Kettering Web Design - for Businesses in Kettering, Rothwell and Desborough
July 20, 2020

How to choose a website hosting provider that won't screw you over?

How to choose a website hosting provider that won't screw you over

You wouldn’t build a £1m house on lousy foundations. Having a lovely website sitting on top of a bad hosting provider is the same deal.

This is a comprehensive article to put to rest some serious frustration lots of small businesses are having about website hosting! Often SME’s are getting swindled from the biggest players in the hosting game who offer the most dated product and the most robotic customer service.

Are there actually any alternatives? Here's how to vet a potential hosting provider.

What should a good hosting provider look like?

  • Their product helps your website load as fast as possible (slow websites contribute to a bad search engine ranking)
  • Has frustration free, reliable human customer service
  • Affordable
  • Actively invests in advancing technology to provide you the best ongoing production
  • Allows your web designer to easily do his/her job and perform maintenance

As mentioned, the smaller the better - because search engines love pages that load fast.

Visitors demand fast loading times especially on mobile devices. If your site doesn’t load within 3 seconds 53% of users go elsewhere. 5g is approaching very fast and It’s gonna be fast. But your website will only load as fast as your hosting provider and the plan that you are on. So choosing wisely means we are striving to future-proof our websites so we don’t have to pay out later down the line to change things.

The technical details

Hosting providers store your website on servers. How quickly that data is served to a visitor of your website is reflective of the TYPE of server they use.

Usually your website is stored on an ‘Apache’ server. This has been the standard for years and is still decent, but certainly not built for the future.

We now direct all our clients to get hosting with a provider who uses LITESPEED for their servers. Better security, constant improvements and up to 10x as fast as Apache when using Wordpress.

Most of the bigger multinational hosting providers like 1&1 are still using Apache. The hungry, independent providers who are looking to capture a market not on volume but on quality, are leaning away from Apache

The Giants – 1&1, 123reg, GoDaddy – you get what you pay for. The support can be reasonable, however sometimes it’s extremely hard to get hold of a human being.

  • Where is your support centre?
  • Is support provided only through online tickets? (bad)
  • Can I talk to a human every time? (good)
  • Can you let my web designer talk to you on my behalf? (good)
  • Will the call centre be overseas?
  • Will I have to press #4 971 times before I can talk to someone?
  • Will you escalate a serious issue away from sales and directly to a technician?
  • How fast will you resolve issues?
  • Do you take regular backups?
  • What are your security measures to protect my website and data?

If you can get compelling answers to these questions, with an indication of good ongoing support (ideally all within the UK) then you’re onto a winner.

Is the hosting really Value For Money? It may be £1 a month, but:

  • Does that include VAT?
  • Does it include emails?
  • Is there enough storage space and bandwidth to actually build the website you want, and take care of the visitors coming through?
  • Do they provide a FREE SSL certificate?
  • Is it easy to maintain or has the hosting company put big brother controls, preventing your developer from optimising certain aspects of your website?
  • How easy is it to get in touch with their support team?

So the monthly cost can range from £1 (usually a temporary offer!) up to £30 a month. We like to recommend a comfortable £10-20 budget per month as this covers most websites, but gets you a real premium, quality UK based service. If you are selling products, services online, you may want to stretch that budget to £30. Why? E-Commerce websites have more code, features and functions and more database queries - all of which slow the site down. We will cover this in the future.

Shared Hosting or Dedicated Hosting?

Shared hosting is when a website is hosted on the same server as many other websites. This means that all the websites share the same resources from that server. Most web developers and hosting companies default to this method. It is very affordable and works great for all websites. Dedicated hosting on the other hand, may be more expensive but it means you are renting an entire server for your website. This server can be completely configured to meet your specifications. Shared and Dedicated can be hosted physically or on the cloud - which we will cover in the future.

If you run a small business you likely won’t need anything more than shared hosting unless security is a major concern for you.

Do you need to change your website hosting?

You may have Lots and lots of questions. But due diligence is important as you’ll be paying your provider every month, it’s an ongoing cost of business. Chopping and changing due to bad service is an unnecessary burden you don’t need in life. That is where we can step in and help your business with the correct, most suited hosting for your website.

Kettering Web Design - for Businesses in Kettering, Rothwell and Desborough

Kettering Web Design has had over 10 years within the web design industry. We have helped many business in Kettering and surrounding areas to expand and grow their digital online presence. We provide affordable web design in Kettering, affordable web design in Corby. We also provide stunning business card design in Kettering, and branding services for businesses and tradesmen in Kettering.

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