Lesson 3 – Where to Buy Hosting

Overview

This lesson should give you a basic overview of what to look for when choosing your hosting and some reputable hosting companies.

Lets Start

Once you decided upon your domain name and are ready to buy your web hosting, you’ll search the internet for ‘web hosting’ and find a whole array of companies and so called ‘cheap deals’.  However, don’t fall in to the trap of thinking that if you pay a premium for your hosting that you’ll get a premium service.  You need to know what you’re buying and pay attention to a few important attributes.  as follows:

A) Reliability, Uptime and Speed?

Uptime is the amount of time your web hosting company’s server is available and accessible for its visitors.  If the uptime of the server is poor, then visitors to your website may find that your website is unavailable when they come to visit. Which is not good for your reputation and is representative of the quality of service you are providing.

Uptime is measured as a percentage of the time it is available.  You should look to find a web hosting provider that has an uptime of as close to 100% as possible.  For example Heart Internet have only had one server outage since January 2010, which lasted for 30 minutes.  They have a guaranteed 99.99% Guaranteed Uptime.  This is a very good standard.

Speed is also important for the same reasons – if your website is slow to bring up on screen, then a visitor will quickly click away and go somewhere else.  Speed is determined by a number of different factors, however, when talking about hosting specifically, then it will depend on the hosting providers network connections and server hardware.  The faster the better.

B) Technical Support?

If you run in to any difficulty and require technical assistance, you don’t want to be fumbling around trying to find out how to contact your provider, nor do you want to be waiting days for a reply.  Best case scenario is that you want to be able to pick up a phone or chat live online for an immediate response.  Be sure to check out customer reviews for your web hosting provider’s tech support service.

C) Easy to Use?

Some hosting packages are easier to use than others.  Its difficult to know how easy your web hosting will be to navigate until you’ve bought it and you’re trying to find your way about.  However, most hosting providers should supply you with information on what the ‘Control Panel’ of your web hosting will look like, which should give you some idea.

D) Updates?

Updates are important for the security of (a) the server being hosted and (b) the software that may be running your website, such as WordPress.

If the web hosting company doesn’t keep their server up to date with the latest security updates, then your website is vulnerable to hackers and viruses.

E) Location?

Most search engines display results of a search by geographic location and how relevant it is on the keyword search.  So why is this important?  Well, if you wish to improve your position in a search result with a search provider such as Google or Yahoo, then having your website hosted on a server in Germany when your customers are based in the UK, will achieve poor results compared to somebody with a website of similar content who has their website hosted on a UK Based server.  So location of the hosting providers servers are important.  UK2 allow you to specify your hosting location.

F) Features?

As mentioned in Lesson 2 – Features are like the furniture you buy for your house.  In general, if you’re creating a blog, you need to look for Linux hosting with:

  • WordPress 1 click install.
  • About 1GB of storage as minimum.
  • Approx 5 mail boxes or more.
  • At least 1 MySQL Database – but more if available.
  • 1 FTP Account to allow you to upload files – FTP Locking if available for better security.

G) Value for Money?

To ensure you are getting value for money, your hosting provider should provide all of the above at a fair price.  On average your web hosting shouldn’t cost you much more than around £5 – £6 per month and should include some unlimited.

Reputable Web Hosting Providers

Choose one of these Reputable Hosting Providers to ensure you are getting reliable, fast and easy to use hosting, which is regularly updated, has great technical support, has UK based servers or a choice of location, provides Linux hosting with the essential features and offers great value for money:

(In Alphabetical Order):

123-reg.co.uk

Fasthosts.co.uk

HeartInternet.co.uk

UK2.net

 

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