Although there are approximately two billion websites on the World Wide Web, only less than four hundred million are active. In the digital age, a business without an online presence is virtually invisible. That’s why you’ll find most businesses, organizations, institutions, and even individuals with their own websites.
You’ll need a reliable web host before you can put up a website online. However, with the myriads of options today, learning how to choose a web host can be a tad overwhelming. If you don’t find the right web host, you might not have a working website to your name.
The web host is the company that’ll provide the server and also store and power the website. Most website builders also offer web hosting services, but you can opt for any other web host if you want. If you do, remember to keep the 3Ss (speed, security, and support) in mind.
In this piece, we’ll be looking at how you can find the perfect web host for your website.
Step 1: Figure Out How Much Assistance You’ll Need
Not everyone is well versed with the whole website owning mumbo jumbo. Most people need a helping hand to set up and maintain their websites.
Basic customer service for web hosts involves email, tickets, and phone support. However, customer service will vary depending on the hosting company you choose.
Some companies have packages that even offer 24-hour web support and on-site assistance. However, if you can’t handle the entire affair, you should consider managed services. Though you’ll have to pay for the services, managed services help you navigate the hurdles of owning a website.
Managed services involve hiring a systems manager who’ll be in charge of your entire website. Some duties of the systems manager include configuring your website and ensuring the safety of your site. Check if the web host can provide the level of assistance you need before settling for it.
Step 2: Approximate the Amount of Traffic You Expect for Your Site
The amount of money you’ll pay the web host depends on the storage and how much bandwidth you use. Simply put, bandwidth is how much bytes your website sends and receives at a given time. If you expect slightly over a hundred visitors on your site, then your bandwidth will be low.
However, remember if your website is a hit, your bandwidth requirements are likely to surge. If you expect a lot of traffic, find a web host that can accommodate the heavy traffic, but you’ll have to pay top dollar. If you don’t, your site will be dreadfully slow, and you’re likely to lose a lot of visitors or get bad recommendations.
Make sure you’re completely honest with your site’s bandwidth requirements. You don’t want to pay for too much bandwidth because that’s a waste of money. On the other hand, you don’t want too low bandwidth that can’t accommodate your site traffic for the reasons mentioned above.
If you expect very heavy traffic, then you should consider a cloud-based or dedicated server. Remember, your bandwidth requirement may be subject to change, so make room to accommodate traffic fluctuation.
Step 3: Understand the Types of Servers
Before settling on a web host, it’s good to understand the types of servers available. That way, you can choose the best-suited one for your website. When it comes to servers, your options boil down to four main types, and they are:
Shared servers are the most affordable server types you can settle for. As you can tell from the name, a shared server is a server that serves a lot of websites. That means a single server hosts multiple websites at the same time.
The downside to shared servers is that they are constrained in terms of programs you can run and how you upload files. Your site’s performance also depends on how much load the other sites are putting on the site.
If you don’t want to share a server with other sites, then a dedicated server is more your drift. Unlike shared servers, dedicated servers don’t host multiple websites. A dedicated server will only host your website or websites if you have more than one.
Expect stellar performance if you opt for a dedicated server. However, you may have to pay through the nose for one. Your site is also more secure on a dedicated server than on a shared one.
Cloud servers are midway between shared and dedicated servers. These servers run on cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. Cloud servers are flexible, and the cloud service provider can configure the server to meet your website’s requirements.
Virtual Private Server
A virtual private server or VPS utilizes virtual technology to simulate a dedicated server on an otherwise shared server. It’s more stable and secure than a shared server and more affordable than a dedicated one.
They are ideal for websites with medium traffic. It’s also very flexible to accommodate the demands of different websites.
Knowing the different server types allows you to make a well-informed decision when choosing a web host. Also, make sure you pick a server that matches your website’s needs
Step 4: Do Your Research
Once you have your website requirements and the type of server on lock, it’s time to do your homework on various web hosts. Make sure you keep an open mind while doing so. That way, you can explore all your options and find the best fit.
While comparing your options, here are a few factors to keep in mind.
The setup process: Look at how easy or difficult it will be to set up the entire website. Also, inquire on how long it will take to do so.
The terms of service: Make sure you read the fine print and firmly understand the terms of service. Pay keen attention to the charges to avoid paying any hidden fees.
Technical capacity: Make sure the web host can meet your site’s demands fully. That way, you can avoid any disruptions, breaches, or downtime.
Support service: Never overlook support services, especially if it’s your first website. Look for a web host with 24/7 support to be on the safe side.
Cancellation Policy: Look at what it takes to end your agreement with the web host. If something doesn’t look right, then it’s best you look for another service provider.
With this in mind, you’re better placed to choose a reliable and pocket-friendly web host for your website. Remember, you should only settle for the best web host, especially if you own a business website.
Step 5: Own Your Domain Name
Once you’ve locked down on a web host of your liking, the next thing you want to do is to own your domain name. If you own your domain, you can switch service providers whenever you wish to and still keep the SEO benefits. Make sure you own your domain to prevent any unwanted inconveniences in the future.
Step 6: Pick a Content Management System
Although it’s not mandatory, it’s a good idea to use a content management system. This is software that you can use to create, manipulate, and manage your website content. This system also prevents you from being locked in by the host.
What’s great about content management systems is that you don’t need any technical knowledge to handle the software. You can think of a CMS as an easier way to manage what’s in your website and also a backup for your website.
Factors to Consider When Picking a Web Host
Now that you know how to choose a web host let’s look at some factors to consider when choosing a web host. It might be a good idea to grab a notebook and pen.
Make sure you look at the different levels of security the web host can provide. Pay keen attention to their server security because that’s the area most vulnerable to attacks. Make sure the web host has firewalls and frequently updates their OS with security patches.
If the web host isn’t up to the task, you should look for another one. Ensure you pick a web host that can handle your website load without any hitches.
Look at how frequently the website backs up your and how long it retains these backups. Also, inquire whether you can run an instant backup and restore if need be.
Last but not least, you can never overlook the cost of web hosting. Avoid web hosts that charge meagre prices and pick a web host with reasonable pricing; nothing too expensive.
These are a few factors to keep in mind when picking a web host. You should also check reviews and testimonials to make sure you’re in the right hands.
Do You Know How to Choose a Web Host?
Now that you know how to choose a web host, we hope doing so will be a piece of cake. Ensure you explore all your options and find the best one for you. Most importantly, make sure you pick a web host that can meet your site’s demands.
If you want a formidable website, then make sure you only settle for the best. For reliable, expedient, and affordable web hosting services, contact us today, and we’ll get you online before you know it.