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When I first stepped into the field of Internet Marketing, I was warned by a person experienced in this field.
He said that when choosing a web hosting company for my site, I should not be solely going for the cheapest web hosting plans out there. Instead, there are also a few key considerations before taking the deal.
The reason is simple. I need to find myself a reliable, reputable and supportive web host.
After all, I am running a business online. When the web host server is down, my online business site is down.
No one can get to it.
Fail too often, I’ll see a marked decrease in the online revenues. That is BAD.
So now, I’m paying this advice forward to anyone reading this post. 😉
What Makes A Good Web Host?
When finding good web hosting companies for my sites, I typically investigate to see if they fulfill these 5 basic criteria:
1. Reliability – Most IMPORTANT
A good web host should be reliable.
Web host reliability is measured in terms of its percentage of uptime.
An uptime is the total time your web host server is functioning normally. So an uptime percentage is the percentage of time the server is up against the total time (including the downtime).
The industry standards for any reliable web host is 99.9% uptime. And it is a remarkable standard.
That means not more than 45 minutes of downtime in a month. A scheduled maintenance on large websites can sometimes take longer than that.
Some web host will also offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee. This means that if the uptime percentage is not met, you can ask for your moneyback or compensation in the form a credit for free hosting. Read the individual service level agreement of your web host carefully before signing up.
Is a 99.9% uptime guarantee a must for any web host we are choosing?
While it is always a good-to-have, it is not a must-have feature. Ultimately, what we are looking for is reliability. Just make sure the web host has a standing record of good reliability.
There are third-party reporting sites who have been tracking web host reliability for many years and they have statistics to prove that.
2. Technical Support
Imagine your site is down and you desperately need help from your technical support team. You know it’s related to your web hosting but you need someone to fix it on the other end. However, you need to wait till the office hours before anyone can respond.
Not a big problem if you are running a personal blog.
What if this is your best money-making site.? Every hour lost is measured in dollars and cents that could have been earned.
A 24/7 technical support help desk is therefore important and should be one of the features you should look for when signing up for a web host.
3. Overall Customer Satisfaction
Customer Reviews are a measure of the overall satisfaction of the people who have used the service. It is also a good measure of the company’s customer service.
Companies with a lot good customer reviews reflect the company’s ability to meet customers’ expectations, delivery of what’s promised and strong after-sales support to keep customers happy. It gives you the confidence that you will be in good hands when you sign up for their services.
Keep in mind that any large businesses, even the best web hosting companies, are also going to have some unhappy customers. However, if the majority of the customers are giving the company good reviews, then it is worth considering.
How much growth am I anticipating on my site? Am I going to host multiple sites or subdomains? Am I installing WordPress or other content management system? Does it support PHP? Do I require SSL? etc….
One of the web host I used (or rather the plan I took) have a limited storage and bandwidth cap.
It wasn’t a problem at first.
But later on, when the site got bigger and had more traffic, I hit the maximum monthly bandwidth allowable (i.e. the maximum amount of data transfer allowable) before the end of the month and the site was down for the rest of the month.
Also, if you are planning to host multiple sites on the same web host, make sure that the web host and plan allow for more than 1 domain to be added.
Bottomline is, when finding a web host, know what you are planning to do with your sites and ensure that the web host and the plan you are signing up includes those features/capabilities.
It is tempting to go for the lowest price out there. But I caution you against that.
Super low prices tend to attract lots of attention and gets over-subscribed. When a company oversells, service quality drops.
Instead, measure the price against all the above considerations. It’s just not worth giving up reliability and service in exchange for a lower price.
Fortunately, the best web hosting companies reviewed offer competitive pricing so it remains affordable to individuals.
It pays to invest that few additional bucks a month.
I hope you’ve gained something from this article.
Feel free to leave your comments and share this with your friends using the social buttons below.
Also check out our best 5 web hosting companies! They have been pre-screened by me and I made sure they all satisfied the above criteria.