One of the best things about starting the early stages of planning a new website is that we’re practically spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a hosting package.
As the cost of starting a business selling web hosting decreases, more and more companies are emerging from the proverbial woodwork at a rapid rate, meaning the competition among hosting providers is becoming ever more fierce. As such, those companies have to work all the harder to ensure we’re signing up with them, rather than one of their competitors.
The real winners of all this are of course us, the customers. With a little research, it’s possible to get our hands on a great shared web hosting package for a fraction of the cost we might have paid only a few years ago.
But what really makes a hosting plan all that great anyway? Here’s a few things you should be looking for the next time you come to choose a provider.
Unlimited bandwidth and storage
In most cases, unlimited rarely ever means exactly that. Even the best web hosting companies around impose some kind of cap under their Fair Use Policy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to get as much -if not more- storage and bandwidth allocations as you’re ever likely to need. It’s always best to use sites like bestwebhostingnow.co.uk to compare the features and prices of the top hosting providers.
Whilst you’ll certainly find that some providers only offer unlimited resources for their higher-paid plans, increasing number of firms are scrapping limitations on bandwidth and storage altogether, providing better value for your money.
Having such an abundance of choice when it comes to picking out a hosting provider isn’t the only great thing about launching a website. There’s a lot to be said, too, for just how quick and simple it is to get our website’s up and running.
For our money, a really good shared host is one that comes with one-click installation of major website platforms such as WordPress and Magento, along with countless other Content Management Systems, software and applications that you can use to make your site.
The web can be a strange and confusing beast at times. Even when we apparently know exactly what we’re doing or have followed a tutorial to the letter, there’s still those occasions when things don’t quite work out exactly as they should.
When that happens, the best course of action is to speak to our host’s customer support staff, who -if they’re on the ball- should be able to get everything up and running for us again in no time.
Yet there’s more to good customer support than actually getting your problem solved. Sure, that plays a part, but if you have to spend money to make a phone call every time something goes wrong, it’s hardly ideal. Instead, look for a company that offers support through live chat on their website and email, one that comes with a comprehensive knowledgebase to help you troubleshoot common problems by yourself, and one with a reputation for prompt, polite and efficient service.
Reputation among existing customers
Speaking of reputation, take some time to check out independent hosting reviews written by actual customers of the company you’re thinking of signing up to. At the end of the day, the hosts themselves want your business, so naturally they’re going to overlook any flaws they might have and instead focus on telling you how great they are.
On the flip side, a real user of that service will be able to provide you with a much more open, honest, and accurate idea of what you can expect if you do sign up, meaning you’ll have a much better idea as to whether that hosting package really is as great as it seems to be.