Tip 1 - Make sure your Domain name reflects what you do
Your website or email address is all about making a great first impression, and that starts with your Domain name. Your Domain name needs to ‘do what it says on the tin’, as the saying goes, and it needs to be unique to you.
For example, if your website is going to act as your personal CV or portfolio, your own name would make an appropriate Domain name, because the website is all about you. If you’re starting a blog, your Domain could be themed around what you’re blogging about – lifeinlondon.uk, for example.
If you’re choosing a Domain for your business, it’s important to ensure that it closely matches your business name. This is because people will often guess a Domain name based on the name of your business.
Not only that, but having different Domain and business names could be confusing; in a list of search results and in emails, it may not be obvious which business is yours if your Domain name doesn’t match your business name.
A notable example of a business that doesn’t match its brand name to its Domain is B&Q, which uses DIY.com to reflect its position as the go-to place for DIY supplies. Importantly, however, they have also secured bandq.com and bandq.co.uk, which both redirect to DIY.com, so if anyone guesses the Domain name they will still reach the right place.
Tip 2 - Make it memorable
When you’re choosing your new Domain name, it’s worth bearing in mind that search engines like Google aren’t the only way for people to find your website.
You might mention your website to someone so that they can look it up later, for example, and it might be printed on your business cards or leaflets. Either way, they’ll have to type the website address into their browser for themselves, and they might also want to tell their friends about it.
That means your Domain name needs to be easy to remember, easy to say and easy to type. In other words, the shorter and simpler, the better.
To keep your Domain name simple, it’s best to avoid:
Numbers – these cause confusion because, when spoken, it’s not clear whether a number should be spelled out or in numerical form
Long words, or words that are difficult to spell
More than two or three words
The exception to the rule on hyphens is that if you have your heart set on a particular Domain name but it isn’t available, you might find that a hyphenated version is available.
For example, sweetshop.co.uk might be taken, but sweet-shop.co.uk might be available. However, “sweet hyphen shop dot co dot uk” is more cumbersome to say than the non-hyphen version, so try to avoid them if you can.
Quick memorability checklist
Easy to say? – does it trip off the tongue?
Easy to read? – is it easy to pronounce your Domain name? If it’s several words joined together, is it clear where one word ends and the other begins?
Easy to spell? – would you need to spell out the letters if someone was noting down your Domain name, or is it obvious? Are there any commonly misspelled or mistyped words, or words that are otherwise difficult for people to spell?
Does it make sense? – would you need to explain the name, or is it clear why you’ve chosen it?
Tip 3 - Making up words
With shorter Domains in short supply, some companies are choosing to invent new words that serve as their business name as well as giving them a succinct and memorable Domain name.
In fact, Domain name availability has become a key consideration in naming a new business. Shpock.com is a recent example, as is Moonpig.
As Dragons’ Den star Nick Jenkins, founder of Moonpig, explains in this article.
What I was looking for was a name that had to be as few syllables as possible, it had to be unique on Google, it had to be phonetic, easily represented by a graphic logo […] and it had to be available as a Domain name. I spent four days searching for a word that was unique on Google […and that was available as a Domain name] that I could use for this and I couldn’t find anything. I was throwing all sorts of things into it.
As Moonpig shows, as well as giving you a better chance of your first choice Domain name being available, making up words helps you stand out from the crowd and build your own unique identity.
The only potential issue with it is that, as we mentioned above, it’s important to ensure it’s intuitive to spell and pronounce. Moonpig has the advantage of being a joining of two simple words, but Shpock is a bit harder to spell.
So, if you’re thinking of inventing a word for your Domain name, make sure you subject it to our quick memorability checklist.
Tip 4 - Is it futureproof?
Although it is possible to move your website onto another Domain in the future (see our Frequently Asked Questions, below), it’s better to pick a Domain name that will stand the test of time.
Moving to a different Domain name presents SEO issues, as well as potentially damaging the brand you’ve worked hard to build up.
Most obviously, you should avoid Domain names with dates in. If you run a local fun run, for example, pick a URL such as yorkfunrun.uk rather than yorkfunrun2017.uk. This way, you can reuse the website each year rather than starting from scratch each time, and you’ll benefit from the strength the Domain name has gained from people sharing and linking to it over the years.
If your website is for your business, you’ll need to think about where you see your business going in the future and make sure your Domain name doesn’t limit your offering.
For instance, you might start out as a nail bar, with a Domain name to reflect this, but what happens when, a few years down the line, you want to expand your services to include hairdressing?
Tip 5 - Use an appropriate Domain name extension
The Domain name itself isn’t your only consideration when you’re choosing a Domain; you’ll also need to decide what extension to use.
The bit that comes after the full stop in your Domain name is called a ‘Top-Level Domain’, and there’s a seemingly bewildering array to choose from. The Domain you choose may have an impact on how your website is perceived; for example, .org.uk looks trustworthy because it’s used by official charities and non-profit organisations, while .biz or .net come across as less professional and have been associated with low-quality spam sites.
If you’re a UK-based business with UK customers, it’s best to choose a Domain ending in .uk, as this is a trustworthy Domain that shows visitors where you’re from. Google UK also gives more prominence to UK Domains, so your website could potentially rank higher than a similar one with a .com Domain, resulting in more traffic to your website and therefore more business.
If you’re in Wales, another option is a .wales or .cymru Domain, which shows you’re Welsh and proud.
You have four options for .uk Domains. The traditional one is .co.uk, which has the authority of being a firmly established Top-Level Domain. For charities and non-profits, .org.uk fits the bill perfectly.
More recently, the shorter .uk has provided a snappier, more up-to-date alternative to .co.uk, while .me.uk is ideal for building your own personal brand online, such as through a blog or portfolio site.
Tip 6 - Get some opinions on your shortlist
When you’ve shortlisted your favourites from the available Domain names you’ve looked at, conduct a poll among your friends (or even your customers) and see which they like best.
They may notice something you haven’t, such as an unfortunate grouping of letters that forms a new word that you might not have intended.
It’s also worth asking a few people to have a go at spelling your Domain and reading it out loud, as this will highlight whether your Domain is simple enough for others to type and pronounce.
Tip 7 - Conduct some research
Having settled on your favourite Domain name, it’s worth spending a bit of time researching it to make sure it isn’t legally protected.
If it’s very similar to that of a competitor – particularly a big competitor – they may well have protected their Domain name and its variants with trademark or copyright. For example, you might be a small local cider producer, but if your Domain name contains the word “apple”, it’s definitely worth checking you won’t run into problems with the Apple of iPhone fame.
You can search for trademarks in the UK on the Government website and in the US here.
It’s also important to check out what’s on similar Domains. If someone trying to find your website ends up landing on a page with a similar Domain name – perhaps that of a competitor, or even some kind of unsavoury content – you could end up either losing customers to a competitor, or managing a reputation problem.
Tip 8 - Get hold of the variants
As well as purchasing your chosen Domain, try to buy variants of it.
If you have the .co.uk version, for example, get the .uk and .org.uk versions as well. This protects your Domain name and stops others from capitalising on your success. For instance, it means that nobody else will be able to set up a competing website on a similar Domain, attracting customers who may actually have been looking for your business.
You could also buy possible misspellings or typos of your Domain name. For instance, if your Domain was mischief.uk, you might want to acquire mischeif.uk as well.
To make the most of your purchases, make sure all your Domain name variations are permanently redirected to your main Domain so that anyone who tries to visit them ends up on your actual website. This can be done through your Domain registrar.
The Best Domain Registrar Of 2018
Choosing a Domain name is often the same as choosing your company brand name.
It might be difficult for some, whilst straightforward for others.
One other choice is similar in that perspective – choosing the place where your Domain will live.
Some web developers may have already told you that Domains registrars don’t really differ too much from one another except for their price.
How to choose a Domain registrar
There are hundreds of Domain registrars to choose from, but only the best are worth your money.
Once you’ve decided on the perfect Domain name, you will need to think about a few things before you get started buying.
More than likely your direct focus, various Domain registrars offer a large variety of pricing options.
To start with, you can usually register your Domain for a term of one, three, five or ten years. In some instances, you can lengthen his even further.
Make sure you look at all the fees associated with Domain transfer, renewal prices or any additional fees that the Domain registrar may add. Check the fine print!
1. Privacy Protection
One big thing worth mentioning here, is “privacy protection”. Let’s take GoDaddy as an example. They charge $7.99 to clear your records from the public WHOIS lookup, which sounds pretty standard, right?
Well, that’s if you’re in the US! If you are in the EU, that same privacy protection is included for free. So why is this?
GDPR. The regulation that just came into effect has made it impossible for Domain registrars to charge extra money to EU citizens wanting to hide their data.
3. Customer Support
Getting good customer support is crucial no matter the field, so talking about Domain registrars it is no different. Use the support before you buy, see how they respond and make a decision based partly on this.
The best Domain registrar will offer you many additional services that go well past just a Domain name. Take a look at Namecheap for an example:
What is a Domain?
A Domain consists of two parts; the name followed by the extension.
For example, with apple.com – apple is the name and .com is the extension.
You can’t have a website without a Domain name. Like a street address that tells people where you live, a Domain helps customers drive directly to your website. GoDaddy
Where can you buy a Domain?
Always buy your Domain from a reputable Domain registrar company and one that is registered with ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
A couple of safe options are Namecheap and GoDaddy.
Your Web Hosting company may offer Domains as well as hosting. There are pros and cons to whether you should buy through them or buy independently.
When I started blogging, I purchased my Domains through Bluehost. A year later I moved them to Namecheap when I moved my hosting to Pressidium.
I think it makes sense in the long run to let a hosting company do the hosting and the Domain registrar deal with Domains.
REMEMBER: Always keep your Domain renewed. After registering your Domain, probably for 12 months initially, you need to keep it renewed each year. If it lapses, then somebody else could buy that Domain, and you’d have to start over again!
Picking the Domain name
The Domain name segment is as equally important as the Domain extension.
The Domain name should say something about you, your company, your product or your service.
It’s going to be your brand.
If your blog is about you and the services you offer, then it can be a good idea to choose your name. Plenty of freelancers that I know use their name; e.g. KeriLynn.
If your blog is about the company, then it makes sense to stick with the company name in the Domain name if it’s available.
Although sometimes a company might have several products and services, and, therefore, wants to separate them out. For example, Unsplash is the Domain name for a side product that the company Crew created.
Having chosen the perfect niche, why not have a Domain name along the same lines? Makes sense, right? Just remember to give yourself some space to manoeuvre if needed.
For example, if you chose Bananas.com and then wanted to write about Pears it could be awkward. Better to go for Fruits.com
Also, don’t be tempted to stuff the name with keywords. Think of something natural.
When I was contemplating my Domain name, I was inspired by Pinch Of Yum.
Although I’m not a food blogger, I think the name has a good rhythm and gives a strong hint that this blog is going to be about food. Subtle, but effective.
Exercise A: Brainstorm keywords
Use the words and phrases you came up with from exercise A in my post on choosing the perfect niche.
Start to pair them or add prefixes and suffixes to create good Domain ideas. For example, if you’re thinking of a WordPress related Domain then five keywords might be WordPress, Themes, Plugins, Widgets, Hosting.
Play around with them.
Try entering a few ideas in Namecheap or GoDaddy to see if they’re available.
4 tools to help you choose a Domain name
Still stuck on picking your Domain? Try some of these tools for ideas:
Lean Domain Search
Picking the Domain extension
When you pick your Domain, one of the choices you will have is for the extension. This is also referred to as the Top Level Domain (TLD).
There are lots of TLDs but, without a doubt, .com is the most popular. If you can choose your Domain with a .com extension, you will be in a stronger position.
If people only happen to catch the name of your Domain, then their first instinct to find you would be to add the .com extension onto the address.
What if .com is taken?
While .com is the best option, it’s not the only extension available.
WordPress uses both .com and .org, and separates the different parts of their business into each Domain.
Some of the other original TLDs include:
.net, .int, .gov, .edu, and .mil
If you’re focusing your niche on a particular location then the country code specific extensions (referred to as ccTLDs) might be more appropriate, for example:
.au (Australia), and .uk (United Kingdom)
And then we have the newer more generic extensions (gTLDs) including:
.accountants, .agency, .business, .city, .digital, .photography, and .social
Plenty to choose from!
Sometimes you just need to rethink your Domain name if the extension is already taken. For instance, both davidhartshorne.com and davidhartshorne.org have already been registered by the same voice-over artist with the same name as me. Whilst I could choose another extension from the many available, it seems pointless.
9 tips for picking your Domain
1. Choose a Dot.Com TLD
Alway go for the .com extension if it’s available. If not, consider others, but be mindful that people searching for you could end up at a competitor’s website. Avoid the new cheaper extensions as they don’t look professional.
2. Avoid Hyphens
Avoid hyphens in the name if possible; they don’t look that good; e.g. www.123-reg.co.uk
3. Avoid Numbers
Avoid numbers and silly abbreviations; e.g. phones4u.com
4. Choose a short name
Don’t choose a very long name as it just becomes impossible to remember and it’s more likely that users will either mistype or misspell the name. Also, consider the benefits of a short name for the URL in SERPs, plus Social Media links, and even printed stationery.
Always write down what name you have in mind to make sure it looks good and doesn’t spell other words inadvertently. Check out these funny examples.
6. Easy to say
Choose something that is easy to say. Imagine saying your Domain on the telephone and the person hearing it being able to type it instantly it in a web browser. Sometimes if you try to be too clever with your Domain, you can lose potential visitors.
Flickr eventually had to buy the Domain Flicker and set up a redirect to the original website because so many people were just typing it incorrectly.
7. Social Media
Always check social media sites to see if your Domain name is available there too so that you can maintain your brand across all channels.
8. Avoid Copyright Issues
Don’t be tempted to try and use a well-established brand name on a lesser known TLD because the company will most likely come after you and you’ll end up losing it. And always check for registered trademarks too: uspto.gov/trademarks and http://www.copyright.gov/
9. Expired Domains
There is the option to buy expired Domains; i.e. Domains that were previously registered but that are now available. This option should be handled carefully as there is the possibility that you could inherit any previous Google penalties attached to the Domain.
Not all expired Domains are affected, but you’ll need to check before you buy. Here’s a useful discussion with Matt Cutts in the Google Webmasters Forum.
You can also take a look at what content was on the website previously using the Wayback Machine. This will highlight if the website has been used for dodgy purposes in the past.
Your Domain is the first thing people see when they visit your blog. You need to make a good first impression!
Use the tips above to get a good balance of Domain name and extension.
Choose something catchy, something memorable, and something relevant that says exactly what you want to say about your niche.
At the end of March 2015, there were 294 million registered Domain names worldwide.
Make yours unique. Pick the perfect one for your blog.
You’re going to be seeing a lot of each other.
Next, it’s time to choose a web host for your blog, and grab yourself a great theme if you’re going to use WordPress.
Still not sure what name to choose for your blog? Check out my guide on Blogging Wizard. It includes some creative ideas to help you choose a blog name you won’t regret.
Picking the Right Domain Name Registrar for Your Blog or Website
Domain names identify you on the Internet to your customers and prospects. It's not a stretch to say that a great Domain name are the first step towards great websites; therefore you should spend some time brainstorming a good name and making sure you go with the best possible choice.
There are several reasons for having your own Domain name and not using a Domain name that is a part of a free website service or blog, including:
If you decide to change web hosts (e.g. switching from GoDaddy to Bluehost) the Domain name stays with you. Regular customers and other visitors who are familiar with your name (ie: www.example.com) would not have to be informed individually or via a mass e-mail about the web address change (also known as URL). As before, they would simply type your Domain name and they'd be able to access your new website as if no hosting changes had occurred.
As an online business, Domain names give your company presence and credibility. People are less likely to do business with or trust companies that don't have their own Domain name.
If your business Domain name alludes to your company's main activity, people will remember it easily and can visit your website without having to consult papers, business cards, or their smartphone. With a good name describing your product or service, you might attract people from Google searches and just plain luck. Think of your Domain name as another way you brand your online business.
Good Domain names are almost a prerequisite if you are looking for advertisers. They will give your website respectability.
How to Find a Great Domain Name
1. Conduct a Domain search with your registrar/Web Hosting company. You can also get ideas, brainstorm, and find available Domain names using a Domain name generator.
2. Choose a reliable company that won't compromise your digital identity. This company should give you access to the widest selection possible, including the hundreds of niche specific extensions (e.g. city, location, occupation, etc.) that are coming online by the hundreds.
3. When you choose a registrar, look for a simple Domain set-up that does not demand any technical skills. It should also offer easy Domain forwarding to any existing website, a good number of subDomains to customize your site and enough e-mail aliases (e.g. name @ example.com).
4. The ability to have real-time monitoring to make sure your website is up and running is also desirable.
Domain Privacy and Protection
A Domain privacy plan protects against identity theft, prevents Domain-related spam, and deters Domain hacking. The cost of protection is usually the same as the Domain name itself, but for ten to twenty dollars per year, a reputable registrar will offer as a minimum:
Locked protection against personal information exposure.
Masking personal details in the Whois directory.
Prevention of Domain-related spam.
Deterrence against Domain hijackers.
Protects you from stalkers and harassers.
Includes a private e-mail address that can be forwarded to you, filtered or blocked.
More advanced services suitable for businesses (e.g. credit card protection, Certified Protection seals, “deadbolt” Domain transfer protection) are available.
Advanced Domain Name Services
An established registrar will want to make things as simple as possible for its Domain name customers. This may include some or all of the following services. Ask about them when investigating your Domain options:
Geographic Domain-mapping tool that lets you to quickly search and secure a bunch of location-specific Domain names.
Internationalized Domain names: Register popular Domain names in scores of different languages, and allow searches for them in both English and native languages to work.
Domain Backorders: Get on the waiting list for that special name currently owned by another business, and be in position to purchase the moment it is released.
Access to bulk Domain discounts and Domain auctions.
Domain names, such a simple aspect of business, can make all the difference for your online presence. Whether you're looking for a Domain name that will brand your business or one that is search engine friendly, the right one can put more money in your pocket, but the wrong one will drive customers away to your competitors, so choose wisely!
How to choose a Web Hosting service?
Teaming up with the right Web Hosting service is more important than you think. Opt for the wrong one and you could find yourself struggling to get support, suffering downtime or worse. Choosing a hosting package needn’t be a chore though, just consider these points below during your research phase and you’ll find the choice of plan becomes much clearer.
1. Type of hosting offered
Will you need your own infrastructure?
Will you need greater access or control over your server(s) and website?
Are you not very technical?
Would it be easier to let the hosting company take the lead in maintenance?
Ask yourself all these questions and more. Whether it be shared, VPS, dedicated, or fully managed hosting, look at the pros and cons of all. Ask yourself what you need it to do and don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
What are the available support channels: email, forums, live chat, telephone, 24/7 or office hours?
If anything happens to your server or website, from technical errors to DNS attacks, you need to be able to remedy the situation quickly. This becomes more pressing depending on your website. For example, if you run an e-commerce site you’ll be losing money every minute you’re offline. So make sure the support is right for you.
What features are on offer?
Does the host use cPanel for one click installations of selected software?
How much storage and bandwidth is available? How many Domains can be hosted on one account?
Functionality is important for any website and so is future-proofing. If your company grows and with it the amount of space you need, does the hosting company have the capacity and the features to allow for growth?
4. Server locations
Is the location of the data centres important to you?
Do you collect personal data on your website?
Are you compliance led?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions you may want to look into the location of your servers. Normally a quick Google search or email to the provider can tell you the physical location of things.
5. Areas of specialisation
Do they focus on specific platforms like WordPress and do you require this level of service?
Or do you simply want to learn how to use Linux which is tough on a managed host?
Depending on the nature of your business you may have higher standards to meet in terms of security. Will this hosting company meet these expectations? Or would another be better equipped?
Similarly, just because you may not have to meet regulated standards doesn’t mean security shouldn’t be a factor in your decision. The internet is a rough neighbourhood and you should make sure your hosting company has appropriate measures in place to protect your server and website. At the end of the day, it may be you who is accountable should anything go wrong.
7. Price & general feedback online
How much do they charge and how does it compare to the other hosts on your shortlist?
Is price a factor or do you not mind paying that little bit more for a more complete service?
Last but not least, while feedback from users with similar requirements to yours is definitely ideal, lots of general negative feedback from users can be just as revealing.
Research the company itself and the services they provide. While you are more likely to find negative reviews about a company, what previous users have issue with may give indication as to whether you want to trust the hosting company with your website.
This is an adapted excerpt from an eBook called "The ultimate guide to Web Hosting", published by TechRadar Pro in association with Planet Hippo
6 Tips For Choosing a Web Hosting Company
Choosing a Web Hosting company is a vital phase in the launch of any digital project. With so many different aspects to take into consideration, ranging from security to up-time to support, it’s difficult to sift through the thousands of Web Hosting companies offering what seems like a similar level of service.
But in fact, there is a method to the madness, and we’ve spoken to industry experts to understand what brands should look out for when choosing a Web Hosting company.
1. Evaluate and Understand Your Hosting Needs
First things first, you need to know your requirements as an online company. “It is the most important to prepare at least rough estimations of what resources will be required to keep the site running. Starting with daily visitors estimate is a very healthy practice,” said Daugirdas Jankus, Head of Marketing at Lithuania-based Hostinger International.
Without at least a general understanding of how many visitors your project will get, you’ll end up either paying far too much for an unnecessarily large (and expensive) server, or far too little for a server that can’t keep up with the amount of traffic your website or application generates.
2. Scrutinize Security Measures
Cybersecurity is a major concern for small and large companies alike. When it comes to selecting a web host, you need to ensure their security track record, as well as the protocols they have in place to defend against cyberattacks in all their forms. Dalerie Wu, Senior Marketing Manager at Diamond Bar, Calif.-based Zenlayer, highlighted this point. “Many companies have experienced downtime due to DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, including Amazon, New York Times, Airbnb, GitHub, Pinterest and WIRED. [Brands need to ensure] their chosen web host offers DDoS protection, as well as other security services like web application firewall and encryption,” Wu advised.
As a side note, if you will be sharing customer data with your web host, you’ll also want to be sure of their GDPR compliance. As the GDPR points out, a brand can be held responsible for sharing data with non-compliant third-parties.
Related Story: How Will the GDPR Impact Third-Party Lead Generation?
3. Inspect The Infrastructure
The state and strength of the infrastructure of a website host is incredibly important. Jankus pointed out that nowadays, it is relatively easy to set up a server and start hosting websites for people, “but it’s difficult to do it well”. The difference between the best and the rest, is the infrastructure that the web host leans upon. Wu listed a few different questions that brands should pose to potential web hosts concerning their infrastructure.
How many uplink carriers does the hosting company have at each hosting location?
What is the total bandwidth that the company has at each hosting location? This will help to determine peak time performance.
What is their network topology? Here, we’re looking for redundancy, and preferably with diverse carriers, to ensure up-time.
How many peers does the hosting company have? More peers usually means lower IP transit cost, better user experience and increased network resiliency.
Does the company offer dedicated connections/lines to provide more reliability and security? This one isn’t a must, but it’s a bonus.
Finally, David Vogelpohl, VP of Web Strategy at Austin, TX.-based WP Engine, mentioned that, “the geography of the hosts’ data centers also influence their ability to serve your customers.” So, if your customers are predominantly US-based, it’s best to stick with a host that uses servers inside the United States.
4. Factor In Scalability
Scalability is another key dimension to consider, as your requirements (which you should have ascertained before you began your search, as previously mentioned) may change. When that change occurs, you don’t want to be forced into switching your web host. Instead, it’s wise to choose a hosting company that can accommodate your growth. “Scalability of potential hosting provider must be evaluated. We all plan to grow our businesses. It is important to have the partner which is flexible enough to support your growth by handling increasing “hunger” for resources of your infrastructure,” said Jankus.
Related Article: 13 Headless CMSs to Put on Your Radar
5. Consider Specialist Hosting Companies
Some hosting companies are welcoming to businesses of all forms, But some have niched down, specializing in working with brands using certain technologies or working within certain industries. This is a point that Vogelpohl emphasized to CMSWire. “Brands should consider the business focus of the host to see if that aligns with their business and technology [stack]. Determine if the host is focused on your particular size of business or the technologies you use to support your website. Managed hosts which help you manage the performance of the application layer (such as WordPress, Adobe Experience Manager or Sitecore) often include products and performance features which can give you an advantage over a generalist host,” he said.
6. Before You Jump, Test The Waters
It’s also wise to remember that choosing a Web Hosting company doesn’t have to be impulsive or based purely on a sales pitch. In some cases, the company will allow you to test their service — which is definitely an option you should consider before taking the plunge. “While you can do due diligence on all the points made above, the easiest way to determine if a host is good for you is to sign up for the host, clone your site, and test to see if the platform will deliver a 'performant' experience, said Vogelpohl.
6 TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE BEST WEB HOST
1. CONSIDER YOUR SPECIFIC NEEDS
Unfortunately, choosing the best web host isn’t as simple as picking one from a list. Everyone’s idea of “best” will depend on their unique needs.
For example, if you want to start working with WordPress, you’ll be best off choosing a host like Bluehost or HostGator that’s popular among WordPress users. If you’re planning to run an e-commerce site, you’ll need a host that can accommodate the e-commerce software you want to use.
Before you start shopping for web hosts, sit down and outline what you need from a web host. Consider the following questions:
What type of site will you be creating? For example, will you be working with WordPress or creating a static HTML website?
Will you be creating more than one site? Some hosts allow you to create multiple sites from the same account.
How much traffic do you expect to receive each month? Be realistic. This will help determine how much resources you need. If you plan to grow your traffic over time, you may need a host that offers scalability in their package offerings.
What technical requirements will you require for your site? Most coding languages like HTML and CSS don’t have special requirements, but if you’re working with PHP, for example, you’ll need to find a host who can cater to that language.
Do you need extra features, such as email hosting or an SSL certificate? Be sure the host you choose offers what you’re looking for (and at a reasonable rate).
What is your monthly budget? Knowing this can help you weed out certain hosts and packages before you waste time comparing features of hosts outside your range.
2. LOOK INTO HOSTING RELIABILITY AND SPEED
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a web host is the host’s reliability and uptime scores. Obviously, you want your site to be operating as often as possible. Even a few minutes of downtime per day can lead to lost revenue and a poor customer experience.
While no host can guarantee their servers will be active 100 percent of the time, there are many companies that boast uptimes of 99.5 percent and higher. Avoid hosting companies that report anything below 99 percent.
In addition to uptime, you’ll want to choose a host with fast servers. There are plenty of ways to speed up your website, but if your site is on a slow server, it doesn’t matter how many other tweaks you make to it; it will always be slow.
Speed may not seem important to a beginner with little web traffic, but it will become increasingly important as your site grows. According to KISSmetrics, a one-second delay in page speed reduces customer satisfaction by 16 percent. Furthermore, 40 percent of website visitors abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load. Tiny delays can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
To find reliability and speed stats on a given host, start by looking at their website, and then browse through online reviews to get a feel for how other customers’ sites have performed with that host.
Man with laptop - 6 tips for choosing a web host
3. KNOW YOUR UPGRADE OPTIONS
Generally, shared Web Hosting is a good place to start because it’s cheap and suits most beginners’ needs. However, your needs may not stay the same forever. As your website grows, you may find yourself needing more bandwidth, email storage, and other resources.
Don’t be fooled by unmetered or unlimited offers, either. In many cases, your service agreement will allow your host to throttle website performance after a certain amount of use, which can drastically slow your website speeds. Some agreements even allow hosts to shut down your site or require you to upgrade if you’re using up too many resources.
That’s why you’ll want to look for a host that offers room to grow. Though you might start out on a shared hosting plan, a host that also offers VPS hosting and dedicated hosting will be able to help you make the transition to a new server easier as your site grows.
4. EXPLORE SECURITY FEATURES
Another important aspect to consider in a web host is their security features. This is especially true if you’re planning to run a website that stores or transports sensitive data, such as customers’ credit card numbers.
Start by looking at whether or not the host runs firewalls or malware detection on their servers. Ask them if they monitor their servers for unusual activity. Look for a host that offers SSL certificates to ensure that the data sent over your site remains secure and encrypted. Some hosts also offer IP deny services, which allow you to block specific IP addresses, such as those that might come from groups of hackers.
Finally, you’ll want to look into whether or not the host offers frequent site backups. Even with a range of security measures in place, it’s never a guarantee that your site won’t be hacked or compromised through another disaster. If your host offers backup services, you’ll be able to quickly restore your site in the event of a crisis.
Look for hosts that back up your site every 24 hours, especially if you plan to continuously update your site. That way, if any data is lost, you’ll only lose a few hours’ worth of changes.
5. LOOK FOR QUALITY CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Good customer support can mean all the difference with a hosting provider, especially if you need a bit of hand-holding to get your site up and running. During your research process, look to see what sort of support channels are available, such as live chat, email, or phone support.
Also take a look at each host's support hours. Some hosts offer customer support 24/7, while others are only available during business hours, which can make them difficult to get ahold of when you need support ASAP.
Finally, read reviews for each host you look at to get a feel for the quality of support they offer. Look for reviews that mention how timely and knowledgeable (or not) the support staff is–keeping in mind, of course, that people often only leave reviews when their experience was either very positive or very negative, which might skew the feedback.
Laptop on desk - 6 tips for choosing a web host
6. RESEARCH PRICES
Obviously you want to choose a hosting package that suits your budget. However, when researching prices, it's important to look beyond the initial monthly price you're shown.
First of all, consider that many hosting providers feature introductory deals for first-time users. After your first billing term, your plan will renew at the normal price. Be sure you’re not just budgeting for the introductory price but can afford the regular rate as well.
Also compare the price of other packages the host offers. If you go with the cheapest option now but decide to upgrade your plan later, you could end up paying more for that upgraded package than you might with another host.Finally, be sure to look at the cost of add-ons and extra services. Some hosts, for example, charge extra for email hosting, while others include that in their base rate.
Finally, be sure to look at the cost of add-ons and extra services. Some hosts, for example, charge extra for email hosting, while others include that in their base rate.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a web host, and it all starts with knowing what your needs are so you can find the host best suited to you. What will you be looking for in your ideal web host? Tell us in the comments below.
The Top 5 Diets to Try in 2018, According to Experts
s a new year, which means that many people are pledging to slim down or eat healthier in 2018. Now, new annual rankings from U.S. News & World Report reveal that the best Diets for 2018 is a tie, with the Mediterranean Diet and DASH Diet in first place.
U.S. News enlisted the help of a panel of food and health experts to rank 40 Diets on a variety of measures, like how easy it is to follow, the Diet’s ability to help a person lose weight in the short and long term, safety and more. The company then converted the expert’s rankings into scores that allowed them to determine the top Diets. Beyond best overall Diet, the experts also ranked the best Diets for weight loss, healthy eating and more.
The lowest ranking Diets were the Keto Diet and the Dukan Diet, which tied for last place. People who follow the Keto Diet slash carbs and fill up on fats in order to help the body enter of state of “ketosis,” where the body breaks down fat. The Dukan Diet is a rule-heavy plan that goes in stages, including a phase of eating a lot of protein. The experts rated both Diets as hard to follow
Here’s what U.S. News calls the best Diet plans for 2018:
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#1: DASH Diet
The DASH Diet was designed to help people lower their high blood pressure, and it’s characterized by a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. People on this Diet are told to avoid saturated fat, sugary beverages, sweets, full-fat dairy and some oils—and to eat less salt overall.
#1: Mediterranean Diet
The Diet gets its name from the eating habits of people living in Mediterranean countries and has been linked to better health and longevity. The Mediterranean Diet meal plan is high in fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fatty foods like fish, nuts and olive oil.
#3 Flexitarian Diet
A blend of the words flexible and vegetarian, the Flexitarian Diet encourages people to eat vegetarian most of the time for better health, but doesn’t call for cutting out meat entirely.
#4 Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers is an especially popular Diet, promoted by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey. It works on a points system, where each food is given a number of points, and people are told a total number to aim for each day. Foods that are high in nutrients and are filling have fewer points overall. Sweets, on the other hand, are high in points.
#5 MIND Diet
The MIND—a mix of DASH and the Mediterranean Diet—is supposed to help protect the brain and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, though much more research is needed to determine whether it really helps curb brain decline. People are encouraged to eat from 10 brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables, all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine. They are also told to avoid foods from five food groups: red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, sweets and fried or fast food.
#5 TLC Diet
Tied for fifth place, the TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) Diet is meant to help people cut down on high cholesterol. Adherents cut down on fat overall, especially saturated fat. They are also encouraged to eat more fiber.
People who follow the volumetrics Diet—also tied for fifth place—are told to pay attention to the energy density in foods, which is the number of calories in a certain amount of food. Foods that have high energy density will have lots of calories for a little amount of food, whereas low energy density foods have fewer calories for more food.