There is no shortage of web hosting providers on the web today so choosing the right one for your project can seem like a daunting task. By reviewing your hosting needs and the offerings of your potential hosting provider, however, you will be in a good position to choose the absolute best host for your website. Take a look at these top 5 things to avoid when choosing a web hosting provider so that you can make an informed decision about the home of your next website.
1. Hosting Limitations
It’s important to choose a host that isn’t going to limit you in ways that could stunt your website’s growth or functionality. Many hosts limit the file space you’re allotted, the bandwidth your visitors are allowed to use, and even how many domains and websites you can run on your account.
The simplest way to bypass these three limitations is to choose a host that offers unlimited hosting plans. Some hosts do permit, even on an economic hosting package, unlimited domains, server space, and bandwidth.
There are also other limitations to check for before choosing your host; see if your potential host has any email account limitations, software restrictions, or policies that would prevent you from the type of website you intend to build. For example, some hosts don’t permit media sharing or FTP file transfers. Plan your website size and structure and, if possible, its potential future functionalities before choosing a web host.
2. Overpaying for Web Hosting
It’s easy to overpay for web hosting if you haven’t done a lot of comparison shopping. If your website is expected to receive less than 50,000 visitors per month and you don’t need a ton of server space then a lower-tier hosting plan may well suit your needs. These plans can often be purchased for under $10 per month and sometimes include unlimited storage and domain names.
Underpaying is also an issue to avoid when it comes to website hosting packages. Some of the suspiciously-low priced hosting plans that have introductory offers of just $1 per month may end up costing you more in the long run. So-called ‘free’ hosting plans are also an example of this type of hosting plan you’ll want to avoid. Free web hosts invariably disappoint as they place intrusive ads on your website and offer poor performance.
3. Slow Web Hosts
Most of the web’s traffic is now mobile and while many mobile users are connected to Wi-Fi, it’s important to cater to those who are roaming on 4G and even 3G connections. You’ll want your website to load quickly so that these users don’t get impatient and look for an alternative solution from one of your competitors.
Look for web hosts that advertise high-speed connections and hardware so that your website can perform at its best regardless of the end-user’s connection type. If you want to test the speed of your website you can use a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Some hosts offer SSD (Solid State Drive) storage for faster file transfer which can have a great impact on how long media and other files take to load for your visitors.
4. Outdated Hosting Companies
It’s not always easy to tell when one of the hosting companies you’re considering doing business with has outdated technology or hosting protocols. You’ll need to look for certain keywords and specific offerings in the host’s package descriptions to know you’re dealing with an up-to-date hosting company.
Look for the use of SSDs for file storage, fast connection speeds which require modern networking equipment, and modern hosting formats like cloud hosting and Virtual Private Servers (VPSs.) If your host offers these formats and seems focused on high speed connections then they are likely modernized and will make a good home for your website.
5. Getting the Wrong Type of Web Hosting
With so many new formats for website hosting available today it can be tricky to know which will work best for you. Before even comparing prices or other factors you should know which type of hosting will work best for your websites. Some of the most popular options on the market right now include VPS hosting, cloud hosting, shared hosting, and dedicated server hosting.
Cloud hosting allows you to access a cloud server to store your files quickly and easily from any location, it’s also a scalable platform that is often priced on a per-usage basis. If you don’t mind your hosting bill changing from month-to-month and your website having random spikes in traffic, then cloud hosting might be the best way to go.
VPS hosting is another popular choice that allows you to run your website on your own (virtual) server. With VPS hosting you will have more control over your hosting environment which is a good thing if you’re focused on SEO and security. Shared hosting is still available through many hosting companies and can be a great option if you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind sharing a server and resources with hundreds of other websites. Dedicated hosting is expensive, often costing upwards of $180 per month, but provides you with an entire physical web server to operate as you please.
Knowing which type of hosting your website will benefit from, what kind of limitations are deal-breakers for you, and avoiding the slower, outdated hosts will ensure you’re making the best decisions when it comes time to pick a new web host. Start your search for a new host by determining what kind of file space, bandwidth, and functionality your website will require then do some comparison shopping to find the best price point and hosting format for your next project.