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Great, you are now at Part 3 on how to choose reliable web hosting. If you miss the previous chapter, please click on link below to start over:
If the domain name is the address, then web hosting is the house. In layman’s terms, the web hosting is the place you store all the data. The data mostly are the database, text, picture, video, theme or plugin of your blog.
There are lots of web hosting provider on the Internet. If your search on Google, there are about 8.5 million results associated with web hosting.
According to Hostingfacts.com, as of August 2017, there is 1.24 billion websites in the world. Imaging how many web hosting require to host with the numbers.
There are lots of web hosting. Are they really reliable?
As a new business who want to have own blog, the main aspect to consider is selecting a good web hosting. The reliable web hosting will increase blog performance and at the same time reduce your headache to handle the difficulty.
Since the first day set up the blog, I’ve tested and experienced with four different web hosting companies. Start from 2007 until today, some of them are very good but other only on average quality.
The latest experience with SiteGround web hosting that I’m using for this blog. Throughout my experience with SiteGround, my conclusion is they are reliable for me. They deliver the quality and requirement needed and I believe it also can accommodate to your new business.
Reliable = Great in quality.
Then, how to choose a reliable web hosting company? A reliable web hosting should have criteria with:
1. Best Uptime Guarantee
The only purpose you want to have a blog is for the customer to know about your business. That’s it.
The blog is your “representative” to deliver what you sell to your potential customer. It should be always-on and available all the time. It cannot be down even for a second because time is the money.
You might have the customer from around the world. With different timezone, you need 24 hours availability of the blog.
For example, your customers in Asia might access your website during your sleeping time. So, the content should be available at that particular time.
The uptime is crucial if your sales purely from a website like e-commerce. You cannot afford to lose any transaction. Any downtime to your website will lead to lost profit. The worst case, you also may lose your customer.
Nobody can guarantee your website is up and available all the time. Not even web hosting company. No company can offer 100% uptime but they can offer up to the maximum.
That’s why a web hosting put the clause “guaranteed uptime” with certain percentages to justify the availability. Uptime is a measurement of how good website keep their systems for the website up and running.
A reliable web hosting company offer high uptime to your website. For example, SiteGround uptime is 99.99%, Hostgator and Inmotion uptime is 99.9%, Bluehost 99.9%. Different company with different uptime according to their capability.
What does uptime means to your blog?
It means they can guarantee your blog will be up and running 99.99% all the time and only 0.01% possibility to down. To explain in the simple calculation, let’s digest below table:
Daily: 0.01% x (24 x 60 minutes) = 9 seconds
Weekly: 0.01% x (24 x 7 x 60 minutes) = 1 minute
Monthly: 0.01% x (24 x 30 x 60 minutes) = 4 minutes 19 seconds
Yearly: 0.01% x (24 x 365 x 60 minutes) = 52 minutes 34 seconds
For 99.99% uptime, the possibility your website down for a year is less than an hour. It’s the guarantee from SiteGround to you. The assurance from the web hosting reducing the stress of thinking about the inaccessible blog.
In short, to choose the reliable web hosting, look for the uptime. The higher they can guarantee to you, the better to your business continuity. It’s because the possibility your website is going to down is minimal.
My recommendation is to choose a web hosting with minimum 99.6% uptime because you definitely don’t want your website to be down for more than 5 minutes in a single day.
However, it depends on your business scope. You need higher uptime if your own e-commerce website which highly dependency on the website.
You can go with lower uptime if only own a static website with minimal content. For an e-commerce website, surely SiteGround offering a better package.
2. After Sales Support
Nothing is perfect. You might face at least an issue with your blog and web hosting throughout your journey. It doesn’t matter either technical or billing issue, you still need the web hosting support to assist you.
As reliable web hosting company, they put after sales support as the top priority. Customer service is one of the criteria to differentiate between good provider and so-so company.
You put money and trust in their company. Let’s say you subscribe for one year. Next, throughout the year is their responsibility to help you with any issue related to the hosting.
Their reliability is tested after you purchase the hosting, not before. You will know either they deliver the promise (as mention on the website) or just want your money.
My experience with SiteGround, they offer several ways of communication such as email, phone and web support. Apart from all this, my favorite way to contact them is using Live Chat.
In the previous post on How to Transfer Website to SiteGround, the response from technical support who I contacted via Live Chat is less than 10 minutes. It’s great response time since we don’t want to wait for a long time to get entertain.
The best part about Live Chat is you can ask and get the response instantly. It’s even faster than email. That’s how reliable the company to engage with the customer problem. They tried the level best to solve your inquiry as soon as possible.
On my observation, web hosting like Bluehost, HostGator and WPengine have the Live Chat support. You can use it to contact them. Surely, they are very responsive to assist you.
3. Blog Speed
Time is gold. In the world that moving fast, we have to adapt to the changes. A reliable web hosting able to increase your website speed. Visitors are more than happy to access a faster website.
A sluggish blog causes visitor runaway (bounce rate) and also create a bad reputation for Google ranking. Starting July 2018, Google will use page speed as the rank factor for mobile search. It’s devastation to have a slow blog.
There are two things contribute to blog speed:
- Web hosting data center location
- Web hosting technology
#1. Web Hosting Data Center Location
The web hosting location is where the data center is located. It is included the server, network and other infrastructures sit in the data center. As a new business, you should clearly define your customer segment, especially on geographic or location.
How blog speed and customer geographic is correlated?
The closer customer with the data center, the faster the blog speed. For example, if most of your customers located in the United States (US), so it’s advisable to choose the web hosting in the United States. It’s unwise to choose web hosting server at Asia to serve US market.
Let’s look at comparison speed test result.
Based on the above table, you can conclude that accessing the website from US is faster compared to other location. This is due to the location of the data center is nearby to the customer segment (US).
#2. Web Hosting Technology
Apart from the location, the technology that been used by web hosting company also contribute to the blog speed.
For example, the introduction of solid-state drive (SSD) disk to replace conventional hard disk drive (HDD) on the server.
For blog page load, the SSD can produce up to 20 times more faster. Most of the reliable web hosting moving to SSD to gain more customer attraction.
The visitor can experience better browsing to your blog and reduce waiting time. It’s good reputation for the search engine. The customers also enjoy browsing your website without hassle.
Another technology to boost speed is using a cache. For example, SiteGround offer their customer with cache technology.
The cache is used to increase the number of visitors can be handled and also increase load speed. SiteGround called the technology as Geeky SuperCacher.
To increase blog speed, the web hosting provider integrates with Content Delivery Network (CDN). The purpose of CDN is able to combine the group of servers from any different place in the world to provide fast Internet access.
For instance, SiteGround web hosting provides free Cloudflare CDN. When a visitor access to your blog, CDN deliver the content from the nearest data center. The content will appear on visitor screen faster than before.
To protect blog connection, web hosting also provides with SSL certificate. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and the browser.
With that, your customer’s data protected by SSL, for example, credit card information and personal information. A blog with SSL certificate is represented by ‘https’ or Secure at the beginning of URL.
Example of SSL certificate on blog FiveTopic.com
It shows that any transaction made through the blog is encrypted and secured. When your visitors see the secure connection available on your blog, it gains customer trust and confidence to deal with you.
4. Affordable Price
As a new business with limited budget, you should plan properly to invest your money. In the beginning, just purchase what really need to run your business.
If you can get for free, just utilized it. If the product has limited offer discount, grab it.
For me, to choose a reliable web hosting for new business, the price plays important roles. It should not too expensive. It should be affordable to the business owner.
Even though the price is not comparatively considered as a reliable factor, but it always includes in my checklist.
For example, SiteGround offer 60% off from the regular price. You need only $3.95 per month for StartUp web hosting plan.
It’s considered very good for initial investment. You can save lots of money which can be used for other things.
Cost saving on SiteGround web hosting.
Even the price is considered low but it equipped with rich features such as:
- Free SSL certificate
- Geeky SuperCacher
- Solid-state drive (SSD) storage
- Free Cloudflare CDN
Which Web Hosting Best for Me?
I’ve shared the details how to choose reliable web hosting company. All from my experience throughout the year of blogging.
For a new business, SiteGround is offered more than enough. I’m currently enjoying the benefit of their services.
You can search for web hosting review on the internet. There a lots review from the persons who have experiences with various web hosting company.
Take your time.
It takes 2 weeks for me to consider SiteGround as my preferred web hosting. Do your research and I believe you will find the best that convenient for you.
In the next part, I will share step-by-step how to create install and create a blog. Click Par 4: Register Domain Name and Web Hosting.