The Complete Guide To Choosing A Web Host

Jan 26, 2020

web-hostingBy Andrew Oziemblo, Founder & CEO of Chicago SEO Geeks a Chicago SEO Company and RankOne Digital Marketing – helping businesses achieve long-term growth goals.

A lot of people do not realize that their choice of web host will have an impact on their search engine ranking. Digital marketing today does not only relate to keywords, content, and link building. It is about the overall experience you provide. If your website is slow to load or security is poor, this can have a detrimental impact on your overall ranking. With that in mind, it is imperative that you choose a web host provider with care. So, what should you consider? Read on to discover the different elements to keep in mind when you are searching for a web host provider.

Determine the level of customer support you are going to require

The first thing you need to figure out is how much hand-holding you are going to need. Basic customer service provides you with phone, ticket, and email support. However, there is going to be variation when it comes to the turnaround time on requests. Some service providers will even offer 24-hour support via phone. When it comes to non-managed services, the limiting factor is that questions about basic configuration may be answered by a vendor but it is not going to be your systems manager. You will need to think about opting for a managed service if you wish your site’s management to be completely delegated. Managed service providers will make certain that your system is configured correctly for your load, keeping an eye on any security problems and patching software as and when is needed, as well as managing back-ups too.

Estimate how much traffic you anticipate

This is the next step and it is imperative to be honest with yourself when it comes to this. Hosting providers will typically charge based on bandwidth used and storage. Bandwidth is the measurement of the number of bytes you serve over a given period of time. Bandwidth is going to be low if you only anticipate that a few people will visit your website. However, if your product goes viral or you are suddenly featured at the top of Google, you can expect bandwidth requirements to surge. There is not much of a risk so long as you are honest with yourself. For instance, you are never going to run afoul of any limits if you only intend to serve a few pages to a few local customers. However, you need to be certain to select a cloud-based server or a dedicated server if you are going to be creating a website that is going to stress low-end shared servers.

Consider the different server types that are available

The next step is to consider the different types of servers that are available to you. Shared servers represent the cheapest option that is available. This essentially means that hundreds of websites are going to be run via one box. Therefore, the load of the other sites is going to dictate how quickly your website loads, performance and SEO Metrics. Your access to the server’s capabilities is also going to be limited. Generally, the programs you run will be restricted, shell access is prevented, and you can only upload files via SFTP or FTP. Furthermore, the amount of database access your site can perform will be restricted too. Virtual private servers (VPS) are next on the list. This offers better performance when compared with base-level shared services. A dedicated server is going to be needed if you do not want the performance to be shared with other websites. Another option that is becoming exceptionally popular today is that of cloud servers. These tend to run on massive public clouds, for example, Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services. Service providers are able to build any configuration to adapt to the requirements of their customers.

Be cautious regarding unlimited offers

It can be very easy to be drawn in when you notice an unlimited offer. A lot of hosting providers offer so-called unlimited bandwidth and storage for a few dollars per month. This deal is not usually what it seems to be. If you are only going to pay a few dollars each month for web hosting, there is probably going to be something in the terms and conditions of the service that enables your hosting provider to either shut you down or throttle your performance after a specific usage level.

Security

In addition to the points that have already been discussed, security is another factor that needs to be considered. Depending on the nature of your company, you may have greater security standards to meet. You need to make sure the hosting provider you select meets these expectations. If a breach was to occur because of a lack of security on your hosting provider’s part, you would still be to blame for this.

Read reviews and consider the price

Last but not least, it is important to read reviews that have been left by previous customers. This will give you a good indication as to whether the company lives up to its promises. You also need to consider the price. This does not mean you should go for the cheapest web host. However, you need to make sure you receive a fair price and that it is something you can comfortably afford. Moreover, make sure the price will not go up considerably the following year.

As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be considered when looking for a web host provider. If you carefully consider all of the different factors that have been mentioned above, you should have no trouble finding the perfect web host out of all of the different options that are available. It is important to make sure that you do not underestimate just how pivotal your web host is and the overall impact it can have on your website experience and search engine ranking it would be wise to work with your professional digital marketing agency or a Chicago SEO agency to ensure the right fit.