One of the most important things to get right whenever establishing your web presence is picking a good web hosting provider. A web hosting provider, after all, gives you the necessary web real estate and tools you need to put up shop on the internet. Should you manage to pick the wrong one, you may find yourself fighting an uphill battle when it comes to really making a name for yourself on the world wide web, as well as earning revenue from your website.
To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, here are the qualities that we consider the most important to look for in a reliable hosting provider.
Stability and Reliability
If your website is down for any reason and for any length of time, then that means you’re losing money – simple as that. You’re losing visitors, ad revenue, and, if your website is an e-commerce one, you’re also losing potential sales. All of this translates to lost profits that you can’t afford to keep losing. As such, your website hosting provider should have enough resources and know-how to ensure that your website is always accessible all the time, or at the very least as much as possible. If you find that your website’s uptime is consistently spotty and unreliable, then it may be time to think about moving hosts.
Clear out your browser’s cache and load up your own website. Does it load quickly for you, or does the loading progress bar move like traffic during rush hour? If it’s the former, then good – all is well. If it’s the latter, then your hosting service provider may in fact be hosting too many websites on one single server alone, which causes congestion and thus results in a slow loading speed.
This isn’t an ideal scenario, as this essentially makes your visitors and potential customers wait for your website to load. No one likes waiting, not even for their coffee at their favorite coffee store! There’s nothing stopping them from simply clicking “Back” on their browsers and going somewhere else, such as your competitor’s website – and they will. You’ve not only lost on a potential sale there, but also a potential loyal customer.
Always make sure to frequently check your website’s loading speed on different browsers as well as on different connection types. A good practice to adopt is to also check the loading speed of your competitors’ websites against yours. If you find that theirs is loading much faster, then you definitely have to think about switching to a new hosting provider, as this pretty much guarantees lost customers. If you’d rather stick with your old provider, however, then make sure to sit down with them and figure out the root cause of the slowdown ASAP.
Webspace is cheap, so your hosting provider should be able to provide adequate amounts of it for your website, even if you’re on their cheapest service or subscription tier. If this is not the case, then you may find yourself being very inhibited when it comes to what you want to do for your website, as an established web presence can get really big really quickly.
Of course, it’s not to say that you can’t design a functional website with a limited amount of space. You can, especially if you’re not planning on doing anything too intensive with the website. However, more space definitely can’t hurt. If your website hosting provider is too stingy with the web space, it may be time to think about switching.
When something goes wrong with your website, you want to be able to have a reliable and speedy technical support team to help you resolve it as quickly as possible. You’ll be bleeding in visitor numbers and revenue otherwise. Your website hosting provider must be able to provide such an invaluable resource to you, especially during emergencies. These emergencies can range from a directed denial of service (DDoS) attack, your website being hacked into or defaced, or any other type of technical issue that you may not be able to resolve yourself.
Once more, if your hosting provider does not have the capacity to give you technical support in a timely and urgent manner, then you need to switch to another hosting provider right away. It’s just not worth the headache or the revenue loss.
Choosing a reliable hosting provider can be tricky. However, by looking for the qualities we listed above, you’ll be able to figure out just which hosting provider is worth getting into a long and lasting partnership into. Good luck with your website!