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15 Considerations When Choosing Your Web Host Provider

Choosing the right web host for your business can be daunting ‒ especially if you’re just starting out your first website.

There’s so much information that you need to digest when it comes to hosting your site. It’s also easy to forget the most crucial things when you’re weighing the pros and cons of different providers.

In this post, we’ll discuss the 15 things that you need to consider when choosing a web host.

Price

Even if the price is one of the top things on our list, it shouldn’t be the main deciding factor or a deal-breaker.

Over time, you’ll come to observe that there are huge price differences that are being offered by different merchants. And sometimes, going for the cheapest option out there isn’t necessarily a great idea, especially in the long run.

When you’re looking for potential choices, keep in mind that the maintenance of a skilled workforce and state of the art software do take a lot of time and money. Thus, a web hosting provider that offers you a $2 monthly subscription might not be one of them.

While it’s still important to search for the best deals out there, you also need to remember the saying “You get what you pay for.”

Area of Expertise

Not all web hosts are the right fit for all kinds of customers. Others offer excellent shared plans but don’t provide the right solutions for a growing business. Others provide excellent enterprise solutions but don’t cater to someone that has an up-and-coming blog.

So it’s vital to compare web hosts first. Look first on a particular web host’s specialty or area of expertise. Then choose a company that understands your needs.

You can also search for reviews and recommendations online. Many of these reviews will talk about specific web host’s strengths and weaknesses.

Reliability and Uptime Score

There’s nothing more important than having a host that operates 24/7. That’s true if your visitors operate in different timezones from all over the world.

You need to search for a web host that offers stable servers and network connections. Usually, the ideal uptime score is 99.95 % ‒ even for those who have shared hosting accounts. There are even premium accounts that offer 99.99% uptime.

Luckily, there are various ways you can obtain this web host uptime information.

For instance, you can track your prospective web host using a server monitoring tool. Most of these tools are usually available for free or offer a free trial period. Apart from that, they’re efficient and easy to use.

Location

The closer your data center is with your web visitors, the faster your loading page will be. So if most of your web visitors come from a single area, you can pick a hosting provider with a nearby data center.

However, if that’s not the case, you can always opt for a web hosting package that offers a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

A CDN will be hosting a copy of the static content of your website and a copy of the page when it’s being accessed from another territory. Also known as caching, site visitors will be able to get the data from the server that’s closest to your location.

Security

Sometimes, one factor that’s commonly overlooked when picking a web host provider is the security of the server.

In fact, according to a report, 1 out of 13 web requests eventually lead to malware. That’s why it’s crucial to pick a web server that can protect your website from these cyber attacks.

Of course, while your site’s security still has a lot to do with how you create and develop your site, having a secure web hosting helps keep potential hackers out.

So, ensure that your web host provider keeps their system updated at all times. You should also check if they conduct an anti-virus and anti-malware software scanning regularly.

Finally, your web host provider should also provide you with user access control. This allows only selected people to access the admin features of your site.

Scalability

Another thing that you need to consider when picking a web host provider is scalability.

As your site grows and your traffic increases, sometimes your current web plan can no longer sustain your needs. So, if your current web hosting provider couldn’t accommodate you as you grow, this could lead to more serious problems later.

Ask yourself the following questions when picking a web host:

  • Do they provide you with the flexibility to upgrade your current subscription anytime you want?
  • Will they allow you to shift from a VPS hosting to a dedicated one quite easily?

Remember that switching from one hosting service to another is both time-consuming and costly. So to be able to avoid that, you should pick a web host provider that will allow you to join hands as you please.

Technical Support

As a website owner, you’re likely to encounter issues, especially in the early days of managing a website. Therefore, having access to a highly responsive, friendly, and well-trained technical support team is important.

Ideally, you should look for a service provider that offers high-quality, 24-hour support. However, keep in mind that some companies advertise that they have 24/7 support, but they take hours (or even days) to get back to you and answer your query.

An excellent way to filter out a provider who is likely sticking to their word is to search for reviews, testimonials, and ratings online. Finally, make sure that their technical support is offered in multiple channels such as email, landline, live chat, and so on.

Backup Solutions

We always think that the worst won’t happen to us. But it’s always best that you come prepared. After all, accidents do happen.

Therefore, if you’re in the position where your site could easily be destroyed, you might want to look for a way to restore it.

A backup is a great way to bring back your site if ever it gets lost. While other methods are available in backing up your site, one of the easiest (and best) ways to do it is through a web host.

It’s also more convenient on your part if the web host offers you daily backups for your website, as well as click-on-demand backups.

Control Panel

As a website owner, you should also be ready to learn and perform various tasks like creating a new email account, a new content management system, and a new plugin by yourself, regardless of whether you know (or don’t) about that particular technology.

To be able to accomplish this, you might have to access a control panel like cPanel or Plesk. Usually, these web-designed applications will allow you to access one of the most important features of a website through a simplistic interface.

So, don’t choose a service provider that doesn’t offer you a control panel that isn’t user-friendly.

Refund Policy

A web host can be costly on your part, especially if you’re just starting out and you have a limited budget. That’s why you must choose a web hosting company that gives you some sort of refund policy or a trial period to significantly cut down the costs.

Through free trials, you’re able to test whether a specific hosting plan is great for you, and opt-out if ever it doesn’t fit with your current hosting needs.

If ever things don’t go as you expect it to be, choosing a web hosting provider that provides great refund policies will see to it that you don’t lose out a lot of money.

Customer Reviews

If you already have a prospective web host, do your research on that particular web hosting company.

Look them up on Google or social media, and see what they’re previous clients are saying about them.

Can they easily be contacted if ever problems arise? What’s their average time to respond? What’s their course of action is if ever a problem arises?

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the quality of data and traffic that’s allowed to travel and transfer to and from your site, web users, and the internet.

Every web hosting company has different levels of bandwidth. If you’re a small blog with an average of 5,000 visitors per month, then you don’t have to worry whether your bandwidth is metered or not.

Storage

Several hosting plans will offer an unlimited storage capacity, but that also has restrictions. If you’re a small business website, for instance, a low-cost hosting plan is already enough for your needs.

It’s also unlikely that you’ll need more than 1 GB unless you have larger files like videos and music.

Hardware

You must also be aware of what type of hardware your hosting company uses.

If your prospective web hosting company doesn’t exactly say what type of web host they use, then you might have to ask. That’s because the hardware they use can significantly affect your server and website’s performance.

Email Features

This is probably something that you haven’t considered when selecting a web hosting provider.

However, if you encounter a spam problem, then it’s likely because your web host doesn’t have the right solution to address it. Ask about the web host’s spam solutions as well as general email practices.

Over to You

It’s possible to navigate the waters of web hosting and pick the right host. Picking the right choice is all about considering your needs alongside with what a service provider has to offer.

About the Author

Matt Ahlgren is the co-founder of WebsiteHostingRating.com, a reliable website where you can see hosting reviews. He is a web developer with in-depth skills in SEO and affiliate marketing. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his family and taking his pug for a walk.

Design Approach that Matters to Web Designers

A better user experience means a better website. The website should meet its user‘s needs and expectations. Website designer and web developers should build websites that can be conveniently and efficiently sustained and updated. A website don’t just work, but works well for its potential audience and the people behind its construction.

Efficiency is crucial for all websites that exist. It is the core of the project, may be in the form of responsiveness, accessibility, strategy of the content and the loading speed. The way of choosing the right CSS property to use should also be taken into consideration to make the project feasible.

Ask before you build

Ask questions on to whom the website you’re building is for? Why do they need this kind of website? Where are they going to use it? Talk to the client to understand the purpose of the website development. Know the requirements and functionalities needed by the client for their new website. Make things clear before you put your hand on your keyboard and start creating your website.

Make your code simple

Simplify your code using the shorter approach that does the same way using the longer one. Simplicity makes your code look cleaner.

Check the number of characters used

Using 45 – 75 characters are normally the accepted and safe count per line for a convenient reading. To assure that your design support this, use this simple trick of placing a line of dummy text with an asterisk at the characters 45 and 75, and then test the website to confirm if it resizes at this range.

Learn from issues and errors

Unexpected behaviors may occur even if you have tested and checked your application and to how many devices you have used. It is not common to launch an application without a bug. Bugs are found as soon as the application was launched and used by the users. Make yourself available for the concerns and issues encountered by the users by using the website. Record server errors and evaluate them. Keep track of the errors and think through on how to solve them.

Get to grips with debugging in JavaScript

Tag a functional piece of information on a specific line when you are trying to understand it. Note down the areas that you think makes sense when you’re attempting to remove a bug. Use console.log so that you can notice where the code is cracking.

Make background images responsive

Using the CSS property background – size: cover; is one easy way to make your background images responsive not considering the width of the screen. Furthermore, using this property in visual scalability when defining the size of an element of the background automates its pixel ratio where the image will display without indicating it in the rules.

Indications of a Good Web Hosting Service Provider

A clever business owner prefers a web hosting provider that has a good reputation and has the capability to cater the needs of their business and customers. Lots of competitive web hosting services have been offered online. It is best to consider what will be the advantage and how does it help in setting and improving your website. But, what are the signs of having a good web hosting provider?

Server Uptime

Servers need updates and upgrades because this helps your server relevant. It is a good indication you’re on the right track when your web hosting provider guarantees your server uptime percentage.

Back-ups

Your hosting provider should regularly back up your server which includes your sites, databases and supporting files. For security purposes, it is necessary for customers to keep their own backup too. The backup will differ on which type of hosting plan you have. You may refer to their Terms and Condition.

Databases

A hosting service provider comes in a package that can access databases. Thus, it has features that are integrated into systems like e-commerce or content management. Mostly, this will not cause additional cost on your part as this in the package.

Sharing of Server

Talking about shared server, it means that you are sharing the available resources with other accounts in one location. This includes CPU time, memory and disk space.

Support

There are technical issues that you cannot resolve yourself; your last resort will talk to service provider experts for the issues to be sorted out.

Top Reasons Why Your Host’s Hardware Matters

We often overlooked that host’s hardware should be considered to be as one of the vital requirement in a web hosting. Even if your website works successfully and to a satisfactory level, you should still be concerned with what hardware your web host uses. Do your providers often upgrade it? Below are the reasons why you should bother about your host’s hardware.

More Speedy Process

We cannot stop technology to evolve, which makes the processing requirements of websites increases. CPUs are working much harder to support such processes. If this hardware is not being upgraded, even performing a simple task will take time to complete. Would, therefore, lead your website to load slower and in turn, can affect your SEO ranking and conversion rate.

Eco-Friendly Hardware

Carbon neutral can be included in your hosting. If you want to have your hosting be carbon neutral, identify what hardware they are using. If they use the latest technology, the more Eco-friendly they are than those who use older kits. Simply because newer tech consumes less power.

Reliable Provider

A company that regularly improves their equipment to improve their services is probably a more reliable company. Obviously, it is a very important factor in a web hosting company. You do not want them to be going out of business 12 months down the line.

If you’re looking for a new web host, do not forget to ask them about the hardware they use and when it was last upgraded because it will be your way to have a better quality web host.

Web Hosting Tips For Your Ecommerce Website

The effectiveness of an eCommerce website determines on how the website performs and how quickly does it respond to customer’s request. If you want to have an eCommerce website, the first thing you need to consider is the mechanism of web hosting.

Once customers reach your website, how do you make them stay and shop? No matter how good your website’s content is, if your hosting is poor, it will likely push them to hit back button or find another better website. Especially if the visitor does not want to waste their time in waiting for your site to load. Therefore, having a slow website greatly affects the number of your visitors, therefore, decreases conversion rate. How to make your website’s speed fast as possible?

Opting for a Basic Hosting Package

Your e-commerce website may become large in the future, so opting for a basic hosting package may put you at high risk of performance. Having a large website can lead to a low loading speed, resulting in lost revenue.

Configuration Mistakes

You need to check that everything is properly configured. Along with your hosting service provider, determine which configuration works well for your e-commerce website. You may also use optimized hardware and software configurations to improve the loading speed of your site.

Good Website Infrastructure

Through scaling out the number of servers used by your website, you can ensure that the infrastructure is good enough to meet the number of your visitors online.

Don’t Overwork the Server

Uptime cannot be achieved if your server is working beyond its capacity. Therefore, ensure that you deploy more servers that dedicated to handling certain tasks.

There’s a lot of web hosting provider out there that is so tempting because of their marketing strategies, offered features, etc. Don’t take it too easy when choosing a web host. There are a lot of things you need to consider for you to make sure that your website’s speed is fast as possible.

Web Hosting: Managed vs Unmanaged

Start thinking now; what is the best web hosting provider that can cater the need of your online business. In managing web hosting, funds are needed in order to keep your online business ongoing. Today, we will assess what is the applicable web hosting for your online business.

Managed hosting is a dedicated suit when:

  • Your business is ready to scale.
  • Your website is absolutely vital to the running of your business
  • You have an e-commerce website and sell in reasonable quantities.
  • Your website and email has to be 24/7
  • You need a large amount of email address and want to have the ability to store these emails for the long term

Moreover, if you only have a small budget, you can choose unmanaged hosting or shared web hosting. It is the best option when:

  • Your business runs in the non-internet world
  • Your business has maximum of 3 employees
  • You are in the initial stages of starting your business and every penny counts
  • You expect less than 500 different visitors per day to your website

The best choice for your business will depend on the requirements of your business. Web hosting management has differences in terms of the business side and in a technical side. But choosing the best web hosting service provider depends on you.

Website: Tips for Successful Project Management

When it comes to developing a website, there is more to the process than just making it look pretty. In this article, we will tackle some of the key factors that contribute to successful project management.

Plan Objectives

Clients often commence on website development without first thoroughly considering what they want to achieve with the site. Before you look for a website developer, consider some factors: Who is the site for? What kind of audience are you targeting? What actions do you want them to take, and how do you want to approach this? Are there any quantifiable objectives? (I.e. boost sales, achieve a certain number of ‘hits’ a month etc.). If not, what other indicators can you use to evaluate once website development it is complete?

Be Involved

As the Project Manager, you should stay close to the project at all times. Check-in with your project team from time-time to ensure that everything is on track. This will also allow you to test the website, update the project team, prepare other content, and review the progress with the developers.

Arrange a communication tool within your organization to stay connected to the project and to be more hands on in the website design and development process as you can review and tweak progress in person.

End-user Input

End-users are the key to the success of your website. If they find it hard to use or navigate, then it is not going to be a success. Before you begin the project, contact some website users and involve them in the testing phase. You may have to offer an incentive to have a worth it end-user input! You may also get the internal users involved as early as possible.

Plan for the Future

Before you launch, make sure everything is in place for the on-going monitoring and development of your site and its content. Services like Google Analytic can be used to give you statistics on who is using your site and how, but it is also valuable to contact your audience in person from time to time to get their feedback on your online offering.

How to Be Creative and Original On Website Design

Creativity is the fundamental quality of a web designer’s career. Creativity and originality are what makes the difference between an amateur and a professional. As a website designer or an artist, it is surprising to know that though creative as they are, they often, sometimes find it difficult to work on a project. Sometimes they find inspiration with other designers work, but ends up copying them.

In this article, here are some tips to tap the “creative spark” and revive the sense of originality so you can start incorporating that great idea into your website design:

Build Self-Confidence

Always remind yourself that this is the career path you choose. This is what you have trained for and this is what you do. Remind yourself constantly that you are more than good enough. It helps build up confidence and self-worth when it comes to creative skills. Regardless of what your existing skill level is and regardless of the length of time you’ve been designing, accept and recognize your current level of skill and bear in mind that it’s good enough. Stop being negative about your work.

Find an Inspiration

Unless you are caught up in a pressured deadline, take a few moments to refresh your mind so that way you can effectively find fresh ideas in doing a creative work. How can you find inspiration? You may explore places for you to be able to unwind and allow unique inspiration drawn out from within you. If you go and expand your horizons you can discover new techniques and methods. Find out what project you will be doing and from that, find something, may it be an object or a person that will inspire you to head on.

All of us keep a list of all our inspiration. You can keep looking back at your lists of favorite inspiration, but be assured that you will never be able to grow and find anything new if you keep looking at the same things every day. Try searching a new site, a blog or galleries. It is always good to try something new. But, don’t be too deliberate when looking for inspiration.

Admire Work Ethics

There is no doubt that artists and web designers are hard workers. They do not just get the ideas out of an impulse. They tough it out during times of stress and frustrations. Acknowledge that nothing comes easy. Incredible work in any given field is 80% hard work and dedication, whereas 20% is from motivation and skill.

Everyone is creative every day in their lives. Any type of artist or web designer knows that it is essential for building up inspiration to keep our jobs fun, interesting and creative. It is important to understand that creativity is a process that requires time and effort and that you will not always achieve efficient results. Originality is a good quality of having something new and different in a good and appealing way. Always start fresh if you are having a difficult time finding inspiration. Try to step out of your comfort zone.

Web Design Strategies to Make your Site Go Viral

Website design is one way to increase online presence and enhance web identity. Those that have better designs enjoyed greater ROI even if there’s not much of a difference in terms of services offered. When it comes to business, online presence matters a lot.

How can web design help?

It does help in some ways not only in standing the test of time but also to in prospering considerably. A good web design means your website looks great and easy to navigate – user-friendly. It must be targeting the right audiences; and in order to achieve this, a proper web design is essential. Designers should understand how to reach the target market and must use an SEO friendly design; it helps in improving the web presence. Optimizing content is another way to help your website increase web presence as contents are very important for it helps audiences to get an idea of what you do and what you offer. And lastly, all information must be systematically placed on the website in an organized manner.

Techniques for Improving Web Design

There are also various techniques being used in order to improve expand the scope of web design. To make sure these techniques are implemented, one needs to consider these strategies.

  • Focus on typography. Without a great text, you won’t be able to hold the attention of customers. Make sure also that content is designed in the best possible way.
  • Focus on SEO techniques, emphasis on this helps get more referrals from clients which will eventually boost your business.
  • When it comes to web design, experts rely more on JavaScript and professional designers must have decent knowledge on the main concept of java scripts.
  • Opt for tutorials for it helps you implement more ideas in the software you’re dealing with.
  • Give reports or project status to your clients on a regular basis and you have to present it to them logically. Great communicators will help clients understand how the implemented strategies are going to help them.
  • Nowadays, more people are using mobile devices in accessing the internet. HTML 5 is one of the techniques to make the website more effective especially if the site has many flashy designs and animation.
  • Use the grid to your advantage and this can be done in a judicious manner. Use the internet and look for articles on how to use a grid.
  • Don’t forget to concentrate on the basics, create fresh designs, colors that will complement the theme and the design, and use the latest module of cascading style sheets which are the CSS3.
  • Use large headings which make audiences tend to remember things for a long period of time.

Look for Great Website Designer

Business owners will always look for the right person to do the job and all techniques mentioned above are only practiced by great web designers. Looking for great web designers is not that easy; however, following these effective ways will somehow help you look for the right candidate. The first thing to do is check their portfolio; it will tell you how competent they are. Another is searching on the leading search engines. A simple search on the leading search engines will help you get an idea on the rank that they hold. It’s very important also to check on their experience, more experienced means they are more knowledgeable. And lastly, consider the cost. Make sure that they are charging you with a reasonable price for the project.

These are the things you need to bear in mind regarding web design and its various aspects. Implementing these strategies can help your business grow rapidly.

Keep Your Website Appealing to Viewers

The easiest way to look for something is through the internet. Whether it’s a thing that you would like to have, a house for sale, a car or maybe you’re looking for a business. The internet can truly help us in so many ways. Since more and more people are into tablets and other mobile devices, your business should be visible online. Here are some reminders to make your business website look appealing to viewers.

Create Pages that Load Fast

You have to make sure your web pages load fast! Viewers don’t want to wait long to see a website they are interested in. They want to be able to view it immediately! Especially if you are expecting a large traffic to your website.

Make Pages Simple and Easy to Rea

Not all viewers read the content of a website; most people just scan the information. Keeping the pages simple and easy to read will somehow make viewers read rather than just scan. One of the ways to keep it simple is to choose a limited selection of fonts.

Have an Easy Navigation Website

It’s always necessary to make your website easy to navigate; it will make your viewers stay longer. If it’s complicated enough to navigate your website, viewers will always end up quitting and leaving your website rather than trying to figure out.

Avoid Clutter

Simplicity is the key in showing your best work; it also keeps your viewers stay longer and focus on your website. Creating enough white spaces between paragraphs and images will give your viewers enough room to absorb all the information about your business and the services you offer.

Content is King

It’s important to have an updated content on your website. The more content you have, the more it becomes attractive for search engines. Make sure your content is fresh and current because if it’s outdated, your viewers will not waste time to go through it.

Optimize For Mobile and Tablet

Mobile devices are very common these days. Most people are accessing the internet through tablets and smart phones and not so much with desktop computers anymore. If you don’t want to miss sales opportunities, make your website mobile enabled.

Make the Website Easier for “Call to Action”

Your website should present clear information, it should also be concise. If it does, it will make viewers take the next step. It could be signing up a free trial, watch a demo video or even download a white paper. Make buttons more appealing, so visitors will just have to click whenever.

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