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Choosing the Right Hosting Provider: From your Agency’s Perspective

Picking the right hosting provider for your website should be more than just a price comparison. We have worked with hundreds of clients in procuring the best host for their needs. In the last 17 years of business, we’ve learned a thing or two. Here’s what I think you need to know to make an informed decision.

Know Your Stack

Your website’s technology stack matters. Whether you’re using WordPress, SiteCore, Adobe Experience Manager or another CMS, make sure your hosting provider knows how to support it. A provider that specializes in your CMS can offer better solutions and support tailored to your needs. Not only that, they stay up to date with what’s changing and optimize in sync.

Performance and Scalability

You want your site to be fast and able to handle growth. Look for hosts that offer high-performance features like CDNs, caching, and load balancing. These can make a big difference in how quickly your site loads and how well it handles traffic spikes. As a WordPress-focused agency we have seen the clear difference between a hosting provider (or dedicated server) that includes these features and one that does not.

Security First

Security is crucial. Your host should provide features like DDoS protection, managed firewalls, automatic updates, and SSL certificates. Check if they comply with standards like SOC 2 and ISO 27001, which means they meet high security requirements. Most hosting providers will offer some level of security, but if you’re looking at an alternative hosting provider (internal, agency, or nephew) all bets are off. Which leads me to…

Managed Hosting vs. Dev Shops

While dev shops or agencies might offer hosting, they usually don’t provide the 24/7 support and specialized infrastructure that dedicated hosting companies do. However, agencies can still be great for managing your hosting account and ensuring everything runs smoothly (selfish plug: see our website for pricing).

Reliable Support

24/7 support is a must. You need a host that offers round-the-clock assistance from experts who can help with any issues. Having a dedicated technical account manager is also a plus, guiding you through complex problems and providing proactive support.

Developer Tools

Efficient tools can make your life easier. Look for features like one-click staging environments, Git integration, and continuous deployment options. These tools help streamline your workflow and improve your site’s deployment process.

Backup and Recovery

Reliable backup and recovery options are essential. Make sure your host offers automated and on-demand backups with easy restoration processes. This keeps your data safe and allows for quick recovery if something goes wrong.

Cost Efficiency

Think about the total cost. Managed hosting can save you time and reduce the need for in-house IT resources. Evaluate the extra services provided, like performance optimization and security management, which can justify higher costs.


Now that you have more information, use this Checklist for Choosing a Hosting Provider:

  • CMS Compatibility: Does the provider specialize in or support your website’s CMS?
  • Performance: Are there features like CDN, caching, and load balancing?
  • Security: What security measures are in place? Are there compliance certifications?
  • Support: Is there 24/7 support? Are technical account managers available?
  • Developer Tools: Are there tools for easy staging, deployment, and integration?
  • Backup and Recovery: What are the backup options? Is there an easy recovery process?
  • Cost: What is the total cost of ownership? Are there any hidden fees?

Choosing the right hosting provider is about more than just cost. It’s about finding a partner that understands your needs and can help your site perform its best. By considering these factors, you’ll be well on your way to making a smart choice.

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