Website hosting is a truly massive industry. If you google ‘website hosting companies’ there is almost 22 million results from all across the globe.
Every website needs a host so how do you choose when so many options?
Making the decision even more difficult is the fact that there are great hosting providers as well as many terrible ones. Make the wrong decision and you’ll lose a lot of time, money and have to deal with a number of technical problems.
I have outlined the following points below for you to consider when choosing a web host. Adequate research into the different South African web hosting companies will ensure that you make the right decision.
1. The quality of customer service
Often overlooked but certainly one of the most important features of a good web host. There’s always a possibility of a website inexplicably crashing at any time. This can result in thousands of rand in lost sales, a negative impact on your brand and disappointed customers. All because your website went down.
The best hosts will make sure that support is always on hand to deal with these problems and get your website up and running again as soon as possible.
Phone and email support should be non negotiable. If any host doesn’t offer both of these means to get through to them then don’t even consider it. Nowadays top hosts are even implementing live online chat support to make sure clients problems are dealt with immediately.
An easy way to determine the quality of a hosts customer service is to send them an email making a general enquiry or asking a few simple questions. If they reply to your mail within 48 hours (a very generous time-frame) then they can be considered moving forward.
2. How long have they been in business?
This may sound harsh but I don’t recommend going with a brand new startup web host company when getting your first website online. I understand that every company needs to start somewhere but there’s been so many brand new hosting companies offering dirt cheap pricing and over the top perks in order to gain new customers. The influx of customers leads to the company not having enough resources to handle the load. When this happens the hosting service crashes regularly and in some cases the company disappears leaving helpless and frustrated clients behind.
Hosting companies that have been in business for many years understand the demands of this industry and have experience dealing with these issues. The fact that they have thrived for so long is a good indication of their quality.
3. User reviews and opinions
Look for reviews and opinions of people who are actively using different hosting companies. They can provide useful information on their experiences and overall satisfaction with the different hosts. Somebody who has had terrible experiences with hosting companies won’t be afraid to let you know.
4. Compare what you are getting
Compare pricing between the different hosting providers and see exactly what you are getting at the different price points.
Pay particular attention to disc space and traffic allowances. The more the better, especially if you plan on building a larger website.
Unlimited traffic is what you also want. Who’s to say how popular your website will be? So why would you want a limit imposed as to the number of visits you receive monthly?
Using the above considerations as a guideline will go a long way to assisting you in finding and deciding on a top web hosting service for your website.