What to look for in a Web Site Hosting Company

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There are thousands of web site hosting companies available at your beckon call. However, not all are created equal. In fact some are really bad and cost a lot of money, and others which charge very little are excellent. Do not equate price to quality when it comes to a web hosting company. Make sure you follow some of the advice below so you are not paying for things you do not need.

Advertising
Many webhosting companies will place ads on your side in a top, bottom or side bar or insert Kontera code that makes certain keywords in the content of your website become clickable ads. They do this to help offset hosting costs by offering you a lower cost. If you are ok with ads on your website then this is a good option only if the host is free. If you are paying for hosting then there should be no forced ads.

Space
How big is your website? If you have a simple 4 or 5 page site then you probably don’t need gigabytes upon gigabytes of space. Most hosting companies offer a variety of packages based on your needs. Make sure you choose a package for the space size your website requires. There is no need to pay for more than what is required.

Transfer Data
Each hosting company will allow you, up to a certain amount, to have data transferred from your website to a visitor’s computer. This can be the website pages themselves, data, pdf files, video, images and things like that. If you have a website like YouTube make sure you pick a package that offers a large amount of transferrable bandwidth. Also make sure you check into how much they will charge you per megabyte you go over your monthly quota. It could be a few pennies to a few dollars.

Interactivity
Is your website going to be interactive? In other words will you have a guestbook to sign, a newsletter that visitors can register for, do they need to log in to your site? If so then your web host must be set up for CGI, common gateway interface. It’s a fancy way of saying interactivity over the web. The two most common are Perl and PHP, although you could use ASP, Java, Flash, ActionScript and many others. If you already know what your site is going to be developed in, then make sure you choose a host that accommodates.

Price
How much are you looking to spend? I have a couple of websites where I pay about $4.00 per month and for that low cost I get everything I need. Some hosting companies charge per year, some bi-yearly and others monthly, as is the case with my websites. Know the budget of what you want to spend on your website. Most hosting companies will allow you to upgrade as your demand for space and speed increases. So if the cheapest package will suffice for now and is within the budget, then that is probably what you should go with.

Hopefully before you make the plunge and settle on a web hosting company you follow some of the advice above and make a decision based on what you truly need and what your website really demands.

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