Choosing a hosting company
This article is a guide for start-up businesses for choosing a hosting company and a helpful set of considerations if your setting up a website for the first time. If you are an online blogger or marketer or just on a tighter budget as a business may mean you have to set up a website yourself. To find out more and if you would need further help in setting up a website please get in touch.
With some foundational technical knowledge and guidance you can set up a website through a hosting company. If you have a domain name for your business you can then use the available templates and content management systems that your hosting may provide to create your site.
When choosing your hosting company you should consider the following:
Value for money
With any product that you sign up for you must consider how much it is going to cost you against what you are getting for the price. I am a greater believer in getting what you pay for. The cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean it will do the job and meet your needs.
There are many options when it comes to hosting and each company will have different pricing structures and offers on at certain times. Comparing the best deals will benefit you in the long run and it will pay to do some research. Although I am a little biased toward one particular company as you will see. However you will want the set up and management to be as simple as possible.
Band width – Although most websites won’t take up much bandwidth or disk space you will want as high amount as you can. Unlimited is what I would go for because it doesn’t necessarily cost you more and you won’t have to re-think this at a later date to upgrade or change the amount your using. The same applies to disk space, unlimited is what you want to look for, it just gives peace of mind and you can display all types of media on your site without worry.
How many domains? – If you know your just going to be needing one domain it will turn out very cheap, but if you will be setting up more websites/blogs in the future try and go for a package that can include multiple domains. Having a multiple domain account doesn’t have to cost a lot more. Setting up a second website maybe necessary if you want to gain a new audience around a particular niche or product or if you are targeting a different area with your services. I have recently just finished a second site such as this and is proving to be very successful.
Domain name inclusion – This is usually sold separately but hosting companies do sell them. There maybe some restrictions with what they have available, I usually buy domains with a separate company as it turns out cheaper and they have more options when it comes to .com, .net .org.uk .in etc. I recommend namecheap as they offer domains at a good price and you can easily connect your domain to your hosting. They also have various offers on at different times.
The benefit you can have though with buying your domain through your hosting company is that it’s easier to set your site up and you can have support via the one company. You could experience problems with private nameservers if you go with separate companies.
Website templates and CMS options – The best companies make this simple to set up and will have various options for you to choose from. This is usually a simple step by step process once you have your package and domain. Check what comes with the plans a few will favour WordPress.
In addition the backend of your hosting is important, with Hostgator for instance they use a cpanel window display where you can access files, add domains and set up autoresponders, pop mailboxes, email accounts on your domain and much more. I certainly favour this system especially with hostgator as you have online help should it be needed. A screen shot of this is below.
Upgrade of service – Hosting companies will have different plans you may want to upgrade or even downgrade to at some point, check that these changes that could be necessary are simple to carry out. Whether to have multiple domain accounts or even renting your own server. Customer support from certain companies can explain these things before you purchase.
Support – Something already mentioned but an important factor, one that seals the deal for a web hosting company. If you have 24/7 support any problems that you may experience can be ironed out. They will be able to advice, direct and take you through issues step by step. If you are learning about hosting and your account a companies support will help this process so you can get to grips with all the tools and functionality that are available to you.
If there is one company that covers every base it would be hostgator. They offer and have all the options and benefits which I have talked about. What I have found is that their customer support is extremely helpful and they are always able to answer any questions which I might have.