Web hosting is one of the essentials when it comes to running a website, and the quality of your web hosting service can make a real difference to your website (and stress levels). We’ve had experience recently with some web hosting services that don’t give the level of support that we expect, resulting in a great deal of stress, for our clients and for us!
What is web hosting?
Firstly, what do I mean by web hosting? To quote WPBeginner “Web hosting is the place where all the files of your website live. It is like the home of your website where it actually lives.”
In other words it’s the service that provides space for your website. The files, as WPBeginner explains, but also the database (if your website uses one). And, once connected up to your domain name, it allows your website to be live and accessible. A decent hosting service will also provide email addresses for you to use with your website.
How to choose a web host
There are many, many web hosting companies out there. It can be really overwhelming choosing the best host for your site. Here are a few pointers:
1. Customer Service is Everything
This is so important. If your website goes down on a bank holiday just as you are promoting a super-important event for your business, you need to know that you can get help.
And by help, I mean a quick and properly helpful reply. You want to feel like they have actually read your request for help and are addressing the question you’ve asked – not just copied and pasted a standard reply that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with your issue.
Of course, with a new company that you haven’t dealt with before you don’t know how good their customer service is until you use it. I would recommend:
- Sending them a couple of questions before signing up and see how well they respond.
- Asking your business friends if they’ve used them and how they’ve found the service.
- Looking for reviews online.
2. Look at the Package Options
Most web hosts offer various packages, with different levels of resources. Think about the following:
- Is there anough disk space for your website and emails? Make sure you’ve got enough room for your needs now and that there are options to upgrade if you need more space in the future.
- Does it come with access to an easy-to-use control panel?
- Is an SSL Certificate included or available as an addon?
- What is the web host’s policy with regards to backing up and making the backups available to you if you need them?
3. Think About Location
I would recommend choosing a host which is in the same country as you. This will help with getting support as they will be in the same timezone. But also, having your website hosted in the same country as you can have it’s benefits, for example knowing that your data is kept in a location with the same privacy laws.
Our recommended web hosting
For UK-based web hosting we use and highly recommend Clook. Not heard of them? They’re not one of the big names in web hosting but that’s one of the reasons we love them. Their customer support is outstanding and they have affordable web hosting packages to suit anything from the tiniest of sites to huge multi-page, multi-featured websites. For more info see the Clook website (full disclosure: this is our affiliate link so we will get a small reward if you sign up after following it).
Web hosting is an essential and the quality of the service can make a real difference to your website. If you need any advice feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Always happy to help!