In this article we discuss what to look for in a good web hosting company.
Web hosting in South Africa has grown exponentially over the last few years and with it comes an increase in web hosting providers. Having a wide range of web hosts to choose from is great, however it also becomes difficult to choose a good web hosting company for your needs. Since there are so many factors to consider when choosing a web host, we decided to take a look at some of the more important ones.
Most of the time we’re tempted to go with the cheapest option available, but this might not always suit our needs. Cheap hosting is cheap because the packages are severely limited. Some functionality isn’t included or it is up sold instead. The shared hosting environment is usually over-crowded and running on old or cheap hardware.
A good web hosting company will charge a bit more, but with the additional cost, you get additional benefits. Good web hosts will include all the functionality you need to run your website and will make it easy to do so. The servers they provide will also be high quality servers and won’t be over crowded either.
After sales support, customer service and technical support are all extremely important when it comes to looking for a good web hosting company. If things go wrong, you need that someone to be there for you to fix those issues as soon as possible. Aint nobody got time to wait! And we get that! A lot of hosts promise excellent support and don’t always deliver. So it is important to read the reviews to see what kind of support you’re going to get.
A good web hosting company will have highly trained, highly knowledgeable staff. They will be able to provide you with the support you need and will have a short turnaround time. Their staff should also be trained in the basics of website design in order to assist you with any issues you might have.
Server reliability and security are just as important to your business as decent premises and security staff. You want your website to live in a secure environment in order to protect your sensitive data. You also want that peace of mind know your website will always be online.
A good web hosting company with provide you with additional layers of security. They will also monitor their servers 24/7 to prevent any down time. Look for a host who can protect against DDoS attacks as well as one who can provide additional mail security. A good host will also provide you with free and auto SSL certificates.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a host is the kind of hardware being used as well as the server software. Many hosts use Apache because it’s free but unfortunately not as fast as LiteSpeed. This will affect your website performance, especially if you’re using a CMS like WordPress.
You’ll also want to look for a host that provides additional redundancy measures by configuring their hard-drives in a RAID array. And, you’ll want a host whose servers are not overcrowded and have a lot of CPU cores and memory available for the shared hosting environment. The more resources the host has, the more you have access to.
This section ties in closely with pricing since many cheap packages are extremely limited in features and other hardware limitations. Another problem is that more often than not, there’s very little transparency with what you’re actually getting. It’s a good idea to see exactly what it is you’re paying for and get the best value for money before going for the cheapest option.
A good host will provide you all the features you need to successfully host your website. The limitations will also be well suited to hosting your website properly without affecting your peers.
When it comes to parting with your money, you’ll want to ensure you have the option to back out if you’re unsatisfied with the product / service. So look for a host that provides you with satisfactory refund guarantees. Read the web hosting company’s policies as well as user reviews to see whether refunds are honored.
Emails are very important to a business when it comes to looking for a web hosting company. You’ll want to find a host who provides additional security, spam prevention and redundancy measures for your emails. Keep in mind that in a shared hosting environment, everyone shares the IP address and if anyone abuses the email system by sending spam, you’ll be affected as well.
Most hosting companies allow the purchase of dedicated IP addresses due to the fact that an IP address can get a bad reputation. We’ve gone a step further and provide all our resellers with a free dedicated IP to further prevent IP’s becoming black listed.
Having your content backed-up regularly is another vital step in security and redundancy. Anything can go wrong and if your stuff isn’t backed-up, you lose it all. So look for a host who will provide you with regular backups at no additional charge… You shouldn’t have to pay for something that is automated anyway.
Also check to make sure that these backups are actually happening, and as an additional measure, create your own backups as well.
To sum it all up, you’ll want to find a good hosting provider whose pricing is reasonable, but not cheap. Whose support staff is highly trained, efficient and effective and will respond to your tickets quickly. The hosts’ servers need to be reliable and the hardware needs to be up to scratch for a shared web hosting environment. A good host will also provide you with all the features you need and will be transparent with the limitations set. Backups and email security is also essential to a good hosting environment and if need be, a refund guarantee.