Today everyone knows to look for good reviews, reasonable prices, good customer service, and not insurmountable renewal fees when choosing a web hosting service. However, it’s not only the loopholes in the contract’s fine print or the quality of a customer service that you need to assess. You also need to look at the technical specs offered by the hosting provider to determine the long-term quality of the service. These considerations are as important as assessing the company’s reliability through user reviews.
Technical Features to Look For When Choosing a Web Hosting Service
Uptime and Website Loading Speed
Although not tech characteristics of the server itself, these features are determined by them. And as you can measure both the uptime and loading speeds easily, you can use this data to assess the server quality.
This is how you do it:
- Choose a website that performs extremely well and find out its hosting using tools, like WhoIsHostingThis.
Note that you’ll need to look at the website in the same ‘class’ as yours is going to be. For example, a WordPress blog hosted with InMotion.
- Check the website’s uptime using UptimeRobot.
To go on with the previous example, InMotion Hosting reviews state that it has the average uptime of 99.98% over the span of 30 days. You should always look for reviews from services that observe hosting performance for extended periods of time.
- Check the website’s loading speed using Pingdom.
The best hosting service should have your website loaded in no more than 2 seconds. Bear in mind that the speeds will vary depending on the location.
The first thing you should look at when choosing a hosting provider is the amount of storage space they will afford you on their servers. The important thing to understand here is that no ‘unlimited storage’ deal is literally unlimited. If you read the contract terms very carefully, you’ll see that unlimited offers actually do have limits, although, they are quite big.
When you are working with a reliable host, small businesses that use shared servers won’t need to worry about this. It’s nearly impossible for them to reach the limits. Once you switch to a dedicated server, you’ll be able to increase your storage space as necessary.
RAM determines how quickly the data in the storage space can be processed. This characteristic mainly affects the website loading speed. The standard RAM offer is 512MB, which might be enough for a regular blog or a website mainly filled with textual content. However, if you plan to go heavy on the visuals, such as HD photos and videos, you’ll need no less than 2GB RAM for maximum performance.
SSD Hard Drives
When choosing a web hosting service, you must inquire what kind of hard drives the company uses. If they are HDD, you get a cheaper deal, but you also get more risks and slower overall performance. Considering how competitive online business is, and how consumer’s behavior is linked to website performance, you can’t take those risks.
SSD drives are much faster and more reliable. They also are more expensive, so expect higher rates from your host. However, in this matter, the benefits are truly worth the extra money.
The average shared web hosting deal will have about 300GB, which is more than an average small business can use up. However, if you either plan to post videos or you have a website popular enough to have thousands of visitors per day, you’ll need to get a high-bandwidth deal.
When calculating your needs, do some math. For example, thinking of videos, let’s say you upload one clip about 15MB in size. Every time website visitors watch it, they use up 15MB of your bandwidth. Therefore, a popular video, not even a viral one, can use up those 300GB very quickly.