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Sam Briggs

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| 3 min read

Website Hosting: A buyer’s guide

When comparing website hosting packages, we all look for the best offer we can get for your business. Why pay over the top prices, when a company offers it cheaper?

Keep in mind however what service you get your money and if it might cause you headaches down the line. These are some of the most common services that you expect to get;

What you should get

Website Hosting itself

If you don’t get hosting with your website hosting package then you really did get a bad deal! A decent website hosting also comes with at least 1 POP/IMAP email account to give your business an professional impression.

Support

Different website hosting companies offer a variety of Support services, but effectively they are there to help you should you have any questions or issues. They can usually be reached by phone, email, support ticket or live chat to give you valuable assistance when you need it.

Backups

An important aspect of your website hosting, sometimes things can sadly go wrong and if your website isn’t backed up, you can lose valuable data and orders which can badly affect your business.

A back up will take a copy of your website and keep it on a separate server far away from your website so it’s there should you need it.

Having backups on your website hosting means that your website can easily be restored should something go wrong.

What you don’t always get

While the above is the bare minimum standard you should get from your website hosting, there are some important areas to keep in mind.

Backups

While your website hosting may offer backups, how good are they? Do they happen often or sporadically? If you run an online shop that takes order daily and have a range of new products that you upload weekly, having a website that is only backed up monthly is no good to you.

If your website goes down and is lost, having a month old back up will mean a loss of sales and hassle for you to track back what products are now out of stock so it’s important that your website backs up occur often.

The next question, is who will restore your back up? It’s not exactly your website hosting providers job if they didn’t cause the issue, sometimes they will just provide you with the files and leave you to get on with it.

It’s also not your web developer’s job, the website was clearly working when it went down so it’s not their issue to restore it.

Keep that in mind when choosing your website hosting provider.

Security

Security is always important and now Google is starting to focus on this in their search result rankings, the starting point is not having an SSL certificate. Designed to keep you and your client’s data safe, an SSL certificate wraps up your website data securely giving you extra protection but how much will your website host charge you? Some offer LetsEncrypt which is free and very popular however some don’t and can charge any figure they want to protect your website.

Support

Let’s say your emails don’t work one day, you’ve restarted your phone and still no success. Clearly, your next step is to contact your website hosting provider, however, what happens if they are closed? Or their response time is 3 hours.

That’s no good to your business to be without emails for 3 hours or more, so it’s important to make sure you get the right level of support for your business as we’ve had customers in the past simply get the response “it works for us”, meaning the email account works for them but that doesn’t solve your problem.

Never presume

Now you know a bit more of what you should and don’t always get from your website hosting provider, it’s important to look again at your hosting provider. If you pay cheap, you can’t expect to moan if your backups are monthly or the support team takes ages to get back to you.

Don’t presume they should because your “paying for a service”, what services are you actually paying for and what does that entitle you?

Get in touch

If you’re unsure if your website hosting provider is good for you or you are having some of the issues above, check out our website hosting and get in touch for a free, no sale chat.

We love talking website hosting and happy to give advice.