Six Essential Factors to Consider

When Choosing a Good Web Host

You will often think you have the perfect hosts, till you need help, or run a few tests and discover how slow or poor the hosting is, losing you customers every day. The following six factors should always be checked with any hosting, there are a variety of tools out there to check server speeds, website speeds, and if you check their FAQ they may tell you what hardware, PHP version they are running.

1. Speed of their Server/Hosting
  • Many hosts have old server hardware, overload their servers or have slow connections in and out, a slow website may be caused by a slow host (or just bad development). 
  • This is particularly noticeable with all the budget hosts out there, we often see sites taking 3-10x slower due to server speed
  • A slow server means visitors bounce rate (those who leave immediately) will be much higher, and pageviews lower as people get frustrated and leave due to the slow loading speed
  • Slow server speeds are also considered by Google for search rankings, slower servers mean lower ranks
2. Is the version of PHP they are running recent, fast & secure?
  • PHP is the database software powering nearly all small business websites today. If your hosts are running older software for the databases, although your site will still run it is open for hackers as your version of WordPress will be an older version, as the latest versions only run on newer PHP
  • “PHP versions 5.2 through to 5.5, while still actively in use on millions of sites, no longer get security updates…This security concern is not a theoretical concern. We have seen time and time again that the number one reason sites get hacked is because of outdated software. The last release of PHP 5.2 is 6 years old, and several major security issues have been found in it since. WordPress has automatic updates for security updates built-in for exactly this reason. Why would we push people to update WordPress and its plugins regularly, but let the PHP version fall behind?”
  • Almost 60% of WordPress installs are running on an unsupported [insecure] version of PHP.
3. Backups they create of your site
  • How often - monthly, weekly, daily etc…
  • Are backups online or only onsite (in a fire you will lose it all)
  • Offsite backups make it easier to restore to another datacentre if your current hosts hardware fails.
  • Is it easy for your hosts to roll back to an older version of your site? have you asked.
  • Backups are VITAL if you (or your developers) are working on your site and break something major, it can be very expensive to repair websites which have no roll-back capability at the server level.
  • Often if your site has regular backups you can just request a rollback at no cost or a minimal service fee
4. Redundancy - this means duplicates of the actual hardware and telco lines coming in
  • Does the server have a raid array, multiple drives for when one inevitably fails
  • Does the server centre have multiple telcos supplying it so when one fails the others ensure that your website remains online
  • Can they replace hardware fast if there is an issue with key hardware (under an hour ideally to get your site up and running
5. Server Location
  • Is it in a professional server centre, do you know where this is located
  • Does the server centre have backup generators running on diesel in case of power cuts
  • Are there co2 extinguishers built in
  • Can the server engineers get there quickly to replace hardware, or are they onsite
6. Staff
  • Do they have dedicated staff on hand to manage their servers, hardware upgrades and troubleshooting, these are specialised skills which ordinary web developers seldom have
  • In the case of a server/website being hacked you need to be confident they have highly skilled and fast working server engineers who specialise in this area and can quickly isolate a threat, identify cause and help your developers solve the problem to get the site online quickly.

The 15 essentials to look for in a web-hosting service

For fast and reliable hosting including key marketing tools to boost site visitors, regular backups and plugin plus management of Google maps for you and submission of your website to the key directories in your country check out how we can help you.

We may cost a little more than others but if you want online infrastructure that is reliable and a website which is secure and running the latest software, with marketing to help attract more visitors look no further, you will be pleased with the payback from your investment.