So you have chosen your web designer. But now you need to find a host.
Do you just choose the cheapest?
Go with the one your designer recommends?
Or listen to your mate down the pub?
Its a tough choice – because when it comes down to it, your web hosting is a crucial part of making sure your online presence is effective. Would you purchase a BMW, but opt to have a cheap lawn mower engine to power it? Not on your life I hear you say. So why do so many people do just that when it comes to web hosts? When for just a few dollars more – you can have that smooth BMW leather and the purr of a German made engine.
How to choose a web host.
Cost would normally feature in any top 3 list for most things. Generally because the higher the cost the less likely for it to be the preferred choice. But in the case of hosting, the higher cost option is quite often a much, much better option. Especially when it comes down to a matter of $10 a month or so between a great web hosting provide and a very poor one.
Cheaper hosts will normally fit more accounts on each hosting server, meaning poor performance due to overloaded hardware.
With poor performance comes poor reliability.
More sites can also mean a bigger target for hackers and security breaches.
Lower cost, means lower quality support – which we will get into below. But think big overseas call centres…and quite often the “Harry” you speak to for email assistance, will also be “John” who helps with your insurance.
When you use a good hosting provider, your support team will be experts in their field.
…bigger targets for hackers and security breaches….
So if you are tossing up between a $10 a month host and $20 – make sure you are compare apples for apples.
That extra $10 may mean all Australian support and fast, reliable server – and that means less headaches for you in the future.
This is important – of course. But its not #1 on our list, simply because most good hosts will have servers that perform well under most stress tests. Of course, the Penny Dreadful hosts we mention in the above costs section may not. But like for like, most hosts speeds are fairly comparable. There are exceptions to this rule, when you step in to the high end range or look at VPS servers but you are also paying big $$ or need to have the skill set to self administer those types of servers.
As the graph above shows, speed from most hosting providers is fairly standard, once you take the cheaper, poorer quality providers out.
So yes – speed is important – but its not the most important factor when it comes to choosing your web host.
Customer Service & Support
After 20 years of working in the IT and Web Hosting space – I can tell you that hands down the most important aspect of your hosting, is the quality of the customer service and support.
Ive managed various web hosting support teams over the years and the one thing that keeps coming back is how vital a good support team is.
If you can build a good relationship with your support team, you can generally get them to resolve any potential speed issues you run into. They will always be there for you when you need them – and wont go AWOL at important times.
A tip: I would suggest asking any potential hosting provider:
“Where is your support team based?
Do you operate from a call center?”
Good support is vital to getting a reliable, stable and secure hosting platform.
Its also the key to ensuring your website peforms the way it should.