Choosing a Quality Hosting Provider for Your Website in 2021
It would be an understatement to say that the web hosting market in 2021 is crowded.
13:30 01 October 2021
Several large, well-established hosting companies are trying to outdo each other, providing their customers with a variety of offerings that run the gamut, from simple blogs to one or two-page websites and from dedicated spaces for progressive apps to advanced hosting solutions with enhanced capabilities. On the other end of the spectrum are fledgling web hosting providers are entering the acne with their unique well-formulated offerings to create a niche of their own.
And it leaves the layman spoilt for choice-- there are so many options and plans to choose from that one might find it daunting to make a prudent choice, selecting a web host that fits their requirements to the letter.
That’s exactly why we are touching on the most important things one should consider before choosing a web hosting provider.
What do you plan to host? A plain-vanilla website or blog comprising just a few pages? Or a larger feature-rich community website with multiple functionality backed in, where your visitors can sign up, post their own stuff, and do much more like join one of the several streams running on your site etc?
Figuring out an answer to this question is crucial to selecting the right web host. Simple websites usually don’t enjoy huge traffic numbers except for the odd day so they are good to host on shared servers that are designed to host a number of small websites with limited demands on traffic and bandwidth.
It’s not the case with bigger websites that have a boatload of users and receive a ton of traffic regularly, though.
They’re resource-intensive and require dedicated web hosts with more disk space and higher bandwidth for their normal functioning. Bigger websites with growing traffic need a scalable hosting solution to ensure that things are running swimmingly without any glitches and the visitors are able to access no matter what, for times when there’s a huge spike in traffic. Are you setting up a website that’s likely to see its traffic spike up manifold over time? You’re better off hosting your website on a dedicated shared host or a virtual private server that allows for moving up or down your disk storage and bandwidth requirements to suit your business needs.
This brings us to another important factor you should consider: flexibility.
Flexible plans and Service
Pick a web host provider that offers some degree of flexibility in their plans and service. For instance, a few web hosting companies lock customers into a plan with a cap on disk storage and bandwidth and charge more fees when their customers want to modify their hosting plan later. Some hosting providers in the market are infamous for notoriously suspending the service without notice when their customers barely tiptoe over the set threshold even briefly. Remember when your service is suspended, it renders all the websites on your host inaccessible making it impossible for your visitors to fetch the information they came looking for in the first place. A simple notice saying “hey, you’re well over the limits of your current hosting plan and here are a few plans you can upgrade to that cost more but will keep everything running fine” would save a lot of trouble for both the parties. But, certain hosting providers, sadly, have developed a bit of reputation for themselves that they’re quite rigid about the way they operate. Steer clear of these providers or else you’ll run into a situation where you’ll be forced to think about jumping ship sooner or later.
Rock solid uptime and Good Customer Service
For every second that your business website is going to be down and unavailable, you’re likely to lose a potential customer. A reputed web host provider, who is technically well-equipped and has the know-how to manage resources efficiently, will guarantee a certain % of uptime for their customers. Pick one that promises rock solid uptime and commits to offer 24/7 customer support in a quick and easy manner (thru email or online chat or phone) whenever things go awry with your website.
Other key factors
Some other aspects worth considering are listed below.
- Is the host giving you the ability to scale up your hosting solution as your website/business grows?
- Does the host have a reliable backup system you can bank upon? With websites things can go south fairly quickly and having a backup copy you can revert your website to in an instant will give you peace of mind.
- Although this comes under the bracket of bells and whistles, it’d be nice to have a few extra applications that extend the functionality of your website.
- How often does the host update its software and hardware systems? It’s highly important that you deal with a provider that stays on the cutting edge so you don’t end up getting stuck using obsolete programs and security systems that don’t stand a chance against security breaches. Widespread malware attacks or DDoS are getting more and more common these days with the hosting companies and you don’t want your highly sensitive, business-critical information compromised in any case.
There you go. Keep these points in mind and you’ll be good. Best of luck for finding your websites a new home on the world wide web.
A word of caution, though. Avoid dealing with cheap hosts that oversell their hardware and networks to the point that they’re stretched to the hilt on their resources, unless you want to run the risk of getting your website shut down.