Picking the right website hosting company can be overwhelming. There are a lot of options out there and if you are new to the world of hosting it is even harder. Here are five questions you can ask to help you narrow down your options to the right match. Because picking the wrong option is just a headache, trust me.
Website Hosting Company: Finding the right match
Hopefully, you have been swayed to going the self-hosted website route and you are not even considering Wix or Weebly.
How much does it cost?
Typically, the cost will be listed at different tiers/levels of service at a monthly rate. Many of the providers will offer a discount if you sign an annual or multi-year agreement. Do not just let the monthly cost be your biggest determinant of picking a website hosting company. I beg of you, please do not!
What services are included?
Before signing up for a host, you need to find out what is really included in those monthly services fees. Each company breaks down its services in different ways. If you are planning on installing WordPress (which you should, by the way) then make sure the plan you opt for supports it. Also, your domain name is not included in the monthly plan so you need to either already own it or buy it through your website hosting company. You can find out if your domain name is available with namecheck.com.
Do they offer webmail? Or is that an add-on? Is the SSL certificate included? Or is that another add-on? As you can see, the little things can add up very quickly in services costs.
How much server storage space is included in the plan?
This is an important question. Images, content, and plug-ins take up space so knowing how you plan to utilize your website is a question you need to ask yourself first. Once you know how much storage space you need, opt for a plan that will more than adequately support it. It is just like moving into the “perfect” house to only find out a few months later that you are bursting at the seams and need more space.
How do they address downtime?
Life gets lifey, for everyone, that includes a website hosting company’s servers! Think about all of the recent major internet outages, these are caused by a lot of different reasons but the main point is that the server isn’t serving the content. Most providers have their servers in multiple locations and address traffic flow like a well-oiled machine. However, knowing how long their average downtime is can help you figure out who to select.
What level of customer support is offered?
This is extremely important, especially if you are not highly “techie” or you are very busy running your business. You need a provider that will help you, quickly and kindly. Look for a company that offers robust support. Things such as searchable FAQs, quick response times for email requests, and chat. Even better if the chat is 24/7 because issues can happen at all hours of the day.
Who do I use? And why?
I am glad you asked! I use Siteground. Their customer service is amazing. I can get help 24/7 with their chat support services. Additionally, many questions can be easily answered using the search feature in the customer service area of their site. Furthermore, creating and maintaining a domain-specific email was included. In fact, I can have multiple email addresses!
I originally used GoDaddy but didn’t ask the five guiding questions to pick a website hosting company and I regretted it. GoDaddy charges you for a lot of things that are included with the hosting company I picked. When I migrated from GoDaddy to Siteground they handled everything for me.
Ready to get started?
I said five questions to ask a website hosting company, didn’t I. And, yet, I seem to keep asking more! I have offered some questions to help you get started, however, if you still have more, let’s chat. Or if you are ready to make the leap and set up a site check out my review of Build a Blog this Weekend to get your site started! Last but not least, don’t want to do it at all and want someone else to do it? Let me help you with it all!