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Updated Apr 10, 2024

10 Tips for Choosing the Right Web Hosting Company

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Genia Stevens, Community Member

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Most business owners understand the value of creating quality web content and the importance of responsive website design. However, they often ignore or underestimate the process of selecting a reliable web hosting company. 

When business owners take the time to select a reliable web hosting company, they ensure their website remains accessible and secure at all times. Haphazardly choosing a web host based on pricing alone can produce disastrous results. Learn exactly what web hosting is, why it matters, and our best tips for selecting the right host for your business.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is an online service or platform that hosts website files on a server. Web hosts are crucial because they make websites accessible to visitors. They’re typically third-party providers that help the public access websites via the internet. 

Web hosting securely stores a website’s content, including coding, pictures, videos and text. Web hosts can also provide additional tech support and enhancements, like faster loading speeds and greater efficiency, to give visitors a positive experience with the site. 

Examples of web hosts include WPEngine, Bluehost and GoDaddy. 

Bottom LineBottom line

Virtually every individual or small business that has designed a website needs web hosting to make their site accessible to visitors.

How do I choose a web hosting service?

Here are 10 tips to help you choose the right web host for your business’s website. Following these steps will prevent mistakes that could create big problems for your company. 

1. Determine which kind of web host you need.

Understanding your business’s needs can help narrow your web hosting options. For example, if your website features video blogging, 24-hour livestreaming, and the ability for visitors to register and upload videos, your web host must be able to accommodate these demands. In contrast, if you use your website as a virtual resume, your hosting needs will be minimal.

Websites with extensive daily traffic probably won’t function well on shared web servers, which are designed to accommodate many small websites with limited demands.

2. Choose the right web hosting package.

Many small businesses turn to shared hosting to save money. However, with the smaller price tag comes a bigger risk of slow website response times. This issue is likely caused by an influx of traffic on a server with limited bandwidth. Slow websites turn customers away and can cost you greatly. 

An option such as a virtual private server (VPS) is slightly more expensive, but it provides faster, higher-quality web performance and delivers a great customer experience. VPS hosting is a more efficient option for larger websites with higher anticipated traffic. 

3. Read reviews of web hosting companies.

Refer to reputable websites when you’re researching a web host’s reliability and reputation. Researching a web hosting company through third-party reviews can help you uncover consistent issues or complaints from current and past users. Pay attention to how the company responds to complaints, if it responds at all. Its response will give you an idea of how it deals with unhappy customers.

4. Get the proper bandwidth from your web host.

While most new websites don’t use much bandwidth, it’s crucial to leave room for growth. Ensure that the web hosting company you choose doesn’t lock you into a specific internet speed or amount of bandwidth and then charge you additional fees if you must revise your hosting plan later.

5. Don’t choose a web hosting company based solely on price.

When you’re a new business owner with a limited budget, it can be tempting to sign up with the cheapest web hosting company. However, the lowest price might mean slow servers, poor customer service, constant downtime or an association with thousands of unprofessional websites.  

6. Read the web hosting company’s terms of service.

Most people accept a company’s terms of service without bothering to read exactly what they’re agreeing to. This may result in unwanted fees, policies and limitations. Additionally, a web host’s terms of service usually include its refund policy, which becomes essential information if you have a negative experience or find a better service. 

FYIDid you know

Be cautious when you accept a company’s terms of service. It’s an official agreement between you and the web host, and this company’s performance can affect your brand reputation.

7. Test the web host’s customer support.

When you research web hosting companies, identify how to contact the provider’s customer support. Can you quickly and easily contact a representative via email, chat or phone? If yes, great. Next, to assess quality, see how customer support responds to your queries. Be sure to test each support feature before you purchase any services to see if your business’s needs will be met.

8. Know the web host’s backup plan.

It doesn’t really matter why your website is down or why you lost data. You need to know whether your web hosting company has a backup plan to help you recover. Recovering lost data, code or content from a website can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. In addition, consider all the time it would take to recreate your entire website. When you investigate potential web hosts, find out how they handle worst-case scenarios.

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Use a top cloud storage service to store a backup copy of your website. That way, you can quickly get it up and running again if necessary.

9. Ask about the web hosting company’s security features.

Security breaches can devastate a small business. Ensure that your web hosting company has Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to safeguard your customers’ private information. SSL is essential for facilitating safe and secure online transactions; any web host you’re considering should provide this feature.  

Did You Know?Did you know

SSL certificates are essential for e-commerce website security and help build trust with website visitors.

10. Avoid new web hosting companies that can’t handle growth.

New web host companies often offer low prices, hoping they’ll make up for it with a large influx of clients. However, most new hosting companies aren’t equipped to manage that many clients at once. It’s best to stick with a more established company that can deal with growth without compromising its clients’ experiences.

When a web hosting company experiences growth too quickly and lacks the resources to handle it, problems arise for business owners, including downtime, slow page-load speeds, lost revenue and negative effects on search rankings. 

Why is choosing the right web hosting service important?

Choosing the right web host is crucial because your business’s growth, success and reputation are on the line. You must ensure that your web host can handle your requirements and keep your website online. Consider the following essential features: 

  • Secure site and data: A high level of security is crucial. Your web host must protect your site from hackers and spammers. Without adequate security, you may fall victim to data breaches, corrupt data or coding, and stolen content. Security incidents mean more work for you and potentially lost sales. They expose your company and customer data, destroy customer trust and tarnish your reputation. 
  • Consistent uptime: Your goal is to keep customers on your site and boost sales. You can’t do this if your site experiences regular hosting-related downtime. If your website is down, search engines can’t access and index your content, and this hurts your website’s ranking and your company’s credibility. You may see a downturn in sales and online customer engagement. 
  • Redundancy and backups: Even with robust security and bandwidth, you may experience temporary website unavailability and even lost data. Your web host should have multiple redundancies built into its system, such as the ability to reroute traffic to different internet nodes and hosting sites on multiple servers. The best hosting providers also regularly back up customer websites so they can be restored if there’s a problem.
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You should also ensure that your website is impeccably designed. Check out our reviews of the best website builders and design services, which can help you create a website that is user-friendly, accessible and friction-free.

Best web hosting companies

As you begin your search for a reputable web host, consider the following highly respected companies.


HostGator offers various pricing tiers with unmetered bandwidth and storage space. This can be an advantage if your website has data-heavy content, like videos and animations. HostGator also provides free SSL certificates, protection against distributed-denial-of-service attacks, and free site backups. In addition, new customers can get a free domain for the first year.


DreamHost offers affordable pricing; plans start at only $2.59 per month for the shared starter plan. This provider makes it easy for even nontechnical people to build an attractive website with various WordPress plans and unlimited plug-ins. You can also take advantage of DreamHost’s staging site to work on website design without worrying that mistakes will disrupt your live site.

InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting makes it easy to migrate your site from another hosting provider. It offers unlimited data transfers with its shared and WordPress plans. Prices are low, and the company also offers a 90-day money-back guarantee. All of InMotion Hosting’s plans include unlimited email, which most other hosting providers offer as an additional charge.

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting offers hosting that’s optimized for WordPress, enabling faster-than-normal page-loading speeds. The WordPress plans have unlimited storage and monthly data usage on most tiers. You can also use the platform’s e-commerce tools, such as WooCommerce, OpenCart and Adobe Commerce.


WPEngine is another hosting company focused on WordPress sites. It offers WordPress-oriented security features, daily backups and staging areas for website updates. It also has a tool for easily transferring and storing large amounts of data, which is great for large databases or catalogs. Choose from Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform for excellent uptime and security.


Bluehost has a website builder that utilizes WordPress functionality but makes it easier and more flexible. Its managed WordPress professional pricing tiers include search engine optimization, social media and email marketing tools. Plans also include automatic SSL, bot protection, malware detection and removal, domain privacy protection, brute force protection, and multiple anti-spam tools. The managed WordPress plan has no traffic limits.


GoDaddy is the largest domain registry and one of the biggest hosting companies. Hosting plans include a free domain; SSL and email at your domain are also free for the first year. More advanced security features cost extra. The user interface is easy to use. GoDaddy has a website builder tool, but it costs an additional $9.99 per month.

Jennifer Dublino contributed to this article.

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Genia Stevens, Community Member
Genia is an entrepreneur and digital marketer who helps businesses remain competitive with creative & sustainable solutions. She currently contributes to, Business 2 Community, Social Media Today, Engadget & Elite Daily. Genia is a member of the Forbes Agency Council.
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