Choosing the right hosting service
The hosting service you choose can make or (quite literally) break your website. But, choosing the right web host can be challenging. There are so many options to choose from, with even more add-ons and maintenance packages that make choosing hard. We’ve broken down how to evaluate each hosting service to choose one that fits your business the best.
What is hosting and how does it work?
Website hosting is the service that provides storage space for a website allowing it to be viewed online. If your domain name is the address, your web host is the plot of land on which you will build your house. (The house, of course, being akin to your website.)
WordPress hosting versus other website hosting
Believe it or not, there is a difference between WordPress hosting and other types of website hosting services. Yes, “regular” web hosts can house WordPress website on servers with any other type of website. However, their servers are usually not tailored to the unique features of a WordPress website. A WordPress web host will optimize their servers for speed and reliability for WordPress websites. A good WordPress host will also create a secure environment for its WordPress clients, as this content management system can pose unique challenges when it comes to security.
How to choose the right host
There is a lot to weigh when choosing a host for your business or blog. We’ve broken the selection process down into three sections:
- Evaluate what you need.
- See what each host offers.
- Dig deeper into additional services.
Evaluate what you need
Storage and Bandwidth
The first thing you might think about when choosing a host is how much storage and bandwidth you are allocated. Be wary of services that offer fantastic bandwidth up front and then throttle your site once you hit the limits each month.
Next, you might ask how to get your site there. Many hosting services include free site migrations. If you are not tech-savvy (or even if you are), site migration could be more or less important.
Once your site is on their servers, you need to know that you’re protected. What type of security is in place, server-side, to keep your site secure from attacks? Some things to look at include:
- Encryption – Is the server encrypted to store sensitive data safely?
- Firewall – Is there a firewall to slow attacks?
- SSL – Does the host offer SSL to ensure your clients feel safe on your site?
- Backups – Are backups offered should the unthinkable happen?
Evaluate what the host offers
Sure, you can find bare-bones WordPress hosting options just about anywhere. But, is that really what you want or what is best for your business? Here are some features and services a better WordPress host will offer.
The host should have shared and dedicated hosting options. The ability to scale your site is important as you grow.
You should be able to get support when you need it from a knowledgeable team.
Many WordPress hosts will offer maintenance. Buyer beware – not all WordPress maintenance is created equally. Most hosts do automated updates, which can lead to broken websites.
Check out additional services
Having a reliable web host is a must, no matter which content management system you choose. But, great websites go beyond hosting. There are a few full-service WordPress shops that offer the gamet of services to include hosting, website design, website development, graphic design, and SEO. If you need more than just hosting, a one-stop-shop might be the way to go. Not only is it convenient to have the same team working on your site, it is even more convenient to have just one point of contact for all things web related.
Making the final decision
There is a lot to consider when choosing a company to host your website. In the end, make sure that you do your homework. First, evaluate your needs. Research the company thoroughly. You want to choose a company with whom you can have a long-term relationship. Finally, make sure you ask questions. The company’s willingness to answer your questions up front may be a good indicator of their willingness to offer support down the road.
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