Picking a web hosting company shouldn’t be a decision that you make by emotion. You want your website to be online when your visitors are searching for it. In this post I’ll share some tips on how to choose the right web hosting company.
9 Top Tips On How To Choose The Right Web Hosting
This is most likely the most important thing you need to look for in a host since you’re going to setup a WordPress site.
According to WordPress’ own specs page PHP version 5.2.4 or greater and MySQL version 5.0 or greater, are the minimum requirements that web servers must meet in order to run WordPress. Your web host must come with those two installed. And if the host is Apache or Nginx that’s even better and WordPress recommends that too. So you need to check with the web hosting service of your choice to make sure that they meet the minimum requirements.
One good web hosting service that’s compatible with WordPress is Bluehost, it is even among the top hosts recommended by WordPress and it also comes with auto install feature which is a feature that lets you setup a blog in a jiffy.
Auto Install feature
Auto-install is a feature that lets you setup a site swiftly with a few clicks of the mouse. Now, auto install could be a double-edged sword, in that sites created using it can be susceptible to hacker attacks. But there might be occasions where you want, or need to, use an auto install feature to hastily setup a blog. And for that you’re going to have to make sure the host you’re opting for has an auto-install app.
Read what other users have to say about the host or what their experiences have been with it. If the host has a lot of satisfied customers, then it’s most likely a good web hosting company to go with. And if there are too many unsatisfied or disgruntled customers, it’s a no-no.
On top of that, make sure it’s a reputable host with a good track record. You don’t want to trust a fishy hosting company with your website if you can’t be sure that they are there to stay and not going to be gone for good a year later.
At times when you run into issues or have a question to ask, you should be able to turn to your hosting company. Make sure that the host offers robust customer support so that you will get fast responses. How long does it take them to respond to emails and do they have chat support or phone support? You also have to ask if the customer reps are helpful and cooperative.
Some web hosts provide a 24×7 online chat support. Now your web hosting might not have a 24×7 chat but at least must provide a limited-hours chat support or phone support that is available in your time zone.
Bluehost offers a robust customer support including live chat and phone support.
Uptime is the amount of time that your host is going to be able to keep your website online without downtimes or crashes in a given period of time.
Check the uptime guarantee, it must not be under 99%. The higher the better and if the host guarantees an uptime of 99.9%, that’s the epitome of web hosting service.
Also note that a host can’t possibly guarantee a 100% uptime, and if a hosting company makes that claim, it’s most likely a reason to steer clear of the host because the host may well be trying to scam people. Bluehost offers a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
Your host must offer a money back guarantee in case you decide that you no longer need your hosting account for any reasons. If the host doesn’t meet your needs or if the service is not what you expected it to be, what is the refund policy of the host?
What are the cancellation fees if any, if the company has no refund policy or doesn’t offer money back guarantee, then keep looking.
For how long after your initial subscription can you ask for a refund, is that 15 days, 30 days or 3 months? Some hosting companies including Bluehost have 30-days money back guarantee.
Backup and security
What security measures does your host take in order to keep your site safe from hacker attacks? It’s a big plus if a web hosting company uses a backup tool for its customers’ data and files on a regular basis. It saves you the anxiety and you won’t have anything to worry about if your site gets hacked or your data is damaged. If your site got hacked or you lost your data, you could get your data back and restore it right away.
Bandwidth is basically the amount of traffic that your website can handle monthly. A lot of web hosts offer unlimited bandwidth, but that’s doesn’t mean that your site can handle unlimited hits, it just means that the bandwidth is more than enough for normal sites.
If your site grows in popularity and the amount of traffic you get goes sky-high overnight, your host must be able to accommodate that and provide a solution to handle the traffic. If the hosting company offers higher bandwidth packages that you can upgrade to as your traffic and with that your bandwidth needs grows, that’s a good thing.
POP3 and Email forwarding features in a hosting service let you create an email address ending with your domain name. It’s a big plus if the hosting provider offers these options.
There you have it, there are many WordPress compatible web hosts out there but Bluehost is my favorite. It’s what I use and it offers robust support, unlimited bandwidth, email forwarding and many other features.
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