How to choose the right web hosting partner

When building your ecommerce website, one aspect you might not initially consider is where you should host your website. It’s essential to choose a reputable and reliable hosting provider so that your website remains stable, loads quickly, and you get the customer service and support you need.

Web hosting providers make your website accessible to others on the Internet by renting out allocated space on their servers to customers for a fee. The cost depends on your requirements, such as email accounts needed, disk space for storing files and the number of visitors allowed (traffic quotas).

Before settling on a provider, factors you need to consider are:
  • The resources you’ll need
  • The amount of technical assistance you require
  • Capacity to scale.
What resources will you need?

Hosting packages normally include specific quotas for resources such as disk space and traffic. You’ll need to factor in how much your website will require when making your hosting package decision. If your ecommerce website has a small selection of products and won’t receive a lot of traffic, a shared hosting package is best. This is where one server is used to host many websites. A good hosting package will include email accounts, a generous traffic quota, and enough storage space for your needs.

If you expect a large number of visitors or have specific configuration requirements, dedicated server hosting would be better. With dedicated hosting, you have the option of having the server maintained on your behalf (Managed Hosting), or you can manage the whole server, the updates, and security yourself (Self-Managed Hosting).

It’s important to understand your resource needs before selecting a web hosting package. While it’s possible to adjust your package based on your needs, exceeding your allocated quotas could lead to unnecessary over-usage costs.

Help when you need it

A good hosting partner will offer round-the-clock technical support and a variety of self-help options to assist you.

How much control you want and assistance you’ll need will dictate the type of hosting plan you choose. If you require every aspect of your web hosting managed for you, including software updates, security patches, and networking, then a shared hosting plan would be your best choice.

Look for a hosting partner with a proven track record in customer service. The customer support team should be available by phone and email and should also provide you with helpful resources to guide you if you prefer to figure things out on your own.

Hosting that grows with you

Scalability is important when choosing a hosting provider and web hosting package. While you may start off small, you’ll want to be able to upgrade your hosting package with ease as your business grows. Be wary of any hosting provider who makes upgrading or downgrading between packages unnecessarily complicated or costly.

Useful resources:
xneelo offers web hosting and business enablement to more than 500 000 South African websites.
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