Top 5 things to look for in a hosting service

There are currently more than 330,000 hosting providers globally, so there is no shortage of service provider options. Some of them offer only hosting, while some like Wix, Shopify, or Squarespace provide a complete platform for building a website or a webstore.


One of the most important steps is to think about the choice from a long-term perspective. The only constant is that a site or a store will change continuously, and effective sites must constantly evolve.  All sites need new and refreshed content.  New functionality is always on the horizon, and who wants a site that looks old and outdated?  


Many of the complete platform services start at a very low monthly cost, typically below $40  per month.  But before making a final choice, it is essential to check the full price range for all tiers and what drives the necessity to switch into a more expensive tier of the service. It is not uncommon to find service tiers that range from less than $40 to more than $2000 per month. The long-term perspective approach eliminates unpleasant surprises down the road.


Another critical component is to test the technical support of the hosting provider before committing. The fact that a provider advertises free support does not mean that quick and competent support will be available when needed. Once the site or store is built, technical support must be available in native language, fast, and efficient.  Save yourself a lot of heartache by checking this before committing.


Here is our top 5 list of things to check before committing to a hosting service:


  1. Understand the full range of pricing for all service tiers and the triggers that require upgrading to a more expensive service tier.
  2. The accessibility and quality of the technical support.
  3. The fine print in the user agreement. Does the provider allow the export of content added to the site or store on their platform? What are their policies for migrating to other hosting providers?
  4. Does the hosting provider offer hosting environments near or in the target audience area for your service?
  5. What security functionality does the hosting provider offer? Do they offer free daily backups, have multi-geographic server locations, and support restoring from a backup?