What should you consider when choosing a place to host you website?
Once you’ve decided on your website’s domain name, the next key decision is to sign up for the proper web hosting package. There are hundreds of web hosting companies, and it’s important to choose a reputable company.
At Digital Dames, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite resources for choosing the right web host. First off, here’s some standard services that most reputable host companies offer:
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited emails
- Unlimited domains
- Unlimited file transfer
- Free domain
Typical cost: Starting at about $120 per year for the most affordable, no-thrills web host packages.
When researching a vendor (and there are a ton), consider the following.
Tips for deciding on the right web host:
- Reviews: Ask other people what web host they use and why they like it. Read customer reviews online. PC Magazine’s “The Best Cheap Web Hosting Services of 2017” chart offers a great, visual comparison of the leading web host providers that might be useful, too.
- Customer Service: One of the most critical factors when choosing a host company is simply good, old-fashion customer service. Trust us, you’ll need it. Test the customer service channels that your web host provides. For example, test the technical support live chat, email and phone numbers to make sure they work. A robust “Help” section with video tutorials is extremely beneficial, too.
- Host Package: For most, a shared server (the most affordable option) is sufficient. If you plan to host a ton of videos, or live-streaming services and plan to allow your visitors to upload content, you may need to get a dedicated server instead. This article offers a nice explanation on dedicated servers vs. shared servers vs. managed hosting and more.
- Security: Make sure your provider can provide SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates to safeguard your customers’ private information (now a requirement if you want Google Chrome to consider your site safe to browse).
- Backup: Be sure to research how your host backs up your website’s data in case of a crash (regardless of how it might happen). You should have your own backup plan in place, but it’s good to find out what options you have for recovering your site from your host as well.
- Privacy: Once you decide on the right web host, be sure to spring the extra ~$10 for domain privacy protection, which masks your contact information from vendors.
Some websites also offer free hosting services. For example, do-it-yourself portfolio sites like Cargo Collective. This can be a good option for some, however free hosting services is not a good option for bosses who need flexibility, custom features and and full control over their online business.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be breaking down each of these steps into more detail. Be sure to join the collective by signing up for our emails to be the first to know when our new posts go live!
Below are a few other articles that you might find helpful in your web hosting search:
- How to Choose the Right Host for Your Website (Entrepreneur)
- How to Choose the Right Web Hosting Company (American Web Masters Association)