Know more about hosting

What is a Website Host & How to Choose the Best Hosting Company

Selecting a good web hosting can seem like a daunting task. After all, there are so many options available and each of them is trying their hardest to convince customers that they are the very best in the industry. This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page will help you understand what is a website host and what are some of the most important qualities of a great web hosting provider, so you can decide for yourself which one will suit your own needs the best. Provided by Best Hosting Options!



1. Understand Your Own Needs



The first and often the most important thing you need to consider are your own needs. An individual who wants to host his or her WordPress blog and use it strictly for personal use will have a vastly different set of requirements from a large company that plans to expand their operation online and cater to thousands and thousands of daily customers. You should try to estimate how much traffic your website will likely get each month and what the nature of this traffic is going to be. An online diary that consists mostly of text posts will consume much less bandwidth compared to a portfolio of a videographer with hundreds of full HD videos. Some web hosting companies want their customers to use their services for all their web-related activities, including the purchase and management of domain names, email communication, and web design. Consequently, they often bundle their services into affordable packages. However, if you prefer to use other solutions to accomplish these tasks, you may soon find that you are actually paying more for things that you don’t really have any use for.



2. Watch the Uptime



Uptime is a technical term, which is used to measure the time a machine has been working and available. If your web hosting provider has an uptime of 99%, your website will be unreachable 1 day out of every 100 days. Or 14.4 minutes every single day. That may not seem like too much, if you get just a few hundred visitors every day. However, large companies that regularly get hundreds of thousands of visitors could lose huge sums of money. Generally, it’s safe to say that any web hosting provider that guarantees, at least, 99.5% uptime can be considered as reliable. Many even offer 99.9% uptime guarantee. The most important thing is to ensure that the provider really delivers what they promised. Uptime monitoring tools, such as Uptime Robot or Pingdom, are an easy way how you can keep track on the availability of your website and be alerted in case it goes down.



3. Multiple Domains



You will be surprised how quickly the number of domains in your position can go up. The ability to use a single hosting plan for all your domains is a must-have feature. The hosting provider should allow you to easily manage all your domains for no extra cost and impose no limitation on the number of domains that you can associate with your account.



4. Hosting Costs



Like it or not, hosting costs are one of the most important factors when we select our future web hosting provider. We strongly urge you to resist being lured in by promises that sound too good to be true. If they do, it’s likely because they really are. Many hosting providers will give you fantastic initial prices when you sign up for the first time, but they will then charge you considerably higher rates when you have to renew your subscription. Some people don’t mind this and are willing to switch a hosting provider every time their time is up, but this practice cannot be recommended for many different reasons, including a negative effect on search engine optimization and the potential downtime caused by the switch.



5. Money Guarantee



The money-back guarantee has become a standard in the industry, and you are likely to get it with almost every web hosting provider out there. Some offer 14 days, some 30, and others as much as 60. Use this time wisely to evaluate if the hosting meets your criteria. If it doesn’t, ask the company to give you back your money and move on. Complaining to customer support will likely result only in extra frustration.



6. Control Panel



The control panel is extremely important because it’s the central place for the website, email, and domain management. These days, cPanel is used almost universally by the vast majority of web hosting providers. This Linux-based web hosting control panel uses an intuitive graphical user interface to greatly simplify most common website administration procedures. You can see how it works in practice by visiting its official website and launching the interactive online demo. Web hosting providers like to customize cPanel to match with their company branding and integrate their own custom features into it. Still, once you have some experience with it, you will be able to easy adapt and use any other variation that’s out there.



7. Customer Support



Most people don’t care about customer support until they really need it. When that happens, it can be tremendously frustrating to be unable to get any help or be put on hold for long minutes and even hours. Any good web hosting provider should have several independent channels in place, including email, chat, and phone support. Online forums are a great addition, where people can help each other out and exchange important information. We also recommend that you check if your hosting provider has a comprehensive knowledge database. A well-designed, wiki-style knowledge database allows customers to help themselves and gain a deep understanding of more specific topics.



8. Technical Specifications



Technical specifications include things like the maximum storage capacity, monthly bandwidth allocation, RAM, PHP and MySQL versions, .htaccess, SSH, Cron, and others. If you don’t know what they mean and you don’t plan on starting a huge web project with extra high requirements, you probably don’t need to worry about them at all. Most modern web hosting providers will meet the needs of all regular users.



9. Add-ons and Extra Features



You might be surprised how complex set of tools some web hosting providers offer. Intelligent website builders can help you design and setup your homepage in just a few minutes, complex marketing and search engine optimization tools can be used to get the most out of your marketing campaigns, and website monitors tools are here to help you get a good overview of your audience, the number of visitors you get every day, their geographical location, web browser, IP address, and much more. Despite their usefulness, it’s not like you should choose your web hosting provider based on what kind of extra features they offer. You can get all the added functionality from third-party companies, and it often won’t cost you a single cent.



10. Advertising



If you plan on monetizing your website, you should be aware that not all web hosting providers allow the same kind of advertisement on their servers. Adult-oriented websites, especially, have to select the right web hosting provider who allows this kind of content. On the other hand, there are some web hosting companies that will host your website for free in exchange for having a permanent advertisement banner displayed on your website. That being said, this practice is uncommon among more professional providers, such as those that we cover on this site.



11. Customer Reviews



The experience and opinions of others are often the best way how to select the right web hosting provider. By spending just a few hours on the web, you can get a good overview of what’s out there and select the best-rated provider that fits your needs. Beware of biased opinions and paid advertising. Many web hosting companies offer lacerative referral bonuses for people who convince other to sign up with them. As a result, there are plenty of fake reviews floating around that are filled with misleading information.