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Monday, 29 June 2015

Factors to consider when choosing a host service provider.(techpreneurs)

Factors to consider when choosing a host service provider.

To be on the safer side when making a choice of where to host your website it is advisable to look for these basic requirements and features before going ahead  to purchase an hosting plan.




1. Cost

You get what you pay for! The hosting for your website is the foundation of your website and it goes a long way to determine the success or failure of your website even before hosting the choice of a bad host service could cripple a good web design project so. So before calculating the cost, try to calculate the value. You need to invest in good hosting. The cost of hosting is something that should be calculated into your entire website budget. Host service providers that offer “cheap” and “unlimited” accounts should be approached with caution. Because most of them do not last long in the business and when they pack up so also will your website.

Look to see what you are getting with the cheap host and what features are included in the cost. Do they charge for additional domains, support, backups, etc.. Call them. Ask questions. Tell them what you envision your site’s needs to be. Just don’t take it for granted that they take your site as seriously as you do.

2.  Compatibility

Take a moment to understand the technologies that are being used within your website. For example if you are building a WordPress site, your hosting provider should be familiar and compatible with WordPress(the same goes for every other CMS you may choose to use). Find out if it is a Linux or Windows based server. Also find out if they are running the most current version of PHP and databases such as MySQL.



3.TECH SUPPORT

One of the most important requirements that you should consider before choosing a host company is its tech support, how soon do they respond and how helpful are their response.

In my own opinion, this is most important issue to consider. When a site, for some unknown reason, goes down, can I call up and get a real, live person(not a computer program or an answering machine) on the phone? And, more than that, can they find out what’s wrong and fix it, or at least tell me what I need to do to get my site back online?

It is very dangerous and uncomfortable to host with a host company that does not have an effective and live tech support. when your site is down?

You are supposed to be able to reach your host company’s tech support or customer service within 30minutes and book your complaint.

Before purchasing any hosting plan, you are supposed to be able to reach the customer service of your host service provider to inquire about the pricing and billing procedure.



4.ADDED INCENTIVES(optional)  area of consideration comes down to the following question – What makes this hosting company special? What extra incentive do they provide to make hosting your site with them just a touch more attractive? Whether it’s multiple data centers, energy-saving practices, or additional features such as regular data backups or free domain privacy, hosting companies often offer more than just servers. If you see one that offers something you need or find important, that can be a good indicator that you should look into using that company.

I know some host service providers that give free custom emails and free domains.

5.Customers Reviews / Satisfaction / Reputation

This is one of those factors that you’ll have to get a little creative to get the real story on. Do a Google Blog search for a particular hosting company, or look them up on Twitter – whatever you have to do to see what their current (or former) customers are saying about them. Are they easy to contact for support? What’s the average time it takes to respond to a ticket? When they find a problem with a site, what’s their course of action?

This is one of the great things about social media – ask a question about a company, and you’re more likely than not to get a few answers.

6.Control Panel / User Interface

Even if you’re new to web design, there are some things like installing WordPress, setting up email, setting up FTP accounts  that you should be able to do without calling your hosting company’s support line. Does the provider use cPanel or Plesk to make updates and modifications easier, or do they use some clunky interface that no one can figure out? You’ll most likely be the one working with it, so if you can’t figure it out, then that’s going to be a problem.

7.Scalability / Room to Grow


Finally, an important thing to consider about your hosting provider (and the plan you choose) is whether or not they fit into your plans for the future. In other words, what you consider adequate hosting now might not meet your needs two years from now, once you start selling your products online and getting some good traffics to your site.

Any web-based enterprise should have its eye on growth, so if a hosting company might have difficulty accommodating that growth it could pose an issue. Will they be able to easily upgrade your account? Transferring from one host to another takes valuable time and effort which could be avoided if the company can scale their solutions for growth. As with all these factors, do some research, get some opinions, and make an informed decision.

8.Storage and Bandwidth
Unlimited bandwidth is a usual advertisement slogan of most host service. Many hosting providers that claim to offer unlimited bandwidth have restrictions outlined in the “fine print.”

Make sure you read the terms of service carefully to understand exactly what you are purchasing. Make sure the allotted space that comes with your purchased plan would be enough to accommodate your sites programs.

Unlimited bandwidth is a myth. Many hosting providers that claim to offer unlimited bandwidth have restrictions outlined in the “fine print.” Read the terms of service carefully to understand exactly what you are purchasing. Reputable hosting companies will often outline the costs for going over your allotted bandwidth and storage.



9.Uptime and downtime

Before choosing a web host company to use you must make sure it provides up to 99% uptime in reality and not just by its claim, search for complaints and issues being raised by its customers with google. Ask their customer support person to verify some of this complaints, ensure that you are guaranteed of your sites 99% uptime before going ahead to purchase a plan with any hosting company.



10. Quick Install(newbies)
For newbies it is always better to choose a web hosting platform that provides its customers with a very easy to operate hosting structure take for example a newbie with no knowledge on how the to upload and install wordpress on his hosting account might find it easy to use the quick install option provided by some host service providers e.g Godaddy and hostgator that provides users with a quick install option for some CMS like wordpress, drupal, joomla, woocommerce and phpbb right from the Cpanel, without having to go through the ardious process of first downloading the wordpress installer package and uploading it to your hosting account  after which you will have to create a mysql user.  So i think it would be easier for newbie who are “non tech inclined” to look for host service providers provide something like that.

Note: mylastkobo.com is not recommending any host provider listed in this article

This article was written for www.mylastkobo.com here. feel free to re-use it but please retain this ownership statement as credit to the author steve azuka @ mylastkobo.com