fortunately, here at DreamHost, we have lots of have when it comes to web host, and we know what the most essential criteria are. Once you understand precisely what you ’ ra looking for, you ’ ll be absolutely positioned to start your new web site off on the right foot .
In this article, we ’ ll take a deep honkytonk into 16 all-important criteria you can use to pick the best web hosting service for your locate :
What Web Hosting Is and Why You Need It
Regardless of whether this is your first or fiftieth web site, it ’ second crucial to understand specifically what it is you ’ re getting when you buy a host plan. basically, your vane host provides a place for you to store all of your web site ’ second substantive files and data. Plus, it takes wish of delivering that data to the people who visit your site through their browsers.
The information stored might include images, videos, Hypertext Markup Language ( HTML ) files, and even Cascading Style Sheets ( CSS ) that tell your site ’ south theme how to behave. If you think of your locate ’ south web savoir-faire or knowledge domain name as a street address, you can picture the web host as the actual house .
Related: How Do Websites Work
When people try to visit your locate, their browsers use that information to locate your web host and access the contents of your web site. Without a web server, in other words, your web site would not be connected to the rest of the internet .
not only is web hosting a necessary component of launching any web site, but it can besides have a significant shock on your Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ). This is because your network server affects your locate ’ randomness travel rapidly, security system, and more. We ’ ll discuss these items in more detail shortly. The primary indicate is that your web server matters, so it ’ randomness full of life to make your option cautiously .
How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Service for Your Site
now that you know a little more about what a host party provides, we can help you evaluate your options. If you want to help your site be equally successful as possible from the identical start, you ’ ll motivation to measure up each web server you ’ rhenium considering against the following 16 criteria .
1. Know What Your Website’s Needs Are
To get started, it ’ s a beneficial idea to sit down and make a tilt of your needs. After that, you can more well prioritize them as you compare your list to what each electric potential master of ceremonies is offering .
If your web site has a specific recess, for example, you ’ ll want to take that into consideration. If you ’ re building a photography web site, you might need to prioritize accelerate and storage features. Additionally, some hosts besides offer content Delivery Network ( CDN ) options for content-heavy sites .
e-commerce websites, on the other hand, may want to focus on bandwidth and security system. In fact, some hosts offer plans specific to e-commerce. besides, don ’ metric ton forget to consider what kind of ( and how a lot ) accompaniment you might need .
last but not least, think about the content management organization you ’ d like to use for your web site. WordPress proudly claims over 60 % of the CMS market, so many web hosting companies offer services specifically tailored to the platform. For example, WordPress users at DreamHost can opt for DreamPress, an optimize WordPress hosting solution that comes with master staging, daily backups, custom hoard, and e-mail .
2. Confirm the Subscription Period for Hosting Contracts
many web hosting companies offer a elastic set of options when it comes to abridge lengths. You ’ re likely to find monthly and annual plans, american samoa well as discounted rates for multiple-year contracts .
This means you ’ ll want to think about how hanker you ’ rhenium willing to commit to upfront. Often, it ’ s chic to try out a new host for a few months to get firsthand have with it. On the other bridge player, if you ’ rhenium convinced enough to sign up for a longer term, you can save a lot of money .
Besides contract length, it ’ mho besides a good mind to double-check a plan ’ sulfur terms before signing up for it. Some hosts besides allow you to move fluidly between contract lengths and plans, but be indisputable to ask about any relevant fees and/or penalties .
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3. Check for Server Reliability and Uptime Guarantees
Another vital military service you ’ ll want to investigate is what your potential host provides in terms of uptime guarantees. This affects how reliable you can expect the host serve to be .
“ Uptime ” refers to the share of time that your web site is on-line and available to internet users without any issues. naturally, you should want your site to be populate deoxyadenosine monophosphate much as possible, and your server should guarantee something identical close to 100 % uptime .
Of course, not every web hosting supplier defines uptime in precisely the same way. consequently, you ’ ll have to review your potential host company ’ mho policy carefully to see what it ’ s actually guaranteeing. If there are a fortune of bottlenecks slowing down your web site, but it ’ s technically still available, your server may consider that “ uptime, ” even if you don ’ metric ton .
You might besides want to find out how the host handles any downtime. Having your site frequently unavailable is obviously not optimum when you ’ re trying to build an on-line following. To know what you ’ re getting into, it ’ s a good theme to look for reviews that indicate how dependable the host has historically been .
4. Confirm the Host’s Refund Policy and Guarantees
You never know what might happen once you start building your web site. With that being said, it ’ randomness wise to thoroughly review your potential world wide web host ’ randomness refund policy. If you ’ re not happy with your server or change your mind about the web site raw, it ’ sulfur necessary to have options .
In addition to making sure you can cancel your plan and get a refund, it ’ sulfur bright to understand what the host guarantees and what it does not take responsibility for. This might include looking at its uptime guarantee ( as we discussed earlier ) along with its terms of serve documents .
You can besides look to see if there ’ s a real-time status page you can view .
Whether you decide you don ’ t like your fresh master of ceremonies or you abruptly find yourself not needing a web site anymore, being able to get a refund is critical. here at DreamHost, we offer a variety of refund opportunities, and they do differ a little based on which hosting plan you choose .
finally, make certain you know ahead of time what your deadline for a refund will be. Knowing how much time you have helps to make certain you ’ re all settled with your fresh provider .
5. Understand What Your Upgrade Options Are
“ Reading the ticket print ” is a smart move whenever you ’ re signing a contract. This applies doubly to online services. Before you sign on with a host plan, it ’ south crucial to make certain you won ’ metric ton be penalized for upgrading it former on .
After all, at times your fresh blog or podcast might go viral, and you ’ ll motivation to scale up quickly to provide your site with extra resources and quad. That ’ s a good thing ! however, you ’ ll need to make certain your host plan can move up with you, alternatively of holding you back .
6. Verify the Host’s Primary Features
We mentioned before that there are a draw of different kinds of hosting. If you ’ ve already determined what you need from your world wide web host, you ’ ll be better able to navigate this detail step. Some hosts offer very general services, while others may provide specific features that can make your life a batch easier .
For example, at DreamHost, we ’ re pretty upfront about our rage for WordPress. With that in take care, we offer features that make build, plunge, running, and maintaining a WordPress locate easy .
When exploring the hosting supplier ’ s web site, you should be able to tell pretty cursorily if what you need is a separate of its offerings. If you have to dig for that information, the host might not be truly focused on the features that meet your primary coil needs .
Reading review is another great way to determine if a given vane host will provide what your site requires. Customers are typically very honest in on-line reviews, so you can look for comments that discuss the features that will make the biggest difference to you .
Related: Why Should I Use WordPress? 12 Reasons to Choose the World’s Most Popular CMS
7. Evaluate the Available Add-on Products and Services
once your web site is up and running, you might run into situations where you ’ ll want to add new features. With that being said, scoping out what your master of ceremonies offers in terms of “ extras ” is worthwhile at this stage .
If you want to start small and work your room up as your locate grows, you ’ ll need to make sure you can efficiently bring in new functionality without having to jump through hoops or move your stallion web site. Having the ability to pick features “ a lanthanum menu ” means you can design a plan that provides everything you need ( and nothing you don ’ t ) .
This wishlist might include items like an SSL certificate or custom electronic mail addresses, which we ’ ll discus in-depth late on. alternatively, you might be able to add on memory and other resources without changing your base design. Either way, establishing what ’ s possible upfront can help you avoid undesirable surprises in the future.
8. Determine Whether the Host Supports E-commerce
If you ’ re building an e-commerce web site, it ’ s critical to make sure your choose web host has everything you need to run an on-line storehouse. This might include built-in e-commerce tools, one-click installations of utilitarian applications, and even extra security measures for on-line transactions .
For example, if your master of ceremonies does not offer Secure Sockets Layer ( SSL ) certificates, you ’ ll motivation to purchase one that meets the standards of the payment gateways you plan to use. additionally, if you are not sure how to get your shopfront set up, you can shop around for hosts offering web site builders or other features that will benefit your e-commerce project .
9. Verify Any Differences in Sign-Up Prices vs. Renewal Prices
When you sign up for a host design, you ’ ll often welcome discounts based on whether you pay monthly or annually. sometimes, you ’ ll even have the option to pay for several years at a fourth dimension in decree to get an increased deduction .
many hosts besides offer a reclamation dismiss. With that being said, you ’ ll want to be argus-eyed about knowing what the terms are before you agree to a design. You don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate want to encounter an unexpected pace increase when you least expect it. It ’ s not rare for initial discounts to quietly give way to higher costs after the first few months or year of service .
On the positivist english, if you ’ re a nonprofit organization organization, it ’ sulfur worth noting that some hosts offer discounts tailored to your needs. This can be significant savings to any administration registered as 501 ( c ) 3 and needs to develop a web presence to further its mission .
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10. Find Out What Kind of Control Panel You’ll Have Access To
Hosting can sometimes be the most technical depart of running your web site. however, there ’ s no need to feel intimidated. Most hosts provide a user-friendly master panel or splashboard. This is where you can configure different parts of your web site ’ second frame-up and software .
The most common restraint panel you ’ ll meet is called cPanel. however, some hosts offer a customs solution. In fact, that ’ s how we operate here at DreamHost .
Our panel is designed to be user-friendly and less confusing than some of the interfaces you might encounter with other hosts. Since it ’ s not a given that you ’ ll have a developer working on your web site, checking out demos or tours of the control panel before you sign with a host can be very helpful .
Related: Do I Need Managed WordPress Hosting?
11. Gain a Firm Understanding of Any Account Limitations
specially if you ’ re building a brand-new web site, you might not know what level of dealings you ’ ll run into. For that argue, we recommend thoroughly investigating whether or not your prospective host military service will place any limits on your account .
This means you need to have a basic understand of bandwidth. This is the term used to encompass the amount of data and traffic flowing through your server. If you have a batch of videos housed on your server, for example, you might eat up a draw of bandwidth as multiple visitors watch them at once .
evening when you come across a host that offers outright traffic, you should hush research its policies. Remember that fine print we mentioned before ? sometimes “ unlimited ” plans however have some restrictions that you should be aware of .
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12. Review the Company’s Approach to Environmental Friendliness
You might be wondering how “ environmental friendliness ” applies to a web hosting company. however, even businesses that provide a virtual product or service should be thinking about this element. For model, at DreamHost, we strive to provide “ green ” host .
Some companies work only in distant offices to reduce their footprints, while others obtain energy-efficient appliances and eco-friendly supplies. No matter the specifics, you should be able to review what your host is doing to reduce its shock .
13. Research Whether Email Hosting Is Included with Your Account
You might be used to having your personal electronic mail handled efficiently through Google or another service. That ’ second why e-mail is often an afterthought when it comes to your commercial enterprise and web site .
If you want your e-mail to match your commercial enterprise ’ stigmatization and your web site ’ sulfur name, however, you will need a host for that service excessively. sometimes an electronic mail address will be included in your host plan with specify usage. however, particularly if you plan on using e-mail commercialize to reach your hearing, exploring your e-mail host options is highly recommend .
There are pros and cons to having your electronic mail server and your vane host combined. Unless your master of ceremonies has provisions for protecting one or the early, you could be facing an “ if one goes out, they all go out ” scenario. This means that if your world wide web host crashes, it will take your electronic mail with it equally well .
On the other hand, keeping both services in the lapp place can simplify your life, and a reliable host should be able to avoid those kinds of problems. fortunately, we offer several options when it comes to email host. Whether you are looking for a standalone electronic mail host or a network host plan that includes secure e-mail, we have you covered .
14. Investigate the Host’s Website Backup Options
If you ’ re building a WordPress web site, you have quite a few options for creating backups to keep your web site condom. For example, you can use tools from the Plugin Directory for hands-on dominance of your backups .
One of the most democratic and highly-rated solutions is UpdraftPlus .
This plugin has over two million downloads and more than 3,000 five-star reviews. With it, you ’ ll be able to easily and cursorily restore backups of your web site if needed. You can even keep your backups securely in cloud memory. Feel dislodge to check out our number of WordPress accompaniment tools .
however, it ’ s besides a good mind to see what your host offers in this area. Depending on the kind of hosting you purchase, you might have access to daily backups of your web site. This is specially helpful if your locate gets hacked or if a file become corrupted. In fact, it ’ s not a bad estimate to have multiple backing solutions in seat .
When you evaluate the backup services offered by a host supplier, look for information regarding how long your backups are stored and how often they are created. besides, make sure you understand how to entree your backups if needed. If your web site does get hacked, it ’ s highly beneficial if your host provides a user-friendly restoration service .
Related: How to Start a WordPress Site in 5 Minutes
15. Make Sure You’ll Get the Support You Need
Along with site backups and renovation services, it ’ sulfur worth emphasizing the value of authentic technical subscribe. If you have in-house programmers and technical school staff, you might not need this horizontal surface of serve .
If not, however, comprehensive subscribe from your hosting service can be invaluable. many belittled businesses don ’ t have the resources or know-how to deal with unexpected problems, attacks, and then on .
So it ’ south critical to review the customer corroborate options each hosting provider offers. These can much differ between person plans. Lower-level plans tend to be more “ hands-off ” in terms of support, while managed plans and more expensive options much offer premium accompaniment .
16. Test the Host’s Server Responsiveness
once you ’ ve put your chosen host through its paces and worked down all the former items, there ’ s one more critical element to consider. Rather than taking claims and reviews at grimace value, you can test the host ’ mho responsiveness for yourself .
It ’ s a bite easier to test server response on a web site you already have up and running. so if you ’ ve signed up for a plan, you can use a tool like Pingdom to get an upfront idea of the performance you can expect .
alternatively, you can leverage the data available through Google ’ s PageSpeed Insights tools. If you know of a web site that ’ south hosted with the company you are concern in using, you can besides enter that URL into Pingdom ’ s tool. If possible, you may flush want to get access to a test report or sign up for a release test, and use that to conduct far testing.
The Best Web Hosting Service
Choosing a host box is not a decision to be made lightly. here at DreamHost, however, we offer something for everyone. You don ’ t have to be launching the adjacent big matter to demand ( and receive ) high-quality host services .
If you ’ ve studied our list of necessity criteria, you ’ ll likely find that our shared host plans fit the bill for your raw locate. not merely will you receive a spare SSL certificate, you ’ ll besides get WordPress pre-installed on your report and detached access to our handy WP Website Builder .
This means that tied if you weren ’ thyroxine design on launching the next big matter, you might end up doing it anyhow with DreamHost !