There are several crucial things to be looked at if you are planning to start a website. Doesn’t matter what your website is about, you need to have one that is up round the clock 24×7. And for this you need a good web hosting service that can meet all your requirements and provide a good platform to host your website. Since you can’t afford to change your web hosting provider every now and then, it makes sense to choose one with utmost care. So, what are the major factors that you should look for while selecting a web host?
Of course, depending upon the software or the kind of site you are planning to run, requirements in each case can be different. But here are some basic pointers that hold good in almost all cases.
You should always spend some time in finding out how reliable and popular a web host is. Avoid going with the new entrants. User reviews also help in deciding the popularity and reputation of a web host.
You may need a plan with lesser space, bandwidth or other requirements today. But it does not mean that your requirements won’t increase in future. So, it’s always better to go with a hosting provider that offers provisions to scale the services, if required.
It doesn’t make sense if you find a great web host but can’t afford to buy its services. Yes, you can’t get quality services for a cheap price but reasonable pricing is something everybody looks forward to.
Nobody can foresee the future. Who knows when something may go wrong and you may need help! Prompt and efficient customer support is one important thing you may not afford to miss out. Most of the hosting companies offer support through phone, chat and email.
It goes without saying that for handling higher load on the server, its hardware must be of good configuration. You should check out the technical specs of RAM, processor and other components of the server hardware.
Speed and uptime are two important metrics of server performance and this is directly related to the ‘wellbeing’ of your website. Avoid those hosting providers who are known to oversell the server space so as to jeopardize its performance.
Safety and confidentiality of the files you upload in your account is something you can never compromise on. This naturally gives preference for the host that has secure datacenters (fire safe, hazard safe, round the clock monitoring, etc.) and follows the latest norms in data security (regular backup, frequent scanning for malware, threats, etc.).
How much data your site transfers depends upon factors like how heavy or light your website is and the number of visitors it gets. If your website has more number of images and videos, more bandwidth is used each time your site is visited. Similarly, more the number of visitors, higher the bandwidth consumed. So, depending upon the type of website you have, you should check the cap or terms on the usage of bandwidth (usually monthly) in order to ensure no issues crop up in future.
9. Disk Space
Just like with bandwidth, many web hosting companies also put a cap on the usage of the server space – sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly, hidden somewhere in between the ‘terms and conditions’. So you should have an idea as to how much disk space your site may require (how much of content, images, videos you are planning to upload) and how much space you are actually entitled to use.
10. Technical Compatibility
Placing this point in the last does not make its importance any lesser. What use you intend to put the server space you are buying, what platform your website will be running on, what all software/scripts you’ll be running… all these things are to be considered before choosing a web host. Just to quote an example, if your website requires MySQL or PHP but your web host doesn’t support it, then the account becomes useless for you.
Based upon these criteria, here is our list of recommended web hosts.