Picking a hosting provider for your small business website doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you are willing to spend a little bit of money, not too much but a just little bit. Good hosting gives you the piece of mind that your website will run smoothly when you need it to.
There are five key things in my opinion that you should focus on when picking a hosting provider
- Cover a little more than your expected traffic
- Pick a managed host
- Security is a top priority
- Good support
Cover more than the expected traffic
The amount of traffic you expect will be the number decider on how large of a plan you will commit to. Most plans have a monthly visitor limit. Use this as a guide to see how much you might need to pay. Choose the one that can cover your expected number of visits + 10 percent for traffic spikes.
You shouldn’t stress too much about this. Chances are you probably won’t get much traffic at the start if you’re a new business anyway, so the cheaper options can be a good way to start. Most companies will let you seamlessly transition to a higher plan if you need the extra power in the future.
Pick an e-commerce plan if you have an e-commerce store
Most providers have an e-commerce plan, go for these if you have an e-commerce component to your website. They usually have special e-commerce specific configurations that make your life a little easier.
Pick a managed host
A managed hosting provider means someone will be looking after all of the server tasks for you. It’s one of those things that you won’t appreciate until you have it.
Managed hosts will keep the server hardware and software running smoothly. They’ll pretty much look after everything on the server except for the your actual WordPress website. Knowing that your server software and hardware are being looked after by specialists will help you sleep better at night.
What about shared hosting?
Shared hosting is also managed in that the hosting company is handling all of the server maintenance. A quality shared hosting provider is also a good option if your website is not too big and you need something a little more affordable.
Security is a top priority
Security should be a key service for any hosting provider you look at. Every website gets attacked but websites that take security seriously have an extremely smaller chance of getting hacked compared to one that doesn’t. Have a look for the hosting providers security page.
Here are a few key things to look for:
Having recent backups handy will save your bacon if your website ever gets in trouble. Even the worst hacks can be solved by restoring from a recent backup. You might not have the most recent content or data but it’s much better than the alternative of losing your whole website.
Monitoring and protection
Find a host that offers monitoring and protection for your site. This will usually come in the form of a Web Application Firewall (WAF). A WAF filters good from bad traffic, only letting the good traffic through. This also has the added benefit of making your site run faster by blocking unnecessary traffic to your website.
Find good support
If you are on the fence over which companies to pick then go for the one with better support. Read peoples reviews of the hosting company and see how good the support is. A good metric to measure support is by how responsive the support team is. See how long the reviews say it takes for support to get back to a request and if they were helpful or not.
Good support can really make a difference especially if you plan on maintaining a website by yourself.
Choosing good hosting is all about preventing problems in the future. Paying a little extra for a solid, secure and supportive hosting provider is always worth the money. By paying a little extra now, you save a lot of headache in the future.