In 2020, you can host a website without being tech-savvy. Finding a reasonably priced hosting will not be a problem for most people. But while finding a hosting is easy, finding a really good one may take some time.
Many people have to change hosting one or two times before they find the company that works well for them. That may not seem like a lot, but troubleshooting, talking to the support, and migrating websites is too much to deal with when you have a business to run.
Choose a great hosting on your first try to focus on the business. How do you do that? You learn the most common mistakes when it comes to hosting providers.
The biggest problem you can run into when it comes to hosting is security. If a hosting company does not provide automatic backups, doesn’t update SSL certificates on time, doesn’t have protection against DDoS attacks, and doesn’t have a 2fA option, it’s a bad choice. Check if all of these criteria are listed on the price plan you’re opting for before you buy it.
But hosting provider security doesn’t end there. You’d be surprised by how many major hosting providers are vulnerable due to something as simple as poor JSON request validation. That bug let potential hacker access any account on Bluehost or HostGator without ever needing a password.
All companies tested in that experiment have since fixed the issue, but the point remains. You need to look for compromised companies and avoid them.
Also, if the hosting provider has a “Do not sell my information” link on the footer of the website, make sure to visit it and read up on details about how the company treats your personal info. Many companies say they don’t “sell” your information but “give it to third parties for improved performance.” If they do, opt-out of it.
If they don’t have that point on the website, do your due diligence and look for their information handling practices online.
If the hosting’s servers are down, visitors can’t access your website and you’re losing money for every moment your website is inaccessible. When you’re choosing a hosting, make sure to pick the one that has decent uptime, preferably 99% and above.
But don’t just trust what the host advertises. Look uptime information at third-party websites. Make sure those websites are not affiliated with any hosting providers and don’t inflate the stats.
A hosting provider may promise 100% uptime but if it encounters a bug in the software, a hardware failure, or a power outage, the promise is broken. What you need in this situation is the money-back guarantee.
Look for hosting providers that have a decent system for reimbursing your losses during downtime. Some providers will pay you for every 30 minutes of downtime, some will credit the money towards future payments, and some will only give your money back if you notice downtime and report on it.
Many people who want to host a website are not really knowledgeable about tech. If you can’t tell the difference between Xeon E5-2620 and E5-1650, this doesn’t mean you can’t get anything from the hardware specs page at your hosting provider’s site.
For starters, the site needs to have one. If all you can find is the reassurance that the servers are using “high-quality” components, you don’t even know what you’re paying for. Look for the hardware specs page to see what exactly you’re paying for. Even if the CPU and GPU models don’t tell you much, you know that this provider isn’t hiding anything.
Then, you need to check what type of memory are you getting (SSD is always better than HDD, even though HDD is cheaper) and the amount of RAM dedicated to you on shared hosting. You won’t need more than 512 MB to run a medium-sized WordPress website with 50,000-100,000 visitors.
If you expect more visitors or your website is heavy, you may need to get more RAM. Look for providers that allow burst RAM usage so you don’t run out of it during peak hours.
To most users, the Internet seems instant, but it actually takes a while for the data to travel from servers that host a website to a user’s browser. If that time is more than 5 seconds, you run a high risk of losing a customer.
This is why you need the servers to be located close to your target audience. If you target multiple countries, opting for a provider that has a content delivery network (CDN) in place is a great choice.
To check how your provider handles requests from other countries, compare VPNs that have servers in different countries and check the response times. If it’s taking too long to load, you may need to change the location of the servers or switch hosting providers. There are also several speed testing tools online that might help you get an idea of the different response times.
If a hosting’s security and hardware are stellar but the support is not working fast enough, you won’t be able to enjoy the first two. Answering a support ticket for two days may be worse than downtime, and you don’t get even get refunded for that.
Look for web hosting providers that have fast ticket response rates and good reviews about their support. Look for this information on the web or try to contact the support and see how fast will you get a response.