Trying to decide which web host to use for your website is a tricky thing. There are so many different things that you need to take into consideration, and at times, you simply might find the choice available to you to be overwhelming.
If you do a quick search for “web hosting” on Google, you will find thousands of companies all over the world who are competing for your business. Over the past decade, more and more people are getting online, and the number of websites that are being created is increasing each day.
There are a few things that you can do which will help narrow down the selection so that you can make a more educated decision about which firm to work with. After all, your website may be very important for your business, so you don’t want to start making timely and costly mistakes by choosing the wrong type of web host.
Find a web host in your country
It is a good idea to find a web host that is based in your country, rather than one on the other side of the planet. An easy way to do this is to visit a website such as the Fortunelords blog, where you can find information about web hosts in specific countries, making it easier for you to find one in your country to use.
There are a number of reasons why being hosted with a local company is beneficial. One of the most important is related to customer support being provided. If you are living in Australia and you are using a web host based in the United Kingdom, you might find that their support is closed during the night, which is in fact daytime for you. Some of the larger hosting companies might offer 24/7 customer support, but many don’t.
If you suddenly find that you have a problem with your website and you need urgent help, if the support is on the other side of the world, you might be waiting a good few hours before you get any sort of response from them. This is something that you wouldn’t want to risk, especially if your website is also part of your business.
What is their support like?
Now that you’ve understood the importance of finding a web host in the same country, or at least one very close by with only slightly different hours, you next need to check what level of support they offer.
Do they offer email support through a ticket system or is there a live chat option? Nearly all web hosts will offer ticket-based support, but you will need to know how quickly tickets are responded to. If they offer live chat support, is it only available for a set period of hours each day, or it is available 24 hours a day?
A quick and easy way to get an idea about the level of support a web host provides is to have a look at their reviews and feedback. In addition to various websites that specialize in web hosting reviews, you should also be able to find client testimonials on Facebook and Google. Spend a little time reading through these so you can get a better idea of how the web host treats their clients, and what people who have actually used the services really think of them.
Are they active on social media?
Some hosts are very active on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and in times where problems arise, this can be very useful to get updated information about what is happening. It only takes a minute or two to check if a web host is actively using social media.
Even if they are not socially active, it isn’t necessarily a bad sign, but it is always good to have alternative ways to get in contact with your host should any issues suddenly appear.
How does their website work?
One way to get an idea of the quality of web hosting that a company offers is by looking at its own website. Does their website load instantly, or does it take a long time to load up? A slow-performing website is something that could lead to issues with how your website is ranked in Google and other search engines.
Page speed is a factor in what Google looks for in a website, so if your website is very slow, this is not a good thing. If you notice that the website for a host is running slowly, you might want to consider looking for an alternative place to host your own website.