When it comes to launching a new website, you might think that a web host won’t make much difference.
Perhaps your thinking is it’s not as important as the high definition images or lovingly crafted graphics on the pages.
After all, they all look the same, and they all pretty much do the same thing, so you might be tempted to just pick the cheapest and spend the money saved on a more advanced radio.
If you were to describe your website as a new car, the hosting would probably be the tyres.
That means while it may seem like you’ve made a good decision with just any host, if you put too much pressure on the tyres and one of them bursts, then your brand-new car will be off the road.
Just like the car, if your host fails, then your whole website could go offline.
That could lose you potential customers and make your business grind to a halt.
Some big businesses could end up losing tens of thousands of pounds if their website falls offline for just a few hours.
So, how do you make sure you make the right decision? Here are some top tips on what to look out for.
Choose a brand you can trust
When you shop online, many of us go straight to the reviews to judge the quality of what we’re about to buy.
When it comes to web hosting companies, that’s exactly what you should be doing.
The best way to judge whether a provider is reliable is to see how many people are praising the company or complaining about the service they provide.
The industry analyst Inlinehostblogger recently did a comparison of two of the most popular companies currently on the market.
When he compared Bluehost and SiteGround, one of the major deciding factors was the ratings people gave them on Trustpilot.
SiteGround had 4.7 stars out of 5, whilst Bluehost only scored 1.5 out of 5.
Although it may seem like you’re getting the exact same product, if one company has technical problems, then you won’t be getting value for your money.
Pick a plan you can grow into
Once you’ve picked a brand you can trust, it’s important to pick a plan that fits what you need your website to do.
The first question you should be asking yourself is how many people you expect to visit your website every month.
For example, Siteground’s start-up package allows 10,000 people to access your website every month.
If you choose this plan and the 10,001th person tries to access your site, then they probably won’t be able to.
Tools like Google Analytics can help you keep track of who is visiting your website at any time, allowing you to pre-empt if and when you might reach your limit.
The other thing to consider is how much data it’ll take to store your website.
If you’ve got a lot, it’ll cost you more to host that data even if you don’t have that many visitors.