When you compare web hosting plans, they often look the same. The descriptions are full of jargon, pricing ranges from $1 into the $100s, and it’s difficult to compare apples to apples. These are the 5 essentials to consider when making your choice:
- Proactive security – The hackers are out there, and they are constantly trying to get into your web site. Whether they are trying to steal credit card information, deface your web site for some foreign political situation, or just use your web site to send spam, hackers the world over are actively trying to break in. Your web hosting needs to provide a high degree of security before the hackers even get to your web site.
- Tech support – Ah, tech support. We all wish we knew how to do everything, but in reality we sometimes need help. Whether its configuring SSL, or locking-down a web form, or email that isn’t playing nice, you want to have a person – a real person – you can call for help quickly. A person who speaks your language, knows what you are trying to do, and can fix the problem without needing to call tech support themselves.
- Daily backups – In the real world, stuff happens. A plugin destroys your website; you accidentally delete some files; a hacker guesses your password and trashes your web site. Daily backups of both your files and your database give you the ability to quickly return to a point in time when your web site was working, before the bad stuff happened.
- Fail-over datacenter – As the old saying goes, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Just like daily backups provide for quick recovery of a ruined web site, a fail-over datacenter provides for quick recovery from a datacenter problem. After all, any building can have a fire or get hit by a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake. You want to be able to quickly switch to a current copy of your web site in a different geographic location. Only a few web hosting companies provide this.
- Owns & operates their servers – Every web site ultimately runs on a server. Seems straightforward, but resellers have little control over the servers they resell. Only the owner/operator can really get to the nuts-and-bolts of a server and make it do what you need it to do. A surprising number of web hosting companies are actually resellers, including some of the biggest names in the business.
There are certainly add-ons you can buy to support additional functionality, but these 5 essentials are the foundation of reliable web hosting.
Feel free to call Jack at (504) 888-2161 if you have *any* questions.