It seems pretty simple, right?
Grab a domain, get a subscription to a hosting service that [insert “influencer” name here] is recommending and voilà! you have a website!
It’s what most people do when they’re getting started on a new website idea.
And when you see the people who are following [insert influencer name here] doing the same thing, you assume it must be the right thing to do.
As Lee Corso likes to say, “not so fast my friend“.
Not to say that the recommendation from [insert influencer name here] for what you should use for your hosting service won’t work for you. It can.
Before you pull that trigger though, I want you to be up to speed on the things you need to look for when it comes to hosting your new website.
Technology will fail. I know, it sucks, but it happens. But when it does you want to have offsite backups in place so you can get back up and running with minimal downtime.
Check in to big issues your host may have had recently and see how they responded. A couple huge names in hosting have had issues in recent times and if they’re on your list, you’ll want to see how they responded.
Media Temple – the choice of a lot of web developers and entrepreneurs – is not immune to technology issues either. They had a widespread outage that took a LOT of sites offline.
Major Web Hosting Provider (MT) Media Temple in Culver City goes down/offline leaving many thousands of websites & servers inaccessable pic.twitter.com/4YAK4e0ihr
— South Pasadena News (@southpasnews) April 7, 2017
Like I said, technology can break sometimes. But having a plan in the event of an emergency is crucial.
Here’s a pro tip:
Sometimes some hosting companies will try to get you buy add-on features and tools like website builders, etc. when you’re checking out. In most cases, you don’t need virtually any of that stuff they try to get you to sign up for when you’re checking out.
I get it – every company wants to be profitable and make money. But some of the add-ons that are suggested when you’re just trying to checkout don’t make sense.
Here are a few things you do need.
Disk space, bandwidth, and memory
You need to make sure you’ve got room to grow and handle traffic. I was recently working on a site that had a huge database and the site files of the site were in the magnitude of many – too many – gigabytes.
Your hosting plan needs to be able to provide plenty of disk space, bandwith and memory so your site has room to grow and operate at peak efficiency and be fast. Depending on the type of hosting service you’re signing up for these things will vary.
Not all hosting providers offer email services. If being able to host your email at the same place as your website is important to you, you will want to check this out before you settle on a hosting provider.
Ask your prospective host what emergency backups they have in place. You have to have an emergency backup solution in place, so ask to see what’s available.
Keep in mind that off-site backups are a different solution.
Being able to use an SSL certificate should be available on virtually all hosting providers. How they get installed and handled can vary greatly.
Using an SSL is also one of the ranking factors that Google uses for its ranking factors, so it’s not really a “nice-to-have” any longer, but a must-have.
Just as important as your hardware, is the software available to you on your server. There are a lot of different options that you able to run the latest version of PHP & MySQL.
Content management systems like WordPress get lots of updates and you will want to keep those up to date. Sometimes there are minimum server requirements for major version upgrades like PHP 7 and MySQL 5.6
You want to have your site running on the best hardware your budget can afford. The hosting company will be able to talk to you about how their hardware will help you to get the best performance from your site. …using the latest technology to power your site – not old, worn-out, servers.
Hosting your website doesn’t have to be complicated.
Sure, there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to figuring out how to host your website. It has to have the features you need, be affordable and easy to use.
Hopefully though, this will take some of the mystery out of making your choice.
The next step that you need to take is to get the Ultimate WordPress Start-Up Guide here.
I built this guide so that you would have all the things you need to start a new website project with WordPress right at your fingertips.
This guide will allow lead you down a path that covers it all in an easy-to-understand way so that your new website is a success from day one.
Make sure you don’t miss any of the crucial steps in getting your new website project online by following the steps in this guide.