Searching for the best and right web hosting company to use when creating your blog or a business website is one of the most difficult tasks because we all know that choosing the wrong hosting company can hurt the growth of any business online. Qualities of the best web hosting companies or web hosting service providers are beyond selling the domain name and just hosting websites.
No one lives in a house for living sake; we consider the type of neighbourhood the house is located in, the calibre of people living in that neighbourhood, and if the neighbourhood is safe enough and habitable. Most often, we look into the amenities in the neighbourhood, such as access roads, water, light, and good accessible health care systems, before moving to such an environment. Just like we give quality thought to the house we live in and the type of cars we drive, a website online also requires some thought so that our businesses will not fall victims online.
What is web hosting? (Click to expand)
Web hosting is the dedicated computer that stores all your website files to make your website accessible to everyone on the internet. Web hosting is like an online office for your website; it is where everything that has to do with your website, such as images, videos, text, and other content, lives. A web hosting is a virtual house your web address (domain name) points to. All websites on the internet need web hosting to be publicly accessible online.
There are lots of web hosting companies out there you can choose from when it’s time to find a home for your blogs or business website online. But not all of these web hosting companies can serve your purpose and not all of them are good. Choosing the best web hosting plans for your website totally depends on what your website needs to run efficiently, but there are certain qualities a web host must possess before you host your websites or blogs with them.12 Qualities Of The Best Web Hosting Companies Click To Tweet
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission when you purchase a product or service using my affiliate link, I’m compensated, which helps make content like this free of charge to you. Know that I only recommend products and services I’ve personally used and stand behind.
Qualities Of The Best Web Hosting Companies
Here are the lists of the most important qualities you should expect from a good web hosting company and if your web hosting package meets the following criteria you will not need any IT consultant.
A good web hosting company will perform its intended function consistently and perfectly without downtime or failure for the entire period your website is with them. It would be best if you made sure the web hosting company you’re about to choose is reliable and consistent with their service so that your website won’t experience any downtime. An hour of downtime on some websites can cause the business to lose billions of dollars and make the clients turn to competitors for the same service.
Most web hosting companies promise 99.9% uptime on their server, but in reality, not all live up to the expectation; some offer less than the industry standard, while some deliver above the industry standard. A good web hosting service provider will ensure you enjoy at least 99.9% uptime. If any web hosting company offers you less than 99.9% uptime on their service, please leave them and turn to the next web host, as consistent downtime will hurt your SEO and make you lose money and traffic. And if any web hosting company promised you 99.9% uptime or higher and your website experiences downtime, ask for a refund to compensate for your losses.
Most good hosting companies like Hostgator have a refund policy to compensate you in case of any downtime at all. This blog (Scribeage.com) is hosted with Hostgator, and for over three years now, we have not experienced even 1-hour downtime. Hostgator guarantees an uptime of 99.99%. If you experience downtime below that, you will automatically get a one-month credit on your account. That’s one of the signs of a good quality web hosting platform.
No one likes to wait for eternity for a website to load before you can access any information on such a website. We are now in the age of speed, where everything must move faster, or you will be left behind; people want a site that loads under 2 seconds, or they will turn to your competitors for the same services your website is taking a long time to give. Even Google considers Speed an important feature in their new Web Core Vitals.
The speed at which your websites or blogs load is an important factor in your lead and revenue generation and how your website ranks on search engines, which determines your traffic. I am sure you want a hosting company with guaranteed infrastructures to load your website within a second. Although, load time can be associated with many factors such as the file size of the web page, how the website was designed, and the number of images and videos on the web page. While file size and design influence the load time of a website, it is still very good to have a web server that loads very fast.
A good web hosting company provides you with faster servers and keeps improving the server’s speed every time. Some now use SSD on the server instead of the traditional HDD, which is slow and prone to failure. With SSD, no mechanical limitations impede the speed of the server. Because SSDs store, load, and serve data significantly faster than HDDs, a web hosting company with SSD servers offer you a website that will load 20x quicker.
A good web hosting company will limit the number of websites served on their shared server to increase the number of resources available to each website on their shared hosting servers. But most hosting companies only want to make money without considering the speed of their server. Server speed can impact many factors of your website, like how your website ranks in search engines, user experience, and conversion rates, and generally help your website become more successful.
The amount of storage space required on a website is different to another but you need to make sure to sign up for the hosting plan with adequate storage that can serve your website even for years to come. A website requires storage to store web files like HTML, CSS codes, images, texts, videos, music and other website content you intend to serve your site visitors with. To enjoy unlimited space to showcase your contents to different people without any storage limitation you will need to go for a hosting package with unlimited storage.
Although, the smallest business and personal websites require a small amount of web space except you’re uploading videos and audios directly on the server without using external videos and audio sharing websites like YouTube. But it’s still wise to go for a web package with unlimited data storage just in case there’s a need for more content on your website. As you can’t tell for sure your business website is going to remain the same without upgrading or needing more content for your clients. Because the more space on your server the more room you have to sell on your site and the more room you have to display more contents to satisfy your clients’ needs.
Bandwidth is the maximum rate of data that can transfer to and from your website over a specific amount of time. This data includes uploads, downloads, and website visits.
Bandwidth can be likened to a retail shop that requires a large crowd to come in and go out of the store without any hindrance. The shop owner got to provide massive entrance and space for the required shoppers at all times without any form of hindrance so that sales can keep going on. A limited shop entrance will surely hinder the flow of customers in and out of the store and that will also limit the sales each day. So, limited bandwidth on the server will always hinder the flow of traffic on your website.
Although the bandwidth requirement is different from one website to another, Some small business websites only require moderate traffic daily while some websites’ traffic is high that needs maximum bandwidth to power it. So, if your website requires large content and serve many people at the same time, you will need a web hosting plan or package that offers unlimited bandwidth. A website with lots of content and high traffic must go for a web hosting package with unlimited bandwidth that can withstand the website’s traffic needs.
Before you make any commitment to any hosting company, find out the bandwidth need of your website and make sure that the web hosting company can accommodate the amount of bandwidth your website traffic needs daily. Because if your website requires more bandwidth than what your web hosting company allocate for your hosting plan, your site’s visitor’s browser will return bandwidth exceeded error message whenever they try to access the site. Some web hosting companies may suspend your website or move you to a higher plan with higher bandwidth which means you will pay more than usual.
To avoid suspension of your website along the line or your site visitors seeing bandwidth exceeded error choose a web host package with unlimited bandwidth.
Security is not what anyone can neglect or overlook in this digital age, the moment your website comes online it becomes a target for hackers, malware, and spam bot. According to Review42, about 6.85 million accounts get hacked daily, which means in every 158 seconds 1 account get hacked.
A good web hosting company always protect your website with standard security while the best web hosting companies always go the extra mile to provide layers of strong security to keep hackers, malware, and spambots from invading websites on their servers. A web host should offer a minimum of a TLS/SSL certificate, spam protection, and some other layers of security to keep your content secure.
So make sure the hosting provider guarantees security to secure the contents of websites present in the server with every available security feature at their disposal. We know nothing is totally secure online but we need to put security measures in place to make it hard for hackers to penetrate. We’re in the age where malware can take your site down and even send SPAM to attack other sites on the server or internet or to destroy your business reputation online. You will need to go with a hosting company with automated malware scan and Firewall management that can alert you immediately they notice any malware on your script or files to protect the image of your business.
Support Latest Technologies and Features
One of the benefits of using a web hosting company that support the latest technology and features is the ability to design and host any kind of website or application on their server. Before you sign up for any hosting plan, make sure the hosting package comes with all the technology and features that you need to make your website files work smoothly without any hindrances.
Take a sneak peek into the hosting package control panel to know the number of sub-domains it allows, the type of script languages supported, the version and number of databases allowed and the OS of their server and many other things. Recently a client of mine needs a self-hosted automated email marketing, after we figured out the suitable one to use, it’s time to deploy it to their server, we discovered their web hosting package comes with MySQL version 5.6.2 and we need a minimum of version 5.7 to make the script work on their hosting package. We had to go higher by purchasing a VPS hosting plan just for the automated email.
Make sure you have the possibility to create, design and host any kind of website in any programming language on the server as well as the ability to create subdomains to increase the functionality of your websites.
Location Of The Server
This is also important to consider before paying for a web hosting plan, find out where the data centre of the hosting company is located. Ensure the server of the web hosting company is close to the region where you have most of your web visitors because the location of your website’s server has a great impact on the speed of your website. A web hosting company with data centres close to you will likely make your website load faster, than those with data centres far away from you.
If most of your website visitors are in Africa, it is better to host with a web hosting company with a server located in Africa to serve your website quickly and reduce the latency to give your website the speed it deserves. Hosting a website with a web server whose server is far from your location and region increases the latency and load speed of your website. Find out to know where the server is located before you sign up.
Although, Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help bridge the gap between your server and your site visitors. A CDN stores a cached version of its content in multiple geographical web hosting locations so that it can load your website quickly from a nearby location for whoever accessing your website.
Note: CDN cost money and not all of them are affordable for small business owners. So, choose a web hosting company with a server location closest to your target audience.
You will want to have email addresses associated with your domain name on your website and for your business day-to-day activities online. Branded email addresses validate your business image and build your brand reputation online. A good web hosting company won’t limit the number of email accounts you can have and they will support most major email providers like Gmail.
Before you choose any web hosting provider verify that they use an email service with all of the capabilities that you need in an email and which email provider do they use and supports.
Standardize Pricing Plan
Many hosting plans come with an annual payment plan while in some you can pay monthly. When it comes to your web hosting plan, you will usually get what you pay for but be careful about some hosting companies with extra hidden charges for services you don’t need or won’t even use. A good web hosting company will come clean and plain with a standard payment plan without any hidden charges to kill your finance in the name of hosting.
Many of them have a way to lure you with an unbeatable offer for the first month or year and later increase the same plan to the point of killing your business with payment for the same service you can enjoy from other hosting without any extra charges. A good web hosting will let you know how much you’re paying for the plan you’re about to op-tin for, look for a web hosting with a standard payment plan that won’t kill your business with an inflating price after one year of service without letting you know from the initial stage.
The availability of good technical support teams is very important before you make any commitment at all. Because when you have a problem with your web hosting server or anything that has to be done from their end, you want to be able to reach someone in their office over the phone to get a quick response. Having available and helping support system when you need it on your website helps in solving web issues quickly and getting your business going smoothly again is bliss. Good Web hosting companies offer a system for you to submit tickets, make calls, or live chat with their ever-ready support staff to resolve your web issues quickly.
Good Web hosting companies offer:
- Call Support:
A good hosting company has a valid phone number where clients can easily reach a live person and not a machine that can answer questions and help resolve problems immediately.
- Live Chat:
Nothing beat a web hosting company with an instant online customer chat, where you chat in real-time with a person with the ability to send images and videos of how your website is displaying at your end while the person provides a quick fix in no time.
- Email Support:
There should be a ticketing system available when you don’t have access to a live person, you should be able to submit a support ticket via email to get problems resolved on time.
- Knowledge Base:
A good web hosting company should have a well-written, maintained and published a collection of documentation that contains answers to frequently asked questions, step-by-step process guides, introductory articles, video demonstrations, glossaries and definition lists.
Customer support is the cornerstone of any business, you should not be near any web hosting company with no or poor support system because a time will come when you will be in the middle of nowhere and you will require someone from your web host to fill that gap for you. You can use an online reviews platform to read reviews about your intending web hosting company to know about their customer support service and how they handle things.
In today’s world, all information you need about any domain is readily available with the click of a mouse or touch of a screen. Anyone can look up the information you supplied when you are registering a domain name such as your personal information, your address and phone numbers, domain name and internet protocol (IP) address using the Whois database. And such information can be used online to create data breaches and attack your business image. Domain privacy protection is the only way to ensure that your company address, phone numbers, email addresses and other data are not available through the Whois system. This will make it harder for hackers to gather this information and use it to attack your business.
A good web hosting company offers domain privacy protection as part of the hosting plan or as an add-on to the domain so as to protect your email inbox been full of SPAM. To protect your personal information from being sold to marketers and organizations on the black market and prevent fake emails and calls on your phone, you will need to use a web hosting company that provides domain privacy protection as part of the plan you’re paying for.
Website Backups are essential to recovering your website to its last known original state in case of hardware failure or data breach. Backing up a website daily or weekly is very tedious work to do for many small businesses.
Knowing business’s owners would be busy with other activities about their business, a great web hosting company’s package should come with an automatic backup system to back up the websites once a month to an off-site location so that the site owners can fall back to the files in a worst-case scenario.
Final Thoughts On Qualities Of The Best Web Hosting Companies
There are tons of good web hosting companies out there but make sure you this checklist to determine a web hosting company is good for your next project or not.
But in all, know that the best hosting companies always offer unlimited space, quality speed, unlimited bandwidth, maximum security with incredible customer support for each of their hosting plans to give your website and your users a sweet experience. And finally, before you make payment check to know if they are ever ready to support your business growth along the line. In case of any sudden increase in your web traffic or your website requires more storage space. Is it easy to upgrade to a higher plan that suits your business needs like VPS, Cloud or Dedicated server without your site being taken down first? If yes, then you are good to go with them.