Many people, especially those who are just starting off with a new online website and/or business, go straight for the cheapest web hosting provider they can find. It’s actually important to look for established and reputed providers such as Mediatemple, 1and1, Hostgator, Bluehost who offer the right balance between price, features and a high standard of support and service.
Just as transit services are the life blood of a city, so web hosting and telecom networks are the life blood of the Internet. But there’s a difference. If the buses and trains stop working, the city grinds to a halt and then gets back to normal when services resume. If your web hosting server goes down even briefly, you lose visitors in droves and it’ll cripple your online business permanently.
It is even more damaging if the problem is something chronic, like slow page loading speeds. Even a second delay in page loading results in sizable drop in customer satisfaction and reduces the conversion rate too. Then there’s security, use of tools, pricing, scalability and any number of issues that are critical to your online business and its survival an growth. That’s why you need a rock-solid web hosting provider who knows what website owners need and provides it without fail.
Recently, I signed up LittleNimbus to host a WordPress multi-site version to manage and test quite a bit of wordpress installs and host few little-to-no-traffic sites. And out of the blue, there were gone, no replies to support tickets and no apologies or communication so far as to what happened. Payments were regularly charged but their site and ours remain dead. I finally shifted and currently in the process of refund claims with Paypal. Lost quite a bit of posts and articles which were in between backups.
Shared Hosting Provider
Most shared hosting providers have plans for every user, no matter what the budget, application or type of website required. If you need to build a standard website quickly with a few clicks, most of them have tools, such as that of 1&1’s integrated web design software.
If you’re happy with a LINUX server, you can run scripting tools written in PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl and more. If you’re a Microsoft junkie and need a Windows server, they have hosting packages supporting .NET framework. Looking for an image library – there’s iStockphoto as a built-in tool. Content modules? Check. Web design, image editing, HTML editing? Check, check and check.
WordPress Specialized Hosting Provider
If you’re looking to start a WordPress Blog, you could look at specialized WordPress hosts such as Pagely, WPEngine, Flywheel etc. But if your blog is part of a bigger online presence that includes a website and other applications, you may want to have it all hosted with the same provider.
There’s a whole lot more to talk about, such as domain registrations, email solutions, eCommerce shops, etc. The point is that a web host has to be an entity you can trust to give you 99.9% uptime and keep your data safe. More importantly, the web host must be able to help you grow your business – as opposed to just one more service provider you have to deal with as a website owner.