Being a webmaster means you must be aware of your web hosting providers. Today, let’s have a look at the 9 factors you must consider before buying a web hosting plan based on my experience. Many other Internet gurus may point out tens of reasons or factors but understanding these nine points means you will automatically understand all other factors before buying any web hosting plan from any providers. Wondering what to look for in a web host and how to choose a web hosting service, continue reading. In the last section there are major web hosting recommendations check them out.
9 Factors You must consider before buying a web hosting plan
Below are the nine important major factors that any webmasters should consider before buying a web hosting plan. These are the major web hosting checklist.
- Your requirements in detail.
- Pricing of the web host provider.
- Understanding the clear terms and conditions of the hosting provider.
- Performance of the server and location of the server.
- Upgrade, renew, refund option friendliness.
- Freebies, offers provided along with the hosting package.
- Friendly UI and customer service.
- Transfer, migration friendliness.
- Competition and user reviews.
The above nine points are key factors to consider when choosing web server. Now, lets walk through each of the above nine factors in more details. Clear understanding of these points means that we can select the best suited web hosting plan for our requirements.
🚩 1. Your requirements for the site
The first and most important factor for choosing a web hosting service provider is determining the requirements of your sites and from your hosting provider. There are many different cases. For sites like a social network, it is better to have a total unlimited disc space and bandwidth. It is also better to have a hosting provider which provides unlimited database.
For a file hosting website, the hosting provider should be able to provide true unlimited hosting space and easy upgrade option. This relates to the second and fifth list of the factors to consider from the above. Another example is that if you are creating a company website or a university website, webmasters will not need a large disk space but unlimited bandwidth.
How much traffic are you expecting for your site? What is your estimates of traffic source from different countries? Do you plan different stages of your site over the time? These are some questions you must ask yourselves as a webmasters before choose a web hosting plan or even checking the price. Answering these questions will help narrowing down your search for the best suited web hosting provider.
Determining the nature nature and requirement of your site will help you to choose the right pricing of web hosting plans. This also will help you to avoid any under funding or overpricing of your hosting package. After considering and finalising the above points, lets take the next step on choosing a web hosting provider before buying a web hosting plan.
🚩 2. Pricing of web host
There are hundreds of web hosting providers in the world. Each offer different pricing of their services. For a webmaster, including myself, often finds very difficult to choose the right pricing. One of the best option to narrow down the pricing factor is that knowing your exact requirements. Knowing this will exclude many web hosting providers that offers services that you don’t need at extra costs.
For example, if your site doesn’t require much disk space and it have no requirement for eCommerce, then why should you choose a web hosting service that provide unlimited disk space or eCommerce with extra costs.
For most sites, it doesn’t gather large traffic or disk size. So, at first you can sign for a low cost plan and upgrade later when the requirement arises if your budget is tight. This is why point number 5. is necessary. Keep reading to know more. But sometimes, a web hosting provider is offering the exact requirements you need at a very cheap price and you seems that it is too good to be true. This is why we must dig deep in their terms and conditions you will sees besides *terms and conditions apply. With this the serial numbers becomes very important.
🚩 3. Clear understanding of T&Cs of the hosting provider
Are you the one who never reads the terms and conditions of any service you use or subscribe to? Don’t worry most of us including me just don’t read the thousands of lines of the T&Cs of a site or a service. However, in this case of web hosting, you must carefully read at least the terms and conditions of the specific offer you are trying to buy. I am saying this because there are many service providers that provide very attractive price with lots of add-on, etc. But, upon reading their T&Cs, it is found that there are some dark strings attached to the offer.
For example, company X provides $1.00/month unlimited shared hosting with great features like free SSL, 400+ scripts, $500+ worth of goodies like adwords, bing, etc. Anyone will be attracted to this but upon a careful reading, it is found that the hosting is valid only when you order for more than 2 years and the renewal price is at $19.99 per month and SSL certificate is renewed at $199.99. Moreover, the goodies are valid only when you deposit the same amount as the offer you got. Without knowing this, someone might ordered the package and later s/he will feel that s/he has been scammed.
Similarly, there are many other cases, just be sure what are the catches with the offer and be sure you are comfortable with it before buying the web hosting plan. Don’t settle with less price, sometimes it is better to pay a little bit more now than giving a ton more later. Performance matters while pricing determines.
🚩 4. Performance of the web host
Up-time and latency are not the only factor of a web host. This includes page load time, server location, amount of traffic it can handle for the price, amount of simultaneous hits it can handle, user friendly interface, support, etc. So, the latency of your host is very low, but it is also possible that your page takes lots of time to complete loading. It is also possible that most of your users are from USA while the server is located at Singapore, this will certainly reduce the performance of your website.
Different web hosting providers has different limits about their fair use policy where some will allow 500 users at a time while some will allow 1000 users at a time. This is why you need to understand their T&Cs as said in the above point. Most web host provider will say they have 99.99% up-time but the truth can only be known from their actual users. This is why user reviews are crucial. Do not fall for paid reviews specially if the site is new and sound too good to be true.
🚩 5. Upgrade, renew, refund option friendliness
As I mentioned at point number 1 and 2, your site might have few users at the start or you might have planned features to be released at future stages. Hence, an upgrade to your service is inevitable at some of time at the future. Some hosting provides easy upgrade options with full amount deduction of your current subscription from the new invoice while some don’t. Moreover, you must clearly checked before if the hosting provider is able to provide the features you demand before ordering at first place. This is why point number one is very important which is knowing your exact requirements.
Renewing is another part where most webmasters find shock due to skyrocketed billing amount on their renew price. This is mostly because they skipped point number 3. Check out their renew policy carefully and how they are billed i.e. monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.
After ordering, it is time to test, implement your website. Make sure that you have enough time to test the system. Some hosting providers give only 7 days refund while most of them gives 30 or 45 days refund policy. In this also do not forget the point number 3. There are different refunds types like 100%, 75%, 50% refund etc.
🚩 6. Freebies, offers, goodies attached
The sixth factor you should consider before choosing a web hosting site or before buying a web hosting plan is the combo offers you are getting when you buy the hosting package. Some web hosting providers offer free domain names which is common for most of the best hosting providers.
However, some will provide two years domain free or even for lifetime if you buy a specific hosting plan.
Again, some will offer free domain privacy some will charge. Further, some will provide free privacy for one year while few will offer lifetime free domain privacy. You have to see more details in the offer.
Another offer is the free SSL certificates. Due to Google Chrome mandatory SSL in domain warning, most wen hosting providers are rolling out free SSL certificates for their clients. Check out which type of SSL certificates they are offering because some will offer premium certificates not some self signed certificates.
Some other goodies includes FREE advertising credits in google Adwords, Bing. In the cpanel they might also you might find offers ranging from free scripts, SEO offers, Cloud hosting services, etc. However, do you really think they are offering all these for free? Ask yourself again the first point and why choose something you don’t need.
Speaking of freebies and goodies, I have written a blog post about 5 web hosting providers that offers free SSL certificates when you purchased their web hosting plan. Check out the link below to know more.
🚩 7. User friendly interface and customer service
Just when you think that you have found the exact and best suited web host for your site, but then you find that you don’t know where do you execute your scripts or edit crucial details. This is why, friendly and easy UI is really necessary for a webmaster. There are some web hosting sites where it is really difficult to find where to edit DNS records, where is the file manager, etc. Some are really difficult to find, edit or check your billing details.
During your job as a webmaster, at some point of time, you will need support from your hosting provider. Let’s say your site crashed due to heavy traffic or DDoS attact, and you need instant support. However, it is found that the support ticket takes about 3 days average then all the trust your site have might be gone by that time. So, it is really necessary to have a super quick, top notch support system from the hosting provider.
Even at the time of renew, upgrade, etc. customer support is necessary if something goes wrong. Look out for a hosting provider with great customer support before buying a web hosting plan. This is why customer review is necessary.
🚩 8. Transfer & migration friendliness
Let’s say that you already have a website and a hosting plan, due to some reasons you want to change the web hosting provider. However, the old web host charges you so much money due to transfer policy. This will not happen if you checked before buying the hosting package. Similarly, the new hosting provider should have free or fair pricing for migrating your old site to the their platform. To prevent from paying a hefty fee, you should check out their transfer and migration policy before a web hosting plan.
🚩 9. Competition & user reviews
When you go to a web hosting site before buying a web hosting plan, almost all of them seems attractive. So, how do know which one is true to their service? The answer lies to the user reviews of the actual users not paid reviews shown on their sites.
Go check reviews of the web host you are thinking of. Check out if there is any competition from other providers as well with the same pricing with extra offers. This will help you in deciding the best web hosting provider before buying a web hosting package. Moreover, you can contact the web hosting support and ask that the other one is offering this and that, can they do the same for you, etc. If the web host is having a good support, then you can expect a good result. This is why a good support system is needed.
Well, these are the 9 points you should keep in your mind before buying a web hosting plan. I think if you carefully consider these 9 points, you can choose the best web host. I have collected some major web hosting sites below. Check them out, buy from them if it suits your requirements.
My recommendation of best web hosting sites
These recommendations are based on my own experience and reviews. The list in no way is on the order of ranking.
- Digital Ocean: Get $10 credit when you follow this link given below. Pricing starts with $6 per month.
- Hostwinds: Get 50% OFF with the coupon code ThemReview.com (careful with case sensitive). Click the link below. Pricing starts with $2.35 per month.
- Powerup Hosting: All hosting are SSD hosting with cheap pricing $7.95 per month. There is an option to get free web hosting if you refer your friends. You must check this out if you are budget tight.
- Fat Cow web host: They are offering some cheap host. Just search for $1 hosting fat cow. Just remember to check the renewal price.
- Inmotion web hosting: The price starts from $7.6 per month.
- Liquid web web hosting: This might be the best if you are hosting multiple sites.
- Lunar page: Click here to sign up on lunar page.
- NameCheap: NameCheap is one of the best web hosting providers with exciting offers. It offers free SSL, free domain privacy etc. Click the link below.
- Known host: Starting from $3.45 it has some exciting offers.
The 9 questions you should ask before buying a web hosting plan are carefully explained above. Wrapping up, the most important factor is your exact requirements without that you can judge the pricing of different web hosting services before buying a web hosting plan. However, some web hosting will try to insert crazy paragraphs in their terms and conditions. So, any webmaster should check out T&Cs clearly. Further, you are bound to have some updates, upgrades, renews, so it is necessary to have easy options to upgrade. Easy support and easy UI is absolutely necessary to be the best web hosting provider. Lastly, it is only from the actual users that you can get real information about the web hosting be it performance, migration policies, fee payment problems, etc. Stay tuned for more posts.
If you are aware about the dangers of being exposed in the internet, check out my reviews about various VPNs.