When developing a new website using the Joomla platform, it’s common to find yourself tangled in a maze of Joomla hosting options. At the very least, you’ll need a server that can support both MySQL and PHP. Most people new to websites tend to seek a host exclusively on price, but they’ll quickly realize that’s just one of several factors to look into.
Finding the Best Joomla Host
Wannabe webmasters seeking Joomla hosting tend to fall into two categories:
- Those who have never hosted a Joomla site before; and
- Those who already have a Joomla site but want a new host
Consider your requirements for a new host. An ideal provider can offer the following:
- Technicians experienced in configuring Joomla servers
- Fast servers
- 99.9 percent uptime
- Great technical support, especially with Joomla
- The option to scale your hosting up or down as needed
After all, if your site will run Joomla, it only makes sense to pick a host with a history of working with Joomla. It’s equally important to ensure that the host’s servers provide enough support for current versions of the platform. Currently, Joomla depends on MySQL 4.0+, PHP 5.3+, as well as several other PHP extensions. If this doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry — a qualified support member can explain their services in detail. In fact, many Joomla hosting options are designed to work with the platform right out of the box.
Why Good Joomla Support?
A good host won’t leave you alone to troubleshoot any problems that should occur with your website; they’ll have trained support staff available to guide you through a solution. Be sure the provider you review can offer these benefits:
- Provides a free template and platform installation
- Provides a free transfer of an existing Joomla website to the new host
- Trains staff in Joomla so customer service is always up to date on known bugs and fixes
- Tests the most current version of Joomla
- Knows the server requirements for the current version of Joomla
In other words, can the host help you when you need it the most? Always do your homework before purchasing any hosting with a new provider.
Joomla Customization Options
With Joomla, it is possible to customize your website to fit your needs using extensions and templates, which may either be free or cost some money. Either way, by using Joomla as your website platform, you’ve selected a flexible tool that can develop any kind of website you need. Not only that, but the community is always active with developing new templates, fixes and extensions.
Templates are what Joomla uses to change a website’s design. You can pick different colors and structures easily since the code and design are separate from one another; that means you can pick a new design without technical knowledge or the worry that something will break the website. The community offers several directories for templates to download; while many are free, you can pay for a unique template service.
To add more functionality to your website than what Joomla normally offers out of the box, you can take advantage of plugins and extensions stored in the Joomla Extensions directory. These one-click install plugins allow you to enhance your website without needing the knowledge of a developer.[divider]