There are so many options when it comes to hosting a website that it can be a daunting task to find a web hosting provider that is right for your needs. In this article, Starbucks is used as a metaphor for nine of the most important qualities when evaluating the best web hosting companies.
Imagine visiting your local Starbucks in the middle of the day just to find them closed because their coffee maker is broken. A loyal or regular customer might come back later, but a new or recent one would find a new place to have their coffee.
1. Solid / Reliability
Every time your website stops working, so does your number of visitors. If you lose visitors, you lose profits, members, reputation, etc. You can’t afford your website to fall off, even for a short period of time! To make sure the web hosting provider you’re seeing is reliable, find out how many customers you have (usually, the more, the better), see if they have guaranteed uptime, look for complaints about them on the Internet, and ask other users who use their service about their experience (if you know one).
Nobody likes to wait in line to get what they want, they want it now or they wanted it yesterday. Starbucks delivers quickly and people know that the Starbucks line (even if it’s long) is moving fast. If your website loads slowly because it’s on an overloaded server or on a slow network, your visitors will go elsewhere. Make sure it’s on fire fast. Try the web hosting site and some of your customers’ sites to see how fast they load. Also, read the Twenty to do and what not to do for your website.
Starbucks usually have indoor and outdoor seats to accommodate most people. It’s not easy to move a restaurant and it’s not easy to move your website. Make sure you have more than enough space for what you plan to do with your website. The web space is cheap, so get a lot.
4. Substantial bandwidth
Imagine if Starbucks was only allowed to have 1,000 customers a day and then have to close their doors. This is essentially the bandwidth for websites. If you have too much traffic and use too much bandwidth, they cut off your website or charge you more. It protects web hosting companies from having someone who uses all server resources. Make sure your new web hosting company allows you to buy more bandwidth if you ever need it.
If you walked into a Starbucks and couldn’t find an employee to take your order, it would be really frustrating. When you have a problem with your web hosting company, you want to be able to communicate with someone and get a quick response. Find out if they have a published phone number, their support hours, and how easy it is to communicate with someone.
6. Superior features and technology
When was the last time you heard someone order something at Starbucks that they couldn’t do? When it comes to your website, make sure you have all the options you need. Examine your dashboard, the number of subdomains allowed, script language support, databases, and whether it’s hosted on a Windows or Unix platform.
7. Enough email
Find out if there’s a limit to how many mailboxes you can have and what other email features they support. Make sure you have full control over them and be able to manage them yourself.
8. Safe location
On-premises web servers are likely to be faster, more reliable, and easier to contact than those that aren’t around. At least, it’s better for the web server to be in the same country as most of its visitors. It makes no sense to use an accommodation company in the UK or Europe if all your visitors are in the United States. Also, make sure that your website information is secure on your servers.
9. Standard Pricing / Payment Plans
Finally, the last thing we can learn from Starbucks is that you get what you pay for. Starbucks charges more, but you get better and faster service most of the time than in other coffee shops. When it comes to your web hosting company, you’ll usually get what you pay for; there are exceptions to each rule, but in general this is true. Also, beware of hosting companies that attract you at a low price, but that give you a penny for the additional features that are standard on most web servers