Efficient WordPress hosting or colocation hosting, whatever you need, you must follow the basic steps to get to the right web hosting service providers. You might be new to web hosting and ecommerce policies on a whole. This is why here is some help to guide you through the basics.
Even if you are not new to the idea of web hosting and want to rent or buy hosting services with the basics already clear, you will find this article useful.
1] Check Their Features
Make sure that your web host put their top features as part of the package. Look for the following features:
- A good host normally have unlimited storage; however, some still have a cap of 5GB or less.
- Space for up to 25 additional domains is generally available. Some poor options, though, provide only one additional domain or none at all.
- Some hosts don’t include a single email address in their package.
- The quality of a control panel is important for the user. So pick the one you are most comfortable with. You can also request a demo to be familiar with the control panel.
- Check for preinstalled script support like WordPress or PHP support.
2] Check Server Speed
Server speed is the time taken by the server to start sending files after someone clicks on your website. This is an important parameter for quality of the service and is essential for good user experience. Google recommends server speed to be 200 ms or less.
A website running on a bad host always experience slow response due to server overload and/or poor hardware. On the other hand, a good host will always provide a quick response, even on shared servers.
Use a speed checker tool to test server speed of different web hosts around the world before you choose the best option for the region of your target audience.
Run speed tests on different web hosts around the world and find who provides fastest response time at the region of your target audience. Remember not to test the web host’s website only. Instead, find a site that used that host, and test their speed. This way, you can find the actual service speed of the host.
The website itself will be optimized for speed but external websites will give you an idea about the actual performance of the WordPress hosting platform or generic web host platform you are about to rent or buy.
3] Ask about uptime
There is nothing worse for business than your website being down. So be sure to check your web host’s uptime figures to understand their reliability. Remember, your target uptime should be 99.9%, and anything less than 99% is not good enough.
Uptime Robot is an excellent tool to track your web host’s uptime. It will check your website every five minutes, and give you an alert whenever anything is wrong. The tool is available for free at uptimerobot.com.
When you are about to buy hosting services instead of renting them, you are stuck with the specifics for a long time because you cannot just discontinue the service. You are stuck with what you got. So, it is recommended to get a trial run to check uptime and everything important.
Uptime data is an indicator of the quality of a web host. Go to our review pages to find a consolidated uptime record for various web hosts for last few months.
4] Find Out the Tech Support Policies
The tech support often reflects the quality of service of a web host. While a good company will attend to their customer queries efficiently, a bad host would neglect the customer service.
Make sure that the support team of your host has adequate expertise to fix any issue and/or respond to queries as soon as possible. Here are a few ways to test that without buying the service. Submit a ticket on the following queries and check their response time and quality:
- Get a demo of the control panel handling for easy access in the future.
- Check out the refund and renewal policies thoroughly.
- Ask about all storage and data limits.
- Check out the availability of side script.
5] Scrutinize the Terms
Strong marketing languages, like ‘unlimited storage’ of ‘unlimited CPU’ does not actually mean truly limitless services. So be sure to check the web host’s terms of service.
Here are a few real-life examples of restrictions in web hosts:
- The number of files I can host.
- Storage and bandwidth allowance.
- CPU resource allowance.
Also, check for the refund policy in terms of services. Most good hosts have a fair refund policy. A few bad hosts, unfortunately, charge an extra cancellation fee instead of giving the refund!
It is really important to clearly understand the terms-of-service. Contact with the host’s support team in case of any query.
6] Check Renewal Policies
The renewal price is normally a little more than the introductory price. Make sure that the difference is not abnormally high. Some WordPress hosting plans need renewal every year, some have a longer shelf life.
Every time your subscription is close to exhaustion, look for all your options open in the real time. If you find something better, you can always switch. Sometimes even the money that you invest in a complete switch is worth it. Even if whatever plan you are on at the moment is doing just fine, it does not hurt to just look at your options.
Often, web hosts offer a discount if you sign up for a long-term package. However, do not go in for too long a contract, as frequent change or expansion is required in this business.
Be careful you are only choosing the add-on products you actually need. Make sure that you have unchecked all unwanted add-ons before confirming the purchase. Buy hosting services for long-term commitments and rent if you want to keep your options open.