Choosing a web hosting service can be a tricky task. Whether you need to start a personal website for yourself, or you want to make sure your business has a strong online presence, the right web hosting provider can play a crucial role.
With so many choices available, it’s easy to simply opt for the cheapest option. However, web hosting should be seen as another important investment in your business. You should think of your host as the foundation of your site. You wouldn’t build a home on a shaky foundation, would you? No. So you shouldn’t build your website with a low-quality host.
That’s why we want to talk about what to look for in a web hosting provider, and why SiteGround is our favorite web hosting service.
But First, What Is a Web Hosting Service Anyway?
If you’ve never had a website built before, you most likely don’t know what a website hosting service is in the first place. Allow us to break it down.
When you have a website built, you essentially create a bunch of different files. These files need to be stored somewhere online in order to be accessible on the Internet. So what happens is you pay a hosting provider to “host” these files for you on one of their web servers. In exchange, you’ll pay a monthly fee that you’ll pay to a hosting company.
Your web host is responsible for things like troubleshooting, keeping the software and hardware up to date, server maintenance, and more. Also, when you host your files on a hosting company’s server, it’s available 24/7. In other words, your website will always be accessible on the web.
Let’s take a look at a few of the key elements to look for in a good web hosting service.
Security Is Key
Website security is something that we can easily forget about. Just like when you buy security and alarm systems for your home, you’ll want to invest in proper security measures for your website as well.
A high-quality web host will have all security things in place, like firewalls, regular website backups, and other methods to protect the web server but the datacenter as a whole.
Reliability and Uptime
This is a big one. Reliability and server uptime essentially means how often your website will be available online. Now, most hosts will stick to the rule of 99.9% uptime- this leaves a little bit of wiggle room for any necessary server maintenance that will temporarily take your site offline.
Make sure you review the host service provider’s uptime policy and if they offer any sort of uptime guarantee. Some hosting companies will actually reimburse you for any time they go over their guaranteed uptime.
Good Bandwidth and Storage
You’ve probably read about bandwidth in your search to find the best host services. Bandwidth is the amount of traffic and number of page views your website can handle every single month. Say if you have thousands of visitors to your website suddenly (a good problem to have) you don’t want your website to end up crashing.
Common practice for hosting services is to provide unlimited bandwidth- and the same goes for storage. You’ll want to make sure you find out what your provider offers in terms of upgrading these elements if need be.
Customer Support That’s There for You
Customer support is something that you may not think of until you actually need it. However, knowing that you have a great support team ready to assist you will give you a piece of mind.
Try testing support yourself before selecting your hosting provider. You can submit a question or two and ensure their methods of support are agreeable with you. Sometimes companies only offer email support, while others may offer phone and chat.
Make sure you have customer support that is readily available and easy to access.
Room for Growth
When you first purchase hosting you likely only need a single site. This isn’t to say that your business will grow and you’ll need to register more domains and subdomains.
Your web host should be equipped with tools, like cPanel, which will allow for easy domain management.
Also, when choosing a web host, make sure they offer up scalable packages. You will want the ability to upgrade to a different hosting plan in time if need be.
All of this to say, we want to talk about why SiteGround is our favorite web hosting service. Oh, there’s so many reasons, but just to name a few…
Why SiteGround is Our Favorite Web Hosting Service
For starters, SiteGround has an A+ rating from the BBB and 4.7 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot.
It sits somewhere in between a consumer web hosting provider, and one that caters to enterprise businesses- in other words, it meets a lot of demands. If your small business has more complex web needs than a typical small business does, SiteGround could be the best fit for you. If your business ends up growing (like we mentioned previously) SiteGround has options to grow with you.
We love that SiteGround’s pricing is nice and clear. The pricing starts at only $7 a month, though if you go up to its GoGeek plan you do have the opportunity to add on several other useful features, including:
- Access to a staging server and one-click Git repo creation.
- All of its plans include SSL
- Daily backup
- Unmetered traffic and unlimited databases
While other services claim to be unlimited, even if they aren’t, SiteGround sets limits on the bandwidth and storage up front so you aren’t hit with any surprises later on.
As with any other services, if you want to get the lowest price, you’ll have to pay for a year in advance. After that year, the price will go up. The good news is you’ll also get a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 100% renewable energy match.
The Speed and Performance
Speed and performance are one of SiteGround’s most significant advantages that we love. It uses a variety of techniques to ensure that it is delivering the highest quality web site hosting out to its customers.
SiteGround utilizes what’s called Solid State Drive (SSD), which is much more efficient than Hard Disk Drive (HDD.) This data storage technology can help your site load much faster, which is something that both you and your visitors will love. No matter what plan you choose with SiteGround, it will provide SSD to its customers.
SiteGround uses NGINX, which is a high-performance server. This is an alternative to what’s called an Apache server. This type of server in particular delivers high speeds and reliability to its hosting customers. Nginx, unlike Apache, is built on a lean architecture, which helps to increase the page loading speeds.
Another way that SiteGround speeds up websites is by using CDN (content delivery network.) This system delivers pages and web content to site visitors based on the geographic location of the user. SiteGround deploys a CDN called Cloudflare.
Are you using WordPress? You’re in luck! For SiteGround’s WordPress hosting customers, they have access to what’s called the SuperCacher, which can help speed up sites through three different caching levels.
A Great Uptime Guarantee
Do you remember when we talked about the uptome? Well, SiteGround guarantees to all their customers an uptime 99.99% guarantee, which means about only 4 minutes of downtime each month! The SiteGround platform is built on LXC (Linux containers) technology, which is much more efficient and flexible than other platforms.
Protection and Early Detection of Problems
There’s nothing worse than noticing a problem too late. A delayed response to an issue with your website can lead to a lot of time and money wasted. With SiteGround, you have an active server monitoring team that can help to detect issues quickly and take necessary steps to prevent them before they even become a problem for you.
In the case that any issues do occur you don’t have to worry about it. The DevOps team will fix the problems as fast as possible, reducing the entire downtime you experience.
Big and small websites are attacked by malware every single day.
SiteGround has developed its own account isolation on shared servers to make sure your website is always secure – this is just another reason why we love it .You can also choose to add on some additional security features like the HackAlert monitoring that keeps you informed if there are attacks on your site. This feature costs a whole $1 a month, and can keep your website safe.
Depending on your plan, you might also receive a free SSL certificate. This is essential to protect data like passwords and credit card numbers.
No matter which hosting plan you choose, you will get a free domain included with SiteGround. As long as you stay with the host, you will never have to pay for your domain. This saves you money and the effort of renewing it later.
Once Again, Great Customer Support
We can’t stress this enough – having access to responsive customer support is essential to your business. While you hope that nothing will go wrong, the chances are you will need help.
Regardless of whether you simply need account support or more technical assistance, SiteGround is there to help you. Plus, when you are first starting off, SiteGround is extremely helpful, and can even migrate your site for free for you.
The company’s support is available 24/7, and you can reach them by chat, call, or through the ticket system. In addition to this, all customers even have access to pre-recorded webinars that help explain the hosting features better.
Do you see now why we love SiteGround so much? We encourage you to review it further HERE and see if it’s the right fit for you!
For all of your website design needs, learn more about our services at Dalex Design Group HERE.