When you're working to start an online business, there's going to come a point in time where you'll need a website for your online business. And before you can get your membership website up and running, you are going to need web hosting.
Your web hosting can impact your website's speed, SEO, and much more, so it's very important that you really take the time to make the best decision about your hosting. Unfortunately, making a decision can be very overwhelming.
We understand that you have to learn about site speed, bandwidth, pricing, and more, but what about the small aspects of a web host that you tend to forget about?
MemberPress is here to help you make the best decision possible! Check out our list below to make sure that you are choosing the best possible web hosting services for your membership site!
What Exactly Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is basically your website's home. It's the place where all of your membership website's files can be found. All websites need hosting in order to operate properly.
Now, to the questions….
1. What Type Of Web Hosting Do I Need?
There are actually three basic web hosting options for you to choose from: shared, VPS, and Dedicated hosting.
Shared hosting is the simplest and cheapest option. With shared hosting, you share a server with a number of other customers. This can be great because it's a cheaper option, but it can also be negative because you are on a server with numerous other sites, so you are sharing all the resources of that server with the other sites.
VPS, or virtual private server hosting is more powerful than shared hosting, because, although one server is being shared, it is actually acting as a separate server from the other sites because you get a portion of the server for yourself. This is the best option for website owners who have outgrown shared hosting and need more reliability and resources. Keep in mind that it is more expensive than shared hosting.
Dedicated hosting is the highest tier of web hosting options. If your membership site has exploded and is gaining tons of traffic, this is the option for you. When you have a dedicated hosting plan, you have an entire server to yourself. You don't have to worry about other websites sharing your server and slowing you down or negatively impacting your security and you can completely control your server settings. Just keep in mind, for this particular hosting, you will have to pay much more for your own server, not to mention that you may need to hire a manager to handle the technical side, if you aren't familiar.
2. What Are Their Refund Options/Cancellation Fees?
When you create a membership site and are first looking for a hosting company, it is easy to get so excited that you don't look at the refund and cancellation policy of the hosting company. Things may start off great, but things can turn ugly quickly, and you need to be prepared.
Some hosting companies do not offer refunds or they charge extreme fees to cancel your hosting plan. Be sure to pay close attention to these policies – it will save you a lot of time, money, and energy in the long run!
3. Does The Hosting Company Offer Regular Backups?
The last thing any website owner wants is for their site to crash, get hacked, or suffer any other sort of tragedy, so it is important to find out whether or not your web host offers regular backups. A web host that offers regular backups will be able to help you restore your site in the event that your membership site does crash or is hacked.
It is also important to find out whether or not you can restore the backups yourself. Are you able to manually do it yourself, or do you need to call customer service to restore your website?
4. What Kind Of Support Does This Web Host Offer?
Support is a huge deal, because there may come a time when you need help from your web host. If you can't get in touch with them, then you will need a new host for your membership site.
Do they offer live chat? Phone support? Email? Which do you prefer? It is a good idea to make sure that you know these things, and maybe even test them out, before you make a decision on a host.
We hope that this post will help you on your journey to finding the best web hosting plan for your membership site.
At the end of the day, the decision is completely up to you. You know what's best for your website, so you will know when you have found the right host.
We highly encourage you to shop around as much as possible to find the best plan for your membership site. We highly recommend you start your journey with the following companies:
For low-cost shared hosting:
- Bluehost: prices start at $3.95 a month for 50 GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth
- InMotion Hosting: hosting on servers optimized to run WordPress, with plans starting at $2.49 a month
- DreamHost: shared plans generous allowances starting at $2.59 a month
- SiteGround: WordPress-optimized hosting plans starting at $3.95 a month
For professional managed hosting:
- Flywheel: all kinds of user-friendly features starting at $15 a month
- InMotion Hosting: In addition to shared hosting, InMotion offers VPS and dedicated hosting starting at $17.99 a month.
- Kinsta: premium managed WordPress hosting starting at $30 a month
- WP Engine: provides access to StudioPress themes and starts at $25 a month
- WordPress.com: their Business plan starts at $25 a month and has lots of useful features
Have you found a great web hosting company? Who do you recommend? Tell us in the comments below – you may help someone else out!