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What To Consider When Choosing A Hosting Provider

by Tracy Finke

In order to get anything on the Web to be viewed by people worldwide, it needs to first be hosted. There are many different types of hosting that you can opt for and due to the development of the entirety of the Internet on a global scale, many divergent providers have emerged, each offering new lucrative possibilities and utilizing separate and innovative technologies.

Regardless, there are many factors that you should definitely take into consideration before ultimately selecting a hosting provider. Because of this, we have curated a short list containing some of the most vital characteristics that you must look for prior to making the final choice.

Where are their servers located?

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Initially, you should attempt to gain enough information about the locations that the hosting provider has units in. This means thoroughly and extensively checking the different places worldwide in order to ensure that you can get sufficient coverage, ideally you need to check if they have servers in the countries that you will be targeting.

This factor often gets overlooked due to the generally high information exchange speeds on a global scale. However, with the constant evolution of technology, users have started to feel the impact of the slightest delay, meaning that you would absolutely want to decrease latency and overall waiting time as much as possible. It is because of this that server location has gone up in priority over the last decade, especially now that the Web is slowly beginning to enter its next developmental stage – Web 3.

Nevertheless, this loading delay and the overall network latency can impact your performance in relation to the different search engines if, for example, you have a website that you would like to rank high for. Larger search engines are now taking into consideration factors such as the time it takes for the elements on the page to render, the overall loading page speed and the period of time a given page requires before it becomes fully interactive, meaning that you should definitely do your research on the server locations in which the providers operate.

Server location does more than just decrease latency and response times, though. Different parts of the world have a divergent overall resource capacity at their availability, meaning that some countries might be more advanced in their approach when it comes to establishing connections while using more expensive, developed and overall better-performing hardware.

Country-specific legislation also gets overlooked as a factor related to server location. For example, some countries would rather prohibit the use of certain technologies and connections than have to deal with potential issues that could arise afterwards.

How helpful and responsive is their customer support?

Admittedly, nobody likes to wait for anything in life, especially when there is a problem that needs to be urgently resolved or if you require help with something on the spot. The field of hosting is no different and exceptional customer support is of the utmost importance. There are many instances where you would need to contact your provider and although most providers will gladly help you quickly, there are still those that can take ages to respond and the answer might not always satisfy you.

Examples of such cases, in which it will be necessary for you to contact customer support, could be to resolve issues related to your server such as slow loading times (which you could commonly experience if you are on a shared hosting plan), the cause of which can also be due to a DDoS attack overloading the system. Being able to respond quickly in such situations is absolutely crucial in order to prevent any further potential damage to your server and of course – brand and image reputation.

Is the server hardware reliable?

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This is another important topic to cover as the overall server speed is determined by how fast the server itself can send and receive information as well as its processing ability.

Because of this, it is vital to select a provider that keeps up with market trends and is always implementing top-notch quality CPUs, RAM and storage, preferably utilizing fast SSDs in order to maximize capacity and storing-retrieval efficiency. Additionally, remember that a hardware-limited server can be much more detrimental than the aforementioned latency factor.

Does the provider protect your privacy and security?

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Issues related to privacy and overall data security are becoming increasingly more prominent in today’s digital society. Because of this, finding a hosting provider that will be willing to protect both aspects is becoming a quite sought after feature. Make sure to select a provider that has a strong privacy policy and utilizes additional security measures to protect you and your account. Examples of such security actions can include:

  • Using two-factor authentication
  • Automated emails for unauthorized logins
  • Data encryption
  • Having a strong SSL certificate
  • Conducting payments securely

Can you pay for your services with alternative payment options?

Building on the last point from the list above, paying discreetly is also becoming very important in this field as people want to protect their privacy and identity. Because of this, different payment alternatives have been steadily rising to prominence allowing you to pay internationally with substantially lower fees, while also having your privacy protected.

Additionally, these alternatives are also quite handy if you happen to not have access to traditional payment methods such as normal bank transfers or PayPal, which means that having divergent ways and options to pay with can be quite beneficial.

Supported operating systems

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Having a wide range of operating systems is an integral part for any hosting provider’s service when it comes to letting users choose the best fit for their needs and intentions. While most servers do tend to utilize Linux as the go to OS choice, Windows servers have also seen an increase in popularity over the last few years.

While the server does require a license to run, your provider can also supply you with it at a cheaper cost. VPSBG for example do offer virtual private servers running on Windows that you can get along with a license.

Additional features to look out for

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Being able to roll-back your server to a previous state is essential in order to mitigate damage to your system that can be caused by hackers or software malfunctions. Because of this, searching for a provider that can offer you snapshots or backups for your servers is quite important. Furthermore, staying on the topic of hackers, try to find a provider that can supply you with secure and reliable DDoS server protection that can prevent such highly targeted influx of traffic crashing your server.

Compare the providers that you are considering

Overall, there are numerous considerations that you need to keep in mind when conducting your research and figuring out what hosting provider to go for. The factors that we covered here are just a handful of that total number. Regardless, every provider will have their offers and unique identity as a company, which will ultimately determine the overall quality of their product. Just remember to be vigilant and look for the characteristics that will satisfy your aims or business.