Every website needs its host. Imagine your site as a house you’re about to build, and you need to decide its location, size, look, and so many other features. The decision might not be easy, but you can prepare yourself for it, and experts from a digital marketing agency Chicago have told us how to do it just correctly. In the sea of web hosts, you should be able to choose the one that fits your needs the most. Here, we’re going to go through some essentials of a good web host, and after we’re done, you can make a list of all requirements and start ticking. Let’s go!
1. What do web hosts provide you with?
Web host providers’ main job is to put your website on the internet and make it accessible. They do so by providing you with:
- The server, which is the machine that hosts your website on the internet and makes it accessible. It also deals with the traffic that comes to your website;
- The domain, which is basically your website’s address; the one that people type in to get to your website. Web hosts let you choose the address that starts with HTTP:// (or HTTPS, we’ll get to that later), and they also let you know if it is already taken;
- Storage space because your website will include some media files such as photos and videos. The web host will give you some dedicated space for you to store these and your coding.
As you can see, the server allows you to build a house, its address is included in the domain, and its size depends on the storage space you get.
2. What kind of website are you looking to build?
Before starting to build a website, you should have a relatively clear idea of what it’s going to look like and what you’re trying to accomplish with it. Web hosting providers need to know whether you need shared or dedicated servers, SSL, are you making a blog or an eCommerce website, and so on. Let’s see what your options are:
3. What resources do you need?
As mentioned above, you need to decide on what resources your site may need. You need to think of all the media elements of it, the traffic you expect to receive, and the number of professional emails for your employees (these emails end with @thenameofyourwebsite.com).
4. Additional features you should look for in a web host provider:
We went through the basics that every web host provider gives you, but here are some other elements that will help you make the final decision:
- The support staff is required because you will probably run into some technical issues at a certain point. In that case, you need to have responsive, professional, and knowledgeable support staff.
- Training to manage your hosted site is helpful, and since you don’t want to depend on their support for all your problems, you should aim for the one that offers high-quality training.
- Additional services, such as a regular backup of your data, bug fixing, and updating, are also necessary, so ask the provider whether they can provide you with these.
- Look for unlimited plans because many providers advertise free storage, space, and other things but still require you to pay at some point in the future. Make sure to read their terms of service thoroughly to avoid any unexpected costs.
You’ll need some room to grow. Some of the web hosts don’t allow you to switch between types of hosting. For example, if you start your website using Shared Hosting, and at some point, you need to transfer to VPS because you’re getting more traffic, you don’t want to move your website to another host. It’s way better to find the one that allows you to switch to VPS when you happen to need it.