Transition Guide from Free to Paid Hosting

Moving to paid hosting is a smart move. It liberates you from annoying ads and limitations imposed by free hosting websites. By thinking, transition from free to paid web hosting sounds easy. This feeling is especially true when you already have a little experience on free hosting sites like Geocities or Bravenet. The truth is, choosing a hosting package is a piece of cake but business-wise, it’s a bit more challenging than you ever thought.
Unlike the free hosting atmosphere, you’ll immerse into lots of things that need careful consideration before taking actions. One wrong move potentially may become a disaster for your business.

The first “fork of the road” you’ll encounter during the transition is searching for a web hosting company. Sounds easy, but not — unless you got an immediate advice from a friend, you’d want to participate in web hosting forums to learn, earn tips and advices. During this phase, you’ll be thinking of hosting your site in a company with good reputation, proven reliability (with 99.9% guaranteed uptime), a package with better web hosting features and excellent customer support — in a price you can afford. You’d have a list of hosting companies that you need to cream off and choose the best one. Try using the company’s live chat or forum on their website and throw some technical questions, it will give you idea how they interact with their customers. Surely you would want not just good hosting package, but friendly, courteous and knowledgeable technical people that can easily be reached when your site needs support eventually.

Basically, you must have the idea of your website you’re going to host. This will help you decide which hosting type to choose and will let you save lots of bucks. In most cases, hosting companies offer shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, or dedicated server hosting packages.

For a small business start, shared hosting or VPS hosting packages are recommended. In a shared hosting account, your site will run simultaneously with other accounts in one server machine, thus the resources and performance are “shared.” VPS hosting, on the other hand, gives you more control and virtual isolation of your website. In any cases, it appears to be more stable than shared hosting. If your business is mid-sized and is performance-critical, get a dedicated server but be ready with the costs.

Remember to choose a package that is adequate enough for your needs. Don’t get easily attracted with the price tag alone: it is wiser if you can pay a little more for a quality hosting than make your business suffer with the cheapest. Bandwidth, disk space, database and web languages support are major criteria. If you found a good one, talk with the company representatives about the pricing details, money-back guarantee policies, backup policy, and mention if they have “hidden” or “miscellaneous” charges. It will help you decide better.

Businessman drawing a Cloud Computing diagram

When choosing a domain name, try to come up with a short one that represents the overall theme of your website with a .COM extension. Easy-to-remember URLs tend to have more loyal visitors thus could potentially give greater traffic.

Before settling anything, be sure to read the hosting company’s in mexico Terms of Services and other legal agreements. You’ll feel better to know you’re on a safe track. They will usually give you instant access to your account through a control panel (which could be Plesk, H-Sphere or CPanel) so you could start building your site right away after settling. If they are not able to do it, give them 24 hours grace period else — get your money back. The longer it takes for them to respond, the more apparent that they have poor customer support and you don’t want that.

Once everything is set up, you are now ready to upload files and start your website. For sure there is a lot of work ahead of you before you can start monetizing it. But making a smart move in the beginning will ultimately save your time, effort and money in the future. Good luck.

For more readings about web hosting, you can check our blog post.