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How To Choose The Right Web Hosting Company At The First Time Of Asking

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Jay Helliwell
December 14, 2015


Jay Helliwell
Jay Helliwell has written 2 articles for WebKnowHow.
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When it comes to hosting a website, the sheer number of options available can leave anyone feeling overwhelmed. This piece shows you how you can choose your first and only web host.

Understand your webhosting needs

The first step to choosing the right web hosting solution is to understand your needs.  By understanding what you are looking for, you will be able to choose a web host and package that matches your priorities. The main webhosting packages available with most providers are individual hosting (also known as shared hosting), dedicated servers and reseller hosting.

Individual, or shared, hosting, is usually the most affordable but it is entry level. It should only be used for personal blogs really. If you are setting up a website that will naturally see traffic spikes in the future or require special features, this is not for you.

“Dedicated hosting is most suitable for most business websites and blogs” says Brendan Wilde at Umbrellar. “This type of hosting plan has features that will ensure your business doesn’t get affected by growth or user demands, and has the speed expected of commercial sites these days”.  

Reseller hosting allows you to set up multiple individual websites under a hosting account. It is best if you intend to have multiple independent websites under you in the future.

When you understand what you need, you will be able to look solely at providers that can offer the right solutions, thus streamlining your decision.  Watch out for bandwidth limits. Many providers offer ‘unlimited bandwidth’ with their dedicated hosting plans but it is still important to understand the small print limitations if any; in tech unlimited is not always truly unlimited.  Here are the advantages of unlimited bandwidth in web hosting.

Cost

The cost of web hosting shouldn’t be prohibitive. When you have found the right solution for you, the next thing to do is to compare prices across several providers and go with the one that offers the most reasonable rates and has good reviews on customer service standars. Ignore free solutions. They are often unreliable, and, in some cases, you are mandated to allow on-site advertisements. Here is a look at why you should avoid free web hosts.

Support for scripts

If you intend to run Wordpress on your hosting, or many other platforms for that matter, you need to ensure that the host has built-in scripts packages that support what you are going to use.

Read Reviews

Customer reviews are a great way to gauge opinion on the services of any web host. The sales page will never highlight the problems, so reading reviews can help you see if you should proceed with a host or not. However, you need to be careful. Competition among web hosting providers mean there are lots of fake positive and negative reviews flying about. A good tip to weed out dubious reviews is to ignore those that do not come with a link to the reviewing site being hosted by the company under review.

Customer service

Regardless of whether you are a budding webmaster or a highly experienced professional, you need access to a customer service team that is equal to the task at all times. You can’t rule out the possibility of things going wrong. Even with the best hosting in the world issues can arise. Being able to contact a savvy support team is a sure way to avoid debilitating effects on your business and reputation when there you need something fixed. Look for providers that offer round the clock customer service through email, phone and online chat.


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