Eight rules for choosing a web host
In today’s world of quick turnarounds and 24/7 shopping, your website is one of your most crucial interfaces with customers. When it’s not available, you risk losing money, business and your reputation.
Web hosting providers
Picking the right web host can go a long way towards mitigating that risk. Here are eight rules to follow when selecting a web host for your site.
1. Be sure they offer what you need
Before making a decision, first ensure that the host you’re looking at covers all the technologies and services your site or application needs. Do they handle the right database and are they familiar with the content management system you’re using? For the best result, you need a web host with experience hosting the systems you use.
2. Check the company website
If the website is light on information, doesn’t have a large knowledge base for troubleshooting or doesn’t offer details about issue resolution and ticket systems, then skip it.
An experienced and professional host will guarantee a certain level of “uptime” (days without the site being unavailable). Generally you want to be looking for 99.99 per cent uptime guarantees (more if you’re hosting a mission-critical application).
4. Easy-to-use backend
Look for a comprehensive backend system that allows you to control your account. The control panels should allow restarting instances if you have a virtual host, automated billing, issue escalation, security and configuration.
5. Do your research
Websites like whirlpool.net.au have huge forums where people share comparison info on hosts and ISPs. This is a good way to find out whether the host has a good reputation or a history of regular outages.
6. Keep backups
A competent web host will make regular backups of your site, but it pays to have your own comprehensive and regularly updated backups should anything go wrong, or in case you need to switch hosts in a hurry.
7. Own your domain
Register your domain names through a reseller or domain company rather than having it done by the web host. This will ensure you have complete control over the domain registry, particularly in a case where you need to move hosts. Often when having your host register a domain they will register the details to the hosting company, leaving you stuck if you want to move quickly.
8. Choose service and reputation, not cost
Do your research, check the fine print and ultimately make your decision based on reliability, reputation and services. Cheap web hosts are everywhere, but spending a little more money can mean the difference between a consistently available website and weeks of downtime.
Your website is central to your business so it should run seamlessly to allow you to focus on what you do best. Follow these guidelines when selecting a host and your customers will thank you for it.
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