Launching a new website is a big deal. You might be starting a new business, or simply expanding your existing one. Either way, there are several important decisions that you need to take into consideration. One of these includes which web hosting provider you will choose. Below, we will be discussing 7 things to think about before you make your decision. 

Environmental Impact

It is easy to forget how much energy web hosting consumes. However, if you stop and think about it, the hosts’ servers and machinery have to be running 24/7. In addition to this, the servers need a cooling source so that they do not overheat and crash. Choosing an ethical hosting provider in this regard means that they will actively be trying to reduce their carbon footprint. An example of this would be a hosting provider who buys green energy credits to offset the carbon that they produce. 

Your Technical Knowledge

If you are familiar with the field of web development, you likely already have the basics when it comes to hosting. In this case, you may be better off with an unmanaged hosting plan. You will be able to handle the upkeep and maintenance of the website. If you don’t have this knowledge, it may be a good idea to go with a managed hosting plan. This means that the provider will be handling the technical side of the website, leaving you free to do other things. Narrowing down whether you want an unmanaged vs. managed plan will help you decide on which provider you should go with. 

Compare Server Times

Your website must be live on the internet for as much time as possible. If it goes down, even for just a few minutes, you could lose revenue. Before you decide on a web host provider, make sure that they can offer at least 99.95% uptime. This is the new industry standard. Be wary of any company that offers 100% uptime, as this is not a feasible pledge. 

A way to test this is by reading reviews of real customers who have tried the provider’s plans. Some of them perform uptime tests month by month, showing the average for the year. If there is more downtime than what the provider guarantees, they may have an obligation to return your money for the lost time. 

Determine Which Features You Want

Hosting providers will all offer a different bundle of features that come included with their plans. Check to see that the host will provide certain features that you need. For instance, a one-click installer is a handy feature to have. It will assist when you are installing your CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.). Another feature that you should look for is a free email service for your domain. This should also include the ability to access your email using your mobile phone. 

Read Their Backup Policies

Your chosen provider must perform at least daily backups. If not, all your data will get lost in the event of a hacker, virus, or server crash. If you are with a reliable hosting provider, you will have nothing to worry about. They will take care of restoring all your files by use of programs and the control panel. 

Inspect Customer Service Options

When something goes wrong with your server, you may be unable to troubleshoot by yourself. In this situation, you will want to make sure that the provider has a solid customer service team in place to assist you. You should also check that you can reach them through multiple means, whether it be a live chat, telephone, or email. A good way to test this is by contacting the company before you have signed on with them. See how fast it takes them to answer your general queries and check that they are knowledgeable with their responses. 

Upgrade Flexibility

When you are first starting, it is probably that you will just need a shared hosting plan with a minimum number of resources. This will change as your business grows. You will soon want to upgrade to a new option, potentially a VPS or dedicated hosting plan with more space. 

Ideally, you will choose a provider that allows you to upgrade with ease rather than having to switch to an entirely new host. A good provider will work with you and guide you towards the next best step for your company. They can give you advice on what would work for you and what might be a mistake.  

To Summarize

Choosing a new hosting provider is not a decision that you should undergo lightly. The success of your website may depend on you making an informed choice. Take some time to go over the considerations listed above and select a web hosting company that will fit well with you and your website. 

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Stefan Campbell
The Small Business Blog was started in 2009. Aiming to start, help, and grow small and medium sized businesses.