What is the first thing you need to do before ordering a web hosting plan? Some people search the Internet for services. Some look at review sites and directories to get an outline of the different solutions available. Some people compare the cost of web hosting services and use this as a deciding factor.
Ultimately, your search for web hosting will be defined by your goals. If you have a small personal website that you want to expand, your shopping process will be different from that of a multinational company looking for a world-class system.
There are, however, some key areas you should consider, whatever the specifics of your online strategy.
To help you make an informed decision about web hosting services, experienced hosting company JaguarPC has put together the following checklist. Read on to learn about the four factors that should play a part in your decision-making process, and how these criteria can be used to find the best host for your needs.
Compare the different web hosting services available
Your first priority as you search for web hosting should be finding the right service type for your goals. “Web hosting” can be used to describe many different things, so selecting the right type of web hosting service can be difficult.
Although some hosting providers create their own service types, most offer the following services:
Shared web hosting: An entry point into the world of web hosting, where you use a small section of a large hardware server.
Virtual private servers (VPS hosting): A mid-range product offering that keeps costs low by placing your plan on a shared hardware server, but uses virtualization technology to isolate your account for improved security and control.
Dedicated server hosting: A dedicated server is the most secure, most configurable, and most powerful type of web hosting available. Naturally, this means it is the most expensive and can be the most complex to work with.
Choosing the right web hosting plan for you means taking the time to understand your business and your online goals. Be realistic about the scale of your business, the type of content that you will be serving, and how your site could grow in a short amount of time.
Once you have decided which type of web hosting service you require, put together a shortlist of hosting providers that offer this service.
Check the hardware that supports the web hosting plan
Once you have a range of potential providers that offer the service you require, it is a good idea to concentrate your attention on hardware, not software. Many web hosting customers assume that their chosen hosting company has the hardware it takes to power a professional web hosting plan. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Some web hosting providers do not list data center and network information online, and this can be a bad sign. Why would a company not want to tell you about its hardware if it was implemented to a high standard?
Not every hosting company owns its own data center, but you should always check where data centers are located and verify that they have high security standards, and plenty of power and cooling. These are essential to the continued performance of a web hosting plan, and the best hosting companies will describe a highly redundant network with multiple power supplies and adequate backups in case of failure.
A useful shortcut to understanding the quality of a hosting infrastructure is to search for an uptime guarantee or service level agreement (SLA). If a hosting provider can offer a 100% network uptime promise, you can be confident that their web hosting plans are available on a cutting-edge network.
Check that the web hosting plan comes with great customer service
Any reliable and responsive web hosting plan needs the best possible technology if it is to handle your traffic and serve visitors with rich, exciting content. But it is important to remember that a good hosting provider also offers reliable and responsive customer service.
Before you make a purchase, you should look at the support options the hosting provider has put together. Any reputable company will provide 24/7/365 technical support, but as a discerning, intelligent customer, you must find out how their support options are offered.
The more support channels available to you, the better. Good hosting providers create online knowledgebases and tutorials to help you access self-service content, a ticketed contact system to assist with specific issues, and phone support for when you need a more personal and immediate discussion of your problems.
Even the hosting providers with the latest hardware technology can fail to support you with the right assistance and management. Determine how the hosting company will provide support before you place your order. You can learn about a hosting provider’s support by checking customer testimonials on the company’s homepage or a review directory.
Compare the real costs of web hosting plans
Finally, it is important to look at the bottom line – the cost of your plan. In some cases, this is as simple as comparing different prices and looking for the lowest.
However, you should also analyze the value of your potential hosting plan by looking at the system resources that will be available to you, particularly in terms of disk space and bandwidth.
In addition, consider the additional features the web hosting service includes. Do shared hosting plans come with useful software, such as the cPanel control panel and Softaculous for installing applications? Do VPS and dedicated server plans allow you to conduct remote reboots, use remote desktop, and use root access?
Some web hosting providers offer fairly limited services as standard, with every other feature incurring an additional cost. By being aware of this before you commit to a service, you can more accurately compare the costs of different web hosting solutions.
Choose web hosting services from JaguarPC
As an experienced web hosting services provider, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers, JaguarPC understands what customers are looking for before they purchase a web hosting plan.
Every solution from JaguarPC includes a generous allowance of system resources hosted on redundant hardware in a state-of-the-art data center. JaguarPC works with six different data centers around the world. With six data centers, you get a web hosting service that is geographically close to your customers, wherever they may be.
In addition, JaguarPC web hosting plans include 24/7/365 technical support, outstanding pre-sales customer service, and a 100% network uptime guarantee.