You’ve picked the domain name, have a website design in mind, now it’s time to select the best service provider to host your website. These guides can help you to know what to look for in a stable provider and know what to look for in each provider’s offerings.
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A good web host should provide more than just an Internet address. The three primary points to consider when evaluating web hosting companies are price, service and features. Here are a few ways you can identify the good, the bad and the ugly in each Web hosting company.
How Good is Good?
Hosting service providers like to talk about their “uptime.” This is usually a reflection of the amount of time the system is unavailable due to fixes or upgrades, and the occasional unforeseen outage.
Be suspicious of the “100% Uptime” marketing hype. An uptime of 96%-98% is very typical. Don’t be swayed by the rants on web hosting blogs where people complain about the service provider uptime. For every complaint, there could be dozens of happy customers. Happy customers tend to not write in the review sites.
There are several different models for customer support. There may be an extensive database of customer questions and answers or there could be a single page FAQ. The web host provider could have email support with 24 hour turnaround, or 24/7 telephone support. Expect to pay more for availability and support.
Look at each option and weigh the value against your needs. Can your website be broken for a couple of days without any impact on you or your business, or will you lose thousands of dollars every hour it’s down? The financial impact on you will determine the level of support you will want.
How Much is Enough?
Web hosting companies advertise unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited email accounts, etc. That’s all fine if you are working with a well-known company. They probably do have the equipment and experience to uphold the “unlimited” statements. Be a little cautious when a new or very small provider makes that claim, though.
Make sure you are aware of the limitations with the service provider. If you signed up for “50GB of free storage” thinking that’s a lot, when your website turns out to be the next most viewed video hub and a 50GB upgrade is a gazillion dollars, you could have a problem.
Getting Your Money’s Worth
Make a list of features that you need and compare the web host offerings against that. There is an ever-growing set of features that every host seems to have: SQL databases, web email programs, various blogging and website creation tools. If your heart is set on making a WordPress site, it would be nice if the web host company includes that in their automatic install and update features. Same thing with Joomla or any other web framework.
Look for special deals that directly affect your website. If you will be doing retail through your site, look for deals on shopping carts, payment systems and related features that may be available. The features might make your decision a little easier to make.
Your service provider will likely offer more bells and whistles than you will use. Make the sensible choice and visit webhostingchoice.com to make certain that the hosting company you select will offer you what you really need.