In the world of e-commerce and social media, trying to decide which web host company to go with can be tricky. With all of them promising 99 percent uptime, around-the-clock support, and unlimited resources, there must be a way to cut through the red tape and make a decision. Right?
As a side note, have you ever calculated 99 percent uptime? 99% of one twenty-four period of time is 1,426 minutes or 23 hours and about 46 minutes. That is only 14 minutes of downtime! Now, if that hosting company promises 99.99999% you can see how the downtime can become quite miniscule. To the client experiencing 14 minutes of downtime it can seem like forever, but for that moment of going after the hosting company, it isn’t “enough” to violate the promised uptime. Think on that for a moment and one realizes how many variables are staring us in the face for an important decision like hosting.
There are also many more options than there ever used to be, including buying a VPS web host. But, before we dig into that subject, let’s talk about some features and items you should be considering, in making your decision(s).
Now, More Than Ever, It is About Reliable Hosting
The world of social media has grown leaps and bounds over the last five years. An online presence is what makes or breaks a company. A hosting company that provides you 24-hour accessibility is the hallmark of a successful company. The 99% uptime is important, but the accessibility is the avenue by which one can reach the support that is needed.
Below are three reasons why you need to choose the right hosting provider, and by hopefully showing you the way to compare the variables, there is a greater opportunity to choose the right option. By understanding what these companies are actually saying, you’ll be able to choose a hosting company that best suits your needs.
The Price: Affordability
For obvious reasons, this is number one, price. When trying to make a decision, the price shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Too many times, people have chosen the cheapest option and it has turned out to be just that. The “cheap” or “free” option should not be your objective. Instead, there needs to be the affordable option. Return on Investment (ROI) needs to be a key player and ensuring that you are obtaining value in return for the price that you are paying for hosting. That is where you need to pull out the rest of the list of important factors and ensure that you are not over-paying, but also ensure that you are not under-paying. Why is under-paying an issue? If it looks like you are paying too little or the hosting deal is too good to be true, it may just be the case and it may turn out that one or two of the features that you thought you were getting do not really come with the deal. That may be a signal to take another look.
As an example, quality hardware and non-outsourced support cost money, and if a hosting company is only charging $2.00 per month, it’s probably safe to assume they aren’t providing you with these two basic features. Take a look at all of the options and only THEN compares the prices.
Tech Specs and Limitations
Take a long, hard look at your website and decide what you really want to do. If you want to host an e-commerce site or blog with rich content and videos, then pinching pennies with the cheapest plan you find isn’t a good idea. In the world of social media, you have about 5 seconds to make a lasting impression. Slow-loading pages due to minimal processing power and lack of bandwidth won’t help you to win anyone over to your side (or your site).
Add-Ons and Features
This comes down to one simple question: What makes this hosting company special? Do they offer an incentive to make hosting your site worthwhile? Whether it’s energy saving practices or various other features such as free domain privacy or regular data backup, the extras can make a huge difference in your level of success online. If this is something that matters to you, then take notes and mark down those important extras that need to be factored into he decision.
Pulling It Together: Making the Decision
Now that we have been talking about hosting in general and the basic hosting features that you would want to consider, don’t forget to compare shared hosting with Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. You need to understand all of the basics that we just covered, to understand what is most important to you for the basics of hosting, but VPS take the next step, allowing you to have something that behaves almost like dedicated hosting but without the high cost.
The process of signing up for VPS service requires that you understand a little bit more than just entering the billing information to sign up for the hosting package. Of course, there is always the option of hiring someone who understands how to run your server or hiring the hosting company to run what is called “managed services” as a part of the package deal. Don’t you think it is time to check out the differences between shared hosting and VPS?
Web-based entrepreneurs should always have their eyes on growth, so if your hosting company is having difficulty accommodating you, it could be a problem. Do your research, ask for referrals and then make a well-informed decision. Social media never sleeps, and neither should your hosting company.