Whether it’s your first time or your tenth time putting together a website, you might find yourself struggling with finding the best place to host it. Choosing a good web host can be tough. There are so many names out there competing for your attention, and if you don’t know what to look for, a lot of their offers can start sounding the same. We understand that choosing a good web host can be difficult, so in our never-ending attempt to help you make the best decisions for your business, we’ve put together a list of things to look for when finding a good home for your site.
Look at the price (but don’t stop there!)
Alright, let’s talk about money. When looking for a hosting service, you might be tempted to jump at the cheapest offer you see, but that might not be the one that’s best for you. Remember, it’s not always about price. You need to make sure that the hosting company you’re looking at has all the services that you need, and the cheapest offer that you see might not always be the best one. That said, you shouldn’t go for the most expensive offer you see either. You want the hosting company that offers you everything you need but that won’t bankrupt you trying to pay its fees. Make a budget, know how much money you have available, and as much as possible, stick with it.
Look at the features (but don’t overdo it!)
Next, look at what each company has to offer. If you already know what features you want, make a list, and see how each company matches up. In choosing a good web host, you need to make sure that the host can meet your business’s needs, and that they are a good fit for you. Take a good look at what the hosting company specializes in as well, and see if it lines up with your vision for your site. Every hosting plan has limitations, so make sure you’re aware of what those are and that they will either be irrelevant for your purposes or that you can work around them. And be wary of anything that claims to have no limits. A good rule of thumb is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Ask about tech support
Let’s face it, a lot of things can go wrong with a website. When something happens—say the site goes down or it starts glitching uncontrollably—who are you going to call? If your hosting company doesn’t have a good technical support plan, you’re probably better off calling the Ghostbusters. When choosing a good web host, it’s important to look at their reputation for customer support. If they don’t seem like the type of people that will be present and available for you if something goes wrong, it’s probably best to just keep moving.
Can you understand the User Interface?
This has more to do with your level of technical skill than with the host’s, but when choosing a good web host, you need to choose a host that you can actually work with. Do you have the ability to work your way through your host’s UI and create the best web page you can under those circumstances? If not, are you willing to learn? There should be things you can do for yourself without calling technical support. Make sure that you can actually do them before deciding to pay the company you’re considering.
Finally, what do other people say?
Look around and see what experiences other people have had with this hosting company. A good thing to remember is to never trust any review on the company’s web page itself, because companies can control which reviews get posted and which don’t (not that all do, but be aware that all can). Instead, turn to Google, Twitter, or any reviewing site where you can get your hands on the full, unaltered story. See what other people have to say about that hosting company. If everything looks good, then sure, go right ahead. But if there seem to be problems or real red flags, it might be best to just keep on looking.
Choosing a good web host is no small feat. It can be a difficult and, at times, frustrating decision to make, but that doesn’t make it any less important. A good website can make or break a business, and a good website begins with a good place to host it. Make this decision carefully and look around. Consider all options before settling on a final decision and at the end of the day, make the decision that’s best for you.