In this day and age, there is an enormous selection of web hosting companies to choose from. Some factors to consider when choosing a service provider are price, reputation and location. There are other criteria that can be considered, but this article will focus on these three factors.
Choosing a service provider based on price is pretty straight forward. We choose a provider based on what we are willing to pay, and get an equivalent amount of service in return. At the end of the day, it is a numbers game where price dictates which service provider to choose.
The second factor is reputation. It is good to check on providers and narrow them down to which ones are affordable, as we can have some cheap providers and some very expensive ones. So once we narrow them down, what next? We can look at the service provider’s reputation as basis of comparison.
Looking at how other users or clients have rated these hosts, we can have a general idea of what to expect with their service. It is good to get a bargain service, but at the same time we need to see what quality we can expect. And by looking at other customers of those hosts, we can further weed out those that will not fit our requirement. Example, provider A is lower than everyone by nearly half, which is good. But then we see based on complaints and reviews that support is non-existent.
Third, we can factor in a service provider’s location and distance to us or our target demographic. It is nice to get a cheap provider with awesome reviews. But what if that provider resides all the way in Europe while we are in the USA, and most of our target market is in the USA? I don’t think that is a very good idea to choose that provider even though ratings and price make it a winner.
From the distance alone, it will take longer for traffic to reach the servers as there would be more hops from ISP to ISP to get from USA to Europe. Would you prefer a shorter route to a longer one when you drive from one place to another?
Also, with search engines, the ones local to an area are more likely to show up first when doing a search. If I do a google of a particular keyword or phrase, chances are I will get results from ISPs that are closer to me compared to those that are on the other side of the globe.
Lastly, it is more convenient if the service provider is closer. For shared web hosting, there might not be any convenience gained since there would be no need for physical access. But for self-managed dedicated servers and server collocation, maintaining hardware is more accessible if it is closer. I would rather drive a half hour than take a flight to a different state if I need to do some hardware maintenance on a regular basis.
In closing, each service provider is different and finding the best suited for a particular project or task requires due diligence. Do your research about your options. Check the price, reputation, and distance of the hosts to you and your target market. And at the same time, communicate with these hosts to make sure that they can provide you what you need. And when you do find a host and they live up to your expectations, do others a favor and give a positive feedback and honest reviews so others can use it for reference when it is their turn to look for a service provider.
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