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What to look for in a web host?

 

 

1. Server Reliability / Uptime Scores

 

Nothing is more important than having a 24×7 operating web host. You need a web host is operating on a powerful server and stable network connections. 99.5% and above is the recommended uptime score; anything below 99% is unacceptable.

 

There are a number of different ways to obtain a web host uptime info. One way to do so is by reading my hosting reviews – where we publish uptime records based on our test sites from time to time (see samples below).

 

Alternatively, you can simply track your web host with server monitor tools – many of these tools are free on trial and are very to use.

 

Uptime samples published in WHSR

 

siteground uptime – dec-jan

SiteGround Uptime Score for Jan 2014.

iPage uptime score for December 2013 – January 2014

iPage uptime score for Jan2014

InMotion Hosting Uptime Score for December 2013 – January 2014.

InMotion Hosting Uptime Score for Jan 2014.

BlueHost Uptime Record for the past 30 days (August 2014)

BlueHost Uptime Record for the past 30 days (August 2014)

wpengine sept uptime – site has not down for 1757 hours

WP Engine hosting uptime score for September 2015

2. Server Upgrading Options

 

web hosting upgrades

Quick comparison on shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting. Learn when is the right time to upgrade your shared hosting service in this guide.

Shared web hosts are pretty powerful these days.

 

On rough guestimation, a shared hosting account should be sufficient to support a proper-optimized WordPress blog with 30,000 – 40,000 monthly unique visitors. You should be doing alright on a shared host if you manage to limit your concurrent database connections below 20 (this is why I said it’s always best to start with a shared hosting if you are new).

 

However…

 

If you expect your website to grow really big in next two or three years, then you should consider picking up a web host with room to grow. By grow, I mean upgrading your web host – from shared hosting to virtual private or dedicated server – for more processing power, memory capacity, disk storage, and better security features.

 

Useful Tip: Our recommended web hosts with VPS /dedicated options include A2 Hosting, InMotion Hosting, InterServer, and SiteGround.

 

3. Multiple Addon Domains

 

Domain names are cheap – so cheap that it is hard to resist not owning more than one. Personally I own more than 50 domain names in my GoDaddy and NameCheap accounts. And I’m not alone.  according to this Web Hosting Talk’s survey – 80% of the voters own more than 5 domains and more than 20% of the voters own more than 50!

 

To accommodate these extra  domains, we need extra hosting space. And this is why it is important to have a web hosting account that allows adding multiple domains.

 

Generally speaking, most budget shared hosting companies allow at least 25 addon domains* in one account nowadays but you can never be sure. Some years ago I was careless and signed up on a web host that allows only one domain. And, I was holding more than 10 parked domains at that time. Do not repeat my mistake – be sure to check the domain capacity before you make a purchase.

 

Useful Tip: Addon Domain = separated website with a different domain that you can host on the web host; Parked Domain  = additional domain you “park” for domain forwarding or email hosting.

 

4.  Prices: Hosting Signup vs Renewal Cost

 

Hosting deals, shared hosting especially, are normally selling very cheap on signup prices but charge much higher on renewals.

 

It is an industry norm.

 

Unless you are willing to hoop between two or three web hosts every two years, there is no way to avoid the pricey renewal costs.

 

In general, any shared hosting priced below $10/mo is acceptable but you might have a lower tolerance. So, to avoid any unpleasant surprise, you should check the TOS and make sure you are okay with the renewal prices before signup.

 

Useful Tip: One quick way to do this is to click on the hosting company’s TOS

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Updated: November 20, 2017 — 1:40 am

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