Nowadays, it is important that businesses have an online presence in order to succeed. However, with a lot of web host providers available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose which one suits your business.
That said, we have listed down ten key features you need to consider when choosing a web host:
More often than not, the cost is the first thing you will consider. Moreso if you are on a tight budget.
And that’s okay.
However, we discourage you from opting for the cheapest ones. Instead, focus on the best service that you can afford.
For example, you would want to have a dedicated server but you can only afford a virtual private server. Pick the latter as it is still a better option than a shared hosting plan. That way, you can still have room to grow and scale your business.
You should also look at pricing based on what your business needs at the moment. An online store would require a different technical feature compared to a personal blog. Thus, expect that the pricing will differ.
2. Technical Support
Another key factor you should look into when choosing a reliable web host is the service provider’s technical support.
Ideally, a web host provider must have an available customer service 24/7. That’s because managing a website is not a matter of whether it will have downtime or not. It is a matter of “when” the downtime will happen.
And when that happens, you have to make sure that there is someone knowledgeable whom you can talk to and can help you resolve your issues.
Whether you will start a personal blog or an online store, it is important to check your web host provider’s storage capacity and bandwidth.
For one, you will be storing content such as images and videos for your website. Which means you will need tons of storage.
Your website’s bandwidth, on the other hand, is the cumulative amount of data that you and your site visitors can upload and download at any given time. So, if you are going to use tons of multimedia content, you have to keep an eye on your web host’s bandwidth.
The same thing goes if you intend to allow frequent upload and download from your website users. Otherwise, your web host will charge you extra for every MB that you consume.
4. Uptime Score
If you want your website to help your business grow and succeed, it is crucial to make sure that it is available and accessible 99% of the time. This is where the uptime score comes in.
Basically, it is the percentage of time that your web server is operational. That said, it is ideal that your web host can provide at least 99% uptime. Otherwise, forget about it.
As MoneyReign Inc.’s CEO, Zac Johnson, puts it:
“Weak servers and unstable network connections can often push your site offline. This not only denies you possible viewership or sales for an e-commerce store but also lead to low rankings on search engines like Google and Yahoo.”
Following the implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), online security has become a big deal.
Lack of security can lead to data breach and identity theft, which can negatively affect your business’ reputation and revenue.
That said, it is important that you have a reliable and secure web host. Meaning, your host provider should take the time to care and maintain the servers in order to continuously provide website security.
It is also important that your web host provider can offer the following:
- Secure File Transfer Protocol
- Secure Sockets Layer
Speaking of, it is also important that your web host can offer regular data backup in case of cyber threats and security breaches.
Keep in mind that cyber attacks are no longer limited to finance and government websites. An online store and even your personal blog can be susceptible to hacking. This can result in disrupted user experience for your website visitors. Not to mention that it can cause irreparable damages to your business.
Thus, look for a web host provider that offers regular data backup. Or at the very least, make sure that your web host offers a control panel with backup tools. That way, you can easily backup your website even with little technical knowledge.
7. Account Limitations
Did you know that there are web host providers that prohibit the use of excessive amounts of CPU? That’s because high CPU usage can compromise your web server’s resources and security.
If you are the website owner, this could mean an extra charge for you. Worse, they will shut down your site indefinitely without a refund.
That said, it is important that you know your account’s limitations. It can be as simple as knowing the features you can utilize depending on your hosting plan. Or you can go through your web host’s terms of services.
8. Multiple Domains/Subdomains
Diversification allows you to expand your business. Simply put, you may start with a single website, and then you might need multiple domains or subdomains along the road.
It can be because you want to boost your main website’s inbound link. It can be because you would want different domains to represent various arms of your business. Or it can be because you want to protect your brand.
Whatever your reason is, see to it that your web host offers hosting plans that enable multiple domains or subdomains.
9. Email Options
Nowadays, it is important to build trust with your audience and customers, although it is never easy.
However, one of the many ways you can establish trust for your business is by having an email that is connected with your domain. So, if your business website is xyzcompany.com, your email should be [email protected]
Doing so tells your connections and subscribers that your email is legit. Not to mention that it can potentially drive more feedback and conversions.
10. E-commerce Capability
According to Shopify’s The Global E-commerce Playbook, it is expected that global E-commerce sales will hit $4.8 Trillion by 2021. And this is an opportunity that you should seize as early as now.
Mind you, you can use the E-commerce model even when you are not selling a physical product. There are those who sell ebooks and audiobooks online. So, this is something that you should ponder if you want to keep on earning even while you sleep.
That said, another key factor that you need to consider is whether your web host provider makes it easy for you to set up an online store.
Technically speaking, your website will not be available on the Internet without a web host. They are landlords who own the lot where your virtual house (your website) is situated. Nonetheless, it is imperative to look for a web host service that you can afford but does not skimp on the features that we mentioned above.
Matt is the co-founder of WebHostingRating.com and an expert web developer who writes Bluehost vs SiteGround reviews. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his family and taking his pug for a walk.