Not all web hosting is created equal. What’s good for one site may not be good for another. This post aims to clarify some of the concerns one looking to host their website in Phillipsburg should keep in mind.
Some hosts offer a free domain with their hosting packages. Others may include Google/Microsoft/Facebook Ad coupons. These are extremely beneficial, but can often be misleading, or akin to bait-and-switch tactics. Beware of webhosts who register your domain in their name as they might try to hold this over your head should you ever decide to leave them for another company. Another thing to keep in mind is that although advertising with search engines or social networks is great, these coupons will not cover an entire campaign – and if you want any real traction – you’re going to need to budget it into your project. Other options a web host may offer is one-click setup of many different CMSs (Content Management Systems) like WordPress, Joomla!, or Drupal andor web scripts like PHP, Perl, or Python. This streamlines your development process and lets your focus on your site – not the server.
Bandwidth (another term for site traffic use) restriction is common among many web hosts in setting up their hosting packages. What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re expecting a ton of visitors, a webhost that is uber-restrictive of limiting your site’s traffic would not be a good choice. Basically, after your site consumes a certain amount of bandwidth, these webhosts would knock your site of the web until you upgrade packages or worse – until the next billing cycle. At Application X, we don’t limit the amount of traffic your site can handle. However, we may recommend custom hosting solutions (Private Cloud, Virtual Servers, or Dedicated Servers).
Another big key factor in choosing a webhost is definitely their storage limits. For instance, if your site comes in at a healthy 250MB (205 megabytes), and your webhost’s storage limit is set to 100MB, there is no way to get your site live on his/her server (without much customization and stripping-down of content). Of course, this is an extreme example. Most sites never touch the 150MB mark, and most web hosting packages offer way more space, often in the 20-30GB (20-30 gigabyte) range for starting off. At Application X, we do have storage restrictions. However, we offer a healthy amount of it to start off (between 10-40GB for our starter packages).
PCI Compliance / Ecommerce
As stated above, what’s okay for one site may very well not be okay for another. For example, if your site is aimed towards selling goods or services online and accepting payments from customers, you will need to be PCI Compliant. This applies if you have your own credit/debit card processor (aside from PayPal or similar) and ask for customers’ credit/debit card information. With PCI Compliance, you will need an SSL Certificate and some server configurations to prevent theft of data and fraud. At Application X, we are well-experienced in creating hosting environments that are PCI Compliant and serve eCommerce pages efficiently and securely.
Even having the most awesome website in the world will not help you succeed if it appears sporadically or loads slowly. You’ll see potential visitors/customers fall right through the cracks and never return if your site isn’t reliable or a joy to navigate and utilize. A good way to test your site’s loading time is with Google’s PageSpeed Insights test. If you’re in the red, it may be time to try out another host (you might also want to consider taking a look at your site’s code for hangups and bottlenecks also affecting performance) .
In the world of web hosting – easily being able to contact your web host is a necessity. Whether it’s to inquire about your specific limitations/requirements or reporting a server issue or downed site, being able to pick up the phone and/or send an email – and get a timely response – is a huge benefit. Beware of web hosts that only operate within a ticketing system, as this way of handling customer concerns is notorious for being slow, cumbersome, and may have you repeating the same information over and over again (crazy, right?). At Application X, we offer 24/7 support through phone and email, and let’s just throw it out there – we’re the easiest people to reach.
Email & Mailing Lists
If you’re a business looking for an online presence, chances are that you’ll also need email accounts for communication to your customers and co-workers. Some web hosts charge extra for a certain amount of email accounts or set storage limits for each inbox. At Application X, we hold affirm that both of these restrictions are outdated and unrealistic, as server space becomes less and less expensive.
Now, if you’re looking to use your hosting account to send marketing email to potential customers or leads, that’s fine. However, to ensure maximum deliverability (making sure your emails actually end up in their inboxes) – we’d recommend you grab your own VPS (Virtual Private Server) or a dedicated mailing environment. Both should have their own healthy, dedicated IP (Internet Protocol) address.
Regardless of your skill level, your web host’s control panel should be easy to navigate and nearly self-explanatory. Having a custom-built, proprietary web management software is meaningless if it’s not user friendly. Save yourself the headache and opt for web hosts who offer control panels that allow you to manage your email accounts, upload/change/delete files, and manage your databases.
And now we get down to the nitty-gritty – price & budget. Of course, like any other industry – when you pay more, you typically get more. More money typically buys you more server space, faster processing, more security, and often a higher traffic allowance. At Application X, we know it’s all about the bottom line. With that in mind, we’ve created packages priced competitively for the features contained therein.
We hope this has helped you discern which web host or package is right for you. If you have any questions, contact us!
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