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The hosting platform you choose may not seem like an important decision, but in reality, it can make a huge difference to your daily life or the running of your business. Getting it right can save you time, money and make everything flow more smoothly, whereas a host that isn’t a perfect fit for your needs could end up causing you several unnecessary headaches.

Use the guide below to help you figure out the hosting platform that will make for your perfect online partner.

What Type Of Hosting Is Required?

The first task you have is to get really clear about exactly what it is you require from your hosting platform. For example, if you’re a small business, then a shared hosting platform is probably the best option: simple and (usually) reliable; this option means that one server is shared by several different customers.

If this sort of platform would suit your needs, then have a look at the options that each host offers in terms of pricing, customer support, and the facility to add eCommerce to your site. Given that your website will be sharing space with those of other businesses, you may find that should your site grow in size; performance could be affected. Most shared hosting platforms, however, will allow you to upgrade your package as your business develops: for example, you may be able to jump seamlessly to a dedicated plan package or a VPS (virtual private server) network without the hassle of switching providers.

For an example of a scalable hosting option that would suit most small businesses, check this link right here now – this particular host also features a website builder incorporating drag and drop tools and hundreds of highly-usable templates that come with embedded HTML, making it easy to get a website created and uploaded, even for those with no previous experience.

If your business has moved well beyond the start-up phase, or if your website is growing at a fast rate, then you may want to consider opting for a VPS hosting platform from the off. While VPS customers will still share server space with other customers, they will be provided with a greater amount of server space and much more control of the hosting provision as compared to the shared hosting option.

If VPS is the route that’s best for your needs, then it’s advisable to check that the option you’re considering includes storage with high-speed SSDs (solid-state drives) as well as managed services, in relation to patches and updates that become available for the software.

Finally, you may decide upon a dedicated hosting package for your website. These are best for successful, high-performing sites and offer the use of an entire dedicated server – no sharing required when it comes to this option. Customers who select this type of host platform will enjoy complete control over vast swatches of configuration settings, meaning that security and operating systems can be tailored to the exact specifications required. Customer support tends to be 24/7 with these platforms, and some even provide features such as automatic back-ups and migrations and dedicated IP addresses. As you’ve probably guessed: this is the most expensive choice.

Think About the Website You’re Building

If the main purpose of your site will be to provide a home for blog content, then you may want to consider a WordPress-friendly host; look for providers that offer easy installation of WordPress, unlimited storage and bandwidth, pre installed packages, and a customer support service that can provide expert advice tailored to WordPress users.

If you want to sell online through your website, then you’ll need to opt for a hosting platform that supports e-Commerce; features to look for in such a platform include the ability to integrate Paypal as well as email marketing tools, shopping cart software add-ons, and the additional security elements necessary to process transactions.

For personal websites (created to provide information about a personal event such as an upcoming wedding, for example), you will probably be able to find a relatively cheap hosting option that will still offer some basic site-builder tools and templates. Many provide 24/7 customer support and unlimited storage and bandwidth, too.

What Features Do You Need?

Finally, consider what additional platform tools, features, and resources would make your life easier. For example, would you prefer to buy your website’s domain name in the same package as the hosting plan? This is standard procedure, but it’s also entirely possible to register your domain name with a different company to the one that is acting as your host platform – and many offer free domain name transfers and migrations.

Think carefully, too, about your requirements for your email and inbox: some platforms offer customers additional email tools, such as the ability to forward and filter, marketing add-ons, multiple inbox provision, and enhanced security features.

Reliability and strong uptime are crucial elements for any business website, and most hosting providers will offer an uptime guarantee: if you have a large business or a particularly busy website, however, shared hosting may not be the best choice for you, as there is the slight chance of occasional performance issues with this option.

Checking that the level of security offered by a hosting platform will suit your needs, or that of your business is vital. Have a look at the security provision of each option, and pay attention to online reviews from past and present customers too. Make sure that the platform includes firewalls, monitoring services, and – ideally – automatic backups.

Lastly, consider what type of customer support you want to be included as part of your provider’s services. If you would like 24/7 assistance to be on hand should it be needed, then be sure that this is included before signing up for a plan. Again, online reviews can help ascertain the reliability and quality of the customer support offered by various differing platforms.

The Takeaway

There are a huge number of hosting platforms out there and, while many features of hosting provision are regarded as standard, to get the most out of your provider, it’s important to be really clear on your needs before signing up to anything.

Think about how you want the platform to work for you and how it can best support your business and your website. Take some time to not only research all of your options but to consider how each choice could change the functionality of your site, and consider scalability, too, to be confident that your site will be given the room to thrive as your business grows.