Since web hosting is an inseparable component of ecommerce websites, it is only logical to get the best deal possible. There are various web hosting providers and plans available in the market. Each offer is designed for specific types of websites and there are limitations that come with every provider. It is very important to perform an assessment of your website before choosing a web hosting service. Each site has unique needs and no plan is a one fit for all. Nonetheless, there exist various factors that hallmark reliable web hosting services regardless of unique website needs. Below is a brief review of six things to look for in a web hosting provider.
a. Uptime and server reliability
Server uptime is the total duration your website and pages will be available/accessible online. It is usually provided in percentages so if your web hosting company offers a 99.5% uptime, your site will be online for 363 days, 4 hours and 12 minutes in a 365-day year. It is recommendable to choose companies that offer above 99.5% uptime. Avoid any offer below 99%. Strong, reliable servers will keep your website up for most of the year. You will also benefit from great ranking awarded to swift and stable networks. You can compare different web hosting providers at Hosting Foundry for reviews about their services and plans. You should also look up user reviews to get insights from real customers who have tested the hosting services.
b) Security options and backups
Security is another crucial area to review when choosing a web hosting service. Cyber threats and hack-attacks are quite common in the modern online business world. To avoid becoming the next victim of a ransom threat, ensure your host provides sufficient security options including SSL certificates and perpetual virus scans. They should also offer comprehensive website backup for your pages and databases. This will ensure a quick recovery in case of an attack.
c. Customer service and tech support
Websites require tech support from time to time. When faced with a problem, it is important to get quick response and help from your hosting company. In addition to providing 24/7 customer support services, make sure the host has various communication channels available, including phone calls, live messages and social media visibility.
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d. Ability to add more domains
As your business expands, you may need to launch complimentary websites and add a few more domains and subdomains so it is important to find a plan that accommodates this need. You should also be able to scale up or down (switch between different hosting plans offered by the same provider) without incurring unreasonable fees.
e. Ecommerce options
Modern web hosting providers integrate various ecommerce tools and solutions in their plans. Depending on the website you want to build, make sure you determine what ecommerce options are available. Pay close attention to aspects such as email integration, transaction/order processing and third-party integrations.
f. Price and limitations
Price should be the last thing you review after narrowing your list down to 2 or 3 viable web hosting providers. Make sure you compare their plans, features and limitations. More specifically, find out the extra charges associated with adding custom functionality and scripts, transferring to new plans, adding domain names, frequent database backup and using more CPU on the server.
There are other minor things to consider when choosing a hosting service for your website, but most pretty much fall within the 6 categories. Always review your business needs and use it to narrow down your offers. You should also make good use of online reviews and rating companies to help you uncover the shortcomings your web hosting provider does not want you to know about their services.