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how to choose a web host

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In this post, I’m going to tell you how to choose a suitable web host for your blog or website.

In fact, these are the factors that I look at before buying a hosting. And you must look at these Major factors:

  • Performance & Speed
  • Security
  • Support
  • Adaptability
  • Pricing

Let’s discuss each one of these in detail.

Performance & Speed

Hosting is a web space where all your web content is stored. And whenever someone accesses your domain, Browser sends a request to the server to get the response.

Speed & Performance are the measures of how fast your server responds. So you should always look for these major parameters.

1. SERVER RESPONSE TIME (TIME TO FIRST BYTE):  According to Google, your server response time should be under 200ms. It’s the sign of a high-speed server.

But the question comes that how to check the server response time before buying any hosting.

Two ways you can measure the server response time…

  • Reverse DNS: It will do a reverse IP lookup. Once you have the IP information, you have to look for the other sites that share the same IP. You can use YouGetSignal.com to find the other sites sharing the same IP.
  • Another way you can measure server response time is to buy the trial version of a hosting. Or you can purchase one month hosting and run tests using bitcatcha.com.

If you find the server response time in your favour, you are good to go.

2. UPTIME & DOWNTIME: It’s the time your server up and running. And downtime is the time your server does not respond.

It’s tough to maintain 100% uptime. But all popular hosting guarantees 99.99% uptime which leads to 4 min, 22 seconds of downtime in a month.

So it’s an important factor you need to consider while choosing a hosting you can rely on.

3. SSD (SOLID STATE DRIVE): It’s a new data storage technology that is faster and reliable than the old HDD.

4. DISK SPACE & BANDWIDTH: Disk Space is the maximum storage capacity of your server that allows you to store web content like text, images and of course your database & PHP files.

However, low disk space doesn’t affect speed but reduce the server performance indirectly. So for a large blog or website, you need huge disk space.

But if you just want to start a single-page website, then low SSD space is quite enough.

On the other hand, Bandwidth is the amount of data your website can transfer to users in a fixed period of time.

Or the maximum number of traffic your website can handle in a given period of time.

You can go to the official hosting provider company site to look for the exact bandwidth.

I’m using the HostGator shared baby plan. And the exact bandwidth is 7000-8000 visitors per day. It’s huge.

Luckily, my blog is currently driving 1500 – 2500 visitors a day. So, I don’t need to upgrade my hosting plan unless it goes up to 7,000 visits a day.

 It’s tough to drive this much traffic for a newbie blogger. So initially, you don’t need to bother about it.

But if you believe that you can grow your blog within a year then I’ll suggest you find a hosting that can offer you the maximum bandwidth limit. (I think HostGator could be your choice)

5. SERVER LOCATION OPTIONS:

These are the additional data centre locations offered by your hosting provider to keep your site data close to the user.

It makes your site ultra-powered, reliable and super-fast.

So choose the hosting based on your business locality and audience reach. If more traffic comes from the USA, then buy a hosting that has a data centre server in the USA so that users can access your content quick and easy.

Security

6. SECURITY

Popular blogs, websites and online businesses are prone to security breaches. So having a secured website should be your first priority.

Hosting server plays a key role in your web security. So, it’s essential to check what level of security your hosting company is providing you.

You must look for these Security Features to choose a highly secured host…

  • RAID
  • DDOS Protection
  • Firewalls
  • SSL security certificate
  • Backups

Having all these security majors can’t keep your website or blog fully secured.

That’s why you need to look for third party security services that have partnered with the hosting.

Moreover, you need to check the monthly prices so that when you enable these services, pricing doesn’t go out of your budget.

For example, I’m using HostGator’s shared hosting which cost me $11.98 per month. Aside from that, I’ve taken a third party security service plan from SITELOCK which costs me an extra $11.90 per month.

So, I need to pay approximately $25 per month to keep my blog hosted and secured.

In your case, it could be more or less depending on your hosting company and security service plans.

Support

7. SUPPORT

No matter how powerful your hosting is, you always encounter some technical issues.

And Support is the quality parameter that defines how much the service provider cares for you.

They claim 24/7 support but are they really stick with the promises?

The best support quality and Excellency I’ve found in HostGator. They serve me well even when I contacted them via live chat.

So before you buy hosting, look for these support qualities: –

  1. How fast the response time is?
  2. How many Contact options are available (phone support, live chat, forum, documentation and resources)
  3. How excellent and knowledge support representative is?
  4. At what extent support level is?

Adaptability

8. ADAPTABILITY

Your hosting has to be technically adaptive so whenever new technology comes out, your host can include it as soon as possible.

It could be a new security enhancement, operating system enhancement or other server related improvements.

 

Pricing

If pricing is out of your budget, you can’t purchase any product or service. So it’s important to check the pricing before buying anything.

Make your budget at maximum buying potential so that you can pay renewals, add-on and extra charges.

9. ANNUAL PRICING:

It’s promotional pricing that attracts new customers. When you purchase the annual plan from a hosting company, they offer you a great deal.

For example, if you purchase one year plan, it costs you $5-$6/Month, otherwise, it cost you $10 – $15/month.

If you have made up your mind, then you can choose the best plan that suits your blogging model and purchase the hosting for at least 1 year.

But if you want to test the hosting service, then buy one monthly plan. With this, you get to know how promising they are.  If you’re satisfied with the service, you can purchase 1 year or 3-year plan to get the best deal.

10. RENEWAL PRICING:

Once you have exhausted your initial service plan, you need to renew it.

And this is the real pricing where you have to pay the full price for the same services.

New customers used to pay $5/month whereas the renewal price goes up to $11-$12/month.

So be sure to manage your budget to pay your renewals.  

11. ADD-ON SERVICE PRICING:

The basic service plan does not include add-on services. It means you need to pay extra money if you add add-on services to your hosting plan.

Auto-backups, security, Site builders are some add-ons that you’re required later.

REAL-LIFE INCIDENT:

In the year 2017, I bought SiteGround hosting which is one of the leading hosting provider companies around the globe.

After a week or two, I had a security issue. I didn’t know why this happened to me. I didn’t even post anything on my blog.

So when I looked at the security add-ons of SiteGround, I found Sucuri. Unfortunately, the price was too high. So I couldn’t afford to pay for the service.

That’s why you need to have a better financial plan to manage bills. 

12. REFUND POLICY & MONEY BACK GUARANTEE

Before you buy hosting, make sure to check the refund policy and money-back guarantee. Some hosting offer 30 days money-back guarantee and some offer 45 days money-back guarantee.

Be sure to confirm whether or not they are stick to their promises.

Conslusion

So, this is it…

After reading this guide, you will be able to find the most suitable hosting for your blog or business.

I’ve considered all major factors but the point is that you need to check what potential hosting features your business or blog required.

So don’t forget to make a business or blog model. This will help you know what hosting features you’re required the most.

Once you have a clear picture in your mind, you can further check for these parameters to choose a good hosting company.

In the end, I would love to ask what major factors you look at before choosing to host.

Love this article? Please do share on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit.

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Shailesh Shakya
Shailesh Shakya

I'm a Professional blogger, Pinterest Influencer, and Affiliate Marketer. I've been blogging since 2017 and helping over 20,000 Readers with blogging, make money online and other similar kinds of stuff. Find me on Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter!

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