The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation. This influences where, how and in what order such listings appear on this site.
Advertising Disclosure
www.comparingwebhosting.com is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and comparison features to our visitors. We accept advertising compensation from companies that appear on the site, which impacts the location and order in which brands (and/or their products) are presented, and also impacts the score that is assigned to it. Company listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our Terms of Use, all representations and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including pricing, which appears on this site is subject to change at any time.
Close
What to look for in hosting service
What to look for in hosting service
April 03, 2023 / Richard Sutherland
What to look for in hosting service
April 03, 2023 / Richard Sutherland

Introduction

Your website is the foundation of your online presence, serving as a direct gateway between your company and the internet. A reliable hosting service ensures that your website is always accessible, fast, and secure, while an unreliable one can result in frequent downtime, slow loading speeds, and even security breaches.

Choosing the right hosting service is crucial for online success. In this guide, we’ll discuss the 7 key factors you need to consider, so you can make an informed decision that will help your business thrive online.

1
Our Most Popular
  • Scalable & customizable hosting
  • Website builder and WordPress support
  • Fast hosting with dual-platform technology
  • Free SSL certificate
2
  • Additional discount with code: HOST7
  • Very affordable shared hosting
  • Noteworthy performance and uptime
  • Great pricing & free domain
3
  • Complete hosting solutions for all websites
  • Free domain with annual plan
  • 99.9% uptime guaranteed
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • 24/7 responsive phone support

1. Speed

A fast website is essential for any business. The speed at which your website loads directly impacts user experience, search engine rankings, and ultimately, your bottom line. A faster website offers:

  • Better user experiences: A slow-loading website can frustrate users and lead to a high bounce rate where customers click away from your site. In contrast, a fast website provides a responsive user experience, allowing visitors to quickly find what they want and engage with your content.
  • Higher search engine rankings: Google considers page speed as one of the key factors in determining search engine rankings. A fast website helps improve your rankings and increase your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Increased conversions: A fast website leads to higher conversions, as visitors are more likely to stay on your site, engage with your content, and then make a purchase or take a desired action.
  • Improved brand image: A slow website damages your image and makes you appear unprofessional. On the other hand, a fast website enhances your brand reputation and helps build trust with your audience.

Take advantage of free trial periods to test the speeds on any web hosting companies you’re considering, or check online reviews for accurate speed tests. Many web hosts offer faster speeds on their higher-tier plans than their introductory-level plans.

2. Reliability

A reliable hosting service ensures minimal downtime for your website. Downtime is costly for your business, resulting in lost revenue, reduced customer trust, and damage to your brand reputation. A reliable web hosting service guarantees that your website is always up and running, minimizing the risk of downtime.

Web hosting companies often offer commitments to reliability called uptime guarantees. This is usually expressed as a percentage, with 99.9% being a common industry benchmark. This means that the hosting company guarantees that its servers will be operational and that your website will be accessible to visitors 99.9% of the time. If not, the company is obliged to compensate you, either with a credit towards your account or a refund.

Generally, a web host that offers a high uptime guarantee, such as 99.95% or 99.99%, will be more reliable than those without one. However, uptime guarantees are not an assurance that a website will never go down. Various factors can impact website uptime, including server hardware failures, software issues, and even natural disasters.

While an uptime guarantee can offer some assurance to clients, it’s nevertheless essential to choose a reputable hosting provider with a proven track record of reliability and uptime.

3. Scalability

As your business attracts more traffic to your website, you may need to upgrade your hosting plan to accommodate it. A scalable hosting provider makes it easy for you to upgrade your plan and seamlessly handle increased traffic without compromising website performance.

A scalable web host is cost-effective, too. You pay only for the resources you need at any given time. This means that you can start with a smaller hosting plan and scale up as you grow, without paying for resources you don’t need.

It’s great to be able to adjust your hosting resources in real time depending on the traffic demands on your website. This flexibility means your business can quickly and easily scale up or down without downtime, ensuring your website is always available to customers.

4. Security

Your business’s website, data, and online transactions could be at risk if you choose a hosting service with inadequate security measures. You may be storing sensitive data on your website, such as customer information and financial records, so it’s vital to think about how you will protect this from unauthorized access or theft.

A secure hosting service will help to prevent cyberattacks that could take down your website and negatively impact your business’s reputation. A hosting service with strong security measures helps ensure your website stays up and running.

Depending on your business’s nature, there may be legal or regulatory requirements for data security and privacy. If so, choose a web host that helps you meet these obligations with its strong security measures.

Finally, a secure hosting service helps to build trust with your customers, who expect their personal information to be kept safe when interacting with a business online. Look for a web hosting company that offers security features such as SSL certificates, regular backups, and malware scanning. By prioritizing security, you can enhance your business’s reputation and build customer trust.

5. Pricing

The cost of web hosting is undoubtedly one of the chief concerns for businesses choosing hosting services. Look for a web hosting company that offers transparent pricing with no hidden fees. Make sure you understand the upfront costs, including the initial setup fee, domain registration fee, and any other charges.

Many web hosting companies offer much lower prices for the initial contract term, but then the renewal fees are significantly higher. Review the terms and conditions carefully and factor in the renewal fees when evaluating pricing.

Some web hosting companies offer promotions, such as discounts for signing up for a longer contract term. Consider whether these offers are a good fit for your business needs. If you’re planning to run your website for several years and the web host offers every feature you think you’ll need, choosing a longer contract term can offer significant cost savings in the long run.

6. Features

Beyond being fast, reliable, scalable, and secure, you’ll want a web hosting service with software features that make building and maintaining your online presence easy.

Every business is different, but some of the top features to look out for include:

  • Website builder: A drag-and-drop web page editor is a valuable tool for building a website quickly and easily. Look for a web hosting company that offers a website builder with user-friendly templates and customization options.
  • Domain name: Your domain name is your online identity, so it’s useful to choose a web hosting company that offers domain registration services. Go for a company that provides a wide range of domain extensions and allows you to manage your domain settings easily.
  • Content management system (CMS): A CMS allows you to manage and publish content on your website easily. Select a web host that offers popular CMS options such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.
  • Ecommerce features: If you plan to sell products or services online, look for a web hosting company that offers Ecommerce features such as a shopping cart, payment processing, and SSL encryption.
  • Email hosting: Email is an essential communication tool for businesses. Choose a service that offers email hosting with features such as spam filtering, email forwarding, and webmail access.

7. Support

Technical issues can occur at any time, and reliable customer support can help you resolve these issues quickly. A web hosting company with a responsive customer service team helps minimize downtime and ensures your website runs smoothly.

Approachable and knowledgeable customer support can help you resolve technical issues, customize your website, and ensure security. Check how you can contact technical support (for example, by phone, live chat, or email) and the turnaround time for support requests when choosing between hosts.

Conclusion

Picking the right hosting service is an essential step toward building a successful online presence for your business. We’ve outlined the 7 key factors you need to consider when selecting a hosting provider, including reliability, performance, security, and customer support.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision that ensures your website is fast, secure, and always available to your customers. With the right hosting service, you can focus on expanding your business and achieving your online goals.

Visit our hosting service page for expert recommendations and compare the most popular hosting providers

By Richard Sutherland
Richard brings over 20 years of website development, SEO, and marketing to the table. A graduate in Computer Science, Richard has lectured in Java programming and has built software for companies including Samsung and ASDA. He writes regularly for the likes of TechRadar, PC Gamer, Creative Bloq.