If you have a website or plan to have one, choosing your web host is one of the most crucial steps you’ll have to take. There is no single host which you can state it’s the best. Each person has a different need and so you need something which suits you.
The first thing you should think about is your purpose. Why do you need a host to begin with? Do you plan to make money online or give a look to your business or you simply want to have your own blog or a family website? Stating your purpose in a clear manner will prove very helpful for the future.
You can go with the free options out there if you just need the host for your blog, but you’ll surely need to set the bar higher as you have higher expectations from your website. The main thing you need to think about and look up at this stage is the number of visitors you expect. This translates into traffic and further more into bandwidth you expect to be using. Compute, compare and choose accordingly.
Another important aspect of a web host is email. Do you want an email account to be set on the host? If you have an online business you will probably want a custom email address like email@example.com. So make sure that, if you will need this feature, the host is able to offer it. You also need to check that you can receive and send emails as well. In order to receive emails you will need POP3 and in order to send emails you will need SMTP or IMAP. Check for these features before making up your mind.
24/7 support is crucial even if you are not a guru, simply because no customer should spend time round the clock just to monitor the smooth operation. Each host has lots of features and it’s almost impossible to know where to find all the things you need on their website. Having a 24/7 support at your disposal is very important in such moments so check for this feature as well. Of course, if you are a guru or a professional developer you might be well more informed than the ones offering their assistance. In this case, support becomes much less crucial.
Server up-time can make the difference between your dream web host and the one which makes you lose money. If you permanently have people visiting your site one thing you will always want to avoid is having your site down as that means losing important traffic. This is why, if you think it’s the case, you should check the up-time of the web host‘s servers as well.
These are just some basic guidelines for choosing your hosting provider. The key to making the right decision is to make a decision based on your actual needs.