Get the Best Hosting Possible by Following These Important Steps
Every website in existence has at least one thing in common: it’s hosted by someone, somewhere. Web hosting is universal and for many websites, is sometimes an afterthought. With an explosion of hosting solutions over the past several years, there are options available for everybody: from premium, high-capacity dedicated servers to discount hosting plans, it can be confusing to know what to use.
Whether it be for user experience or search engine optimization, the hosting plan you pick can actually have a major impact on performance. As such, it is vital to pick the right solution for your brand’s needs. In order to do so, you first have to know what to consider!
As such, let’s examine what steps to take in order to ensure your hosting choice is ideal for your needs.
Verify Hosting Speed and Reliability
Ultimately, the biggest concern for websites should be how quickly users can load their pages and how often their pages are online. As an explosion of alternative hosting providers have emerged, many are less than stellar in these regards. If it takes more than a couple of seconds for your page to load on any device – mobile or otherwise – then there is a huge drop-off of traffic in the form of those simply leaving the page and looking for an alternative.
Whenever users are pinging your website and they either cannot access it quickly or access it at all, this costs you valuable traffic. Not only could you be directly missing out on interactions, sales and other key metrics, but search engines will observe this activity (if those visitors came via search results) and it can harm your visibility in search. As such, ensuring that top-notch reliability/up-time and hosting speeds are present in your hosting package is crucial.
Bandwidth and Storage
Depending on the level of traffic you expect and how much content you plan to host locally, it is vital that you verify there is sufficient bandwidth and storage via your hosting plan. While choosing a very cheap option may seem harmless at first, if the restrictions on bandwidth and/or storage are too severe, then you may quickly find yourself outgrowing their services. The last thing you want to do is have to pursue a website migration because your provider’s cheap services suddenly become much more expensive for a reasonable package.
Likewise, hard bandwidth limits may mean your website could be offline for significant periods of time (or at minimum, forced into a lower-speed category for the remainder of your monthly billing cycle). Make sure you have enough storage and bandwidth: many good providers now offer unlimited bandwidth and ample storage for most common website uses.
What happens if you make a mistake and completely bungle your website? What about if hackers break in and compromise its security and content? Hopefully, dedicated backups will exist as a standard feature within your hosting package.
While pinging your website on a daily basis can be done via any of a number of backup software options, dedicated backups direct from your hosting provider are more likely to be true copies without issue or error. Many providers make no guarantees as to the existence of backups, but looking for a provider that offers frequent site backups is worth consideration.
Not every hosting provider or service is worth your time. Consider the costs and features provided – especially the above-mentioned criteria – and then make a decision that fits your website’s needs and budget.