When hosting your website its important you choose the right company. Many things affect how good or bad a hosting company is when it comes to looking after your website. Many people get stung by hosting companies that are too slow, have bad support or terrible reliability and up-time.
If you host your website with your web developer (like us) you'll likely find a trusty, reliable server is in place to host your website. Thats because the web developer obviously has dozens if not hundreds of websites to look after - so he or she is going to make sure those clients are on a trusty, reliable server!
When hosting a website yourself - there are many things people don't consider when hosting their website, therefore regret their decision later on and come running and screaming to me - where we try resolve the mess thats accumulated. So, when looking for a website host consider:
Where are they based?
Is the hosting company local to you? Overseas? Its important you host locally, because support is therefore in the same timezone as you but more importantly your website loads quicker for you and your audience (if they're local). The further away the server, the longer the site takes to load so to speak.
What do they offer in terms of support?
Good hosting companies have a phone support line as well as live chat and email support. Cheaper solutions 'charge' for phone support or don't supply it at all. Phone support is important, if something isn't working or goes offline - emails can take up to 24 hours to get replies,therefore dragging out issues and meaning your audience can't access or use your site!
How much storage do you get & bandwidth?
If your site is heavily image based, or you send a tonne of emails - make sure your hosting company has the right plan for you - tell them about your current usage or situation so they can give you a suitable plan for your new hosting.
What do they charge?
While with anything you can get 'ripped off', hosting is pretty easy to distinguish whose good and whose bad based on their pricing & plan options. You'll find a lot of 'cheap' $0.99 per month hosting plans are astonishingly cheap, BUT there is a reason for that. They lack features, only give you a very minimal amount of storage, or have overseas servers that are terribly slow. But whats worse - is more than likely EVERY possible feature is going to cost extra on-top. Good quality hosting companies charge a fee that covers basically all the features you'll ever need... However, the cheaper plans often end up being much more than a good quality hosting plan because all the options you need start snowballing on top of the base $0.99.
Moral of the article? Don't try and skimp on cost - get a good hosting provider whose local, has phone support, a trustworthy reputation and doesn't charge extra for add-ons. In New Zealand - a good quality hosting plan can be had for as little as $15 per month.
If your not sure how well your hosting is doing for your company, talk to me!