Tuesday, September 4, 2018

What makes a good web host? 7 must know factors

1. Reasonable Price

Some hosting providers target uninformed shoppers and are extremely overpriced. This is why it is important to compare multiple web hosting companies and what they offer in their packages.
User Friendly Control Panel: Both cPanel or vDeck are easy to use and there are many online tutorials on various blogs to talk you through their use. Beware of a customer built dashboard. They are very hit or miss and can be downright painful to use sometimes.

2. Helpful Customer and Technical Support

Make sure you can contact the host 24/7 for tech support. In addition, there should be multiple ways to contact the hosting company, such as via email, a ticket system on their website, and via telephone.

3. Reliable Server Uptime

There is no excuse for repeated downtime. The site simply must be up most of the time. It is best to try for a site that has a 99.9% uptime guarantee. 99.5% is (just) okay, but the 99.9% is preferable. Make sure they offer a guarantee. Don’t just take their word for it either. Track your site’s uptime with tools like Uptime Robot and Pingdom.

4. Payment Plans

You have to be comfortable with the payment plan. I’m okay with a yearly subscription if there is a decent discount, but other people want more flexibility. Just because you don’t mind a yearly subscription now doesn’t mean that’s the way it will always be either. Look for a host with more flexibility, such as 1-, 6-, 12-, 24-month subscriptions.

5. Easy to Manage

The control panel should allow you to easily install WordPress or the content management system you want with a few clicks. If it is too complicated to install the software, you’ll wind up paying fees to have a techie do it and then your budget will be blown. Check out the demo control panel before signing on with a hosting company to be sure you can easily complete the tasks you’ll need to.

6. e-Commerce Features

If you need or think you might need in the future e-Commerce solutions, make sure you have access to SSH access, SSL certificates and even easy to install shopping cart platforms.

7. Room to Grow

Is the hosting company one you can grow with as your site grows? Can you upgrade to a VPS or a dedicated server? While it’s smart to start off with a good shared hosting account, you may quickly grow to a point where it just makes sense to upgrade. You don’t want to have to move your whole site if you don’t have to.

Understanding your hosting needs

It’s important to evaluate the specific needs you have for a hosting company. Otherwise you may fall into the trap of blindly following the advice of others and wind up with a hosting company that doesn’t meet your needs as a blogger.
Questions to ask yourself or your hosting provider:

Do you need email hosting?

Do you want email@yourdomain.com? If yes, then you will need to stick with hosting companies that provide email hosting. Keep in mind that an email with your domain name looks more professional.

Do you need large storage for media files?

For example, do you plan to upload unique videos, infographics, or high resolution photos? If yes, you will need to get a host that offers large storage solutions. However, be wary of hosting services with unlimited storage as some of them will limit your storage usage by capping on your inode usage. Ask your web host before signing up about inode usage. Anything below 100,000 inodes on a shared web host is unacceptable.

Do you expect the site to grow fast?

If yes, then you probably need to stick with a web host that provides room to grow. More traffic = more data transfer and CPU power. Look at the cost of bigger packages and private hosting. Some hosting companies offer a cheap rate for small packages, but charge much more than they should for larger ones.

What other additional services you need?

Do you need server root access? Do you need someone to backup your site for you or automated backup? Do you need automated malware scanning? These could be deciding factors on your hosting choice.

What is your level of hosting knowledge?

Do you need spoon-fed support or you can pretty much cover everything yourself? Do you prefer phone calls over live chat; or vice versa? If you have very little knowledge, look for a hosting company that caters to newbies or offers inexpensive tech support packages.

Can you tweak and secure the WordPress yourself?

Do you need a developer to do it for you instead (some hosting companies provide web development services)? Check carefully the cost of such developer services. Does the company charge by the hour or by the task? Will they teach you to manage your own backend on the server or will you be paying them for all eternity to update your site?

Is the server location important?

If you are not planning to use a CDN, then you probably want a server that is closest to your blog targeted audience so your blog loads faster for them.

Protecting yourself from a bad web host

There is nothing worse than paying for a year upfront only to realize your blog hosting company is downright horrid. There are some things you can do to protect yourself from a bad web host, though.
  • Register your domain name with a third party registrar even if the hosting package comes with a free domain name (use that free one for a domain to park on top of your main one). NameCheap and GoDaddy are my two favorites for registering a domain.
  • Check if the web host IP is black listed – use Spamhaus Block List.
Once you’ve already committed to a website:
  • Track your site uptime using free tools like Uptime Robot and Pingdom.
  • Backup your site regularly. Even if the web hosting company offers a free site restore/backup option, backup your site anytime you do a major update. There are many nightmare stories about complete websites being lost forever.
  • Ensure that all files are using the correct CHMOD permissions. CHMOD permissions range from 000 (no access) to 777 (full access). You can use a FTP tool to check and set the right permissions on each folder and file. Filezilla or Cute FTP are two examples, but there are many free and paid FTP software solutions out there. Choose the one that is easiest for you to use. Typically, you can right click on the folder on your web server within your FTP program and see what the permissions are set to.
  • Use a strong password and change it regularly just in case your password is stolen by someone working in the hosting company.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The 'Fatty' Chinese Zodiac Forecast in 2024 (Iverson Lee)

Interesting topic for 2024 years that you have on your bazi chart that you have it you will be surprised that you will become the fatty anim...