How To Select An Affordable Web Host
You’ve purchased the domain, or URL, for your website. Now you are ready to publish your website, right?
Not quite …
You also need to purchase a hosting package so that your domain has somewhere to live.
Think of your domain/URL as your home and your hosting as the land your home is built on.
You can’t do much with a house that you have nowhere to put!
Why all hosting companies are NOT the same
If you’ve started doing some research into hosting companies, you’ve probably found that the list of potential providers is LONG. The options can make your head spin!
While it may seem that all providers are offering the same services, you’ll want to take a closer look at the features of each to see what best suits your needs.
If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. I’m going to share exactly what to look for.
Some hosting services are very inexpensive, but you may be risking your site going down or getting hacked if you choose one of these providers.
On the other hand, some hosting providers are meant to host extremely robust websites that get hundreds of thousands of visitors a month – and the price reflects that.
If you choose an extremely robust provider and plan, you may be paying a lot for features you never use.
When looking into hosting providers, you ideally want to be somewhere in the middle.
What to look for when choosing a hosting company
Server uptime refers to how often your site will be accessible. You want a web host who’s uptime is 99.5% or above. This means that there is only a .5% chance of your website being down because of server issues, which are out of your control.
Does the hosting provider backup your site at regular intervals? This is an important feature, as your website can crash unexpectedly for a number of reasons. If your hosting provider includes site backups and your website does crash, it can usually be restored quickly. Without a backup in place, it may be days or even weeks until you can get your website up and running again.
It’s possible that even your little website can be targeted by hackers. You’ll want a provider that includes some basic security features
Let’s face it. The chances that you’ll have to contact tech support for some help along the way as you setup your site are pretty high. Make sure that your hosting provider provides live technical support at time intervals that work for you.
When something goes wrong with your website, you want to have a person to talk you through getting things fixed. If you’re like me, you’ll want to choose a company that offer phone or live chat support. If the company only provides email support, that can cause a delay that’ll impact your site – and increase your stress!
How much should you be looking to pay?
When you first research hosting options, you’ll see that there are two main categories – shared hosting vs dedicated hosting. Which category you choose will affect pricing, so it’s important to understand the difference between these 2 options.
Shared hosting means that your website will be hosted on a server with other websites.
Dedicated hosting means that you have your own server.
Shared hosting is the best option for the majority of coaches we work with.
While sharing a server with other websites does have a few downsides, shared plans are much less expensive and require very little to no technical knowledge on your part.
There are wonderful, basic options starting at as low as $3-4/month. These plans typically allow you to host one domain. It’s likely that as your online business grows, you’ll want the flexibility to add more domains, for sales pages and landing pages that promote your free gift. In this case, you’ll want to look at mid-range hosting plans.
For an investment of $8-10/month, you can get something a bit more robust, usually including the ability to host multiple domains, more disc/storage space, and the ability to handle more visitors. This is the type of plan we have, and may be worth it if you are growing quickly or outgrowing your current plan.
The sky is the limit when it comes to hosting packages. You’ll see hosting out there for $30 -$50+ a month. More than likely, these have features that you don’t need and will never use.
Who we use & recommend for hosting
If you’re looking for a great hosting company at an affordable price, we recommend Siteground.
Siteground has a 99.9% uptime guarantee. They have great security features and back up your site on a daily basis. They also provide 24/7 customer support via phone and chat.
In addition to these important ‘basic’ features, they also have a ton of ‘nice-to-have’ features, such as…
- providing a free domain name
- free transfer of an existing site to their platform
- and free email accounts
If you have or would like a WordPress website, they make it very simple to install WordPress and provide WordPress related support.
Why we switched to Siteground
We switched to Siteground earlier this year because we were concerned about the security of our site, the site speed, and storage space that we were allotted.
Some great things about Siteground are:
- They include one free domain name with every hosting package.
- They provide additional security within the shared hosting plans. This makes for a less dangerous environment as far as the risk of your site being contaminated by malware from other users on the same server
- We’ve seen an improvement in our site speed. Siteground utilizes technology that allows for faster processing of WordPress websites.
- They provide more server space, which means we can store more images and files. If you’re just starting out this may not be a huge concern, but this is an important feature for us.
If you’re just getting started and only need to host one domain, Siteground’s StartUp plan may be right for you. They are currently offering an introductory rate of $3.95/month*.
If you want something a bit more robust and the ability to host unlimited domains, the GrowBig plan is a great option. They’re currently offering an introductory rate of $7.95/month*.
With all plans, they offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
*Note: this pricing is a of May 2016
There you have it! That’s the skinny on website hosting. I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed by technology and sorting through all the options. You should now have a good idea of the features to look for and how much you should be paying.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Share your questions and comments below so I can support you.