Things You Should Know Before Choosing A Web Host Company
Thanks to an expanded selection of web development tools and a rising desire for businesses and organizations to have an online presence, designing and constructing websites is becoming easier and more accessible.
However, choosing the best website hosting provider can be challenging given the wide range of reliable services available, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages.
You can find yourself overpaying for unnecessary items or skipping out on crucial opportunities for your company.
You may assess the offerings of web hosting platforms using the following five questions to select one that meets your demands.
Are there any supported content management systems?
The content management systems (CMS) that a web hosting provider supports is one of the most important things you should be aware of before signing up with them.
You might wish to put up a WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal website depending on your goals and the resources you have. However, if your demands change in the future, you might have to switch to a different CMS.
According to David Foster, a software engineer at web hosting provider HostGator, “a decent web hosting platform should allow you to set up any number of sites with the CMS of your choice in an easy-to-use interface like a step-by-step wizard.”
“Ideally, it should contain additional capabilities to help adjust the structure of your website to your specific needs—such as an e-commerce website or discussion forum—and modify it for your organization with the least amount of effort possible, such as adding links to social media, adverts, RSS, polls, etc.”
Softaculous, a programme that enables quick installation of more than 190 CMS platforms and scripts, is supported by HostGator.
Examples of these platforms and scripts include WordPress, AbanteCart, PrestaShop, Joomla, phpBB, Open Real Estate, and many more.
Support for migration is an essential feature of every hosting provider. Does it allow you to move your website from a different service? Can it aid in your switchover to a new CMS?
“While automated migration tools are a basic requirement, they’re rarely enough,” says Foster, adding that a good hosting platform should have support teams who can help streamline the migration process.
This is especially true if your website has been around for a while and contains legacy code and assets.
What Degree Of Personalization Do You Receive?
The degree of access you get to website and server configuration can be essential when choosing a hosting service. Some businesses just offer the most fundamental site-level administration, like wp-admin access for WordPress websites.
While this might be appropriate for very basic use cases, it will become a restriction when you want to increase your website’s functionality to meet the demands of your business.
According to Foster, “good hosting systems should offer a variety of access and customization options to match your needs.” For instance, the cPanel from HostGator offers a File Manager and FTP access to your website’s back end.
Foster asserts that these choices ensure you have all of your bases covered, from basic to sophisticated.
Foster also advises keeping an eye out for more sophisticated capabilities like DNS, an SSL/TLS certificate, and support for email hosting to go with your domain.
This will provide you with a central location to manage all matters pertaining to your website, he claims. “The hosting service should be able to integrate certificates and DNS record management with what you already have in place if you’re setting up a new website for an established firm.”
What Does The Uptime Contract Say?
Uptime will be a key consideration when selecting a hosting platform if you decide to make your website your primary marketing tool.
“Let’s say that a hosting company’s contract stipulates that it will guarantee 99% server uptime.
This might seem like a fair agreement, but what it really implies is that they can get away with 1% downtime without having to pay you anything; that’s 87 hours, or almost three days, that your visitors won’t be able to access your website. states Foster.
In other words, if you average 50 visitors per hour, you will lose 4,350 visitors, and if your conversion rate is 1%, you will lose 43 customers.
Additionally, it is more difficult to estimate damages for customer attrition brought on by unavailable servers and search engine penalties.
A 99.9% uptime guarantee may not seem like a significant gain at first glance.
However, in practise, it implies that the downtime is reduced to a tenth, which can significantly impact a website with considerable traffic.
“First, check to see if your hosting company has a provision in which it expressly mentions its uptime guarantee.
And second, while there is no substitute for a website that is not accessible, Foster advises looking into the compensation your hosting provider offers in exchange for downtime that exceeds the permitted amount of time.
When a hosting provider offers hosting credits or free hosting in exchange for downtime, it demonstrates their commitment to keeping their word.
What Is The Level Of Support?
No website is a one-man show, so no matter how skilled you are, you’ll eventually need assistance from your web hosting provider. What remains to be seen is how willing they are to assist you.
Foster advises customers to check that their hosting provider offers live customer help rather than sending them to an inconvenient FAQ page.
Additionally, be sure the package you buy offers live customer assistance (some providers don’t offer this feature for entry-level plans).
Responsiveness is also important. How quickly does the hosting company’s customer service personnel reply to questions? How capable is the staff at responding to technical queries? How much support (server configurations, site-level adjustments, coding support, etc.) do they offer?
A strong support team should be able to reply quickly to general inquiries and have a protocol to get back to you on more technical concerns, according to Foster. You can’t expect a support staffer to be able to answer every question you have,” she adds.
An vast knowledge base is “one of the trademarks of effective hosting support,” he continues. “At the very least, the support team should guide you through their knowledge base and help you locate the solution you require.
Will You Be Safeguarded?
A defence against typical cyberthreats is a requirement for any web hosting plan. To be clear, you are ultimately in charge of ensuring the security of your digital assets.
Additionally, if you are hacked, the harm done to your customers, reputation, and digital assets might not be repairable by cash compensation.
Having said that, it’s wise to be aware of the assistance your hosting provider offers.
A solid hosting service should, at the very least, offer automatic updates for popular CMSs like WordPress.
At a deeper level, it should ensure that PHP, MySQL, and Apache are secure and patched for known vulnerabilities, according to Foster.
The initial line of security against the majority of web threats, including SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS), is typically an update.
Foster notes, however, that there are some threats that no hosting service can shield you against, such as flaws in specially created themes with shoddy coding or themes with deliberately introduced security holes that are acquired from unlawful sources.
Inadvertently installing a backdoor into their account as a result of installing a custom theme they had downloaded (most frequently rented), he says, “I can’t tell you how many times I dealt with someone who had done that.”
The source code of your web apps can be scanned by some of the better hosting firms for known viruses and insecure coding practises. SiteLock, an online security solution that incorporates a web application firewall that shields websites from harmful attacks like SQL injection and old insecure code, is a feature of HostGator plans.
The ability to defend against distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults, in which hostile botnets target your website and flood it with fictitious traffic in an effort to bar users from accessing it, would be a plus. DDoS attacks do not affect all websites, but if you have cause to believe you might, ask your hosting provider whether they have a DDoS mitigation plan or if they have partners who can assist you.
What Options Are There For Plans?
The resource requirements for each website vary. While some may draw millions of visitors each month, others will become more specialised in their industry and experience a decline in traffic.
Due to legal requirements, certain firms may need dedicated servers, while others may be satisfied to share resources with other websites in order to save money.
Foster asserts that “excellent hosting services should have a flexible pricing structure that meets the needs of every sort of customer.” “Pricing schemes ought to give customers who commit to lengthy purchases discounts.
The hosting provider should be open and honest about what their plans don’t offer and what they charge you for.
A support staff that can direct you toward the price plan that best meets your needs—not the most expensive—is equally vital.
Think carefully before opening a browser. Taking a moment to consider these questions is the best approach to start your search for a reputable web hosting provider.
Decide what you need now, and try to sketch a rough outline of how you might need it later. Your online presence should be supported by a reliable hosting provider as it grows.
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