If you are planning on creating a new website, you probably are exploring your hosting options and researching the best alternatives in this growing market—which is expected to be worth 76.2 billion by 2023. However, before deciding among the leading web hosting services, you should take into consideration a few aspects to help you make an educated choice.
Not every new website has the same needs. Do you want to create an online shop to sell products? Do you want a simple and visually appealing blog? Do you expect a lot of traffic? Where is your main audience located? Besides having a clear understanding and projection of your goals for your new website, you should study carefully the main hosting features.
Usually, the key features for each service provide the deciding information you’ll need to answer the main questions everyone has before creating a new website. Here’s a quick guide to learning what they mean and what to keep in mind:
A good internet connection is usually sufficient for visiting any website. However, it may be important to consider the physical location of a hosting company’s servers. The way information travels through the web could affect your site’s speed: the closer the server is to your target audience, the faster they will be able to receive your information or refresh for updates. A fast website translates to more engagement, better positioning in search engines, and more exposure overall.
Of course, price is one of the main concerns of every business and website owner. There is a wide range of prices available in the market, but you should pay attention to fine print. Some hosting services look very cheap and promising at first, but next-year’s renewal can end up being more expensive than most competitor hosting services. Others show monthly prices instead of annual prices , so you should make sure to make a proper comparison before signing-up.
Likewise, there are free options available—some very popular— with limitations, of course, but provide an interesting alternative for those who just need a simple blog or landing page, without much importance on the URL. However, if you want your own domain and control over your content, be wary of free web hosting services you can find online.
Specialties and reputation
Besides verifying that your potential web hosting provider has good reviews and a reliable reputation, you should also bear in mind what kind of businesses choose them and what special features make them stand out.
For example, there are hosting services that provide online store templates, integration with different payment methods, and simple tools for creating shopping carts. This can be great help for getting started with an e-commerce business, especially for those who don’t have experience creating online stores and want to try doing it themselves.
Bandwidth and storage
To maintain your data online you will need ample space from your hosting service. Usually, 5G of disk storage—a popular offer in the market— is more than enough for most sites. The bandwidth refers to the visits your site will be able to support, in general most webpage requirements are low. Annoyingly, many companies apply confusing marketing strategies to these promos or bundles.
Securing 1G of storage likely is enough for a website that will get around 1,000 visits a month. However, a lot of hosting services promise “unlimited” or “unmetered” space that you might not even need. Also consider that the cheapest hosting services are shared-hosting services. This means that your website will share space alongside other sites and although it is common industry practice, there are more security risks.
In 2019, around $3.5 billion dollars were lost to cybercrime around the globe. Your website’s safety should be one of your top concerns when comparing which basic security measures hosting services offer. A good hosting service should provide an SSL certificate —safe protocol encryption to protect your data—, help you create backups for your information and use firewalls to protect your website against cyber-attacks, malware, excessive spam, and DDoS.
The best laid plans can go astray… In case something doesn’t go as planned or you need quick guidance in resolving an issue, quality customer support is essential. Knowing that you will get the help you need and on time will give you peace of mind for the long term.
Buying a web hosting service involves a long-term relationship with a web hosting company, the motor behind your presence online. This is not an easy decision and there are many tempting options online.
Before picking a web hosting service, make sure you are choosing the best option for your website, that provides all the main features your site needs, besides the essential safety and support alternatives that will back you reliably for the future.