Armed with a little information, searching for a website or blog hosting company for your business will not be as daunting as it first appears.

It is worth noting here that I always recommend keeping your domain registrar and hosting company providers separate (it’s very easy to point the domain to the hosting company you choose).

Why?  If you ever have a problem with your host, if you have your backup & use a separate domain registrar, it is very easy and quick to change.

Here are 5 things that I feel are important considerations and why:

1) Functionality

What do I mean by this?

Basically, there are various functions you may want to be able to perform easily when setting up your new website or blog. These include the ability to:

  • install software scripts e.g the WordPress platform or an eCommerce store
  • perform regular full site backups
  • create & access email accounts
  • manage databases.

If you make sure your web host has cPanel functionality, then functions like these should be a breeze!

Note: The general concensus is to choose a webhost offering Linux Hosting (not windows) if you are looking to use the wordpress platform.

2) Accessibility

Support Support Support – 24 x 7 x 365 !

If it all goes wrong how do you get in touch?

Can you pick of the phone?

Can you email?

Can you chat instantly online?

Choose a web host that provides multiple methods to get in touch.

3) Flexibility

Consider your future needs.

How do you expect your business to grow? What impact will this have on your web hosting needs? Will you need to host more than one website?

Your choosen web host should have multiple packages (including reseller packages for hosting multiple websites) with easy upgrade options.  Within those packages look out for unlimited bandwidth & unlimited disc / storage space.  Some web hosts apply ridiculously small limits to both of these & charge a small fortune should you need to increase them.

One of our websites regularly gets over 45,000 visitors a month and is now using bandwidth in excess of 18,000 Mb per month & disc space of 6,800MB – thankfully our hosting package is unlimited for both!

4) Availability

For some businesses, their website is their most important sales tool so site availability or ‘uptime’ is key.

Web hosting companies should keep their systems & servers within a secure environment, with air cooling systems, dual power and multiple telecommunication providers to ensure that they can offer a very high level of guaranteed uptime.

All systems need some sort of maintenance from time to time, so ideally you should look for ‘an uptime guarantee of 99.9%’ or higher, but don’t expect 100%

Be wary of ‘very cheap deals’ – the chances are they are looking after their server themselves with no back up systems!

5) Cost & Payment Plans

There are deals to be had, but remember that generally you get what you pay for, so don’t automatically opt for the cheapest.

Review pricing structures carefully as the ‘great monthly rates’ you will see advertised may well be for pay up front options or longer term contracts.  In some cases, the longer you are prepared to sign up for initally, the longer the discount will apply, giving you siginificant savings.

Make sure you are comparing on a ‘like for like’ basis – in otherwords take into account the bandwidth & disc space, availability and uptime as previously discussed.

It may well be worth paying that little bit extra in the early days so that you have the ability to switch quickly if you are not happy. Alternatively, look for a provider offering a 30-45 day money back guarantee.

Got any questions? Feel free to comment below & I will do my best to help you.

So who do we recommend?

To find out which hosting company ticks all of the ‘boxes’ mentioned above, click here