7 Factors to consider when choosing a hosting provider

Web hosting

When you are setting up a website, one of the important decisions you will have to make is which web hosting provider to choose.

It is important to get this decision right, as you will usually sign up with a host for a minimum of a 12-month period, so you could lose money if you then decide the host is not right for what you need and need to switch.

To help you to make the right hosting provider choice, when setting up a website, these are seven crucial factors you must consider:

Cost

There is a wide spectrum of costs for different hosting providers and while you can use a free hosting provider, this is not recommended for business websites, due to the restrictions with free hosting. Generally, you get what you pay for when it comes to hosting but there is no need to pay for a really expensive hosting package if you will only be using a minimal amount of the features that you are paying for. A basic hosting package will start at around £5 per month.

Customer service

If you are really experienced in dealing with the technical aspects of setting up and maintaining a website, then you might not require much support from your web host provider. However, if you are more likely to require assistance, it is a good idea to choose a host that has a good reputation for their customer service.

You also need to decide whether you would rather have a UK web hosting provider, as many of the hosting providers available will be based in the US. This can sometimes make it harder to get in touch with support, due to different opening times given the time difference.

Performance

Some web hosts have much better performance statistics than others, so it is worth checking for details such as page loading speed and average uptime when you make your decision. If your website is slow or regularly down for server maintenance, this will impact the success of your business.

Security features

Hackers regularly target business websites, so having a host that provides a high level of security is another important factor in choosing a hosting provider. If you check some reviews for different hosts, you should get an idea of whether they have a good reputation in terms of their security. Hosts may also offer additional security features included within their hosting package.

Scalability

If your business is growing, then you need a web host that will support the growth and all of the hosting requirements that come with an expanding business. Most hosting companies will provide options to easily upgrade onto the next tier of their hosting plan. For example, you could start off on a basic plan and then move onto an advanced plan that includes more storage and can host more than one website.

Disk space and bandwidth

The cheaper end of the hosting plans tend to have a lot more limitations in terms of disk space and bandwidth, which could be a problem if your website later requires more disk space or bandwidth than provided. If your website has a lot of pages and daily page loads, you will require higher amounts of disk space and bandwidth.

Additional features such as domains and email addresses

Some hosting providers will include a free domain and domain email address for you to use, while others will charge for these services. A domain usually costs around £15 per year to purchase and many hosts include one or more domain email addresses in their plan, so if you want a professional email address, this should be a priority.

One other factor to be mindful of is renewal costs, as many providers offer a really attractive initial deal but then hike the fees up at renewal, hoping that you won’t switch provider to find a better deal.

These seven factors should help you to make an informed decision on which hosting provider will be most suited to the requirements you have for your business website. A good way to start your search for the right web host is to write down your main hosting priorities and find the hosting providers that match those specific requirements.