As I discussed in my last article on hosting, there are many different factors that go into choosing a hosting provider. The best hosting provider for a given website will depend on the unique needs of that website. Given the large number of hosting companies that now exist, people unfamiliar with hosting will have a difficult time choosing the best option for their website. This article seeks to solve this problem by defining what hosting is and explaining its importance to your website. I’ll then list five major factors that can help you narrow down your options and choose the best hosting provider for your website. Lastly, I’ll end the article by listing my top three recommended hosting providers. (If you are unfamiliar with hosting, please refer back to my last article on hosting, where I provide a brief explanation of what hosting is and how it forms the foundations for the internet.)

5 More Features to Look for in a Hosting Plan

5 More Features to Look for in Your Hosting Plan​

There are many different factors that go into choosing a hosting provider. The best hosting provider for a given website will depend on the unique needs of that website. Given the large number of hosting companies that now exist, people unfamiliar with hosting will have a difficult time choosing the best option for their website. This article seeks to solve this problem by explaining the importance of hosting to your website. I’ll then list five major factors that can help you narrow down your options and choose the best hosting provider for your website. Lastly, I’ll end the article by listing my top three recommended hosting providers. (If you are unfamiliar with hosting, please refer back to my last article on hosting, where I provide a brief explanation of what hosting is and how it forms the foundations for the internet.)

  1. Staging website
  2. Customer support
  3. Domain email
  4. Site migration
  5. Site backup

While these features may not be the most important factors to consider, if you’re having trouble making up your mind, these factors can help make the difference in which hosting provider you choose.

1. Staging Website

There will inevitably come a time when your site will need to be redesigned and given a fresh, more contemporary look. A staging website can make this process tremendously easier. A staging website is essentially a rough draft of your website that only you can see. Having a staging website allows you to completely redesign your site, test new technology, and perfect your site for your customers, all completely behind the scenes. Once you are happy with your new look and confident that your new software is working flawlessly, you can publish your new design with the click of a button. A staging website allows for a smooth and seamless transition from your old site to your new one, making this an excellent feature to look for in your hosting company.

2. Customer Support

A second feature to look for in your hosting provider is customer support. If you do not feel confident in your technology skills, having a dedicated customer support team can be an extremely valuable asset. Even experienced web developers can occasionally use help from a customer support agent. Regardless of your experience level, being able to simply report a problem and know that it will be solved quickly and correctly not only provides you with peace of mind but also frees up your time, allowing you to focus on accomplishing more important tasks.

3. Domain Email

Another very helpful feature is a domain email, which essentially allows you to create emails that end in your web address (in my case, “info@blueprintwebdesign.com”) instead of “gmail.com” or “yahoo.com.” There are a number of hosting companies that provide this feature either for free or at an extremely cheap price. Using a domain email address adds a degree of professionalism to your website, making you a more attractive option to potential customers. Additionally, using a domain email to separate your personal mail from your business mail will lead to a better organized mailbox and more efficient business.

4. Site Migration

A fourth important feature to look for in your hosting provider is site migration. Transferring your website from one hosting provider to another can be an extremely tedious and time consuming process. However, some hosting providers offer to do this service for free for WordPress websites. Being able to delegate this time-consuming task to a qualified professional can be a great benefit. If you’d like to transfer to a more affordable or secure hosting service, knowing that your website will be safely and successfully transferred to your new hosting provider within hours not only saves time, but also alleviates stress and prevents a potentially disastrous loss of data.

5. Site Backup

The last feature I’ll discuss is site backup. There are countless threats to website security on the internet, ranging from faulty software to malware to human error. Unfortunately there is simply no way to completely protect your site from the many threats posed by the internet. This fact highlights the need for site backups. If (or when) things go wrong, it is extremely important to have recent backups of your site. There are a number of hosting providers that offer to backup your website on a regular basis and ensure that these backups are safely and securely stored for the day that they’re needed. These backups allow you to restore your site with the click of a button, ensuring that in the event of a major disaster, you can have your site back up and running in a matter of minutes.

Top 3 Hosting Providers

Before I wrap up, I’ve created a list of my top three hosting providers. They are all reasonably priced, and all three include every feature discussed in this article, either for free or at an extremely cheap price.
The first hosting provider is Bluehost. Bluehost provides staging websites for all of its plans. Additionally, it provides a top-notch customer support service, which is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Their Basic Plan (the cheapest option) provides five domain email addresses. They provide one free WordPress website migration. And they offer daily, weekly, and monthly site backups. Bluehost is considered by many (including WordPress itself) to be one of the best hosting services on the market. They offer a broad range of services for a competitive price, and would undoubtedly be an excellent choice for any kind of website.
My second recommendation is Hostinger. Hostinger provides a staging website, but only on its most expensive plan. They provide customer support. However, response times are not immediate. Their least expensive plan provides one domain email address, with the rest of the plans providing unlimited addresses. Hostinger provides free website migration. And lastly, Hostinger provides daily and weekly site backups. Hostinger’s selling point is its price. It is one of the cheapest hosting options available, and can save you a lot of money if you’re willing to sacrifice a little bit of functionality.
The third and final hosting company I’d recommend is SiteGround. SiteGround provides staging website functionality for all WordPress websites. Their customer support team is available 24/7. All of their plans provide unlimited domain email addresses. They provide free site migration. And they perform daily website backups. Along with Bluehost, it is one of the three hosting services specifically recommended by WordPress. While slightly more expensive than Bluehost, it is nonetheless an excellent option for businesses of all sizes and types.

Conclusion

I covered quite a lot of information in this article. To review, I first gave a brief explanation of hosting. Next, I listed five features to look for in your hosting plan: a staging website, customer support, domain email, site migration, and site backup. Then I ended by listing my top three recommended hosting providers: Bluehost, Hostinger, and SiteGround. Hosting is an extremely important part of owning a website, and it is definitely worthwhile to take the time to research which one is best for your website. If you have any questions about hosting, feel free to comment below. And, as always, if you’d be interested in having us do the work for you, don’t hesitate to reach out! You can reach us at (239) 776-9180 or info@blueprintwebdesign.com.

Leave a Reply

Blueprint Web Design