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If you’re reading a tech blog, you’re either a Webmaster yourself or you’ve at least considered web hosting at some point in your lifetime. In both scenarios you definitely understand how confusing it can be to choose a service plan to suit your needs. There are literally hundreds of different options out there from thousands of companies – all of which offer the same sort of thing for the same sort of price. It’s a challenge to even select a package to move forward with let alone select one company in an industry of thousands of potential suitors. This article is designed to try and help with make that simpler and easier to do. We’re not going to go over the age old questions to try and help you find a suitable plan but rather bring up some other fundamental questions you should be asking yourself or at least considering if you’re planning to switch hosting providers.

Server/Plan Type

Firstly, you obviously need to know what you want to buy and to do that you need to know in advance what you want to host. The project you’re hosting will dictate the level of plan you need, regardless of which hosting firm you’ve chosen or are going to choose. There are tons of options out there from regular shared hosting right through to dedicated servers – all of which could either suit your needs perfectly or they’ll be completely overkill and you’ll end up paying more than you need to. You need to match your hosting plan to your own specific requirements. Nothing more, nothing less. This way you’ll only be paying for what you truly need.

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UK or US

There are two things to consider here. The first being the physical geographic location of your server. Ideally, you want to match this to where your visitors are originating from. If your audience is in the UK then your really ought to find a hosting firm who have web servers physically located in the UK. Be warned, some firms will claim to be UK based but really lease cheap hardware from the likes of the US.

You will also need to consider support. There is nothing worse than waking up on a Monday morning in the UK and having to wait 8 hours for your US based web hosting support team to wake up. If you can find a host in your own timezone it will save you no end of trouble.

Big or Small Firm

This is often a dilemma people have when deciding on which company to use. There are the huge players and there are the smaller firms all offering the same sort of service, the same plans and pretty much the same price points. So how do you choose? Personally I think it’s a matter of preference. Some feel more comfortable using a larger firm. Some like the personal touch and knowing that the firm will go above and beyond the cause to help them out. Finding someone reputable is much more important than the size of their staff pool or their bank account.

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App Specific

Sometimes a regular run of the mill hosting package won’t do. Sometimes you need something app specific where the plan has been tailor made to work with a specific application. Lots of hosting firms offer this, here is one for example and as you can see they offer a bunch of plans that are designed to suit specific apps. Of course web hosting is web hosting but if you can find a plan that has all the modules and dependencies installed already then it will most definitely be beneficial.

Uptime and Reliability

One of the most important factors in any would be hosting plan is uptime and reliability. Regardless of price, location or even the size of the company. Keeping your website active and loading for each and every one of your visitors is the main goal which is why you need to find a firm with a good uptime and reliability record.

Hopefully this has given you something to think about. As you can see there is quite a lot to consider as well as what plan to go with and what firm to go with. The sort of stuff in this article is the sort of stuff that will make or break your web hosting experience.

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