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January 6, 2020
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7 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Web Hosting Provider

How to select web hosting

Selecting the right web hosting provider is one of the most crucial decisions to make before launching your website. After all, you don’t switch web hosts every day like you change plugins or themes. Once you pick a web host, you stick with it as long as you can, probably years.

In this post, I will share the 7 questions you should ask when choosing a web host. So, let’s dive right in.

What is the purpose behind starting your website?

Have you considered the reason for starting your website? Is it for blogging, selling your products or services, or something else?

After all, not all web hosts are equally suited for all types of websites. Some are excellent for blogging sites, while others specialize in eCommerce sites. If you’re starting a personal blog or a niche blogging site, you should pick a WordPress-focussed web host.

Why is that? Because WordPress is hands down the most popular Content Management System (CMS) with more than 60% share among CMS providers. It also powers more 35% of all websites in the world.

So, starting your blog on WordPress makes sound sense. Now, if you are planning to launch a WordPress site, why not pick a web host that knows the ins and outs of WordPress and can provide WordPress-optimized service and support.

In short, you should choose a high-quality, managed WordPress hosting provider.  

If you are planning on an eCommerce website, you can go with either WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. You can also choose to start a Shopify site since it exclusively focusses on eCommerce sites.

How many websites do you plan to launch?

One, two, or many? That’s the question you should ask. Most web hosts offer one website install on their basic package and offer unlimited website installs on their higher plans. When scouting for a web host, always look for web hosts that provide multiple website installs.

Even if you plan to launch only one site initially, you may decide to start more websites in the future. If you’re sifting through web hosting plans, you should select hosting plans offering multiple site installs so you don’t have to shell out more when you launch your second or third website.

What will be the scope of your website?

Are you planning on a single-author blog or a full-fledged eCommerce store? Your website size will determine the type of web hosting to choose from shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting.

A shared hosting plan is sufficient for blogging sites with a few thousand visits each month. But if you plan on an eCommerce site with millions of visitors every month, then you should consider dedicated web hosting plans.

Unless you already have an established website and are planning to migrate web hosts, you will not need a virtual private server (VPS) hosting. Simply stated, a VPS hosting plan offers more resources than a shared hosting plan even while the server resources are shared between different websites hosted on the same server.

A dedicated server offers more resources than shared or VPS hosting plans, including more storage, RAM, computing power, etc since you rent the complete server for your hosting needs. You are also free to install any scripts on your dedicated server which may not be allowed on a shared hosting plan.

No matter what type of hosting you choose, you should ensure that your hosting company provides quick loading times right off the bat since website load times impact your SEO.

What is the uptime offered by the web host?

According to a study of 32 shared web hosting providers, the average uptime of these hosting providers was 99.59%, which translates to 35 hours of downtime per year for every website hosted on their servers.

That’s why you should look for a web hosting company that provides at least 99.95% uptime every month. In fact, you should select a web host that consistently delivers 99.99% uptime. After all, you don’t want to lose potential customers or subscribers because your site was offline.

Some web hosting companies also offer free hosting for some period if they fail to deliver the promised uptime during the month. You might want to include such web hosting companies on your list.

What are the security features offered?

Malware, hacking, spambots; all are on the rise. So, you should ensure the best possible protection for your website. When shopping around for a web hosting provider, look for the security features it offers.

Does it include free SSL, web application firewall, DDoS protection, malware scanning, and removal? If not, you should consider a web host that provides all these features. Also, what services does the web host offer in the unlikely event of your site coming under attack?

Will it remove the malware for free or will you need to hire 3rd party services like Sucuri for removing the malware?

Also, you should enquire about the costs of these security features. Will you need to pay more for these security features, or are these handled in-house at no additional cost?

Does it provide fast and quality support?

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you would never need to contact your web hosting support once you have launched your site? Unfortunately, the reality is that we have to seek help from our hosting support quite often.

But what is the quality of the support offered by the hosting provider? Is it able to solve your technical queries? Do they respond quickly to your support tickets? Are they willing to go the extra mile to resolve your questions?

These are essential questions to ask when zeroing on a web hosting company. After all, the money your hosting provider charges you includes the cost of providing quality support. So, it better be good.

Is the hosting cost reasonable?

Web hosting can range anywhere from $2 to hundreds of dollars per month. While you may not get more than crickets for $2, you are also not required to shell out hundreds of dollars for web hosting.

You can find quality web hosts that charge between $5 to $30 per month for their basic plans. You can even get quality web hosting for as low as $3 per month, but these prices are offered only on multi-year plans. The upfront cost of such plans is quite high, and you are stuck with the hosting provider for years.

Also, if you’re planning on buying VPS or dedicated hosting plans, then your monthly hosting bill will be on the higher side. Therefore, you should select a web hosting provider that offers excellent features at an affordable monthly price without trapping you in a multi-year contract.

You’ve seen 7 essential questions you should ask while picking a web hosting company. Select a web host for which you can find the most favorable answers to these questions.

Trishan Mehta
Trishan Mehta
Trishan Mehta is a WordPress geek who has changed 5 web hosts in 10 years. After choosing cheap hosting companies when he started first started blogging, he has wizened from his awful experiences and now hosts all his websites with a reputed managed WordPress hosting provider. Trishan provides useful WordPress tips on his blog PassionWP.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Tristan – Thanks for the article, content and valuable information! This is Michael’s “alter ego” 🙂
    Michael Lucy recently posted…The Best Websites To Get Funeral Insurance Quotes OnlineMy Profile

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