Being a web development company, we have dealt with our fair share of hosting companies. Luckily we understand that most of our clients have little to no knowledge about hosting packages and servers, so with this blog post we aim to inform you of what you need to know, or questions you need to ask your hosting company before deciding on a hosting package. We will help you with choosing the right web hosting.

How to choose the right hosting company

When searching for hosting companies in South Africa, Google returns the following hosting companies, in this order:

  1. Hetzner
  2. Web Africa
  3. Afrihost

Choosing the right hosting package

Always ask your hosting company if the package you are interested in supports WordPress, it will really help speed up the process, otherwise you must wait for your package to be changed and depending on your hosting company’s service, it may take a few days.

Also, ask them if they make backups of your files, because if they don’t, you might want to keep backups of your files and databases just incase.

Choose your package according to your needs

Here are a few things you might want to consider when choosing your hosting package:

  1. Tech specifications and limitations. Find out how much space your web developer will need or how many databases they need. Most packages limit you to 1 database, where others don’t have a limit. When installing WordPress, you need at least one database. Just remember, you get what you pay for, it might not always be the best choice to go with the cheapest option.
  2. Tech support. How well do they respond to your questions? Will they help you if you encounter errors?
  3. Features. This is very important. Because we use Hetzner, we have seen how much it helps to always have a backup of your website on-hand, so look out for similar helpful features or add-ons to make your hosting experience better.
  4. Client side dashboard / Client interface / Control Panel. How easy is it for you to manage your Control Panel on your own? Do they have all the tools you will need?
  5. Email addresses. How many email addresses do you need? Most hosting companies limit you to 1 or even a 100, depending on the hosting package.

 

Hosting companies we recommend

Hetzner - HaukeWebs

Hetzner is the best hosting company we have worked with. It is very reliable, their support is amazing and it is so easy to access your account, create email addresses and so much more. The best feature is definitely their backup-feature. They make backups of your website daily, and they keep it there for a few days.

Not only do they keep your files (your media files on your website as well as your website pages), but they keep a backup of your database as well, so if there is ever an error with your website, for instance you update a plugin and it messes up your whole website, you can restore your entire website to normal with the click of a button. It has saved a lot of our clients in these situations.

 

Web Africa - HaukeWebs

This hosting company is fairly standard. It is cheap, mostly reliable and they do support WordPress from their Standard package (R39 per month) upwards. Do not choose any package lower than the Standard package if you want to have a WordPress website. Although their client services aren’t great, it might be worth a shot.

 

Afrihost - HaukeWebs

Even though Afrihost only received 3 stars from us, it is still one of the better hosting companies. They are cheap, and their packages are reasonable. They don’t indicate which packages support WordPress, so better ask about that. The only reason they received 3 stars is their reliability. With Afrihost’s servers having quite the reputation for dropping, you might want to consider one of the other two web hosting companies if you are not prepared to take that chance. Other clients are quite happy with Afrihost, it depends on your personal experience, so it might be worth a shot to try them. With our personal experience, Afrihost’s customer service is not that good, it depends on who you end up with.

 

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