critical to building your business. Research shows that slow loading websites could be attributed to loss of sales this may be due consumer habits of having short attention span.
Hence, the web host of your choice needs to provide instantaneous page load. Technically a speed of 400-700ms is acceptable and considered fast already. I would advise you not to pick anything below 400ms as that can cause website loading failures.
3. Uptime Percentage
Uptime determines how fast your consumers can access your website. Having fast website speed doesn’t matter if your uptime sucks because consumers cant access your page either way.
Generally speaking, a good uptime percentage would be around 99.97% and above.
Hosting platforms who provides any lower uptime percentage which is around 99.95% or lower is not worth considering.
4. Domain Registration
Not all hosting platforms prove domain registration for free so it really depend on what platform you chose. You’d be happy to know that most of the leading platforms give this for free but be careful of the fine details as other platforms do provide them for free but for a period of time only! This really depends on your budget and timeline.
5. Email Accounts
This factor can be placed into consideration when you plan to work by yourself or with a team. Web platforms can offer fixed number of email accounts up to unlimited emails. The latter can usually be seen on a more expensive package while the former is recommended for start-ups like for people wanting to have a personal blog and stuff. Some platforms also have auto-responders which prepare a default reply to particular emails.
6. Website Transfer
Again like the number of emails, website transfer is more for those who want to change platforms. Some providers do charge for this transfer while others provide it for free. Moving a site from one host to another is a complex task by itself. Taking on the disadvantage of paying extra for the transfer may just add to the inconvenience.
7. Backups Frequency
Backups are important for every website. The more frequent it does it for you, the less you have to worry about losing your files. For cheaper options, they may impose a fixed number of backups for a day or a certain number of days to deliver the backups. I recommend for you to choose the daily automated backups as it’s the most worry free choice.
8. Customer Support
Good Customer Service is always a plus for any platform as you can easily reach them whenever you hit a bump in the road. Unfortunately, not all platforms have good CS so you have to be careful with choosing the right one for this as it doesn’t really mean that cheaper option suck at CS while more expensive options are good with it. You can find more about it here.
9. Security Measures
The most basic standard security measure for a hosted website is having a SSL certificate. Along with this mandatory feature, your chosen web host must also offer scanning of network and servers. Moreover, it should also remove the detected malware and protect the site from cyber-attacks. Furthermore, ecommerce sites must also be PCI-compliant to guarantee secure financial transactions.
If you are someone who hows about coding and programming, the are hosting platforms that can accommodate that. Most platforms support the common programming languages. These include multiple versions of PHP up to the latest 7.2, Node.js, Perl, Python, Apache and MySQL.
11. CMS Support
For eCommerce websites, support for a CMS or content management system is crucial. WordPress is the most popular and the best choice when it comes to CMS but offcourse there are other options too like Magento, Joomla, Drupal, and PrestaShop. These platforms streamline many time-consuming functions and enable you to organize the site more efficiently.
12. Site Builders
There are two categories: free website builders and standalone website builders. The former will make the whole process of establishing your website a lot easier while the latter like Weebly, many hosting services also provide such builders as part of their hosting packages.
The Final Tests
Along with the list above you can also do the following to fully confirm which website platform you can choose:
1. Customer Reviews
Reading customer reviews of each service provider is probably the best way to get first hand view of what the platform is like and how it performs for other consumers. You can get insight from the real experiences of each customer and compare them with the respective host’s claims. This will help you evaluate both reliability and capability of that hosting service provider.
2. Test the Support
As I said, customer support can make or break your website as having a good customer service can help you every bump of the way instead of scratching your head on your own.
Almost all web hosts include a 24/7 customer support in their hosting platform inclusive of live chat, phone call and/or an email. You can initiate a conversation with the support team and find out how much knowledge they have. The length of response time or resolution time and accuracy of the provided information will let you know if this is the right web host for your site.
That’s about it! Good luck on your website