Earlier, I have written about how to do a Domain Name research. Today, I wanted to take a step back and write about choosing the best hosting plan. If you are starting your blog to be hosted on your self-hosted domain, and you are now in the valley of trying to choose your web hosting, you’ve come to the right post.
In this little but informative post, you will learn to ask yourself these key questions before buying a web hosting plan. This can be your checklist:
Here are 8 key questions to ask yourself before purchasing your hosting plan:
It’s always better to start with the end in mind. Though any human being will first look for the features and fancy extra stuff in anything before buying, it’s always wise to see if you will stick to your decisions few years later. And issues and problems are inevitable and just the way the world works and your blog is not an exception to this universal rule. So how will you mitigate that upcoming inevitable issues like downtime, security threats, 404 erros, etc if you don’t have great support from your hosting company.
That’s why ‘support’ in my opinion comes foremost. Ensure the hosting company that you want to buy from provides great support. Read reviews from customers who have already purchased. Usually, they provide email support and some hosting companies provide live chat support along with 24×7 customer care facility.
In tandem with the first metric comes ‘reliability’. If there is great support, then there is no reason why it must not be reliable. Just ensure that the hosting company’s background is good enough in resolving customer issues – this also bring in another question – are they old enough in the market?
Do they have good and solid infrastructure in place?
It’s also important to find out if there are any hidden fees.
3. Are there any freebies?
Though my purpose of asking this question is straight forward, I definitely don’t intend to persuade you to fall for any freebies. Usually, you’ve to keep away from a company that offers a lot of freebies, because there is always a method to the madness. Nothing comes for free and you get what you pay for. Go for the quality and if there is a feature worth dying for, then it surely is worth paying for.
4. Quality – how good is their extensible support and quality?
By extensible support, I mean the custom installations, control panel options, database options, security features, whois privacy and plugin support options available that comes with your hosting purchase. Though many hosting companies provide these, it’s prudent to see if they are qualitative. You can check it by reading customer reviews and ratings in forums and their support page.
Another point is to check and verify if the hosting plan can be upgraded or moved to another hosting company seamlessly in the future. There comes a time when you might want to move up with your hosting plan, if at all your pageviews and visitors count increases in the future to ensure speed in accessing your pages.
5. Do you want a shared hosting space or a virtual private server to host?
This is one basic question with a simple answer. If you are a new blogger just starting out, then shared hosting server is apt for you. If you know what you are doing and are expecting a huge followership for your blog, then there is nothing wrong in starting out with a private server by paying the extra dollars. Any case, just ensure that there are no hassles and much downtime for your blog if you decide to upgrade to VPS even in the future.
6. Price – you get what you pay for.
Don’t settle for a cheap hosting plan. It’s ok to shell out few extra dollars if you want a quality plan. And as said earlier, you get what you pay for. If you are going for a cheap hosting plan, then chances are that you are missing out on some key feature which will not be told to you upfront. And it should not be too late before you realize what it is.
Don’t forget to utilize coupon codes and promo codes that are easily available on the internet. Just go for the ones from a reliable source. You can check my post if you end up purchasing from DreamHost, the web hosting that I use and am so happy with.
7. Compare – a prudent customer always does the research.
Let’s be practical. Anyone who buys anything in this world deserves the best option from all the choices available out there. Hosting is no exception. Just do your research and find out what’s the best plan in terms of all the points given above. Choose the best option that you feel fit for your needs.
My suggestion is to choose from the big players in the market – BlueHost, HostGator, DreamHost (affiliate link) – just to name a few.
8. Reach out – there is always someone out there to help you.
If you are still not sure or are confused in making your decision, just reach out and ask. You can always ask the experts – who are none other than the other customers. There are great chances that someone already experienced your position and will help you out. We have many forums and communities which can help you out.
You can also leave your comment or question below if you have any specific question in purchasing your web hosting plan. Will be glad to help you out.
That’s it! Hope this post helped you in clearing out some of the doubts you might have in purchasing your web hosting plan, without bombarding you with too much of technical information, which is exactly my goal for this post. If you have succeeded in buying a good hosting plan, please let me know in your comments below. You can also write your experience and lessons learnt while buying a web hosting plan so others too can learn from your experiences.
Cheers! And good luck with your purchase of web hosting plan and your subsequent quenching of thirst for setting up your super blog!
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