Guest Post by Borko
It is very easy to spend weeks and even months doing research and making comparisons before you even create a short-list of best web hosting service providers that could fit your needs, let alone choose one. There is a much simpler approach that can be taken. It can save time, money, and a lot of headaches. The best part is that anyone can follow this approach and make a successful choice. Here is a quick look at how simple this process can be.
1. Assess Your Needs
The biggest mistake that most people make is to immediately look at what a hosting company offers, without first assessing their own needs. During this process, you need to assess two different types of needs. The first thing you need to do is assess your current needs. This includes assessing the amount of disk space you might need, software applications that you need to have, bandwidth needs, and the like. The other thing that you need to identify is what your future needs may be. Colocation services are a space-saving way to own your servers.
The importance of identifying your current needs is simply to make sure that you choose a web hosting service that will be able to support your current needs. If it cannot take care of your current needs, there is little chance that they will be able to support you in the future. It may be difficult to accurately predict your future needs, however the biggest reason why you are doing this is to ensure that your hosting provider offers enough scalability that you can be confident sticking with them in the long run.
2. Comparing the Tangibles
Now that you know what you need from your web hosting service, it is time to create a list of possible options. The easiest way to create your first list is simply by matching your needs to what is provided. This means that your list needs to include: the price, bandwidth, disk space, etc. This list may start out to be fairly big, however it can easily be narrowed down. Once the first draft of your list is complete, the next step is to see if any of the hosting services offer support specifically for any of the software that you use. The first place to look is at your CMS which could be anything from WordPress to Drupal to Joomla, and far beyond. Every CMS has a specific set of requirements and some web hosts will cater specifically to a certain CMS. This will ensure that they always can provide the latest updates and will always support all of the tools that your CMS needs to function properly. You can even limit your search further if you prefer one type of server environment or control panel.
3. Comparing the Intangibles
Now that you have created a list and done your first set of cuts, the next step is to compare the intangibles. There are several issues to consider here. The first two could be considered as tangible, however they are excellent separators, so they are great for your final cut. They are the uptime guarantee and the data transfer time/server response time. The uptime guarantee is obviously important because it will ensure that your website is always available to your customers. The response time is important because visitors will not wait long for your website to load, on average between 2-4 seconds. The final intangible to consider is customer support. Hopefully, you will never need to use customer support, however it is likely that you will at some point. Your website is your online lifeline, so if something happens to it, you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. When looking at customer service, you should consider at minimum: average response time, after-hour/weekend availability, knowledge base, and general etiquette.
After using these 3 simple steps, you may still have a short list of 2-5 hosts. If so, then congratulate yourself because you had a lot of quality web hosting service providers on your list. From here, it is up to you to see which of the remaining few feels the best. At this point, you know that whichever hosting provider you choose will be an excellent choice. It is almost impossible to make the wrong choice at this point.
Guest author Borko is a member at WebmasterFormat. He enjoys writing articles with useful advices and actionable tips for webmasters and website owners. You can also do guest blogging on TricksDaddy. Read guest blogging guidelines.