When the internet was first starting out in 1969, there were only four web hosts. Now there are 1.2 billion registered host names worldwide. But with industry growth comes enticing new deals and cheaper packages – so, how do you know which web hosting plan is right for you?

A bad web host can lead to slow or lagging websites, security issues, and limited web space. Not only is this bad for your site’s performance, but it’ll drive customers away too.

Top tips for choosing the right web host

As web hosting pros, we've come up with a list of top-tips to help those looking to buy web space and kickstart their business.

1. Web hosting security

One of the most important steps in building a website is security. Not only will your website need to protect your business’s information, but your customers’ personal details too. The simplest way to do this is by making sure your website is SSL certified (secure sockets layer) and this certificate will come from your web host.

An SSL offers your site a secure connection that encrypts personal data and payment information. You know that little padlock that appears next to the URL of most sites? This is from your SSL certificate and tells visitors that you're providing that secure connection and keeping their data safe and secure.

Making sure that your web host can offer you top notch security will make users more comfortable entering your site, and they are more likely to make a purchase too.

2. Page loading and speed

Website speed is everything. In fact, slow-loading pages are responsible for costing retailers almost £60bn in lost sales every year. Not to mention that one in four internet users claimed they’d exit a site which didn’t load within three seconds, and 46% said they’d never revisit it again.

Put yourself in the best possible position to satisfy customer demand by considering the benefits of varying web hosting provider’s bandwidths. Or if you’re setting up a site for a bigger business and you’re expecting a lot of traffic, perhaps unlimited bandwidth is your best bet. This would give you wholly unrestricted connectivity and a speedy site no matter the traffic or on-page content.

3. Combine web hosting and domain registration

There are numerous supporting steps involved in establishing a website, from registering the perfect domain name, to setting up a purpose-built business email. You can simplify the process though, by keeping your eye out for a web hosting platform that does it all. This includes domain name registration, domain transfers, email hosting, and even free SSL certificates as part of their packages.

This makes it more straightforward to create your website, and also streamlines the admin processes and means you can manage each working element more easily. Oh, and benefit from much more affordable web hosting too.

4. Don’t pick a web hosting package based on price

Don’t just go for the cheapest web hosting package. Your website is your own unique digital space for you to publish information about your brand and to engage with consumers. Everyone’s requirements are slightly different, that's why it's important to be careful with the package you choose, and not to jump straight for the cheapest web hosting.

It’s important to pick a web hosting package that supports your needs exactly. As your brand develops in visibility and reach, your web host will need to develop with you. So, consider the scalability of your website, is there room for growth in your web hosting package? You might not need too many features just yet, but be careful not to limit yourself before you even get started – pick a package that gives you options to add extras if and when you need them.

5. Consider a specialist web hosting company

Creating a website can be a time-consuming process, and one which often requires organisation, patience, and skill. And, with an average of two billion worldwide websites, it’s important to get it right or you run the risk of falling behind.

Fortunately, you can effortlessly skip over many hurdles that come with building your site by choosing a specialist web hosting company. With countless hosting platforms to pick from, make sure to find one that also offers round the clock support, for everything from everyday queries to server concerns.

Understanding how to get the most out of your website and web hosting package can make all the difference. But it’s also important to create on-site content and manage growth.

Wanting to talk to one of our team about our web hosting services? Contact us today for a friendly chat about your options. Or maybe you need help with an existing package? We offer 24/7 support to all of our customers so you’ll never be left in the dark.