6 things you should know before choosing a web hosting

Designing and developing websites is becoming easier and more affordable thanks to the expanding set of web development tools and the growing demand for businesses and organizations on the Internet.

But finding the right place to host your website can be a daunting task, especially since there are a number of reputable services out there, each with their own benefits and trade-offs. You may end up paying too much for things you don’t need or losing things that are vital to your business.

What content management systems are supported?

One of the key things you should know before signing up with a web host is the Content Management Systems (CMS) they support. Depending on your goal and the assets available, you can create a WordPress, Joomla or Drupal site. But your needs may change in the future and you may need to move to a different CMS.

An important component of any hosting service is migration support. Does it support migrating your site from another service? Can it help you move from one CMS to another?

How many settings do you get?

Detailed access to the site and server configuration can be crucial when choosing a hosting service. Some companies provide only basic website-level administration, such as wp-admin access to WordPress websites. While this may be suitable for very simple use cases, it will become a limitation when you want to extend the capabilities of your website to suit your organization’s needs.

Good hosting platforms should provide many levels of access and customization to suit your needs. For example File Manager and FTP access to the server page of your website.

You also need to look at more advanced features like DNS, an SSL/TLS certificate, and email hosting support in order to use your domain. If you’re building a new website for a sustainable business, the hosting service should be able to integrate certificates and DNS record management with what you already have.

What is an uptime agreement?

If you’ve decided to make your site the primary tool for your business, then uptime will be a major factor in choosing a hosting platform. Let’s say in their contract the hosting service claims that it will provide a 99% server uptime guarantee in their contract. This may sound like a fair deal, it doesn’t mean that they can avoid 1% downtime in a year without any obligation to you; it’s ~87 hours – or almost three days – of your site being inaccessible to visitors!

Otherwise, if you average 50 visitors per hour, that’s 4350 lost visitors, and if you have a 1% conversion rate, that’s 43 lost customers. And other types of losses, such as search engine penalties and customer rejection due to server downtime, are harder to calculate.

At face value, a 99.9% uptime guarantee might not sound like much of an improvement. But what this actually means is that downtime is reduced to ten, which can make a big difference for a high traffic website. So make sure your hosting provider has a clause that clearly states their uptime commitment. And secondly, while nothing replaces an unavailable site, the other thing to look out for is the compensation your hosting service provides in exchange for downtime beyond the contractual deal.

What is the level of support?

No website is the only effort, so no matter how good you are, you will need the help of your web hosting company someday.

Obviously, you can’t count on a support person to answer every question you have, but a good support team should be able to respond quickly to common requests and have a workflow in place to contact you for more technical issues. One sign of good hosting support is a large knowledge base. Hosting provider managers should at least help you navigate the site’s admin panel.

Will your site be secure?

No web hosting plan would be complete without protection measures against common cyber threats. When creating an online business, you are responsible for the security of your digital assets. And if you get hacked, the damage done to your digital assets, your customers, your reputation may not be recovered through financial restitution.

Therefore, it is good to know what kind of help you will get from your hosting service.

At a minimum, a good hosting service should provide automatic updates for major CMS platforms such as WordPress. At a deeper level, he also needs to make sure that core services like Apache, MySQL, and PHP are secure in order to patch for known vulnerabilities. In most cases, updating is the first line of defense against most web attacks such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).

However, there are some things that no hosting service can protect you from, such as vulnerabilities in your own sites with poorly written code, or themes with deliberately implanted vulnerabilities downloaded from illegal websites. Some of the best hosting services have specialized features that scan the source code of your web applications for known vulnerable coding patterns and malware.

The bonus is protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, in which malicious botnets attack and flood your site with fake traffic to prevent others from accessing it. Not all websites are targeted by DDoS attacks, but if you have reason to fear that you might be a target, check with your hosting service to see if they have a DDoS mitigation plan.

What plans are available?

A good hosting service should have a flexible pricing plan that suits the needs of each type of customer. Pricing plans should include discounts for users who make long-term purchases. The hosting service also needs to be transparent about what they charge you for that their plan doesn’t include. Equally important is the support team who can guide you to the best pricing plan that suits your needs rather than the most expensive one.

The best way to start looking for a good web hosting company is to pause on these questions. Identify your current needs and try to draw a rough outline of how those needs might evolve in the future. A good hosting company should be able to support you as you increase your online presence.

However, you can always contact us and host a site on our facilities for only $100 per year, getting a secure and reliable hosting, backup of your sites and support for their operation and content.

Call us: +44 7700 181 972

Or write: info@webandigital.com

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