How to choose the right Web host?
A hosting company allows your web-site to be viewed on the Internet. So choosing the right web host is essential for the success of your website. Downtime leads to losing customers. Think about this for a second. Someone reads your advertisement in a newsletter or sees your banner on a website; do you think if they click on it and get no response they will try again in 20 minutes? The majority won’t.
Even something as simple as your current host not having the features you need to run a good quality shopping cart will make you lose customers. As you can see, choosing the right web host is very important.
So, how do you choose the right web host? There are thousands of web hosting providers out there. Which is right for you? There are a few easy steps you need to think about that make finding the perfect host much easier.
First, sit down and think about your needs before looking for a host. There is no point choosing a host, only to find out that they don’t support any of the features you need, or that you are paying for things that you will never use. Ask your web designer what features are required for your site to work.
One of the features necessary for e-commerce is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), which is used so you can safely accept customer information on your site. Other features that are required are things such as CGI (Common Gateway Interface) which allow you to run programs, such as shopping carts, on your site.
Email the companies you are interested in before signing up. Send their support department a few emails, at different times, just to check how quickly they respond. You should really choose a host that has 24/7 support email and telephone support. You can contact the company as well and make sure that you can talk to a person if you need to. Sometimes that is the quickest way to resolve a problem.
Take this opportunity to ask them about the features they offer. If there is a feature you want that they don’t have listed, ask them if they can add it. Don’t forget to measure the response time!
Decide whether you need a Virtual or Dedicated server. Basically, if your site is very busy – then you need a dedicated server. A dedicated server is only dedicated to you, in contrast to a virtual or shared server, where many people are sharing the hosting server.
Ask the hosting company for references. Check some of the sites that are currently hosted on their servers to make sure the sites are loading fast. You can also email the owner of the site and ask him or her if they are happy with the service they are receiving. If the host refuses to give you any sites, move on.
If possible try to use Unix based hosting platform. Web servers can come in many types, from Unix based, to NT, Cobalt, Sun Solaris and even Macintosh. For 90% of people, a Unix based server is the best option. Many people get scared when they read the word “Unix”; it sounds so hard to use! But when you have easy access to your hosting account, online, it does not really matter. In general Unix hosting platforms are more stable and offer many different features that are not offered on other platforms.
All beginners, and even some of the advanced web developers out there, will benefit from having an easy to use Control Panel to handle things on their site, such as managing email addresses and viewing statistics. Always check a web host’s site to make sure they have one available before you sign up. They usually provide you with an online demo on their web-site. Do a test run.
The last step is to make sure they offer some sort of an uptime guarantee. Some companies offer a 99% uptime guarantee; make sure your host is not experiencing technical difficulties every week.
One thing that you should keep in mind, it is that: “You get what you pay for with web hosting.” The most important decision maker for you should be the features that you need for your website, and the services that you will receive at any given time.
Be careful not to be scammed either. While I am telling you not to spend too little, you have to be careful not to spend too much either. A typical, quality, hosting package runs anywhere from $10 to $20 per month.
What will Global Access do for you? We will offer you reliability, and provide you with one-on-one service. If you have more than one domain name, we can host them all under the same plan. We will also help you to find the right web host if for any reason we cannot fit your needs. So before you choose a hosting provider, let us do a little research on them for you.
Article obtained, and modified, from http://www.onewayadv.com/tips/web-hosting.htm