Whether you’re a business owner, a blogger, or a student looking for a job, you need a quality website to promote your brand. But with so many different web hosting offers out there, how do you know what’s right for you?
If you think that you can just pick the cheapest hosting option available and be done with it, think again. Choosing the wrong web host can lead to serious issues such as slow loading times, frequent site downtime, and even leave you vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
While choosing the right web host is an important decision, it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of 5 tips to keep in mind while you look for that perfect web host. And if you still aren’t sure about where to start, don’t worry – check out these best web hosting providers for Australia.
1. Understand Your Needs
Before you can start looking for a web hosting service, you need to have a clear idea of what you need. An e-commerce site will need certain features that a blogger would never use, and a growing business will need more bandwidth than a student building a portfolio website.
Understanding what you need in a website will help you decide which server type is the best fit for you.
- Shared: Shared hosting is the most popular option with small businesses and anyone publishing a website for the time. While shared hosting packages are limited in what they can do, they’re the cheapest and easiest to use.
- VPS (virtual private server): Hosting on a VPS is more expensive than shared hosting, but offers higher performance quality, faster load times, and more flexibility to grow.
- Dedicated: A dedicated server offers the most control and the highest performance at the highest price. You have the entire server to yourself, making a dedicated server the most secure option as well.
2. Prioritize What Matters Most
No matter what type of hosting package you choose, two things you should never compromise are reliability and security.
The first thing you need to consider is uptime, which is the percentage of time a host’s servers are up and running. You should never settle for anything below 99% uptime.
In addition to making sure that visitors can rely on your site to always be there, you also need to make sure your website is secure. While every website requires a minimum level of security, you’ll need to be extra careful if you plan on collecting any form of customer information such as e-mails, passwords, and credit card details.
3. Keep the Future in Mind
Where do you see your website a year or two from now? If you see your site traffic growing, you might want to give yourself some extra space. Does your preferred web hosting service allow you to easily upgrade to a VPS or dedicated server? Or if you don’t want to change server types, can you add more storage space, memory capacity, or other features?
Even if you really have no clue about the future of your site, choosing a web host that offers room to grow will save you the hassle of having to switch providers down the line if you end up needing more processing power.
4. Put Support to the Test
When things go wrong, you need to act quickly – every minute your website is down or not working properly, you’re missing out on potential business. That’s why choosing a web host with a reliable support staff is a must.
Before you buy, test out the web host’s support – call their phone number, ask questions over live chat, or shoot them an email. If they don’t respond quickly and professionally, you probably don’t want them hosting your site.
5. Read User Reviews
When in doubt, see what others are saying. Read reviews posted on trustworthy third-party sites and pay particular attention to things like site speed and personal experiences with support.
At the end of the day, spending a little extra time researching different web hosts before you buy can save you from a lot of headaches down the road.