10 Things to Consider when Choosing a Web Hosting Provider (besides price!)
The ten most common things that online businessmen and women need to consider before choosing Web Host, besides price, are as follows:
Number One: Technical Support
In any business venture, technical support is always important. As a website owner, the technical support that your Web Hosting Service provides will be crucial to your business. If your website is offline or working improperly, it will cost you in sales.
Number Two: Feedback Forums
A Web Host that provides a forum, message board, or chat room to discuss hosting issues or to receive help retains its users longer than those without such forums. There is no excuse to join with a Web Host that does not offer comparable avenues for customer support.
Number Three: Room to Grow
A Web Hosting Service that only offers one package may be a bad sign if it does not allow for your business’ growth. If the service offers upgrades to different hosting formats (with larger storage, larger bandwidths, or a dedicated server, for example) you can feel at ease in choosing it as your Web Hosting Provider.
Number Four: Storage Space
The more storage space your Web Hosting Service offers, the better. An average website could get by with about ten megabytes of storage, but you will want room to grow. Plus you can actually use storage to back up files from your computer.
Number Five: Bandwidth or Transfer
Bandwidth or transfer is the size of every file that visitors to your website download automatically each time they visit. An average webpage is around 30K. Add graphics and other such files displayed to the user, and your bandwidth or transfer usage may double. If you are offering downloads like software, music, and movies, or if you expect a lot of traffic to your website, choose a plan that offers you more bandwidth. Make sure your Web Hosting Provider has options that give you room to grow.
Number Six: Easy to Use Control Panel
What type of control panel does your web host offer? Cpanel is one of the most popular control panels for Web Hosts to offer, but there others exist. Every user, depending on his or her need and level of expertise, requires a control panel that best suits him or her. Advanced users, sometimes, would rather not have control panels since they know how to configure everything in the server by themselves. Less advanced users, however, need to be sure they pick a web hosting service that provides an easier interface so they can feel comfortable making the alterations they need to their website.
Number Seven: FrontPage Extensions
If you do not know HTML, you probably use FrontPage or a similar program to design your websites. Make sure your Web Host is set up for FrontPage extensions.
Number Eight: Type of Servers
Building your site, you need to know what kind of server you need: UNIX, LINUX, Apache, or Windows. Certain scripts will not work on certain servers. For example, LINUX and Apache will not run an ASP script.
Number Nine: Added Features
Instant installation is a feature offered by most Web Hosts these days. The automated process for installing databases and database-driven features enables you to add photo galleries, forums, blogs, content management systems, calendars, guestbooks, and more to your website. Find the provider who provides what you need.
Number Ten: Check if Your Web Host is in a Good Neighborhood?
Some search engines punish Web sites who are in “bad neighborhoods.” Engines ban Web sites that come from an IP addresses if previous problems are attached to it. Sample other websites hosted by the Web Hosting Service before you buy. Avoid neighborhoods congested with pornographic, file-sharing, or warez sites.