To get your website you will need three things:
Before you choose a web host here are a few important things you should know. Not just because you are taking up hosting with them, but because you are trusting them with your most valuable online assets. Lets get to know them all:
What kind of servers you need for your website and what are they offering. The first clarification here is SSD and HDD. There are others, but these two are the most used ones. SSD drives are a lot faster than HDD and make sure your host provides it. We have a detailed post about how SSD servers work here.
And you should look out for the operating system that the host provides. Classified into Linux and Windows operating system most web applications run on Linux and there are a few that run on windows like Umbraco CMS. You may notice that windows servers may be a bit costlier than linux at a few hosts.
2. Bandwidth / Visitors:
Bandwidth and visitors are two different things.
Bandwidth is the „to and fro“ transfer of data between the server and the visitor browser.
Many hosts provide unlimited bandwidth or they simply they say so. You need to read their terms to get the clarity that
„Unlimited in the sense means that the user may use any amount of bandwidth suitable for a small or medium website and does not use space for file sharing“
Every shared hosting provider has a similar policy and depending on your needs you may need to check VPS or dedicated severs as many providers give huge bandwidth limits that may suffice you.
You need to be clear with your host’s „unlimited“ policy or you will never understand why they suspended your website for crossing some limits.
Some hosts on the other hand calculate by visitors. Each hosts has its own definition. For example Wpengine says that „A visitor is a unique IP address logged once in a 24hr time span.“ The visitor may check out any number of pages and may consume any amount of bandwidth, but it doesn’t matter to them.
The main purpose of any website would be visitors or customers.
So choose a host that can support you and be scalable too. You never know when you might hit reddit front page or times news.
Downtime can happen due to any reason: power outages, hardware failure, software crash, fire at the server location or even poor maintenance.
You can’t afford to be on downtime when you have visitors at bay. Downtime doesn’t just mean low visitor conversion, it also means bad reputation to you and irritation to your visitor. Always check with a hosts past uptime records before choosing to partner with them.
There are guys who hack for fun and there are guys who hack for ransom. And not to worry about brute force attacks, spamming and DOS attacks. You cannot take security as your main job when you need to maintain your website and that doesn’t mean you should not care for your website security.
What we say is, just transfer the burden to your host. Most hosts build strong secure firewalls and custom coding to harden their servers against any type of attack. And make sure you know your hosts security practices.
You can never tell when a website will crash. Well, its a piece of code afterall and coding tends to crashing unexpectedly. Or sometimes you will delete some files or data and may want them again. Though you can go around searching for them, its quite a tiring process.
Backups come handy then.
- A perfect host thinks about you and your safety.
- A perfect host takes backups of your files regularly.
- And a perfect host keeps offsite backups safely.
So, the next thing you need to ask your host is if they do regular backups.
Support is something you may need now or later, but you will need it for sure. A perfect host not only responds fast but will have fast solutions for your issues. Most hosts have good live chat support that talks sweetly for getting your project, however test them with an issue and see how fast they respond to it.
Price is an important factor that comes up in your decision making for sure. But if you ask us, we would say not to consider it at all. Why? Simple! Because, when you compromise on pricing, you should know that you are compromising on features too. There is no host that provides all the best features for a very low price. They take what they provide for.
Cheap hosts cant ensure your website safety or stability. How can they support you when they are getting a low price from you? They should have efficient infrastructure, staff and space to provide you with. That doesn’t mean that you should not consider price. It only means that Pricing should be the last factor on your checklist.
A host who doesn’t provide even one of the above is not perfect. Your website is your most valuable asset that brings you gold and you will need to keep it under a watchful eye. So, make sure you select a webhost with the help of the above 7 factors.