There are so many things to consider when setting up a website for your business: design, functionality, branding, domain names…the list can seem endless! One of the most important elements that is often overlooked is choosing a hosting provider. This step might not seem as crucial as getting your site designed to look the way you want but, without the right host, your website will never perform at its best and could cost you valuable business.
A hosting provider is there to host your website (as the name suggests!) but that’s just the beginning. They can provide security services, back up your data, keep your website up to date and provide dedicated server environments. If you choose the right host then they will ensure your website’s performance is smooth, consistent and, most importantly, reliable.
Of course, choosing the right host can be easier said than done, so to help you find your perfect WordPress hosting provider we’re sharing a list of a few things you should consider before starting your search:
How will they optimise your website’s performance? Loading times have a huge impact on browsing habits so you want every page on your site to load efficiently. Speak to the provider about how their service will ensure your site performs at its best and, if they can’t tell you or are reluctant to answer your questions, look elsewhere. There are too many great providers on the market to go with a subpar host.
How reliable are they? Reliability is possibly the most important thing to think about. If potential customers visit your site and it’s running slowly or, even worse, is temporarily offline then you can almost guarantee that you’ll lose their custom. First and foremost, you need your website to be up and running and a good hosting provider will pride themselves on their reliability. Remember, if a provider promises 99% uptime this works out as over 3.5 days/year of downtime – think 99.9% upwards as a more acceptable figure.
What are your future plans for your website? Consider the projected growth for your site and any new features or functionality you hope to add. For example, if you’re planning on running a ticketed event that may involve a huge burst in traffic on a certain date then it’s well worth discussing it with your hosting provider in advance to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day.
Can you see examples of their clients? You should be able to check out examples of the provider’s current clients, which is a great way to test out how their websites perform. Think about running a speed test on a selection of websites they host – if every site you look at has performance issues then it’s time to cross them off your list.
What are their support services like? However fantastic your hosting provider is and however impressive their stats are, it’s inevitable that you’ll run into at least one issue throughout your time with them. How will they handle your case if your website does go down unexpectedly? You need a provider who handles your query promptly, helpfully and effectively. Checking out online reviews is a great way to see how customers are treated when things go wrong.
We hope the tips above help you settle on a hosting provider who you can form a long partnership with but if you think we’re missing any must-know tips, please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below.