Can I host my own website? This is a question that I get from a lot of bloggers who are taking baby steps into the blogging world. Most of these bloggers are either using Blogger or WordPress.org to host their content as these are the most popular website building tools available online. And yes, they are free to use.
These platforms are really good if you are just starting up. As you climb the blogging ladder, you might want to switch to a self-hosted website or blog. It might seem like a huge step at the beginning but it’s not very difficult to migrate to a self-hosting service. A self-hosted site gives you a lot of freedom to play around with different features that are not available in the free platform. You can host your website anywhere in the world. Whether you want Web hosting in the UK, India or the U.S, you can select the hosting provider as per your convenience. Now, all that comes later as the very first step is to zero in on a hosting plan as per your requirement. This may be a bit tricky as there are tons for hosting services to choose from. To make your life simpler, I have come up with 5 very important things that you should consider before buying a hosting plan.
5 things to consider before buying a hosting plan
1) Stick to your requirement
This is one of the most common mistakes that bloggers make when buying a hosting plan. They don’t assess their requirement properly and end up buying a sub-standard hosting plan. You should always assess your requirement prior to making the purchase. Following key points should be considered in this regard.
- What is your website type?
- What is your budget?
- What type of applications do you need?
- What is the storage space you require?
- Do you need email accounts?
- How much traffic you are expecting?
Based on the above questions, prepare a requirement sheet and use it to compare various hosting providers to select the best plan according to your need.
2) Enquire about the Uptime
Needless to say, this is one of the most important points to consider before buying a hosting plan. Uptime can be defined as the amount of time for which the hosting server has been up and running. The higher the uptime, the better the hosting provider. Most of the hosting providers promise you a 99% uptime these days; however you can do your own research to validate this. There are several free monitoring tools available on the internet that can be used to monitor the uptime of the hosting providers. Once you have the result in-front of your eyes, you will certainly make the decision with confidence.
3) Renewal prices
Most of the hosting providers offer hosting packages at a very low price but the renewal costs are usually very high. Also, the monthly cost comes down as you increase the duration of you hosting plan. A good tip to avoid high renewal cost is to opt in for a lengthy hosting plan if you are planning to stick with the provider and if you are in for the long run. This will delay your renewal and will save you a few extra bucks.
If you are unsure of the future prospects and want to change your hosting provider in the future, you can go with the short-term hosting plan. Now, these may be a little costlier, however you might get a good deal on another hosting plan at the end of your subscription.
4) Customer support
Customer support plays a very important role in the web hosting business. At times when things are not quite going as per the plan and you need immediate assistance, you should be able to easily get in touch with the hosting provider and get things fixed. Any downtime can adversely affect your business.
Always make sure that you web hosting comes with a 24/7 live chat support. Live chat is the easiest and fastest way to get in touch with a support representative. Enquire about the resolution times and SLA’s and make sure that all the issues are resolved in a timely manner.
5) Control panel and website backup
What happens if you website is hacked? If someone injects a malicious code or your site crashes altogether? How do you recover your site from these scenarios? This is where site backup plays a pivotal role. A lot of hosting providers offer you scheduled backups for data protection. Always make sure that you choose one of these hosting providers. You can always take backups manually but scheduled backups can save you from a lot of hassles.
Another important thing to consider before buying a hosting plan is the availability of an easy-to-use control panel. Make sure to verify that the control panel you are being offered comes with all the necessary features and functions. It should be easy to use so that you don’t have to open a live chat with the support staff for petty issues every now and then.
These were a few important points that you should consider before buying a hosting plan. If you take these points into consideration, you will save yourself from a lot of trouble later on. If you have something to add to this list, feel free to jot down your thoughts in the comment section below.