7 Things to Look for in a Web Hosting Service

Gone are the days when having a website for your business was optional. In fact, many businesses these days can’t afford even a few minutes of downtime where their customers can’t access their site. That means that choosing a reliable web hosting service has become mission critical for most business owners. But that can be easier said than done given the hundreds of options out there that range from local mom-and-pop providers to national providers like LiquidWeb and Rackspace, all of which range in terms of their price and service offerings. But how do you know whether you need to spend $1 a month versus $10? What follows are 7 tips, from business owners and experts alike, about the kinds of questions and issues you want to think about before deciding where to host your website.

1. Support

Ask yourself what type of support will you need. “The worst thing that can happen is for a website to go down, or having an email issue, Nobody can prevent glitches 100 percent, so if and when you find yourself in the middle of one, it’s best to have someone you can call on to get immediate resolution. That means looking for Providers that provide 24/7 free phone support with customer service reps who speak your language and actually pick up the phone when you need them to.

2. Parking Service

Find out if you can easily park your company’s other domain names. This is a big one, says Beatrice Johnston, director of Brand Excitement, a branding agency in New York City. companies buy their .com,  .NET,  .org hyphenated versions of their domain name, misspellings, service names, and more. It’s most efficient and convenient for brand management to have these in one control panel and know that you’re not going to lose any traffic.

3. Backup

Make sure your web hosting service provides adequate backup. I once mistakenly deleted the entire blog directory for my website—ouch. I contacted my host and because they provide automatic backup every day, I was able to hit a few keystrokes, select two days previous, and voila—my blog and content was back online as if it never happened. Find out what your host’s disaster recovery plan is, as well, to ensure that they are backing up their backups.

4. Uptime Guarantee

The last thing you want your customers to experience is a blank screen when they type in your URL, so you’ll want to shop for a hosting service with a strong reputation for uptime and redundancy. Your site can’t be seen if the host constantly has server outages. Look for an uptime guarantee of 99 percent or more. Also make sure the server has multiple backup locations (mirrored servers) so that if one goes down, they have another already online and ready to go.

5. Accessibility

You might find that some hosting services make it difficult to make changes to your site. If so, avoid them. Make sure the host you choose gives you access to the server so that you can easily create new email accounts, make changes to server settings. That goes double for ensuring that you can get access to your email online and not just through Outlook. “Most of hosting services provide this, but some do not”. Make sure you will have the ability to login online to check your email from when you are away from your computer, and in case of emergency like when Outlook crashes.”

6. Blogability

Another staple of most company websites these days is a blog, in addition to other social media tools. Even if you don’t blog, you might in time, so make sure that the hosting service meets the minimum requirements for WordPress, the leading blogging platform. “So many small businesses are utilizing WordPress for blogging and or for their entire website, and not all hosts yet support this.”

7. To Share or Not to Share

One of the ways that you can save money on hosting your website is by turning to something called “shared hosting,” which basically means that your site is being hosted along with dozens (if not hundreds) of other sites which is why you might pay as little as $5 a year for hosting fees. The downside, though, can be that troubles with one of those sites could lead to problems for all the sites hosted on that server. “Having a fast website response time is crucial so that your visitor doesn’t grow impatient and click away and that Google uses page load speed as one of its many factors in determining whether your page will be show high in search results,” . That’s why most of  people  prefers to pay more for access to a Virtual Private Server (VPS)—also called a Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS). VPS is a bit more complicated to set up, but at $25 to $30 a month, you have a much higher quality web server and faster performance with cPanel website control panel to manage your website / blog / application. Also host provides fully managed technical support as you can focus on business rather focus on technical stuff as well. Find managed vps provider those can help you in manage your server without downtime and deep technical issues.