Your choice of web host supports your uptime, website loading speed, and other factors. What holds greatest importance for you will depend upon both your web experience level and the type of customer you intend to use your website. At minimum, consider the following 6 things: Customer Support, Backup and Security, Refund Policy, Technical Specifications, Uptime, Loading Time, and lastly Cost to You (Price).
Customer support plays an important role for a web host. Many web site owners focus more on price and main features of web hosting companies. But, in reality quality and responsive customer support holds high value when you require assistance.
We recommend selecting a web hosting company based upon excellent customer support as your primary criterion, especially if they offer support 24/7 365 days per year (and, live chat tops the list). No one wants to wait to hear from support for help when their website goes down.
Backup and Security
Ensure your web hosting company offers free or at least paid backup to restore your web content if you mess up your site coding by accident (accidents and file corruptions happen).
Security plays a crucial role in selecting a web site hosting company, because you store your valuable files on their servers. At minimum, all reputable web hosting companies will offer some type of SSL security to protect critical visitor information (you see this as the https:// protocol prior to the website name). Most hosting companies now provide free SSL as “Let’s Encrypt” or positive SSL of another type. However, for e-commerce websites, consider purchasing an advanced SSL certificate.
Also, consider other security components, such as malware scanning and hacking prevention.
If new to all this, then consider purchasing a web hosting plan from a company with a refund policy. This will allow you to get your money back if you do not like their services or face any problems with their support.
Most web hosting companies offer a 30 days no questions money back guarantee. Others offer 45 days or more. For example, FastComet offers 45 days, while DreamHost offers 97 days,. A2hosting offers a prorated refund for unused time after the first 30 days trial period.
If you know you will move to another web hosting company – for example if you plan to expand, then switch – consider a web hosting company that provides a longer refund policy.
This holds great importance when considering a web host. If you plan to start an e-commerce site, then you must ensure that the company offers the required features (including the web languages like HTML, PHP and Java Scripts etc…). If inexperienced, then choose a web hosting company which allows you to install different web scripts without doing any programming or prepare yourself to learn programming. Other technical features to consider include cPanel, RAM, processing power, and the number of scripts offered, Inodes allowed (files), storage space you can use for your account and per website, etc…
Uptime and Loading Time
Reputable web host providers will approach 100% (most will maintain close to 99.9% uptime), and website loading time should remain fast as long as you remain within the Inode limits nd don’t upload excessive scripts or widgets to a given website (which slows it down on your website user computers). Online reviews can provide a general idea, but may not realize that they loaded websites outside of expected parameters for any low-cost web host plans. These type of people blame the web host, when in fact they simply refused to use a hosting plan that could support their clunky websites. So, verify with web host support that the hosting plan you intend will support the website you intend to upload to their hosting with the plan you intend to purchase.
Price of a webhosting plan holds importance when you need to bootstrap your expenses… but customer support holds greatest importance. Keep within your budget, but remain realistic about expectations for that web hosting plan you choose.
Also, realize that most web hosting companies’ renewals increase in price a little more than your initial price. So, review renewal prices before deciding. But, some webhosting companies maintain fixed renewal prices. Examples include Hostmetro, namecheap, and X hosting.