Finding a reliable Web Hosting company can take a bit of time, but is essential to online success.
Have you ever gone to your website only to find that it’s down? This can be one of the most stressful experiences of being online. All of a sudden your heart begins to race as you frantically search for your web host companies phone number, only to be put on hold for 20 minutes…
Having your website down for even an hour can be bad news for your Google rankings. If Google comes by and sees your site down it will automatically drop you in the rankings because it is searching for content and doesn’t find any. Google’s primary objective is to display top results for a search term and a down site means there’s nothing there as far as Google knows. A second time and you will almost drop off the scale. More often than not this is caused by your server being down or your site being hacked, unless someone has been working on your site and is interrupting pages.
Before you decide what hosting company to go with you need to estimate what your website needs will be. You may not be able to answer that question at this point right now, or maybe you think that you just need the minimum which is fine, but making a WRONG decision can be both frustrating and costly.
First you need to determine what kind of service you need.
Here are your options:
1) Shared Hosting Server ($5-30/month) – this is the cheapest way of getting online. Your website will be hosted on the same computer (server) along with possibly hundreds of other websites, all sharing the same resources. You may also be sharing the same IP address with many others on that server as well, which means if another website on that server is doing unscrupulous things (for example: sending spam), if an ISP blocks that IP address or even the entire server from accessing their customers, that means you’re website will not be visible to all of those people as well.
2) Reseller Hosting ($20-$40/month) – some providers offer this level of service for small web hosting companies to be able to host all of their clients and control their accounts individually. This is also done on a shared hosting server, however the reseller has more resources available to accommodate all of his clients.
3) VPS Hosting ($30-$70) – Virtual Private Server this is for resellers who are looking for more services than level 2. This is basically done where the reseller is allocated an entire hard drive in a server (or a partition) which allows him to control all the software on that partition or drive. It offers more control than reseller hosting, software can be installed without affecting other clients on other partitions or hard drives.
4) Dedicated Server ($100-$400/month) – this is for large companies or websites that require many resources to run such as a social media site or video marketing site. Basically it means you have an entire server to yourself and also allows you to host as many websites and clients as you want. It offers the maximum amount of control for companies, and is strongly recommended for any site making over a few thousand dollars a month. Dedicated servers are still usually managed by the web hosting company.
Having said all that, most businesses should be fine with a shared hosting service, however I highly recommend that you get your own dedicated IP address, if you choose shared hosting, to offer yourself some level of separation between you and the other accounts on that server. ALL other levels will automatically get you your own IP address.
Things to look for in a reliable web hosting company:
-minimum 99.9% up time – this can be verified by reading consumer reviews of the company you are considering. Heed the warnings of those who are disappointed with the service. Ignoring them may be a very big mistake!
-24/7 customer service by TELEPHONE – THIS IS A MUST – forget companies
who only offer email and/or Live Chat but no phone support!!
-free setup and support
-short wait times for customer service
-quick response time by email (less than 12 hours for sure)
-dedicated IP’s should be less than $5/each
-helpful, knowledgeable tech support
-at least a few MySQL databases included
-Cpanel control panel. If you have any experience with control panels you will insist on only using a web hosting company that offers cPanel. It is the most widely used control panel in the world because of its flexibility. Godaddy.com does not offer this and neither do many other hosting companies. The worst control panels to use are proprietary. Although they will try to convince you of their user-friendliness they more often than not have limitations and are very difficult to use. If you plan on doing anything more than creating e-mail accounts. Don’t
settle for less than cPanel.
Web Hosting Resource Requirements:
-NOTE: The claim of unlimited bandwidth is a lie! No matter what company you go with the server you’re on will likely have the limitation of 2000GB per month. This is a limitation of the hardware the servers use. Only large websites would use this much bandwidth anyways. If you started using a lot of bandwidth on your Shared Unlimited Hosting Account (over 5GB/month or so), your hosting company will shut down your websites, so ignore any claims of unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited disk space. Its all smoke and mirrors. Unless you’re running a video website, or social media site or forum you won’t need much of either of these.
The minimum resources most websites will need are:
-Disk Space: 10 GB
-Monthly Data Transfer: 100 GB/month
-Minimum 1 IP address (max $5/month) – you can host all of your websites under the same IP address but there are advantages to having your larger sites separate IP’s
-cPanel Control Panel
-Domain parking: minimum 10
-email accounts: minimum 10
-Add on domains: minimum 10
-FTP accounts: minimum 5
-script builders: Fantastico or Softaculous
-MySQL databases: minimum 2/3
-PHP 4 and Perl
-.htaccess files enables
You might be thinking it’s a lot to take in, but just keep these requirements in mind when looking for a web hosting company and you’ll be well on your way to being a satisfied customer.
Abiding by these guidelines will not only save you time and money, but will help you avoid the frustration of having to deal with incompetent and under resourced hosting companies.
Doing a little bit of research on finding a reliable web-hosting company will pay off for you in the end.