Choosing a webhost company and what package is one of the most important choices to make. Who you chose and what type of package directly impacts the security, speed, and availability of your content.
When speaking to a number of blog and hobby business owners , two key features that they looked for when choosing a webhost was cost and 24/7 support availability. Out of those people, no one mentioned site security or up-time which was interesting but also not surprising. Those are things that are generally expected to be there regardless of package you chose.
Here is 3 things to consider when choosing a WebHost
1. Check reviews
You wouldn’t buy a phone, kitchen appliance or car without checking out reviews and listening to others recommendations. What company you host your website with shouldn’t be any different.
See what others are saying and read reviews. Search on sites like TrustPilot and don’t just look at the stars. Read the comments posted in the last 6 to 8 months. The company may have changed, merged or being brought out since the first reviews, which could make the overall rating good but recently there has been problems.
If the company is a re-seller (They have purchased space from a web host provider to resell.) Find out which service provider they use and check their reviews too.
2. What type of Hosting.
When comparing packages, how much space you have, traffic allowed, the number of sites is quite clear, but also the type of hosting should be considered. Here are the most common types of hosting explained:
This is where a single server hosts a number of websites, they all share the same resources. I have seen it before described like an apartment building. These tend to be less expensive as it’s sharing the cost. However, if security is not tight it can seem more like a house of multiple occupancy, and if someone leaves the door open it could risk your site.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting:
This is still held on a shared server but gives you more control. Shared hosting being like an apartment building, think of this as a townhouse or terrace house. Still under the same roof but more segregated. This is more expensive than shared hosting but more segregated services.
More and more hosting companies are offering managed hosting. It can be likened having a concierge on an apartment block. The host takes care of all technical aspect, installs the software, runs regular backups and provides support. It does come with the cons of the hosting it uses i.e shared hosting. One thing to watch out for is they charge for backups or support services.
Cloud is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. In hosting it is hosting that is spread across multiple servers working together and sharing resources. Enables the ability of the webhost provider to add or remove resources in the moment for demand. Working a bit like your gas or electric, however like those utilities, some are also metered so pricing can vary between providers. With Cloud hosting, if a server was to malfunction, it wouldn’t impact downtime as it’s a shared service.
Dedicated Server Hosting:
This is where you are renting a server itself, like having a detached house. It does come with a price and is the most expensive of all packages more ideal to very high traffic sites, that need a high level of control and high performance.
Your site is only as secure as your weakest link. It is like locking your home and leaving a key under the welcome mat. Being hacked is a bloggers worst nightmare. Having content lost or changed, risking infecting their readers with viruses and the personal data breach implications.
You would think with the focus on internet security, all hosting providers offer a decent level of security. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. The majority of service providers have very good security in place, but sadly not all of them. No matter what type of hosting you choose, if the service provider doesn’t have good security, your site could be vulnerable.
Things to check:
- What security they offer with the hosting package
- Check if they actively advertise the purchase of firewall protection at an additional cost
- Check the reviews, is there a trend of sites being hacked from that provider
If anything sets off warning bells, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is, after all your little piece of the internet and you want it secure.