There seems to be a new hosting company on every street corner these days. No longer is there a monopoly on this industry like it was many years ago, similar to the Telephone Industry in Australia not so long ago.
How do you decide on which website hosting company to choose?
Will you make the right choice?
Below I note some pointers here that might help you narrow down the list to a hosting company that is more suitable to you.
1. Where is the hosting company located?
It may not always be important where your cloud solution or website is hosted but it’s worth considering the physical location of the hosting companies servers. Do you like the idea of your data being within the same country as you, or perhaps closer and the same city?
If you are planning on selling goods online and accepting credit card payments, you may want to consider a local hosting. This is because any sort of monetary transactions, depending on where the payment is accepted, the laws of the jurisdiction may differ significantly. eg. You have a website hosting in Singapore but selling mostly to Australian customers.
2. What support options does your website hosting company provide?
Factors to consider:
- Do they have an online chat facility?
- Online chat facilities make it easy to communicate without having to pick up the phone, it’s free and you can also record your conversation.
- Do you have a local phone number to call?
- If your hosting company is overseas, you don’t want to be paying international call rates to contact them for support.
- What is the average uptime for the company?
- Uptime is the percentage of time the host is online and operational. If you have a shopping cart, you don’t want a hosting company that only has an 80% uptime – that means 20% of time your online shop is closed for business!
- What is the uptime guarantee?
- Some hosting companies will provide some sort of uptime guarantee. If they don’t hold up to this guarantee, what sort of compensation will you receive?
- Is the hosting company truly available 24/7?
- As with everything, the day your data/host will go offline will be at the most inconvenient time, usually a weekend, at 10pm when you have had a brain wave and ready to work with your hosted data, only to realise your host is down and have no idea how long it will be until it’s back online. You want to make sure there is someone you can contact to get answers.
3. What type of hosting is provided?
Are the cloud hosting servers Windows based, Unix/Linux based or do they offer both?
If you have an ASP.NET website developed and need it hosted, you need to host on a Windows based server. Would be a tragedy if you sign up to a website hosting company only to realise after paying for a full year that you can’t use it!
How secure are the premises where the physical servers are stored? You want to make sure they can’t be stolen, there is security monitoring and also – is anything in place so they can’t digitally hacked and have all your data stolen as a consequence. It’s an everyday occurrence, so you want some sort of assurance the hosting company takes security seriously.
Does the hosting provider perform backups for you of your data/website? It’s good to know what the expectation is and put a plan in place if they don’t provide backups for you.
6. Ask others about their experience and recommendations
Do you know someone who works in the industry that has hosting or knows a good hosting company?
It pays to ask! Get on forums and ask others for their opinions and experiences.
Lastly – something to consider is Price. No one likes to pay too much for anything so shop around, know the going rates. Investigate why one hosting might be double the price to the other – there usually is a very good reason for it.
I hope this article helps someone narrow down on which website hosting company to choose!
Want more information on how Advantech Software can help you choose a hosting company? Contact us today.