Whether you own a business or a blog, promoting it online is one of your major responsibilities. This is to ensure that you are found by Google and you reach your target audience wherever they may be located around the world. But it’s easier said than done.
Running a blog or website requires choosing a fully functional platform, great layout and a web hosting service. These three should go together all the time if you want your site to reach your target audience round the clock.
Of the three, however, the web hosting service is the most vital as it makes your blog or website available on the internet. Choosing the most reliable, therefore, should be a top priority if you are aiming for 24/7 visibility online.
The main function of a web hosting service is to store your website’s files on its servers and make them display on the browsers of your readers and customers. Other than storage, it also provides different features including varying amounts of monthly data transfers and email.
Hosting plans differ as well. Common options are the shared, virtual private server (VPS), dedicated hosting and managed WordPress hosting.
With shared hosting, several websites are hosted on a single server. This option is most ideal for individual users who are not very particular about traffic and data transfer limitations.
Small businesses that don’t want to spend much can opt for the VPS hosting. Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, commands a high price and is strongly recommended for websites that have heavy traffic on a daily basis.
For those just starting out in establishing their online presence, a shared hosting service will suffice. When you have eventually gained more traffic to your website or blog, you can always shift to a different hosting package. Just make sure that you don’t sign up for a plan longer than one year and have determined how your site will grow moving forward so you can make a guided decision.
How to Choose a Service
Before choosing a web hosting service, it would help to ask yourself some vital questions. These should cover the type of website you will create, the platform you will use, Windows applications you need, a special software you may need and the volume of web traffic you are expecting moving forward. The time element is as vital hence, you need to figure out how long you will need web hosting.
From there, take into account several important factors as well. These include determining your needs, the reliability and uptime guarantees, upgrading options, rates on both sign up and renewal, the hosting control panel, terms of service and supporting features. With regards to the terms of service, do ensure that you read and understand the fine print carefully notably the parts concerning suspension of accounts and policy on server usage.
Check out service providers that offer money-back guarantees ranging from 30 days up to 90 days. Just be aware of the timeframe allowed for a refund in case you want to cancel your subscription.
If you’re still in the process of building a website, you might want to consider a web hosting company that also does web creation. A service that offers both web hosting and design packages will be a money saver for you and there’s a chance you can enjoy smooth experience onwards.
Those particular about server operating systems, know that the typical default is usually Linux. Some companies, however, offer both Linux and Windows. You are better off using Windows hosting if you have specific applications such as SQL Server or a custom app written in .NET. The only downside may be the high cost of this option.
You also need to seriously consider uptime. Uptime means how fast a website or blog gets back online when server problems occur. This part is also very crucial as people are often discouraged to go back to the site that they could not access due to certain technical issues. It is thus highly important to choose a hosting service that does not experience downtime often. Ideally, a 99 percent uptime is what you should be looking for.
In addition to uptime, speed is another crucial factor. This means your website should display within seconds after a visitors clicks on it.
Slow load time can make people move forward to another website without even looking back.
Customer support should not be taken for granted. This should be provided not only by phone but also online via chat. A web host that offers round the clock support means it values its clients.
You can even check it before you sign up by asking questions and gauging how their support staff responds to queries and treat potential customers. By using any support channel whether via email, online chat or phone, you would be able to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of their customer support service.
While it is very helpful to check out what each hosting service can offer through the company website and other online articles comparing services, don’t forget to read third party reviews as well. With reviews, you can gain insights from the opinions of other people who have used the service. Do ensure that they cover the most important factors such as uptime, speed and customer support.