Website hosting allows for your website to be viewed on the internet. In order to have a website you need both a domain name which is the www.yourdomainname.com and then you need a host. After many years of working with many different hosts I wanted to share some important information. NOT ALL HOSTS ARE EQUAL! I have had to work with different hosts for different reasons and some are definitely better then others. Some of the factors to investigate before you purchase hosting:
- Security – Before choosing a host it is important to know what precautions they take with their servers.
- Customer Services – Where are their offices located? Which Country? Do they speak English, Spanish?
- Location – Where is your information stored? Is it safe? Is it near a location that has lots of natural disasters?
- Cpanel (control panel) – Do you have access to your Cpanel? Do you have access to your file manager and domains?
- Control over your domain – Can you purchase, move, renew your domain online?
- Speed – How fast will your website be?
- Cost – What is the cost per year? What are renewal fees? Is the cost of the domain name included? What about emails, are they included or extra?
- Format – The host work with the type of site you want? WordPress, php, drupal?
- Extras – Do they offer any extras? Free advertising? Free shopping cart? Free emails?
- Uptime – What is the percentage of time their servers are up and running? What happens when their are upgrades on the servers? How often do they upgrade?
- Reviews – What are the reviews from other customers?
It is also possible to change hosts. If you choose a host and have issues you can always change later. It can take a bit of time so you want to be prepared, but in the long run sometimes it is the right thing to do. A few years back there was a host I really liked working with, but after some time their customer service became a big issue. I migrated all my sites to a new host that I currently use for all my sites and also recommend to my clients. The host that I have been using for the last three years is Bluehost Website Hosting. Their customer service is excellent and I have full control over my sites through the Cpanel (control panel). I like that I can reach someone 24 hours a day, but can do anything that needs to be done without having to contact them. If you have questions about hosting you call always call the hosts directly and ask them all of these questions. It will also give you a chance to find out about their customer services. If you don’t have time or the inclination to research hosting I would recommend just working with Bluehost.