How to choose the best web hosting in Kenya

So, what are some of the considerations you should have in mind when choosing the best Hungarian web hosting provider for your business?

Server Reliability and Uptime

Whenever we talk about server reliability, the first thing that comes to mind is performance and uptime. These two factors can impact your website either positively or negatively. For one, slow servers and unsteady connections can push your site offline or lead to your website pages loading very sluggishly. This can lead to higher bounce rates, low conversion, and wasted SEO efforts. While site speed can be affected by other factors such as image size, themes, and plugins, having a reliable web host with lightning fast servers and an uptime guarantee of at least 99% can play a crucial role in ensuring your business success.

Security and Backups

Your website’s security should be one of the top priorities when picking a web host. While some security issues emanate from the administrator’s end – such as password strength, lack of SSL certificates and use of poorly coded themes and plugins – the hosting provider’s infrastructure can present the largest weakness. 

For this reason, ensure that your host provider’s servers are equipped with powerful firewalls, monitoring services, and other security add-ons. Also, look for a host that offers free SSL as part of the hosting plan. An SSL certificate ensures that any data sent over your site is encrypted. So if you accept payments online through your website, an SSL is a must-have security tool.

Note also that, Google’s recent updates requite that sites must have an SSL certificate installed or you risk your site getting penalized by Google. Last, you’ll want to go with a host that offers regular site backups. Sometimes even with all the security measures in place – your site could get compromised. With backups, you could get your site back up and running in no time.

Support

At times, you may run into some technical difficulties that you cannot fix from your dashboard. Naturally, your knee-jerk reaction will be to contact your hosting provider. But how effective is the customer service and how knowledgeable is the technical support staff? Can you reach them any time of day via

  • live chat,
  • email,
  • or phone?

With that in mind, consider working with a hosting provider with an in-house customer support department as opposed to outsourced customer support. An in-house support team will more likely than not assist you without too much delay.

Website Building and Bundling Options

Next up, you need to decide on how you want to build your site. Do you want to build a custom website using a content management system such as WordPress or are you opting to use a DIY site builder such as Wix?  Companies like Wix and Bluehost allow you to build your site using their advanced website builders and get hosting as part of the package. Bluehost, for example, allows you to use WordPress or Weebly to build your website, Wix, on the other hand, doesn’t have much flexibility when in terms of builder choice.

Scalability

Beyond reliability, support, choice of builder, you may want to choose a hosting provider that can scale performance in a snap when the demand is high and scale back when demand wanes. For instance, if you are planning to run an eCommerce website, your site may receive abnormal traffic during holiday seasons or black Friday, as your visitors try to place orders. During such times your host provider must be able to provide stability and access to increased systems resources as demanded by your site. Some of this resources include increased bandwidth and storage.   

Understand How Web Hosting Pricing Works

Of course, everything narrows down to money. And when shopping for a hosting provider you want one that will offer you value for money. While most people will be lured into the low-cost hosting scavenger hunt, it is important to look beyond the price that the provider offers. Don’t go sacrificing important elements such as performance and support just because of a few bucks. Look at the features that come with that price. For example, does the price include auto-backups, an SSL certificate, multiple domain hosting, unmetered bandwidth, and ample storage? In addition to the price, consider your hosting budget. Most hosting companies offer mouthwatering introductory deals for first users. However, after your first billing term, the renewal prices may shoot two-fold. So, be sure to check with your host about the renewal prices before you are slapped with that invoice.

Avoid Free Hosting

As with anything free, convenience and savings are attractive. However, when it comes to web hosting, the support, security, and the added features you get for signing up with a reliable host are worth the cost. For example, Wix – one of the most powerful site builders offers a free plan that allows you to design and launch your site in a matter of minutes. However, as good as it is, it comes with its limitations. Some of this limitations include a wix.com subdomain, eCommerce restrictions, and ads. But if you just want to try Wix capabilities before going premium, a free plan will suffice.  

Understand the Different Hosting Environments 

Lastly, you need to understand the different types of hosting environments. Depending on the type of website you want to build you’ll need to figure out the type of environment you want your website to run in. If you want to run a simple WordPress website, for example, a shared hosting plan will do the trick. But once traffic starts to build, you might need to upgrade your plan and purchase a VPS or Dedicated hosting plan.

But what’s a Shared or Dedicated or VPS hosting plan?

Shared hosting: Often the cheapest and the most common, shared hosting is where multiple sites share resources of a single server. A shared hosting plan is ideal for start-up business websites that do not expect much traffic.

VPS hosting: Also known as Cloud hosting, VPS hosting is similar to shared hosting. The only slight difference is that a site hosted on a VPS has its own place in the server. As such, the performance of each site hosted on a VPS is not affected by that of the other. Security risks are also minimal and you have more control.

Dedicated hosting: With dedicated hosting, your website is hosted on its own server- hence the name “dedicated.” All the resources of the server are channeled to one website. Dedicated hosting is pricy. But if website performance is paramount for the success of your business, then it’s worth every penny.

My Two Cents

Whether you are a start-up based in Nairobi or a global enterprise based in Kenya, you need a reliable and effective website. But for your site to pick up the high gears, you’ll need to have a very good web hosting service provider. The closest web hosting provider may not be the best you need for your online business. For most people –and especially beginners – the process can be overwhelming. However, with a clear understanding of what your business needs, you’ll ultimately find the best provider.

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