There are so many different hosting companies out there in the market place that we thought it was about time we wrote a blog post about hosting. We want to give you the chance to compare hosting offers and decide which one is best for you.
Not all hosting is created equal but when you look at different hosting options here are the things that you need to think about.
Asking yourself these questions should help you choose the right hosting plan and hosting company for your needs.
What do you need – You need different hosting for a hobby website or a small business website than you do if you are running a complex online software product. Some hosting companies won’t actually make the effort to help you discuss your needs. They’ll just try to oversell you. Try working with a hosting company that will make the effort to understand your needs before suggesting solutions.
Ask them what their renewal fee will be – Some hosting companies will try and get you “in” by offering cheap hosting in the first year. Sometimes this might be a trap and then at renewal time you’ll find your fees are massively higher. As the hosting company what their fees will be in year 2. Yes, there may be some changes as business circumstances change but if they’re evasive here it’s likely they have something to hide.
Are they doing your Domain registration – Some hosting companies will offer to register a domain name on your behalf. If they do, make sure they are registering the domain in your name not their own. You have to make sure you own the domain name in case something goes wrong and you decide you want to move at some stage. You can check whether you “own” your domain name with a Whois search.
Are Set up Fees justified – Sometimes hosting companies will charge you a setup fee. In some circumstances, these may be justified. In some circumstances, they may not. For example., setting up a dedicated server takes time, also a migration of your website to a new platform takes time. If they are charging you a setup fee for anything else it may be worth asking them to justify the fee before signing up.
Where are the servers located – Server location can be important. For example, if you are an Australian based business, Australian based servers are better. These mean your website will load faster and this provides a better experience for your customers. If your business is a global based business then multiple server centres across the world may be a better option.
Do you actually have access to your files – A hosting account will include a control panel. You want to make sure that your hosting provider gives you access to this control panel. You want full control of your hosting and your website. If this is not provided you may want to look at a different provider.