If you’re in the market for a new web host, whether you’re relocating or are looking to host a website for the first time, you’ll need to shop around. And whilst you’re doing that, it’s best if you have a few things to consider before hand as jumping in and choosing the one that is simply the cheapest is not going to do you any favours long term. You don’t want to need to change hosts again the next month because your chosen provider isn’t up to scratch do you? Get it right first time and it saves one big headache!
Location, location, location
Something that people don’t often consider is server location. Typically, if you’re serving an audience in a specific region e.g. the UK or the US then ideally, for optimum speed, you want to host within the country you’re serving. Sure, the timing is minimal to the users but you’ll get much better transfer speeds when uploading your site if your host is in the UK if you’re based in the UK and so on. There is no point sending data packets half way across the world is there. There are also marketing benefits such as helping in appears in UK or US search engines depending on where your site is hosted and the target audience you wish to reach.
Another thing that is overlooked is the control panel you decide to use. People seldom consider control panels when taking out a web hosting plan but it can mean the difference between making things easy or making things massively more difficult. If you want a simple host to add e-mail addresses, manage users, create databases and view web statistics for your site then choose cPanel. It does EVERYTHING every other hosting provider platform does and it makes each of those things considerably easier. You can also add/remove software applications such as WordPress with a single click. A renound cPanel host in the UK is HostPresto or if you’re looking to host in the US then A2 Hosting seem to be getting a lot of praise.
Pricing / Plans
The plans and pricing you’ll find across all of the web hosts out there, UK or US will be quite similar. You’ll typically go from starter plans to host one or two websites right through to dedicated servers that can host thousands – or one big one! Be careful that you’re only paying for the services you need, don’t get a plan too high for your needs and the same is true for the opposite – don’t scrimp and save and buy something which isn’t capable of supporting your site. Some people spend thousands on marketing, build huge sites and host them on £2 a month accounts. It doesn’t work.
Bandwidth (and sucker charges)
Be careful with bandwidth charges. Some hosts may lure you into a cheap plan where you’ll pay a minimum monthly amount but if you go over this limit you’ll have to pay a price, perhaps $1 for each 1000GB you go over. If you have a large site and haven’t worked out your data transfer then you’ll end up paying a small fortune – or your site will go down. Work out how many hits you’re getting or how many you expect you’re going to get.
As mentioned above, some hosts will come with the option to install popular software such as WordPress. cPanel is a great control panel for add ons and you can install a ton of great programs via that. Some hosting companies advertise add ons as a reason for you to sign up with them but the reality is, whatever the host, if it’s a free application, you can simply install it yourself. Don’t be lured in by the promise of a ton of applications you won’t need and that are actually free to install as you see fit – for FREE!
All in all, whichever host you choose will no doubt be suitable for your site. Just make sure you don’t end up over paying, under paying or take out a plan with someone who will end up causing you no end of nightmares.