There is the good, bad and ugly out there, we see them all. Hosting is very important when it comes to getting a new website, email and even SEO. Knowing what kind of hosting you require is also important when making the choice of who to go with.
Knowing What Hosting Requirements You Need
Before you jump in and register with the cheapest host you can find, there are many things you must consider.
- Will you be integrating your email on your domain? If so, finding a hosting that offers email service like Office 365 is a bonus
- What CMS are you using for your website? This will determine the type of hosting server you need. Hint: WordPress works perfectly on Linux infrastructure (CPanel).
- Do you need Microsoft powered Hosting or Linux? Many people chose Microsoft but this is often a mistake.
- Will you have a lot of traffic on your site? Many hosts aren’t geared up for this.
- Location, is your hosting server local? This can improve load times and improve user experience/SEO.
- Will you require website security monitoring and support?
- What kind of support do you need? A helpdesk you can call?
If you are starting a business, it’s best to find a host that can grow with you. From a basic hosting plan to a dedicated server, they should be able to do it all!
The biggest holdup to having your website go live, or fixing technical issues is the helpdesk of your host! If you need to raise a ticket via email or their website and it takes two days for them to respond, this means that every correspondence will delay a resolution by 2 days. More often than not, overseas hosting companies have little accountability or sense of urgency. Finding a host that has a helpdesk that you can call is a must! Just because a company can answer their phone, doesn’t mean that they resolve issues. Google prospective companies to see what other people think about them.
There are tens of thousands of cheap hosting companies, usually located in India and Asia. In our experience, going to a cheap overseas company is asking for trouble. We have seen domain names hijacked, poor security, slow servers, an inability to cater to basic requirements and no redundancy. Having your website situated on a slow server will significantly increase attrition, meaning, your audience will not wait for your website to load and leave.
You also need to compare prices to reputable hosting companies. Check that the signup price is the same as the renewal price. You may well be able to register a domain for $1 for the first year but then pay $120 to renew it in 12 months. Do your research!
Hosting Control Panel
Being able to manage your domain and hosting via a control panel is a must, especially for novices and DIY business owners. If it’s not user-friendly, what chance do you have? Having access to CPanel (our preference), Plesk or custom control panels like larger hosts use will expedite any changes you need on the server or your domain. Need to create a new email address?
There are many solutions for creating an email address on your domain (EG: firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have CPanel, you can create email accounts in under a minute. If you have a larger mailbox, getting your host to set up an Office 365/Outlook account is the perfect solution. Whether you are hosting your own email or going with a Microsoft solution, check with your host if your requirements are supported.
If your website gets hacked or you accidentally break it, have access to backups is imperative. Being able to manage the backups yourself is even better. With modest technical skills, you should be able to manage this yourself. Depending on your needs, you will need to check how often your backups are run. Backups may also be required for your email.
We deal with hosting companies on a daily basis and not all are equal. For the sake of saving $20 to $60 a year, getting a premium host will save you time and money! We highly recommend GoHosting in Hume, Canberra. Their customer support and resolution times are by far the best we have experienced. Their servers are bulletproof and fast. We have been able to achieve page load times of under 1 second for specific clients. We also have a good working relationship with them.