To start a website successfully, you need to know how to choose a hostingand above all know all the different criteria for choosing.
Without a good provider of web hosting, you may not be able to provide a great browsing experience for your visitors.
Why? You may ask.
Good question! I'll answer it right now.
Because you need to be able to offer your visitors a smooth and uncomplicated browsing and shopping experience.
If your website is down or loading slowly, visitors could be switching to your competitors in less than 10 seconds. Which could mean losing customer acquisition, forever.
And that's not what you want, is it? I believe not.
Choosing quality hosting helps your website to have low downtime (Uptime) and load much faster (speed).
In fact, there's more to it than that.
Now you might ask, but how do I choose a quality hosting if there are an infinite number of them, and every article I read recommends a different one?
Relax, breathe, and give me 20 minutes of your time.
To help you out, I've put together this long and detailed guide that will give you ALL the information you need to choose a web hosting that's right for YOU.
Let's get this over with. Let's dive right in.
Si prega di notare che alcuni dei link in questo articolo sono in realtà link di affiliazione.
Ciò significa che se ci clicchi sopra, e poi fai un acquisto, io riceverò una commissione, senza alcun costo aggiuntivo per te. Quindi, sentiti libero di darci un’occhiata, e scegliere il web hosting che fa al caso tuo, dato che consiglio solo prodotti o servizi che ho testato personalmente e che raccomando caldamente.
18 Criteria for choosing a quality web hosting
Here is the list of hosting I recommend and especially the list of criteria you need to consider first while choosing a hosting to take your business online.
1. Determine the type of hosting you need
When you want to start a website, you need to know the type of web hosting you need. There are different types of website hosting. Let's go through them together!
Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting is one of the most common types of hosting and works great for small businesses and blogs.
What does shared web hosting mean?
Web hosting condiviso significa che il tuo sito web è ospitato su un unico server insieme a molti altri siti web. Questa si rivela essere l’opzione meno costosa per le imprese, perché il server è condiviso, e in questo modo possono garantire prezzi bassi per il loro clienti.
However, this also means that the bandwidth (bandwith) you receive is dependent on traffic from other websites that are hosted on the same server.
Your website may become slow in some situations or it may not be able to handle many visitors at certain times.
And this could happen simply because another user on the same server as you is consuming a lot of bandwidth.
Dedicated web hosting
The second type of hosting that you can choose is dedicated server hosting. In this type of hosting, your website is hosted on a single server and it is the only website that is hosted on it.
Yeah, your own computer!
What does that mean to you?
Significa che l’intera potenza di elaborazione del server sarà riservata al tuo sito web. Di conseguenza, il tuo sito web avrà probabilmente una velocità più elevata e minor tempo di inattività (downtime).
However, this also means that hosting will be expensive as yours will be the only website hosted on it.
Cloud hosting is another popular type of hosting. In this type of hosting, your website is hosted on a cloud-based server, the famous "cloud".
What does that mean to you?
It means that your website will be hosted along with several others, but not on a single server. Cloud servers can absorb the load if another server crashes.
This ensures that your website will have minimal downtime and much faster loading speeds.
Is there anything else?
Yes, the great thing about cloud hosting is that it gives you the ability to quickly increase or decrease the power of your server based on demand and traffic to your site.
A big difference from other types of web hosting.
Whenever you expect a spike in traffic (Christmas, black friday, cyber monday etc), you can easily adjust by using cloud hosting.
Imagine your e-commerce offline during black friday, what would you do?
That wouldn't be a good situation, would it?
Okay, now let's move on to the next type of web hosting.
Managed WordPress hosting
WordPress hosting is hosting managed by the hosting company.
The only difference from the other types of web hosting listed above is that the server is specifically designed to handle websites created with WordPress.
As a result, the performance of the website is high and optimal if you are going to create a WordPress website.
Now that you know the difference between the various types of web hosting, you need to figure out which one is right for you.
Different hosting providers may specialize in various types of hosting.
So, knowing exactly what you need can help you immensely in choosing the best web hosting service for you.
2. Check the Performance before choosing a hosting
Performance is a very important parameter that you need to consider when you have to choose a web hosting provider to create your online business.
"A website that loads slowly can be disastrous for your business and conversions."
Why? You ask.
Because users are always in a hurry and always running out of time (even if they're actually lounging on the couch!).
As a result, they tend to wait a short time for the site to load.
If it doesn't load quickly, they immediately switch to another website.
For an online business, this could mean the loss of a potential customer.
So, it must be avoided at all costs.
This is exactly why it is crucial to have a web hosting that provides excellent performance.
But there's more!
Wait a minute.
What is SERP?
SERP is short for search engine results page. Simply put, a web page generated by a search engine to display the results of a query or search made by a user.
How to have a fast and performing site?
One way to ensure high speed for your site is to choose quality hosting that uses the latest servers and technology.
Here are some tips on how to choose the right one:
- Estimate how much traffic you expect and above all what kind of files you will upload on the pages of your site. A site with many photos in RAW format and high resolution will be much more "heavy" than the site of a blogger who uses text as the main content.
- See how much bandwidth (bandwith) the plan provides.The bandwith determines the amount of traffic your website can support. A high number means that more people can visit your website at the same time without affecting its performance.
- When a hosting provider offers unlimited bandwidth, you should always check your facts, 2 times. Usually unlimited bandwith means that your website can take up as much bandwidth as possible - provided it does not exceed the amount allocated from the hosting provider.
- It controls disk space and processing power. If you plan to have a lot of media files and collect a lot of data from your users, a 10GB memory with low RAM may not be enough.
- Look for built-in caching. This feature will allow your users' browsers to download your web page after they visit your site for the first time. This way, browsers can simply display elements of the same page (the one downloaded the first time) each time your users return, which can reduce loading times.
When you are comparing the performance of different web hosting services, you need to check the performance for the particular type of web hosting you want, be it shared or cloud.
Also, check the hardware that the web hosting company uses because that can also affect your website's performance VERY much.
If you opt for managed WordPress hosting, be sure to see if the provider also guarantees the latest version of PHP.
3. informed about the uptime
Il tempo di attività (Uptime) del tuo sito web è un altro parametro importante da considerare durante la selezione di un provider e prima di scegliere un hosting per il tuo business online.
Ideally, you'd like your website to be online all the time. Because if it goes down, you're likely to lose a lot of visitors and customers (as well as look bad!).
You're probably wondering, but...
What is web hosting uptime?
Uptime refers to how often your website is online and available to the public. It is a crucial aspect to consider because, ideally, you want your website to be active 24/7.
If your website is inactive when your visitors are active, it could significantly decrease your site's conversion rate and cause you to lose potential customers.
You don't believe me?
Here's the proof:
"Amazon lost about $1.2 million per minute due to technical issues during its Prime Day event."
No one likes to go to a website only to find out that it is not accessible.
Your site should be able to meet the needs of your visitors at any time and from any place.
How can you avoid such negative circumstances?
To avoid such cases, you need to look for a web hosting provider that guarantees at least 99% uptime.
Don't go below - even a 90% guarantee can create significant losses, especially during your website's busiest hours.
Also, you need to find out if the provider has a policy in case they are unable to maintain this claim.
Some companies such as premium hosting provider, Hostinger, offer to pay a credit of 5% of your monthly fee to make up for such shortfalls.
4. Consider the cost
Cost is something you need to consider carefully before you choose a hosting for your own website, blog or e-commerce.
The cost of web hosting varies depending on the provider, the type of hosting, the package, and the extras included.
So, you need to understand what your web hosting needs are, and what features are essential and cannot be missing in the package you are going to choose.
For this, you need to find answers to questions such as:
- Do I want to host a single website or multiple websites?
- How much traffic do I expect to receive?
- Should my website be built with WordPress?
- Will my site traffic grow dramatically for a short period of time and then decline again?
Based on the answers to these questions, you will be able to choose a suitable web hosting plan for your website.
Once you have done that, you need to check out the best web hosting providers available.
Among them, you'll need to find those that offer hosting plans similar to the type of hosting you need.
These are the Hosting providers I use, have tried and recommend:
Based on this, you can compare them, and choose a hosting that provides the best service at the most affordable price.
5. Analyze Scalability before choosing a hosting
Although the performance and uptime of your website is important, you should also pay attention to the scalability of the web hosting provider.
But why? You wonder.
Because your site traffic may end up growing and you may need more bandwith and storage space, which may not be available in your current plan.
For this reason, it makes sense to have web hosting that can easily help you scale your hosting plan when the demand on your site increases and scale it down when it decreases.
If you have an e-commerce business, you may experience a surge in the number of visitors during days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
This is the time when you will need to be able to scale your plan to accommodate more visitors, and if your hosting provider allows this option, you will be in a better position on such high demand days.
Simply put, your hosting provider should be able to provide cloud service (cloud), as this is the hosting plan you can use to quickly scale bandwith and resources up and then scale them down depending on your requirement.
6. Check the Security Features
When you take your business online, you need to provide (and ensure!) a safe browsing experience for your visitors. This is even more important if you're launching an e-commerce business that will be linked to a payment system.
Why? You're wondering...
Because if they're your customers, chances are you're in possession of sensitive information about them, including their credit card numbers. As a result, you'll need to make sure your website is well protected from hacker attacks.
The number of these attacks is only increasing. In fact, there has been a 53% increase in cyber attacks on websites over the past year.
How can you ensure protection against these attacks?
Your hosting provider can prove to be of great help, in fact, they should be able to counter such attacks and should also offer features and resources that can help you in the fight against these attacks.
With that in mind, here are some things regarding security to consider before choosing a web hosting:
- SSL Certificate: This refers to Secure Sockets Layer and helps to encrypt the data transmitted between your server and visitors' browsers. This feature is important if you want to prevent your users' sensitive information from being hacked.
- Virus scanner: This will detect and remove any malicious software/malware that may harm your website.
- Firewall: This is a security system that filters and prevents cyber attacks.
- DDoS Mitigation: It refers to Distributed Denial-of-Service and helps prevent hackers from exhausting your server's resources by destroying your website.
Many web hosting providers offer these security features for free with their hosting plans.
Before making a decision, you should check what security features are available in the hosting plan you are considering.
The web hosting provider should also be able to offer a secure infrastructure that is regularly updated with the latest security patches and protocols to make your website more secure.
Does your web hosting solution or the one you are considering provide all of this?
7. Check availability and quality of customer service
Customer support is a very important part to consider before choosing a hosting. Once you purchase a web hosting plan, and build your site on it, you will most likely encounter some hiccups and have some difficulties along the way.
These can hinder your experience of using web hosting and being able to take advantage of its full potential.
These hiccups can also delay, affect and even ruin your work.
In difficult situations such as migrating your website, you may also face some downtime if you are unable to figure out how to use your web hosting platform.
In such a situation, it is crucial to have a customer support option from the web hosting provider.
"Of course if you choose a web hosting with customer support in your language, even better!"
The customer support team can help solve your problems and help improve your overall experience using the web hosting service.
Although most web hosting providers have a support team, there are various factors you should consider when choosing the best one.
First, you need to check the different channels through which you can get in touch with the customer support team.
The more channels through which you can get in touch with customer support, the better. Ideally, you should be able to contact the customer support team via email, live chat, and phone.
But that's not all!
The availability of the customer support team is also very important. You should consider a web hosting provider that offers 24/7 customer support.
Even if you don't need it on a daily basis, this will give you a lot of security and peace of mind the moment you need it.
You also need to know the expertise of the customer support team. While you won't be able to tell right away, you can refer to reviews from other users to determine if the team is truly knowledgeable and if they are able (or willing!) to help you solve the problems you're experiencing.
Do you want to choose a hosting that is considered the absolute best in terms of customer support, and is also in Italian and Spanish?
Choose Siteground without a second thought!
8. Check if a free site migration service is offered
If you already have a website and are looking for a new web hosting provider, you should also check if they offer migration services.
Because every web hosting provider works differently, and you may face a lot of trouble to backup and then migrate your site to another web hosting provider.
If the process isn't done right, you could end up damaging your website.
Even if it doesn't get damaged, it's possible that your website could find itself facing a long period of downtime.
This can happen if you are not able to successfully migrate it before the hosting plan of the previous web host expires.
If the new web hosting company offers free migration services, you'll be able to avoid this problem and can switch hosts with ease, without doing anything.
Also, even if the web hosting provider didn't offer free migration services, it would be helpful if its customer support team was able to guide you through the process.
9. Consider Facilitated CMS Installation Process (wordpress & co)
When you intend to integrate a CMS like WordPress into your online business, the process should be simple, and I mean as simple as possible!
A CMS is necessary if you want to start a blog for your online business, or to manage and edit your own site without any (or little!) computer knowledge.
For this, it is essential to choose a hosting that makes this process as simple as possible.
Based on your CMS, you should look for hosting providers that allow easy installation.
For example, there are many web hosting providers that offer a one-click WordPress installation.
Yeah, you got that right! Easy-peasy!
Usually it's a few more clicks, but it's really very easy!
If you intend to use WordPress, these are the ones you should consider, as the installation and configuration can be completed in no time.
10. Evaluate the Availability of Website Builder Tools (website builder - page builder)
If you're not going to choose a CMS such as WordPress, you may have to design your website from scratch. This can prove to be a challenge if you have a limited budget and little or no technical knowledge.
What are you supposed to do in a situation like this?
In this case, it helps a lot to have a web hosting provider that also offers website building tools. These tools can help you create your website without much technical skills.
As a small business owner, this can be helpful to you, as you won't need to spend your budget on expensive developers to create your site.
These tools usually tend to be drag-and-drop website builders, meaning you just click, drag and drop.
As a result, you can easily and smoothly add and move elements around the pages, but most importantly design your website without any hassle.
So you should check if the web hosting provider offers such a tool before buying a hosting plan.
You should also check the reviews to determine the quality and effectiveness of the website builder and accordingly make a considered decision.
- Integrate (and edit) contact forms,
- Access to many premium elements (widgets)
- Create professional pop ups to increase newsletter subscribers,
- Install templates (ready-made professional pages) with one click
- Theme builder, which allows you to easily change the appearance of any, and I repeat, any page of your website. Again, there are ready-made templates, which you just need to install with one click, save the changes, and BOOM! A professional website with 2 clicks 😉
- And many other super features.
11. Check If The Domain Name Is Free
Domain names are essential in helping you establish your online identity. Without them, you cannot have an active, online website.
Along with web hosting, the domain is the other essential component of creating a website.
However, the domain has to be purchased separately and this may result in an additional expense for you.
So, what do you have to do?
You should look for web hosting providers that provide a free domain along with your web hosting plan.
Many web hosting providers give a free domain for one year along with the website hosting plan. This means you'll be able to save on domain fees for the first year.
However, one caveat must be made in this regard.
You need to check the renewal price of the domain and compare it with that of other domain registrars, and from this assumption decide accordingly which web hosting platform to choose.
12. Check the number of emails included
When launching a website for your online business, you must also have a personalized email address ([email protected]).
Many companies may need multiple email addresses, especially if they intend to give different email addresses to their employees.
You may also need email addresses through which to send promotional emails as part of your email marketing strategy.
In such a situation, you should also consider the number of email addresses that come with your hosting package.
You should check how many email accounts the web hosting provider offers in your package and accordingly make an informed choice.
Some web hosting platforms offer the ability to create an unlimited number of email accounts in their packages.
And this is another important factor before choosing a hosting!
13. Check the Control Panel before choosing a hosting site
While this might not be the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a web hosting provider for your website, it is a very important thing to consider.
Why? You're wondering...
Because the control panel is the page you interact with on a regular basis.
If this is not user-friendly enough, you may find it difficult to use it and find what you are looking for.
The control panel should give you a broad view of your website and its components. It should also make it easy to maintain.
So be sure to check your website's control panel before choosing a hosting.
cPanel is one of the most popular control panels among web hosting providers, so be sure to check if your host provides it.
If the vendor provides another type of control panel, find out about that particular panel and do some research on Google or YouTube.
For example, Siteground has not used cPanel for a long time, but uses its own control panel, called sitetools, which is much easier and more intuitive to use than the classic cPanel.
14. Discover the Operating System
The operating system of your website's server is also very important. After all, it can affect the performance of your website.
Linux and Microsoft Windows are the two most commonly used operating systems by web hosting providers.
Based on your preferences, you should choose a hosting that offers the operating system of your choice.
Some web hosting providers offer both operating systems. However, rates may vary depending on which operating system you choose to use.
Also, be sure to check out the features offered by each to determine which one might be best for you.
15. Determine the location of the server before choosing hosting
Server location plays a crucial role in determining the speed of your website.
If your server is in the same location as your target audience (ideal audience), the loading speed will be much faster than a server that is far away.
That's why it's essential to check the server location when choosing a web hosting provider.
Although you can find many local web hosting providers that provide local servers, some of the larger ones also have data centers in multiple countries.
So make sure you buy hosting based on the location of your target audience.
Faster loading pages will improve your visitors' browsing experience and also improve conversion rates.
16. Analyze (well) the bandwith and the available memory space
Other factors to consider before choosing a hosting are the bandwith and storage (memory in gigabytes) it offers.
These, of course, vary depending on the hosting plan you choose.
However, these are both crucial aspects that you need to understand thoroughly before choosing one web hosting or another.
Why? You may ask.
If your storage space is low, chances are you won't have enough space to upload media files to your website.
Similarly, low bandwidth would mean that your website will not be able to support many visitors.
Some web hosting providers also write "unlimited" storage space and bandwidth. In a situation like this, I highly recommend you do some digging to find out what "unlimited" actually means.
You'll just need to get in touch with the pre-sales team, and place all your trick questions 🙂 🙂
17. Find out if Security Backups are included
It is also VITAL to make sure your web hosting provider offers a backup service in case your website files are lost due to security issues or error.
Why is this important?
This way you won't have to rebuild your site from scratch. You'll be able to get your site backed up in no time.
You should look for web hosting providers that perform regular (daily preferably) and automated backups, and that can be restored with a single click.
This way, you won't have to worry about backing up your website yourself. Some companies provide a daily or weekly backup service, depending on the plan you choose.
Note: when you are a beginner with a site, it often happens to mess up, and it's not difficult to ruin the beautiful work done by the web designer, and that costs a fortune!
So, in my opinion, choosing a hosting like siteground that offers daily backups up to 30 days in all its plans, could be a winning move.
18. Check if the plan includes Error Monitoring
If you're new to the world of web hosting, you'll probably need some guidance on how to manage it. To prevent glitches from harming your users' experience, it's helpful if the provider you choose has a monitoring and reporting system in place.
For example, some companies will let you know when they find issues related to performance, security, or the application you're using.
Or, if you are a shared hosting user, they can notify you when your server usage has reached its limit.
Regardless of the nature of the problems, make sure the provider has a system in place to detect potential problems and report them to you.
This way you will be able to solve any problem before it gets bigger.
Conclusion: Ready to choose a hosting now?
Since web hosting is an important part of making your website a success, you shouldn't just pick any available provider.
If you choose the wrong host, your website will likely have a lot of downtime, be slow, and this can lead to a loss of customers and increased frustration, YOURS.
"Knowing what to look for in a web hosting provider can get you closer to the right choice, but this doesn't mean these aspects should cost much!"
So, you need to evaluate potential web hosting providers for:
- Their uptime,
- Customer Service,
- Migration Services,
- Operating System,
- Safety features.
It is also essential to check:
- Server location,
- Storage space,
- The type of hosting,
- The performance and installation process of the CMS.
Finally, you should check if the hosting platform offers free website building tools, emails and domain names.
A great example of web hosting services of high quality with excellent value for money is Hostinger.
It offers several web hosting plans to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.
Although researching web hosting solutions can be time-consuming, the list in this guide should help you make a quicker and well thought-out decision.
Also, I'll repost below the list of hosting providers that, I've tried, use and recommend:
*By purchasing any of the hosting listed above through one of the links on this page, you'll be helping to keep my coffee pot full at all times 🙂 🙂
Having said that, all that remains is for me to thank you for following me up to this point and especially for your attention.