It’s common to underestimate the importance of working with the best possible web hosting company. That is, until you bear the brunt of a bum deal.
Whether starting out from scratch or stepping up to something better, there’s much to be taken into account. So before diving into the first cheap hosting package that comes along, factor the following into the equation:
1. Your exact requirements
First up, it’s your responsibility to determine your requirements. Before reaching out to any hosting company, work out approximately how many visitors you expect to attract per day, week, month and so on. Think about how much storage space you’re going to need, your bandwidth requirements and any additional features that could prove helpful. Underestimating your requirements could stunt your site’s performance, while taking things too far could mean paying for a package you don’t really need.
2. Prioritise security measures
Unfortunately, no hosting company can guarantee 100% flawless security, 100% of the time. Nevertheless, they can certainly guarantee the most robust safety and security measures the market currently has access to. DDoS protection, web application firewall and encryption should all be offered as standard. Not to mention, the strongest possible physical security protocols to protect your data.
3. Contingency planning
Just in case the worst should happen, your hosting company should have certain contingency measures in place. Typical examples being a complete backup of your website and your database, along with the IT infrastructure required to remain operational. It’s essentially an insurance policy for your brand’s continuous functionality, which should be carefully considered.
4. IT infrastructure
Speaking of which, it’s also worth questioning the quality and reliability of the equipment the company uses. How often do they upgrade their hardware? Are their servers stored exclusively on-site? What kind of regular servicing and optimisation efforts are implemented? To what extent can they guarantee the elimination or prevention of downtime?
5. Consider scalability
It’s entirely likely that your requirements today won’t be the accurate reflection of your future requirements. The last thing you want is to once again have to switch hosting companies, simply because this one isn’t able to adapt to your needs. Always remember that scalability isn’t exclusively about growth and expansion. Should any aspect of your business change at any time, your hosting company should be able to accommodate accordingly.
6. Focus on value for money
It’s never a good idea to choose a hosting company based exclusively on costs. Low prices are great, but not when accompanied by poor and unreliable service. Check out as many reviews and recommendations as you can find, in order to see how they perform when put to the test.
7. Trial periods
Last but not least, most reputable hosting companies are more than willing to offer trial periods. That being, an introductory agreement in which their services can be trialled, without getting stuck in a long-term contract. Even if the hosting company appears to be the real-deal, it’s still worth organising a trial. If they’re not the right fit for you, it’s better to find this out early on.