Finding the right hosting solution can be difficult. Here is our guide to finding the right one.
Finding the right hosting solution for your site can be difficult. There are literally thousands of providers out there, and not all of them are created equal. Many hosting providers have their own complex infrastructure, complete with built-in redundancy and uptime guarantees that meet or exceed 99.5%. When it comes to your site, reliability and performance are extremely important factors to consider.
Some hosting providers offer extremely competitive rates, only to offset these savings by overselling shared severs. When a shared hosting plan is oversold, the server can become quickly overwhelmed if too many customers are actively using the services at the level advertised. For example, your site might run fine when 20% of the customers on your overcrowded server are receiving significant traffic, but it could become slow or even unresponsive at a higher percentage.
A good hosting provider has all of its bases covered. It doesn't oversell shared hosting plans, offers reasonable rates on virtual private servers and dedicated server solutions.
If you are considering a shared hosting solution for your site, pay close attention to reviews surrounding shared plans. Look out for consistent complaints of slowdowns and reports of overselling.
A 99% uptime guarantee is not very good. 99.9% has become a standard promise for shared and dedicated hosting plans, with enterprise customers expecting a 99.99% guarantee. These guarantees are just promises, of course, and should not replace due diligence by reading reviews. It is extremely hard to enforce that guarantee as a customer, and just about every hosting provider on the market has experienced some downtime from time to time due to weather, equipment failure, and/or other circumstances.
For the individual site, regional location can make a huge difference for you and your visitors. For example: If your target audience is located in Europe, a host based exclusively in the US might not be a good fit.
Look for a host that has multiple data centers and/or points of distribution in your target area. If your site is most frequently visited by people in the United States, look for a host with regional coverage for the east and west coast. Coastal service locations also help to improve page load times for International visitors as there is a more direct route to these areas.
Price is what you pay, but value is what you receive. Consider what a hosting provider offers in terms of additional services. Is one-click WordPress and Joomla installation important to you? Do you want your host to regularly back up your site(s) so that nothing is lost should unforeseen circumstances occur? You might even be looking specifically for a company that offers Cpanel management because that's the interface you're most familiar with.
In any case, these extras are worth considering when deciding which host to go with. Cheap and reliable is great, but you should be able to feel comfortable with the product you are paying for.