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Choosing the right hosting company.

When you want to create a website for your company or brand, you don’t only consider the right domain name but you would also need to make sure you select the right web hosting company. Afterall, more than the quality content, website security and performance is very significant when it comes to your branding.

When your website is down, you will start to lose the interest of your visitors resulting to lost of revenue. Aside from that, long downtimes will also cause your search engine ranking to drop. Choosing the right web host will help avoid these problems. Here are some tips on how to choose the right web hosting for you.

Know what type of hosting you need.

Before you go any further, try to evaluate your website needs by asking the following:

–          What type of website are you building?

–          Will you be using common CMS applications like WordPress?

–          Does the website need special software?

–          Is it going to have an online store?

–          How big is it when it comes to traffic?

–          Are there going to be a lot of high-resolution images and videos?

For newbies with small businesses, it is best to start with shared hosting plans. It’s cheap, easy to maintain, and enough for most new sites. You will also need not to worry about the other server-side configurations. Websites with a lot of daily traffic will most likely experience a lot of hiccups under a shared hosting plan. Aside from that, you would also need to factor in the specs of the plan they are offering like the disk space, how many add on domains you can have, number of email accounts, one click installer available, SSH and FTP features etc. You can always scale up to a Virtual Private Server once your site grows and receive a lot of traffic.

Server Reliability and bandwidth

New websites may not use a lot of bandwidth, it is important to anticipate for a sudden spike in traffic. Make sure that the shared hosting plan you will choose does not limit you on terms of bandwidth. It is also important to consider the operating hours of the potential web hosting company you will be selecting. Afterall, some visitors may be on a different time zone. You need to get a web hosting provider that has a high uptime and has a stable network connection.

Sign up fees and renewal

There are a lot of shared hosting deals especially for new customers. Please be advised that this often comes with a much higher renewal cost. Although this is an industry norm, you can always read or check out the ToS for the renewal price. A reasonable renewal amount should not be more than 50% of the sign up cost. For example, the introductory price is at $5/month, therefore the renewal fee should not be more than $10/month.

Upgrade Options

If you expect your website to grow over the years, you would need to leave some room for growth. Choose a hosting plan that is scalable or that can offer you better plans. The ability to have a seamless transition from one server to another if you need to upgrade from shared hosting plan to a Virtual Private server is one important thing to consider.

User friendly Control Panel

A user-friendly control panel with extensive functionality is very important. It doesn’t matter if it’s cPanel or Plesk or even a third-party control panel. Without a user-friendly control panel, you will always find yourself contacting the hosting tech support staff – even if all you need is some basic service.

Security

Security breaches happen. Make sure your web hosting company can provide security to your website like

Backups, Technical Support and knowledge base

Everything fails — this is a fact of life. It is imperative to note that your web hosting provider will have a backup of your server when incidents happen. Your hosting provider should be able to restore your full site in no time at all (or at least, a big part of it). On backups, here are a few key questions to ask your web host:

–          How often do you do full backup?

–          Can site backup be done manually via the control panel?

–          Can I restore your backup files by myself easily so I don’t have to wait for support staff to do it for me during a period of disaster recovery?

When you are researching web hosting companies, you would need to also check out their support group. What are the support channels they provide and if they have a very good knowledge base when you want to do things on your own.

                Read reviews

Researching a web hosting company through third party reviews is very useful in discovering any common issues and complaints from current or past customers. Refer to reputable websites when doing reliability research.

Your web hosting provider plays an important role in your branding. Always consider the big factors and anticipate for future problems that may occur and do your research.

How to avoid non-secure sign on your website.

Having a secured website is important to companies. In September 2016, Google announced that they will be rolling out a few changes. This includes labeling websites without SSL Certificates as ‘non-secure’– especially for web pages that collect credit card information and passwords. They have started labeling some websites during the roll out of Chrome Browser version 56.

Google has been urging website owners to install SSL Certificates and convert their sites to HTTPS. Secure Socket Layer or SSL helps to get the site secured by encrypting the data as it travels from the browser to the server.  This ensures that users can browse and enter their private information without it being compromised by cyber hackers.

When a website is labeled as non-secured in the address bar, it means that the data travels through unsecured network connection. Chances are, cyberhackers can obtain the data and modify it. Google has stepped up its web security campaign by having the Chrome browsers show the ‘Not Secure’ label when users enter any type of data on an HTTP web page, even in Incognito mode. This includes any text entered in the search box. This browser notification alerts visitors that their data may not be totally secure; which may cause some visitors to leave their sessions early.

To avoid getting your site marked as non-secure, you need to install an SSL Certificate to your website and convert your pages to HTTPS. Now that Google is marking non-HTTPS sites as “not secure”, websites with an SSL certificate installed will get the benefit of being marked as “secure” in Chrome browsers. Google previously announced that converting your site as an HTTPS site would boost your search engine ranking factor. HTTPS can also help provide some protection against bad actors in the ad ecosystem. This means that Ad that route you to an HTTP website cannot show on an HTTPS site.

In a nutshell, having an SSL certificate and converting your web pages to HTTPS will secure the data being transmitted from the browser towards the server, this will also help remove bad ads and improve SEO.