Most people think that finding the right web hosting provider for their website or blog is rocket science. We want to share our experience so you can make a more educated decision.
We will show you what are the problems of choosing the wrong hosting company, what are the important criteria for choosing the right web hosting provider and which hosting providers are good choices for your website or blog based on our experience.
Let’s start with understanding the different hosting solutions given your unique website or blog.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CHOOSE THE WRONG WEB HOSTING PROVIDER
1 LOST REVENUE AND DAMAGED BRAND – When your website is down, potential customers will not be able to read your blog post or buy your products and services. This means that you sell less than you could have done. Recently, Amazon’s website was down for 40 minutes which cost them roughly $5 million dollars. In addition, customers expect to visit your website when they want. If your website is repeatedly down they might associate your product’s quality with the availability of your website.
2 LOWER SEO RANKING – Whenever a web crawler of a search engine (e.g. Google) visits your website, it collects sufficient data to rank your website relative to others. If your website is repeatedly down when the web crawler comes to your website, then this will decrease your SEO ranking. As a consequence you will get less free visitors from search engines. Aside low availability, many SEO experts believe that a slow website can also hurt your SEO ranking.
3 LIMITED SECURITY AND DYSFUNCTIONAL SERVICE – In case of limited security measures (or the ability to encrypt personal or business data) offered by a web hosting company, your website might be at risk of being attacked and damaged. Now, imagine your webhosting provider needs 2-3 business days to respond to your security problem and maybe doesn’t immediately solve the problem. This is an annoying situation that costs you time, money (e.g. lost revenue) and nerves.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING THE RIGHT WEB HOSTING PROVIDER
1 AVAILABILITY – You’ll recognize a good web hosting provider when your website is not down very often. No hosting company can guarantee a 100% uptime, but it should offer at least 99% uptime on average. As a general rule of thumb, the more revenue and visitors you have, the more important it is that your website is available all the time.
2 SERVICE LEVEL AND CUSTOMER SUPPORT – You will need the customer support only on rare occasions (e.g. your website is down, your website was hacked, a problem with a software update). But in these situations you’ll need a fast response and an effective support. Therefore, you should look for a web hosting provider that can be reached 24 hours a day and assists you with technical problems, maintenance and security issues. If there are several ways of how to contact them, then it’s even better. Many hosting companies may claim to provide fast and accurate support, but I recommend you test their claim (see reputation and customer reviews) before committing to any longer term contract.
3 SCALABILITY – Imagine you grow from the little website you started with to now thousands of people visiting your website or blog on a daily basis. Awesome! But wait, here is where scaling up your website with a web hosting company becomes important. The right web hosting provider should be able to easily upgrade and scale to accommodate your traffic growth. This means you might start with a shared server and switch to dedicated servers once your website gains traction.
4 PRICE – You get what you pay for. You should always consider the total price of a hosting package which includes the price advertised on their website (direct price) and the lost revenue caused by lower availability and less effective customer support (indirect price).
5 REPUTATION, TRUST AND CUSTOMER REVIEWS – In order to learn more about a hosting company I’ll strongly recommend you do (i) a background check and find out for how long the company is in business, (ii) look for credentials and customer feedbacks in order to get an idea of the customer service level and generally whether customers are happy with that specific web hosting company, and (iii) check the maintenance schedules and average downtime statistics. You can also perform a Google search and find out what’s the average time to respond to a customer request. In addition, a reputable web hosting provider will regularly backup your data to remote servers and make it easy to restore your website in case it is hacked.
Although the hosting market is very complex and scattered, the good news is, we found the most reliable, available and customer friendly web hosting providers that are fairly priced.
RECOMMENDED HOSTING PROVIDERS
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We host all our websites on bluehost and are very happy with their availability, customer support and prices.