A web hosting service is a website’s gateway to the Internet. And undeniably, choosing a hosting company is one of the most crucial steps that you have to take when starting a website or a web page. For most, especially to those who are still establishing their business and their online presence, the price can be a deciding factor. But setting the budget aside, there are still a lot of things to consider.
If the price is the number one concern, there are several free web hosting services that you can look into. Determining which provider to take is a tough decision considering the overwhelming number of web hosting services to choose from, may it be from free or paid web hosting service providers.
Understanding what comes along with a certain web hosting price is also a key factor in making an informed decision. We know it can be nerve-wracking, especially for beginners who don’t know where to start. Hence, we compiled seven basic features that one should look for in an effective web hosting service.
7 Essential Features for Effective Web Hosting
1. Uptime of 99.9%
Simply speaking, uptime refers to the time when a system is working as opposed to downtime, which is just its exact opposite. According to a 2018 research conducted by HostingFacts Team, 24 out of the 32 web hosting service providers have at least 99.9% uptime. And the average uptime of the 32 providers is 99.59%. To put it in a much clearer concept, that is approximately 35 hours and 32 minutes of downtime annually for every website.
As a rule of thumb, a good web hosting provider should be able to provide you with at least 99.94% uptime. You must take this seriously because a lot of surveys have indicated that uptime is the most important factor to consider in choosing a web hosting service.
2. 24/7 Customer Support
Knowing that a person is just on the other side to assist you 24/7 can give you a big sigh of relief. Try choosing a web hosting service that doesn’t only have customer support that answers your queries through email, but also through a live chat that is managed by a person and not by a robot. Social media visibility with live customer support through private messaging can also be a good alternative.
A good web hosting company will exert an effort to provide as much ways to give support to their customers. Aside from the 24/7 live chat support, they should also offer a toll-free number and a knowledge database that you can easily access if you want to solve your problem by yourself.
3. Strong Security
In addition to reliable customer support and fast server, it’s also important to ensure that you have a secure and well-trusted hosting solution. Why do you need a secure hosting? Well,
strong security will save you from the stress of a virus in your system, and it also makes sure that your data are safe from fraudulent attacks.
4. Data Backups
Although having a secured web hosting service is a must, it isn’t enough. You should also find out if it provides excellent data backup options. Don’t let this must-have slip through your senses as you make your decision. It only takes a short amount of time for a hacker to erase your years of hard work. Similarly, having a regular backup can save your data from the unthinkable, just like in the case of severe server or local hard disk failures. Backing up your data is a necessity.
5. Ability to Add Domains
When you are still starting you might be okay with just one website and domain name, but as your business grows you may realize the need to have multiple websites, domains, and subdomains. Therefore, before you sign up to a certain service provider, you should first find out whether they have specific packages for scalability that allows the running of multiple websites from one web hosting account.
It would also help if you gather packages from different web-hosting providers, and compare which one offers the best value for your money.
6. Email Addresses
Having an email address that is associated with your website is also one way to create more professional branding. Just imagine the difference between email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moreover, find out whether the web hosting provider has a limit on the number of email accounts that are associated with your site. Your customer’s perspective about your business can certainly be affected even by this minor detail.
It’s important that your website is accessible all the time and it doesn’t slow down when there is too much traffic. However, it is equally important that your web hosting provider can assure a fast speed as far as loading your site is concerned.
Remember that the internet has a lot of sources for every potential customer. Your website’s speed can affect the rate of your visitors, as well as returning and loyal customers.
Effective Web Hosting Starts with the Basic Functionalities
There are several types of web hosting to meet different needs. If you are still starting, you can find out about the best web hosting for small business. Free and cheap web hosting service may be fine during your startup phase, but as you scale your business you may find the need to upgrade your web hosting service provider.
Whether you have a deep pocket to spare for more advanced packages or you opt to avail the free and cheaper options, there is always a consensus – an effective web hosting starts with just the basic features that are mentioned in this article.