We support Joomlers who host their websites with many different hosting providers.
This enables us to compare what one hosting provider is offering with another.
And advise customers when their current hosting provider is falling short.
One thing is for certain, the world is constantly changing.
What is currently the bees knees will very soon become old hat .
So it is important to periodically review whether or not your hosting provider is offering best value.
If you need help and support using Joomla! then do get in touch.
Assess your needs
And re-assess your needs as time progresses and your business or organisation changes.
There are lots of different options out there.
It is tempting to pay for more resources than you presently need.
Equally, it is tempting to drive down hosting costs only to end up paying a high price at a later date when your website gets hacked, blacklisted or both.
Higher hosting charges should reflect premium services:
- telephone support,
- low density shared server hosting,
- pci compliant server.
Joomla! CMS Security
Make Joomla! CMS Security YOUR #1 priority from the outset.
A QUICK CHECKLIST
Two important things to check with your hosting provider before accepting and paying their invoice.
- What is the period of notice required to terminate the hosting agreement?
Read the small print
For future reference, make a note of the hosting provider's terms for terminating the hosting agreement.
Some hosting providers require written communication on headed notepaper well in advance of the renewal date if you are to avoid being invoiced at the scheduled renewal date.
This may not be an issue if the contract is monthly.
But could be if the contract is yearly.
For this reason you may wish to initially enter into a monthly contract.
And delay converting this to a yearly contract until you are happy with the process for transferring your website away should the need arise.
ESSENTIAL & DESIRABLE FEATURES
Things to check.
Is it designed for speed & security?
Our experience tells us that:
- SSD drive + PHP 7
offers better performance than
- HDD drive + PHP 5.6.
Up to date applications
Does the hosting provider commit to running the latest available release of server applications now and in the future?
Do they have a history of keeping hosting control panel, PHP & MySQL software applications up to date?
24/7 email support
Is it possible to get help when needed?
What do other customers say in reviews?
Inclusion of Lets Encrypt will enable you to reassure website visitors and over time improve your search engine ranking.
Let's Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit.
We recently moved this from desirable to essential.
Take a look at the number of HTTPS websites ranking on page 1 for any given search and you will understand why.
Hosting control panel
Do they offer a secure connection (most likely) and two factor authentication?
Is cPanel available?
We also use Plesk but would recommend cPanel as having better user interface and features, including Backup Wizard and File Manager.
Backup & Restore
Do they provide a Backup Wizard to enable quick and easy website backup?
And the reverse: do they make it easy to restore a previous website backup?
The latest versions of cPanel include Backup & Restore Wizards.
Also ask about upload limits:
- File Manager, and
Avoid hosting with a company which does not allow you to upload large database files (where limit is set at < 250 MiB).
Reason: modern CMS websites can have databases that are very large (> 100 MiB).
If you want to perform a manual restore of your website's database then you will have to 'slice and dice' it if the limit set by the hosting provider is lower than the database file size.
More resilient than traditional server hosting.
CloudLinux is recommended for added protection when hosting your website in a shared server environment.
Solid state drives are proven to offer much higher levels of performance than traditional spinning disk or HDD servers.
This should really be in our ESSENTIAL list!
A feature which comes with the cPanel control panel, but not always included in the package offered by hosting companies, so worth checking.
PHP Selector enables you to choose PHP 7 when others on the same server are still using an older unsecure version.
Server located in UK
The reduced latency (time delay) resulting from closeness to target audience is something to think about.
If your target audience is overseas or global then you may wish to consider a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
Content Delivery Network integration may be something you will need in future as your business grows.
CDNs like Cloudflare will improve performance in overseas search engines.
Worth checking for reassurance but make your own mind up!
Ask for a free trial or subscribe to a monthly plan before committing to a yearly subscription (to benefit from available discounted rates).
In extremis telephone support can be invaluable.
Most hosting companies provide a sales telephone number but not a technical support telephone number.
Make Joomla! CMS Security YOUR #1 Priority
We offer Joomla! coaching, help and support to businesses and organisations across Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside, North West England & the UK.