Finding a quality hosting service can be challenging and even intimidating. Even for seasoned webmasters and website owners, it can all be very unclear and confusing. One of the reasons is that there’s a lot of misinformation out there and there are hundreds of hosting providers. All of them are trying to convince you that they’re the right choice for you. Most often, they do this by advertising features and services that most times you don’t really need. Other times they advertise features and services that aren’t really features or services at all. They are just part of any hosting service and they’re only trying to make their product standout with a feature or service that is offered by any other provider.
The hosting providing industry has been in the last decade advancing by leaps still most providers out there are operating with older server systems and obsolete software.
The larger Web Hosting Providers
The big Providers can be a bit pricier, and what you in return is good customer support and extensive documentation, They will also have infinite attempts to up sell you on services you don’t need, they may still use old hardware and not so easy to use control panels.
As long as you make the conscious choice to just say, “No!” to GoDaddy help/sales reps (they’re essentially one in the same) you’re going to be fine. This is also true of other major hosting providers.
The Cheap Hosting Providers
On the other end of the spectrum are hosting providers who offer low end, pay-for-play, services. There’s not much in the way of help and most often, once you are active using the services, you start realizing that there are missing elements that you would like or need to have. They can make a great option for those operating on a very limited budget.
The characteristics of a quality hosting service
Price is not always directly reflective of the quality of service or hardware. Price should be based on hosting specific needs such as the number of hosted domains, bandwidth, storage space and type of hosting service (shared, semi dedicated).
One of the most important thing when choosing a hosting service is to associate with one that will allow you the highest level of control over your site to get things done.
FTP Access and SSH Access
If you don’t know what FTP and SSH are, suffice to say they’re the go-between services by which your computer can talk directly to your server (and thereby your website) without going through the public-facing side of the site.
This is a very important tool as it is for the vast majority of the hosting providers the only way to access and interact and with your website’s back-end to build it, update it and upload all needed files that makeup your site’s content. Not having this access means you’ll have to wait for the customer service team of the hosting provider to fix it. Not ideal.
You’ll want to check and make sure that your hosting provider has a reputation for keeping their servers up and online 24/7. You don’t want a provider that keeps having downtime and black-outs. Anything less than 99% is not acceptable.
Up-to-date versions of software and platforms
A very important factor for those of you working with CMS platforms such as Joomla, WordPress and similar.
Being dynamic websites, it is essential to have the most advanced server scripting languages such as PHP and Database software as they are the backbone of the website.
Security and Safety
It is essential to protect your website and applications against hack attacks. Ensure your host provider has in place an efficient firewall and a proper back-up for unforeseen incidents.
Ensure you do your home work prior to sign-up with a hosting provider and that it offers a money back guarantee and/or a trial period just in case you come to find that that it doesn’t suit your needs.
If you are in the market for a proper and effective hosting provider, may I suggest to take a look at a one of the most affordable and advanced websites in the market today. I have been using their services for some time now to host all of mine and my clients websites and I can say that very few if any other website hosting services get even closer to its quality of service, easy of use control panel and the most advanced hardware/software.
Check it out for yourself and compare it with the competition by visiting the webserverstore.com. With 5 strategical located server centers in 3 continents, it makes it suitable for anyone independent of your base country or your intended market geographical location.
This article was written by Ray Venancio, a senior partner at Baudmarketing Enterprises, a Canadian Web design and Internet marketing company based in London, Ontario.