Gather the technical details of your website project and run through these steps to pick a webhost:
- Decide if you need a shared, VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting account.
- Find a list of reputable hosting companies who offer the hosting account type you require.
- Match the software, operating system, any any required packages of the hosting company to what’s current on each of those titles. Remove a host from your list if it has components that are 2 or more major versions out of date, especially if the product is end of life (like PHP 5.5 and below).
- Do some online and offline review searching for the hosts you are looking at. Do your peers or web development company have a specific recommendation? Eliminate any hosts with too many reports of overcrowded servers, terrible support, or broken infrastructure.
- Choose a host with the best reputation for quality and an acceptable price point for the service.
If you can afford to move your site again in the near future, there are plenty of hosts who offer 15 and 30 day trials of their services. Sometimes however you don’t know how good or bad the company is until something actually goes wrong, and you are facing downtime or outages. For high profile critical services, Cloud Hosting and Dedicated packages will be warranted. Medium and small businesses can very often use a low tier (and most affordable) hosting account, depending on their site’s needs.
The Hosting Account Bottom Line
Your web hosting company is one of those few vendors that you’ll never meet in person, and you won’t even think about them at all if they do a spectacular job (because your site will always be up and running). A little bit of knowledge about your real server needs can save you a good chunk of change by not buying more than you have to, but avoid low tier providers – or your website will too often be inexplicably slow.
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