How to choose the right web hosting partner

Suppose you have a brilliant topic for a new website and have already come up with a catchy domain name for it. Now, it is time to select a web hosting partner and start publishing online.  

The web hosting industry is a crowded one with many service providers. This article will help you in the selection of the right web hosting provider for your requirements.

Below are the 10 things you should look for in a hosting provider.   


Read more: How to Redesign Your Website



A web hosting provider's product portfolio should include shared hosting, Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, and dedicated server hosting.

It takes time (and effort) to build a large following for your website. When you launch a website, you should consider a shared hosting plan, which is the most affordable, entry-level hosting option.

With shared hosting, your website is being hosted on the same server as many other websites. A spike in network traffic on any of the other websites will affect the performance of your own.

When the traffic to your website increases over time, and you need more dedicated resources, you should consider upgrading to VPS or even dedicated server hosting.  While those plans are more expensive than shared hosting, visitors to your website will notice the performance improvement.

If a web hosting provider does not support VPS and dedicated server hosting, your only upgrade option is to move to another vendor which will cost you in both dollars and actual headaches.


Domain name registration

Most web hosting vendors also provide domain name registration services. If you already have a domain registered with another company, some vendors allow free domain transfer, and they may even help you move your website contents to their new home.

Some vendors offer a free domain name if you sign up for their web hosting service. Be mindful that, in most cases, the domain registration is only free for the first year.

Your web hosting needs will change over time. Therefore, it is important to select a web host that allows you to transfer out a domain for free.

Typically, entry-level shared hosting plans only allow you to host a single domain. To host multiple domains on the same account, you may need to upgrade to a more expensive shared hosting plan or even to VPS hosting.


SSL support

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) provides an extra level of network security by encrypting the traffic to and from your hosted website.  Most if not all web hosting vendors support the use of SSL certificates, albeit for an additional fee. What you should look for is whether they support the free and open-sourced alternative, namely, Let's Encrypt SSL certificates.

Note that SSL usage requires that your domain has a dedicated IP address. Most entry-level shared hosting plans only provide a shared, rather than dedicated IP address. Consequently, you may need a top-tiered shared hosting plan in order to have SSL.


1-click installation

You should select a hosting vendor which supports the web applications that you intend to run on your domain. Many vendors offer 1-click install for popular applications such as Drupal and WordPress.


Traffic & storage policies

Many shared hosting plans claim to provide unlimited bandwidth. But, you need to read the Terms of Service document to understand what 'unlimited' truly means. Typically, web hosting companies adopt a 'fair use' policy.

This essentially means that you can use as much bandwidth as they interpret as being 'fair', and if you go over that threshold, you are encouraged, often not so subtly, to upgrade to a higher-tiered hosting plan.

You should also review the vendor's storage policy. Unless you subscribe to a higher-tiered hosting plan, your hosted domain will have restrictions on the number of databases, and the total amount of disk storage.


Network uptime guarantee

The industry norm is to offer a 99.9% network uptime guarantee. That means the network should be up and running 99.9% of the time in a billing cycle, say, a month. This is equivalent to the network not being down for more than 43 minutes in a month.

Not all network outages are counted as being downtime under this guarantee. For example, if the outage is due to an error on your part, it is not counted as downtime. You should carefully read the Terms of Service document to see the full definition.

A guarantee is meaningless without an accompanying penalty for not achieving the required result. Most vendors compensate you for only the downtime in excess of the allowed 0.1%, up to a maximum dollar amount.  


Being green

Datacenters consume a lot of resources, especially power. Environmentally conscious subscribers look for evidence that hosting companies do their part to protect the environment. Clean renewable energy, such as solar power, is currently unable to power the operation of a data center.

Some web hosting companies opt to become carbon neutral by buying carbon offset credits, which in turn are invested in renewable energy projects.


Money-back guarantee

The industry norm is to offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. Few money-back guarantees are unconditional.

You should read the vendor's Terms of Service document to find out the specific terms related to the guarantee. Some vendors require that your network usage is under a certain threshold to be eligible for a refund.


Customer service

7x24 customer service is what you should expect from a web hosting company. At times, you may need technical support from the vendor. There are various ways that one can contact technical support: e.g., via email, live chat, and telephone hotline. Preference should be given to vendors that implement a ticket-based support system. A ticket-based system allows better tracking of the progress of your support issues.

Besides offering support through its technical support team, a web hosting vendor should also provide customer self-help through its website. Look for vendor websites that feature knowledge bases, social media handles, blogs, and public forums.


Positive customer reviews

Ultimately, the experience of recent subscribers can tell you a lot about the quality of a web hosting company's products and services. A quick Google search will return actual customer reviews.

You should specifically look for reviews on network reliability and customer service. However, don't make a purchase decision based on a single review or a single review source. Instead, look for patterns among the various customer reviews.


Bottom line

Hosting is a platform that your site is built on, and you should carefully choose a partner that will support your project. We at Vardot work hard to provide customers with the CMS that will work for their particular goals and work individually on each website to find the best hosting option.

Some sites are using a Drupal PaaS hosting platform that compiles, installs, configures, and connects components so they simultaneously work together and stay compatible with the online structure.

We also provide hosting for websites on virtual servers based on cloud computing technologies that allow an unlimited number of machines to act as one system and allows easy integration of extra resources.

Our hosting guarantee security and the highest level of website performance by multiple machines. Contact us now and bring your online business to the new level.



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