The internet is becoming increasingly important in modern times. Now an essential part of our lives and often the vital link between consumers and businesses, having your own website is an extremely useful tool that opens up avenues such as e-commerce, increased visibility and a platform for your own content.
But as with all tools, you need to make sure your website’s components are tailored to you and your purpose in order to take full advantage of it. An essential part of this process is choosing the right, reliable web hosting provider for your website. Here are the rules to follow to make sure you choose a reliable web hosting provider for your site!
One site host doesn’t fit all
The right website host will depend on the type of business you are building and the type of traffic you expect. For business startups and personal portfolios, a shared hosting service may be the right choice for you as it is inexpensive and easy to maintain – you don’t have to manage other server tasks like server security or database maintenance.
Despite having to share server resources with several other sites, depending on the provider you choose, your site can comfortably handle up to 40,000 visitors per month. For small to medium sized websites, it might be just what you need, with various features such as e-commerce and website building.
However, if you expect your traffic to grow rapidly and want to factor in future expansions, VPS (virtual private server) host might be what you’re looking for. With the option to add additional compute resources, a VPS host offers flexibility and reliability, with the capacity to support a larger visitor base.
Still not satisfied? Choose dedicated hosting for maximum security and unparalleled access to server resources. For a premium price you can enjoy the best features, the best service and the best reliability – but this doesn’t mean you should go for dedicated hosting – in many cases, shared hosting or VPS is more than enough to house your website.
Don’t be tempted by low costs
While it is possible that cheap website hosting providers can provide good value for money for your site, price should not be the priority when looking for a reliable web host. Don’t be tempted to choose a host that isn’t right for your website based on its cheap cost!
Web hosts have good reason to charge you for the service they provide, including server reliability and user options. We don’t recommend switching to free web hosts – ask yourself why and how they can afford to offer you the service for free. Often the answer is because they cut costs by reducing the amount of value you get from using their service. You should consider looking not only at cost, but also at: the hosting reliability, rating and reviews†
Check your web host’s backup frequency
As with all sites, your website is vulnerable to technology failure. Computer crashes, equipment failures or hacking breaches can all affect the content of your site. The frequency with which your web host backs up data is important to ensure that your website can restore itself to its original state.
With the generally constant updates of websites, you want to keep your website as current and relevant as possible. Backups are an essential part of a web host’s reliability!
Find your hosting provider’s uptime scores
The accessibility of your website is essential for reputation and maintaining a connection between you and your audience. An important part of this is having a server with good uptime scores – meaning it won’t crash or stop, essentially preventing your website from opening.
Most web hosting providers boast uptime scores of over 99% – you should miss out on anything lower. In general, a 99.99% uptime score is the reliable standard, but some premium services will go even higher. To make sure the claim your web host is making is legit, do your research – server monitoring tools can track your web host’s uptime.
How responsive is the server?
Time to First Byte (TTFB) measures how quickly the server responds when someone clicks on your website domain. In the modern era of instant gratification, server response speed is vital to your website’s success – the slower your site is loaded, the more likely your visitor is to lose interest.
Use one of the many free websites available to test the TTFB of different servers! This is essential to ensure that you have a reliable web host.
Can you trust your hosting provider’s technical support?
It is worth looking into the customer service available for your web hosting provider. An important part of your web host’s reliability is their ability to answer your questions and provide advice when something goes wrong on your server.
Whether this is via live chat, phone, email options depends on your preference. Research what customers think of your hosting provider to make sure you’re getting the service you want!
Maximize value for your site
You might be tempted to go for a web hosting provider that offers the maximum features and options for the best price, but chances are this isn’t the best web host for you. Maximizing value isn’t about the number of features available, it’s about how useful those features will be to your website.
A few key features may be more important to your website than several others. Evaluate the importance of different features to your website and make sure you know what it takes to optimize the site you are using. Once you’ve done that, narrow down your selection by seeing which web hosts offer the necessary features and if they’re reputable for doing so.
Choosing a reliable web hosting provider is essential to the success of your website and takes several factors into consideration. Good uptime scores, server responsiveness and the security of your web host are important components to ensure the reliability of the web host. From then on, the most important tip is to tailor your selection process to the purpose and function of your website!
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs in Australia and around the world. You can contact Mike here.