Not only that but before you even get your hosting arrangements in place you need to have a few things straight in your head. By making sure, you are clear to what you want, and what you hope to achieve, you’ll be better placed to deliver.
What do you need from a website?You need to be able to define what you want your website to achieve. If you’re a business, what do you want it to say about you? Will it be used to fuel your marketing efforts? Do you need a page to simply showcase what your business does or do you need a fully fledged e-commerce site to sell your products and services? Your website has to have a purpose, and your host has to be able to deliver on that purpose.
It’s not always easy to answer these questions, but it is necessary if you are to handle this properly. If you’re struggling, take a look around at the sites of competitors or people you admire. Which functions do they use that you would benefit from?
Even as an individual, consider what is required. Is this simply a hobby or are you hoping that your site will act as a CV to impress would-be employers? Either way, you need a site that will be able to show you in the best light. Again, look at other sites and assess what you like and dislike about them.
Earmark the functions that are an absolute must and then make sure your host can accommodate a site with this. It’s the online equivalent of renting a shop for your business. You need to make sure the premises are up to scratch with the right amount of space and facilities to cater for your needs.
What do you want in the future?What you want now matters, but you should also consider what you want next. If you’re a small business, for example, do you have plans to grow your operation quickly? What are your business plan projections for the coming years and what sort of site will you need to cater for your growing operation? Is your personal ‘hobby site’ something that you’d like to turn into a job down the line? What else will you need to be able to do if you take your hobby forward as a job?
These questions might all feed into the right hosting package – and whether you need a shared or dedicated server space.
See: - Top 5 Dedicated Server Hosting Providers of 2016
What is your budget?There’s no point hiding from the fact that money is necessary. You need to work out what you can afford to spend on your website and set yourself a limit. Packages can cost anything from a few pounds a month through to a few hundred pounds a month. There’s no point getting carried away with a project that is unaffordable, but equally, you need to accept that having a complicated website with lots of functions that attracts high volumes of traffic requires money spending on the hosting. By working out what you can spend, your hosting decision will be better informed.
What’s your level of technical expertise?Finally, it’s important to consider your level of technical expertise. Shared hosting, for example, offers a solution that requires much less prior knowledge and might well be ideal for the ‘entry level’ user. You might also want to consider the level of security and support that you think you might need.
Some of the key questions are outlined by WHSR and include the number of email addresses, what happens during downtime, setup fees and excess bandwidth charges – it’s well worth using this list as a starting point when deciding on your hosting package.
It’s fine to have questions and want help with your site – but if you know, you’re the sort of person who needs that then make sure you look for something that provides that for you.
By asking yourself what you need – both now and in the future – and what you can afford, plus the assistance you’re likely to require, you’ll be clearer in your head on the hosting package that is right for your website. Failure to weigh up each of these fundamental points.