6 tips for choosing a web hosting company


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Choosing a host is an essential step in the launch of any digital project. With so many different aspects to consider, ranging from security to uptime to support, it’s hard to sift through the thousands of web hosting companies offering what appears to be a similar level of service.

But actually, there’s a crazy method, and we spoke to industry experts to understand what brands should look for when choosing a web hosting company.

1. Assess and understand your hosting needs

First, you need to know your needs as an online business. “It is most important to prepare at least rough estimates of the resources that will be needed to run the site. Starting with a daily visitor estimate is a very sound practice,” said Daugirdas Jankus, Head of Marketing at International accommodation.

Without at least a general understanding of how many visitors your project will receive, you’ll end up paying way too much for an unnecessarily large (and expensive) server, or way too little for a server that can’t keep up with the amount of traffic generated by your website or app.

2. Review security measures

Cybersecurity is a major concern for small and large businesses alike. When it comes to selecting a web host, you need to be sure of their security track record, as well as the protocols they have in place to defend against cyberattacks in all their forms. Dalerie Wu, senior marketing manager at California-based Diamond Bar Zenlayer, emphasized this point. “Many companies have experienced downtime due to DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, including Amazon, New York Times, Airbnb, GitHub, Pinterest, and WIRED. [Brands need to ensure] their chosen web host offers DDoS protection, along with other security services like firewall and web application encryption,” Wu advised.

By the way, if you’re sharing customer data with your web host, you’ll also want to make sure they’re GDPR compliant. As clarified by the GDPR, a brand can be held liable for sharing data with non-compliant third parties.

Related article: How Will GDPR Impact Third-Party Lead Generation?

3. Inspect the infrastructure

The condition and strength of a website host’s infrastructure is extremely important. Jankus pointed out that today it’s relatively easy to set up a server and start hosting websites for people, “but it’s hard to do it right.” The difference between the best and the rest is the infrastructure the web host relies on. Wu listed a few different questions brands should ask potential hosts regarding their infrastructure.

  • How many uplink carriers does the hosting company have at each hosting location?
  • What is the total bandwidth that the company has at each hosting site? This will help determine peak hour performance.
  • What is their network topology? Here we seek redundancy, and preferably with various carriers, to ensure availability.
  • How many peers does the hosting company have? More peers generally means lower IP transit cost, better user experience, and increased network resiliency.
  • Does the company offer dedicated connections/lines for added reliability and security? This one isn’t a must, but it’s a bonus.

Finally, David Vogelpohl, Vice President of Web Strategy in Austin, TX. WP engine, mentioned that “the geography of host data centers also influences their ability to serve your customers.” So if your customers are primarily US-based, it’s best to stick with a host that uses US servers.

4. Scalability factor

Scalability is another key dimension to consider, as your needs (which you should have determined before starting your research, as mentioned earlier) may change. When this change happens, you don’t want to be forced to switch web hosts. Instead, it’s wise to choose a hosting company that can scale with your growth. “The scalability of the potential hosting provider should be assessed. We all plan to expand our business. It’s important to have a partner that’s flexible enough to support your growth by managing the growing ‘hunger’ for your infrastructure resources,” Jankus said.

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5. Consider specialized hosting companies

Some hosting companies welcome businesses of all shapes and sizes, but some have specialized in working with brands using certain technologies or in certain industries. This is a point Vogelpohl made to CMSWire. “Brands need to consider the commercial orientation of the host to see if it fits their business and technology. [stack]. Determine if the host is focused on the particular size of your business or the technologies you use to support your website. Managed hosts that help you manage application layer performance (like WordPress, Adobe Experience Manager, or Sitecore) often include performance products and features that can give you an edge over a generalist host,” he said. declared.

6. Before you jump, test the waters

It’s also wise to remember that choosing a web hosting company shouldn’t be impulsive or based solely on a sales pitch. In some cases, the company will allow you to test their service, which is definitely an option to consider before taking the plunge. “While you can do your due diligence on all of the points discussed above, the easiest way to determine if a web host is right for you is to sign up with the web host, clone your site, and test to see if the platform will provide a ‘efficient’ experience, Vogelpohl said.

James S. Joseph