Drift2 Solutions began as a web hosting company back in 2003. Over the last five years, we have grown to offer websites, graphic design, custom software solutions, and other web services. This is important to mention before talking about web hosting because when it comes to hosting, we really know our stuff. When searching for a company to host your website, there are a lot of things to consider. Beyond the basics like having good customer service and being established, you need to look at the technicalities.
At the top of the list, you should be sure the hosting service you use is compatible and recommended for your website platform. Any reputable hosting company would know if your website should be hosted on their servers, and any reputable web development firm would know how to optimize your website for a specific type of hosting. Pair these two together and you’re good to go! There are still other factors to consider, however.
Website speed can be affected by several factors, but your hosting provider is at the top of that list. When visitors expect your website to load almost instantly, every second counts, and having even a 5 second load time can significantly increase your bounce rate. Additionally, Google uses your page speed as one of its ranking factors, which means a slower loading site could be ranking lower even if you do everything else right.
One of the most important reasons for having a website is the ability to provide 24/7 access to your content so that anyone can find your business at any time of day. So, having a hosting provider with a good reputation in this area is important. If they are known to go offline frequently, they probably aren’t a reliable provider. Be sure to check with your possible hosting provider about their uptime rating. Additionally, see how often they run backups of your site. Frequent backups are helpful to avoid losing any data on your site if something were to go down.
A few other quick points we want to mention about searching for a hosting provider:
- What kind of scalability do you need? With a newer company, you might not expect to have much traffic on your site at first, but over time as your business grows you may need more resources. Alternatively, for an established business, what are your current numbers on traffic? Do you expect that to stay the same? Having a growth-driven plan instead of being locked in to the same size can help as your business needs change.
- What kind of billing cycle will you be on? Monthly vs Annual billing can make a huge difference in flexibility, and if you have both options then you might get a discount for pre-paying for the year.
- Are there any restrictions or limitations on your account? For a company with multiple domains, this is something important to know up front.
Now we know you are probably wondering: I came here to learn about pricing. The truth is, different plans can be built to fit just about any situation. In general, hosting is another one of those examples of “you get what you pay for”. Free hosting should definitely throw up a red flag, as it usually involves allowing the provider to advertise on your website and the overall quality will be subpar. Similar to the free options, a really cheap hosting package might limit you on access to different resources such as backups or support. When looking at WordPress hosting options, our best recommendations are on platforms that run around $15-$25 per month with features such as nightly backups, live chat support, and are cloud based (which prevents your site from going down if other sites on the server go down!).
Have any more questions about web hosting? Send us a message! We’re happy to be here to help you make the best decision for your business.