There are over 330,000 web hosting service providers in the world. This gives website owners a lot of options.
Choice is good – but sometimes it can be overwhelming.
If you’re a first-time website owner, you don’t want to make the wrong choice. If you’re looking to switch services, you’ll need to ensure you don’t end up disappointed again.
However, some key factors can make your decision easier. Read on to find out what they are and how they can help you choose the best web hosting services for your website needs.
What Are Web Hosting Services?
Web hosting services allow you to make your website accessible to the world. The company you choose will store all the files associated with your website, including images, on its server. This makes their location irrelevant as this data will be accessible from anywhere around the globe.
When an internet user enters your website domain on their computer’s search bar they’re immediately taken to your site. Some of the more common services web hosting companies provide include:
- Email hosting
- File hosting
- Shopping cart software
- Image hosting
- Video hosting
- Blog hosting
Some providers also allow you to purchase your domain name. They also may have additional features that will help you to develop and design your website.
The Importance of Having Good Web Hosting Services for Your Site
Your website is an extension of you. You may be using it to showcase your personality, products, or services. It is the first contact that many of your customers will have with you.
The quality of your site is crucial to making a good first impression. If you do this, visitors will want to see more.
They will stay to explore your site longer so that you’ll have a low bounce rate. This helps with your ranking on search engine response pages.
Having a good web hosting service can also improve your search engine ranking. Your service can also provide:
- A secure server environment
- A stable server environment
- Optimal speed
- Accessible customer service
- Data storage
- Customisable pricing
It’s important to ensure you have the best web hosting experience for your site.
10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Web Hosting Services
Before even considering a web hosting service, you should have already created a plan for your site, as these will affect the web hosting services you would require. You should know:
- The type of website platform – WordPress; Wix; PageCloud
- The main use of the site – blog; eCommerce; portfolio
- The amount of traffic expected
There are many web hosting services available. Make your decision after reading online reviews to find out more about the company’s reputation. You should also consider the following:
1. Uptime History
Once you launch your website and start getting traffic, you want to ensure that it’s always up and running. This is important regardless of what you’re using your site for, but even more so for eCommerce sites. If your site is down, you could miss out on sales.
Site downtime can also negatively affect your rating with search engines. To avoid this, review the historical uptime scores of any web hosting service you’re considering.
Scores of 99.5% or higher are usually an indication of reliability and site availability. Avoid companies with scores lower than this ideal benchmark.
If you’re just starting, you may have a limited web hosting budget. Don’t let this tempt you to compromise on quality by going with the cheapest service. Some services have special introductory rates.
Most services usually have a signup price which is often different from their renewal price. If you get a great introductory offer that includes discounts, you should expect to pay more when it’s time to renew the service. It’s usually unavoidable, but shouldn’t be a huge increase, so factor this into your budget.
3. Server Security
It’s important that the web hosting service you choose can protect your site from malware and cyber-attacks. Many services have network monitoring features as well as firewall rules. These can help to keep your site safe.
The service should continually update its anti-malware and antivirus capabilities. There should also be security measures in place for authorized users. This controls access to the administrative functions of your website.
4. Server Response
Another factor that can affect your search engine ranking is the upload time of your site. This is even more important now as it takes into consideration both desktop and mobile page upload speeds.
To ensure fast upload speeds, you need a web hosting service with fast and stable server speeds. This can also reduce your bounce rate, as users often leave a site if it uploads too slowly. There are tests you can use to determine the responsiveness of your host’s server.
5. Features Offered
If you’ve shortlisted a few web hosting services and there’s not much differentiating them, take a look at the additional features they offer. These could include:
- Email accounts
- Website development and design
- General website tools
- eCommerce tools
These are great if you’re new to web design. It’s a great way to build on some of the services you offer on your site.
6. Control Panel
The control panel features allow you to effectively manage your website. It’s easy-to-use and allows you to make changes, even if you usually feel technically challenged.
This feature makes it simple. It’s best to go with a web hosting service that offers this feature.
7. Multiple Backups
If you’re new to website development and you built your site by trial and error, the last thing you want is to lose any content or design features.
A cyber attack can irreparably damage your website files. Restoration of these would be virtually impossible. If you have your files regularly backed up, this won’t be an issue.
You don’t ever want to be in a position where you lose everything and have to start all over. Choose a web hosting service that ensures there are multiple backups of your files on their server.
You’ll probably start with a shared hosting plan. Although limited when it comes to resources included, it’s fine for a beginner. However, you should choose a web hosting service that will allow you to upgrade your server.
As your website traffic increases and you offer more services, you’ll want to have the option to upgrade to another plan. This will ensure you can switch to a plan that can accommodate the increased bandwidth of your site.
This option will eliminate the need for you to find a new web hosting service provider.
9. Free Trials And/Or Refunds
If web hosting is new to you, you’ll want to have the option to change your mind as you learn more about managing a website. However, initially, as mentioned, your budget may not accommodate this.
To get your proverbial feet wet, it would be great to know the web hosting service you choose has a free trial or a refund policy. This can lower your initial cash outlet as you get your site up and running.
It’s also a great way to test out the service, knowing you have the option to cancel the service without being penalised.
10. Customer Service
When starting as a new website owner, you must have access to 24/7 customer service. This will allow you to sort through any issues you may have. The web hosting service you choose should not only offer this, but their service agent should be friendly, patient, and knowledgeable.
Most of the time, when you have an issue, you’ll want to take care of it right away, especially if it’s affecting traffic to your site. Support should be easily accessible through various channels, including phone, live chat, or email.
If you’re switching services, ensure you compare the factors of your old service with the one you’re considering. Do they include all of the above? Remember your requirements are important and that hosting business websites may require additional services and capacity.
Ensure you don’t wind up in the same situation as before. Choose a service that provides you with more.
Showcasing Your Website To the World
Websites are one of the easiest ways to create and showcase your brand to the world. Whether you’re a blogger, an artist, or selling goods, a website can help you reach millions of potential customers.
However, to reach your customers, you’ll need to have a good ranking with search engine providers. This is an important factor when considering web host options.
You’ll need to ensure you have web hosting services that are reliable, with great upload times. It also helps if they have great additional features.
UpTime can provide you with an optimal web hosting experience. We are one of Australia’s most reliable, secure, and fast web hosting services. Contact us to learn more!