What to Look for When Choosing a Web Hosting Company

I had a couple questions asked to me recently regarding website hosting, and I figured I would answer them briefly here!

Q: What should I look for when choosing a web hosting company?

A: Web hosting needs can vary wildly depending on your website and business needs. If you’re a small business with a basic website just getting started, you can probably get by with a cheap shared host. However, businesses with bigger websites or more robust needs should be looking for something a bit more powerful. Those who have WordPress websites in particular should be looking for better WordPress hosting. Many niche hosts provide optimized, WordPress-specific hosting that has the power to run a speedy WordPress installation.

All hosts are going to claim to be fast, have great uptime, great support, and excellent features. Since most hosts will essentially claim they offer the same thing, your best bet is often to simply look up reviews on that particular host. While all hosts will have some bad ones, you want to find out if the average experience is positive. Some website hosts are quite terrible, and you should be able to find that out from online reviews.

Q: What are the most common complaints about web hosting services?

A: The biggest complaints business owners have about their web host pertain to speed, customer service, uptime, and compatibility issues.

Slow page speeds and load times are very common on cheap shared hosts such as Godaddy, BlueHost, or HostGator. These hosts generally don’t have the power for modern sites running WordPress or other similar CMS. Upgrading hosting generally solves this issue.

Customer service is huge, especially within the commodity hosting market at the budget level. The variability in quality of customer service can be huge. While I’ve generally had decent service from the big names, some older or more obscure budget hosts have truly awful support. Quality of customer service, however, is something that you can generally determine just from the reviews.

Uptime can be an issue as well. If your site is down, you’re losing money. This may be one of the most common reasons business owners switch their website hosting. While many (if not most) hosts have similar uptime, sometimes you just get put on a bad server and have endless issues. If that happens, it’s time to switch providers!

Finally, we see a lot of compatibility issues. In particular, we see this with clients who are on a cheap host and have been for quite some time. Many of these hosting plans top out with PHP 5.3, which is simply too old for WordPress. This can cause massive performance issues and even fatal errors, which bring down your entire website. If you have these limitations, it’s definitely time to jump ship.


If you’ve had any issues with your hosting and are looking to upgrade, please reach out to us! We can help.

About Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a website developer and designer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a passion for code and WordPress. He spends his days building WordPress websites for small businesses, developing new code with the online community, and living life.

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