Be careful of the jargon, after all, a Salisbury steak is just a hamburger in disguise. Every company will offer you the moon, which includes 99.9% of perfect service with no down time, but you need to be able to read between the blurred lines. What are your desires in a web hosting service and what can the company in consideration actually deliver? It’s never a bad idea to ask about the hardware being used and make sure your disk, RAM, CPU, and network needs will all be met.
Price is not the only principle. We all know that, most often than not, we get what we pay for. If you go for the cheapest option, you can’t expect it to perform like the more expensive option. The truth of the matter is that quality hardware costs money.
That being said, you don’t have to go for the most luxurious choice either if your needs can be met by something lower in the price range. The bottom line here is that you want to compare prices, but only after you have taken a good look at the features and have made sure that they are exactly what is needed for your business to thrive.
This won’t be a large factor for everyone, but for some, payment options are a cause for consideration. If it is important for you to be able to pay for your web hosting services through something like an e-wallet as opposed to a credit card, you may want to consider a hosting service like Arvixe, which accepts PayPal, Amazon Payments and Google Wallet. In addition, one of their payment options beginning to pick up a lot of steam is paysafecard, as this possibility allows the user to purchase services without any bank or card information.
It’s also a good idea to go with a web hosting option that has a trial period, money back guarantee or month-by-month payment options, instead of locking yourself in for a year. That way, if you aren’t satisfied with your web host, you can easily move on.
Cloud vs. Dedicated
One of the bigger discussions in web hosting is cloud vs. dedicated hosting platforms. One dominant drawing factor of cloud hosting is that you only have to pay for what you use. Some other pros of cloud web hosting are that there is no hardware to purchase and to be maintained and there are essentially unlimited abilities to scale, but often scaling up bandwidth, disk space and SQL storage is expensive.
However, performance tends to be better on a dedicated network. With a dedicated network you are always going to pay for top performance and best power, even if you aren’t using it to this maximum potential. Also, scaling is limited, and of course it must be managed and will at some point face hardware failures.
Ultimately, like all of the other factors, you need to consider what option is best for your site. For more information on cloud vs. dedicated web host click here.
Although most companies will offer you a promise of 98% uptime, there is still that 2% margin wherein anything can happen, not to mention human error which holds a much higher percentage. When your website does go down or you have any other issues, it’s important to have quick and efficient help to resolve these issues.
Therefore, one of the biggest factors to consider is the quality of tech support that you will receive with your web host. You can find some of this out by looking into feedback on the company’s customer service. In general, feedback and customer reviews are a huge factor and should never be overlooked. You can see some of the host providers that we have reviewed here.
You also need to know hours of operation – does your web host offer 24-hour tech support – and you also may want to consider whether this tech support is outsourced.
Room For Growth
Finally, the most important question to ask about your host provider relationship is whether the service fits your future plans. Is there room to grow and expand your company with this provider, or is it only capable of meeting your immediate needs? If there is no room to grow then you may want to stay away from this option.
Feature image curtsey of Charlie Waite