There are so many hosting providers all competing with seemingly similar products that it can be tricky to compare and narrow them down to pick the best one that’s right for you.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a hosting provider which can make the process a bit daunting, but we’ve put together 5 simple tips to consider when choosing the best hosting provider for your next project.
1. Professional support & expert advice
Knowledgeable, easily accessible support is one of the most important factors in picking a hosting provider. Cheaper providers often provide ticket-only offshore support which can often require a lot of back and forth to resolve a simple issue. Look for hosting providers with local, easy to access support that can jump onto things right away,
In terms of expert advice, having developers within your hosting organisation means that you can be sure you’re hosting your website with the highest performance, in the most efficient and cost effective way. This expertise can also be super handy to quickly resolve technical issues which may arise with your website code.
2. Australian Servers
It’s important that your web servers are in the same geographic location as your customers. This not only makes your website fast for your customers, but also results in better search engine rankings for customers in that region.
It’s tempting to use hosting providers with super low prices based overseas, but the difference in speed will result in lower search engine rankings and possibly frustrated customers. You may also want to look into any legislation regarding the location of data related to your industry. For example some Government and medical organisations cannot have customer data hosted outside of Australia.
3. Backups, backups, backups
Backups are incredibly important, they allow you to restore your site if anything goes wrong. It’s not only the backing up of the data you need to think about, but critically how fast can the data be restored to get you back up and running again? There’s nothing worse than your website going down and having to go through a tedious process just to get it back online.
Additionally backups serve as an easy way to move your site, store older versions, and much more. Especially during the website development process.
Ensure the provider you pick has a simple, effective backup solution that you can not only trust but can easily manage and understand. It is also asking if the provider includes the backup space in your quoted disk space, or if this is provided separately.
4. Latest software and control panels
Ensure the host has the latest server and control panel software to give you guaranteed security but also improved performance and compatibility. Having the latest versions of common software also is a good sign that the hosting provider is actively maintaining their servers.
Does the hosting provider offer an industry standard panel like cPanel, Plesk or a custom solution? We recommend avoiding custom panels, as they can be restrictive and not offer all the features you would expect. Industry standard panels like cPanel and Plesk offer all the features you would expect and compatibility with other providers so you can easily move without being trapped and also have large support communities so you can easily find solutions to common problems.
Providers sometimes hide or restrict features of cPanel or other control panels or offer them at an extra cost, so ensure the provider you pick has all the features you need included from the get-go.
5. Competitive pricing – comparing apples with apples
Hosting pricing can range dramatically, however there are some simple things to look out for to make sure you are getting the best deal.
Often providers will give you a better deal if you commit to a longer subscription period. However, the issue here is being locked in for a really long time with a bad provider. Some providers even advertise pricing based on a 10 year subscription! Often providers will advertise their prices at the longer subscription rate, so when you are comparing, make sure you compare providers with the same subscription term. We recommend committing to no longer than one year. You might even want to commit to one month, see how it goes then lock in for a year at the cheaper price if things go well. Some providers might even offer a trial period, or access to their server to try before you commit.
Does the provider accept multiple forms of payment? This might not seem important but to some people this can be a make or break deal. Credit cards can incur fees which add up over time, so ensure the provider you go with suits you or your business’s methods of payment.
This might sound obvious but it can very easily be overlooked. Ensure your hosting provider is quoting in AUD, agreeing to a monthly plan in a currency such as USD could result in a much higher cost per month as the currencies fluctuate.
As mentioned above in backups, hosting providers may charge additional fees for things like restoring or making backups. Make sure to read up on your provider’s backup policy to ensure you won’t be charged anything extra. In addition to backups, providers may charge you additional fees for software packages such as Installatron, Cloud Linux or Immunify 360.
It’s important to ensure that everything you need is included in your plan’s price to ensure there are no surprises down the track.
Now that you know what to look out for, we wish you the best of luck with choosing a hosting provider that’s right for you. Thanks for reading!
Did you know that Snapfrozen offers hosting? Whether you’re just starting out, a web professional, or simply looking for fast, reliable Australian Web Hosting, we’ve got you covered. Learn more about our plans here.
We can also offer you a unique WordPress development and design package, if you’re interested feel free to contact us below or learn more about what we do.