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Choosing the Right Web Hosting Provider

Choosing the right web hosting provider is crucial for website functionality, security and cost efficiency. Different types of hosting have pros and cons. So which one's right for your business?

Web hosting is a critical component for any website. A “web host” is the computer (server) that provides the platform for your content to be accessed by visitors worldwide. 

Selecting an appropriate web hosting provider is essential to ensure that your website functions optimally and securely and meets the demands of high-traffic websites. 

In this article, I will give you my hard-won experience and provide guidance on how to choose the right web hosting provider based on important criteria such as performance, security, scalability and cost efficiency.

The types of web hosting available are numerous, ranging from:

  • Shared hosting, which requires sharing resources with other websites and their users 
  • Virtual Private Servers (VPS) offer greater control and flexibility compared to shared hosting but at a higher cost
  • Dedicated servers, which dedicate all server resources exclusively to you
  • Cloud servers or hybrid solutions allow multiple configurations depending on needs. 

Each type of web hosting has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to fulfilling requirements related to performance, security and scalability. And like cell phone companies, they love to confuse everything with loads of techie doublespeak and spurious comparison charts.

A comprehensive comparison between different providers should be undertaken before settling on one service. Factors such as features offered, reliability of uptime guarantees, support services provided and pricing structures must be considered before making a decision. The aim of this article is, therefore, to assist you in finding their ideal web host solution according to your specific business needs.

Let’s rawk!

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a service that provides users access to the World Wide Web. Web hosting enables websites to be visible on the internet, allowing individuals and organizations to publish their content online. The web host stores all of the files needed for the website, including HTML documents, images, scripts, and multimedia content.

The term “web hosting” can also refer to the hardware or software a web hosting provider uses. This includes servers, storage space, operating systems, database management systems, firewalls, and security protocols. A web hosting provider will provide customers with all these resources to ensure their website functions properly.

Choosing the Right Web Hosting Provider 1
A web host is simply a computer server on which you park your website content. The web server then “serves” your content when someone requests your website on their browser.

When selecting a web hosting provider, it is important to consider features such as bandwidth capacity, disk space limits, uptime guarantees, customer support options (notice how I keep highlighting that one? It’s the key differentiator!) and pricing plans available. Knowing what type of website you plan on creating – whether it’s an e-commerce store, brochureware business website or blog – should help guide your decision-making when choosing a suitable web host for your needs.

Types Of Web Hosting Services

When it comes to selecting a web hosting provider, there are several types of services available. These include shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, managed hosting and cloud hosting.

Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting is the most common type of web hosting service. It involves multiple websites sharing resources from the same physical server. This type of service allows for low cost but limited control over the environment as all sites share the same hardware and software.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) provide more flexibility than shared hosting by allowing users to install their own operating system and software on dedicated servers that can be modified according to individual needs. VPS also offers improved performance because each account has its own allocated resources rather than relying on shared resources with other accounts.

Managed Hosting

Managed Hosting provides access to an expert team who will manage your website’s operations while you focus on running the business itself. This type of service ensures optimal performance levels through proactive monitoring and optimization techniques used by professionals in the field. Additionally, managed hosting providers offer additional security measures such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems which help protect against malicious attacks online.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud Hosting makes use of distributed computing technology over a network of connected computers or “nodes”. This allows for scalability, reliability and availability without having to invest in expensive infrastructure investments such as buying extra hardware or expanding existing networks. Cloud-based solutions often feature built-in redundancy which helps ensure data won’t be lost if one computer node fails due to technical issues or power outages.

How are these different than “Shared Hosting”?

Bare Metal Hosting

If you don’t know what this means, fuhgettaboutit. If you do, you aren’t reading this article. 

In summary, these are your choices when it comes to web hosting:

  • Shared Hosting
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
  • Managed Hosting
  • Cloud Hosting – Dedicated Server Hosting
  • Bare Metal

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Hosting Provider

When selecting a web hosting provider, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration. The most important of these is the type of hosting service offered by the provider and whether or not it meets the needs of your website. Other considerations include pricing, customer support, user interface, scalability options, storage capacity, and uptime reliability.

Pricing is one of the most significant factors to consider when choosing a hosting provider. Many providers offer different levels of services at various prices; however, it is essential to ensure that you get value for money. It’s also important to review any hidden fees and check if discounts are available when purchasing long-term contracts. 

Somewhat shockingly, many web hosting companies offer extremely competitive performance numbers for very low price-points. Two examples of this are SiteGround and WPX. There are kazillions of others but these are my two favorites.

Customer support, often called Tech Support, is another factor that mustn’t be overlooked when choosing a hosting provider. Because things go wrong. Things always go wrong. Often, those things are only diagnosable and perhaps even fixable, but the web hosting company’s tech support. 

Good customer service can make all the difference between having an enjoyable experience with a host or suffering from frustration due to slow response times or inadequate resolutions to technical issues. Make sure to find out what kind of tech support channels are provided (phone/email/live chat) and how quickly they respond before making your selection. 

Live chat from tech support can be a real lifesaver, as long as you don’t die of old age while they exhort you to “stay safe!” and “we hope to provide you with the best possible customer support today and your business is very important…blah, blah, blah. Once you blow through that, I found that live chat is the most efficient and fastest way to solve problems. For one thing, you can usually hear through an accent on live chat. 

In addition to pricing and customer support, look into aspects such as user interface design (SiteGround’s is the best by far!), scalability options for increased resource availability during peak periods, storage capacity limits for uploading files on the server (I got dinged by this one on a weird little web hosting company in San Diego), and uptime reliability guarantees so that your website remains online without frequent disruptions in service. 

Taking all these points into account will help you select an appropriate web hosting provider that meets both your current requirements as well as future growth potentials while staying within budget constraints.

Reliability And Uptime

When selecting a web hosting provider, reliability and uptime are two of the most important factors to consider. Server uptime is one measure of how reliable a host is; it refers to the percentage of time that a server remains operational in any given month. 

Hosting providers must ensure their servers remain up at all times so websites can be accessed by visitors which makes having an excellent uptime record essential for maintaining customer satisfaction. Uptime guarantees also play an important role in server reliability as they promise refund amounts if the guaranteed uptime levels are not achieved.

Hosting providers should provide service-level agreements (SLA) outlining their specific uptime guarantee, including details on what happens when this agreement is breached and how customers will receive compensation. 

Network monitoring tools such as ping tests can also help assess the level of stability offered by different hosting plans.

Quick note from the trenches about Uptime Reliability: they all say they’re up “99.9%” of the time. And generally speaking, I’ve found that to be mostly true. 

In order to make sure data remains secure and accessible, organizations need to select a hosting provider that offers reliable solutions with solid uptime records and clear SLAs addressing refund policies in case of service outages. It is critical to take these considerations into account when deciding on a web hosting solution for business operations.

Can’t I Simply Search on Google for “Best Web Hosting Provider”?

Potential clients should research reviews from other customers who have previously used the provider’s services or contact them directly with questions about their SLAs before making a commitment. 

Unfortunately, Google has made this type of research something of a nightmare, and it’s next to impossible to find “the best web hosting provider” using Google search, as they’ve all written 10,000 word blogs, enjoy 50K DR 89 backlinks and have 8M “comments” explaining why they (whatever web hosting company you’re reading the blog on is “they”) offer the best hosting. 

Try it for yourself! I predict you’ll descend down a rabbit hole from which you may never escape; much less, come out with the “right” web hosting answer for your business. 

Your best bet is to take my advice, or ask someone you know who has a kick-ass website that’s always up, available, and looks good on your smartphone.

Back to our article. 

Bandwidth, Storage Space, And Resources

When selecting a web hosting provider, it is important to consider the bandwidth limits, storage space and resource limits that are provided. 

Bandwidth is an indication of how much data can be transferred within a certain amount of time. It should be noted that if your website requires more bandwidth than allocated by the host, then additional fees may apply or the server could become overloaded with requests, resulting in slow response times. 

Sound familiar, everyone who uses a cell phone?

Storage space refers to the maximum size of files stored on the server; this includes images and videos as well as other forms of media. If you plan to store large amounts of content, it is essential to select a host that provides sufficient disk space for your needs. 

Resource limits refer to the total number of resources (e.g., memory, processor cores) available on the server which are shared among all websites hosted on it. In this age of we-can’t-create-faster-processors, memory size is king. Either way, when choosing a web hosting provider, it is critical to ensure that there are enough resources for your website’s requirements so as not to cause performance issues due to overloading the system.

The type of hosting service also affects these factors – dedicated servers have (sort of) unlimited access while virtual private servers (VPS) generally provide fixed amounts of bandwidth and storage space as part of their plans. Additionally, cloud-based solutions offer scalability for growing businesses but come with pre-defined restrictions regarding what users can do with their accounts such as installing applications or running scripts from external sources. 

Ultimately, it is necessary to assess your own specific needs before making any decisions about what kind of hosting provider would best suit them.

Security Features & Website Protection

When seeking for a web hosting provider, security features and website protection should be given top priority. It is important to understand the security features being offered by the potential service provider before making any final decisions. 

Security features are essential in protecting data from malicious actors such as hackers, data miners or spammers. The most popular security features include firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), malware scanners, anti-spam filters and SSL certificates

Firewalls provide an extra layer of protection against threats by denying access to unauthorized individuals while intrusion detection systems monitor network activity for suspicious activities. Malware scanners detect malicious software that could potentially damage websites or steal sensitive information. 

SSL certificates encrypt data sent over networks so they cannot be intercepted by third parties.

Anti-spam filters prevent spam emails from reaching user inboxes.

In addition to these basic security options, many providers offer additional protection options like two-factor authentication (2FA) and password managers which can help protect accounts from brute force attacks or online frauds. 

Moreover, it is also recommended to use secure passwords with at least eight characters including upper case letters, lower case letters and numbers as well as special characters where possible. Providers may also have their own proprietary methods of keeping customer data safe through encryption measures such as AES 256-bit encryption which adds another layer of defense on top of existing safety protocols. 

Finally, customers should look out for regular updates from their chosen host in order to ensure that all security measures remain up to date with current industry standards.

Control Panel Options

When it comes to web hosting control, there are many control panel options available. A good control panel can make the process of managing a website easier and more efficient. Some popular control panels include cPanel, Plesk, Webmin, DirectAdmin, ISPConfig and vDeck, as well as SiteGround’s beautiful, functional, flexible and easy-to-understand control panel. WP Engine and Flywheel also feature decent control panels. 

Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages which must be weighed according to the needs of the user’s particular project or website.

cPanel is one of the most well-known web hosting control panels in use today, though it was designed for a somewhat bygone era (early 2000s). It is designed for easy installation and setup of applications like WordPress as well as email accounts configuration and file management. With this control panel users have access to many features such as creating FTP accounts and setting up cron jobs for automated processes. 

However, some users may find that the cPanel software is too complex for their needs.

(Like I did. And I used to write Bourne shell scripts to do all sorts of wild, low-level stuff.)

Plesk is basically a different “face” on the same problems that cPanel has. It does however provide a somewhat more intuitive interface with various tools that help manage websites efficiently. It includes support for multiple domain names on a single server instance along with powerful security measures like built-in Firewall protection against malicious attacks from outside sources. 

Additionally, Plesk also offers options for deploying common applications like Joomla or Drupal into virtual containers quickly and easily making it ideal for those who want to get started right away without having to spend time configuring everything manually.

It is important to research all hosting control panels before making a decision so that you choose one that best fits your particular requirements while still providing ample functionality and flexibility when needed. By doing so, you will ensure that your site runs smoothly with minimal effort required from yourself or others involved in maintenance tasks down the line.

SiteGround’s control panel destroys all these others. We recently had to move a few websites off of SiteGround for performance reasons on some more sophisticated websites, and I must say, I miss their control panel. 

Cost & Upgrades

The cost of web hosting should be considered carefully when selecting a provider. It is important to look at the initial price as well as any additional fees that may apply, such as setup fees or monthly service charges. 

Many providers offer discounts for long-term contracts and extra services, so it is worth comparing prices between different companies before committing to one host.

And typically, most web hosting companies offer a friendly pro-rated plan for those wishing to upgrade (naturally!) and even sometimes, downgrade. 

Upgrades can also have an impact on the total cost of web hosting. Providers often offer upgrades in terms of storage space, bandwidth, number of domains hosted, dedicated IP address availability and other features. While these are usually available at an additional cost, some hosts will provide certain upgrades free of charge as part of their packages. 

Upgrade pricing varies from host to host, so it is advisable to research which ones offer the best value for money before making a decision.

When assessing potential web hosts based on cost and upgrade options, it is essential to ensure that all requirements are taken into account and that future growth needs are considered. This helps to prevent costly mistakes and ensures that the chosen provider meets all current and future business needs.

Customer Support & Documentation

Customer support and documentation are key elements to consider when selecting a web hosting provider. A reliable customer support team is essential for resolving any technical issues that may arise in the future, as well as providing assistance with setting up websites. 

Technical documentation should also be readily available from the hosting service provider; this includes manuals, FAQs, and step-by-step instructions for setting up domains or software applications. However, if you’re like me, you find documentation a waste of time 98% of the time, since your particular problem is not documented, and wow, you just wasted 11 minutes finding that out.

Before committing to a particular service provider, it is important to assess their customer support and documentation resources:

  • Does the company provide 24/7 customer support? This is non-negotiable for us!
  • Is there an online help desk system with live chat functionality? Another negotiating win!
  • Are there helpful tutorials explaining how to set up domains or install software programs?
  • How long does it take tech support to answer and resolve questions or problems?
  • Do they have a comprehensive library of frequently asked questions (FAQs)? (Note: your question won’t be in there, but you can waste 4 more minutes of your life asking them to put it in there for the next guy!)

It’s also wise to read reviews from other customers who have used the same web hosting provider before making a decision – these can give insight into what kind of experience you can expect from them in terms of customer support and technical documentation. 

But as I stated previously, it’s next to impossible to find real, unbiased reviews. Best to try asking a friend with a great website, us, or heading over to dark social to find your answers.

Ultimately, choosing the right web hosting provider means looking for one that offers both strong customer support and clear technical documentation so that users will be able to successfully run their website without having to worry about tech issues.

Short-Term Vs Long-Term Contracts

When it comes to web hosting, businesses must consider the length of their contract. 

Short-term contracts are typically cheaper and can be ideal for testing out a new service or for projects with limited lifespans. Long-term contracts offer more stability but require greater commitment from both parties involved. It is important to understand that there may be discounts available when signing up for longer periods of time as well as penalties if you need to terminate early.

The decision between short-term and long-term contracts should be based on your current needs and future goals. If the project has an expected lifespan then opting for a shorter contract could save money in the long run due to lower monthly fees and no additional cancellation charges. On the other hand, if committing to a longer period of time is necessary, then you will have higher upfront costs but gain access to better features such as improved security or larger storage space at discounted rates.

Ultimately, choosing the right contract length depends on many factors including budget constraints, usage requirements, technical specifications and customer support levels. Evaluating these aspects carefully before making a final decision will ensure that you get the best deal tailored to your specific needs.

In the trenches, this one’s a no-brainer: start with a monthly web hosting agreement until they prove worthy of your business. I’ll typically give it 3-4 months. Most website hosting companies flame out much more quickly than that if they stink, but are happy to put you on a 6-month or annual contract if you like their service. 

Scalability & Automation Capabilities

When choosing a web hosting provider, scalability and automation capabilities are also important considerations. 

Scalability refers to the ability of a system or network to grow and accommodate increased demand. 

Automation capabilities enable processes like updating, patching, backups, etc., to be conducted without manual intervention.

For businesses that anticipate growth in their website traffic or usage requirements, it is essential that they select a host with robust scalability options so as not to exceed available resources. A good web hosting provider will have an infrastructure designed for rapid scaling up or down depending on need. This allows customers to add more capacity such as additional storage or computing power when required.

In terms of automation capabilities, look for providers who offer automated solutions tailored specifically for websites and applications. 

These can include managed services which take care of maintenance tasks such as backups (be sure to get a web hosting company that takes a backup of your site every day automatically, and allows you to create your own “manual” backups for important updates) and updates.

Of great importace to SaaS businesses are things like cloud orchestration tools which handle deployment of virtual machines; and serverless architecture which enables faster development cycles by eliminating many management responsibilities from customers. 

Ultimately these features reduce cost and time-to-market while improving reliability and performance compared to manual approaches.

By taking into account both scalability and automation capabilities when selecting a web hosting provider, customers can ensure their business has the necessary technology foundation for success now and in the future.

Research, Reputation & Reviews

The “Three Rs” in finding a great web host are the hardest part of the whole process. As I mentioned above there exists no spammier topic on the web than the topic of web hosting. 

Researching Hosting Provider Reviews 

Before settling on any particular web hosting provider, it’s essential to investigate what other customers have experienced with that company’s services. Reading customer reviews can be extremely helpful in determining if a hosting provider has been reliable for people in similar circumstances as yours. It’s also advisable to read up on any complaints or negative feedback from past customers so you understand exactly how they handle issues should something go wrong. 

Naturally, people are far more likely to write reviews when they’ve had a bad experience than when they’ve had a good experience; unfortunately, almost everyone has had both good and bad experiences with web hosting companies. So to me, “online reviews” are an extremly time-consuming and pretty worthless rabbit hole. 

Examining Web Hosting Reputation

One way to evaluate the quality of service offered by a potential hosting provider is to assess its overall reputation within the industry. Companies who are well known tend to offer more consistent experiences since they typically hold themselves accountable for ensuring excellent service levels across all aspects of their business operations. Furthermore, some companies may even specialize in specific types of websites or applications which could make them an ideal fit for your needs.

In summary, see how long they’ve been around.

Reverse Engineering

Find a few websites that you note to be well-made, modern, and extremely snappy, and see where they are hosting. There are several Chrome extensions that you can use to get information about web hosting. Sometimes it can be a bit more difficult due to CDNs which obfuscate the web hosting company, but not everyone uses these. I emphasize that they should be well-made and modern websites, as it’s easy to get a crappy, 1990s-era text-mostly website to perform on just about any crappy web hosting company. 

Consider Hosting Provider Ratings

Another key factor when choosing the right web hosting provider in 2000 (yes, this no longer works due to spam and sponsored posts) is examining ratings given by independent review sites. I won’t name names. These sites purport to provide unbiased assessments based on performance metrics such as cloud storage capacity, server uptime, security measures, customer support availability, etc., making them invaluable resources in helping determine whether a certain host will meet your requirements. 

Fortunately, many web hosting providers offer money-back guarantees and free trials so you can test out their services before committing long term. 

Unfortunately, your time investment is not refundable, so best to do at least a little research before taking the leap.

Overall, assessing reputations is a necessary step towards finding the best possible web hosting solution for your website needs. By taking into account both objective ratings and subjective opinions from previous clients and especially trusted business associates and friends, you can gain insight into how different hosts measure up against one another and make an informed decision about which option works best for you.

Bonus Services Offered By Providers

When selecting the right web hosting provider, bonus services can also be taken into consideration. 

Automation services are a great example of this; they allow users to automate routine tasks such as backups, updates and other maintenance activities. This can save significant amounts of time and provide peace of mind knowing that these processes will run smoothly.

In addition to automation services, many providers offer bonus features for their customers. These may include security tools for data protection or additional storage space for larger websites. For example, SiteGround offers both speed tools and security tools in their standard “Guru” offering. 

Customers should carefully evaluate what types of features are available from each provider in order to determine which one is best suited for their needs. It is important to consider not just the cost of the hosting service but also any potential bonuses that could help improve website performance or user experience.

Bonus services offered by providers can obviously give users added benefits without needing to pay extra costs upfront.

Backups & Data Recovery Options

While we touched on it in “Automation”, backups and data recovery options should be called out as they are essential for a successful website. Countless hours have been saved when one of our websites crapped out due to a plugin auto-update, and there was a backup available from the day before that brought us back to life. 

It is important to choose a reliable hosting provider that offers backup options to protect important files in the event of data loss. Various providers offer different levels of protection depending on their features and services.

The most common type of backup option offered by hosting providers is full-site backup. This is the most important one for you as it allows your staff or the web hosting tech support to easily restore an entire website, text, images, layout…everything, from a single file stored on the hosting server. 

Other types of backups include database backups, incremental backups (useful for very large websites), and scheduled backups which allow for regular automated updates. Most companies also provide access control settings so that administrators can limit who has access to sensitive information within the site.

Data recovery options depend heavily on how much data needs to be recovered and what kind of system is being used by the hosting provider. Some providers may have advanced systems with built-in disaster recovery capabilities while others may require manual intervention or outside assistance if large amounts of data need to be restored quickly. 

When considering different hosting plans, it’s important to carefully evaluate any provided backup and data recovery solutions included in each plan before selecting one.

Migration Assistance

Website transfer, also known as web hosting migration or just “web migration”, plays a crucial role in ensuring that websites are securely transferred from one web host to another. 

During this process, several factors must be taken into account such as:

  • Ensuring all files on the website have been backed-up correctly;
  • Confirming that any software applications used by your site remain compatible with the new server;
  • Maintaining database integrity during the transition period.

When selecting a web hosting provider, it is important to assess their level of expertise when providing migration assistance. Fortunately it’s the first thing they’ll offer to do, so if they screw it up, you’ll know quickly!

While some providers may offer automated tools to help facilitate transfers, others may require more manual input or specialised technical knowledge. It is therefore essential to review customer feedback before committing to a particular service provider. 

Furthermore, it can be beneficial to inquire about additional features offered for free such as application monitoring or staging environments, parallel environments that allow you to test changes and updates prior to going live.

By taking these steps into consideration when choosing a web hosting provider, businesses can ensure they select an organisation that provides comprehensive support throughout the entire website transfer process – resulting in minimal disruption and downtime for users visiting their website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Shared And Dedicated Hosting?

When it comes to web hosting, the two most common options are shared and dedicated hosting. Shared hosting is often the preferred choice for individuals or small businesses due to its affordability as multiple websites share a single server. Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, provides more control over resources since an entire server is allocated solely to one website. 

Here’s a quick comparison:

1. Uptime Guarantee: Both types of hosting offer reliable uptime guarantees but with different levels of performance. With shared hosting, sites can expect a 99% uptime guarantee while dedicated servers typically provide 99.9%.

2. Security: Generally speaking, dedicated servers come with better security than shared ones since they are not sharing resources with other customers’ websites which could potentially lead to malicious attacks. But make sure you get managed dedicated hosting, or you’ll be stuck having to do OS updates. Yowza!

3. Cost: This is where shared hosting really shines compared to its dedicated counterpart – price-wise at least! As mentioned before, because many sites share the same server infrastructure costs can be significantly lower when opting for shared solutions allowing users to benefit from great value for money deals without breaking the bank. It’s tough to beat SiteGround and WPX on cost vs. performance. 

4. Scalability: If your website needs additional resources such as higher bandwidth or increased storage space then you’ll need a plan that offers scalability options like those found in managed VPS (Virtual Private Server) plans offered by some providers which allow users to access extra power when needed without having to purchase full-fledged dedicated servers upfront.

For most people just getting started online, choosing between shared and dedicated hosting isn’t always straightforward and depends largely on budget constraints as well as future growth requirements of their website/business venture. Most start on shared hosting and move to VPS or cloud hosting eventually. 

Ultimately it’s important that you select a host that meets all your technical specifications while still offering good value for money so make sure you do plenty of research beforehand and compare prices across different companies before making any decisions about which provider is best suited for your particular project needs.

What Is The Average Uptime Of The Hosting Provider?

Uptime is an essential factor to consider when selecting a web hosting provider. It refers to the percentage of time that your website’s server is available and functioning properly. If a hosting provider has poor uptime, it can cause significant outages for websites hosted on their servers. To ensure optimal performance, many web hosting providers offer an uptime guarantee which specifies the amount of time they will keep their servers online and accessible.

The average uptime of a web hosting provider depends on several factors including server reliability, network capacity and data center infrastructure. High-quality providers typically have excellent uptimes due to their investment in hardware and software solutions that provide greater stability and reliability than those offered by low cost or budget hosts. Additionally, high quality hosting companies often employ staff who monitor their servers 24/7 to detect any potential problems before they become major issues.

When evaluating a web hosting provider’s uptime performance, there are several key features to look for:

  • Uptime Guarantee – Most reliable web hosts offer an uptime commitment with varying levels of guarantees depending on the specific plan you choose;
  • Server Reliability – Look at reviews from other customers about how reliable the host’s servers are;
  • Hosting Uptime – Check if the provider provides detailed reports about its service availability over time so you can get an idea of its past performances.

By looking into these three aspects carefully, you should be able to gain more insight into what kind of uptime you can expect from a particular host before making a decision. This information can help inform your choice and give you peace of mind knowing your website won’t suffer frequent downtime caused by unreliable server performance or inadequate maintenance.

Honestly, I’ve never “collected” on an uptime guarantee. The fact is that even shared hosting these days is pretty damned reliable and consistently “up”. 

What Type Of Customer Support Is Offered?

When selecting a web hosting provider, customer support, more commonly referred to as tech support, is an important consideration. The type of customer service offered can make or break the user experience with the company. 

Generally speaking, there are three main types of tech support: live-chat, phone-support and email-only “support”.

Live-chat allows users to communicate directly with representatives in real time. This type of immediate contact provides customers with answers quickly and efficiently, however not all hosts have it available 24/7. 

Phone-support enables customers to speak directly with a representative over the telephone which gives them access to more detailed information than they could receive via chat or email. 

Finally, email-only support, while essentially useless, nevertheless enables customers to send their queries which will be answered by a team member as soon as possible. Which is longer than you can wait.

From basic technical issues to complicated website setup needs, having reliable customer support is essential for running a successful online business. It’s important that the web hosting provider offers various methods of contact so that customers can choose what works best for them depending on their individual requirements. Quality assurance must also be taken into account when considering the availability and response times from any given customer service provider.

What Is The Cost Of Adding Additional Resources?

When it comes to web hosting, the cost of additional resources is an important factor to consider. In many cases, resource pricing can vary depending on the provider and type of services offered. It’s essential for businesses or individuals looking for a reliable web hosting solution to understand how much they may need to pay for extra storage space, bandwidth and other resources.

Generally speaking, most providers offer different levels of plans with varying costs associated with them. For example, if more disk space is needed than what was included in an original plan, customers typically have access to upgrade at an increased rate per month or annually. Web hosting experts (including me!) suggest that users research these options thoroughly before committing to any contract so as not to overpay for unnecessary services.

Additionally, some providers offer customizable packages which allow clients greater flexibility when it comes to selecting specific features and allocating funds accordingly. This can prove beneficial, ensuring optimum performance while keeping within budget constraints. Folks seeking out a quality yet affordable web hosting solution should take into account both the price of adding extra resources alongside the overall range of services available from potential providers before making a decision.

How Easy Is It To Upgrade Or Downgrade Hosting Plans?

When considering hosting plans, it is important to evaluate how easy it is to upgrade or downgrade the plan. Many web hosting providers offer different levels of service and features within their hosting plans that can be upgraded or downgraded depending on the needs of a particular website.

Obviously, most are delighted to help you upgrade, and also offer a pro-rated price. 

Upgrading and downgrading hosting plans with the same provider is often simpler than switching from one provider to another. When upgrading or downgrading between hosting plans with the same provider, existing websites will generally remain in place and no additional setup will be required. That’s not always the case though, as when moving from shared to dedicated hosting. It’s a completely different “box”.

Typically the process is just a matter of selecting an upgrade or downgrade option from a control panel associated with the account. This process could take minutes rather than hours or days as when transferring between multiple providers.

However, when choosing a web host, it’s not enough to focus solely on ease of upgrading or downgrading; other considerations must also be taken into account such as cost, customer support, uptime guarantees etcetera. As well as ensuring there are options available for upgrades and downgrades when needed, research should also be conducted into what types of services they provide at each level – some may include more resources while others might have fewer restrictions on disk space usage and number of databases allowed per account. 

Once these factors have been established it’s possible to make an educated decision about which web host fits best for individual needs.

It is clear that due to its convenience and speed advantages over changing hosts entirely, assessing how easily users can upgrade and downgrade their hosting plan should form part of any evaluation process when looking for suitable web host solutions.

Should I Get My Email From My Web Hosting Provider?

No. Doing so causes extreme and unnecessary grief, even if it seems like an easy, breezy thing to do at first. Most web hosting companies do offer email services, but there are some significant downsides. 

Two big downsides stick out from my experience: a plethora of unblockable spam and complications and email being down when moving your web hosting!

The absolute best, very low spam email provider that I’ve found is Gmail (Google). Their plans are priced per user, so it can get up there if you have a lot of different accounts, but generally each user is about $12 per month. The HUGE bonus beside the dearth of spam is that when you move your web hosting, your email stays alive throughout the move. No “Oh, just give it some time, we’re moving to a new web host.” and it saves a ton of time for your staff, having to re-create their accounts or email signatures, ensuring all their email comes over. It’s really a no-brainer. Just do Gmail.


The choice of web hosting provider comes down to a number of factors. It is important to consider the difference between shared, VPS, cloud and dedicated hosting, as well as the average uptime offered by the provider. Additionally, one must evaluate customer support options available, cost for additional resources, and how easy it is to upgrade or downgrade plans.

Ultimately, finding the right web hosting provider requires careful consideration. By taking into account all relevant criteria such as shared versus dedicated services, expected uptimes, customer service availability, resource costs and flexibility in upgrading or downgrading plans one can make an informed decision that ensures optimal performance with minimal disruption.

Selecting a quality web host is an essential part of any website strategy and should not be taken lightly. Taking time to research various providers’ offerings will ensure that an appropriate solution is found which meets both current needs and allows scalability over time.

Ultimately, you may actually move between several different web hosts as your company grows. 

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