Going online is not just a fad anymore. It is an essential pre-requisite for survival in this competitive and fast-progressing global community that is dependent on the Internet for everything ranging from banking to shopping and entertainment. To showcase your website on the Internet, you need to avail web hosting services and this is where your wisdom as a client comes into the picture.
Courtesy of a multitude of web hosting service providers and a large variety of hosting packages, it is but natural to feel overwhelmed and intimidated. Presence of too many options can leave you feeling totally confused, with the result that you end up making choices that may not work well in the long run. In order to ensure proper functioning of your website for a long time, it is crucial to be aware of possible pitfalls, particularly those related to web hosting.
Common problems that most website owners face while choosing web hosting services are –
Free vs Paid Services
This is probably the first dilemma which every website owner faces while searching for a web hosting service provider. Since there is a significant difference between the two, the best way to decide entails weighing one against the other on the basis of several aspects.
Domain name – As against free hosting wherein your domain name is a part of the host provider’s name, paid hosting provides you with the privilege of having a personalized domain name which does not carry the host. Having a unique name not just adds to your business’s credibility but also serves to improve your website’s ranking in search engines.
Technical Aid – As compared to free web hosting, technical aid is much more reliable and forthcoming for a paid service. So in a scenario wherein your website might be facing a glitch, it is likely to be back in business much sooner with paid web hosting than a free option.
Bandwidth – Free web hosting accounts come with limited bandwidth and this is bound to become a major hurdle over a period of time when you expand the content and add more web pages. Comparatively paid accounts come with sufficiently large bandwidth and also ensure the security of your data.
The same logic applies to storage space too. Paid accounts provide plenty of storage space as opposed to that provided by a free host, meaning you have a lot more leeway to grow and expand.
What Does Your Website Require?
Most web owners have been known to make an erroneous judgment of their websites, with the result that they choose a web hosting package which is not able to meet their website’s requirements. Every web hosting package comes with its own unique features and the onus is on you to check each one of them thoroughly in terms of functionality and benefits. It is important to identify an appropriate plan for hosting your website so as to ensure optimal presence on the Internet.
Reading the Fine Print
Yet another aspect that website owners tend to neglect pertains to ignoring the fine print. Most often the fine print comprises of several important clauses and terms and conditions which come into play during an emergency. One such clause pertains to the use of the term ‘unlimited’ by some web hosting service providers.
Restrictions – Usually service providers mention restriction of space and bandwidth only in the fine print and bring it to light on being questioned at a later date.
Guarantee – Your web hosting service provider may have vaguely mentioned about guarantee or warranty but have you confirmed with him as to how exactly will he help you out when the time comes?
Rather than relying on the service provider’s word, it is your responsibility to read the fine print and be cognizant of everything that you are entitled to as a client.
Ultimately, the intention of making you aware of the pitfalls is to protect you from inefficient web hosting services and the heartburn that comes with choosing such a service provider. Even a single wrong decision about web hosting could lead you to face multiple problems pertaining to your website. Not only will your website’s rank suffer in various search engines, but this would also imply a loss of visibility and potential customers.
Adding to the drop in revenue will be the hassle of operating in an environment which is neither safe nor secure. How can you operate to your full capacity in an environment wherein there are regular security breaches and frequent cyber attacks? Rather than compromise on your peace of mind and credibility of your business, you might as well indulge in some research and take your time to select a reliable web hosting service.
By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure that your website is in the hands of a good web hosting service provider and remains functional for as long as necessary.