Most people get confused about what to look for before buying a website for all those people here I am writing an article about what are the things to look for before buying a hosting service.
If you are launching a business website, the importance of the selection of an appropriate and reliable web hosting service provider increases a lot. I am sure that, if you are launching a business website, then you would surely don’t want to leave any room for errors or mistakes at all. So, to help you out, in this piece of writing, I would be discussing some important areas of consideration that you must not overlook while selecting a web host.
Know Your Hosting Needs
You can never get the right web host without knowing what you need. So before you go any further – put everything aside (including this guide you are reading) and think about what you really need.
- What kind of website are you building?
- Do you want something common (a WordPress blog, perhaps)?
- Do you need Windows applications?
- Do you need support for a specific script (e.g. PHP)?
- Does your website need special software?
- How big (or small) can your web traffic volume go?
These are some of the basic questions you need to answer for yourself. Picture in your mind what you want your website to be now, then build on that idea until you’re roughly 12 months ahead of that. Don’t just consider what you want to offer, but also what may want or need.
Amount of Storage
When choosing your web hosting, one of your primary concerns will obviously be “How much data can I store?” For most small and medium web sites, you’ll find that several gigabytes should be plenty of storage. Some hosts may offer “unlimited storage”: caveat emptor! If you read the fine print (usually, the Terms and Services) you’ll find that it’s unlimited until you go over the “normal site usage.” If you think you might be close to or over whatever “normal” is, make sure you know what you can use before buying … or go with a host that sets clear limits.
Has your site’s server been going down a lot lately? Have you been sending a lot more trouble tickets to customer service than before? Do you seem to be in constant contact with technical support lately?
One thing you should expect when starting a blog is that downtimes happen every once in a while. But frequent downtimes? No way.
This is one massive red flag should alert you. You earn from your website because blogging helps small businesses and big businesses alike. A good blog draws in customers like bees to honey. But is you start getting more downtimes aside from the occasional scheduled maintenance, you don’t only lose money. You lose valuable traffic as well. I mean, who likes to visit a website that’s always inaccessible anyway?
Do you know what else people don’t like to visit? Slow websites. Sluggish sites are a certified breeding ground for those “My grandma is faster” jokes.
One of the things you need to know before buying a website or starting a WordPress blog is that people tend to leave websites that take forever to load. Especially when there are faster ones where they can get practically the same information from that they can get from yours.
Host-wise, there are two usual reasons that cause a website’s slow load time.
First, it could be that your website is getting too many requests. Which isn’t always a bad thing. Too many requests mean you’re getting a huge number of visitors accessing data from your website.
The second factor, which is a much clearer indication that your web host may not be good enough anymore, is that there may be too many clients on one server.
This is one reason not to choose a cheap web host just because you want to save a few bucks. They may charge less, but at the same time put more clients on a single server than it can handle. End result? Downtimes and extremely poor site speed and performance.
This one is very important: find out exactly what your prospective host offers for tech support: can you phone them? At what times? Do they have a support email address? A ticket system? What’s their promised response time? How about a live chat? Do they have a wiki or library of help articles/tutorials? Don’t choose a host until you know exactly what support they offer; you’ll be happy about it later, trust me!
Here’s another important one: you’ll want the ability to add your own .htaccess files to your directories. What’s a .htaccess file? It’s a configuration file used by Apache server. You can use them to password protect directories, re-write URLs, redirect pages, and more. Check out the many good tuts here on Nettuts+ to get familiar with them.