By now, you already know that choosing a hosting provider should be one of your top priority business decisions. And before going for a cheaper, random provider, consider this – your hosting choice will impact the way your website works, how fast it loads, as well as how secure and backed up it is against hacks and server crashes. You get the point. Since there are so many options available out there, here’s a number of things and features you should take into consideration when choosing the right hosting provider.
Also, take a look at the list of hosting providers we recommend to our clients. For example, if you’re wondering, how much space you will need – Siteground offers the Grow Big package, with 20 GB of web space available, which is more than enough to begin with.
Back to the features that help you choose correctly:
Speed is important for your website, look at the various options that your hosting provider offers, this can be anything from shared hosting (which has a limited bandwidth and disk space) to dedicated server hosting (which are very fast and host only your site). Also pay attention if the provider you’re choosing supports WordPress. If you use or plan to use Flothemes for your site, you need it.
Find out where is your hosting provider located, and whether they have servers that are close to your audience. This is important when looking to provide a quick loading site for your viewers, the closer the servers are to your audience the better the loading times for your site. And we all know that slow websites provider an unpleasant experience for your site visitors and may have higher bounce rates, which harmfully impact your SEO. If we go back to Siteground’s example, they have strong servers located on 3 continents (America, Asia and Europe) and offer free CDN (over 100 additional server locations) therefore, there’s always a data center located somewhere close to you.
What is your price range? Some honest advice – spend the most that your budget allows! If you can afford that fancy new iPhone you can afford good hosting for your BUSINESS. Better hosting will improve your sites speed and increase customer satisfaction, which hopefully in turn can help with conversions for your business. And as mentioned earlier, don’t forget about bounce rates, if your site is slow – your users will leave before even seeing your great content.
The best value providers are Siteground, Flywheel and WP Engine, we have tried and tested them with hundreds of websites and can firmly state that they provide great value for the money you pay.
The last two are specifically WordPress hosting providers, offering built in caching, and optimized loading time for WordPress sites. Whilst they are more expensive, especially for multi sites, if you have large amounts of traffic, require fast speed and have the budget, it’s an investment worth making.
Always check what people have been saying about your hosting provider. Do they have good reviews? What is their up time (the time that websites are likely to be live)? and do they respond to their customers promptly? The providers we’ve recommended above we also chose due to their support teams. Each one of them is offering good support with prompt responses. Again, check their locations to make sure that they work well with your time zone and whether support is included with your plan.
Do you have huge amounts of traffic coming in or are you only starting out? This should be taken into consideration when choosing your hosting provider. If you’re a new business, you’re likely to have lower traffic – so a shared hosting plan will work fine for you for the first 6 -12 months. If you have an established blog or site and can see a considerable amount of traffic coming in on a regular basis, a shared hosting plan isn’t going to work. We recommend using Google Analytics to carefully track your sites progress and the number of monthly visitors. This will also be useful when you try to decide whether you should upgrade your hosting plan or switch to a different provider.
If you have a current hosting provider and are considering a change, we recommend contacting one of the above mentioned providers. Check the options they offer, many provide free, or paid switching services so you can be assured that your content is going to be moved correctly. Others also offer free domains, 1-click WordPress installs, as well as great site backup options.
Honestly, choosing a great hosting service should always be viewed as a business investment rather than an expense, don’t just go for the first provider, and don’t consider cost as the main factor. With hosting, you really get value for your money. Your decision will influence your site performance, reflected in the experience your customers receive when they visit your site.