What are the essential questions you must get answered before choosing a domain host for your online business or blog?
Here are the top things you must consider before selecting the right hosting platform:
Understand what your site needs
It’s important to ask yourself what type of site you are building. Are you building a WordPress website? How much traffic do you expect on your site? Answering these questions will help you choose the right provider at the best price. If you’re completely new to the process, we suggest you take a shared hosting plan with a reputed provider.
Check the server reliability
Your website’s smooth functioning depends on the reliability of your web hosting provider. Any hosting service with below 99% uptime should be avoided. A premium subscription may get you a solid 99.99 uptime.
Understand whether you can easily upgrade your server
Initially you may opt to go for a shared hosting plan with a reliable provider. But as your website’s traffic grows from a few hundred to many thousand unique users, a shared plan will not suffice. It would help if you could simply upgrade your plan at your current provider rather than mirate your entire website once your traffic grows.
Check if the platform has a free trial period
Website hosting isn’t always a cheap proposition. Checking whether a particular hosting platform offers a “free trial period” or a “no questions asked refund policy” would greatly help reduce your costs if the provider doesn’t suit your website’s needs. We recommend avoiding platforms which charge cancellation fees if you cancel your hosting plan in the trial period.
Study the cost of renewal and signing up charge of your plan
Two costs you must consider before locking in on a web hosting platform- the cost of sign-up and the cost of renewal. Providers often make the cost of renewal much higher than the initial cost you paid to sign up. Choose a platform that is reasonable with their price-increases when your renewal comes along. Go through the terms of service of each hosting platform before finalizing an option.
Does your hosting provider have the essential features
Aside from basic features necessary for the funactioning of your website, make sure you keep an eye out for the following essential features:
- .htaacess File Access: to make site-wide changes to your website, you will need to check that your provider offers this feature.
- One Click Installer: to easily install apps such as WordPress, Joomla etc. in a seamless manner.
- FTP/SFTP Access: with this access you will be able to safely move numerous files on the server.
Site backup from time to time
It is essential to take regular backups for your website. Backups keep you protected against threats like a crash, hack, virus or a normal failure. A good hosting service will be able to restore your website in a short time from it’s last backed-up version. Ideally, you should check whether you can set-up automatic backups of your site from time to time and also whether you can manually back-up your site through your hosting service.
Good server speed and responsiveness
A good loading speed is essential to appear in Google’s top searches these days. Check on your host’s server speed and responsiveness before taking a long term plan. Your customer’s overall experience will be much improved with a fast-loading website.
Adequate customer service
For all issues that you cannot resolve yourself, customer service should be just a call or click away. A good hosting provider will ensure your queries are resolved via chat or telephone call at the earliest.