Thousands of companies, tens of thousands of different plans and only a few of them are really suitable for your web site and for your online needs.
This is what you are confronted with when choosing a web-hosting provider.
Nowadays being part of the informational revolution that the Internet has brought along, it is compulsory for a business and also for individuals. No need to explain here why having a web site out there on the World Wide Web is such a must, instead we’re only going to point out a few things related to choosing an adequate web host for your web site.
As complicated this entire business might seem, once you know what to look for, it’s really easier to find it.
Analyze your requirements and stick to them
When evaluating their needs in terms of space and bandwidth many inexperienced web owners often buy more than they will ever need. As this is unbelievably common, many web-hosting providers size their web servers taking this into account and actually over sell the space and bandwidth thinking that customers will never make full use of it. To avoid web hosts that result to just that or crowed their web servers to get an extra profit per customer, simply ask them their client per server ration. As a diligent buyer, you should do this with all the other companies you find interesting to do business with and are eligible to host your web site.
A web site is almost like a living creature. It grows. So try to leave some room for it, don’t just buy a web-hosting plan that will fit your needs just perfectly. Buy a little more so when the time comes to expand you would have the resources available. Think of the possibility that your initial bandwidth evaluation proves itself insufficient. You might find yourself in the position not to be able to use your web site because you have exceeded your bandwidth. So leave margin for error too.
Most web hosting plans come packed with features and some even offer pre-installed scripts and programs that might come handy for both knowledgeable and less knowledgeable web owners.
As you could consider any extra feature a plus, don’t forget to look for the things you actually need like the OS (Operating System) or the PHP support. You decide what you need, don’t let the provider talk you into something you don’t want or is less than you have expected.
Support – can you get enough of it?
Support is something you might overlook when you consider an offer that suits you in terms of space and bandwidth and is packed with all the other features you will ever going to need. It might be good to understand that the road to all those features goes through Support city. If the web-hosting provider is careless about the support he offers to his customers, any technical problem concerning your web site could be solved only after long hours of waiting and making plenty of irritating support calls.
To test the quality and the responsiveness of the support personnel, e-mail them some pre-sales questions. Is the response fact enough for you? Imagine that your web site is down and your company is just attending a congress… many clicks are expected, but is your web site online to get them? Is the response you are getting from the support team thorough or is it merely scratching the surface? Is the response easy to understand for you?
A provider concerned about the quality of his support, would make available as many as possible ways to communicate with its clients. So find out as much as you can about its online support staff, help desk, message boards etc.
Information on the reputation of a web-hosting provider is something you might find on forums or discussion boards. Any disgruntled customers there? Would you like to be one?
Reliability is another aspect of the problem. Ask for the uptime of the company’s web servers. Some hosts offer an uptime guarantee, usually 99.9% (100% is not a realistic figure in the computer world). The guarantee means that if your web site is not available 99.9% of the time, you will be refunded the money for that month or you will receive free web hosting for a month as compensation for your web site being unavailable.
Well, true it’s paid web hosting and this means you have to pay for it. My advice would be don’t try too hard to find the cheapest possible web host. You will probably end-up wasting an incredible amount of time and is very likely that within two weeks after you have bought it, you will stumble upon a better deal. Apart from the irony of it and the loss of time, cheaper is not always better.
The other extreme, paying big money to get what you could have gotten for less is equally bad. At $50 for 200 MB of space with 2 GB of bandwidth you are definitely getting robbed, but the same service for $5 or $10 is a good deal.
The thin line between a profitable and, why not, enjoyable web presence and a nightmare with slow server response, unreachable support and irritating server downtime is drawn by you. By you choosing the web-hosting provider.
Choose carefully: there can be only one a few that will live up to their promises and deliver for you good quality web hosting.