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Step 2: Find a Web Hosting Company

Website Hosting 19/08/2012

You’ve now picked the right domain name for your planned website project. But in order for your website to become online, it needs to be hosted on a server. Finding a good web hosting company that suits your need is the second step in making your first website online.

There are a lot of factors to consider. There are pointers to remember. And there are mistakes that can be avoided.

6 Things to Look for when Choosing a Web Host Provider

There are numerous criteria that you can use when finding the right hosting provider for your website. I have listed the things that I look for below. I hope it helps.

1. Hosting Plans

Look for their various hosting plans. Do they have more than one? Can you easily upgrade from one plan to another as your visitors (traffic) grows? Do they have a specific plan for a specific software that you want to use?  Choose a web host that meets all your requirements.

I started my website on a shared hosting plan. Unless you’re starting big with an awful lot of money to spend on advertising, a shared hosting plan should be enough at the start. You can always upgrade as your site grows..

2. Pricing

Compare the prices for similar plans. Don’t go too cheap or too expensive. A web host that meets all the highest quality may cost more than the cheaper ones . However, that’s not always the case.

Do they offer a money-back guarantee after a trial period of 30 days or so? Don’t let yourself be dragged by this especially when the company is asking an annual upfront payment. There might be times when you will be dissatisfied of the services of the web host more than the necessary. And you will have no guarantee that you’re getting what you deserve.

3. Features

A web host that advertises “unlimited bandwidth”, “unlimited disk space”, “100% uptime”, and the likes are just schemes that you should be wary of. They will cost much in the long run and you will eventually find that they actually offer fewer services for you and your website.

Does it provide full security against spammers? Do they have an excellent and effective technical support for newbies like you? Do they provide the basic components such as the FTP, the bandwidth, the PHP, MySQL, Auto responders, SSI, Multiple Domain Hosting, .htaccess, the secure server, the control panel, and the likes? If it’s a yes to all, then it is the right web host to choose.

Always consider the amount of disk space and bandwidth the server offers. Will it supply the needed space of your website? In the long run, and if, say, you needed to expand; can it still accommodate your needs? This is one of the most technical things you should consider when choosing a web host so choose wisely.

4. Datacentre Location

If your website will cater for visitors of a specific country then it is best to host your website on a server based in that country. It also helps for various reasons. In theory, the closer the server is the quicker your webpages will be delivered. You will also expect them to be compliant in your country’s rules and regulations when it comes to hosting your website.

5. Speed & Reliability

Always choose reliability over anything that is offered cheap. There are ways to test if you are being scammed or you’re getting the real deal.

Testing for the speed of your web host can be assessed by clicking the start button. Hit run then type the text “command”. Hit enter. Then afterwards you can enter the text “ping domainnameofhost.com”.

The objective of this is to look for the average ping. When the number is low like 80 and below, that is actually a good sign because it often means that your website will be loaded faster.

This is ideal especially for websites that generate profit. It’s important that the web hosting service you use will make your website available 99.9% of the time. The saying you only get what you paid for applies here. If you choose a cheaply priced server, there’s a huge risk that the uptime may not even meet the 99.9% uptime average.

6. Customer Service & Technical Support

Don’t underestimate the importance of support. Particularly useful if you’re not confident in dealing with servers and server related issues. Do they offer 24/7/365 days support? Does it come free? Is this through online chat, forum or online helpdesk? Do they offer phone support? Is it a free phone number and not a premium one?

7. Reviews & Testimonials

Scan web hosting company reviews. Browsing various hosting review blogs, forums and chatrooms, assess the credibility of each web hosting company. It will also help if someone you know can recommend a hosting company for you based on their experience.

The Right Web Hosting For You: in a nutshell

There are so many web hosting companies that you can choose from.  you have to:

  1. Look at the hosting plans they offer
  2. Compare the price for a similar plan
  3. Review the added features they provide like the 1-Click installation of a ready-made script
  4. Consider the location of the hosting server
  5. The speed and reliability of their service
  6. Check the customer service and technical support available
  7. Look at the reviews and testimonials for that company

Generally speaking, you will never know what the hosting provider is like until you’ve tried it yourself. However, by considering some of the criteria that I used in selecting a web host, it will help you narrow down your choices.

There will be disappointing downtimes and there will be mind-blowing uptimes. This is basically because the industry concerning the Internet is very dynamic and subjected to inevitable flaws and unexpected excellent results. Just be prepared to undergo different series of unexpected changes concerning your website.

Before you start looking for a web hosting company, you must first have or do the two things mentioned below:

  • Knowledge is power.This statement basically applies to everything in life. When you are looking for the perfect web hosting company, you should first get down to the basic questions, such as “what is web hosting?” or “how does it work?” and “what is involved?”
  • Know what you want. Are you building a website for personal use with only ten to a hundred visitors a day? Or are you making a website to generate income? If you want a personal website and only expect minimum traffic, then free web hosting plan may suit your hosting needs. If  it is for business use and you expect heavy traffic, you will need to put money on the table.  There are different types of web hosting plans to choose from.

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