Choosing the right web host is one of the most important decisions for new website owners. Your site’s reliability, performance and security can be dependent on that choice, as is the ease at which you can manage your hosting and your website. Here, we explain some of the things someone launching their first website should look for in a web host.
- 24/7 technical support
Every website owner will face difficulties with their website at some stage, even large businesses with experienced IT teams. If you are new to running a website, you may not have the technical know-how to deal with some of the issues that might come along. This is where you will need a web host that can provide the support to help you solve problems quickly. A good hosting plan will come with technical support built in and it will be available 24/7, so no matter when an issue occurs, someone will be there to help you.
- Free daily backups
As businesses rely on their websites to help them get found online and to attract new customers, the last thing you need is to lose your website and all its content. This can happen for many reasons, including human error, cybercrime, hardware failure and software corruption. If it does happen, the consequences can be catastrophic – it causes some companies to go out of business. Having a backup of your website prevents such catastrophes from happening as you can restore the site very quickly. For this reason, look for a web hosting plan that comes with free daily backups included. This means your site is backed up every day so that you never lose any updates.
- Uptime guarantee
Uptime is the percentage of time that a web host guarantees to make your website available online. As you need to be online for as much of the time as possible so as not to lose sales or damage your reputation, the higher the percentage, the better. A good web host will guarantee 99.9% and above. The additional 0.1% is for the time to carry out critical server maintenance, such as updating the operating system and installing security patches. This is usually done when websites have the fewest visitors, i.e., in the middle of the night.
- Robust security
All websites are at risk of cybercrime, and these usually come in the form of hacking or malware. While website owners are responsible for keeping their sites secure, a good web host will play a key role in defending their customer’s servers from hacking and malware infection through the use of advanced firewalls. Additionally, most hosts will provide a range of other security services, such as SSL certificates, email encryption, spam filters, VPNs and even specialised tools for CMS websites, like Patchman Website Security.
- Easy upgrades
Most people start a website with the hope that it will grow – both in terms of what is on the website and the number of visitors it attracts. As it expands and gets more traffic, the web hosting package you originally opted for may no longer provide all the storage space, RAM and processing power you need. When this point arrives, you’ll need to upgrade to a better hosting package before your site begins to struggle – the last thing you’ll want is for it to crash. When choosing a web host, look for one which offers a range of larger options that you can upgrade to, such as VPS, dedicated server and cloud hosting. Importantly, make sure your host will help you migrate from your current hosting solution to your next one, so that the move is seamless and goes without issue.
- Great control panels
If you are new to running a website, then it makes sense to choose a control panel that makes it very easy to manage the backend of your site and your hosting. Industry-leading control panels like cPanel are ideal for beginners as they are extremely user-friendly, with simple to use layouts and navigation. What’s more, they come with a wide range of tools, so you can do more things with them – like install website software with a single click, set up and manage email accounts, increase site security, manage your domains and much more. A good web hosting plan will come with cPanel included.
If you are building your first website, finding the right web host can be a confusing process. Hopefully, the information provided here will help you understand the important features to look for in a host and a hosting package.
For hosting built for new website owners, check out our cPanel Hosting Plans.