Choosing the right hosting package is an extremely important factor in your websites success. There are many companies out there who will be prepared to host your website but it is imperative that you carry out your research before committing to their service. choosing the wrong package at the beginning of your project can be disastrous. In many cases, this is the only element of your design process which is placed into someone else’s hands, you need to have complete confidence in your hosting company. The performance of your site is a major factor in the overall user experience.
When deciding on the right package for your requirements, you need to be aware of the following:
- Does the hosting package provider have a good reputation? – Carry out a simple background check on the hosting company, How do their current customers rate their service?, are there any negative reviews on forums? are they renowned for providing hosting to unsuitable content or adult sites? - it is widely believed that ‘operating in a bad neighbourhood’ can be detrimental to your SEO efforts.
- Are they optimised for Content Management Systems? – Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress require more server-side processing power than regular HTML implementations, some themes can be quite large and very demanding on the hosting system. You need to be sure before making your decision that should you wish to implement a CMS, your package can handle it. I have currently have 3 hosting packages, without naming any names, one of my packages (very well known in the UK and oversees, with a good reputation) is completely unsuitable for WordPress so it is definitely something you should check out.
- Start of with the minimum requirements – Hosting packages come in all shapes and sizes at a wide range of subscription prices. I would advise that you look at your minimum requirements, if you are only producing 1 website, choose a package to reflect, if you only need 10 mailboxes only pay for 10. The prices will soon mount up; most companies will allow you to upgrade packages at any point in your subscription.
- Linux or Microsoft – This may come down to preference but all I will do is provide the facts. The major differences between the two are the technologies utilised with the packages. Linux utilises technologies such as PHP (a server-side programming language) on an Apache server platform. Microsoft hosting incorporates ASP.NET technology on an IIS platform. Linux is usually the cheaper option of the two and and does not introduce any performance fall backs. Unless you have any specific reason to use Microsoft hosting I would opt for the Linux alternative.
- Does you hosting package allow reseller facilities? – Reseller facilities allow you to purchase additional domain names and point them to your hosting space. If you are planning to create multiple websites (as we will be within The SEO Experiment) you will require a reseller package. This is quite common for the majority of hosting companies to provide this facility, however, there are still a few out there that require separate hosting with each separate domain.
- Value for money – Take all of the above points into consideration when choosing your hosting package but do not fall into thinking that the most expensive is the best.
Take the time to research the option for you and select a hosting package which will work for you and your project