What’s important in a hosting package?
Your website hosting package is the foundation for your website. For that reason it is important to understand what your hosting package includes when it comes to functionality and features.
When Platypi starts on a new website project with a client, we always ask the following questions below so that we can assess if the hosting package meets the needs of our client. We have also included extra notes so that you know why we believe these items are important.
- Does my hosting package support a WordPress website installation?
Some website hosting packages do not support or recommend you use their hosting environment for a WordPress website. Most often than not your host will be able to accommodate a WordPress website.
- What kind of automatic backups are performed?
Ideally we would like to see automatic backups performed on website files and databases at least once every 24 hours with backups being stored for a period of 14 or more consecutive days.
- How long does my hosting company keep backup copies and are they easy to restore?
The automated backups that are created and stored by the hosting company should be able to be used to easily restore the website to a certain point in time (within the 14 days or more). The functionality to restore a backup should be available through the hosting control panel or submitting a support ticket to the website hosting company.
If the website hosting company needs to be involved in the website restore, costs for this service should be free or minimal.
- Does my hosting company provide an SSL (secure socket layer) certificate?
Your hosting company should be able to provide a SSL (secure socket layer) certificates. SSL certificates change your website address from http://www….. to https://www……A SSL allows information to travel between the website visitor’s computer to the server completely encrypted.
While some hosting companies offer free SSL certificates, purchasing an SSL certificate through your hosting company is recommended. On average they are $50-$75/year + tax.
NOTE: Some hosting packages come with free SSL certificates. Depending on the company providing the free SSL it might not work on certain devices.
- Does my hosting package come with a control panel (CPanel)?
Ideally the host will have a login area to the hosting control panel for your account. This helps when manual backups need to be created or other developer functions need to be performed.
- Does my hosting package allow me to use file transfer protocol (FTP) as well as interact with phpMyAdmin?
For the most part, you will not be using FTP or interacting with phpMyAdmin. FTP is a more technical way to get files to the website server and phpMyAdmin is a way of working with a WordPress database directly. For this reason your website developer will want to have these options available to them, but not all hosting packages support these features.