If you have a website already, chances are that you chose a web host in the past…and didn’t do it the right way. I see soooo many people select a web host based on price alone, and they all end up switching to another hosting company within 6 months. In this article, we’ll talk about web hosting options, what to do when choosing a web hosting provider and what NOT to do when choosing one.
Web Hosting Features:
Before selecting the web hosting features, there are certain other factors that must be considered such as your budget, the type of website and required storage and bandwidth. Running an e-commerce site requires an online payment system; thereby you need secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption and shopping carts, whereas online forum sites or a blog requires PHP or Perl/ CGI scripting as well as access to a database system like PostgreSQL, MySQL or Microsoft’s SQL Server. Thereby, the first task while selecting a web hosting company is to identify your true needs as any extra feature will add up to the cost of your web site. Fix criteria for your required features selection such as the amount of bandwidth and storage capacity as well as determine whether your site needs features like spam protections and website builders.
It is very essential to find a reliable web hosting company that have the ability to cope up with troubles on system breakdowns. There are certain guidelines, with the help of which you can avoid the common mistakes while searching a web site hosting company.
- Do a thorough research: Search in the Internet about the various web hosting companies and make a list that provides all the features you require. Make a comparative study and check which one is providing the best deal. You can also utilize the online forums and speak with other webmasters about their opinion. Once you decide on a particular web hosting company, spend some time reading the opinions of others about the company. Examine the reviews and look into the history and achievement of the company. Consider certain factors such as the data center they are located at, the number of customers they have, the number of employees proving support as well as consider the time period since they have been in this business. If possible also speak to one of their existing client to get a better picture about their services.
- Consider your requirements: Make a list of your requirements including the storage capacity, bandwidth as well as the various features. Everyone wants a lot of space and bandwidth for their site, but look out whether you actually need them. If not, then it is better not to waste more money that you have to pay for the extra bandwidth and storage space, which will not even be used. In fact, if you want to use scores of resources on your website, it is better to go for a hosting plan with a little head room. This helps you to avoid any kind of excess charges in case you have spikes in traffic.
- Do have a good back up plan: It is wise to plan a back up support in advance to deal with any kind of system breakdowns or other related problems. You can not always rely on your web hosting company to keep backups of your sites, as most of them don’t. However, in certain cases the new companies do keep the backups. Keeping good back ups ensure that you will suffer less amount of data loss and downtime if you ever do have problems with your host and plan to move somewhere else.
- Do check for contact support: Before deciding on a particular web hosting company, contact the potential company and ask them a few simple queries about their service, expertise and experience. Look out how promptly as well as the way they provide you the answers. The main objective of this is to estimate their response time as well as the quality of their reply.
- Do not choose a host on price alone: It is always better not to choose a web hosting company only on the basis of their pricing. You will find a number of cheap web hosting providers from whom you get only what you pay for. But there is a very less chance of getting quality service from them. For an average reliability, generally, you need to pay at least .50 cents for one gigabyte of bandwidth. However, if you want high quality hosting you will have to pay three or four times more.
- Do not use free web hosting: Avoid the common web page mistake, if you want people to take your online business seriously. Free web hosting earns their revenue by placing numerous advertising on your site some of which may even harm a computer. Your customers will not like this at all; moreover this also gets in the way of your credibility. Further more, choosing a professional web hosting provider ensures that you have a reliable domain host and will also enable your customers to trust you with their credit card information.
- Do not trust customer testimonials blindly: It is advisable not to trust the customer testimonials published at the site of your potential web hosting company. Most of them are self created or just a part of the whole story, thereby better not be taken at face value. Instead, you can read the reviews or better go to the various online web hosting forums and speak to the webmasters, who have been using or have earlier used the services of the same company. This will give you better and authentic information about the company’s services. However, if the web hosting company lists contact information as well as the web site of the testimonials listed then they may be reliable.
- Avoid looking for free domain incorporated with web hosting: Most of people have a tendency to go for web hosting companies that offer free domain along with its hosting plans. But it is always better to keep the domain separate from the hosting company. Purchasing hosting plan along with free domain is fine as long as the domain is registered in your name and belongs to you. However, in most of the cases, such companies register the domain to their name and just let you to borrow it. Hence, there always remains the risk that they might hold the domain as hostage if in case you decide to move to a different web hosting company.