How to choose the right web hosting plan for your small business? Here are nine things to do when choosing a web hosting plan.
Learn about Different Hosting Types
To find the best hosting plan for your small business, you need to have a strong background knowledge of web hosting. In simple terms, your website requires a web host to appear on the internet. Your site’s data is stored on a host’s server. Then, when a user visits your site, their browser will send a request to your web host’s server and said server would pull up your site and display it to the user.
There are several types of hosting that providers offer. These are shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting.
With shared hosting, your site shares the space and resources of a single physical server with other websites. Because you’re sharing the server’s space with hundreds of other accounts, you’re also sharing the cost. Consequently, shared hosting is the least expensive type of hosting.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. With this hosting type, a physical server is virtually partitioned into private servers. Therefore, while multiple sites share the same server, they each have their own resources, and their activities don’t infringe on those of the sites around them.
This means that, unlike with shared hosting, there’s no risk that your site will go down because of something another site is doing.
The last hosting type is dedicated hosting. With this form of hosting, your site gets an entire physical server to itself. As a result, you have complete control over everything, including resource limits. This means that, unlike VPS hosting, there’s no limit to your resource allotment. As a result, your website has a ton of room to grow and will be able to handle the highest amounts of traffic.
Determine your Website’s Needs
Once you understand the different hosting types, you need to figure out which one suits the needs of your website. Therefore, you have to ask yourself, what does my website need? How many visitors can you expect? Will your visitors be uploading high-quality multimedia content?
When you know your website’s needs, you can choose the hosting type to provide you with the resources you need. For example, if you expect to receive a high amount of traffic, you’ll need either a VPS or a dedicated hosting plan.
Once you’ve determined the hosting type you need, you’ll need to choose a plan. For instance, if you intend for site visitors to upload multimedia content, you’re going to need a hosting plan that provides a lot of disk storage and a high amount of bandwidth. Additionally, you’ll want to look into how many sites and email accounts each hosting plan offers so you can select the one that meets your needs.
Research Security Features
The truth is, your site is always under threat of attack by cybercriminals. Unfortunately, it’s the reality of the world we live in. Therefore, you need to be ready for worst-case scenarios, such as hackers messing up your site or even deleting it.
The best way to prepare for the worst is to choose a plan that offers regular backups of your site. This way, you can restore your site quickly if the need arises.
Additionally, you want to choose a plan that offers protection for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, as well as malware attacks. Furthermore, you need a web hosting plan that provides an SSL certificate, two-factor authentication, and real-time 24/7 monitoring.
Ensure Reliable Uptime
When selecting a hosting plan, you have to consider the quality of the hosting provider. One of the most significant determinants of provider quality is their uptime rate. Uptime refers to the amount of time that a server is up and running.
For example, a hosting provider with an uptime rate of 99% means that, on average, they have seven hours of downtime a month, or 3.65 days a year. Therefore, you want a host that has at least 99.9% to 100% uptime.
Furthermore, you should select a host that offers an uptime guarantee. For instance, a host may guarantee an uptime of 99.9%. If the uptime falls below this, you will be compensated.
Investigate a Host’s Customer Support
Another aspect that determines a host’s quality is their customer support. You can’t afford for your site to be malfunctioning, and since the internet never closes, you need to be able to fix issues anytime, day or night. Therefore, you should only go with a hosting plan offered by a provider that features 24/7 customer support be it remote tech support or a different kind.
Compare Features and Customer Reviews
When trying to decide between multiple hosting plans, you should compare the various features. You should also read customer reviews to determine whether people were satisfied with the hosts and plans they chose. However, don’t just read the reviews of the hosting provider’s site. Instead, make sure to read reviews from independent sites to ensure you get unbiased opinions.
Consider the Price
Price is a central component of selecting a hosting plan. However, you shouldn’t just opt for the cheapest option. Instead, you need to look at what you get for the cost. What features are included? What’s the quality of the host? Will you have to pay for add-ons?