How to choose your perfect Hosting partner
Choosing a hosting partner for your organizations shouldn't be taken lightly. It is a decision that will affect how your online activity will run, influencing your entire day-to-day operations, as a result. It's also important to keep in mind that there are numerous hosting providers out there and choosing the one that will work the best for you, needs to be given a fair degree of consideration.
That said, there are a couple of questions that you need to ask yourself first so that you will make an informed decision.
The Level of Hosting Support Required
The first of these include the amount of customer service you require from your future hosting partner. A basic customer service package generally includes email, ticket, and phone support. The turnaround time on these requests will vary, depending on the hosting partner.
Some of them, will also offer 24/7 support. One limiting factor to keep in mind here is that, if this is a non-managed service, the provider may only be able to answer questions about basic configuration. A fully managed solution, however, will ensure that your entire system is configured properly, all software patches and backups will be up-to-date, and all security issues will be taken care of under one roof.
How Much Traffic You Expect to Generate
Hosting partners will generally charge you based on your storage and bandwidth usage needs. If you expect a relatively small number of people to visit your site, your bandwidth usage should be low. But if some of your content becomes viral, you can expect that usage to soar.
It means that your future hosting partner should have shared, Virtual Private Server (VPS)/Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS) and/or cloud hosting capabilities. All of these allow for scalability.
For a low traffic website, a shared hosting plan will be the most affordable. But being a shared server means that your site hosts on the same server as other websites. If one of these other websites experiences a spike in traffic, your performance will be affected. VPS or VDS hosting, while more expensive, will provide a better performance, which will also be noticeable to your users.
Cloud servers may be the best choice here, regardless of your traffic. These run on giant public clouds like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, allowing your hosting partner to build whatever configuration will best suit your needs. Another benefit of cloud servers is that scalability is quick and seamless without moving or rebuilding anything.
Owning Your Domain Name
Your future hosting partner should also provide you with domain name registration. Some may even offer this for free if you sign up, or allow for the free transfer of the domain if you already have one. Do, however, keep in mind that a free domain, if offered, is usually only available for the first year.
If you host multiple domains on the same account, shared hosting may not be available. Whatever the case, you should hold your original domain name so that you will continue to control any SEO benefits acquired over time.
Hosting Guarantees and Unlimited Offers
The norm in the hosting industry is a 99.9% network uptime guarantee. It means that the network shouldn’t be down more than 43 minutes per month. Nevertheless, if the problem originates on your part, this will not be counted as downtime.
Some hosting providers may try to entice you with unlimited bandwidth and storage offers, but there's usually a catch. Try staying away from deals too good to be true as there may be something in the ‘Terms of Service’ that contradicts this offer (e.g., unlimited bandwidth at the expense of performance.)
If you're in the market for a great hosting partner, contact us for a free consultation. Contact us today and see if we're a good match!