Shopping for a good host is easier than it used to be. But, there are still a great deal of sub-optimal hosts on the market. We wanted to put together a brief list of some necessary hosting features your host should be offering up front.
Does your host have these features?
There are many important features and systems your host should have in place to make your experience as easy and efficient as possible. The list below is not comprehensive, but it provides a minimum of standard features that virtually all high quality hosts offer now. If your host doesn’t offer these, you may be getting less for your buck.
These days, it’s recommended that all sites have SSL. The ubiquity of free SSL means that your host should be offering you your own free SSL installed with minimal effort.
Should you decide to go with a private server, obtaining root access is very important. Many hosts will prohibit various activities for “security reasons”. But, a private hosting environment should be sufficiently contained, letting you architect your infrastructure the way you see fit. And you need root in order to do that.
cPanel is an industry leader in creating tools that make it easy for you to perform various admin tasks with minimal effort. If your host doesn’t offer cPanel, check to see what kind of admin interface they do offer. If it’s something difficult or tedious to use, you won’t be having a very good time with your hosting account.
Being able to contact live, human support 24 hours a day is very important. At the very least, your host should have an active ticket system. (That doesn’t mean letting a ticket age for months while they’re “working on the issue”.) Live support is a considerable investment, and if your host is willing to train and staff a whole support wing, then it’s highly likely they care about your business.
Solid state drives are practically the standard for hosting now. If your host is using older, rotary drives, give them a call and see if they have an upgraded server available for you to migrate your site to. Don’t let yourself get stuck in the past on old hardware.
Cloud hosting means a lot of different things for different users. In this case, we’re talking about redundancy. High-Availability redundancy means you’re safe if something fails on your server, you can quickly switch to another node and get your account back online.
Free Emergency Backups
First of all, it’s best to have your own dedicated backup system running frequently to keep redundant backups of your account. That being said, a good host will have an emergency backup (taken at least daily) of your account in case your backup system should fail.
Contact Your Host
InMotion Hosting offers all of the above, but there are still some hosts lagging behind. If you’re unsure about what services your host is offering, double-check their website or give them a call today.
We’ve provided this list for anyone who may be new to hosting and is just considering starting their own site. If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, we’d love to hear from you. Share your opinions with us and be heard.