Do you have a website? Is that website a business website or a general one? If the answer is yes then this article would be the best guide for your next step. If you have a website and you are planning to host it in the virtual world you need to contact a web hosting service provider.
You may also want to check out this cheap website hosting article on hostingfoundry.com
Below are some of the tips you must remember.
Know Your Requirements
Before starting anything it is advised to be sure of the purpose why you want to do it. Likewise when you want your website to be hosted you need to be sure the reason for it – whether it is your small business website or you want to share your thoughts with your friends and family. Because the hosting requirements would be different for the above mentioned two purposes.
Some key aspects are
- What is your website framework / tool? This depends on factors or frameworks like WordPress, Magento, PHP or any other ecommerce tool to run your website.
- What are your skills to run the website? If you are beginner you may want to look for features like interactive website builder support.
- What is your comfort on various tools provided by a provider?
Know Your Expertise Level: Beginner Or Expert At Building Websites
It is advised to be sure of your own expertise level in building website. If you are at the beginner level it is better to be sure that the service provider should have easy to use website building tools and also help you learn to build your website. Ensure if they have ISPCP, ISPConfig or cPanel systems that can help you create your forum or blog with just a few clicks.
Do They Provide Email Hosting?
When you are planning to host your website make it clear with the service provider that you are willing to get an email address of yours through the domain name of your website – email@example.com. It is advised to choose the service provider that offer unlimited pop mailboxes, auto responders and email accounts to get the value for your investment. This would help you to get in touch with your potential customers, new visitors and others.
File Uploading Methods Supported
Before committing to the deal check with the service how is their file uploading system. FTP is the best option compared to online file manager tool. FTP is more flexible in uploading files and is faster. However, if you are not from the technical background then the online file manager can be useful for you. But ensure that you are aware of the way that your service provider offers for file upload.
Log access is the base through which you can track the progress of your website. Ask the service provider if they provide the same or not. If not then it is better not to choose the service provider. If you have the log access you would be well aware which part of your website is more accessed and which part needs improvement to attract traffic. As a serious entrepreneur you are advised to pay close attention to log access.
Disc Space Limits
This is an important aspect of web hosting. The more the disc space the more growth opportunity you have. Many service providers offer disc space time to time seeing the performance of your website. However, it is advised not to overbuy. While marketing the web hosting service providers offer packages with 25 GB disc space, however, not more than 1% of it would get used by majority of the websites.
Loading Speed for Website
Speed is a major success factor of your website. It is advised that you test the network speed of your area. You can do that by yourself – click on start then run and type in “cmd” and hit enter. Once the cmd prompt windows opens, type “ping hostname.com” and wait for the ping to get completed and look for average number. Generally ping around 80ms is fine and more than 100ms is bad.
Quality Of Customer Service
No company can survive if they do not have a good after sales customer service. And in this case customer service is most important especially in the technical front. Before choosing a service provider it is better to ensure that the after sales customer service is good, preferably free 24/7 model of servicing their customers with response time via email or chat within 24-48 hours.
SSL Support : Security Is Even More Important If You Have ECommerce Site
If you are planning for an e-commerce website you need to keep the topmost priority to the security of the transactions that your customers will make in your website. It is better to verify about the security options that the web hosting service provider offers. Always choose https://, the SSL Certificate, as it makes all the transactions safe and secure. For the payment gateway it is advised to use Google Checkout or PayPal as these are safe ones.
Shared or Dedicated Hosting: The Fine Prints
It is important to understand what kind of hosting service you are buying from the service provider. If your website is not a very big one and receives a few thousand visitors a day then inexpensive shared hosting is just fine for you. However, if you have tens of thousands of visitors per day and more than 10 GB space is required then dedicated hosting would be the ideal choice.
The Type of Servers
There are two types of servers that the hosting services use – Windows and Linux. The later one is less expensive but more secure and stable compared to Windows server. Choose the server depending on the requirements of the website. If there is a requirement of Microsoft SQL, .Net or ASP then choose Windows server otherwise Linux sever is what is recommended for web hosting.
One thing you should keep in mind – do not choose the hosting service provider based on the plans that they offer. Always choose based on recommendations and experience that the service providers offer. In that way you would get the value for your investment. It is recommended to choose the long term plans as it can fetch you discounts in overall pricing. Do not choose the service provider based only on price.
Background Check Of The Hosting Company
It is your money, your business and your reputation that you are putting on someone else. Thus it is highly important to do some initial intense research on the background of the service provider. It is advised to research on certain criteria like how old the service provider is? How many clients do they serve? What is the reputation of the service provider in terms of service, support and pricing? You can get the honest reviews on online forums.
Read Terms of Service
This is the most important step that most of us tend to ignore and sign off the document. It is recommended to read the terms of the service in order to avoid confusion between both the parties. It is better to get clarity if you do not understand any term rather than assuming. Many times it is seen that hidden catches are mentioned in the terms and conditions for many cheap plans.
Understand The Technical Specifications
While shopping for a web host you need to be sure how much disk space and bandwidth you would require. If your website content is more of graphics along with lots of pages and huge traffic it would require a greater bandwidth and larger disk space. Apart from that it is advised to ensure the operating system that it would support along with uptime of the server and security. The understanding of these technical specifications would help you choose the right web host.
Look for Bonus Offers and Extras
Everyone would be delighted if they get something extra apart from what they are paying for. Same rule applies here also. There are many web hosts who offer some extra bonus offers apart from the basics like bandwidth and disk space. In today’s time e-commerce is a boom and many web hosts offer e-commerce solution. Look for these kinds of extra offers before making your choice.
Now that you are aware of certain factors that you need to examine, before making your choice in webhosting, it’s time to act upon those suggestions. It is your money that you are investing to make your site reflect the image of your company. Hence before choosing the webhost, know your requirements and choose the one which fulfills most, if not all your requirements.