Everyone wants to have the best web hosting company platform but almost all of them look the same. So, how do you pick which is the best solution? Everyone’s needs may vary but after trying a few companies, I settled on Hostgator.
1. Reliable (Good Up Time)
Of all the criteria that is probably the most important is the ability to stay online without interruption to your website. This is usually measured by a percentage and is referred to as up time. Most serious contenders have a 99% up time record because they have redundant systems that appear as one. You do not need to worry how they make it all work but you want to ensure that they do make it work.
2. Unlimited Hosting and Unlimited domains
When I first began my journey into buying domains and creating blogs, I did not fully understand how important having this option would become and more importantly, how expensive NOT having it could be.
You buy your domain, namely www.mydomain.com. A few months down the road you want to make some enhancements but you do not want to test the enhancements on your live site risk disrupting business. Depending on your hosting plan, you might need to purchase additional hosting to have a test site, perhaps test.mydomain.com or something similar. Some hosting companies offer unlimited hosting for a single domain which brings me to the next scenario.
You have your site a www.mydomain.com but now you want to add www.myseconddomain.com to your hosting plan. Without unlimited domains, you may need to pay extra to have it added to your plan which is above and beyond the cost of the domain name itself..
As my needs quickly grew, I could appreciate having a hosting company that offered unlimited domains AND hosting in one low affordable package. In my package, I have 6 domains all with hosting. In fact, I have setup production or live sites each with a development and test environment such as dev.mydomain.com and test.mydomain.com and the price does has not changed AT ALL.
3. Customer Support is Responsive
Nothing seems worse that trying to reach customer support only to find out that there is no one to call or it could take hours before anyone responds to your call for help.
I have had to contact Hostgator for support and each time, response has been quick and the issue resolved in a timely manner.
4. Good Response Time (Does NOT Overcrowd Shared Servers)
Most small sites start out on “shared” hosting. This means that your website is on a machine (server) with several other websites. This is fine unless because it keeps the price low. However, some companies over overcrowd servers by putting too many websites on a single server. Next thing you know your website might be very slow to respond when you or your customers try to access your site.
5. Ability to Grow
As your site or business grows, the needs of your site my grown. Instead of a shared server plan, you may need your own dedicated server or other more business solutions. The best web hosting company should either move or upgrade you to the necessary infrastructure and have it seem transparent to you.
I have been with Hostgator for about a 1.5 years now and I have ben been quite satisfied. Do your homework and decide. Better, yet just try a company for a couple of months to ensure they meet your needs. Of course, I suggest Hostgator but it is up to you.