Your website is a mission-critical digital asset, and, in many ways, its success depends on the hosting provider you choose. A good hosting provider will ensure your website is always available and accessible to visitors, while a bad one can lead to frequent downtime, slow loading times, and security vulnerabilities
But it goes much deeper than that. Your chosen hosting provider will also influence your website’s search engine performance, speed, scalability, and more.
And yet, price is often seen as the only deciding factor when choosing a hosting provider. A quick search of “hosting provider” in Google will often reveal a whole host (pardon the pun) of hosting providers offering cheaper prices than you’ve been quoted.
But does that make them any better? What else should you look for when choosing a hosting provider for your website?
Here are some key factors to consider when differentiating hosting providers.
Don’t Go On Price Alone
Generally speaking, website hosting has become somewhat of a race to the bottom. With providers now offering WordPress hosting for as little as £3.99 a month, it seems as though there’s little to differentiate one hosting provider from the next.
However, this “lowest price” strategy is often a false economy. Just look at any other industry. If you were to have quotes for an extension on your property, one builder might quote your £10,000, and others may ask for three times that amount.
How do you think the £10,000 builder will do the job? They’re either going to use inferior materials or (more likely) cut corners somewhere along the way to ensure they make a profit.
The same is true for website hosting providers. Those that charge rock-bottom prices are either under-delivering on the features they offer or, more likely, are making up for their low prices with terrible customer service. And when things go wrong with your website (and they will at some point), you will want to be able to pick up the phone and speak to a human being who can help resolve the issue.
This brings us nicely to our next point.
Look for Superior Customer Service
As just explained, hosting, in many ways, has become a commodity. Yes, database sizes, SSL certificates, and bandwidth are all important factors, but most providers offer similar features at similar price points.
What sets the best hosting providers apart from the rest is their customer service. When something goes wrong, you need to be able to speak to someone – fast – to ensure that your website is back up and running as quickly as possible.
There’s a huge difference between waiting in a queue for a live chat agent based halfway around the world (who has never seen your website before) and a real human being based locally, who instantly knows who you are, and that is available on the phone when you need them most.
In your time of need, you want to be able to speak to someone who knows your account inside out and can help resolve any issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Kill Two Birds With One Stone By Pairing Website Management with Hosting
When your site runs into difficulty, it’s not always the hosting. It could be that a WordPress auto-update has broken a plugin or that you need to roll back a change you made in the code.
That’s why it’s beneficial to have the person managing your website also host it and vice versa.
This setup means you only have one supplier to call when your business website is playing up, rather than two, and avoids the blame game that can often happen when things go wrong.
There’s another benefit, too. When the same company looks after your website maintenance and hosting, you’ll benefit from a much more proactive approach to keeping your site running smoothly.
For example, they may spot that a plugin needs updating before it causes any problems or that your website is starting to get slow because it’s running out of storage. With two separate providers, you would have to wait until things went wrong before you would find out, by which time it would be too late.
Assess Their Reliability
Website hosting is about reliability as much as anything else. You want your website to function correctly at all times and have issues fixed quickly when they arise.
That’s why it’s essential to do some digging before deciding on a company for your website hosting. If they are a small business, is the person running it a reliable individual? It’s all very well having someone just a phone call away, but what if they don’t often answer their phone?
Look for testimonials and online reviews, and crucially look at the companies and websites they already look after. Are they the kind of businesses you would want your own website associated with? Are they institutions that you know of and trust?
And finally, look at how long they have been in business. If they’ve been around for a while and have steadily grown their client base, they’re likely doing something right. On the other hand, if they’ve only been around for a short time and are already starting to get complaints, it’s probably best to give them a wide berth.
Speak to McGinn & Dolphin Today Regarding Your Website Hosting
Here at McGinn & Dolphin, we don’t view your business website as a number; we treat you exactly how we would expect to be treated ourselves. We understand that when your website goes down, it’s an emergency, and we’ll always aim to be available for you, whenever that may be.
With premium features such as caching for faster loading speeds, daily backups, and the ability to speak to a human being in seconds, not hours, you can rest assured your website is in good hands.
We don’t just host business websites on our dedicated private server. We also take a proactive approach to keeping them running as smoothly as possible, including managing updates, monitoring for issues, and even providing advice on improving your website to attract more visitors as part of our WordPress management services.
If you’re interested in learning more about our website hosting and management services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat today.
We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have on 01730 299890 or, if you prefer, via email at [email protected].