How to Choose a Website Hosting Company

Every website needs a host. This is where your website lives. It doesn’t need to be where the domain is registered; it just needs the domain name to point to the hosting company and then you are in business.

It’s easy to host the website where you registered your domain. It is also easy to never move it. This is totally fine, but, we don’t want to ignore seeking what is best for the website for convenience.

What makes a good hosting company?

Here are a few questions to ask:

  • What version of PHP is available?
    Every update to PHP speeds up your website. It is good practice to have a newer version of PHP running on the hosting server. The latest version of PHP offers significant performance improvements.
  • Can I use a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates?
    Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates are free and many hosting companies provide a one-click solution to make your website HTTPS secure.
  • Is there SSD storage?
    SSDs are the latest advancement in data storage technology, resulting in faster and more reliable hosting for your website.
  • What type of web server is available?
    NGINX web server technology performs better under scale so your website will continue to work well with many visitors. Apache is another common server technology but your website will decrease in speed with many website visitors.
  • Is HTTP/2 enabled?
    HTTP/2 is the newest network protocol. It significantly speeds up websites.
  • Is there good security?
    How about preventing downtime, SPAM, hacks and data loss?
  • Is a free CDN available?
    If you clients are spread around the U.S. or the world, a CDN caches website content and distributes it over multiple data centers.
  • Is the tech support knowledgeable?
    When something goes wrong, can you pick up the phone and talk with knowledgeable tech support? Qualified tech support is worth your time and money.

What makes a bad hosting company?

  • Is there constant upselling?
  • Do you feel scared that your website may get hacked if you don’t purchase extra security?
  • Do you have to purchase an SSL certificate from the hosting company because they have not made Let’s Encrypt available?

Why does it matter?

  • A fast hosting service will improve search engine rankings. (As well as website optimization.)
  • Qualified tech support will fix issues quickly.

Choosing a website hosting company is an important decision and there are many great hosting companies to choose from.

It is important to choose a website host that will align with the goals of your website.

About Amy Kvistad

Amy has 20 years of experience as a graphic designer and 10 years of experience as a web designer and developer. She works with clients directly and also partners with small businesses.