Every single website you visit online is served to you over the internet by a web hosting service. These companies look after everything, from ensuring a site is available 24/7 to providing power and locking down security issues.
However, just like many areas of business, finding the right company for you can often be challenging. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, your web developer will have recommended a firm to you, or might even host you through them on a third-party basis. However, if not, you’ll need to find a hosting firm yourself.
If you’re looking for a web host for your site, below are just a few things you should think about before choosing who to work with.
Spend Time Working Out Your Website Requirements
By nature, all websites are different, and your company’s particular requirements will likely vary drastically from another firm. Before launching headlong into choosing your next host, you should first have a clear idea of what your website needs.
For example, if you run an e-commerce store that sells medical curtains and tracks, then you’re going to need a host that offers bulletproof security plus online payment methods. Conversely, if you’re just running a simple blog site or basic company showcase site, you’ll require a far lower grade of service, with fewer technical and security aspects.
In short, to pick the right host for your site, you need to have a clear understanding of what your site does and what it needs.
Check There Aren’t Variations Between Sign-Up and Renewal Prices
Many web hosting companies offer great deals at the sign-up stage to attract clients and then significantly increase their rates when it comes to renewing their service. To avoid any nasty surprises further down the line, you should make sure there aren’t significant differences in price after your first term of service comes to an end.
Ask What Support Services They Offer and If They’re Included
It’s a fact of life – things break – and when it comes to your website having problems, this can cause significant issues if you don’t have people on hand that know what they’re doing. You should check if the company offers support as part of the hosting package or if it is charged extra. Plus, if it is extra, you should also verify how they’ll charge you (e.g. per job, per hour, and so on). Another thing worth knowing is how they provide this support – by email, helpdesk calls, live online chat, etc.
Ask If They Will Help You with Migration or Set Up
If you’re moving a site from a previous host, you may find you need to sort out the migration from the old to the new. Also, even with a new site, there will be some form of setup required, so it’s worth knowing what level of service you can expect during this phase. Some hosting companies take a rather blasé approach to help clients install sites on their servers, believing instead that it is the responsibility of the customer, rather than them. Consequently, it’s always worth checking, to see what you can expect.