Whether you are setting a brand new website or you want to move your site to a new web host, making the right choice will be of utmost importance. Keep in mind that the host you select will determine the security, speed, stability and uptime of your website. Furthermore, migrating a website to a new host can be rather hectic if you end up realizing that your current web host is not up to the mark.
If you get your website hosted with the wrong web host, you will end up wasting a lot of money and time. However, just because a web host seems perfect does not mean it will be right for your website. When searching for a web host, always keep your web hosting needs in mind, and make sure you pay particular attention to the following features.
Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that you and site visitors will be able to download and upload in a certain month cumulatively. If the total data of your website is 1 MB and a web host offers you 10 MB of bandwidth per month. This means that you will consume 1 MB of that bandwidth just to upload your entire website, and if each visitor views every webpage of your website, you will only be able to have nine visitors each month. Fortunately, many web hosts these days offer unlimited bandwidth, which will be ideal if your website is fairly popular.
Control Panel & User Interface
You do not have to be a very tech-savvy individual to have your own website. Usually, the support team of a web hosting company should be able to assist you in installing WordPress, setting email and FTP accounts, etc. However, it is important that the web host you choose uses a control panel like cPanel or Plesk so that modifications and updates can be easily made. However, if the user interface of your control panel is clunky, you will find it hard to figure out it out, even if you are moderately tech-savvy.
Regardless of how large or small your website is, it is likely that it has a database. You will make to make sure that the web host and the type of web hosting you choose will support the database that you are currently using and/or are familiar with. Today, most web hosts offer database support for MySQL, but if you wish to use any other database like Oracle, PostsgreSQL or SQL Server, make sure the web host is offering it.
Email Hosting & Support
Usually, you receive an email account for your domain when you sign up with a web host, but there are also web hosts that do not. Therefore, when choosing a web host, make sure they are offering email hosting and support, and find out how many email accounts they will allow you to set up. It is even better if they offer you multiple webmail interfaces to choose from and even integration with Google Apps, such as for the Gmail interface. You should also consider if they allow you to use IMAP to choose your desired client to receive your mail.
Storage goes hand-in-hand with bandwidth and determines how much data your web host will allow you to store. If you intend to host a small- or medium-sized website, a few gigabytes of storage should be more than enough. While many web hosts also offer unlimited storage but keep in mind that they have a specific “normal site usage” limit, and you will be charged if you go over it. Usually, you can find the “normal site usage” limit of a web host in the fine print of their Terms and Services.
The uptime that a web host claims to offer will determine how often your website might end up being down and inaccessible to visitors. A lot of web hosts claim that they offer 99.9% uptime, but at times, their claim is somewhat stretched out. Know that several factors result in downtime of your website, which you should take into account when selecting a web host.
These are not the only features you should be considering when searching for a web host, but these are the most important ones that you should look into more carefully. Although not exactly a feature, you should also pay attention to how reputable a web host is in terms of their customer support. They should be offering 24/7 support that can be accessed via multiple sources like chat, email, telephone, etc. As long as you keep your web hosting needs in mind, and keep an eye out for the above features and any other, you will manage to host your website with the right web host.