5 Basic Steps to finding Web Hosting
One of the most important decision you can make for your website is in selecting your web host, this coming only second to choosing your actual domain name. This is an essential step that most people tend to overlook. I simply believe the reason that most people look past this step is because they’re in a hurry to brand themselves once they find their domain name and they’re rushing to put up something so that the Internet world can see. The sooner the better, right? This isn’t always the case, but it is however an entirely different article.
So with the plethora of Web hosting today, most people become overwhelmed when looking at all the different providers. Many people look at pricing and think that that should be the main factor. Even though pricing is an important and key element, there are many other things that come before it. So today I will go over the five simple steps in which I think most people should look. This list could be way more in-depth, but for the purposes of giving a simple guide, I’ll make it short.
Step 1, you must look at what your goals for the website are. By goals, I mean looking at the potential traffic that may come in the future or key features (ie. code support, database support, and etc.) that you may need. For example, if you have a website that’s for a local hobby group and you’ll never intend for it to go further than that, then it wouldn’t make sense to buy hosting that a medium level business that’s marketing statewide would buy. It would be a waste of money for you to do that in this particular situation.
Step 2, determining if the provider has a site builder if you don’t plan to hire a web designer and have no HTML knowledge at all. An easy site builder or a template Wizard will help you build a basic website. Going back to the hobby group that I was talking about earlier, if this is your situation, you need not much more than a site builder. However if you’re a corporation that is just blooming, a free template Wizard might not be the key factor in going with the web hosting company. In this situation I would suggest hiring a web designer and seo consultant to start off on the right path.
Step 3, you must also see is the company can offer you enough bandwidth and disk space so that your buying the correct amount of web hosting (not under buying or over buying). It is also wise to see that a company can also offer you bigger packages so that you can have the potential to grow within the same host provider down the line. Let’s say you have paid upfront for 3 years of hosting and you site goes viral after the first year. You’re just THAT popular. You want to be able to upgrade your plan to accommodate for your sudden popularity (aka. major traffic).
Step 4, check out the company’s customer service. I for one, personally hate calling a company’s help desk. I hate long wait times and I hate when I can never get a hold of the right person to help me. Good customer service is a rare find these days, and when the company has a good customer support system, I generally find them to be, overall, better companies.
Step 5, this is the most vital step in concluding which company you go. A simple Google search that will take you no more than 5 seconds, can save you days, if not months, of headaches later on. Simply go to Google and type in the web hosting companies name followed by the word “review”. I personally like to add on the words “review forum” so that I get more “truthful” opinions on message boards rather than ones that I find on review sites. Personally I’ve done the grunt work on reviewing many different web hosting companies and I find that two of them at this point stick out to me. I am sure that there are other great web hosting companies
that I haven’t had the pleasure of working with, but these are two web host providers
that I have personally worked with and recommend.
Small company recommendation:
Here is a great 40% off coupon code to save you money: SaveMe40
Since you save more by buying for a longer period of time, you can get the most out of the 40% off coupon by locking in hosting with them.
These guys have a reliable service and are helpful. Tech support that is quick to respond is rare.
Bigger company recommendation:
For Small Purchases use this $9.95 Off Promotional Code: 10OFFGATORCOST
For Larger Purchases use this 25% Off Promotional Code: 25OFFGATORCOST
I personally am not HostGator’s largest fan anymore. They are still a good hosting service, but I recommend them due to corporate reliability. What I mean by that is you won’t have the stress that your hosting company will disappear after a year or two. These guys have been around and they aren’t going anywhere.
Updated in June 2014 to reflect changes in recommendations