Choosing the right web hosting service is more important than you think. It’s a partnership. Choose the wrong one and you could find yourself struggling to get support and suffering downtime. Here’s a look at what Atlantis Creative Studios recommends you consider when choosing a hosting provider.
1. Their customer support service
- What are the available support channels: email, forums, live chat, telephone, 24/7 or office hours
- Are they Kenyan based or overseas
If anything happens to your server or website, from technical errors to DNS attacks, you need to be able to remedy the situation quickly. This becomes more pressing depending on your website. For example, if you run an e-commerce site you’ll be losing money every minute you’re offline. So make sure the support is right for you.
Make sure that the support you are looking for takes place on multiple channels. Likely, you will not always be able to pick up the phone and call, so make sure your selected hosting provider has chat, email and other means of communication.
Communication is key when you have a problem that needs to be solved quickly. A hosting provider with a Kenyan based customer service and support understands the nuances of working with your business, customers and your time zone. There really is power in a personal touch when it comes to customer service and the success of solving your problem.
2. Features offered
- What features are on offer?
- Does the host use cPanel for one-click installations of selected software?
- How much storage and bandwidth is available? How many domains can be hosted on one account?
Functionality is important for any website and so is future-proofing. If your company grows and with it the amount of space you need, does the hosting company have the capacity and the features to allow for growth?
The hosting provider you select should be able to simply move you seamlessly to the next plan or storage space capacity to meet the needs of your business or website. An important feature that is often overlooked is scalability – both upgrade and downgrade. This is an important feature because what also happens if you are in the wrong hosting product that is too big for your website? You will want a hosting provider who will put you in the right plan.
Be wary of unlimited offers. Some hosting providers offer so-called unlimited storage and bandwidth for a few hundred shillings. This deal often isn’t what it seems to be. If you pay 700/= a year for hosting, there will likely be something in your terms of service allowing your hosting provider to either throttle your performance or shut you down after a certain usage level.
3. Choose a portable content management system to avoid lock-in
Most hosts are pretty good, but times change. Management changes, acquisitions, and technology shifts can alter your web hosting plans. Make sure your site isn’t locked to anyone host — and that you have a backup practice in place.
Many people use WordPress on top of PHP, which will run on just about anything. Do regular updates and site backups, so you always have access to your site’s data, media, and structure. This approach means all you need to do is load your backup on another provider’s service and point your domain name to that provider. Now that you know how to get your site up onto the internet, you’re all set to get started.