If you plan on starting a website for any reason, you will need to look for a host to support it. Whether you choose to pay for a shared hosting service or opt for private VPS hosting, it is critical that you get the most for your money. This means asking a series of questions to help you gauge which host is the best to meet your needs.
1. Do You Offer Live Customer Support?
There is nothing worse than not knowing why your site is down or is not working properly. Whether you are having a minor issue such as slower load times or a major issue such as your site being hacked, that issue needs to be fixed quickly. Unless you can call someone right away to resolve the matter, it could be hours or days before it gets fixed. Waiting that long can be devastating to someone running an eCommerce site or one dedicated to their brand.
2. How Are the Servers Secured?
You can think of a shared server as the equivalent to renting an apartment within a complex. While you have your own space within the complex, you are relying on another entity to keep it secure. Just like you wouldn’t rent an apartment without a doorman or with doors that need a card to be unlocked, you wouldn’t want to use a web host that didn’t adequately protect its servers from attack.
3. Is Consistent Uptime Guaranteed?
Ideally, your site will be up at least 99.9 percent of the time. While some outages can be expected after a natural disaster or other unprecedented attacks, they should not be something that you deal with regularly. For every minute that your site is down, you could lose hundreds or thousands of dollars from lost sales or lost advertising because ads can’t load. It may also be good to ask if there is any recourse available if uptime guarantees are not met.
4. Can You Create Copies of Your Site?
Creating copies of your site is important for two reasons. First, it makes it easier to export site content to other hosts if necessary. Second, it makes it possible to put an earlier version of your site in the event that your server is down or is otherwise not responding.
Where you ultimately host your site is just as important as the content that you put on it. Slow load times or poor security could make your site vulnerable to being ranked poorly in search engines. It could also lead to customer or other sensitive information being leaked. Therefore, make sure that your host offers adequate security and can keep your site working properly at all times.