How to choose a host for your website

And dealing with hosting transfer dramas!

I want to talk with you about hosting – a big pain in the bum most of the time. This came up for me, because, recently I had to change the host.

When you change hosts there’s a terrifying moment – for up to 72 hours your site can be completely invisible.

The real reason for that is because your domain name and your hosting are two separate entities. When you change host, you are telling your domain: “OK, it used to be here, now is over here”. The time that it takes it can be up to 72 hours.

There are three things to look for in order to find a good host:

1. The host has the service that you need

For instance, if you’re making a WordPress website, they need to have Linux hosting, which is compatible with running WordPress. Also, if the hosting company is going to manage your emails and to store all the stuff you need —just make sure that the host you choose has all the capacity for the things that you need.

2. A data centre nearby

Preferably, the data centre should be near your location. Google looks where a site is hosted in order to present the most valuable results for the people searching. So I’m in France and my new host Siteground has data centres in Amsterdam. They are an American company but they have data centres all over the world.

So, when your site is stored near you and somebody near you is searching, it’s only going up the road to find the files, rather than across the Atlantic, which is a good shortcut to have.

3) Good support

If you have issues with your website or with your hosting, and you’re not a web developer, then some of the terminology can be confusing. Good service is an absolutely vital part of your decision making process to find a good host.

If you can get them on the phone and say: “Can you talk me through how to do this” and they say “YES” – that is a good support service!

Also if you are choosing a hosting company from a different time zone, check if they provide support for your time zone as well. Quite often if you do not live the in USA, you have to wait for the support team to come online in order to get answers.

UPDATE

I’ve been with Siteground hosting since creating this post. They are by far the best host I’ve used in my 10+ years of making websites. I wholeheartedly recommend them.

Their support is excellent. They offer a free WordPress website transfer when you move to them from another host. And you get a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate with your hosting account, which can be installed really easily!

I’m so happy with their service that I have an affiliate account with them. If you’re looking for a great deal on hosting use this link to get a discount on your first year. (NOTE: I get a small commission if you use this link.)

 

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