It’s a painful experience looking for the most suitable web hosting service for your website. But it’s more painful when you pay for those services, and you don’t get what you expect.
There are lots of web hosting services out there; if you were to make a list of them, you might not discover them all. In order to get customers, you’ll find these web hosting companies promising heaven on Earth, but when you get in, the story changes.
Experience is the best teacher they say, but you’ll be better off learning from the experiences of others. Therefore, in this article, you’ll be learning about some common complaints users have on some popular web hosting services.
Warning Signs That a Hosting Company is Not Good For You
As a business owner looking to subscribe for web hosting service, pay attention to the complaints web hosting service customers make before settling for a web host provider. This will help you to avoid being stuck with a web hosting provider that offers poor service. Here’s a list of warning signs that a web hosting provider is poor at what they do.
- Frequent downtimes
- Poor customer support
- Inadequate security features
- Low-quality user interface
- Insufficient bandwidth
- Overpriced renewal cost
- Not enough storage
- The overall value doesn’t match the subscription price
This is not all, always read reviews about a web hosting service before you subscribe.
What Users Should Look For in a Web Hosting Service Before Buying
To avoid paying for a poor web hosting service, you have to familiarize yourself with what a good web hosting service provide. You may not know exactly what to look out for if you are new to this, but not to worry. We will walk you through some of the key factors to take note of when choosing a web hosting service.
The Reputation of the Web Host Provider
You can find out the reputation of a web hosting provider by researching it. A quick google search to read reviews on forums, tech websites and other sites will give you a good insight into how customers rate the web host provider. You want to settle for a web host provider with mostly positive reviews that are genuine. Yes, companies are known to buy reviews these days, so, pay attention to the pattern of the reviews across different sites. You can also ask around for word of mouth opinions about a web host provider.
Awards are also a show of quality service over time. A web host provider that has been awarded by reputable organizations usually will provide better value than a web host provider that has never been awarded.
It may seem like the years a web host provider has been running doesn’t matter, however, longevity is also proof of a good reputation. It’s almost impossible for a web host provider that offers poor service to remain customers’ favorite, even if they’re cheap.
Offers At Least 99% Uptime
In 2017, when Amazon Web Services had issues for about four hours, several businesses suffered for it and it resulted in a loss of $150 million. As an entrepreneur, every minute counts, there’s a high certainty that you will lose a lot of money if your website goes down. Now, if it goes down frequently, that’s even more loss for you. Never skip this when choosing a web host provider. You don’t just want your website to be online and running, you want it running all the time.
Most providers will guarantee anything from 99% – 100% uptime. If you are a startup, 99% might be good enough for you but you have to factor in the possibility of expansion. Thus, you should choose a provider that offers 99.9% if not 100%.
24/7 Customer Support
You might have a team that does your website’s regular technical checkup or you’re doing it by yourself. Either way, you won’t always be able to resolve all issues by yourself all the time, sometimes you will have to reach out to your web host provider for technical support. This is why you must use a provider that is available 24/7. This will give you the freedom to run a technical review of your website any time of the day because you know that you will get help from the customer support when you need it.
Additionally, a good web host provider will provide sufficient resources and how-to manuals to customers.
Variety of Plans
While most businesses might start small, most businesses also start with the intention of expanding in the future. This is why you should choose a web host provider with numerous web hosting plan. Shared hosting might be good enough for you in the first few years of running your business, however, your business might grow such that your website might require a dedicated hosting plan to manage the increased traffic. Therefore, you need to consider possible expansion and other future needs when choosing a provider.
Besides future upgrade, your business might require seasonal upgrades. For instance, if you are a gift box retailer, there are times of the year, such as Valentine’s Day, that your website will require an upgrade in order to manage the traffic influx.
Choose a provider that supports easy upgrade — this will prevent unnecessary downtimes, especially if you can upgrade your plan by yourself.
Simple and Intuitive Interface
While your web host provider generally manages your hosting infrastructure, you will be provided with a control panel to manage your hosting account yourself. You want to settle for a provider whose control panel is easy to use. The UI of the control panel should be intuitive and accessible via mobile devices. That’s if you choose a web host provider that provides online file manger to customers, to enable them to access their control panel on the go.
The size of the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) matters. Ensure that it’s large enough to transfer your media files from your computer to your web host. The larger the maximum file size allowed, the better your user experience will be. Generally, cPanel and Plesk are some of the best control panels available.
The key thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t have to depend on your host provider every time you have to use your control panel.
Offers Migration Support
If you are migrating from a poor web host provider to a better one, make sure that the supposedly better provider offers migration support. Find out if the provider will help you to migrate quickly without losing time, files, or any other important part of your website. Such a host provider will see that the downtime caused by the migration is reduced to the lowest. Also, ensure that your web host provider of choice offers favorable exit strategy for customers. Should you have to migrate to another provider, you are guaranteed quick and easy migration.
Domain Name Management
While you can have your domain name and website hosted by different host providers, it will be much better if you get hosting service for both your domain name and your website from the same provider. You will be able to manage your domain name better and you can even manage both your domain name and website hosting on the same control panel.
Bonus points if the web host provider offers parking service for multiple domain names. This will allow you to register multiple related business names under the same host provider.
Provides Adequate Security and Backup Feature
The security of your website should not be compromised for any reason. A good web host provider will secure its servers using firewalls, SSL certificates and other necessary add-ons. Hacks and data breaches are a part of the online world, you can’t protect your website 100% but you can aim for it by choosing a web host provider that sees security as highly important.
Security is not enough if there’s no backup plan, ensure that the provider you choose has a well-structured disaster recovery plan that includes automatic backup of database and website files. Should you lose your website data, you will rest assured knowing that you can get your data back.
Storage and RAM
As a startup, most unlimited storage plans (which is not actually unlimited) will be enough for your website traffic. Hard-disk drives are usually used for unlimited storage plans because they can handle larger capacities. However, as you grow, your website will require more. Look out for a web host provider that uses solid-state drives (SSD) as well. SSDs are more reliable and faster, and this will give your website fast load time which will make processing huge traffic seamless.
Pay extra attention to unlimited space hosts. This is usually a marketing “stunt” where you end up with additional rules for the way you can store files on the server – such as limits on the number of total files you can have called inodes limit.
Bandwidth determines the number of people that can access your website. As a startup or a small-scale business, you won’t be able to use up the bandwidth allocated to you even if you use a basic web hosting plan. However, with growth comes more traffic, therefore, you need to choose a provider that will be able to increase your bandwidth as you grow.
The location of your web host provider matters, as it can affect your webpage loading speed. If you can gauge the geographic location of your potential website visitors, then use a hosting provider whose data center is within the same location. However, if this is difficult for you to do, use a provider that offers Content Delivery Network (CDN).
Understanding Web Hosting Pricing
To conclude, many business owners who are new to web hosting are often misled by web hosting pricing. Some go for cheap hosting service while some assume expensive hosting service means better quality, however, this is not how it works. You have to review each plan offered by different web hosting providers to ensure that the offered value matches the given price. It is important that you start small. Yes, you should choose a provider that can be scalable, however, you shouldn’t pay for more hosting service than you will need.
What you should remember when choosing a provider is to choose the most affordable provider that offers all the necessary features you need at present, hence, it can be cheap — but don’t compromise on quality.