Hosting a Joomla website, is very different to hosting other types of websites, say a normal html, php or WordPress site. Joomla has unique needs and requirements. Its an extremely powerful CMS system and allows for some great customisation...but with that flexibility, comes a need to ensure you are hosting with a web provider that knows and can support Joomla, and that's why JoomlaHost.com.au is the only choice when it comes to hosting your Joomla website.
Its an important question to ask, if you are starting out from scratch or should you be looking for a better Joomla Hosting Solution.
How reliable and how secure is the service?
This is an important question to ask for any website, but even more so with Joomla, where security is mission critical. A great question to ask is "What is the 'uptime' of the hosting service?" Which basically means how often the server is down and gives a good indication of reliability. Any Joomla Host will experience some downtime at one time or another and a web host that claims that they never have downtime is either telling you stories or making a sales pitch.
Its akin to buying a new car and being told by the dealer it will never break down! It would be nice if that was true and if the dealer could ensure it was true...but would you believe it? The important thing is what support you get when the car breaks down, and that is the same for Joomla Web Hosting.
Joomla Hosting Services should only ever experience outages in a planned environment. For example, service upgrades or hardware changes. Look for a Joomla Web Host with a server uptime of greater than 99%, such as the Joomla Hosting Packages offered by JoomlaHost.com.au. If the company you are consider is not willing to tell you their outage record or is claiming 100%, then you are better off with another hosting provider.
What level of customer service do they offer?
There are a lot of Joomla Web Hosting companies around. One of the big differences is their level of customer service. Many Joomla Website problems are not related to the host provider but caused within the Joomla install itself. If you have a Joomla Website, and problems arise...you need a support team that know what the issue is and can give you support to resolve it.
Is there phone support? Is it during the correct business hours? Do they provide a ticket system with fast and helpful response times? Is the support team knowledge directly in Joomla, and able to solve your problem fast.
Check out the site for legitimate testimonials from actual customers? You would be amazed by the number of fake testimonials! Especially those that show pretty pictures of the supposed clients. When was the last time you got asked to provide feedback by a company and had a professional photographer come out to snap pics of you! Never, right? It just doesn't happen.
Something else to look at very carefully, is if the level of service you are given is affected if you own a Joomla Website. A lot of the blogs that talk about "Top 10 things to look for in a web hosting company" will make mention of the necessity of 24/7 Web Hosting Support. However, consider two points here. Is your website is a business or personal Joomla Website? Do you really want or need to pay for 24/7 support, most often provided by cheap overseas calls centers. (24/7 support is expensive and generally farmed out to $2 per hour call centers). How often will you need support at 3am? Or are you are happy with standard support periods, by a quality, expert support team.
The last thing to consider is that a lot of Joomla Web Hosting providers will advertise 24/7 support won't respond to you out of hours anyway. Its always a good test to put in a ticket with a potential Joomla hosting company and see if you get a reply outside of hours. In short, its not the availability of support, as these days anyone can offer 24/7 support but in reality how long it takes to get your issues resolved. A 10 min response time, from a 24/7 support team that doesn't understand Joomla, will always cost you more time, than a business hours response from an Expert Joomla team. No point submitting a ticket at 2am and not getting a reply for 3 days!
Is the Hosting Package good value for money?
Joomla Website Hosting, like anything these days, is 'get what you pay for'. The trick with choosing the right Joomla hosting service for your website, is to balance the benefits (availability, service, and features) against the cost of the hosting package.
The key is not to lock yourself into a 1 or 2 year contract. Choose a Joomla Webhost that offers hosting month to month. Once you have made a choice of Joomla Host, have trialed the service and are happy with the offering, then swap your hosting package to an annual payment. Check to see if there is a discount, as many Joomla Hosts offer a discount for annual payments.
Also think carefully about what resources your Joomla Site will use. It is an easy mistake to choose a Joomla website hosting package by trying to estimate how big your site might be in the future. But the better choice is to select a plan that suits your requirements right now. Generally, when you start out, you are developing your site you need only a basic plan. As your Joomla site grows you may need more space and resources. So ensure your chosen Joomla host allows you to upgrade or downgrade the plan as you need.
Ensure you are balancing the package cost and the features of your web hosting including the quality of their support. The cheapest host, for $2 or $3 a month, will always cost you money and time in the long run. Cheap = poor support and poor security. Both of which are a disaster waiting to happen when working with Joomla! Choose a Joomla Host with strong security, responsive & expert support and who performs regular upgrades and backups. You should feel that you are partnered with a team that knows your site and your business...and doesn't see you as just a faceless service. Even one day of outages per year could cost you 100's of dollars...more than a good value, quality Joomla Host will cost you for 12 months of hosting!
What about free hosting and free domains!?
In short...DON'T DO IT! Free hosting companies make their money by putting ugly and unsightly web advertising into site and services. This is disrupting and intrusive for your web site customers...and you have no idea what ads will be shown. It could be adult services, gambling, casinos...or worse, a competitor! Free Joomla providers also place a low priority on the speed and reliability of their servers. Support and resources cost money...it simply cannot just be given away!
Joomla Hosting companies that offer free domains or '99 cent domains' often don't allow transfer of that domain to another provider or host. Meaning if you are unhappy with the hosting and spent time and money building your site...you are stuck! Imagine not owning the rights to your domain name! In the best scenario, a 'free domain' offer will come with a lot a small print and will charge you a huge premium if you ever want to move to a different Joomla hosting provider.
How long has the company been in business?
Joomla hosting companies come and go. Some hosting companies and resellers are literally around for a matter of months. They basically are designed to build customer base, and then auction that off to the highest bidder. So while you may do all your research and have excellent hosting...if you don't know its from a long established hosting company, you may discover one morning that your website hosting has been sold off to 'Budget Hosting Inc'...a provider your careful research steered your away from. Now you have no customer service and your site is running horrendously badly! This is a common story but can be fixed by simply asking the company how long have they been around? Choose a Joomla provider that has been around for at least 5 years.
Resources: What do you need?
The disk or storage space and the bandwidth assigned to your hosting package are vital when consider a Joomla Hosting package. Its common for Joomla site owners to select plans that are far larger than what their Joomla site needs, incorrectly thinking that this will give them a faster website and better support. It doesn't.
The key to making your website investment work for you is to choose a plan suited to your website needs and with the option to easily upgrade when needed. Many Joomla hosting providers advertise 'unlimited' accounts however, there is generally a fair use policy, and its rarely necessary. All Joomla providers will have a fair use policy in their terms and conditions that will restrict your use if you 'unfairly' use resources. But a normal Joomla Website owner are generally unnecessarily paying for extra resources they will never use.
Disk space or storage refers to the amount of physical hard disk space on your Joomla hosting server to store your website files, very similar to the hard drive on your PC.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that is allowed to be transferred from your website to the site visitors.