Do you have the right host for your site? We give you 10 tips for selecting the best option for your business.
CHOOSE A TYPE OF HOSTING
The first thing to do to select a host is to first understand the types of Hosting that there are for your website. There are 4 to date:
Shared hosting: The principle of this type of hosting is that you share a server with other clients. This helps reduce costs, especially if your storage needs are not very important (if you have a business showcase site, a blog, etc.)
Dedicated hosting: As the name suggests, dedicated hosting allows you to take advantage of a specific server reserved for your company with its own operating system, which can be particularly interesting in terms of security. It is a solution rather suitable for high traffic sites or e-commerce, for example. This is a more expensive solution, so the investment must be consistent with the need.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting: This type of hosting works in the same way as dedicated hosting except that you have a virtual machine installed on a dedicated server. The VPS allows you to benefit from more flexible development possibilities than in the case of more static dedicated hosting while saving on the total cost of hosting because resources are shared. This Hosting is therefore particularly suitable for companies intended to progress rapidly with needs that are likely to develop in the medium term.
Cloud hosting: Cloud hosting is very similar to the principle of shared hosting, with the difference that it does not depend on a single physical server but on several virtual servers. The main advantage is to be able to offer very flexible possibilities in terms of availability and flexibility since hosting adapts to your needs in real-time by allocating you more or less bandwidth depending on your traffic, for example.
Each type of Hosting, therefore, has its advantages and limits. The objective is to find the right compromise and the best quality/price ratio according to your particular needs. The infographic above shows the advantages and disadvantages of each type of Hosting.
HAVE A LONG-TERM VISION
The main objective for a company, apart from making savings on its hosting, is that of having a solution capable of evolving over time with the development of your activity. Take the example of a website that has few needs to date because daily traffic remains limited but that you have estimated a strong progression in the medium or long term thanks to significant web marketing efforts. In this situation, it would be better to move towards a solution capable of adapting to these future needs, without technical difficulties and without additional cost.
In general, it is therefore better to choose a limited and inexpensive basic offer when you start, even if it means switching to a more efficient offer if necessary later. So be sure to check that your host offers several formulas adapted to your current but also future needs.
TAKE STOCK OF YOUR NEEDS
When choosing a host, you have to ask yourself different questions, including questions to determine your technical needs in terms of Hosting:
- What type of website do you want to set up? Is it a showcase site for a geographically limited catchment area or e-commerce with the international scope? Do you want to develop multiple sites or a single site?
- What daily traffic do you estimate? Remember to also consider your future marketing and SEO efforts to anticipate future needs.
- What storage capacity will you need to host your site, your visuals and your files? The more images your site has to host, the greater your needs will be. In addition, you will certainly need an FTP server for your business.
- Are you going to use specific software or applications? Are you going to use a turnkey solution like WordPress for example? Note that some providers offer very easy to use solutions for creating your site on this type of platform.
- Do you plan to develop e-commerce in the more or less long term? In this case, you will have to opt for a solution which will allow you to develop new functionalities of this kind easily and without limitation.
- How many domain names do you want to buy? Do not forget to count all the interesting extensions for your activity.
- How many email addresses linked to your website will you need?
- What level of security will you claim for your visitors and for the safety of your site? This is particularly important if you manage an online store with payment by credit card for example.
This general reflection will allow you to have a more precise idea of the Hosting adapted to your needs and to ensure that the chosen solution includes all the essential services for your website. In addition, it will also help you establish a budget for your Hosting that will be consistent with your ambitions.
CHECK THE POSSIBILITY OF HOSTING YOUR EMAIL ADDRESSES
Most current hosting solutions offer hosting of your dedicated email addresses. These addresses are generally in the following format [email protected] Make sure that the hosting solution chosen includes this service in the cost of the chosen formula, and that you will have a sufficient number of addresses to adequately support your internal organization.
CHOOSE A HOST IN YOUR TARGET COUNTRY
Generally, companies are advised to use a web host with physical servers located in the target country of the hosted website. And this is explained for one main reason: to allow your site to better position itself in the search results of your target Internet users. Server localization is a proven SEO criterion, although of course, it is not the most important criterion for your SEO. But in the context of a reflection on the best choice of host, better still put the odds on your side. If your target country is Canada, therefore prefer to choose web hosting in Canada. Also, take this into account when choosing the extension (s) of your domain names.
CHECK SERVER AVAILABILITY AND CONNECTION SPEED
To choose between the many web hosting offers on the market, you will need to compare certain technical data. In addition to the criteria linked to the proposed formulas (number of email addresses, storage, etc.), certain data, such as server availability or connection speeds will allow you to determine the performance of your potential providers.
Server availability, which is directly linked to the reliability of hosting, is generally expressed as a percentage and is very often displayed as between 99% and 100%. And if the difference may seem very small in theory, it is much less in practice. 1% over a year represents more than 3 days, which can be very problematic for a website and in particular for e-commerce, which cannot afford to be unavailable for too long under penalty of seeing its sales fall quickly.
The connection speed of the servers is also a very good data to compare for your hosting solutions. Indeed, it directly involves the speed of display of your pages, which will have an impact on the performance of your site, on your traffic, as well as on your SEO. Indeed, page loading speed is a fundamental SEM criterion for Google as for all other search engines.
DON’T NEGLECT SECURITY
Security must also be a determining factor in your choice of solution. So, do not hesitate to compare the tools and security measures offered in each hosting solution, for example, the possibility of obtaining an SSL certificate, but also IP blocking which can prove useful in preventing attacks by hackers. Do not hesitate to ask the host for regular automatic backups, to ensure that your data will be protected in the event of an incident.
TEST CUSTOMER SERVICE
In the same logic, it is better to opt for a host offering optimum customer service with 24/7 access by phone or chat, especially in the event of technical problems. A customer service offering an email response within 24 hours is also a very good point for the selected service provider. Rather than relying on the assertions of sales pitches, do not hesitate to test customer service upstream to test its responsiveness before making your final choice.
READ CUSTOMER REVIEWS AND TESTIMONIALS BEFORE YOU START
Even with all these technical comparisons, it will sometimes be difficult to make a wise choice as there are many offers on the market. This is why we strongly advise you to study customer opinions and testimonials before making your decision and to complete your analysis. Online comparators are also a very good source of information to quickly spot the differences between each offer.
Finally, who says Hosting also says cost. And even if the web hosting offers are often very close in price, this is not necessarily the case when we add the options that would be added to the basic offer displayed. So be sure to take into account any additional costs to effectively compare competing offers.
With all of this information, you will undoubtedly be able to choose the right web hosting solution for your business. The infographic below summarizes all the points raised and the criteria for comparing the different offers of the hosts. The challenge of a good web host is real for a company, so do not hesitate to take the time to think about choosing the best solution for your website.
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