Answering these 3 questions will help you choose the right  website hosting service

Picking a website hosting service is a bit like looking for a gift for your son-in-law. You kind of know what to get, but you have no idea if it will fit right or if he’ll like the style worn by the mannequin in the window. So, I’m going to make this easy for you! Answer the three questions below to find the right service for you.

What kind of website are you hosting?

If you already have a big website, and you’re migrating it to a new website host, you’ll probably need a lot more space than someone who is starting a brand new blog. You can always start small and then buy more space when you need it. Make sure to check how much each upgrade will cost. If you need to host several websites, look for a hosting plan that will accommodate your needs affordably.

If you’ll need add-on domains and other services, it’s a good idea to find out how much this will cost. Some hosting services combine additional services into their prices. Others will try to lure you in with a lower entry rate and sell their add-ons separately, which can get expensive.

You’ll also want to consider where the hosting service is located. If you need a Canadian hosting service because you want to invest your money locally or you want to keep your data in this country, find out whether the hosting service’s data centre or servers are located in Canada. Canadian hosting costs are about the same as American hosting services. Supporting local companies (whose data centres often run on greener hydroelectric power) can be better for you in the long run, especially if you want to avoid exchange rate fluctuations.  

Lastly, what platform will your website be on? Check that your platform, such as WordPress, is supported on the hosting service.

(If you’re just starting out and need help choosing a website platform, you can read my article about how to choose the right website platform.) 

How tech-savvy are you?

Sometimes hosting services attract you with a simple, clear sales page and you assume the back end of the service is the same. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. Have a look at the control panel, whether through a trial, a demo, or at minimum, screenshots. If it’s too complicated and there are no tutorials there is a risk you’ll end up frustrated and want to change services. No one wants to spend hours trying to figure out how to forward their email address.

Also, verify that the company has reliable support services. How long does it take for them to respond to problems and answer emails? Is their support line easy to find, or do they send you down a rabbit hole of FAQs every time you try to troubleshoot something? Is their support information easy to understand without a nerd dictionary?

If your new host has exceptional 24/7 service, great! If not, you will either want to have someone managing your hosting service for you, or you need to be savvy enough to find and solve your own problems. If your website goes down, how long will it take to restart it?

What kind of backup system does the hosting service employ?

Even just thinking about losing all of your website data is enough to make you cry! But it’s important to know that it can happen. Make sure that your hosting service does regular backups, and specifically look into what kind of redundancy system they have. This means that the site is backed up to more than one server. This is important, because if one server suddenly dies (yes, this happens – it’s just like your car!), you could lose everything. If your data is backed up to yet another server it increases the chance you’ll have something to restore your site from.

Also, look into how often backups occur. If you’re updating your website daily, you’ll want more frequent backups and you’ll probably have to pay more for this. If you write a monthly blog and the site is otherwise static, then a monthly backup is just fine.

Not all hosting services are created the same, and it’s important to find the right one the first time. Moving between hosting services will cause a lot of headaches, not to mention website downtime.

I help happy customers find the right hosting service all the time. If you’re not convinced you’ve found the right host, let’s talk. Get your free website hosting service quote from me today!