Sooner or later, every starting entrepreneur will have to set up their own website. The first step to be taken is the selection of a web hosting company. This can be difficult, especially if you are not very familiar with ICT. Because how do you do that, choosing such a company? What exactly does web hosting entail? And what should you pay attention to when looking for the ideal party for you?
What exactly is web hosting?
In almost all cases, web hosting includes more than just a place on the internet where you can house your website. For example, a hosting company ensures that your data is in a safe place, which is protected against hackers and other external threats. In addition, you can expand a hosting package with all kinds of services that you need for your website. Think of an e-mail address, functionalities for your website (such as a web shop tool or a forum tool), but also telephone support if you need help.
This (English) video explains all aspects of web hosting in five minutes:
Of course, one hosting company offers more or different services compared to others. It is therefore important to choose a party that matches your needs and prior knowledge. Complete unburdening is also possible, for example, by means of so-called “managed web hosting“.
Importance of a good web hosting party
Finding the cheapest web hosting company haphazardly and buying a domain there is almost always a bad idea. Even if you may not attach so much importance to your website, it is always good to delve into the party with which you are considering to do business. That interest is different for every entrepreneur and depends largely on the purpose of your website. Do you have a car garage and is your website mainly intended to provide insight into your contact details and rates? Then your website is probably less important for the vitality of your company than if you have a webshop. For example, if your website went offline for any reason, it immediately means that you no longer have any income.
Buying a web hosting package is therefore always a matter of costs and benefits, but in all cases the following applies: paying little money for bad service may be cheap, but it is still of no use to you.
Where do you start choosing?
Choosing the ideal party starts with drawing up your wishes and needs. To do this, you first define the primary purpose of your website. You may have different goals with your website; then write them all down. The goals of your website determine the functionalities and services that you want to see in your web hosting package.
Try to work out in detail what exactly you need. For example, if you want to be able to offer large files for download, it is useful to have an idea of how many files exactly, and how many gigabytes of space, you need approximately. Do you want a start webshop, then also think about payment options. Is one website sufficient, or do you want to be able to host several on one package? If so, how much? And how much data traffic should be able to take place via your website? Do you need a WordPress plugin to build the website, or are you going to do this (or have it done) in another way? Work out all these wishes as accurately as possible, as far as possible.
What should you pay attention to afterwards?
Now that you have on paper what should at least be in your hosting package, you can investigate different parties and compare options. But not every party that meets all your wishes is automatically perfect. There are other general aspects to consider.
Apart from the periodic costs, there are often differences in the contract term, cancellation term and possibilities to upgrade or downgrade with regard to the contract that you conclude. It might be nicer to pay a little more, but have a flexible contract that you can easily adjust, without much administrative hassle.
Another important aspect is the help desk. Especially if you do not have a lot of IT knowledge yourself, it is nice if there is a daily easy-to-reach helpdesk, which you can consult via live chat, mail and telephone. Nothing is more annoying than finding out on Friday evening during downtime of your website that the helpdesk is only available again on Monday.
Always also delve into the experiences of others with the party you are considering to engage in the arm. Are there many complaints, or mostly good experiences? Are problems solved? Are there many issues with downtime or slow sites? Spending an hour on the internet gives you a good picture and can save you a lot of annoyance.
Once you have a good feeling with a party that meets all your wishes and offers the service you need, it is wise to first contact them to discuss your wishes. Especially if you have little or no experience with building websites, it is good to gauge which support you can expect. Does everything still feel good after that conversation? Then you can start with confidence!