Researching Australian web hosting providers: Look at the following features.
While the location is obviously important (the closer your target market is to where the website is hosted, the faster your site should load for that target market), it’s definitely not as easy as just picking the closest location. For example, if your visitors are from Australia, you might think getting an Aussie based server is the way to go… not necessarily the case as your “close” server might be massively under-powered, giving you worse performance compared to a quality host located in the US. You have to balance the quality of the web host with the location you’re targeting. In the case of an Australian market, a server in Singapore (*cough* SiteGround *couch*) from a quality web host could easily outperform a lot of the more local website hosting companies. This rule obviously applies worldwide, whether you’re searching for the best UK web hosting, best web hosting Singapore, best web hosting Canada, best web hosting for NZ, etc.
This is pretty straightforward, the more you pay, usually the more storage you get (though this usually works differently for managed hosts where they calculate according to the amount of monthly visitors). You should get enough storage for any small business site or a small blog, no matter who you go with. If you’re planning a massive site (eg. e-commerce, forums, etc.), you might want to consider moving anything non-essential off-site where you can.
Email would be the first thing to move across, go with Gmail and you’ll have a more storage than you can handle. Same with videos, don’t store them on-site but use third-party services like youtube or Vimeo to stream them, massive space-saver. Next one would be sound, music, podcasts… move them to SoundCloud, stream them from there. Most imagery should be fine, though, unless you’re a photographer, in which case you should find another service to store your high-res files.
From experience, 2GB is enough for 90% of all websites. Also, if you care about speed (which you should), look out for web hosts that use SSD’s and not HDD’s, SSD’s are a LOT faster!
For anyone who has worked on computers long enough will understand the importance of backing up your data. Many people tend to ignore this very critical aspect. Even while running a website, you need to backup your database and files at regular intervals. It’s also good practice to do a back-up whenever you make massive changes to your site’s design or content.
While choosing the web host, you need to assess the intervals at which they backup files + how many backups they keep at any point in time. Also, see what system they use to restore any lost data. Some web hosts may provide the backup and restoration service free of charge, others charge fees for this.
This refers to the data that your website chews through on a monthly basis (both uploads and downloads). This is measured in Mb/Gb.
Data transfer usually depends on the number of hits your website generates and the size of the files that you have uploaded (hence why uploading videos on-site is not a good strategy). Definitely check what the limit is when you’re doing the research.
Up-time of the servers
Most web hosts promise optimal server uptime, up to 99.9% uptime is often guaranteed. This may not always be true; this is why checking reviews and customer testimonials are important. Again, research research research!
This is a big one, in my opinion, one of the most important deciding factors of how good a web hosting company is. What type of support do they provide, which methods do they use, how fast are they, how experience is the support staff. The easiest way to find this out is again to start looking for reviews as support is usually the thing most people will complain about. That being said, look for at least live chat and phone support. 24/7 support is a very nice bonus!
Most web hosting starter plans come with space for a single domain. If you’re planning to host additional domains (excl. sub-domains as these are usually unlimited), make sure to choose a hosting plan that allows for multiple addon domains.
And that’s it, check up on all of the above when doing your research, and you should end up with a reliable web host! Or you can, of course, take the shortcut, trust in us and choose a host from our top 5