Before you begin to design or develop your website you first need to choose the right web host. Seems easy enough right? Wrong. There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right web host and if you don’t get the right web host, you website and your business will suffer because of it.
The right web hosting company isn’t just an easy search on Google There are questions you need to ask yourself about your business or web site before choosing the right web hosting company for you such as:
What kind of server reliability and uptime scores do they offer?
You don’t want a web hosting company that has monthly outages or that is unstable. An uptime of about 99.5% is what is generally considered to be normal when is comes to web hosting. Any score lower than that you might want to find another hosting company to host your site at.
Do they provide SSL?
If you plan on running an ecommerce store than you definitely need SSL to protect your customer’s information. Some web hosting companies include free SSL certificates like Dreamhost while other’s like to offer it as a paid extra to your plan. And even if you don’t plan on having an ecommerce store, get an SSL certificate. It helps with SEO and anything that helps with your SEO is a nice to have.
What kind of website are you building?
If you’re building a simple WordPress blog then getting a web host that offers shared plans might be best for you. If you plan on having thousands of users a month with heavy traffic or you plan on running web apps off your host then you will need to get a dedicated server plan for your hosting needs.
With a shared plan you are assigned a server that you share with other users. It’s normally a cheaper option, but the downside is that if someone else is hogging all the bandwidth, memory etc. then your website won’t perform as well because the other site is bogging down all the resources.
With a dedicated host plan, you’re the only one on that server and you can configure it as you see fit. The cost is more than a shared plan, but you get the peace of mind knowing that all the server’s resources are dedicated to you and your website.
Signup vs Renewal Price
A lot of web hosting companies have these amazing introductory offers, but after a year and it’s time to renew the prices tend to be a lot higher than originally advertised. Double check before committing because a lot can go wrong if you decide to move hosts if it’s not done properly.
Do They Provide Multiple Add-on Domains?
If you own more than one domain, make sure to choose a hosting company that allows adding multiple domains so that you can host these extra domains as well. Generally, hosting companies allow at least 25 add-on domains to one account, but some only allow one domain.
Why I Avoid GoDaddy
When you think of domain registration or web hosting, what company pops in your head first, GoDaddy right? You’ve seen their commercials during the SuperBowl with Danica Patrick, Bar Refaeli or some other scantily clad woman talking about using GoDaddy. And for me that is what GoDaddy is great at, for a web hosting company, marketing. They market their product beautifully even if their product is not the best out there.
I find GoDaddy to be a nickel and dime shop. They give you the base model in terms of web hosting and make you pay for everything else. Want SSL pay extra or upgrade to a more premium plan. If not their fee for an SSL certificate is $94 for a year.
Their dashboard is not intuitive and trying to find something is like jumping through circus hoops. Of course you will probably have to pay for those circus hoops. When a client or potential client says they have GoDaddy I scream internally, “Why??????” And it’s all thanks to their creative marketing strategies to make sure their brand is first and foremost etched into the brains of people looking for web hosting.
Bluehost, HostGator and DreamHost are better alternatives to GoDaddy. Free domain registrations, free SSL, lower fees and better services are some things you can expect with these hosting companies over GoDaddy.
Choosing a web host shouldn’t be some on the whim decision. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a hosting company and the wrong choice could sink your website and more than likely your business. Web hosting is the backbone of your website and if your host isn’t sturdy enough your website will never get off the ground.
In the words of the Templar Knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “You must choose. But choose wisely, for as the true Grail will bring you life, a false Grail will take it from you.” The same logic applies to your web hosting. So choose wisely.